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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.

A beautiful moment between a father and a son from this week’s show. Not to be missed… especially for you StoryCorps fans.

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"I would just like people to believe that humility — listening to the other person and trying to understand the other person — and forgiving are important." —David Plant, who reflects on his legacy knowing his skin cancer has spread to other parts of his body
Photo of David Plant with his stepson Frank Lilley courtesy of StoryCorps
"I would just like people to believe that humility — listening to the other person and trying to understand the other person — and forgiving are important." —David Plant, who reflects on his legacy knowing his skin cancer has spread to other parts of his body
Photo of David Plant with his stepson Frank Lilley courtesy of StoryCorps

"I would just like people to believe that humility — listening to the other person and trying to understand the other person — and forgiving are important."
David Plant, who reflects on his legacy knowing his skin cancer has spread to other parts of his body

Photo of David Plant with his stepson Frank Lilley courtesy of StoryCorps

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“I’ve been more than blessed with people, with miracles, with angels all around. When I’ve been in trouble and couldn’t get up the stairs, along came a neighbor, and she just said, ‘Can I help you?’…So I consider myself really blessed, and I want my children, I want everyone to know that they need to help one another. It comes back to them ten-fold.” —Ruth Wilkes, on what she would like to tell her family before she dies
Photo courtesy of StoryCorps and Suncoast Hospice (distributed with instagram)
“I’ve been more than blessed with people, with miracles, with angels all around. When I’ve been in trouble and couldn’t get up the stairs, along came a neighbor, and she just said, ‘Can I help you?’…So I consider myself really blessed, and I want my children, I want everyone to know that they need to help one another. It comes back to them ten-fold.” —Ruth Wilkes, on what she would like to tell her family before she dies
Photo courtesy of StoryCorps and Suncoast Hospice (distributed with instagram)

“I’ve been more than blessed with people, with miracles, with angels all around. When I’ve been in trouble and couldn’t get up the stairs, along came a neighbor, and she just said, ‘Can I help you?’…So I consider myself really blessed, and I want my children, I want everyone to know that they need to help one another. It comes back to them ten-fold.”
Ruth Wilkes, on what she would like to tell her family before she dies

Photo courtesy of StoryCorps and Suncoast Hospice (distributed with instagram)

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The Witness of True Love and the Grace of Loss (Video)

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

The notion of contemplating mortality can be an abstract one for those of us not facing death. It can be waxed about in highly romanticized language, such as in a Wallace Stevens poem, or shown on television in the most inhuman ways, leaving us cold and unmoved.

While editing this week’s show on facing and contemplating reality, I suggested we ground our interview with Dr. Ira Byock, a leading figure in palliative and hospice care, with other people’s voices from StoryCorps. Annie and Danny PerasaTheir words, their stories, I hoped, would take Dr. Byock’s clinical experiences and complement the doctor’s ideas about dying well with the necessary pathos of those families facing death.

To close the hour, we included audio of Annie and Danny Perasa, a couple from Brooklyn, New York. They had been married for 27 years when Danny was diagnosed with a fast-spreading, painful form of terminal cancer. It’s a love story illustrating that the process of dying is not only a medical event, but a personal one in which “eloquence, grace, and poetry” can still be found. Danny passed away on February 24, 2006.

As a result, we’ve heard from so many listeners asking to hear this audio again. Here’s a wonderful animation extending the story you heard on the radio.

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Show Your Gratitude and Honor Your Favorite Teacher for StoryCorps' National Day of Listening

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

StoryCorps 2011 National Day of ListeningIf you read this blog or listen to our public radio program, you more than likely know that we’re super-big fans of Dave Isay and his StoryCorps project. And, for the fourth year now on the day after Thanksgiving, they celebrate by sponsoring a National Day of Listening. This year’s theme: show your gratitude and thank a teacher.

