In our second episode on public education, Chicago alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez shares a photo of Koko, a Black trans woman whose irrepressible joy shines through in this photo from their Chicago alternative high school classroom, a place Rodriguez worked to make safe and nurturing for her students. Interview by Kaylen Brandt. Content Warning: Anti-trans violence and transphobia.
In our second episode, we focus again on the critically important topic of Public Education--this time with a distinctly different perspective. This episode features teen story-gatherer Kaylen Brandt in conversation with Chicago alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez, a teacher and community organizer by training. Running as a Democratic Socialist, she won her first political campaign in 2019, when she was elected to represent the city’s 33rd Ward on the Chicago City Council. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico, where her father was a community organizer. Rodriguez studied and taught drama in Puerto Rico before government cut-backs sparked her move to Albany Park in Chicago, where she became a resident director at the Albany Park Theater Project.
In this episode, Rodriguez shares a photograph she took when she was a teacher at Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School in Humboldt Park. The photo shows Koko, a Black trans woman in Rodriguez’s integrated arts class, on a very good day. Koko is smiling as she shows off a sock puppet she made as part of the class.
Content Warning: Anti-trans violence and transphobia.
Our Stories, Our World is a collaboration that connects Chicago’s Public Narrative, a longtime advocate for broader, more accurate and more authentic community representation in media, and A Picture’s Worth, a nonprofit focused on strengths-based storytelling for community transformation. Our Stories, Our World combines audio stories and photography to create a series of youth-led, citizen-centered podcasts that add depth and context to stories about Public Narrative’s three thematic pillars: public safety, public health and public education.
Interviewer/Host: Kaylen Brandt
Artwork: Dan MacDonald Studios
Audio Producer: Samantha Gattsek
Executive Producers: Mareva Lindo & Elissa Yancey
This podcast is brought to you by Public Narrative and A Picture’s Worth.
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