This episode revisits Safe Space Radio’s 2014 interview with Bobby Payzant, an inmate at the Maine State Prison. He discusses the crime for which he is serving time, and his work as a hospice volunteer, giving care to inmates dying in prison.
Safe Space Radio speaks with violence prevention educator Daryl Fort. He explains how our culture teaches men that they are superior and women that they are inferior—and how these messages work to justify and facilitate the mistreatment of women.
Sandy White Hawk is Sicangu Lakota and a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe who was separated as a child from her family and heritage when she was adopted at 18 months old by a white family. She is also one of five commissioners of Maine’s historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Sandy discusses the trauma …read more »
This episode features Armenian-American photographer and filmmaker Nubar Alexanian. He discusses making a film with his daughter about their journey to their ancestors’ homeland, the site of the Armenian genocide which began in 1915, the silence that surrounds the genocide and how it has impacted his sense of self and his place in the world. …read more »
Feminist scholar Cynthia Enloe discusses about how women are affected by war and militarization. Her work focuses on sexual violence—and its subsequent silencing—as a repressive political tool, and about international efforts by feminist activists to make the United Nations address this issue. You can read UN Security Council Resolution 1325 here.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features high school senior Eman, who moved to the U.S. in 2015. She talks about leaving her friends and family behind in Sudan and again in Egypt, where she lived for five years. Eman remembers being at the mercy of resettlement organizations, and being elected as class president only …read more »
Taysier moved to Maine from Sudan in 2015 with three of her children. Because of her volunteer work with humanitarian aid agencies in Darfur, Taysier was detained by the Sudanese government, who accused her of spying. In this episode, she tells her story of her escape, and talks about her life since moving to America, …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Catherine Bestemen, Francis F. and Ruth K. Bartlett Professor of Anthropology at Colby College. She is the author of Unraveling Somalia: Race, Class, and the Legacy of Slavery and has worked closely with the Somali community in Portland, Maine. She discusses the extraordinary resilience of this community, the impact …read more »
This is the second episode of Safe Space Radio to feature Catherine Bestemen, Francis F. and Ruth K. Bartlett Professor of Anthropology at Colby College and the author of Unraveling Somalia: Race, Class, and the Legacy of Slavery. Catherine has spent her career studying society in both Somalia and Maine, where many Somali refugees have …read more »
Lawyer Phil Mantis works for the Immigrant Legal Assistance Program, or ILAP, in Portland, Maine. ILAP provides free legal help to people seeking asylum in the United States. Phil explains the difference between a refugee and an asylee, describes the most common reasons asylum cases are denied, and explains how ILAP helps asylees apply successfully.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Alice Barakagwira, an asylum-seeker from Burundi who now lives in Portland, Maine. She talks about her work to support and empower women who have faced cultural silencing and endured trauma in both Burundi and the U.S. Alice and Anne explore ways that refugees might be connected with therapists …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Anna, who escaped Syria while 8 months pregnant in 2013 and now lives in Maine. She talks about trading the daily threat of bombings and kidnappings for a life of uncertainty as she and her husband applied and waited for asylum—and how the experience changed her understanding of …read more »
Safe Space Radio talks with Fatuma Hussein of United Somali Women of Maine. She describes the challenges of resettlement for refugees fleeing war in their native countries, which she experienced herself as a teenager. She addresses the presumption that refugees have a negative impact on the state’s economy and culture, and explains her vision for …read more »
This episode highlights the Maine-Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Safe Space Radio speaks with non-native allies who are working on how to best respond to the needs that the TRC brought to light, and why these issues matter to them personally.
Safe Space Radio talks with Penthea Burns, co-director of Maine-Wabanaki REACH, about her background in child welfare and the difficulty of deciding whether the benefits of removing a child from abuse outweigh the additional trauma of severing family and community ties. Penthea’s work on these issues in Wabanaki communities has led her to a deeper …read more »
This episode features Jamie Bissonette Lewey of the Maine Indian Tribal State Commission (MITSC). She explains her views on Tribal-State politics, and why she believes that the fundamental issue is the difference between how the state and the tribes understand the concept of sovereignty stemming back to the history of the Maine Indian Claims Settlement …read more »
This episode features part 2 of Anne’s conversation with gkisedtanamoogk, one of the five commissioners of the Maine State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In this conversation he talks more about the relationship between the government and the Wabanaki tribes, describes some of the main concepts of his spiritual worldview, and talks about the …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features gkisedtanamoogk, one of the five commissioners of the Maine Wabanaki State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He shares his reflections on the process now that the findings have been published, and we also speak about the gap between Native peoples’ views and those of mainstream America related …read more »
An interview with former tribal state representative Donna Loring, who is also a former police chief, an author, and a radio host. She talks with Safe Space Radio about the history of relations between the Maine government and the Wabanaki tribes, and the findings of the Maine Wabanaki State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s multi-year …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Department of Health and Human Services worker Shawn Yardley. He talks about the Maine Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation Commission, why children are removed from native families at disproportionate rates, and what it’s been like for him, as a white man, to raise three girls with Native heritage.