Honor your favorite teacher and share a story about her or him. You can write an essay or, even better, take your iPhone or Android set and record something for yourself and for us. We’re teaming up with NPR and StoryCorps and posting some of our favorite stories — audio, video, text, or tweet — right here on this blog. Or send a “thank you” Tweet to us at @Beingtweets (#thankateacher). Don’t worry about the technical details or that you say (or write) it perfectly, sometimes it’s most important that you just show up and say “Thank you!”

We can’t wait to hear your stories!

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Two Friends Who Could Have Been Enemies: Forgiveness and Mercy from a Mother to Her Son’s Killer

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Mary Johnson and Oshea IsraelMary Johnson and Oshea Israel (photo: Brian Mogren)

The death of one’s child, I’ve been told by several people, including my grandmother, is something you never get over. My uncle Dennis died of an accidental gunshot wound when he was a young boy living on a farm outside of New Rockford, North Dakota. My grandma once said that she’d rather lose a husband or her parents before she ever lost another child again. Nearly four decades later, the pain is physically present, palpable and thick with grief and sorrow. It breaks my heart to think about it. And Dennis’ death was just an unfortunate accident.

So what Mary Johnson endured 18 years ago and has seen her way through is almost incomprehensible, but it’s a marvelous story to behold. 

“I just hugged the man who murdered my son.”

Necklace with Pictures of Mary Johnson and Her SonIn 1993, Oshea Israel was a teenage gang member in Minneapolis, Minnesota. One night at a party, he got into a fight with Laramiun Byrd — Mary Johnson’s only child — pulled a gun, and shot and killed him.

Convicted of second-degree murder, Israel was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Twelve years after his sentencing, Johnson asked to meet her son’s killer.

The experience transformed both Israel and Johnson. Now 34, Oshea has finished serving his prison sentence. They are friends working together to share their story.

In this interview from StoryCorps (audio above), they speak in loving terms about one another and talk about forgiveness, pain, and the love and mercy of a woman who embraces a man she could rightfully have hated.

Unnatural deaths caused by accidents are unbearable enough, but to lose a child at the willing hands of another individual, I imagine for most parents, might precipitate into bitterness, anger, rage. For Mary Johnson, it became a redemptive moment, an opportunity to transcend the violence. She founded From Death to Life, an organization that supports mothers who have lost children to homicide, and encourages forgiveness between families of murderers and victims. And, Oshea Israel, he’s going to college.

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StoryCorps Moms: Myra Dean and Gary Jamison
Shubha Bala, associate producer

"In the story of Job, Job lost everything, and he got everything back twofold. … I’m blessed and I’m loved, and I know that I’ve made a difference."

In honor of Mother’s Day, this touching story of Myra Dean, who lost her son, at age 10, to a reckless driver.

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StoryCorps Moms: Lourdes and Roger Villanueva
Shubha Bala, associate producer

"I knew that we didn’t have wealth to leave you guys. So I always thought that my responsibility was to leave you a legacy of honesty, integrity, and education."

This story reminded me of my own grandmothers who, having been forced to drop out of grade school to get married, both taught themselves how to read so that they could help motivate their own children to obtain the education they did not get themselves. This is a story that is echoed by so many mothers — working hard to be something, solely to help their children achieve a life they did not have.

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StoryCorps Moms: Nancy Wright and Her Son J.D.
Trent Gilliss, senior editor

"I think about two weeks after that conversation, I picked up the phone and a small voice on the other side said, ‘Hi, this is your friend.’"

Many of us on staff have been traveling a lot these last couple of months for the live events we’ve been producing during Krista’s speaking tour. And air travel can lose its luster awfully quickly when I’m separated from my wife, Bella, and our two remarkable boys, Lucian and Rainier, for even a couple of days. For me, this was unimaginable only five years ago.

But, unexpected gifts are delivered during all the waiting, ascending, descending, taxiing — and Dave Isay’s book, Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps, is one of them. I pored over these individual stories in less than two hours. I smiled, I sobbed, I laughed, I paused, I reflected, I remembered.

Somewhat ironically, I was on a flight to the Bay Area of California to attend a conference titled Wisdom 2.0. There were many smart voices from all the tech elites — Twitter, Facebook, Google — and sage roshis and journalists, but very few of their stories compared to the love and experience conveyed in the personal reflections in Isay’s book.

