*Peaches Lacey hosts the last Wednesday of every month.
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On Wednesday October 24, Jan Miyasaki spoke with Cindy Hooper, author of Conflict, African American Women, and the New Dilemma of Race and Gender Politics. In her book, Cindy surveys the history of black women in American politics in both women’s suffrage and in the civil rights movement. She looks specifically at the 2008 presidential election, examining how race and gender politics have shaped their political decisions. Cindy cites the lack of adequate research about the African American women subgroup and their influential role in the presidential elections as the reason that prompted her to explore the topic further and write her book, “there was one statistic that kept coming through the wires…that African American women had the highest turnout rate percentage of all racial and gender demographics in the 2008 presidential election. So I began to look for more books and more research about this specific subgroup, and I couldn’t find too much, so at this point… I felt someone had to examine this, and I wanted to be the one to do that.” Cindy explains how this particular voting bloc has been largely overlooked and passed over to focus more on others, “Given the fact that we are President Obama’s most loyal voting base, in a traditionally loyal voting base of the Democratic Party, it is disappointing when we feel we are not in the forefront of the candidates, in terms of their focus and making us a priority in their presidential campaign.” African American women participated in two struggles: the women’s suffrage movement and the civil right’s movement. This dual struggle, which was unique to African American women, created internal struggles in which they were often torn as to which direction to focus their attention upon. In her book, Cindy discusses the issue that many of the women faced regarding the “prioritization of race over gender.” She explains how, during the civil rights movement, the issue of women’s rights had to take a step back, noting how during the 1963 march in Washington, black women were not asked to speak, the focus being instead on the black male leaders of the movement, “we were strong workers in the background of the civil rights movement, and a lot of it was by choice, because we felt that the black men should be in the forefront, and they, in effect, became the leaders who were the most visible within that movement.” The book also talks about women of color in politics ….read article »
On Tuesday October 23, our host Aaron Perry spoke with Will Green, the founder of Mentoring Positives. Will has a background in working with children in the juvenile justice system, and he and his wife work primarily with the youth in the Darbo-Worthington neighborhood. “It is essential that the city supports a program like this. We give them a place where [the youth] can come and feel like a family” They work with many mentors in the community, and involve a variety of activities, including family events, to foster a strong sense of community within the children. There will be a banquet celebrating the 8th anniversary of the program at the Discovery Institute on November 10. Two community leaders will be honored with the Muriel Pipkins Award, in honor of Will Green’s mother, who passed away from breast cancer. Listen to the interview here:read article »
On Tuesday October 23, our host Aaron Perry interviewed Hedi Rudd, of the Urban League. Hedi speaks about the South Madison Promise Zone Initiative, which was inspired by the Harlem Children’s Zone. They are working in collaboration with the Urban League of Greater Madison, community and nonprofit leaders. They have spent time canvassing the community for feedback on the changes that are desired in the zone. They have spoken with the residents and the service providers of the zone. “The zone itself is the area from the Beltline to Wingra, and then from Fish Hatchery to where the Hookah Lounge area is,” Hedi explains. They are trying to get a sense of what changes the people of the community would like to see. The feedback that they collected will be presented to the community on Wednesday October 24. The presentation will be an opportunity to determine if this is indeed what the community would like. Says Hedi, “There are a lot of people with a lot of skills and talents to offer in South Madison. We interviewed about 20% of the adult population. We used about 486 surveys that were complete. And of those, 308 people indicated that they had a skill and they were interested in working and collaborating with the promise zone.” The issues that have been raised in the zone include education, employment, health and community. Safety was the largest issue that was raised, and for each of the communities that live within this zone, safety means different things. Hedi explains the goal for the initiative, “our motto is achievement for all. We are looking at a cradle to career program. We want to be a voice for the community and help them to achieve. ” Visit www.ulgm.org for more information. The meeting will be held Wednesday October 24 at 6:00 PM at Lincoln Elementary School. Listen to the interview here:read article »
