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The Make Meaning Podcast
39 minutes | Jan 15, 2022
Episode #119 - Roots - Israeli-Palestinian - Toward True Peace in the Middle East
Noor A’wad and Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger may have come to the question of how Palestinians and Israelis can co-exist on land that they both claim as sacred from different perspectives, but through their work with Roots, the Palestinian Israeli Grassroots Initiative for Understanding, Nonviolence and Transformation, they are figuring out a way to share the land while respecting both communities’ claims on it. In this first episode of 2022, the Make Meaning Podcast looks at one of the world’s greatest global concerns and begins to make sense of it by speaking to two inspiring leaders in the quest for reconciliation. Noor A’wad is a Palestinian whose family moved to Palestine after the Oslo Accords were signed in the hope that it would be a new opportunity for their family. Growing up in that shattered dream, Noor became a voice for co-existence and understanding. Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger made aliyah to Israel from the United States decades ago as a religious Jewish settler in the West Bank. He sought to meet his Palestinian neighbors but found it was nearly impossible to do so, since Israeli military law forbids the two populations from residing or gathering in each other’s communities. He is a founder of Roots as a way to make sense out of a truly perplexing situation. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Noor and Hanan speak with host Lynne Golodner about the work that Roots does to bring together Palestinians and Israelis in the West Bank toward building relationships and understanding. Their goal is apolitical – generating dialogue, hosting meetings and summer camps, offering photography workshops and generally building relationships that pave the way for lasting understanding and co-existence. In this episode, Lynne, Noor and Hanan discuss: The importance of using the right terminology (it’s not a “conflict” – given the differences in power) The “hubris of exclusivity” How media on both sides (and around the world) are part of the problem That identity is the core of the conflict That today’s situation dates back to 1948 Why a two-state solution is ideal, but not the two-state solution that most people think of The importance of accepting each other’s legitimacy That self-definition and self-determination are essential for lasting peace Links and Resources: Roots The Oslo Accords (History.com) The Oslo Accords (U.S. government site) The Second Intifada The West Bank A Land for All Find Roots:Website Facebook Facebook (Noor)Facebook (Hanan)Instagram (Roots)Instagram (Noor) LinkedIn (Hanan)
31 minutes | Dec 15, 2021
Episode #118 - Elizabeth Gowing - How to know a place by living its stories
Elizabeth Gowing’s life changed when she moved from London to Kosovo in 2006 for her partner's job on what was supposed to be a six-month contract. Fifteen years later, Elizabeth speaks Albanian, teaches English and leads The Ideas Partnership, an NGO that offers support to people through education, health and social welfare as well as offering literacy classes, and arts and dance sessions. Driven by a background in primary education and education policy, Elizabeth launched the nonprofit organization in 2009 to help children and families in the region. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Elizabeth speaks with host Lynne Golodner about the events that inspired The Ideas Partnership, how she writes about “slices of life around the world,” and the importance of seizing the moment, all the time. Elizabeth offers ideas for listeners about how to use joy to make change in the world. In this episode, Lynne and Elizabeth discuss: How learning a language deepens connections The importance of education for all children How to tackle systemic problems by thinking big & staying small Being authentic in your writing The value of spontaneity Storytelling as a way to better understanding Links and Resources; Kosovo The Ideas Partnership Kosovo Ministry of Education UNICEF EU Award for Roma Integration Mother Teresa Medal for Humanitarian Work Tara Mohr: Hooked vs. Unhooked Maya Angelou Quote Travels in Blood and Honey: Becoming a Beekeeper in Kosovo BBC Radio 4 Writing Finding Your Voice at Midlife Writers Course with Lynne Golodner Mary Edith Durham and the Royal Anthropological Society Frederick Buechner Quote Sapune Find Elizabeth Gowing: Website Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn Blog
34 minutes | Nov 15, 2021
Episode 117 - Steven Wingate - How to find your voice again & again
Steven Wingate writes to learn foundational truths such as: Who are we? And, why do we behave the way we do? A resident of South Dakota, Steven sets his novels in the center of America, known as the heartland, flyover country or a big open expanse of unbridled wilderness. He writes about this place that he calls home to showcase its beauty and its people. Two of his books, The Leave Takers and Of Fathers and Fire have found acclaim in the Nebraska Flyover Fiction series. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Steven speaks with host Lynne Golodner about teaching writing at South Dakota State University, his writing process, family and finding his voice. He believes we have many authentic voices inside us, and writing is all about tuning into the voice that speaks best for each story. He says good writing is when you feel resonance between the stories and yourself.
