Episode 16 - Stanton Abramson
(Theme: War, Refugees)
Stanton Abramson is the grandson of a Holocaust survivor. Gizella Abramson, his paternal grandmother, survived multiple ghettos, a stint in the underground resistance, and the Maidaanik concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland between 1941-45. He was very close to her before she passed away in 2011. From 1970 to 2010, she frequently spoke to school students in North Carolina public schools about the Holocaust and her message of hope and survival. She spoke to thousands of students during her 40 years of active service.
Her story has a lot of similarities to those that may be fleeing or helping those flee Ukraine today. I hope this chapter from history continues to shed light on the need for us to keep our attention on Ukraine and how actions are required for the sake of humanity.
Episode 15 (Cantonese) - Principal Leung Kee Cheong
(Theme: War, Misinformation)
Principal Leung Kee Cheong is a renowned Principal based in Hong Kong and has been influential as an educator for the Hong Kong Youth in the last four decades. He was featured and was recognized by Hong Kong media for his work as Principal of Fresh Fish Traders' School, a primary school well known for its success in turning around the lives of poor children. He is also an expert in The Art of War by Sun Tzu and in this episode, he shares his insights on the how the philosophies taught by The Art of War can be applied to a teenager’s daily life.
Episode 14 - Susan Hammond
Ms. Susan Hammond, the daughter of a U.S. Vietnam veteran, became interested in post-war Southeast Asia after traveling to Vietnam and Cambodia in 1991. In 1996, after earning her MA in International Education from NYU. Ms. Hammond became involved in fostering mutual understanding between the people of the U.S., Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia and addressing the long-term impacts of war while working as the Deputy Director of the Fund for Reconciliation and Development from 1996 to 2007. After that, Ms. Hammond returned to her home state of Vermont and founded War Legacies Project. Two years later, she received the Vietnam Order of Friendship medal for her more than two decades of work in Vietnam. In this episode, she talks with Law Association for Crimes Across History (LACAH) participants about Agent Orange and Ecocide.
Episode 13 - Emmaline Bennett
Emmaline Bennett is a Columbia University graduate with a bachelor's degree in History and Comparative Literature & Society and a Columbia Teachers College graduate with a Master's degree in Social Studies Education. Emmaline is a World History teacher that has done extensive research on war and refugees with her thesis, "Cities of Defeat: Spanish Civil War Refugees and the French Concentration Camps of 1939", which won the Columbia History department's Charles A. Beard Prize as well as the George Watt Prize. In this episode, Emmaline talks about the politics and ideologies behind governments’ positions during the Spanish Civil War and World War II. She also encourages our listeners to appreciate oral history and historical fiction to gain a fuller picture of each period.
Episode 12 - Professor Erin Hutchinson
Professor Erin Hutchinson has a M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University and currently teaches political and cultural history of the Soviet Union at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her book project, The Cultural Politics of the Nation after Stalin, 1953-1991, explores how intellectuals sought to transform cultural understandings of the nation in the Soviet Union after the death of Stalin. Her dissertation received the 2021 Harold K. Gross Prize and was a finalist for the 2021 Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Prize. She received a Research Fellowship from ASEEES to conduct research for the project in Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, and Moldova. In this episode, she gives an insider and expert view on the Ukraine crisis and its background and what everyday citizens can do to help.
Episode 11 - Ahmedina Becevac
The world is witnessing another wave of refugees because of the Ukraine crisis. Understanding the mindset and history of refugees is important for students of social justice. Ahmedina Becevac is a Bosnian refugee that grew up in the United States. She learned English when she arrived in the United States and went to diverse public schools growing up. Ahmedina is a teacher focused on immigrants and refugees needing to learn English for their daily needs. In this episode, Ahmedina talks about what it was like growing up as a refugee, attempting to explore the mindset of a refugee in America. Ahmedina also talks about the importance of oral history so that future generations know what it took for their generation to enjoy the shade from the trees that the older generation planted.
Episode 10 - Tatiana Vedenska
Tatiana Vedenska is a widely known Russian writer and novelist. Tatiana's first novel, called "The peculiarities of the women’s charm" (Особенности женского шарма), was published in 2005. One year later, she began working with the famous Russian literary agent Nathan Zablotski and is now the author of more than twenty-five novels. Her total book sales have reached 5,000,000 copies. One of the best of Tatiana's books, called "One woman's Divorce," is available in English. In 2013, Tatiana Vedenska was invited to lead a broadcast show called "Bestseller School." At the time of this interview (just a few days into the Ukraine crisis), Tatiana is in the U.S., but her family, including her children, are in Russia. In this episode, Tatiana shares her personal views and emotions about Russia's current state and its crisis with Ukraine.