So, on this Mother’s Day, I’ll be posting a few of my favorites and asked Shubha to post several of hers too. We’ll be releasing audio of these stories throughout the day. They’re only a few minutes long. Consider them moments of meditation as you think about your mothers — the joys, the sorrows, the moments of beauty — and what you carry forward as a child and/or parent in this wonderfully crazy world.

Here, Nancy Wright teaches me that sometimes I just need to pick up the phone, or walk to the bedroom and let go of my pride to give my boy a hug, even when I’m upset.

Photo courtesy of StoryCorps.

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Forgiving His Daughter’s Murderer
Shubha Bala, associate producer

Hector BlackIn response to last week’s show, Hector Black pointed us to this StoryCorps interview. The listener from Tennessee tells the story of his daughter being murdered in her home and his process of seeking vengeance and granting forgiveness:

"I’d never been in favor of the death penalty, but, I wanted that man to hurt — the way that he had hurt her. I wanted him to hurt the way I was hurting. But after a while I wanted to know who it was…"

He narrates the events in detail — from the murder of his daughter to the process of wanting revenge, and ultimately to granting forgiveness. The heinousness of the crime makes me think of Desmond Tutu speaking about forgiveness during the South African truth and reconciliation process. He said you would think there are things that are unforgivable, like the horrendous violence of apartheid. And yet, he says, they saw many people who ought to have been bristling with bitterness and anger but actually embraced their perpetrators when they met face-to-face.

In some small way, it’s a good lesson reminding me that it should take much less mental work to forgive the person that steals your parking spot or cuts in front of you in line.

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Four Pairs of Interfaith Fellows: Arash + RaminAndy Dayton, associate web producer



» download (mp3, 8:32)
You may recognize these two voices from last week’s program, "Curiosity over Assumptions." We used an excerpt from Arash and Ramin Nematollahi’s conversation in the show, which included as part of audio above. Hearing their conversation, one gets a sense of their bond not only as Iranian-Americans and Muslims, but also as brothers.Much of their conversation seems to center around the complexity of identity that can come in a pluralistic society. “I don’t have a particular identity,” Arash says, “I’m very proud to be American … but there’s an Iranian part of me that is there, and there’s a Muslim identity in me.” Ramin picks up on this comment, contrasting that experience to the country they were born in, Iran:
"You would say ‘I am Iranian’ and that’s it — case shut. And I’m Muslim because that’s what everyone tells me to be … But in America you have all these different choices. I totally understand what you’re saying, ‘cause I am American, but I’m also Muslim, I’m also all these different things. What does that mean at the end of the day?"
For me, this really resonated with what we’ve heard in the last few months from our "Living Islam" and "Revealing Ramadan" programs. I was especially reminded of Samar Jarrah, who wrote about what makes being an American Muslim unique: “Living in the USA and being exposed to so many different Muslims from so many different countries and cultures made me realize that there are many faces to Islam.” Later in her essay, she writes:
"But being a Muslim in America makes me a better Muslim. A more hopeful one. I have had hundreds of amazing messages of love and support. I have had Americans shake my hands with tears in their eyes asking me to speak more. Just this Saturday morning, I was in the company of a very intellectual group of retired men and women (oldest was 95) who are still wanting to learn about Islam from a Muslim, and for this I am forever grateful to be a Muslim in America."
Find more stories from other NewGround fellows here. Special thanks to StoryCorps, who recorded these stories in Los Angeles in 2009.
Four Pairs of Interfaith Fellows: Arash + RaminAndy Dayton, associate web producer