37 minutes | Oct 15, 2021
Episode 116 - Jake Neher - Telling Stories & Planting Seeds
In a way, every person is a storyteller, according to Jake Neher, senior producer for Detroit Today on 101.9 FM WDET in Detroit. As co-host of the weekly series and podcast MichMash, not only does Jake have storytelling gifts, but he brings a huge passion for gardening to guide his curiosity when choosing guests and asking questions. As his radio career took him to Barrow, Alaska, New York City and finally Detroit, Jake nurtured this interest in growing things, via a little hydroponic garden in the dark and cold of America’s northernmost reaches to a lone tomato plant on a fire escape in NYC. Living in Detroit with his wife and two sons allows Jake to spend his off-the-air hours in a backyard filled with vibrant produce and plenty of space to garden! In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Jake speaks with host Lynne Golodner about how he combined his passion for gardening and radio into a special series, WDET: At Home, offering tips for people learning to garden during the pandemic. He talks about how gardening can teach us to find value in underappreciated things like soil - something we tread upon every day feeds our plants and therefore feeds us. Just as he nourishes his passion for gardening, Jake suggests that we all engage with our passions unabashedly and see where they lead us. In this episode, Lynne and Jake discuss: How everyone is a storyteller Ways to get the whole family involved in gardening How what we read impacts the way we write How gardening can be revolutionary Tips for gardening newbies The importance of geeking out about your passions Links and Resources: You are a Storyteller Podcast with Brian McDonald Michigan Public Radio Network Central Michigan University Aero Hydroponic Gardens Minnesota Midget Cantaloupe Joan Cherry Isabella Program Director for 101.9 WDET Ron Finley Ted Talk: A guerrilla gardener in South Central LA University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop Michael Carey WDET Series: Rooted by Annamarie Sysling Charles Dowding Find Jake Neher: Twitter LinkedIn Facebook Instagram
35 minutes | Sep 10, 2021
Episode 115 - Dean Stark - Why Purpose is Needed to Succeed in Competitive Sports
Dean Stark began working at Sacramento Waldorf School when he was 21. That was 37 years ago, and when he began, he had no intention of staying so long because he imagined he would go on to coach at bigger and bigger schools until he possibly landed an opportunity to coach college basketball. But staying was a great decision - perhaps the decision of his lifetime, Dean says. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Dean speaks with host Lynne Golodner about how coaching SacWaldorf teams turned into his dream job because of the depth of his relationship with the students and the style of the education. Dean has written two books about his experiences and coaching philosophy, with the most recent one, Uncommon: Inside my Coaching Career at Sacramento Waldorf, one of the focuses of this interview. In this book, Dean emphasizes the importance of developing a philosophy for your life - by reflecting upon what has brought you success, where you need to improve, and using those questions to identify your strengths and how to achieve your goals moving forward.
31 minutes | Aug 15, 2021
Episode 114 - Nancy Sharp - How to Turn Tragedy into Opportunity
Nancy Sharp experienced an exceptional grief when her husband died from brain cancer at the age of 39, when their twins were toddlers. She eventually left New York City for Denver to start over amid the mountain air. She left a public relations career and became a Guided Autobiography instructor, as well as the author of the bestselling memoir, Both Sides Now: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Bold Living. Her writing and her work inspire resilience. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Nancy speaks with host Lynne Golodner about her writing process, her passion for teaching Guided Autobiography, how life and death can collide, and her daily practices for building a life of meaning. She says, “In order to be resilient, you have to move beyond the things that hold you back. You have to be able to transcend challenges and sometimes that means re-writing your story or a part of your story.”
27 minutes | Jul 15, 2021
Episode 113 - Ramona Pintea - How to Make Art a Path for Serving Others
When Ramona Pintea turned 40, she decided to close her interior design business and start a new path following her true passion — art. During the beginning of the pandemic, she created a piece called Mother Earth which looks at the hope amongst all the terrible things happening. She shared it on Facebook and discovered a huge audience of supporters which spurred her to create the art series Urban Queen. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Ramona speaks with host Lynne Golodner about the importance of making art about women, for women. Her bright and colorful paintings explore the desires, experiences, emotions, and inner worlds of women. Ramona is a perfect example of how it is never too late to change your career path.
34 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
Episode 112 - John Wynn - The art of creating an entertainment empire
The reason John Wynn has built an entertainment empire and impact school children is because he begins each day with daily devotion and family check-ins. That, and the way he keeps his father’s legacy front of mind. The Reno, Nev.-based third-generation pastor and entrepreneur says he watched his father become the first African-American to host a local religious TV show and be the first Black man to sit on the Governor’s cabinet – and he knew that he would follow in his footsteps. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, John speaks with host Lynne Golodner about eliminating mental roadblocks, empowering youth to succeed, and finding mentors who look like you to show you what is possible. As the only boy among nine siblings and the father of eight, John says, “Sometimes you’ll find your purpose in the pathway passed down from your parents. Your purpose is identified to you young.”
