Posted on

Elisabeth Epps

Podcast Description

“It’s hard to change hearts and minds, but sometimes it has to happen in the reverse order. Sometimes you have to bring your people home and let the hearts and minds catch up.”
 
Elisabeth Epps, JD, is an abolitionist, activist, and advocate. A former deputy state public defender and a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, Elisabeth serves as Founder/Convener of the Colorado Freedom Fund and Co-Lead of the Denver Justice Project. Both organizations are committed to freedom work and dedicated to ending mass incarceration.

Elisabeth was raised in America’s south by an activist mother, and upon becoming a mother herself at age 16 she raised her own son in the same activist tradition. For over two decades Elisabeth has been active in building political power and organizing around social justice, since long before she knew formal terms for the activity that would become her life’s work.

In 2018, she led a collaboration by Denver Justice Project, with Black Lives Matter 5280, and many community members, to host community-wide Bail Outs for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Juneteenth. Those actions secured freedom for dozens of Coloradans, and from those efforts a new initiative was launched to restore the presumption of innocence to people awaiting trial in Colorado.

The Colorado Freedom Fund is a constituent-led organizing project that pools community resources and posts bond for people languishing in Colorado cages because of their inability to afford bail. When their court cases are resolved, the court releases the bonds back to the Freedom Fund, which uses that recycled money to pay bond for the next neighbor in need. Since May 2018, Colorado Freedom Fund has bought freedom for over 150 folks held in Colorado jails only because they could not pay bonds as low as $10. 

Elisabeth’s work is dedicated to one mission: helping our neighbors get and stay free. From both her personal and professional experience, she knows that ending wealth based detention in Colorado, in a manner that doesn’t replace money bail with equally carceral options, is a critical step in earning collective freedom.

In addition to her daily work with the Colorado Freedom Fund, Elisabeth serves on the Denver District Attorney’s Police Accountability Advisory Committee; she worked intensely with Denver police on the most recent Use of Force policy rewrite; and organizes in other criminal legal spaces, all while fighting for her own freedom.

She is a member of the Denver Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and is most proud of her 21-year-old son Adrian, a graduate of East High School and now a college senior, who is an outstanding kind brave person. Her son Adrian is her motivation and love for Elisabeth’s abolition efforts.
 

Additional Resources

Image of Elisabeth Epps

Elisabeth Epps

Become a #causeascene Podcast sponsor because disruption and innovation are products of individuals who take bold steps in order to shift the collective and challenge the status quo.

Learn more >

All music for the #causeascene podcast is composed and produced by Chaos, Chao Pack, and Listen on SoundCloud.

Listen to more great #causeascene podcasts

Ben Halpern

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:09:40 — 63.8MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSS | MorePodcast Description

Read More »

How to Be An Antiracist Ch. 3

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 39:07 — 35.8MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSS | MorePodcast Description

Read More »

Coding Bootcamp Warning Signs

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:03:09 — 57.8MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSS | MorePodcast Description

Read More »

How to Be An Antiracist Ch. 2

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 41:43 — 38.2MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSS | MorePodcast Description

Read More »
Posted on

Virginia Eubanks

Podcast Description

“The Poor People’s Human Economic Rights Campaign…the way they define poverty is: if at any point you have lacked access to one of your basic economic human rights.”

Virginia Eubanks is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, SUNY. She is the author of Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the PoorDigital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age; and co-editor, with Alethia Jones, of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith. Her writing about technology and social justice has appeared in Scientific AmericanThe NationHarper’s, and Wired. For two decades, Eubanks has worked in community technology and economic justice movements. She was a founding member of the Our Data Bodies Project and a Fellow at New America. She lives in Troy, NY.

Image of Virginia Eubanks

Virginia Eubanks

Become a #causeascene Podcast sponsor because disruption and innovation are products of individuals who take bold steps in order to shift the collective and challenge the status quo.

Learn more >

All music for the #causeascene podcast is composed and produced by Chaos, Chao Pack, and Listen on SoundCloud.

Listen to more great #causeascene podcasts

Ben Halpern

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:09:40 — 63.8MB) Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Read More »
Posted on

Kit Stubbs, Ph.D.

Podcast Description

“what is porn anyway, which is a whole other question. They were trying to find a way to run their website and the ask: we want to make queer, ethically-produced porn. How do we do that?”
 
