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Helen Prejean

49 Podcast Episodes

Latest 3 Dec 2022 | Updated Daily

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UO Today interview: Sister Helen Prejean

UO Today

Sister Helen Prejean is the founder of the Ministry Against the Death Penalty and the author of "Deadman Walking: The Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty That Sparked a National Debate." She discusses her work with death row inmates and talks about why the death penalty should be abolished. Sister Helen will speak at the UO on October 27, 2022 as a guest of the UO's Prison Education Program.


19 Oct 2022

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What Next: Sister Helen Prejean on Oklahoma's Execution Spree

Slate Conversations

Despite its fraught history of botched executions, the state of Oklahoma is preparing to begin a 29 month execution spree this week. 25 dates have been set for men with severe mental illness, personal histories of childhood abuse, inadequate legal representation, or claims of innocence. Though these inmates have been deemed "the worst of the worst," activist nun Sister Helen Prejean implores the world to look at fuller pictures of their lives, and seek out an alternative to the death penalty.Guest: Sister Helen Prejean, anti-death penalty activist and author of Dead Man Walking, The Death of Innocents, and River of Fire.If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


23 Aug 2022

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Sister Helen Prejean: The Death Penalty

Dialogue with Marcia Franklin

Marcia Franklin talks with leading death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J. about her views, as well as the success of the book and film about her life, 'Dead Man Walking.' The two also discuss the potential future of the death penalty, women in the priesthood, and her next project. Originally aired: 05/13/98


29 May 2022

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Innocence Network Annual Conference 2022: Advocating Against the Death Penalty with Sister Helen Prejean

On the Road with Legal Talk Network

To move away from the death penalty as a country, the public needs be able to see inside the process and understand its effects. Sister Helen Prejean has dedicated much of her life to ministering to those affected by the death penalty, from death row inmates to guards to families of murder victims, and has worked to help the public and the church change their thinking on this issue. Michael Semanchik talks with Sister Helen about her keynote address at the conference and the importance of sharing personal stories to unveil the injustice of capital punishment.Host Michael Semanchik is the managing attorney for the California Innocence Project.Sister Helen Prejean is known around the world for her tireless work advocating against the death penalty. She has been instrumental in sparking national dialogue on capital punishment and in shaping the Catholic Church's vigorous opposition to all executions.


13 Apr 2022

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Sister Helen Prejean On The Death Penalty, Compassion and Lifelong Learning

