Episode #107: Our city needs to have important conversations

How does racism shape the realities of public education in the United States?  PAYCE Fellow Ala’ Hamamreh (Al-Quds American Studies) talks to Des Moines Public School Board member Dionna Langford about her efforts to address race and class inequalities in her district.  They talk frankly about the problem of white progressives needing to examine their own racism for the District to serve all children.


Episode #106: PB & J (Phoebe and Justice)

Sitting down with Phoebe Clark, PAYCE Fellow Meredith Howe (University of New Hampshire) spoke to her about activism in her life. Clark, a senior at Drake University, spoke about the time she and friends disrupted a Republican event, her views on “diversity of tactics,” labels, and how she began to look positively at activism after disillusionment.

Songs credits:
Greg Atkinson “Crick’s Unnecessary Children,” Parvus Decree “Into Oblivion (Partially
Recomposed),” Broke for Free “Night Owl,” Transpanda “Thunder Panda,” Lonely Punk “Easter
Island” – all music from FreeMusicArchive.org


Episode #104: Farms, Feminism and Organizing

Ash Bruxvoort is a young adult active in the local Democratic Socialists of America and Women, Food, and Agriculture Network. PAYCE Fellow Majd Aburrub (Al Quds-Bard) considers what we can learn for ourselves by following Ash’s example of solidarity and helping others.  Ash’s superpower is her concern for the question: “How can I help bring out what makes that person special and draw their attention to it?”


Episode #103: Phenomenal Woman

In a world full of opportunities, women are told how to present and carry themselves. PAYCE Fellow Alexis Jones’ podcast delves into Dionna Langford’s personal stories of what motivated her to run for School Board. The youngest African-American woman to serve in Des Moines, Dionna offers an enthralling narrative of real-life obstacles she has faced when deciding to run, and how they have helped to shape her perception of what changes need to occur to repair and rebuild Des Moines. Jones is a recent MA recipient from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University. She writes that Langford’s story gives her hope.



Start Here

Hello!  The PAYCE program proudly offers season one of PAYCE Stories.  You can hear real stories of young adults who stepped up to lead their city in civic and political engagement.  How do they inspire?  What does it mean to be a success?  Why do they do this important work?

The storytellers are PAYCE Fellows in residence at Drake University in January 2018.  Each pair of students (one Palestinian, one U.S.) completed an interview.  Each fellow created a story.  The series episodes reveal how young adults create positive change through the eyes of both individual profiled and the storyteller Fellow.  Enjoy!

Season One:

Episode #101: Dear future generations by Afnan Abbasi

Episode #102: Demand your rights by Jeffrey Simmons

Episode #103: Phenomenal Woman by Alexis Jones

Episode #104: Farms, feminism, and organizing by Majd Aburrub

Episode #105: Your vote is not a chocolate by Rana Rishmawi

Episode #106: PB&J (Phoebe and Justice) by Meredith Howe

Episode #107: Our city needs important conversations by Ala’ Hamamreh

Episode #108: Organizing for empowerment by Taylor Zitkus

Episode #109: I could add value by Kelanie Crosswait

Episode #110: The kids are all right, right?  by Juli Dajci

Episode #111: Changing the conversation by Hala Jaffal

Episode #112: Making local change by Genesis Buckhalton

Episode #113: Finding your way in politics by Justen Norcott

Episode #114: Who was the first woman president?  by Reeda Alji

Episode #115: We all face adversity by Noura Abughosh

Episode #116: The change you want to see by Fatima Hashem