» download (mp3, 8:32)
You may recognize these two voices from last week’s program, "Curiosity over Assumptions." We used an excerpt from Arash and Ramin Nematollahi’s conversation in the show, which included as part of audio above. Hearing their conversation, one gets a sense of their bond not only as Iranian-Americans and Muslims, but also as brothers.Much of their conversation seems to center around the complexity of identity that can come in a pluralistic society. “I don’t have a particular identity,” Arash says, “I’m very proud to be American … but there’s an Iranian part of me that is there, and there’s a Muslim identity in me.” Ramin picks up on this comment, contrasting that experience to the country they were born in, Iran:
"You would say ‘I am Iranian’ and that’s it — case shut. And I’m Muslim because that’s what everyone tells me to be … But in America you have all these different choices. I totally understand what you’re saying, ‘cause I am American, but I’m also Muslim, I’m also all these different things. What does that mean at the end of the day?"
For me, this really resonated with what we’ve heard in the last few months from our "Living Islam" and "Revealing Ramadan" programs. I was especially reminded of Samar Jarrah, who wrote about what makes being an American Muslim unique: “Living in the USA and being exposed to so many different Muslims from so many different countries and cultures made me realize that there are many faces to Islam.” Later in her essay, she writes:
"But being a Muslim in America makes me a better Muslim. A more hopeful one. I have had hundreds of amazing messages of love and support. I have had Americans shake my hands with tears in their eyes asking me to speak more. Just this Saturday morning, I was in the company of a very intellectual group of retired men and women (oldest was 95) who are still wanting to learn about Islam from a Muslim, and for this I am forever grateful to be a Muslim in America."
Find more stories from other NewGround fellows here. Special thanks to StoryCorps, who recorded these stories in Los Angeles in 2009.

Four Pairs of Interfaith Fellows: Arash + Ramin
Andy Dayton, associate web producer


» download (mp3, 8:32)

You may recognize these two voices from last week’s program, "Curiosity over Assumptions." We used an excerpt from Arash and Ramin Nematollahi’s conversation in the show, which included as part of audio above. Hearing their conversation, one gets a sense of their bond not only as Iranian-Americans and Muslims, but also as brothers.

Much of their conversation seems to center around the complexity of identity that can come in a pluralistic society. “I don’t have a particular identity,” Arash says, “I’m very proud to be American … but there’s an Iranian part of me that is there, and there’s a Muslim identity in me.” Ramin picks up on this comment, contrasting that experience to the country they were born in, Iran:

"You would say ‘I am Iranian’ and that’s it — case shut. And I’m Muslim because that’s what everyone tells me to be … But in America you have all these different choices. I totally understand what you’re saying, ‘cause I am American, but I’m also Muslim, I’m also all these different things. What does that mean at the end of the day?"

For me, this really resonated with what we’ve heard in the last few months from our "Living Islam" and "Revealing Ramadan" programs. I was especially reminded of Samar Jarrah, who wrote about what makes being an American Muslim unique: “Living in the USA and being exposed to so many different Muslims from so many different countries and cultures made me realize that there are many faces to Islam.” Later in her essay, she writes:

"But being a Muslim in America makes me a better Muslim. A more hopeful one. I have had hundreds of amazing messages of love and support. I have had Americans shake my hands with tears in their eyes asking me to speak more. Just this Saturday morning, I was in the company of a very intellectual group of retired men and women (oldest was 95) who are still wanting to learn about Islam from a Muslim, and for this I am forever grateful to be a Muslim in America."

Find more stories from other NewGround fellows here. Special thanks to StoryCorps, who recorded these stories in Los Angeles in 2009.

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Four Pairs of Interfaith Fellows: Sarah + Joanna Nancy Rosenbaum, associate producer

	


» download (mp3, 5:17)

