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Doin' The Work: Frontline Stories of Social Change

Podcast highlighting people working for social change.

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Felony Reentry, Employment, Recovery - Margo Walsh

Episode 19 Guest: Margo Walsh Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW www.dointhework.com Listen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook Join the mailing list Support the podcastDownload transcript In this episode, I talk with Margo Walsh, who is the Founder and CEO of MaineWorks and the Chair and Co-Founder of the Maine Recovery Fund, both in Portland, Maine. We discuss how MaineWorks was created to provide jobs to convicted felons transitioning back to society from jail or prison due to the barriers they face finding employment. Margo discusses how Maine has been hit hard by drug addiction, particularly opioids, and how many of her employees have significant barriers to successful reentry to society beyond simply having a job. Margo explains the problems with the term ex-felon and how a felony conviction negatively impacts the person for life. We talk about mental health and recovery, and Margo shares her story of how she got into this work. I open up about a friend of mine who was a felon and died by suicide. I hope you enjoy the conversation. Margo’s email: margo@maineworks.us https://www.maineworks.us/ https://www.mainerecoveryfund.org/

30mins

1 Jul 2019

Rank #1

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School Social Work, Immigration, Racism as Trauma - Katherine Ambía, LMSW

Episode 11 Guest: Katherine Ambía, LMSW Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSWwww.dointhework.comListen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook Join the mailing listSupport the podcastDownload transcriptIn this episode, I talk with Katherine Ambía, who is the clinical site coordinator at a school-based mental health clinic in Queens, New York. We discuss Katherine’s work with high school students who are experiencing a range of issues impacting their lives. We talk about racism, historical trauma, colonialism, immigration, coping skills, and how Katherine approaches these topics with students by creating a safe space where they feel like they can talk with her about anything. We discuss the Trump administration’s family separation policy, ICE, deportation, and the impact on students and families, and also the impact on professionals, particularly those who are members of groups being targeted. Katherine shares about self-care, balancing work and activism, her family’s experience with immigration, parenthood, and finding hope in the youth activism of today. We also talk about self-disclosure. I hope you enjoy the conversation.Katherine’s email: katherine.ambia@gmail.com

29mins

5 Nov 2018

Rank #2

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Youth Organizing, Restorative Justice, Youth of Color, Community Organizing - Keno Walker

Episode 9 Guest: Keno Walker Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSWwww.dointhework.comListen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook Join the mailing listSupport the podcastDownload transcriptIn this episode, I talk with Keno Walker who is a youth organizer at Power U Center for Social Change in Miami, Florida. Keno is from Liberty City and has been involved with Power U since he was thirteen – he’s now twenty-three. We discuss Keno’s work to organize Black and Brown youth around issues impacting their community, such as the school-to-prison pipeline. Keno gives a first-hand account of the crushing impact of racism and poverty on marginalized communities. He shares his story of how he got involved with Power U and his evolution in becoming an organizer. I hope you enjoy the conversation. Power U: https://poweru.org/ Keno: keno@poweru.org

30mins

3 Sep 2018

Rank #3

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Youth Research Their Community - Leili Lyman

Episode 17 Guest: Leili Lyman Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSWwww.dointhework.comListen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook Join the mailing listSupport the podcastDownload transcriptIn this episode, I talk with Leili Lyman from Richmond, California. Leili explains how she learned how to conduct Youth Participatory Action Research at the RYSE Youth Center while she was in high school, and that her research explored why marijuana was the primary coping strategy for youth in her community. We discuss what led youth to state that they did not feel safe talking to adults and that marijuana was a safer option. Leili talks about issues that are common for youth growing up in Richmond, such as experiencing trauma, a lack of resources, and stigma and other barriers towards counseling. Leili also shares about her current studies and research at UC Berkley as well as being a first-generation college student. I hope you enjoy the conversation. Leili’s email: leililyman0705@berkeley.edu Article in Chronicle of Social Change: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/child-trauma-2/why-do-so-many-youth-use-marijuana-as-a-coping-tool-heres-what-youth-had-to-say RYSE Center: https://rysecenter.org

25mins

6 May 2019

Rank #4

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Mental Health, Community Violence, Culturally Effective Practice - Myriam Bernardo, MSW, RCSWI

Episode 10 Guest: Myriam Bernardo, MSW, RCSWI Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSWwww.dointhework.comListen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook Join the mailing listSupport the podcastDownload transcriptIn this episode, I talk with Myriam Bernardo, who is a therapist at Community Connections for Life in Miami, Florida. We discuss Myriam’s community-based clinical work with a diverse population of clients who experience a range of mental health issues, as well as community violence. Myriam shares her approach of learning from her clients as well as evidence-based interventions. She talks about why she loves social work and provides a refreshing perspective. I hope you enjoy the conversation.Myriam’s email: myriam.ccfl@outlook.com

31mins

1 Oct 2018

Rank #5

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Social Workers in Political Office - Daniella Levine Cava, MSW, JD

