In December as the holidays are upon us, it's a time of mixed realities and emotions. For some it's a time when our hearts warm up with happiness as we prepare for time with family and loved ones. For others, who may be estranged from families and homes, it represents a time of struggle. For people, like Lauren, who is featured in this podcast, who had to deal with homelessness and an HIV diagnosis (and is still thriving decades later), it's a time of gratitude. December 1 is World AIDS Day. Take a moment to honor the people in the world who are struggling with HIV or AIDS, educate yourself and have compassion.
December 1st, 2015
December 1st, 2015
Protestors across the country continue to raise awareness about the war against persons of color as more and more stories come to light about people of color being shot by police officers. From Oakland to Chicago to Minneapolis, diverse groups of people are raising awareness about the BlackLivesMatter movement while demanding justice.
November 18th, 2015
In 2009, I interviewed Reza Aslan about his book How to Win a Cosmic War. He elequently described why religion should be taken out of the discussion of the war on terrorism and addressed the magnitude of islamophobia on national and global levels. His words ring true today...six years after his interview.
June 14th, 2015
On a Monday afternoon, while following the lead of our combined four children, my sister and I found ourselves at the local Kwik Trip. The kiddos had far more energy than either of us by this point and I was doing my best to maintain my laid-back, calm, cool and collected self as my three year old begged for rice crispy treats, juice and sunglasses and then insisted that she be the door opener and closer of the bathroom (as I changed my four-month old's diaper) and my sister waited somewhat (understandably) impatiently with her two-year old and five-year old. As I stood outside of the bathroom waiting for my daughter to open the door (this is her greatest life pleasure for some reason) smiling as I reflected on what my life has become, a flyer advertising painting classes caught my eye. The next evening, after taking our kids to a dairy farm (as my teacher-sister thought it would be important for the kids to understand where milk comes from scheduled a visit), and we peeled our children off of our legs (convincing them that grandma would take good care of them for two hours), we found ourselves sipping wine and water in the Schaefer-Miles studio. As we painted along and chatted, I became intrigued with the artist-couple's unique story and knew they were a perfect fit for my next book. In true form, I invited myself back to their studio for an interview. Here is a snippet of their intriguing story.
May 30th, 2015
Lisa Kivirist and her husband traded in a life and workstyle that many of us have become very familiar with---long hours, stress and take-out dinners--for something much simpler. They learned the ropes of sustainability and food (from growing it to preparing it) one step at a time and turned their passion with purpose into a bed and breakfast called Inn Serendipity. The key to making substantial change, Lisa says, is making small, bite-size changes.
If you're in the midwest this summer, it may be worth checking this out.
May 30th, 2015
When I co-interviewed Gloria Steinem, I was struck by her response to my colleague's question. My colleague asked 'what is it in your bones that makes you believe you can accomplish anything?' Gloria paused a moment before humbling explaining that she doesn't believe that. She suggested that we may be setting girls up for failure by telling them that they can accomplish anythig, because, as she explained, change takes time.
August 21st, 2014
As people around the United States stand in solidarity with Michael Brown and the people of Missouri, the mothers of Oscar Grant, Alan Blueford and others who have lost their lives to police brutality took to the streets of Oakland demanding justice.
July 4th, 2014
Malalai Joya considers herself a member of the war generation in Afghanistan. Because she says the women in her country can't afford to stay silent, complacent and uneducated, she is dedicating her entire life to the cause of fighting for democracy through education.
June 10th, 2014
Eric Velesquez is a children's illustrator. His mom began reading him illustrated books when he was a child in hopes of inspiring him to learn English. In time, he learned English, but fell in deep love with the illustrations!
April 7th, 2014
No matter where in the world we end up or take ourselves, we are in charge of our own happiness and our life will be what we make of it. While working on my first book, The Journey of Life: 100 Lessons from Around the World, my mother suggested that I talk with her Scottish friend who wound up in what I had considered, "The-Middle-of-Nowhere, Wisconsin." I was deeply inspired by my interviewee's 'can-do,' 'life is what you make of it,' attitude and I'm sure you will be too.