On Tuesday October 23, 2012, our host Aaron Perry interviewed authors Helen Shores Lee and Barbara Shores “The Gentle Giant of Dynamite Hill: The untold story of Shores and his family’s fight for civil rights.” The two sisters speak with Aaron Perry about their father, a civil right’s attorney, whom the book is about. The origins of the book began twenty years ago when Barbara began chronicling the memories from her childhood. Last year, Barbara and Helen decided to combine the social and legal aspects of the story into a book. Shores was a civil rights attorney who handled civil rights cases beginning in the late 1930s and 1940s, much before the civil rights movement began in 1963. He handled voting rights, filed suits to equalize the salaries of black and white teachers, and even defended a young black man for the rape of a white woman. He successfully fought a zoning regulation in Birmingham. The city regulation prohibited blacks from living west of a particular street in the city, and Shores filed a suit on behalf of several residents, the outcome of which allowed blacks to take residence in previously prohibited zones. Among the people who assisted Shores in his fight against civil rights were Thurgood Marshall and Constance Motley. Barbara Shores explains her inspiration for the book, “what I was trying to do originally is give my children the opportunity to know a little bit more about their grandfather and the contributions he made to Alabama and the South…so that they could understand the triumphs and the struggles that he faced.” She explains that parents tended to protect their children from the movement events, “when everything was going on with regards to the movements, parents protected their children and just didn’t talk about those things.” She stresses the importance of having the younger generation understand where they come from and African American history, and observes that, presently, the education system is not adequately providing children with this history. They stress “We set aside one month of out of the year when we celebrate Africa American history, and that passes by swiftly. We don’t teach it in the homes, they don’t teach it in the schools, so where else are children to learn it? Except in February? And even within the schoolbooks, not only do you not have information about African Americans, but also the Native Americans…It is more like one line or paragraph rather than the whole ….read article »
On Friday October 19, guest host Kia Karlen spoke with Andy Wallman of The Gomers.The band has been in the Madison area for over twenty five years. They will be playing at the High Noon Saloon in Madison on Oct 19 and Oct 20. Click here for more details about the Gomeroke at the High Noon Saloon. Listen to the interview here:read article »
On Friday October 19, guest host Kia Karlen spoke with Briand Beausoleil about Bike Shepherd, formerly known as Bike Revolution. Bike Shepherd is a nonprofit organization designed by two cyclists, created to help protect and retrieve stolen bikes. It is a database in which cyclists can register their bikes, list a stolen bike, search stolen bikes, and post recovered bikes for free. They work with other database partners to combine all registries together. Briand shares two important tips for keeping bikes safe: always register the bike with a database, and always place an anti-theft tag on the bike – the tags are registered and traceable. Visit bikeshepherd.com for more tips and information. Listen here for the full interview:read article »
On Friday October 19, our guest host Kia Karlen spoke with Sandor Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation, Donna Neuwirth, co-founder of The Wormfarm Institute, and Jonny Hunter, founder of the Underground Food Collective, about the Reedsburg Fermentation Fest. The Fermentation Fest, running from Oct 12 – 21 and taking place in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, is produced by the Wormfarm Institute. Donna Neuwirth, co-founder of the institute, explains more about the unique festival, “It is a live culture convergence, and it focuses on fermentation in all its form. It’s a fifty mile self guided tour through beautiful farmland of north west Sauk County.” The festival will begin and end in Reedsburg, but will pass through three different towns, “all of which have little restaurants, little taverns, antique stores… no chain restaurants there.” There will also be art installations: sight-specific temporary installations as well as ‘field art’, interpretive materials that speak about the agriculture of the region. Sandor Katz will be teaching two of the thirty classes offered this Saturday, “The Art of Fermentation” and “Fermentation Evolution, Culture, and Community.” There will also be a book signing. This will be Sandor’s first time participating in this festival. He explains the prevalence of fermentation in all human cultures, “sometimes when I point out to people that almost every person on this planet eats fermented food, they are surprised [to hear] that… Bread, cheese, salami, and all the condiments we put on that sandwich are produced by fermentation. Fermentation is so critically important to each tradition all around the world many of our most basic foods…are products of fermentation…One third of all the food we eat are produced by fermentation. In the aggregate, the fermentation industry collectively amounts to one of the largest industries in the world.” Johnny Hunter, of the Underground Food Collective, speaks to Sandor about the prevalence of the fermentation process used in restaurants today. He has observed that an increasing number of restaurants have taken on the fermentation process. Sandor affirms this observation,“more and more chefs are recognizing that it is an important part of the cuisine they are serving…they can’t just serve foods that have been fermented somewhere else.” The Underground Food Collective offers classes in Madison, including whole animal breakdown and Rillete making, the classic French potted meat. To sign up for classes at the Fermentation Fest, visit fementationfest.com. Listen ….read article »
On Thursday October 18, our host Tony Castaneda spoke with Bill Scheer, one of Madison’s golf professionals. The City of Madison has decided to end the contracts of four of the Professional Golf Associations (PGA) of America professionals at the end of this year “to capture the extra revenue that can be used to upgrade golf facilities,” says city parks spokesperson Laura Whitmore. The city will be ending the contracts of Yahara Hills Golf Course pro Mark Rechlicz; Odana Hills Golf Course pro Tom Benson, Monona Golf Course pro Rob Muranyi and Glenway Golf Course pro Bill Scheer. Bill Scheer explains his take on the situation, “The idea that this is going to save money for us is an opinion, and that is the biggest thing in question right now. Our golf courses have been manned successfully for a long time, and it’s a very difficult time in the industry…the economy has hit us very hard. Right now nobody is making much