I'm Curious Podcast / Podcast
Kayra Martinez isn’t an artist. But while volunteering in refugee camps in Greece, she started giving art supplies to the kids. She realized this was their way to express the trauma they’d been through. "It's the most powerful thing I’ve ever done in my life."
Artie Gonz is the creative who almost never was. A juvenile-tried-as-an-adult at the age of 16, he spent 21-years of a Life sentence in the California prison system, eight of which included housing within Pelican Bay’s notorious super-max Solitary Confinement unit. After choosing to commit himself to deep inner work, Artie transcended the brutality of his surroundings and discovered the universal truth within himself and all of us: love.
This conversation is all about love.
“I will leave this body having danced for Madonna,” Nilaya Sabnis says in this episode. But even on tour with one of the biggest stars in the world, Nilaya doubted whether she was an artist. Having studied economics and pre-med in college, she teased that while she was dancing across the world, she still told herself she was an investment banker “on sabbatical,” a practical adult just taking a short break from the responsible adult world.
She shares her journey to becoming a dancer and unapologetically embracing herself as an artist. If you’ve ever had a dream or a calling or struggled with your own sense of belonging, Nilaya’s message will speak to you.
Without Bard Prison Initiative, Stacy Burnett says she would have “rotted in a prison cell.”
My guest today is Stacy Burnett, who got her college degree in her forties while she was in prison. Stacy was part of the groundbreaking program BPI, or Bard Prison Initiative, which was featured in the acclaimed documentary, College Behind Bars. The program enrolls hundreds of incarcerated students full-time in college programs. When these students graduate, they cross that stage with a real degree from Bard College in their hands.
In the episode, Stacy shares the life-altering impact of a higher education—and who’s worthy of it, the criminalization of mental health issues especially for women, and the grief of being a mother behind bars.
She talks to dead people. At least, that’s part of it.
My guest today is my dear friend Denise Correll, a psychic medium who calls herself the Grateful Messenger. As I tease about Denise, she brings the normal to the paranormal: she’s fun and grounded and dead on (pun intended!) in her psychic messages and timely insights.
In this episode, we explore belonging + fear, dreamland, and this present moment of crisis and shift.
When Morgan Godvin gave her friend Justin some heroin, she didn’t imagine he’d end up dead. Not, at least, until a SWAT team showed up at her house, pointing guns at her, and arresting her for his overdose.
In this powerful episode, Morgan shares her story and the devastating drug policies that are failing us and continuing to leave, as Morgan says, “too many of my friends dead.”
Rasheed Lockheart is a formerly incarcerated firefighter and, now, the Re-Entry Coordinator at Planting Justice. In this episode, we dive into his earliest interactions with police as a biracial boy in a system-impacted neighborhood, his experiences of bringing someone back to life as an incarcerated first responder, barriers to re-entry, and what the pandemic looks like inside San Quentin right now.
Follow Rasheed on Twitter: @RsheedLockheart
In this episode, I’m talking with Amber Vlangas. As a survivor of sexual violence, Amber’s an unlikely advocate for ending the sex offender registry. But after her husband was accused of a crime that landed him on the registry for life, she’s seen another side and can’t unsee it.
Not only does Amber share her family’s journey in this episode, but she amplifies this truth: public registries do not work. If we truly want prevention and healing, we must find a better way.