Episode 15 Guest: Daniella Levine Cava, MSW, JD Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSWwww.dointhework.comListen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook Join the mailing listSupport the podcastDownload transcriptIn this episode, I talk with Daniella Levine Cava, who is a Miami-Dade County Commissioner, serving District 8 in Miami, Florida. We discuss Daniella’s current work as a County Commissioner, her social work background, including the creation of the Human Services Coalition, now Catalyst Miami, and her transition to political office. Daniella shares how her social work background helped her campaign and how she implements social work values and principles in her political work. She encourages people – especially social workers – to “grow their civic muscle” on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. I hope you enjoy the conversation.https://twitter.com/DLCAVA http://www8.miamidade.gov/global/government/commission/district08/home.page

28mins

4 Mar 2019

Rank #6

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Empowering Women, Policy Advocacy, Graceful Revolution, Coaching - Melissa Bird, PhD, MSW

Episode 6Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSWGuest: Melissa (Missy) Bird, PhD, MSWwww.dointhework.comListen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook Join the mailing listSupport the podcastDownload transcriptIn this episode, I talk with Dr. Melissa Bird – “Missy” – of Bird Girl Industries, where Missy empowers women to engage in advocacy. We talk about challenging injustice and how people’s fear of “doing it perfectly” holds them back. Missy shares a story of using advocacy to empower a client, explains the “Graceful Revolution,” and tells the story of when she wrote a bill to emancipate homeless youth, organized a coalition, and lobbied to get the bill passed – which it did! – when she was a graduate student. Missy encourages everyone to “find their jam” and get involved. I hope you enjoy the conversation.Missy’s blog www.birdgirlindustries.comTwitter https://twitter.com/birdgirl1001Facebook https://www.facebook.com/birdgirl1001/Instagram https://www.instagram.com/birdgirl1001/Patreon https://www.patreon.com/birdgirl1001

33mins

4 Jun 2018

Rank #7

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Public Library Social Work - Elissa Hardy, LCSW

Episode 16 Guest: Elissa Hardy, LCSW Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW www.dointhework.comListen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook Join the mailing listSupport the podcastDownload transcriptIn this episode, I talk with Elissa Hardy, who is the Community Resource Manager at the Denver Public Library in Denver, Colorado. Elissa details the evolution of library social work and how social workers and peer navigators work with librarians to serve diverse populations across twenty-six total locations. We discuss the work Elissa and her team carry out providing social work services to library customers experiencing a range of issues such as homelessness, immigration and refugee status, gentrification, access to benefits, mental health, reentry from incarceration, and much more. Elissa explains how her team has been able to intervene with people struggling with addiction, specifically opioid use, and how they have stopped over 23 overdoses. She also shares her story of how she got into this work. I hope you enjoy the conversation. Elissa’s email: ehardy@denverlibrary.org Denver Public Library website: http://denverlibrary.org

32mins

1 Apr 2019

Rank #8

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Mindfulness Meditation, Incarceration, Substance Abuse - John Paulson, LCSW, LCAC

Episode 12 Guest: John Paulson, ACSW, LCSW, MAC, LCAC, CCS, HS-BCP Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSWwww.dointhework.comListen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook Join the mailing listSupport the podcastDownload transcriptIn this episode, I talk with John Paulson, who is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, Indiana. We discuss John’s volunteer work where over the last two years, he’s been teaching weekly mindfulness meditation to inmates in the substance abuse program at the Hopkins County Jail in Madisonville, Kentucky. John actually drives over an hour each way to volunteer at the jail and I think you can really tell from the interview how dedicated he is about helping people through mindfulness-based practices. We talk about some of the challenges around developing a regular mindfulness-based practice in jail. John shares how he got into mindfulness-based practices and the integration between his personal mindfulness practice and the growing body of evidence-based research on the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation as an intervention. I hope you enjoy the conversation.John’s email: ajpaulson@usi.edu

32mins

3 Dec 2018

Rank #9

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Youth Leadership, Mental Health, School Shootings, Adult Allies - Martin Rafferty

Episode 7 Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW Guest: Martin Rafferty www.dointhework.comListen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook Join the mailing listSupport the podcastDownload transcriptTranscription services provided by FIU's Disability Resource CenterIn this episode, I talk with Martin Rafferty, CEO of Youth ERA, a national organization that empowers youth to achieve their greatest potential. We discuss Youth ERA’s unique approach to youth leadership, drop-in centers, and training for adults who want to support youth voice. Martin explains how Youth ERA responds to school shootings as well as the stigma surrounding mental health. He also shares his powerful journey of how he got into this work. I hope you enjoy the conversation.Youth ERA: https://www.youthera.org/Resources for Adult Allies: https://www.youthempowerment.com/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheYouthERA/

32mins

2 Jul 2018

Rank #10

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Documentary Filmmaking, Policy Advocacy - Jordan Thierry