money at all in the golf industry. So [the idea] that money is going to be saved, I think is just an opinion, because the loss of customer service, and the loss of golfers could potentially be disastrous for the city golf program.” Bill stresses that the golf operation is not tax-payer funded; rather, it is considered an enterprise department within the city, and is a self sustaining organization. The PGA professional’s salary does not come from taxes, instead the money comes from the sales generated from the rentals and concessions. During peak season, the golf courses open fifteen hours a day, every day of the week. The PGA professionals are responsible for facilitate the daily functioning of their course, and for bringing in all of the revenue that comes into the golf courses. They also implement all tournaments and leagues, manage all of the golf lessons in the city, and also manage the concessions operations, for which they employee eighty people – none of which come from tax dollars. These employees are paid by the golf professionals from the money made from the carts and food and beverage operations. Now, after the golf professionals’ contracts end, the city of Madison will have to assume the responsibility of licensing and paying these employees. Bill explains that as a result of this, there is the possibility that the city will end up paying more because of the responsibilities it will be taking on. Bill comments, “All that we’ve asked for ….read article »
On Wed October 17, Jan Miyasaki spoke with Tom McGrath, co-chair on the board of directors of the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice. The Network, which is a member agency of community share of Wisconsin and founded in 1991 as a coalition of activist groups in Wisconsin, is working towards the creation of a sustainable world free from violence and injustice. The network consists of over 160 groups across Wisconsin that are concerned with social justice issues – from immigration, environmental, anti-war, and more. Tom McGrath, who comes by way of the Northwoods Peace Fellowship, spoke to Jan about the upcoming Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice Awards Reception in Milwaukee and a Press Conference that will be held in Madison tomorrow, October 18. Tom, a navy veteran who grew disillusioned with US presence in Iraq, decided to get involved with the peace movement and the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice. Says Tom, “I’d say I was probably very pro-military when I got out [of service] but over the years I think I’ve evolved… We’ve probably been in some form of war ever since World War II ended, and it seems like we’re always at war.” The Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice Awards Reception will be held on October 27 at the Friends Meeting House in Milwaukee. Reverend Joe and Joyce Ellwanger will be honored for their fifty year commitment to community organizing. Joe, a retired Lutheran minister, was active in the civil rights movement in the south, even marching alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And Joyce, who served six months in federal prison in 2003 for taking part in a peaceful protest on military grounds, has for a long time protested the US Army School of the Americas. Says Tom, “The School of the Americas trains soldiers to help enforce governments that are in power in [Central America]. They teach immoral tactics such as torture and assassination.” The “Peacemakers of the Year” awards will also be given out at the ceremony, awarded in three different categories: youth, adult, and senior. In the youth category, the Autonomous Solidarity Organization in Madison will be awarded for their “ongoing nonviolence and civil disobedience in support of the right to peacefully assemble at the State Capital”; in the adult category, Mike Wiggins Jr., from Odana Wisconsin, Chair of the Bad River Tribe of Ojibwe Indians, will be awarded “for his advocacy for the lands water and culture of the Penokee Hills ….read article »
On Wednesday October 17, our host Jan Miyasaki spoke with Jennifer Wilson of Des Moines, Iowa, a travel writer whose works have been featured in National Geographic Traveler, Gourmet Magazine, Midwest Living, and more. Jennifer is the author of Running Away to Home – Our family’s journey to Croatia in search of who we are, where we came from, and what really matters. The book was named Best Nonfiction Book of 2011 by the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She spoke with Jan about her experience in Croatia. During the recession, Jennifer, who is Croatian by ancestry, decided to leave Des Moines, Iowa and “take a family sabbatical” to the land where her great-grandparents were born. “As a travel writer I get obsessions with places, and Mrkopalj, Croatia became an obsession… and within the year, we were plunked down in this little mountain village in the northwest of Croatia that seemed like it had stopped in time since my great-grandparents left.” Jennifer’s great-grandfather left Mrkopalj for Iowa in 1906, where he worked in a coal mining community, and then sent for Jennifer’s great-grandmother to join him in 1908. Much like her great-grandfather, Jennifer traveled ahead of her family to Mrkopalj to see if she could bring her family there. Encountering an entirely unfamiliar landscape, lifestyle, language and currency, Jennifer was initially daunted by the drastically different life that Mrkopalj presented. Entering the village the second time however, this time with her family, Jennifer explains, “it was an entirely different scene. Croatia is all about family, and when I arrived with my family, in search of my Croatian family, the tone had changed significantly.” Jennifer describes the amount of help that was extended to her family by their friends and neighbors. “… it became an obsession for them to help us find old relatives and help us learn what kind of lives our grandparents must have lived when they were there.” She will be speaking at Sequoya Branch Public Library on Friday Oct 19 at 7 pm. Visit Jennifer’s website at www.jennifer-wilson.com. Listen to the interview here:read article »