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🕊Peacebuilding & Democracy 🗳
Sounds Like Impact: A newsletter for audio and action - Vol. 29
Welcome to Sounds Like Impact!
👋🏾 I am very excited to welcome over 40 new readers since the last edition. I would love for you to introduce yourself in the comments. Please share what social issues you are interested in when you do :-)
This week we have a guest curation from Jamil Simon of Making Peace Visible and an interview with Jenna Spinelle from When the People Decide.
Content warning: This curation, while focused on peacebuilding, does discuss the trauma of war. Also please note that this curation was submitted in September, so will not touch on recent events.
ICYMI: Last week I curated about mental health. How is yours lately? Personally 🎢
🙏 Thank you Carmen D. for the birthday donation the other week! Did you know that you don’t have to become a paid subscriber to help out this newsletter? You can donate through Buy Me A Coffee! All the money received for this newsletter goes into keeping it running and any extra will be put toward content development, such as for the climate reparations series I am fundraising for.
❗️Still taking pitches for upcoming curations on 11/15 and 11/29!
💼 Podglomerate —a company that helps produce, distribute and monetize some of your favorite social impact shows—is hiring a Partner Manager (Remote, $65-70k)
🎧 #AudioForAction Guest Curation: Jamil Simon
Peacebuilding in Practice
From heads of state to next-door neighbors, building peace requires moving past “good guy vs. bad guy” narratives, and an openness to understanding the motivations of your adversary. Often, there’s acknowledgment on both sides that having working relationships is more important than “winning” – whether it’s winning an argument or a military victory. In a world where violence is on the rise, we at Making Peace Visible believe that even microcosmic successes are worth amplifying, and make a real difference in people’s lives. Here are four episodes we love that tell stories of peacebuilding work in four very different countries and situations.
P.S. Jamil was previously featured on our community corner, so learn more about him!
Reminder: To guest curate, be interviewed, advertise and more, click here.
Making Peace Visible, Spotlight Colombia: Moving forward with wounds still fresh
Crisis Group analyst Elizabeth Dickinson says Colombians are healing the wounds of a civil war with the FARC, even while “total peace” is a long way off.
Us & Them, Please Pass the Politics
Host Trey Kay gathers a group of West Virginians with deeply opposing political views around a dinner table with the express purpose of discussing contentious issues like abortion and “The Big Lie” – with respect, active listening, and humor.
Rough Translation, Hotel Corona
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in Israel, a group of patients from all walks of life quarantined together in a Jerusalem hotel makes for a fascinating social experiment …while the world watches on Instagram.
P.S. from Ayo - Rough Translation is on Substack asas it seeks to find a new home post-NPR. Follow their journey and look-backs!
Zuhra Bahman, country director for the peacebuilding NGO Search for Common Ground in Afghanistan, says the most effective way to support women and marginalized communities is regular engagement with the de-facto authorities – the Taliban.
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🚨 Calls to Action
Reflect: One of our podcast guests, social psychologist Peter Coleman, started something he called the Starts With Us challenge. Based on his research at Columbia University, the project is a once-a-day challenge for people to practice a bit of self-reflection when it comes to how they might be contributing to toxic polarization, especially in the United States. But I think a lot of the practices and insights he provides can also be applied to a broader commitment to media literacy for ourselves, especially when it comes to listening to news we may not agree with but can nonetheless still respect.
Engage: It also never hurts to write to your favorite media outlets and ask them to focus more on stories about reconciling differences, that promote dialogue among disparate groups, and that help people focus on our commonalities.
CTAs from Ayo
In the latest issue of Hot Pod—a podcast industry newsletter from The Verge—writer Ariel Shapiro asks readers to submit any recommendations of shows you’ve turned to in the past month to understand what is happening in Israel and Palestine. One show she mentioned, Plain English with Derek Thompson, is one I’ve listened to in addition to The Assignment with Audie Cornish. You can email her your recs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A final call-to-action I will add is to ask your government to help aid in a #ceasefire, and to ask as many times as you can. I know there is a lot of emotion tied up in this, but most of us are spectators. Many of us have never known war to be at our doorstep. That is a privilege. I am not going to say that I’m shocked by the number of people calling for the continuation of violent conflict in a place they are not. But I do know that there are people thinking deeply about what side of history they will be on. And I don’t mean “side” as in who, I mean side as in whether they advocated for human rights, or not.
People are dying. People are enduring harm. People are separated from family. People are dead.
So my ask to you–a person I know cares about the world and what happens to all people in it–is advocate for what many within Israel and Palestine, and many in the international human rights community are calling for: a ceasefire. Most of our governments are part of the United Nations, so our tax dollars are involved…lest anyone think this does not concern us.
Jenna Spinelle is a writer and podcaster who tells stories that inspire hope and change in trying times. She hosts and produces the Democracy Works podcast and the narrative series When the People Decide, both productions of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State. She teaches courses on news writing, podcasting, and the creator economy at Penn State’s Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. Her writing has appeared in outlets including Time Magazine, Inside Higher Ed and Current, a trade publication covering public media.
I’m an optimist by nature and hearing stories of people who are making political change happen has made my faith in our democracy and the people who live in it even stronger.
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