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Collective Power Podcast

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Welcome to Collective Power: we are out to transform trauma system-wide by presenting a mirror of the system to itself. Each week, we focus on one system. Each show, we hear from a person who has an experience of one aspect of that system. On the last show each month, we bring folks back together to look at the big picture and what is possible for our city, our country and our world. From these conversations, repeated patterns at different levels across society: the key to societal transformation.


United States


Welcome to Collective Power: we are out to transform trauma system-wide by presenting a mirror of the system to itself. Each week, we focus on one system. Each show, we hear from a person who has an experience of one aspect of that system. On the last show each month, we bring folks back together to look at the big picture and what is possible for our city, our country and our world. From these conversations, repeated patterns at different levels across society: the key to societal transformation.








Trailblazer Series: Making your truth your life with Sharon Hurley Hall

In this episode, we zoom in on the journey of a trailblazing leader and her passage from being a corporate writer to full-time antiracism professional. We explore how a personal calling can shift from side-kick to a way of being that doesn't allow us to walk any other way in the world. As for the antiracism conversation, we touch upon self-care, global whiteness, and lexicon--and most importantly where the field is going. Our guest, Sharon Hurley Hall is an anti-racism activist, writer, and...


Love and Fear Series: Power is Neutral with Organizer Pastor Daniel Hughes

In this episode, we look at the Church's participation in white supremacy as the complete opposite of Jesus' tradition as a community organizer, himself. We look into religious concepts such as mercy and grace as they inform our personal, relational, and social way of organizing our society. Two GenXers in conversation about relationships, connections, and healing for the generation of latchkey kids who didn't feel tended to. "A lot of churches have resources, but they don't have the hearts...


Love and Fear Series: Racial Justice Organizing beyond Fear with Robin Wright-Pierce

In this episode, we talk about our bodies play a crucial role in requiring us to shift from unsustainable social justice organizing from fear, anxiety, hyper-vigilance, and chaos to organizing from the more sustainable care, trust, love, and even joy. We also talk about the how organizational dynamics such as perceived leadership, funding, and results strengthen fear, too. Our guest invites us to "build our capacity to enter into new relationship with white supremacy, patriarchy, and...


Educational Excellence despite the system with Dr. Ishmail Conway and Dr. Rodney Hopson

In this episode, we look at examples of educational excellence throughout African American history in the face of tremendous challenges. Two deeply committed educators challenge us to think about the educational system more broadly given the many ways we learn. They offer examples of questioning language and reconnecting to self, community, and land bring forth healing. Our guest, Ishmail Conway Ph.D., is a “public intellectual” and “catalyst.” Dr. Conway is a third-generation educator,...


Love and fear series: What we fear most is ourselves with amy j howton, Ph.D.

In this episode, we review ways in which fear can be not a stop sign, but an invitation into deeper practice. We need others to be the mirror with us, and liberation is in community and in relationship , so as we build a deeper relationship with each other, through fear, we discover that the system is not separate from us, but we uphold it with our culture. As we transform, the System will, too. This happens both in relationship and in our personal work. Our guest, invites us to show up more...


The Power of Intention with Yvonne DeVastey

In this episode, we navigate the importance of intention as the fuel that mobilizes life. We look into how intention helps direct the flow of life and face the unknown, but also how we must release control for it to show its full power. We also discuss some current events such as war that tend to disempower--and reveal how we can indeed stand in our own power no matter what is happening in the rest of the world. Our guest, Yvonne DeVastey, is a Reiki Master teacher with a wealth of...


Data Geek Series: Family Preservation Works! the Child Welfare System with Richard Wexler

In this episode, we look at data on racial bias in the child welfare system, and on the case for family preservation against the current family policing system and its biases, since COVID-19. We also talk about data collected in NYC, on how COVID-19 activated local networks and how the child welfare system can be changed to suit the data we know. Our guest, Richard Wexler, is Executive Director of NCCPR. His interest in child welfare grew out of 19 years of work as a reporter for...


Data Geek Series: Legal (Criminal InJustice) Systems with Attorney Karla Cruel

In this episode, Attorney Karla Cruel walks us through the components of the legal system for criminal law and the ways in which these different processes are flawed. "The very fact that we know there are frequent innocent convictions, in and of itself, tells us the system is flawed," she says. She walks us through various stages of bias and misjudgment, and how the are compounded over time. Our guest, Karla L. Cruel, Esq. is a former educator, now social entrepreneur who launched Legal...


DataGeek Series: The Music Business System is Designed to Keep Artists in Debt with Andrae Alexander

In this episode, we take a systems look at the music industry and how it sets up artists and composers to be in constant debt through the lack of fair and transparent contracts and the restrictions in regulations and contract terms. We envision a music industry where artists and composers are more informed about their contracts, their rights, and their fans. Andrae is a Grammy-Nominated musician and professor who moved to Los Angeles in 2009 from Maryland and is a faculty member at the...