Dr. Kit Stubbs is a non-binary/queer/femme maker & entrepreneur who’s more interested in people than in technology. After earning their Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University, Kit is now the Founder and Executive Director of the Effing Foundation for Sex-Positivity (http://effing.org), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to foster sex-positive art & education. Kit has spoken on gender, sexuality and sex/tech at events across the US including Arisia, Burning Man, Dark Odyssey: Winter Fire, Harvard Sex Week, HOPE X-XII, the NELA Fetish Fair Fleamarket, and WisCon. They blog about technological empowerment for sexuality & pleasure (toymakerproject.com) and co-organize teasecraft, a meetup group for sex/kink-positive makers and hackers (teasecraft.com).
The Effing Foundation for Sex-Positivity is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to reduce sexual shame and normalize conversations around human sexuality by fostering sex-positive art and education. 
 
Our major effort is a grantmaking program — last year we raised $40,000 in pilot grants which we gave out to eight artists and educators across the US who have been doing amazing things (http://effing.org/grantees). So far, those grants have directly benefited over 1,000 people (including event participants and audience members) and indirectly reached approximately 57,000 people via social media and the web. Right now we’re raising $75,000 to fund fourteen grants and bring sex-positive art and education to even more people! Make your contribution today at http://effing.org/donate.

Additional Resources

Image of Kit Stubbs, Ph.D.

Kit Stubbs, Ph.D.

Become a #causeascene Podcast sponsor because disruption and innovation are products of individuals who take bold steps in order to shift the collective and challenge the status quo.

Learn more >

All music for the #causeascene podcast is composed and produced by Chaos, Chao Pack, and Listen on SoundCloud.

Listen to more great #causeascene podcasts

Ben Halpern

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:09:40 — 63.8MB) Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Read More »
Posted on

Valerie Sharp & Kristen Seversky

Podcast Description

Valerie’s Bio:

“I overheard someone in [GDI] leadership say something to the effect of ‘this is what they need – they need our space’ kind of like to say like ‘to find each other’ – this is ‘what they need, black women in tech need this’. As if we weren’t going to find each other at Google I/O, a predominately white event with very little people of color. Like we weren’t going to run into each other?”

Valerie Sharp is a self-taught technologist who loves jumping between the UX Universe and Coding Cosmos to create user-centered digital experiences. By combining her passions of art, psychology, and, tech, she hopes to find the perfect balance between tech and humanity to create a better human experience for all. 

To help spread the finical wealth offered by the tech industry, Valerie founded Tech By Choice a nonprofit that is working to increase diversity in the tech industry by providing low to no cost events for individuals in protected groups.

Kristen’s Bio:

“This is completely heart-breaking. What was once an area that I could really enjoy is now the same area that causes immense harm. It forces me to look back on four and half years and ask what did I even do? Was that even a net positive?…it feels like a waste of time.”

Kristen Seversky is a product-owning, design-thinking, code-writing, people person. She’s a passionate problem solver with a love for people and technology. Few things make her happier than building better solutions for any given problem. She knows the world needs more efficiency and inclusivity thus she happily contributed ten years as a software developer with a blend of design thinking. Kristen enjoys wearing many hats and rarely shies away from a new challenge. She has tons of energy and is constantly seeking the right environments that let her run full speed.

Kristen is formerly the co-founder and co-leader of the Girl Develop It – Rochester chapter, which was started in 2014. She rarely missed any of the 90 events and taught various languages in the first two years as the chapter grew. GDI aside, Kristen has spoken to incoming Computer Science freshmen women, STEM teachers, and participated in panels devoted to women into tech. In 2018, she was honored as the Digital Rochester’s (now TechRochester) inaugural Emerging Technology Professional Woman of the Year and continues to engage in conference planning and networking events in the local community.

When not at her laptop, she can be found in her Oculus set (she might have a computer separation anxiety), boating on the Great Lakes or Finger Lakes with her husband, playing with her dog, powerlifting in her gym, and feeding her curiosity for all elements of life.

Additional Resources

Image of Valerie Sharp

Valerie Sharp

Image of Kristen Seversky​

Kristen Seversky

Become a #causeascene Podcast sponsor because disruption and innovation are products of individuals who take bold steps in order to shift the collective and challenge the status quo.

Learn more >

All music for the #causeascene podcast is composed and produced by Chaos, Chao Pack, and Listen on SoundCloud.

Listen to more great #causeascene podcasts

Ben Halpern

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:09:40 — 63.8MB) Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Read More »
Posted on

Marisa Catalina Casey

Podcast Description

“If we’re not going to make progress in our matriarchal organizations, then we’re just as oppressive as our patriarchal organizations.”

