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Sounds Like Impact: A newsletter for audio and action - Vol. 2
Welcome to Volume 2 of Sounds Like Impact!
It’s Earth Week 🌱! This edition’s curation will focus on environmental justice and labor and will include an interview with Ruxandra Guidi, host of The Catch podcast.
As an alum of the podcast How to Save a Planet, with an undergrad in interdisciplinary environmental studies and a few internships at environmental organizations such as WE ACT for Environmental Justice, it feels fitting to have launched this newsletter during Earth month and to share environmental reporting I admire. But first…
We have so many new folks that have joined since the first volume; thank you! Please fill out this short Tell Me About Yourself survey so that I can understand what brings you here and what you would like to learn.
And if you wouldn’t mind, please let me know what you think about last week’s edition, such as what you listened to (or didn’t) and what actions you took (or didn’t). As this newsletter continues I want to make sure I am curating relevant content, and your feedback helps me do that.
🙌 Keeping the faith: Ponova, an oil derived from the Pongamia tree, could be a climate-friendly alternative to palm oil—a big driver of deforestation.
Read more from Fast Company.
🎧 #AudioForAction Theme of the Week:
Form an intersectional perspective on environmental issues
In the introduction to the newsletter I mentioned my undergraduate education in environmental studies—more specifically human ecology and international environmental public health. And that prior I had wanted to study journalism and report on environmental issues. I ultimately created interdisciplinary majors because I had become aware that it was impossible to separate environmental issues from public health, from education, from economic development…from anything really.
Today, activists such as Leah Thomas rightly talk about Intersectional Environmentalism—a phrase that borrows from Kimberlé Crenshaw’s development of intersectional theory as it related to anti-discrimination law.
Environmental justice and intersectional frameworks are critical for us to understand in order to mitigate and prevent harm from passing to certain communities as we address the climate crisis.
This curation, which really could have included so much more, is limited in scope to the United States. I’ll have a more global perspective in a couple of weeks when I curate an environmental true crime-esque podcast list.
The Gray Area with Sean Illing, The father of environmental justice
And all of that sprang from Houston, from that one case and that one study spring-boarding in my case 18 books that connect the dots with transportation, or whether it’s disaster response, or whether it’s issues around energy security, food and water security, issues around health…housing. These things connect in a way that we can really see it today, but 40 years ago, or 42 years ago, people would laugh at you and say well there is no such thing as environmental racism or there’s no thing as environmental injustice.
A Matter of Degrees, The Journey of Justice40
I think that as a nation we don't often hear of the good news and the good work that's happening because there's so much distraction and so much noise. But I can tell you that this fight that happened in New York State took decades. That this fight that happened at the federal level took decades, and these wins are tremendous.
The Joy Report, Labor Organizing + How It Intersects with Environmental Justice
Our society’s desire for instant gratification and cheap consumption has fueled companies in creating unhealthy work environments for those tasked with fulfilling consumers wants and needs.
LatinoUSA, Ever Since the Oil: Part One
The oil and gas industry has generated economic opportunity and hope for a more secure future for some, but oftentimes at the expense of others who were here before and the environment.
Every community, every community has the right to a clean environment. And you do not need to be an environmental champion or a climate justice leader to embrace that value.
*Bonus: It’s a short talk, so check out this Degrees: Real talk about planet- saving careers interview to learn more about Peggy.
Get the podcast playlist on Spotify or Podchaser for wherever you may listen.
Podchaser has all playlist records; the Spotify playlist refreshes Wednesdays.
🚨 Calls to Action
Watch: Learn more about about a ‘Just Energy Transition’
Browse: Lemonada Media partnered with Only One, an ocean conservation platform, to further educate us about plastic pollution and ways to take action. Check out the site and listen to their excellently podcast about “Cancer Alley.”
Read: All We Can Save, an inspiring anthology that is intersectional and solutions-oriented.
(Grant): NDN Collective has launched applications for Community Action Fund (CAF) grants of $15,000 - 30,000, which will support efforts that include community organizing, amplification of community voices, and a wide variety of tactics imperative to shifting the political and financial systems that are impacting Indigenous communities, April 17 - October 31st 5:00p.m. CST.