Episode 23 Guest: Jordan Thierry Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW www.dointhework.com Listen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook Join the mailing list Support the podcast Download transcript Transcription services provided by FIU's Disability Resource Center In this episode, I talk with Jordan Thierry, owner and creative director at Dream Chase Media, and policy consultant. We talk about Jordan’s work on the frontlines of storytelling and his films, including The Black Fatherhood Project, which provides a historical and present day context to the structural forces impacting Black families, and his new project Grandma’s Roses, which will be a series on YouTube focusing on the stories of grandmothers of color that was inspired as a tribute to his grandmother after she passed. Jordan discusses details of the stories these grandmothers shared with him about their lives and what this process was like for him. He talks about his goal of educating people and inspiring them to action. He also explains his policy work with The Alliance for Boys and Men of Color. Jordan shares how he got into grassroots storytelling and social justice organizing. I hope you enjoy the conversation. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DreamChaseLife/ IG: @DreamChaseLife Jordan@Dreamchasemedia.com YouTube: www.dreamchase.life

31mins

4 Nov 2019

Rank #11

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Research, Rural Social Work, Dementia, Policy Advocacy - Nicole Ruggiano, PhD, MSW

Episode 3 Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW Guest: Nicole Ruggiano, PhD, MSW www.dointhework.comListen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook Join the mailing listSupport the podcastDownload transcript In this episode, I talk with Dr. Nicole Ruggiano, who is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Alabama. We talk about Nicole’s research on dementia and how it led to working with the community of Tuskegee, where there is a history of unethical and racist practices by researchers. Nicole shares about the challenges facing rural communities and the importance of researchers, academics, and practitioners in supporting self-determination among individuals, families, and communities. Nicole urges listeners to get involved with policy advocacy and provides examples of how to do so. I hope you enjoy the conversation.  Nicole’s email: nruggiano@ua.edu

30mins

2 Apr 2018

Rank #12

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LGBTQ+ Latinx - Christopher Cuevas

Episode 18 Guest: Christopher Cuevas Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW www.dointhework.com Listen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook Join the mailing list Support the podcastDownload transcript In this episode, I talk with Christopher Cuevas, who is the Executive Director of QLatinx in Orlando, Florida. They talk about how QLatinx was created in the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016. Chris shares about the intense pain and healing that took place, and discusses the longstanding systemic oppression faced by the LGBTQ+ Latinx community – the barriers to access culturally competent mental health services; marginalization from the white, middle-class LGBTQ community; and lack of protection under federal and state law. This is a powerful story of how LGBTQ+ folks of color came together to create a powerful grassroots racial, social, and gender justice organization dedicated to the advancement and empowerment of Central Florida's LGBTQ+ Latinx community and the continued work they are doing. I hope you enjoy the conversation. QLatinX Website & Social Media Links https://www.qlatinx.org/http://www.facebook.com/qlatinx http://www.instagram.com/qlatinxhttp://www.twitter.com/qlatinx Christopher’s Email & Social Media Links christopher@qlatinx.orghttp://www.facebook.com/chrisjaycuevas http://www.twitter.com/chrisjaycuevashttp://www.instagram.com/chrisjaycuevas

28mins

3 Jun 2019

Rank #13

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Health Education, Peer-to-Peer, High School Students - Valerie Berrin

Episode 13 Guest: Valerie Berrin Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSWwww.dointhework.comListen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook Join the mailing listSupport the podcastDownload transcriptIn this episode, I talk with Valerie Berrin, who along with her sister Risa Berrin, is the Co-Founder and Director of Operations for Health Information Project, Inc. – known as HIP – a Miami, Florida based organization delivering a peer-to-peer model of health education in high schools. We discuss the importance and effectiveness of HIP’s model and how they were able to partner with the public school district as well as independent private schools to have HIP in 58 high schools in Miami-Dade County, serving 34,000 ninth graders during this school year alone. Valerie shares how she and her sister created HIP out of a mix of their own personal and professional experiences. I hope you enjoy the conversation.https://behip.org/ http://www.twitter.com/hiphealthy http://www.instagram.com/hiphealthy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U990hPJrWdE

31mins

7 Jan 2019

Rank #14

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Black Disability, Disabled Women of Color, Empowerment, Advocacy - Vilissa Thompson, LMSW

Episode 8 Guest: Vilissa Thompson, LMSW Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSWwww.dointhework.comListen/Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify Follow on Twitter & Instagram, Like on Facebook Join the mailing listSupport the podcastDownload transcriptIn this episode, I talk with Vilissa Thompson, founder and leader of Ramp Your Voice!, a self-advocacy and empowerment movement for people with disabilities. We discuss Vilissa’s work to educate social workers, educators, and medical professionals about being helpful, rather than harmful, to disabled people, especially disabled women of color. Vilissa explains how the intersection of racism and ableism negatively impact this population and she shares steps that people can take to educate themselves to be allies and advocates for change. She also shares about creating the hashtag #DisabilityTooWhite and the Black Disabled Woman Syllabus. I hope you enjoy the conversation.Ramp Your Voice!: http://rampyourvoice.com/ Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/RampYourVoice

33mins

6 Aug 2018

Rank #15