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 #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.


#116: The change you want to see

Fatima Hashem (ANNU PAYCE Fellow) connects the lines in the story of Drake University student and school board member Josh Hughes.  He does the hard work of serving on the school board because of his “original motivator.”  His identity as a gay teen and his commitment to fighting for public education moved him to action.  He advises young people to do self-care because their voices are needed.  “Find out why you want to get involved .”  There will be times when its hard to keep going, but that motivator will be what makes it all “make sense.” Fatima challenge each listener to decide: “When will you make that journey into yourself?”

Music credits: “Epic Flight” from PremiumBeat by Immersive Music.


#109: I could add value

At age 18, Josh Hughes learned there was an open seat on his rural school district board.  He stepped up.  A passionate advocate for public education, his service to the board brought a student’s perspective rarely heard. In this audio story, PAYCE Fellow Kelanie Crosswait (Drake University) tells as story based on her and PAYCE Fellow Fatima Hashem’s conversation with Josh.  He shares advice for young adults getting involved in politics – how to keep going when things get tough and to remember the values that motivated public service.  He believes it’s important to advocate for good causes no matter what the outcome.


#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.


#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.