A conversation with public defender Michael Lepie about the his work with indigent clients, and why he considers criminal defense to be a civil rights issue. He discusses how he tries to seek outcomes for his clients which won’t completely derail their lives, and the obstacles within the legal system that often make this difficult. He also discusses the challenges of defending those with mental illnesses, and which aspects of the criminal justice system he thinks are most in need of reform.
An interview with Tim Wilson, a senior advisor to Seeds of Peace; bringing youth from war-torn countries together for dialogue each summer in Maine. Tim describes the way that trust, respect and communication are practiced at camp to build relationships that can foster peace throughout a lifetime. He tells the story of how an apology between a Palestinian and an Israeli boy helped build trust that effected relationships throughout the camp. He described the destructive pattern of kids competing to prove that their side had suffered more as a way to gain advantage. We spoke about his own formative experience losing a family member to the Klu Klux Klan, and how his parents had helped him overcome bitterness and hatred.
An interview with Mohammed Dini, executive director of the African Diaspora Institute, founder of Portland Forward and former candidate for state representative. Mohammed talks about his experience moving to Maine at age 13 and learning to identify himself as a Mainer. He introduces us to the Somali concept of furfurnaan, which means openness [Read more…]
An interview with public school teacher, poet and blogger, Catherine Anderson about adopting her son Sam. Catherine describes her decision to adopt and how she thought she understood racism before parenting. She describes her experience of those “grocery store moments” when she has to respond to other people’s surprise and inappropriate comments in front of her son. She speaks movingly about her relationship with Sam’s birth mom and how strong the pull is to keep proving to her that she is doing a good job. She describes the ways that she talks to Sam about race, and the ways that she, as a white woman, feels she can and cannot prepare him to be a black man in Maine. Catherine reads her beautiful poem, Black Enough to open and close the interview. You can find her blog at mamacandtheboys.com