Marisa Catalina Casey is an artist, educator and social entrepreneur. Prior to serving in Ecuador for two years as an Education and Business Advising Volunteer with the Peace Corps, she founded the Brooklyn-based nonprofit arts organization, Starting Artists, Inc. (SA). SA served hundreds of youth in New York City over the 5 years of Marisa’s leadership, inspiring and educating 10-19 year olds through hands-on training in the media arts and entrepreneurship.

Marisa obtained her BA from Brown University and her MA from Columbia University and has held positions at the Hearst Foundations, CARE, Alliance for Children Foundation, Teen Ink, APERTURE, The Nature Conservancy, and Girl Develop It. In addition, she led the Communications Team for Mindy Domb’s successful Massachusetts State Representative campaign and serves as a volunteer grant reviewer for the Pollination Project on the International Economic Development panel.

Marisa co-authored the book, Born in our Hearts, with her adoptive mother, with all proceeds donated to international orphanages, including her own in Bogotá, Colombia. She has served as a board member of the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Council and founding board member of Emerging Leaders of New York Arts. Marisa has been chosen to participate in several leadership programs including the International Youth Foundation Global Fellowship, American Express Nonprofit Leadership Institute, Lucca Leadership Foundations Program in South Africa, and the British Council’s Transatlantic Network 2020 bringing young leaders from Europe and North America together to address social issues.

Currently, she lives with her husband, their daughter, and a turtle in Western Massachusetts where they can be seen on outings in their avocado green 1978 VW Camper Van. See more of her work at: www.marisacatalinacasey.com.

Additional Resources

Image of Marisa Catalina Casey

Marisa Catalina Casey

Become a #causeascene Podcast sponsor because disruption and innovation are products of individuals who take bold steps in order to shift the collective and challenge the status quo.

Learn more >

All music for the #causeascene podcast is composed and produced by Chaos, Chao Pack, and Listen on SoundCloud.

Listen to more great #causeascene podcasts

Ben Halpern

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:09:40 — 63.8MB) Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Read More »
Posted on

Tamara Temple

Podcast Description

“There is this global expectation that I can walk through the world and just demand things because of who I am and the color of my skin. And that is fucking wrong.”

Tamara Temple is a self-described “Webologist”, tech maven, and deeply interested in software as a craft. As a life-long learner, Tamara has long had an interest in teaching, coaching, and mentoring people in the arts of programming and helping people to learn how to use computers to solve problems, communicate with others, and have a lot of fun.

Tamara works on both back-end development in Ruby on Rails, front-end development in ReactJS and GraphQL, and loves using static site generators such as Jekyll and Gatsby. She loves coaching and mentoring new developers, and loves answering questions of almost any sort.

“I am deeply committed to increasing the diversity of my chosen field by increasing the opportunities for people of colour and people with disabilities, especially. It’s important for marginalized and underrepresented people to have wonderful, rewarding, and respectful learning opportunities and experiences.”

When not working around computers, Tamara is a mom to two grown daughters, a watercolourist, sketcher, and photographer, and sometime musician.

Additional Resources

Authors of Color I’m reading a lot of lately:

  • Nnedi Okorafor, Ph. D. – a prolific author in the aforementioned Afrofuturism style, author of the “Binti” series. Dr. Okorafor’s writing is beautiful, and has opened up vistas for me into African culture as it could play out in the far future. She’s also the writer on the latest Black Panther graphic novel series, and a new spin-off series, Shuri.
  • Nora K. Jemisin – another speculative fiction author, winner of 3 Hugos in a row for the “Broken Earth” triology. An essay she wrote in 2010 is hugely important to understand: Don’t Put My Book in the African American Section
  • Saladin Ahmed – an Arab American writer, writer of graphic novels including Black Bolt, Exiles, and the very fabulous book Abbot.
  • Tananarive Due – an AA speculative horror fiction writer and instructor, her books are not in a genre know for Black writers, and while not really my personal favorite genre, these are illuminating and expansive into areas where I have had no prior view of African American and African culture

Correction from Tamara: After listening to the podcast, I realize I made an error: Alice Walker is the author of “The Color Purple”. Toni Morrison is the author of “Beloved”. My apologies to both authors and the audience.

Image of a rainbow painted white person'a fist

Tamara Temple

Become a #causeascene Podcast sponsor because disruption and innovation are products of individuals who take bold steps in order to shift the collective and challenge the status quo.

Learn more >

All music for the #causeascene podcast is composed and produced by Chaos, Chao Pack, and Listen on SoundCloud.

Listen to more great #causeascene podcasts

Ben Halpern

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:09:40 — 63.8MB) Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Read More »