	Sarah Kelman and Joanna Schochet are friends who are half-Jewish on their fathers’ sides. “We’re both halfies,” they say. “By the book I don’t count,” says Joanna.
When Joanna says she doesn’t count, she’s referring to the principle of matrilineal descent in Judaism where Jewishness is passed down through the mother. Not all denominations in Judaism observe this law, but it’s still a very real issue that Sarah and Joanna seem to have wrestled with throughout their lives.
In our latest show, "Curiosity Over Assumptions," Krista explores the notion that interfaith engagement isn’t just about encountering “the other.” Along the way, people may come to know themselves and their faith traditions differently.
Earlier this year Sarah and Joanna interviewed each other about their experiences as NewGround fellows. Listening to the conversation, I’m struck by how their Jewish identities are still evolving — and how they seem to find connection and comfort in each other stories. Joanna reflects on how her brother (who himself decided to formally convert) once told her that she didn’t “count” as Jewish. Sarah asks, “Do I consider myself Jewish and why and who is it good enough for…and what do I think about that?”
Find more stories from other NewGround fellows here. Special thanks to StoryCorps, who recorded these stories in Los Angeles in 2009.
Four Pairs of Interfaith Fellows: Sarah + Joanna Nancy Rosenbaum, associate producer

	


» download (mp3, 5:17)

	Sarah Kelman and Joanna Schochet are friends who are half-Jewish on their fathers’ sides. “We’re both halfies,” they say. “By the book I don’t count,” says Joanna.
When Joanna says she doesn’t count, she’s referring to the principle of matrilineal descent in Judaism where Jewishness is passed down through the mother. Not all denominations in Judaism observe this law, but it’s still a very real issue that Sarah and Joanna seem to have wrestled with throughout their lives.
In our latest show, "Curiosity Over Assumptions," Krista explores the notion that interfaith engagement isn’t just about encountering “the other.” Along the way, people may come to know themselves and their faith traditions differently.
Earlier this year Sarah and Joanna interviewed each other about their experiences as NewGround fellows. Listening to the conversation, I’m struck by how their Jewish identities are still evolving — and how they seem to find connection and comfort in each other stories. Joanna reflects on how her brother (who himself decided to formally convert) once told her that she didn’t “count” as Jewish. Sarah asks, “Do I consider myself Jewish and why and who is it good enough for…and what do I think about that?”
Find more stories from other NewGround fellows here. Special thanks to StoryCorps, who recorded these stories in Los Angeles in 2009.

Four Pairs of Interfaith Fellows: Sarah + Joanna
Nancy Rosenbaum, associate producer


» download (mp3, 5:17)

Sarah Kelman and Joanna Schochet are friends who are half-Jewish on their fathers’ sides. “We’re both halfies,” they say. “By the book I don’t count,” says Joanna.

When Joanna says she doesn’t count, she’s referring to the principle of matrilineal descent in Judaism where Jewishness is passed down through the mother. Not all denominations in Judaism observe this law, but it’s still a very real issue that Sarah and Joanna seem to have wrestled with throughout their lives.

In our latest show, "Curiosity Over Assumptions," Krista explores the notion that interfaith engagement isn’t just about encountering “the other.” Along the way, people may come to know themselves and their faith traditions differently.

Earlier this year Sarah and Joanna interviewed each other about their experiences as NewGround fellows. Listening to the conversation, I’m struck by how their Jewish identities are still evolving — and how they seem to find connection and comfort in each other stories. Joanna reflects on how her brother (who himself decided to formally convert) once told her that she didn’t “count” as Jewish. Sarah asks, “Do I consider myself Jewish and why and who is it good enough for…and what do I think about that?”

Find more stories from other NewGround fellows here. Special thanks to StoryCorps, who recorded these stories in Los Angeles in 2009.

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Four Pairs of Interfaith Fellows: Omar + DavidAndy Dayton, associate web producer



» download (mp3, 7:30)
Omar Haroon and David Weiner are two friends who met through the NewGround program. Omar is Muslim and David is Jewish, and what I appreciate about their conversation is the sense of coinciding conflict and kinship it gives. They both introduce each other, and as Omar thanks David for his “vote of friendship,” David jokes “we’ll reevaluate at the end of this conversation” — and they both laugh.
Interestingly enough, both David and Omar told stories in whiched they gained insight from the false assumptions of others. Omar gives an account of his trip to Israel, and being mistaken for an Israeli Jew while he was there. David tells the story of a homeless man making an anti-Semetic remark to him, unaware that David himself was a Jew. In both cases, this sort of mistaken identity seemed to give a useful perspective. In a moment of stepping outside of their own identities, they’re given a glimpse of what the world looks like to the “other.”Find more stories from other Interfaith fellows here. Special thanks to StoryCorps, who recorded these stories in Los Angeles in 2009.
Four Pairs of Interfaith Fellows: Omar + DavidAndy Dayton, associate web producer



