Unpacking: Spiritual trauma & weight stigma
Sounds Like Impact: A newsletter for audio and action - Vol. 22
Welcome to Sounds Like Impact!
Today we have a guest curation from Simon Kent Fung, creator of the Dear Alana podcast. We also have an interview with Ronald Young Jr. of Weight For It podcast.
Content warning: The themes addressed in the guest curation are heavy, and include conversations related to self-harm and trauma. Please take care should you choose to listen, and there are resources provided.
Sounds Like Impact is accepting pitches by 10/1 for a LGBT History theme.
Speaking of making your voice heard, public voting for the Signal Awards is now open until October 5th. Here’s an opportunity to let nominated podcasters know you support their work, and discover some new shows too!
If you are part of the #SoundsLikeImpact community and are nominated, please leave a comment with a link to your vote page / categories so we can support you! And congrats!
Some creators I’ve interviewed, featured or that have guest curated, have been nominated! Shoutout to The Catch, Sandcastles, Free From Desire, Discarded, You Didn’t See Nothin’, Unreformed, Dear Alana (this issue!) and Beyond 6 Seconds.
💼 TransLash Media is hiring* for two roles! I appreciate the work that journalist Imara Jones does, so I wanted to share these great opportunities (Executive Operations Coordinator - NYC and Director of Finance - Remote).
Also Harvard Business School is hiring a Senior Researcher for their Climate Rising Podcast (Hybrid-Boston).
*If none of these jobs are a fit and you are looking, check out the Sounds Like Impact Career Resources page.
🙏 Jamil Simon of The War Stories Peace Stories podcast is our newest paid subscriber; thank you! Also thanks to Deontay M for the donation! Your support has helped me cover a month of Descript and Zoom!
If anyone else is interested in donating, you can do so here. 😀
🎧 #AudioForAction | Guest Curation by Simon Kent Fung
In making the documentary-memoir Dear Alana, I’ve been revisiting my own experiences of spiritual trauma. These podcasts helped me better understand the ways in which religion can both harm and heal.
Reminder: To guest curate, be interviewed, advertise and more, click here.
Dear Alana, Mom
I created Dear Alana after learning about the death of 24-year old Alana Chen in Boulder, Colorado. Her story eerily mirrored mine: she secretly pursued conversion therapy in her attempt to become a nun (as I had in my quest to become a priest). I had to get to the bottom of what happened to her, and finally face what happened to me.
The Turning: The Sisters Who Left, No Turning Back
The first-hand accounts of nuns who left Mother Teresa’s community were both poignant and really challenging for me. I saw how complicated our relationship to our heroes can become the closer we get to them, and recognized the ways in which the pursuit of an ideal can excuse unintended harm.
Holy/Hurt, The House is Haunted Is spiritual trauma real? And if so, what is it?
Dr. Hillary McBride introduces the definitions of trauma in a more general sense, and spiritual trauma more specifically.
Trust Me: Cults, Extreme Belief, and Manipulation, Simon Kent Fung - Dear Alana & Conversion Therapy
Hosts Lola & Meagan are experts at peeling back the layers behind cults & extreme belief. They engaged me in a frank conversation about faith and the very extreme ways we can seek belonging.
Queerology: A Podcast on Belief and Being, Julien Baker is Uncertain
Julien’s eloquent and humble approach to spirituality was a balm to me in the swirl of grief that followed my reckoning with my past. Her embrace of the limits of certainty offered me a path forward.
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🚨 Calls to Action
Seek: Seek support from those who’ve been through similar experiences. The Reclamation Collective partners with trauma-informed clinicians, community leaders, and activists to provide resources, support groups, and workshops on the subject of spiritual trauma and recovery.
Share: Share stories like Dear Alana, to help bring awareness and empathy to sensitive subjects such as spiritual abuse and moral injury.
Support: Give to the Alana Faith Chen Foundation — a mental health nonprofit created in Alana’s name.
If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988.
Ronald Young Jr. (he/him) is a critically acclaimed audio producer, host, and storyteller, based in Alexandria, VA. He is an avid pop-culture enthusiast and the host of the television and film review podcast Leaving the Theater. He is also a regular contributor to NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour as a guest panelist. He has hosted shows such as Pushkin’s Solvable and HBO Docs Club, from Pineapple Street Studios. Selected as Vulture Magazine podcaster to watch, 2023 Ronald is currently developing new series’ both scripted and narrative that seek to unpack the human experience. His newest show Weight For It, tells the vulnerable stories of fat folks and folks everywhere who think about their weight constantly.
I think what hurts us sometimes is not telling the stories in which we weren't at our best. Those stories can help someone who might be actively at their worst. They might hear that and be like, am I doing that right now? And maybe they'll get to a place of enlightenment sooner than others.
Learn about a time when Ronald wasn’t at his best, but tried to make it right, here.
Nothing to promote but still want to support? You can donate here.