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My Body My Message: women’s bodies as tools of self-empowerment

The female body as medium, and as message. How can a woman determine how she is perceived by the world, and even by herself? On this edition, we hear stories of women who are using their bodies for political protest, and as tools of self-empowerment…forcing everyone to reevaluate their perspectives on the female form. Featuring: Neda Topaloski & Xenia Chernyshova, Femen members Galia Ackerman, author of the book “Femen” Catherine King, Executive Producer, Global Fund for Women Yolando Y’Netta Harbin-Venson, Big Ol Pretty Girls owner Jenny “Diva” Davis, clothing designer Diva’s Exquisite Designs. Host: Jasmin Lopez Producers: Andrew Stelzer, Laura Flynn, George Lavender Contributing Producers: Sujata Dey, Aqueila Lewis, Mark Valcour This show features a segment from Aqueila Lewis, our second Community Storytelling Fellow. Click here for more information on the fellowship. More information: Big Ol Pretty Girls FEMEN Global Fund for Women Imagining Equality Indignadas (Outraged Women) Rape, rape culture and the problem of patriarchy Kenya’s stripping videos cause...

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Why we need more voices to speak the unspeakable.
Jul06

Why we need more voices to speak the unspeakable.

My Community Radio Storytelling Fellowship with Making Contact (MC) has come to an end and I’m confident that my voice has been heard!   I am happy to have had the opportunity to be one of the first cohort of fellows to participate in what was both a challenging and engaging project, which I want to dedicate to Kimberly Robertson (may she forever rest in peace) and to all of the black female (including transwomen) victims and survivors of violence. My challenge stemmed from my topic about the unspeakable and perpetual violence against women, particularly black women, violence so normalized as to render us silent, invisible, and for far too many, dead.  Having to tell my personal story of domestic violence and sexual assault was hard at times.  While I had believed these experiences I’d survived were behind me, that I had moved on from the pain and suffering of those awful moments, I found myself struggling to tell the story without the memory of it consuming me. I would choke on the words as they tried to release themselves from my heart and my throat.  I would feel anxious about opening up those wounds and being left vulnerable while reliving the helplessness and despair that was once my life, a life exposed to violence.  Yet my desire to resist, challenge, and disrupt the status quo mindset that if it happens to black women it can’t be a crime, fueled me to see this project to its completion.  It is a small contribution to a very critical and complex issue that needs our attention and further discourse. This fellowship engaged me in dialogue with other powerful storytellers and agents of change.  It brought me into the company of the Her Resilience Mural Project, where the lives of women affected by violence in Oakland, CA became a clarion call for healing and a push for community and political discourse because this has to end and it won’t end if we don’t address it, if we continue to ignore this pandemic of trauma and death. I was inspired and lifted through these conversations with artists and organizers, many of whom had also survived violence and/or had friends and loved ones who survived or were murdered.  At times these voices were strong, clear, resilient and no longer afraid.  Other times, I can hear, see, and feel the tears, the pause manifested from the pain of retelling, of memories that can keep us bound and gagged and unresponsive. In those moments we found solace in spaces carved out for us to safely say what had been almost impossible in a society that would rather...

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Failing Our Youth: An Inadequate Foster Care System

This show takes a look at issues within the foster care system in the U.S. from the high rate of teen pregnancy to the alarming use of psychiatric medications in California’s foster care system. Featuring: Nicole Rocke, former foster youth Kyle Lafferty, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy Linda Bryant, Clinical Professor at New York University’s School of Social Work Benita Miller, Deputy Commissioner of Family Permanency Services at the Administration of Children’s Services Lorraine Jacobs, caseworker Yolanda Vasquez, former foster youth Adriane Fugh-Berman, Pharmacology Professor at Georgetown University’s Medical Center Bill Grimm, Attorney at National Center for Youth Law Susan Bullard David Arrendondo, Child psychiatrist Dr. Edmund Levin, at the Lincoln Child Center Nancy Forster, Therapist at the Lincoln Child Center April Rene Sanders, former foster youth and recipient of AB12 Kyle Sporleader, Statewide Legislative Coordinator for California Youth Connection (CYC) Credits: Host: Jasmin Lopez Contributing Producer: Leticia Miranda, Bay Area News Group Special thanks to the Bay Area News Group. Music: Quiet Orchestra, My Friend Jahzzar, Siesta Jahzzar, The Flowers Are Still Standing Poor Alexei, The Long Goodbye Cory Gray, Build a View Show Segments Teen Pregnancy and Foster Care Foster girls are 2.5 times more likely to become pregnant by the time they’re 19 than their peers outside of foster care. Some researchers estimate that about half the girls in foster care become pregnant in their teens. At the same time, foster care systems across the country do not have the proper resources and support systems for young women in care to learn about reproductive health and then birth and raise children. This is a story about Nicole Rocke who became pregnant at 16 in her first year living in a Brooklyn foster home. From Foster Care to College Typically turning 18 has also meant aging out of the system. So no more reimbursements to subsidize care. Studies show foster youth lacking financial support face higher rates of homelessness and incarceration; and fewer finish high school or go to college. To help ease the transition into adulthood, in 2008 the federal government allowed states to claim reimbursements for the cost of foster care to the age of 21. California’s version helped one young woman gain control of her life. Making Contact’s Laura Flynn has the story More Information Drugging Our Kids – Full documentary: http://webspecial.mercurynews.com/druggedkids/ California Youth Connection Chapin Hill at the University of Chicago: Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth Chapin Hill at the University of Chicago: Findings from the California Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study (CalYOUTH) National Conference of State Legislatures: Extending Foster Care Beyond 18 California Fostering Connections to Success: Resource page...