» download (mp3, 7:30)
Omar Haroon and David Weiner are two friends who met through the NewGround program. Omar is Muslim and David is Jewish, and what I appreciate about their conversation is the sense of coinciding conflict and kinship it gives. They both introduce each other, and as Omar thanks David for his “vote of friendship,” David jokes “we’ll reevaluate at the end of this conversation” — and they both laugh.
Interestingly enough, both David and Omar told stories in whiched they gained insight from the false assumptions of others. Omar gives an account of his trip to Israel, and being mistaken for an Israeli Jew while he was there. David tells the story of a homeless man making an anti-Semetic remark to him, unaware that David himself was a Jew. In both cases, this sort of mistaken identity seemed to give a useful perspective. In a moment of stepping outside of their own identities, they’re given a glimpse of what the world looks like to the “other.”Find more stories from other Interfaith fellows here. Special thanks to StoryCorps, who recorded these stories in Los Angeles in 2009.

Four Pairs of Interfaith Fellows: Omar + David
Andy Dayton, associate web producer


» download (mp3, 7:30)

Omar Haroon and David Weiner are two friends who met through the NewGround program. Omar is Muslim and David is Jewish, and what I appreciate about their conversation is the sense of coinciding conflict and kinship it gives. They both introduce each other, and as Omar thanks David for his “vote of friendship,” David jokes “we’ll reevaluate at the end of this conversation” — and they both laugh.

Interestingly enough, both David and Omar told stories in whiched they gained insight from the false assumptions of others. Omar gives an account of his trip to Israel, and being mistaken for an Israeli Jew while he was there. David tells the story of a homeless man making an anti-Semetic remark to him, unaware that David himself was a Jew. In both cases, this sort of mistaken identity seemed to give a useful perspective. In a moment of stepping outside of their own identities, they’re given a glimpse of what the world looks like to the “other.”

Find more stories from other Interfaith fellows here. Special thanks to StoryCorps, who recorded these stories in Los Angeles in 2009.

Comments
Four Pairs of Interfaith Fellows: Malka + AzizaNancy Rosenbaum, associate producer

	


» download (mp3, 5:32)

	We’re in the final throes of polishing up our latest production, “Curiosity Over  Assumptions: Interreligiosity Meets a New Generation” (yes, we know it’s a  mouthful!). Featured in this show are two activists based in Los Angeles, Malka  Haya Fenyvesi  and Aziza Hasan, whom Krista first encountered in  2007 at an Interfaith Youth Core conference. Together they co-direct an interfaith fellowship program in Los Angeles called NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change.
As production for this show unfolded, we were searching for how to illuminate the lived experience and impact of interfaith programs like NewGround. We wanted to know: “What do these NewGround fellows actually do? What does it look like or sound like?”
The organization didn’t have any audio recordings of their bi-monthly dialogue sessions, so we initially considered interviewing a handful of alumni. Then we discovered four pairs of fellows had actually interviewed each other through StoryCorps, a traveling oral history project. To kick things off, here’s some tape of Malka and Aziza talking about their family histories and memories, and how these legacies speak to the activist work they’re doing in LA.
Earlier this year we used StoryCorps material in another show we produced, "Alzheimer’s, Memory, and Being." This lovely  audio  gave the program emotional heft, and our audience noticed. As one listener wrote:

"This morning on the way to the dog park I was completely overwhelmed and moved listening to the two daughters interview their father. The interview was beautiful in its sadness and horrified me in its possible prediction of my relationship with my parents. I had to sit for a long while waiting to clear the tears before I could get out of my car.”
-Brian Coleman, Boca Raton, FL