Maine Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Sandy White Hawk discusses the ways in which centuries of removing native children from their families have created a pattern of trauma and corresponding struggle that has made ongoing removal of children more likely. She talks about alternative approaches that support families in difficulty and expresses her hopes for …read more »
In Safe Space Radio’s second conversation with Maine Wabanaki Truth and Reconcilitation Commissioner Sandy White Hawk, she talks about intergenerational trauma and helping white people better grasp what it means to lose your culture.
Maine Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Sandy White Hawk talks about being taken for adoption by a white missionary family who believed they were saving her from the poverty of the reservation. She describes the power of being reunited with her tribe at 35, and the deep feeling of belonging and safety she felt as …read more »
Maine Wabanaki REACH staff members Esther Attean and Stephanie Bailey discuss the experience of giving statements to the Maine Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the hopes they had about what may come of it, and the anxiety of making painful stories public.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Maria Girouard, Esther Attean, and Stephanie Bailey of Maine Wabanaki REACH. They discuss the process of gathering the untold stories of the many people affected by the longstanding practice of removing native children from their families and their tribes.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Maria Girouard and Esther Attean of Maine Wabanaki REACH. They discuss the history of federal and state policies toward Native Americans here in Maine. We focus on the many attempts throughout the years to erase Wabanaki people and their culture, including the practice of removing native children from …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features multiple stories of relationships between Black and white people, exploring race in personal relationships and some of the common pitfalls that white people fall into—often without realizing it.
Racial justice educator Debby Irving discusses the interpersonal dynamics of racism—especially in friendships, in “white spaces” like schools and offices, and even around the dinner table. Debby gives concrete suggestions on how to shift these dynamics in useful ways.
Debby Irving is a racial justice educator and author of the book Waking Up White. She talks about the way her world was shaken when she began understanding the extent to which her whiteness has been crucial to her success in life. She also details the ways in which her new ability to engage in …read more »
Anti-racism educator Paul Marcus talks about how the history of discrimination by government, banking, business, education, and housing institutions has resulted in enormous disparities in wealth between white and Black communities, and how we can address questions of white guilt and police bias.
Anti-racism educator Paul Marcus discusses how, by studying history, he came to understand racism as a system, and how this understanding shapes his work.
Shelly Tochluk is author of the book Witnessing Whiteness. We talk about how she decided that the most important thing she could do to combat racism was to educate herself and her white peers, to change how they talked about and thought about race.
In the second episode of Safe Space Radio featuring Peggy McIntosh, she talks about the five phases of understanding white privilege, and how white people can use their unearned advantage to work against the system which perpetuates it.
Peggy McIntosh is author of the groundbreaking essay “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” published in 1988. She talks about how encounters with the sexism of well-meaning men helped her see that she too had blind spots about her own racism. She describes how humbling it was for her to grasp the concept of white …read more »
Anthropologist and social work student Natasha Wilson talks about being a black woman in mostly-white schools and workplaces. She remembers feeling shunned and avoided, which made it harder to deal with other adversity in her life. She also talks about how these experiences have inspired her research on Post-Traumatic Growth.