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Voice Recognition: Does how we sound determine who we are?

What do our voices say about us? On this edition we explore voice and identity. Lateef McLeod, our inaugural Community Storytelling Fellow, explains the everyday challenges that come with using a speech generating device. We’ll hear from someone who nearly lost their voice, and we’ll look at how voice contributes to trans women’s sense of safety and self. Featuring: Mya Byrne, singer-songwriter Kathe Perez, creator of EVA app Samuel Sennott, assistant professor of special education at Portland University Bob Segalman, author “Against the Current, My Life with Cerebral Palsy” April Bryant, UC Berkeley student Hannah Simpson, Nika Jewell, Tela Love, 13th Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference, attendees. Host: George Lavender Producers: Andrew Stelzer, Laura Flynn, Jasmin Lopez Contributing Producer: Meredith Talusan, Community Stortelling Fellow-Lateef McLeod Special thanks to Saskia Maltz More information Lateef McLeod Twitter: @kut2smooth Meredith Talusan, Twitter: @1demerith Mya Byrne Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/myabyrne Twitter: @myadriene Bob Segalman Is vocal fry hurting women’s job prospects? Eva App This show features Lateef McLeod, our 1st Community Storytelling Fellow. Donate now to help this year’s class of fellows tell their stories....

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Making Contact’s Violence Against Women of Color Live Chat
May21

Making Contact’s Violence Against Women of Color Live Chat

“This hierarchy of human life where if you are a woman of color and you’re impoverished, you’re at the very bottom and your life is seen as not worth anything.” –Margaret Prescod Join us on May 21st at 3pm PST as we discuss domestic, healthcare and police violence against women of color. This conversation continues our ongoing coverage on the cultural and structural dimensions of how violence against women and is being produced in solidarity with the National Day of Action to End State Violence Against Black Women and Girls. Follow the conversation on this page at 3pm and add your voice using the #vawchat hashtag. Black women experience intimate partner violence at rates 35 percent higher than white women. In Mexico an indigenous woman is 3 times more likely to die in child birth than a non indigenous woman. In the United States 3 women are murdered every day due to male domestic violence. End Violence Against Women of Color More information: Her Resilience Kimberly Robertson’s obituary Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders Sojourner Truth Radio HBO Tales of the Grim Sleeper LA Weekly, Grim Sleeper Returns: He’s Murdering Angelenos, As Cops Hunt His DNA The Grim Sleeper timeline Nick Broomfield Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer, A.C. Accountability in Maternal and Reproductive Health: Experiences from Civil Society from India, Mexico, and Nigeria Femicide in Mexico: Mapping of Silence Archival Footage: AP, New Sketches of California Serial Killer, December 18, 2009 ABC News, Grim Sleepers Mysterious...

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East Oakland Mural honors women effected by violence
May20

East Oakland Mural honors women effected by violence

Her Resilience, the arts organization featured in Not Throw Away Women is an art-based, women-centered project intended to honor, commemorate and celebrate the lives of women affected by violence in the Oakland community. The project was created by Hazel Streete in honor of Kimberly Robertson, a young Black woman who was raped and murdered in Oakland last spring. Participating artists include Kira Marriner, Melody Shaiken, Nicole Gervacio, Magick Monica, Joanne Ludwig, Summer April Lelia, Shana La Reina, Kate Klingbeil, Adee Roberson & Ximena Soza (collaboration), Kindah Khalidy and Angelica Padmavati. Here are some photos from the project and listen to the radio segment above. And follow the #VAWchat Twitter hashtag on Thursday May 21st at 3pm PST for our live chat on violence against women. Image from Her Resilience...

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