(Jobs): Want to transition to a “Green Job”? Look at these job boards. Some examples of gigs I saw below:
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Ruxandra Guidi is a co-founder of Fonografia Collective and a member of Homelands Productions. She has been telling stories for more than two decades. Her reporting for public radio, podcasts, magazines, and various multimedia outlets has taken her throughout the United States, the Caribbean, South and Central America, as well as Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico border region. Her work has appeared in publications such as BBC World Service, NPR, Guernica Magazine, The New York Times and The Atlantic, among others. She’s a native of Caracas, Venezuela and is currently based in Tucson, Arizona.
Below is an excerpt from the interview I did with Ruxandra, both available in text and audio. Learn more about her career, views on journalism, advice for podcasters and hopes for those who listen to The Catch.
One of the things I love about your podcast is that you talk about people working on solutions to unsustainable fishing practices. Sometimes we hear narrative podcasts functioning much like mainstream news in that they just talk about the problems. Why was it just as important to talk about people actually tackling the problem?
Because I think that's a fair more accurate representation of the world, that there are more people invested in making things work. That's one of my other critiques of the mainstream media, and this is around the world; this isn't just in the U.S. But the headlines that sell traditional news are built on reporting what's wrong and what's broken, and I think that's really shifted our perspective about the world and about each other.
And I think most people are out there, wanting to collaborate, wanting to do right by others, wanting to take personal responsibility or wanting to do, let's say, wanting to do right by their own neighborhood, by their own kids. I have to believe as a journalist and as a human, that most of us are invested in those solutions and I wanted to portray that in the reporting.
If you are willing to look, if you're willing to recast your view of the world and of journalism, I think you end up finding a lot more people who are working together for solutions. So in the case of fisheries, like I said earlier, I was honestly surprised to meet so many fishers since I started this project, who are part of sustainability initiatives, who are willing and interested in doing alternative fishing methods, who are trying to pressure the government to do right by them.
In Peru, it was really interesting to see how fishers were organizing to try to like come up with better pay to do right. And they were pressuring the government to get it together so they can work with the proper documentation. So I think most people, especially when it comes to environmental issues, do care. They don't know how, and they feel overwhelmed. And I'm particularly invested in seeing sustainability or just like awareness about climate in the environment go to the forefront.
You know, I want people to care. I want people to know that there's few things they can do. Maybe it's as simple as knowing where you buy your food or talking to others about it or sharing a piece of content that has enlightened you or, knowing who to boy boycott. I think we have a lot more power as consumers and as readers and as like, you know, neighbors that we believe, and so you can call it solutions journalism. I don't really like that term, but I think simply willing to stray from this, tendency to look at current events from a negative lens, from the perspective of what's wrong and what's broken, can really help. And it gives people agency, right? Like not everyone is, willing to be a victim of a broken system.
I believe most of us wouldn't like that characterization. Most of us would wanna be seen as the ones that are fighting to do things better. And I think that cuts across all lines, you know? Class, gender, race, ethnicity. I think most of us would resent that kind of characterization. So I take that seriously in my work.
Follow and listen to The Catch in Spanish and English wherever you get your podcasts.
⏭ Coming Up
Next week we will have an interview with Rekha Murthy, a podcast strategist and editor, who has also submitted the first guest curation 👀. You won’t want to miss it!
🤗 An act of joy: Trying a new restaurant! Okay, new to me. I was recently in San Francisco and had a great dinner with a friend at Foreign Cinema, a restaurant that actually has been around since 1999! With each meal they play a film. Unfortunately, we ate a little too early to enjoy the post-sunset festivity, but it’s definitely a cool place to check out if you are ever in town or live in the Bay Area.
To learn how to submit your own act of joy to be featured, please read this post.
Take care of yourselves! And if you listen or take any actions, be sure to let me know in the comments or via email soundslikeimpact [at] unofficialsocialchair [dot] com.