By Jenna Fitzgerald | copy editor
The Diana R. Garland School of Social Work is now streaming on Spotify.
On January 31, Kerri Fisher – senior lecturer in the School of Social Work – and Kayla Mize – Waco Regional Director for Child Hunger Relief at the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty – launched their new podcast titled ” So Far, So Good”.
According to the School of Social Work’s Facebook page, the podcast is intended to “model anti-oppressive engagement and critical self-reflection for the Baylor community and beyond.”
Fisher said that in each episode, the hosts invite a guest who brings a work of art, whether visual, musical or cinematic. Once the guest introduces themselves and presents their art, Fisher and Mize guide them through the Tripartite Identity Model to discover what their art can teach them about the human experience.
“The tagline is ‘engaging diversity one story at a time,'” Fisher said. “Our interest is in helping people understand how all humans are similar, all humans are different, and all humans have particular identities that manifest in particular ways. And we can borrow from other people’s experiences through history and art.
Mize said they decided to create the podcast last spring after serving as co-chairs of the School of Social Work’s Racial Equity Task Team and after teaching the Human Diversity and Leadership class of school.
“Although much of the work that came out of [the Race Equity Work Team] was very practical ways to engage diversity, equity and inclusion – like changing or improving policies, procedures and practices – I think we were also looking at ways to engage people on an individual level d ‘a way that wasn’t just another training, something that helps us focus on the beauty, the mystery, the joy of being human and the different ways we are human,’ Mize said.
According to the podcast’s Anchor page, his name “represents how far we’ve all come from becoming completely anti-oppressive, but also how good it is to take even small steps toward inner work and systemic change.”
“[Mize] and I was trying to think of a name that captures the dynamic process of engaging diversity and difference,” Fisher said. “It’s not like I put one foot in front of the other, and all of a sudden I’m so far from my old self. It is in fact that we are moving forward, we are moving backward. So, as long as we are acting, we would say it is “so good” even though we feel “so far” from where we want to be. »
Fisher said all of the first season’s guests were faculty and staff from the School of Social Work. However, she said that she and Mize were aware of featuring various voices and various types of art in these episodes.
“In future seasons, I’m really excited about the extra layers of difference we can bring to the podcast, because next season – if we’re lucky enough to have one – we’ll probably be graduating from the School of Social Work “, says Fisher. “Obviously, if we’re talking primarily to people who work at Baylor in a faculty or staff position, that means we might have fewer representations of someone who comes from a lower socio-economic status than that. stage. We may have fewer queer voices represented at this stage. Obviously, we have fewer voices from people who do not identify as Christian. So in the future, when we go beyond interviews with Baylor employees, we will have the opportunity to hear from an even wider range of guests.
Mize said some of her favorite parts of working on the podcast were the excitement of the unknown and the opportunity to watch conversations unfold in front of her – something Fisher echoed when recalling how Dr. Crystal Diaz -Espinoza, the guest on the first episode of the podcast, highlighted her love for football as she introduced herself.
“I had an experience at that time as I want the listener to have, which is that I didn’t really remember or had any idea that [Diaz-Espinoza] was a huge sports fan, nor was that what I thought of her whenever I engaged with her on a daily basis,” Fisher said. “I think of her as a feminist. I think of her as an admissions specialist. I think of her in all these professional ways. But I don’t think of her as a sports fan, even though she’s a huge sports fan and a big football fan. So that enlightens me, ‘What are some of my conclusions that I’m jumping to? How do I keep people in a singular box instead of the fullness of who they are?’
Both Fisher and Mize said they hope “So far so good” can serve as a starting point for people as they embark on their journey to engage diversity.
“Whenever we engage with the art of people who have identities different from our own, it helps expand our understanding of the world,” Mize said. “It helps us expand our understanding of what it means to be human. It helps us see a wider range of experiences and the beauty of these things. So I think additionally, I hope a takeaway would show how unique, wonderful, and beautiful our world is because of its diversity.