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60 minutes | Apr 23, 2018
Episode 8: Progressive Sikhism, A Lobbyist's Democracy & Jimmy G.(aroppolo)OAT
In the 8th episode of Contemplation Cafe, Sarat speaks with Jas Sajjan (Jaskaran Singh Sajjan), an advocate for raising general awareness about the Sikh faith and philosophy in America. Jas has worked and contributed to the We Are Sikhs campaign in hopes to educate the ignorant and fight intolerance against Turban wearing Sikhs. We Are Sikhs campaign has made great strides with awareness ads and targeted marketing campaigns in areas like Fresno, California, which has a large Sikh community.In this episode, Sarat talks to Jas Sajjan about growing up a Sikh in America and gets educated about the intolerance and bullying that Turban wearing Sikh's face on a daily basis. Jas drops knowledge t with facts like, "99% of Turban wearers are Sikh". The impact of 9/11 on the turban wearing Sikh's is also discussed; whether it's due to lack of awareness, ignorance or good 'ole xenophobia, the Sikh community saw an immediate uptick in hate crimes right after the terrorist attacks. Jas talks about the We Are Sikhs campaign in detail and explains their long term goal of spreading awareness across the American populous. Sarat reveals his fear and hatred towards lobbyists (you fear what you don't know BRO!) and interrogates Jas to reveal his true identity as illuminati!? (not really) Finally, the 49ers (YES...NFL AGAIN...) and their future is discussed to wrap up the podcast. Jas will be back in the future to provide us an update for his cause as well as cry about Jimmy G. and the niners!
86 minutes | Mar 19, 2018
Episode 7: 'Coming to America', Apartheid & Foot Soccer
In the 7th episode of Contemplation Cafe, Sarat speaks with his brother in law, Ipeleng (Ipe) Bosilong. Ipe brings a very unique perspective hailing from South Africa but being schooled in various parts of Europe. Ipe completed his under graduate studies at James Madison University in Virginia. Ipe works at an international non-profit organization called 'Freedom House', who work on many issues across the world including Human Rights, Civil Society, Internet Freedom, Elections etc.In this episode Sarat starts of the pod by talking about his recent trip to his motherland, India (Feel free to skip the intro; Podcast with Ipeleng starts 00:06:25 ). Sarat talks to Ipe about his childhood in South Africa as well as growing up as a diplomatic baby in Europe. Ipe reveals the true location of Wakanda! (it's right next to Atlantis...shhh!). The history of 'Apartheid' in South Africa along with parallels to 'Jim Crow' laws in America are discussed. Ipe talks about many issues plaguing South Africa including crime, political rife, and land allocations for various ethnic groups. Finally, Sarat and Ipe talk about Manchester United and club soccer in Europe (if you hate sports, this will put you right to sleep!).
68 minutes | Feb 12, 2018
Episode 6: Contemplation Cafe x Rice In My Lunchbox
Rice in My Lunchbox (RIML) is a podcast about "food and the every day struggle", hosted by Abel Sabarre and Paul Lee. On their popular podcast, Abel and Paul provide their unfiltered and unsolicited opinions on a variety of foods, restaurants and the daily struggles. RIML has reviewed a variety of restaurants including locally sourced 'farm to table' establishments as well as IDGAF sourced 'farm to toilet' restaurants such as Taco Bell... In the 6th episode of Contemplation Cafe, Sarat talks to the hosts of "Rice in My Lunchbox"about the genesis of their podcast and more specifically about the inspirations for RIML. Sarat talks to RIML hosts about Elon Musk (SpaceX) and the Falcon Heavy's historic launch. The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang South Korea are discussed; Sarat brings up the issue of naturalizing citizens in the host nation to increase the odds of medaling in a sport. Finally, Sarat, Abel and Paul chat about the major leap the NBA has taken in their marketing campaign, slowly starting to regain popularity as NFL ratings decline. Don't forget to follow 'Rice In My Lunchbox' on Facebook, Instagram and most important of all, DO NOT forget to SUBSCRIBE to their hilarious podcast on iTunes!
61 minutes | Feb 5, 2018
Episode 5: Getting Old, Electronic-Waste and Simulated Existentialism?