21 minutes | May 31, 2021
Episode 111 - Rebecca Jeffreys - How to change careers after 35 years
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world in so many ways. For some people, the past year has led to a major shift in the work they do, either by necessity or by desire – both of which are reasons that propelled Rebecca Jeffreys to end her 35-year career as a professional flutist and launch Sprouting Health Families. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Rebecca speaks with host Lynne Golodner about how she turned her journey parenting a child with autism into an effort to support parents along their autism journeys. Her new coaching company provides one-on-one and group settings to shore up parents’ self-care and emotional strength as they guide their children through school and life.
28 minutes | May 17, 2021
Episode 110 - Margaret Trimer - How to Define & Live by your Core Values
Margaret Trimer has created a varied and fascinating career with a focus on building educational opportunities for children and girding communities with value and voice. She does this, she says, by following her personal core values. Beginning at the Detroit Free Press as a reporter covering education, Margaret has moved through roles as founder and director of one of the highest performing charter school districts in the region, president and CEO of Junior Achievement of Southeast Michigan, communications director at the Michigan Education Association and most recently, as VP of Strategic Partnerships of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, host Lynne Golodner speaks with Margaret about corporate caring for communities, what it takes to run extraordinary schools, and the beauty of driving across America with time to enjoy the scenery.
25 minutes | May 3, 2021
Episode 109 - Michael Ziman - How to change a business you love to protect the environment
For Michael Ziman, life has been relatively easy. He grew up enjoying the nature of the Jersey Shore, and built a career building vacation homes in his favorite place. But when the COVID-19 pandemic shut the world down last year, he started to realize how damaged nature had been by human intrusion – and how clear and beautiful it became when humans stepped away. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, host Lynne Golodner speaks with Michael about how the pandemic inspired him to be more climate-conscious in his work building new homes along the Atlantic Ocean. They discuss how the pandemic inspired him to research climate change and find ways to become part of the solution. In the past year, Michael has planted more than 100,000 trees to offset the carbon emissions of the homes he builds. He’s also introduced new sustainable practices and materials to his building practices.
45 minutes | Apr 19, 2021
Episode 108 - Lynne & Dan Golodner and Alisa Peskin-Shepherd - The pandemic's impact on relationships
The past year was a challenge in so many ways, and relationships were impacted in many ways by long lockdowns, economic turbulence, and the need to work at home while guiding children in doing school remotely. But there was a sunny side for some relationships as couples settled in to more time together without the distractions of “normal” life. While some relationships reached a breaking point during the coronavirus pandemic, many grew stronger. Research shows trends in both directions, with a flurry of quarantine babies and a backlog of divorce cases facing the courts. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, host Lynne Golodner speaks with her husband of 10 years, Dan Golodner, and her best friend and client, divorce attorney Alisa Peskin-Shepherd, of Transitions Legal. In this episode, Lynne and Dan talk about how they fell more in love and grew closer during the pandemic, and have come to cherish their time at home together. Alisa shares what she’s seen in her law practice – how cases already in process became more intense, while the court system slowed down. Divorcing couples stuck at home together experienced more tension and anxiety. Alisa’s legal practice fielded a lot of inquiries during this time, but not necessarily people filing for divorce – until recently.
31 minutes | Apr 5, 2021
Episode 107 – The Hon. Jan Tinetti – How to eliminate period poverty
After 20 years as a teacher and school principal, Jan Tinetti knows the damage period poverty can do to young girls and women seeking to build a better life. Children as young as six would miss a week of school each month due to a lack of products to support their monthly cycle. When she became Minister for Women in the New Zealand Parliament, Jan partnered with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in launching an Access to Period Products pilot program in 2020 to provide free products to schools. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, The Hon. Jan Tinetti speaks with host Lynne Golodner about the 2021 nationwide rollout of an effort to provide free period products to all New Zealand schools. This joins other efforts to eliminate child poverty, including a universal healthy lunch program, free breakfasts, milk and fresh fruit in schools, social workers and more. “We want to focus on making New Zealand the best country in the world to be a child,” she says in the episode.