DataGeek Series: Technology-Innovation Pipeline System with Anne Heberger Marino

In this episode, we look at how the technology innovation happens pipeline happens from research, to industry, to community. We look at how these relationships are typically extractive and how they can become more sustainable. How high levels of collaboration and collective intelligence and emergence work can enrich the way we think about nature and problem-solving: ocean memory, gentle accountability, human heart-work, and valuing the contribution of all. Our guest, Anne is the founder of...


DataGeek Series: The Philanthropy-Evaluation system with Audrey Jordan

This episode looks at the relationship between Program Evaluation and philanthropy as a system, one that allocates small monies to communities in need while controlling the definitions and management of standards of success. We propose engaging stakeholders more, shifting what we measure, and ..... Dr. Audrey Jordan is the Jerry D. Campbell Professor and DEI Specialist at Claremont Lincoln University, and is a certified executive life coach, focused on “accompanying social justice leaders...


Data Geek Series: Data Are Never Gospel Disrupting whiteness in Health Systems with Dr. Sharon Attipoe, Rachel Dungan, and Janice Tufte

In this show, three experts of health systems data bring us insights into how racism and bias contribute to all points of health data collection, from uncovering old assumptions--like assuming lower thresholds of pain for African Americans, competition among groups, inappropriate diagnoses for bodies of color. Our guests invite us to recommend engaging diverse stakeholders in problem-solving, centering narratives on the direct experience of patients, disrupting and questioning the norm of...


Relationships Series: How Do We Build Authentic Partnership Across Race Lines? with Dr. Audrey Jordan

This episode is an exploration of what gets in the way of partnerships between Black women and white women: control, superiority, power struggles, and plantation narrative. We also talk about the white wounds that we unwillingly bring into the work and what's possible when we heal and move beyond the wounds. Dr. Audrey Jordan is the Jerry D. Campbell Professor and DEI Specialist at Claremont Lincoln University, and is a certified executive life coach, focused on “accompanying social justice...


DataGeek Series: The Juvenile (In)justice system: Are we punishing youth who are grieving? with Deven Wisner

In this episode, we look at some data as relates the the juvenile (In)justice system and ways in which our systems perpetuate disproportional representation of youth of color and don't support what we know works. Our guest invites us to look at how our system is based on society having deprived youth of opportunities to grieve. Programs that provide space to grieve have been successful. Are we punishing youth who are just grieving? Our guest, Deven (he/him) is the Managing Partner of Viable...


Data Series: How does the use of data in Higher Education reinforce white supremacy? with Libby Smith

In this episode, we discuss how higher education reinforces white supremacy by design. We highlight the data that exposes these contradictions. In particular, we talk about three ways higher education enforces white supremacy: 1) Quality of life for millennials will not higher than parents' generations; 2) There is a gap between white students and students of color and no meaningful attempts really close that gap; and 3) Data are often collected as a diversion. Our guest, Libby Smith...


It's All One System: Moving Beyond Shame with Jeanette Vega

In this episode, we discuss how parents who have been targeted by the family policing system (child protective services) experience all the systems, together, allied to the detriment of their own families. By sharing her powerful-first hand experience, Jeannette Vega inspires a life beyond fear and shame, where the experiences of parents who had their children removed are honored and become the core to support system transformation. Our guest, Jeanette Vega is a proud mother of four boys...


It's all one System: Changing the Formula of our Purple Country

In this episode, we use the mathematical definition of a "system" as a set of rules that preserve a certain result, to look at the ways that the System as a whole preserves itself. Our guest, Attorney Karla Cruel, walks us through her approach to re-write the constitution--laid out in a new article she co-wrote with Rita Fierro on Medium (link below). Rewriting the constitution is a strategy designed to bring out the purple majority and overcome the dialectic of blue against red that we've...


white Supremacy in the Body: Make Pearls, Not War with Lisa Jo Epstein, Bernadette Pleasant, and Roz Thomas

In this episode we engage in conversations with three expert facilitators on their personal stories that led them to experience, understand, and value how white supremacy is stored in our bodies and how healing in community is an essential way for what's next. By healing together, we can shift from inherited fear through being witnessed and being curious. There are ways for us to come to the table together. There are ways for us to strengthen our relationships, re-embrace consistency, joy...


white Supremacy in the Body: Facing the Ring of Fire--Unlearning Racism with Bernadette Pleasant

In this episode, through storytelling and reflection, we review the somatic experience that people of color have of how the System can unleash itself against them at any time. We highlight how bodies of people of color retain memories of traumatic events and how the retriggering is unlikely for white people to understand. We offer ways to weave the gap across different experiences and pave the way for unlearning racism, healing, and mutual understanding. Our guest, Bernadette is a fiery...


white Supremacy in the Body: Democracy is Freedom from Inner Tyranny with LisaJo Epstein

In this episode we break down several aspects of internalized white supremacy: perfectionism, conflict as danger, defensiveness, not-good-enough story, and obsession with product over process and doing the right thing. We also highlight how the discomfort and dissonance between our perception of ourselves and the realties we are confronted with are key to healing internal white supremacy and freeing ourselves from the inner tyranny that keeps us separate and isolated. Healing the inner...