Episode 9 - Stanislav Ignatovic
Stanislav Ignatovic (Stan) is an AP American History and Sociology teacher. He was born in Ukraine but left the then newly independent Ukraine for the United States in the 1990s due to Ukraine’s instability. He is passionate about history and has remained intimately involved with the latest developments around Ukraine and Russia. He still has a lot of family and friends in Ukraine and hopes that the war can end immediately between the two countries. In this episode, he shares his personal Ukrainian view of the current war between Russia and Ukraine. He discusses the background of the tension between the two countries to contextualize the conflict for our listeners. If you want to support Ukraine, Stan provided this link to the Red Cross:
Episode 8 - Laura Berger
(Theme: Immigration, Human Trafficking)
Laura Berger is a senior staff attorney in the Immigration Unit at Brooklyn Defender Services. She works with the Youth and Communities Project, representing low-income immigrants in affirmative applications for immigration status and defending them in Immigration Court. Formerly, Laura spent three years as the staff attorney for the Immigrant Justice Project at the City Bar Justice Center in New York City. There, she represented survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in immigration matters and advocated for them as victim-witnesses with law enforcement. In this episode, Laura talks about potential solutions around current immigration and human trafficking problems in the United States.
Episode 7 - Professor Dan Williams
(Theme: Capital Punishment)
Harvard Professor and Author Dan Williams talked about how capital punishment trials are conducted, dove into the details about the 1990s Mumia Trial which successfully overturned the death penalty sentence, and shared his views on capital punishment trends in America. Dan Williams is a former professor of law at Northeastern University School of Law and a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, where he taught a course on Capital Punishment in America. He was awarded the Thurgood Marshall Award for his anti-death penalty work. He also received the Morton Stavis Award for his work on behalf of the unjustly accused.
Episode 6 - Victoria Erdel
(Theme: Sustainable Development)
Ms. Victoria Erdel was one of 50 people chosen worldwide to be one of the UN's Youth Innovators in 2018. As an innovator, she was included in their annual report and invited to present her podcasting work alongside UN employees at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum later that year. She also received mentorship from the UN's Sustainable Development Solutions Network to expand her podcasts' reach. In this episode, Victoria gives youth advice about how to get more involved with Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) projects and shares her insights about looking for solutions within indigenous cultures.
Episode 5 - Samarth Desai
Samarth Desai is a 2020 graduate of Harvard College, having concentrated in Social Studies with focuses on constitutional law, American foreign policy, and political economy. He is passionate about history and is a recognized expert in exploring the similarities in great speeches and how leaders and great orators use oratory skills to move their audiences. At Harvard, he served as President and Captain of the Harvard Mock Trial Association, co-founded the Alexander Hamilton Society, and worked as a Research Assistant to Harvard Law School professor Noah Feldman. In this episode, Samarth talks about how great orators imitate each other and use rhetorical tools in their speeches.
Episode 4 (Spanish) - Maria Jiminez Moya
(Theme: Immigration, Economic Justice)
Maria Jimenez Moya is a Mexican journalist based in Houston who writes about minority communities across Texas. Her work has appeared in Cambridge Chronicle, DigBoston, POLITICO, Texas Monthly, Daily Free Press, and the New York Times. Maria has a B.A. in International Relations, focusing on environmental sustainability and development and Latin America. In this episode, Maria talks about how to negotiate with dictators by bridging cultures and leveraging the media.
Episode 3 - Randall Littlefield
(Theme: War, Genocide)
Mr. Randall Littlefield is a renowned history teacher with a wide-ranging background in independent and public charter schools. His accolades include fellowships through the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Civil War Institute, the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad program in Russia, and last but certainly not least, studying the Holocaust in Poland and Yad Vashem. In this episode, Mr. Littlefield talks about choiceless choices and the need to remove our own blinders.
Episode 2 - Meghan Riley
(Theme: Refugees, War)
Meghan Riley is a Fulbright scholar and doctoral candidate in European history. She is fluent and has conducted original research in four languages. In this episode, Meghan talks about humanitarian groups from the Holocaust, the importance of historical fiction and oral history, and the advantage of being multilingual as a historian.
Episode 1 - Professor Jan Christopher Horak
(Theme: Misinformation, Genocide)
Listen in to my fireside chat with Professor Jan Christopher Horak (Chapman University, UCLA, University of Miami Faculty member). Professor Horak is a renowned German American film historian and film restorer. We discussed an array of fascinating topics, including disinformation, the Holocaust, Fascism, and how South America became a haven for Nazi war criminals after WWII.