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What's Up With Karen?!?
33 minutes | Oct 12, 2021
Intersectionality and learning about the caste system in India
A listener recently requested an episode about intersectionality, so here it comes! You're going to love this conversation with Sanjana about intersectionality, the caste system, and whether or not it's connected to racism in India.
18 minutes | Aug 9, 2021
Interesting books to check out
This week I spent some time at a cabin in the woods with no electricity and no indoor plumbing. You know - that kind of scene that white people think is special treat and a privilege and some people of color think of as just being what it’s like it to be real stinkin’ poor, and therefore not a “vacation”.Anyhow, no wifi, no distractions beyond the occasional mosquito left me plenty of time for reading, so I wanted to share with you about two books I read this week. The first is The Thirty Names of Night, by Zeyn Joukahadar (Zain Jhou/Zhu-ha-dar). I read about it in The Atlantic, but when I was looking for things to listen to that would help me be sure to pronounce Joukhadar’s name correctly I discovered that I could have just as easily found this book listening to NPR. I know - so many white ways for me to learn more about the world... The second book is Halfway Home: Race, Punishment and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration by Dr. Reuben Jonathan Miller… It’s a personal look at what happens to people who have been incarcerated after they get out of jail, particularly for people with felony convictions on their record.
18 minutes | Jul 19, 2021
If you caught the last episode of WUWK?! you got to hear the story of me trying to receive some feedback on whether some stuff I’d written was steeped in white supremacy and white privilege despite my best efforts to not do that. Let’s just say that I was less than graceful in receiving the feedback, but mostly staggered my way to a slightly less white version of what I had been trying to say.At the end of my conversation with the woman who was giving me (or trying to give me) feedback, she shared an idea with me. It was about land acknowledgements. And at first I had a really strong knee jerk reaction against her suggestion. Such a big reaction, in fact, that I knew I had to dig in there a bit more. And when I did, I pretty much changed my point of view 180 degrees. So… let’s talk land acknowledgements!
18 minutes | Jul 12, 2021
How do white people learn to be less racist? Well, sometimes it's by being told that we've just said something racist. That feedback always sucks, but what we choose to do with it is what matters in the long run.
11 minutes | Jun 19, 2021
Hi and thank you for listening to WUWK?! We’re rapidly approaching the arrival of what I think might be the first ever federal holiday celebration of Juneteenth, seeing as how the house and Senate both just gave approval for making it a federal holiday! With that in mind, I have been pondering how the past, the present and the future all connect around issues of race and racism. But let’s start with Juneteenth…
19 minutes | May 31, 2021
Mindfulness and Meditation: The cushion meets racism
What do mindfulness and racism have to do with each other? If given a choice between sitting on a cushion with your eyes closed and showing up at a BLM rally, could sitting on your butt actually make a bigger difference in cosmic battle to eliminate racism? I have no idea. But let’s explore the idea of using mindfulness to engage in the battle against racism this week on What's Up With Karen?!
14 minutes | May 24, 2021
Characteristics of White (Supremacist) Culture part 2
A few weeks ago someone requested a little more content on the idea of white culture or white supremacist culture. This episode focuses on the work of Tema Okun, a white woman who returned home frustrated from a meeting one day and jotted down 15 aspects of what she saw as white supremacy culture at work. And her work just gained momentum from there. So, let’s dig into it a little bit.Last week’s episode I gave you a quick rundown of the first half of those 15 qualities Okun identified. Now it’s time for the other 7. Okun offers antidotes to each, which I’ll also briefly touch on. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try just thinking about how one or two of the things on the list impact you and your life in either positive or negative ways, OR how your day might be different if you let go of this cultural belief for 15 minutes or so.
16 minutes | May 17, 2021
Characteristics of White (Supremacist) Culture part 1
A few weeks ago someone requested a little more content on the idea of white culture or white supremacist culture. This episode focuses on the work of Tema Okun, a white woman who returned home frustrated from a meeting one day and jotted down 15 aspects of what she saw as white supremacy culture at work. And her work just gained momentum from there. So, let’s dig into it a little bit.
15 minutes | May 10, 2021
Learning a new language
This week on WUWK?! It’s just a bit of pondering about languages that we learn and teach in our schools, and languages that we don’t.
37 minutes | Apr 27, 2021
When I first told people about the WUWK?! podcast project, a number of the white people initially involved expressed an interest in hearing more from people of color about their experiences with racism. Maybe because some of us white people didn’t have too many friends who weren’t white to talk to. Or maybe because they it can feel uncomfortable bringing up the topic with the friends we do have.Anyhow, I decided I needed to educate myself a bit more about racism first. But at this point, we’re starting to move further into the terrain of conversations about race and racism rather than just Karens. So this week we have a conversation with a woman I’ve been friends with for at least 10 years, which is a great kind of friend to try out one’s “hi I’m white - don’t know if you noticed but I did not too long ago and I was wondering (dot dot dot)...” skills with. Sandy and I met in a community leadership program where the facilitator, wise woman that she was, assigned us to meet with one different person from the group each week for a cup of coffee. As a classic white goody two shoes, I took this homework assignment very seriously. And that’s how I met Sandy. And I’m so glad I did. I come away from my conversations with her with new perspectives. And over time we’ve gotten to that point where we tell each other things that we want to be true, and then realize in the middle of the night that they weren’t true, and then we come back together and tell each other the real truth. About what we’re afraid of, or how we think we screwed up or that we’re not really sure what defunding the police looks like or if we’re in support of it or not. Sandy comes from a big family, and I’m an only child. She’s proud of her Puerto Rican heritage while I am doing my best to embrace my white half Dutch, half German with maybe a little Rottweiler mixed there for all I know status. And I so look forward to sitting down over a glass of red wine with her in the evening to share stories and laugh whenever we get the chance.
