New Illumine America podcasts explore empowerment in neighborhoods

October 30, 2020
New Illumine America podcasts explore empowerment in neighborhoods

New installments of the Illumine America podcast explore how Baha’i community-building efforts are helping neighborhoods in Virginia and North Carolina transform themselves as they nurture conditions in the community that empower people of all ages. 

Produced since late 2019 by the U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs (OPA) in Washington, DC, the podcast series offers a platform for thoughtful, forward-looking discourse. It shares conversations with people who work for peace and justice through avenues in harmony with the teachings of the Baha’i Faith.

Past installments have included interviews with people involved in organizations that address education, health, economic equity and inclusion, and other matters of social fairness.

From July through September, say PJ Andrews and May Lample, race discourse officers for OPA, several new installments have featured conversations with people working to build community in two neighborhoods:

  • Danita Hardin, an educator and member of the Baha’i Faith, who is part of a nucleus of people working to nurture a spiritual community in northern Virginia. Conversation explores “the dynamics of creating environments of empowerment, as opposed to environments that are oppressive, and what conditions are conducive to enabling wider circles of participation” and developing “protagonists” who take continued initiative, Andrews and Lample say. 
  • A team from Durham, North Carolina, talking about the impact of the Baha’i-inspired junior youth spiritual empowerment program on young people of middle school age (photo at top), as well as on those who mentor the groups and on the neighborhood in general.

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