Jessica Ngo is a Technical Manager at MSI, working on international development issues related to peace, conflict and youth. She is a co-designer and co-writer of the Youth Compass: A Strategic Guide to Strengthen Youth Activities developed for The United States Agency for International Development. AND she is also my wife!In the 5th episode of Contemplation Cafe, Sarat talks briefly to Jess about the super bowl and the crazy fans in Philadelphia. Jess discusses her passion for working in the international development field and her long term goals of working with child soldiers. Jess brings up the topic of child brides and Sarat reveals a lesser known fact about Child Brides in America! The duo also chats about the impact of electronic-waste produced world wide and the unintended effects of e-cycling on impoverished nations. Finally, Sarat and Jess discuss existential thoughts in detail, while questioning theology and proving we are in a simulation...
87 minutes | Jan 29, 2018
Episode 4: Intersectionality, Kanye POTUS, DACA & Cuba Libre
Arash Azizzada is a producer at Voice of America, a network that broadcasts internationally in 50 different languages, including Farsi, which is targeted towards the Iranian and Afghani audience. Arash wears many other hats including an activist, photographer, videographer and boots on the ground journalist. He has covered many landmark events in including the Baltimore unrest last year, Occupy Wall Street and many others. In the 4th episode of Contemplation Cafe, Sarat talks to Arash in depth about the Baltimore “riots” and the medias overall coverage off the event. Arash shares details on the conversations he had with the locals in Baltimore while the unrest took place and explains the concept of ‘Intersectionality’. Sarat threatens to punch Arash while discussing Kanye POTUS 2020, and declares candidacy for ‘Bernie West’. Finally, Sarat and Arash discuss ADEP (Afghan Diaspora for Equality and Progress), DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), and Arash’s trip to Cuba. You can follow Arash and his unsolicited opinions @87Films on twitter!
60 minutes | Jan 22, 2018
Episode 3: Derailed plans, inappropriate-appropriation and "Little girls who hustle!"
Jenn is the founder and owner of Jenn Shin Studios located in Rockville, Maryland. She's a hair stylist that does a variety of trendy stylings such as ‘Balayage’, ‘Ombre’ and ‘Vivids’. I don’t know what language that is (pulled that info straight from her site), but I can guarantee that Jenn’s work speaks for itself and it is definitely a form of art. In this episode, Sarat talks to Jenn about the life experiences that shaped her, particularly a defining moment in her life that took her to a dark, introspective place, but at the same time shed the light that led her to where she is today. Jenn talks to Sarat about her first trip back to her 'motherland', South Korea. Sarat asks ridiculous questions and inappropriately appropriates himself with the latin culture (mainly due to tacos and Peruvian chicken???). Jenn channels her inner teacher and mentor while defining her brands motto, "Little girls who hustle!".Don't forget to check out Jenn's website, www.jennshinstudios.com and follow her on instagram @theJennShin !
92 minutes | Jan 15, 2018
Episode 2: Education, Incarceration and NFL Addiction
In the 2nd episode of Contemplation Cafe, Sarat speaks with friend and guest, Phillip Copeland. Phil is a very admirable person with altruistic intentions and does the thank-less job of being a teacher in 'Murica. He is also an avid activist and has the unique perspective to view America from both sides of the color palette. Sarat and Phil discuss the eduction system in America, and more specially Phil's experience with working at schools in the nations capital, Washington D.C. Phil goes over many issues that impact inner city schools including funding, class size and commute. Sarat and Phil also explore many social injustices and issues surrounding the NFL and Colin Kaepernick. Some where along the way, Sarat defends and professes his secret admiration for the man, Roger Goddell (..not really). Being and NFL addict, Phil reveals how he fought of his inner-monologue and kept himself from watching any games in the NFL this year. Many other current events are discussed including ridiculous H&M ad campaigns.
61 minutes | Jan 7, 2018
Episode 1: Side hustles, couch potatoes and coffee snobbery
In the inaugural recording of Contemplation Cafe, Sarat speaks with his long time friend and side hustle master, Daniel Phan. Daniel is an entrepreneur and self-employed business owner of VivaBooth with great vision and endless creativity. Check out his website at www.VivaBooth.com In this episode, Sarat and Daniel discuss the uncertainty that comes with making drastic life style changes especially when leaving the comfort of a “secure” corporate job. Daniel provides great insight into the pitfalls of glamorizing the lifestyle of being an entrepreneur; social media portrayals can be far from reality. Sarat and Daniel discuss the inevitable changes brought forth by the autonomous economy and the feasibility of implementing Universal Basic Income. Many other tangential topics are discussed including the human drive; “I don’t think there is a one size fits all drive”. Finally, Sarat comes out as a self-proclaimed hipster, and gets butt-hurt by a unnamed CEO’s stance on specialty coffee.
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