Just Keep Learning Podcast

Episode NotesHelen tells the story of how she first became involved in working with inmates on death row. She let’s us hear how she got to know her first few clients and how tough it was. At times Helen chokes up thinking about the things she witnessed in her career that brought her to work with many people she would get to know quite well and then have to watch them be put to death in the electric chair.Her experiences on death row lead her to a life mission of trying to abolish the death penalty. It’s the old adage that while the crimes people commit are horrendous, two wrongs don’t make a right. Furthermore, there is a deep layer of systemic racism, poverty, and mental illness that creates a socio-economic link to those who are likely to end up on death row. The fact the death penalty was such a hot topic, combined with her personal experience, Sister Helen knew it was part of her mission to write a book in order to educate the public. Dead Man Walking was not only a best selling book, but it also went on to become an academy award-winning film, and popular theater play.Helen is a great role model for creating deep, intrinsic meaning in your work. She has been working tirelessly since the 1980’s toward educating people about murder, the death penalty, and compassion. She speaks openly in the episode about her struggles while doing this line of work and shares that the most challenging hurdle was figuring out how to support victim’s families. While it has been a lifelong seesaw, with many conflicts, no one could argue that she has done absolutely incredible work to remind all of us how we should strive to live our best lives.Sister Helen is an incredible storyteller, inspirational speaker, and teacher. While we spent the majority of time discussing death row and what it takes to have compassion for someone who has committed such terrible crimes, we also touched on a number of other subjects. We talked about the importance of learning, how to help people regain their lives if they’re given a second chance after jail, and how similar we are, no matter what people see on the outside.10 Things To Keep In Mind When It Comes To CompassionWe are all 99.9% identical. This connection between people is the secret of life. It is what makes everything hum and come to life.Empathy is an appreciation for others. You can not be “in their shoes”. You haven't been through what they've been through. You can hear what they’re saying and feel with you. You can walk with them, and go through things with them.Keep your promises. Most people who require forgiveness in the first place have trouble being trustworthy. Be sure to only make promises that you can keep. Keep your work, show consistency and do not waiver as you build trust.Be unconditional in your forgiveness. The root of “forgive” is the Latin word “perdonare,” meaning “to give completely, without reservation”. There is no need to hold back. Hurtful acts and forgiveness are two separate events.Be patient in waiting for “sorry”. The forgiver chooses when they feel sorry. Everyone heals according to their own timeline. You do not choose when someone forgives you. So be prepared to wait. But you can choose to forgive others and steer toward peace immediately.Every relationship is mutual. We’re not the wonderful, generous people, forgiving the poor, weak, wounded human beings. They give us a lot too. All human exchanges provide mutual gifts in some way.Create programs, groups, classes, or partnerships that allow for people to be on a similar playing field. There is so much unlevel ground and unfair advantages in society. Given equal circumstances you would be tested in a way that would lead you to do that too. So level the playing field when you forgive and get to know someone.Rewards and punishment won’t change the root cause of behavior. We must strive to keep innocent people safe. And, we must hold people accountable. The question is “what does accountability look like?” How do we define accountability? Remember that the wrongdoing is separate from the best course of action for next steps. Everyone has a reason, but not an excuse for their behavior. Some may have a learning disability, trauma, addiction, mental illness, poverty, lack of sleep, malnutrition, or immaturity. If your brain's ability for effective judgment is impaired. It’s impaired, as simple as that.Give everyone a voice and choice. There is dignity simply in being human. Not because of any results, or circumstances. But, simply in being human we should have input into our lives and decision making.Memorable Quotes“Find work and purpose in your life and do what you love. Do what you love. Let what you love be what you do to find purpose and do what you love. Not to try to make a lot of money and all that. Do what you love.”“Over 90% of people on death row were abused as kids. I mean, that's massive. And then one day they take it out on some innocent victim.”“When people rub us the wrong way, always be asking, what am I supposed to learn? What is this life event teaching me? What can I learn from this? That's huge.”Guest BioSister Helen Prejean is known around the world for her tireless work against the death penalty. She has been instrumental in sparking national dialogue on capital punishment and in shaping vigorous opposition to stop executions and start societal compassion.In 1982, after moving into the St. Thomas Housing Project in New Orleans in order to live and work with the poor, Sister Helen became the spiritual advisor to death row inmates. After witnessing executions, she realized that this lethal ritual would remain unchallenged unless its secrecy was stripped away.She wrote a book, “Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States”. Dead Man Walking hit the shelves when national support for the death penalty was close to 90%. The book ignited a national debate on capital punishment and inspired an Academy Award-winning movie, a play, and an opera.Sister Helen continues her work, dividing her time between educating the public, campaigning against the death penalty, counseling individual death row prisoners, and working with murder victims’ family members. She also embarked on a speaking tour that continues to this day.Best Modern Mobile Recording Site: SquadcastFOLLOW Sister HelenSr Helen Prejean Site - Sr Helen Dot OrgFacebook - SisterHelenPrejeanTwitter - @HelenPrejeanInstagram - @helenprejean FOLLOW JUSTIN (JustTries)Website - JustTriesHOMEInstagram - @JustTriesYouTube - Just TriesTwitter - @JustTries_Tiktok - @justtriesPinterest - JustTriesFacebook - Just TriesCONNECT WITH JUST KEEP LEARNINGWebsite - JKLHOMEInstagram - @JustKeepLearning.CaTiktok - @justkeeplearning.caFacebook - Just Keep LearningFree Group -  JKL Goal Setting CommunityWe appreciate you being here! Be sure to leave the podcast, “Just Keep Learning” ratings and reviews because it will help people who need it be better able to find it. Also, if you want a shoutout, simply share an image of the episode, you listening, or your takeaways and share it @JustTries anywhere on social!Reach out anytime! Text your questions to JustTries at +1 (313) 710-5499

1hr 1min

28 Mar 2022

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From ‘Dead Man Walking’ to fighting to abolish the death penalty: Sister Helen Prejean’s journey