24 minutes | Mar 22, 2021
Episode 106 - Nancy Marshall - How to love PR
When Lynne Golodner pivoted from journalism to public relations and marketing, she had a love-hate relationship with the PR field; it felt like crossing over to the dark side, she recalls. But Nancy Marshall, founder and CEO of Marshall Communications in Maine, never had such misgivings about the field of public relations. She loved it from a young age and has been thrilled with her decades-rich career in the industry. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Nancy speaks with host Lynne Golodner about understanding yourself and your passions enough to find meaningful work. Nancy helps companies to understand how to best tell their story. A connector, she says, “Gratitude is the key to all happiness,” and she encourages people to “notice the things in daily life that you’re good at and which bring you joy.”
45 minutes | Mar 8, 2021
Episode 105 - Helen Taylor & Gina Nicholas - How to really protect the environment by being a true part of it
“The future doesn’t have to be about more stuff,” says Gina Nicholas. “It can be about sharing experiences with others.” When the World Trade Center twin towers came down in a terrorist attack, Gina saw it as a sign that she should leave her corporate career to return home to the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan, surrounded by the cold waters of Lake Superior, and focus on preserving the natural lands she loved for future generations. Through this work, she met Helen Taylor, the Michigan director of the global Nature Conservancy, and their friendship grew out of conservation collaborations and a passion for preserving the natural world. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Helen and Gina speak with host Lynne Golodner about finding shared values between industry and conservation, trading an extraction mentality for an evolution of awareness, and realizing that the common enemy is actually fragmentation and development, not nature vs. the corporate world.
34 minutes | Feb 22, 2021
Episode 104 - Crystal Blanchette - How to make food your friend
Sometimes meaning comes out of the tiny obligations and routines of daily life. We find meaning in the mundane as easily as preparing a meal and sitting down with people we love to enjoy it. As a celebrity chef, author of two books and mom to two young children, Crystal Blanchette is dedicated to making meal prep easy and making food a priority, not a chore. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Crystal speaks with host Lynne Golodner about her internship at Lucas Films, her career cooking for such celebrities as Will.i.am, Prince, George Lucas, Mike Tyson and Jessica Simpson, and how she believes the secret to building a healthy family is not feeding your kids anything you won’t eat yourself.
43 minutes | Feb 8, 2021
Episode 103 - Katie Yamasaki - How to make murals for Community Expression
“A mural cannot be a band-aid on a society that puts Black and Brown people at the bottom every single day,” says Katie Yamasaki, muralist and children’s book artist who uses art as a platform to build dialogue and tell stories of communities. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Katie speaks with host Lynne Golodner about her early influences (including her famous grandfather, architect Minoru Yamasaki, who designed the World Trade Center), collaborating with former students and incarcerated mothers on important mural projects, and how she always cobbled together jobs to make ends meet so she could focus on her art.
38 minutes | Jan 25, 2021
Episode 102 - Patrick Hicks - How to write historical fiction
Learning how to write and channel your voice is an act of bravery, says Patrick Hicks, which may lead you to become more adventurous in other parts of your life. The author of more than 10 books, including The Collector of Names, Adoptable and This London, Patrick is the latest guest on the Make Meaning Podcast. In this episode, Patrick speaks with host Lynne Golodner about whose history is real history, how to pay homage to the possibilities, and why an American whose ancestors came from Northern Ireland writes about the Holocaust. A professor at Augustana University in South Dakota, Patrick lived in Northern Ireland during The Troubles and he says it’s important to view history from different vantage points.
21 minutes | Jan 11, 2021
Episode 101 - Margaret O'Gorman - Why bicycling through countries is the BEST way to learn local culture
Sometimes a meaningful life and a purpose-driven career grows out of a step-by-step approach to accepting opportunities and seeing where they take you. Margaret O’Gorman, President of the Wildlife Habitat Council and author of the book, Strategic Corporate Conservation Planning, could not have charted her life’s course from her childhood in Ireland – she simply embraced the opportunities that came her way and a meaning-rich life unfolded. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Margaret speaks with host Lynne Golodner about being a nonprofit professional with more than two decades of experience in environmental consciousness, teaching smaller NGOs how to fundraise, and what it’s like taking part in peaceful marches on matters of great importance.
29 minutes | Dec 28, 2020
Episode 100 - Bassie Shemtov - How to combine career and family to really make a difference
Growing up in the Chabad Lubavitch community, Bassie Shemtov always knew she’d devote her life to service. So when she married and moved to Michigan, she and her husband set about dedicating their life and family to building friendships with people in isolation. In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Bassie speaks with host Lynne Golodner about the origins of the Friendship Circle, her husband’s role as “the Friendship Rabbi,” and the next phase of the Friendship Circle’s growth, acquiring the Dakota Bread Bakery in West Bloomfield, Michigan, as a way to build a vocational training program for adults with special needs.
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