38 minutes | Apr 19, 2021
Being the first in your family to go to college
This week on WUWK?! It’s an interview with a woman who runs a non profit organization called Access Opportunity. Their mission is to create opportunities for high potential, low income students who - not coincidentally tend to be primarily people of color. They work with a lot of kids who represent the first generation in their family to college. I wanted help learning to see and identify some of the barriers that exist for kids who aren’t legacy college attendees the way I, my partner, my kids… all were. The kinds of things that people like me might otherwise not recognize because of either my racial or my economic privilege. Access Opportunity is a relatively new organization, but others like I Have A Dream have been addressing these kinds of inequities for some time. I figured it was time to take a listen and see what I could learn. https://www.accessopportunity.org/
35 minutes | Apr 12, 2021
International Adoption and a Blended Family - Meet Diana
This week on WUWK?! We’ve got an interview with a woman who works as an international adoption lawyer. But before she got her law degree, she got some personal experience as an adoptive parent herself. Also, she was even nice back in high school and how often do you really find yourself remembering people in that way?! Enjoy meeting an old friend of mine - Diana.
34 minutes | Apr 5, 2021
A conversation with a white role model - meet Pam!
This week on WUWK?! We’ve got an episode that focuses on just one conversation with a woman who is one of the people that I use as a role model - she’s a white woman who definitely gets racism and social justice issues on deeper levels than I do. I am just cheesy enough that I have really and truly asked myself from time to time, “what would Pam do in a situation like this?” particularly when contemplating putting my foot in my mouth when I think I’ve just heard or seen something racist. And I often come away from interactions with Pam realizing that although she didn’t bother to call me out or call me in, if I pay attention to her tone of voice, I can learn something new about yet another one of under-educated about race white people tendencies. I’ve edited our conversation so you won’t hear too much overlap between the wisdom Pam is sharing here, and in other episodes. Also, so I don’t sound like a totally dipshit. So, with no further ado, let me introduce you to Pam.
25 minutes | Mar 22, 2021
The Dangers of Standardized Testing
For many years our educational and economic systems stacked the deck using a myriad of systems of oppression so that mostly white people do better on standardized tests. They are more likely to end up in STEM fields designing the software that can define our lives in crazy ways, and - in a really different form of standardized testing, those same white people can intentionally or unintentionally change how football players are compensated for head injures. This week on WUWK a crazy journey into the rabbit hole of what happens when the standardized tests are designed to benefit white people.
24 minutes | Mar 15, 2021
How it all began
In the beginning, there was no What’s Up With Karen?! Podcast. There was an idea, and some inspiration, and a lot of spare time. But there was also a root to it all. And this is the story of how it all began.
33 minutes | Mar 8, 2021
How did we get so segregated?
After hearing Robin DiAngelo talk a bit about modern segregation, I found myself wondering how did neighborhoods get so segregated in the first place? That’s what we're going to explore in this week’s episode on segregation, with a s*** ton of help from Richard Rothstein who wrote The Color of Law.Okay, full disclosure… This episode is basically a book report. I’m new enough to a bunch of this stuff that I’m in no way speaking from a place of expertise, so instead I’m going to try to sum up in a moderately concise fashion Rothstein’s book. Or at least the first half of it because I’m not quite done reading it yet. So all the quotes come from Rothstein unless otherwise noted, and you can find uninteresting details like page numbers for those quotes in the written transcript for the show.
18 minutes | Mar 1, 2021
Sage advice and southern comfort from Trish
This week on WUWK?! We’ve got another 1 on 1 interview for you. Today’s episode is a conversation with a woman who I met through her volunteer work with a non-profit organization, but when she’s not out saving the floundering volunteer boards of the world, Trish can be found at her day job as entrepreneur and strategist for TEEM. Oh, did I mention she is the CEO of TEEM? Since I tend to ramble in these conversations, I’ve tried to cut out most of that so you can enjoy some key tidbits and sage wisdom from Trish. And I also pulled out some choice wisdom from Trish to share in other episodes, so if her voice sounds familiar, or you start experiencing deja vous before your third glass of wine while listening next week that’s why. Probably. That or you’ve gotten into tequila a little too early in the afternoon again. Anyhow - here’s Trish!
37 minutes | Feb 22, 2021
A few weeks ago, I got an email. Well, sort of. Someone wrote to a friend who had suggested they check out What's Up With Karen?! and told them “So far it's interesting but I hope it gets a little more specific.... what actual words should we not be saying in our out loud voices.” And women being women, she passed that dish right on to me with a matching tuper-ware lid, I might add. Thus, we find ourselves here today, on What's Up With Karen?! with an episode I’m calling “Language Matters.”
36 minutes | Feb 15, 2021
Calling (In) All Karens
This episode of What's Up With Karen?! explores the question of "if I heard you say something that I thought was racist, would you want me to tell you?" Then we hear tips from a bunch of different people on making that information easier to hear. Next, we consider the differences (or lack thereof) between white culture, white dominated culture, and white supremacist culture. Finally, a few thoughts on shame and racism - should we feel shame? Is it really a bad thing to feel shame? And of course, a few groovy music breaks just for you!
29 minutes | Feb 8, 2021
Non Profits and Karens 101
This episode is a 1:1 conversation with Nia of Mission Launch about issues of race, racism, systemic oppression and of course all things Karen, as they pertain to non-profit organizations.
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