The Real News Podcast

From her world-famous book "Dead Man Walking" to a life spent educating the public about the inhumanity of the death penalty, the work of activist nun Sister Helen Prejean is known around the globe. What is less widely known is the story of how Sister Helen came to do this work and, as the description for her latest memoir "River of Fire" notes, how she evolved in her “spiritual journey from praying for God to solve the world’s problems to engaging full-tilt in working to transform societal injustices.” In this special conversation for Rattling the Bars, TRNN Executive Producer Eddie Conway speaks with Sister Helen about "River of Fire" and about the deep historical roots of the racist, colonialist violence that is embodied today in America’s prison-industrial complex.Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/from-dead-man-walking-to-fighting-to-abolish-the-death-penalty-sister-helen-prejeans-journeyPre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron GranadinoHelp us continue producing Rattling the Bars by following us and becoming a monthly sustainer: Donate: https://therealnews.com/donate-pod-rtbSign up for our newsletter: https://therealnews.com/nl-pod-rtbGet Rattling the Bars updates: https://therealnews.com/up-pod-rtbLike us on Facebook: https://facebook.com/therealnewsFollow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/therealnews


24 Mar 2022

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Sister Helen Prejean on the Christian Imperative to Abolish the Death Penalty

The Soul of the Nation with Jim Wallis

In this very special repeat episode of The Soul of the Nation, Roman Catholic sister, author, and social justice advocate, Helen Prejean speaks with Rev. Jim Wallis about the executions of federal death row inmates by the Trump administration. Sister Prejean shares how she became one of the pioneering leaders in the movement to abolish the death penalty. She tells her 30-year journey and how she keeps faith and hope after witnessing countless death penalty executions."The hope is in the people," Sister Prejean says. "I have to say, getting out of that execution chamber that night in the dark I remember thinking very clearly, the American people are good people. They're buying into this only because they don't know what's going on."See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


26 Jan 2022

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Becoming woke changed Sr. Helen Prejean's life

The Gloria Purvis Podcast

A young Sr. Helen Prejean loved retreats and pious devotions. Her life was all about praying and being kind. Then she woke up. "I had everything to learn" she says.Gloria speaks with Sr. Helen–a world renowned anti-death penalty activist–about her experience growing up in the south as a white Catholic. Sr. Helen describes how she woke up to systemic racism and explains its impact on the criminal justice system, including the decision of prosecutors to seek the death penalty. The problem, according to Sr. Helen, is that the individuals with the power to make life and death decisions often don't know personally the suffering of the poor and the marginalized, including guilty men and women. Being steeped in the suffering of others, she says, is the key to waking up.Support the podcast and access America's content with a digital subscription!Links:Sr. Helen Prejean's spiritual autobiography, "River of Fire"Pope Francis revises Catechism, teaches that death penalty is ‘inadmissible’ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

1hr 4mins

7 Sep 2021

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Sister Helen Prejean is a leading advocate for the abolition of the death penalty, she sits down with Craig Syracusa on Walk in Faith

Walk In Faith

On this episode of Walk in Faith, Craig Syracusa interviews Sister Helen Prejean. Sister Helen is a leading advocate for abolition of the death penalty and for elimination of social and economic unfairness in the criminal-justice system. She is also the author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States and The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions.To advance her work, she asked RENEW International to create a small-group resource that explores Catholic teaching on the death penalty. Created in partnership with the Catholic Mobilizing Network, Dignity and the Death Penalty helps participants reflect on the fairness of the criminal justice system, arguments for and against capital punishment, and alternatives to the death sentence.Production of videos associated with this resource were funded in part by the Catholic Communication Campaign of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


3 Aug 2021

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S2:EP19 - Justice & Loving The "Other" with Sister Helen Prejean

The Faith Chair

In this episode, The Faith Chair duo is excited and honored to share a conversation with Sister Helen Prejean, author of the book that inspired the movie "Dead Man Walking." The conversation ranges from justice and the death penalty to systemic racism and how we can fulfill God's mission for us to love the "other," those who are not like us, both neighbor and enemy. Join us for this incredible discussion as we cap Season 2!--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thefaithchair/message

1hr 17mins

7 Jun 2021