As producers, we love getting e-mails like this because it tells us that the material we’re putting out there “sings.” Over the coming week, we’ll be featuring excerpts of some NewGround conversations on SOF Observed. Let us know what you think.
*Special thanks to StoryCorps, who recorded these stories in  Los Angeles in 2009.
Four Pairs of Interfaith Fellows: Malka + AzizaNancy Rosenbaum, associate producer

	


» download (mp3, 5:32)

	We’re in the final throes of polishing up our latest production, “Curiosity Over  Assumptions: Interreligiosity Meets a New Generation” (yes, we know it’s a  mouthful!). Featured in this show are two activists based in Los Angeles, Malka  Haya Fenyvesi  and Aziza Hasan, whom Krista first encountered in  2007 at an Interfaith Youth Core conference. Together they co-direct an interfaith fellowship program in Los Angeles called NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change.
As production for this show unfolded, we were searching for how to illuminate the lived experience and impact of interfaith programs like NewGround. We wanted to know: “What do these NewGround fellows actually do? What does it look like or sound like?”
The organization didn’t have any audio recordings of their bi-monthly dialogue sessions, so we initially considered interviewing a handful of alumni. Then we discovered four pairs of fellows had actually interviewed each other through StoryCorps, a traveling oral history project. To kick things off, here’s some tape of Malka and Aziza talking about their family histories and memories, and how these legacies speak to the activist work they’re doing in LA.
Earlier this year we used StoryCorps material in another show we produced, "Alzheimer’s, Memory, and Being." This lovely  audio  gave the program emotional heft, and our audience noticed. As one listener wrote:

"This morning on the way to the dog park I was completely overwhelmed and moved listening to the two daughters interview their father. The interview was beautiful in its sadness and horrified me in its possible prediction of my relationship with my parents. I had to sit for a long while waiting to clear the tears before I could get out of my car.”
-Brian Coleman, Boca Raton, FL

As producers, we love getting e-mails like this because it tells us that the material we’re putting out there “sings.” Over the coming week, we’ll be featuring excerpts of some NewGround conversations on SOF Observed. Let us know what you think.
*Special thanks to StoryCorps, who recorded these stories in  Los Angeles in 2009.

Four Pairs of Interfaith Fellows: Malka + Aziza
Nancy Rosenbaum, associate producer


» download (mp3, 5:32)

We’re in the final throes of polishing up our latest production, “Curiosity Over Assumptions: Interreligiosity Meets a New Generation” (yes, we know it’s a mouthful!). Featured in this show are two activists based in Los Angeles, Malka Haya Fenyvesi and Aziza Hasan, whom Krista first encountered in 2007 at an Interfaith Youth Core conference. Together they co-direct an interfaith fellowship program in Los Angeles called NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change.

As production for this show unfolded, we were searching for how to illuminate the lived experience and impact of interfaith programs like NewGround. We wanted to know: “What do these NewGround fellows actually do? What does it look like or sound like?”

The organization didn’t have any audio recordings of their bi-monthly dialogue sessions, so we initially considered interviewing a handful of alumni. Then we discovered four pairs of fellows had actually interviewed each other through StoryCorps, a traveling oral history project. To kick things off, here’s some tape of Malka and Aziza talking about their family histories and memories, and how these legacies speak to the activist work they’re doing in LA.

Earlier this year we used StoryCorps material in another show we produced, "Alzheimer’s, Memory, and Being." This lovely audio gave the program emotional heft, and our audience noticed. As one listener wrote:

"This morning on the way to the dog park I was completely overwhelmed and moved listening to the two daughters interview their father. The interview was beautiful in its sadness and horrified me in its possible prediction of my relationship with my parents. I had to sit for a long while waiting to clear the tears before I could get out of my car.”

-Brian Coleman, Boca Raton, FL

As producers, we love getting e-mails like this because it tells us that the material we’re putting out there “sings.” Over the coming week, we’ll be featuring excerpts of some NewGround conversations on SOF Observed. Let us know what you think.

*Special thanks to StoryCorps, who recorded these stories in Los Angeles in 2009.

Comments