In today’s episode, Rick and Sam are joined by Minnijean Brown Trickey and Spirit Tawfiq to discuss storytelling and education as catalysts of change, particularly in relation to racism and social justice. Through their conversation they examine America’s need for a more inclusive and complete telling of our history, developing a vocabulary for talking about racism as a means to bring bigger change, and educating young people to become societal change agents against racial injustice.  

Minnijean Brown Trickey is one of the “Little Rock Nine,” the students who desegregated Little Rock High School in 1957. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her community work for social justice, including a Lifetime Achievement Tribute by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and the International Wolf Award for contributions to racial harmony.  With the Little Rock Nine, she received the NAACP Spingarn Medal and the Congressional Gold Medal.  She holds a Bachelor of Social Work in Native Human Services from Laurentian University and Master of Social Work from Carleton University, in Ontario Canada, and is the recipient of four Honorary Doctorates.  

Ms. Trickey  is the subject of a documentary, Journey to Little Rock: the Untold Story of Minnijean Brown Trickey, which has received critical acclaim in international film festivals across the globe.  She has been featured on Oprah, People Magazine, Newsweek, the Ottawa Citizen, the BBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, CNN, the History Channel Turning Points in History, and the HBO documentary, Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later. 

Spirit Tawfiq is an Antiracism Educator & founder of Roots of the Spirit, an organization created to uproot racism through Storytelling, Education and the Arts. She is the creator and host of Roots of the Spirit Podcast, a space to galvanize change through honest conversations about identity, “race,” racism and intersecting social justice issues.

As a professional speaker and playwright, Spirit speaks and hosts workshops in k-12 classrooms, colleges, universities and organizations about her legacy as the daughter of Minnijean Brown Trickey, inspiring people from all walks of life to discover their own roots and our interconnected history.

Sam Scinta is President and Founder of IM Education, a non-profit, and Lecturer in Political Science at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Viterbo University.

Rick Kyte is Endowed Professor and Director of the DB Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership at Viterbo University. 

Music compliments of Bobby Bridger- “Rendezvous” from A Ballad of the West