Natasha Wilson moved to Maine in 2012 following the tragic death of two of her brothers. She talks about how her experience of racism has been shaped by the different places she’s lived, and how she was unprepared for the alienation and hostility she has experienced in overwhelmingly white states like Iowa and Maine. We also discuss the …read more »
In Part 2 of his conversation with Safe Space Radio, poet Richard Blanco talks and reads poems about how he navigates the homophobia in his family and in the world.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features a conversation with lesbian high schooler Sianna about how she has taken a stand against homophobia in situations where no one else was on her side, and why she’s glad she had to.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Dostoevsky scholar Dr. Robin Feuer Miller. She discusses how Crime and Punishment is relevant to the experiences of prisoners today. We also hear stories from listeners about how incarceration, and the stigma it carries, have affected their own lives.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Dr. T. Richard Snyder on the work of restorative justice. This approach brings together the victim, the offender and the community of people affected by a crime in order to find solutions that not only work to repair the damage, but build healing for all the parties involved. …read more »
Bobby Payzant is a hospice volunteer and inmate at the Maine State Prison. In this interview, Bobby talks more about the deep remorse he feels for the man he assaulted, and how he has had to face himself during the many years he has spent in prison. He describes the decision he made to stop …read more »
This episode features two conversations with people involved in the hospice program within the state prison in Warren, Maine. First we speak with the program’s founder, Kandyce Powell, executive director of the Maine Hospice Council, who talks about the genesis of the prison’s hospice program, her motivation for starting it, and the difference it has …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features a conversation with public defender Michael Lepie about 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 …read more »
Part 2 of Mike’s conversation with Safe Space Radio about the seven years he spent in federal prison. Mike talks about his experiences participating in a group inside the prison called the Jericho Circle which he credits with teaching him emotional literacy and authenticity. His work with Jericho Circle enabled him to reunite with his …read more »
This episode features Mike, who spent seven years in a federal prison on a drug conviction. He talks about the circumstances which led to his arrest, including an abusive upbringing and a chemical dependency which began in his mid-teen years. He describes his arrest in a hotel, and the subsequent trial in which the perjury …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Liz, who spoke with us only three days after her release from prison. She discusses her shame at being arrested, and the experience of exposure and intrusion from a public trial. She also describes the surprising support she received from other women in prison, and the experiences she …read more »
Lani Peterson, of the Public Voice Project, talks about her work with formerly incarcerated men and women to help them tell their stories in a way that helps them to make peace with their past and move forward in their lives. She explains the importance of telling a story that is bigger than a narrow focus …read more »
Maria Padian is author of Out of Nowhere, about friendships between Somali and Franco-Catholic high school students in Maine. Maria talks about her own experience with four immigrant grandparents, and how different it is to come here as an immigrant, eager to build a new life, than to come as a refugee, having had to …read more »
Mohammed Dini is 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 also explores the Somali concept of furfurnaan, which means openness, inviting an open-hearted dialogue about …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Part 2 of Anne’s conversation with Daryl Fort, about ways in which we are all bystanders to social interactions that foster violence against women. Daryl challenges us to see these situations for what they are and to have the courage to intervene. He describes two everyday social situations …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Part 1 of Anne’s conversation with educator Daryl Fort about the many levels of messages about women’s inferiority to the justification of mistreatment. He describes the ways communities can collude in violence against women, and makes a clear case that jokes and disrespectful language form the foundation and …read more »
Catherine Anderson is a white public school teacher and writer. In this episode of Safe Space Radio she talks about adopting her son Sam, who is Black. 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 …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Professor Lawrence L. Langer discussing his book Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory. Professor Langer developed courses on the literature of atrocity to try and help people find a way to imagine the Holocaust, using stories from survivors. He remembers hearing stories of such horror that the teller …read more »
Susan Conley is author of The Foremost Good Fortune and co-founder of The Telling Room in Portland, Maine. In this interview she talks about coping with breast cancer in China while parenting two young boys, and how writing helped her survive. Susan describes her decision to write as honestly as possible, exposing less-than-ideal parenting or …read more »
Philosophy professor Susan Brison survived a sexual assault and attempted murder. She describes the transition from needing to tell the story, to finding the story increasingly boring as she healed—and how group therapy, self-defense classes, and jazz singing all helped her recovery.
Women’s health doctor Amy Gottlieb describes her bad mother anxiety due to her absences from her child necessitated by her training. She talks about how balancing work and family can affect mothering and often results in fears that we are doing both badly. She also names some legislative and employment reforms that are needed in …read more »
Educator Betsy Parsons talks about her decision to come out as a teacher in the public school system in Portland, Maine. She talks about the impact of verbal and physical harassment on gay and lesbian students and how powerfully it affects their ability to learn and to feel safe in school. She now co-leads GLSEN, …read more »
Darlene Huntress works for Equality Maine on the impact of denying marriage to same sex couples. Darlene talks about the impact on LGBTQ children when they learn that the cultural fantasy of marriage will be denied to them, and how affirming marriage access for all will play a powerful role in reducing homophobia
Jen Hodsden and her 11 year old daughter Soleil talk about the impact of homophobia on their lives, especially on their relationships with friends, other kids, and men.
Psychiatrist Dr. Marshall Forstein talks about his own coming out, the impact of homophobic jokes, and the experience of legal marriage in Massachusetts.
Reverand Myke Johnson talks from a religious perspective about affirming the sacredness of gay and lesbian people and celebrating their right to marry.