Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Forum Podcasts

Various Speakers

The Speaker's Forum is held each Sunday morning from 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Forum topics often address and spur dialogue about a current local community, statewide, national or international issue. Some forums feature a local author and the topic of the author's new book, or a representative of a local non-governmental organization (NGO) describing the organization’s work, programs, and accomplishments.

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Religion & SpiritualityReligion & Spirituality

Episodes

The Girls in the Boat - The Sisterly Art of Rowing from the Heart - George Bryson
2d ago
The Girls in the Boat - The Sisterly Art of Rowing from the Heart - George Bryson
George Bryson is a journalist who worked for the Anchorage Daily News for 30 years as a reporter, Washington correspondent, magazine writer and editor of We Alaskans. He holds an MFA degree in creative writing and has taught courses in journalism and literary nonfiction at both UAA and UAF. He's co-authored books on natural science and Alaska history and served as the longtime organizer of the University of Alaska /Anchorage Daily News Creative Writing Contest. Since retiring from the newspaper, George has traveled extensively by motorcycle, bike, boat and foot. A 46-year resident of Alaska, George was born and raised in California where he developed a love for rowing that he still maintains as a member of the Anchorage Rowing Association and through trips around the world for the World Masters Games. He and his wife Ann have three grown daughters and three growing grandchildren and are happily settling into their new home in Bear Valley.Slides - https://www.dropbox.com/s/j15x4lp54eyrn0w/Girls-in-the-Boat.pdf?dl=0George's slides contained several videos. Videos are a little weird in PDFs and so I have placed "place-holder" numbers on the slides where the videos go.        Video links for slide place-holders -Slide #27 video - https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/1icxew82qlqh2irsgtch2/27_kiss_the_joy-trailer.mp4?rlkey=z8eqsugdwdd2shq8wwnps8kb0&dl=0Slide #30 video - https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/wqlztl1hpru5yguctlgng/30_A_HERO_FOR_DAISY-trailer.mp4?rlkey=hano2nwj4cdy3831h5iz1ecrn&dl=0Slide #32 video - https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/d8b9p3pb368whycbe6i1k/32_Alaska_Sports_Hall-of_Fame_Inductee-Kristen_Thorsness.mp4?rlkey=7clvvq0dsb41eexpsj71qtce0&dl=0Slide #43 video - https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/hqljmf2h775uhig28idyl/43.mp4?rlkey=ed7jyuyw3kxnswt19zx6vv6gu&dl=0
Helping Alaskan Youth in Need - Amanda Metivier & Heidi Huppert
12-05-2024
Helping Alaskan Youth in Need - Amanda Metivier & Heidi Huppert
Amanda Metivier is an alumnus of Alaska's foster care system. Amanda and a group of foster youth/alumni co-founded Facing Foster Care in Alaska in 2003. Through her advocacy with FFCA, She has led efforts to expand services and support for foster youth across Alaska. Amanda is the Director of the Child Welfare Academy, overseeing the training of child welfare staff and the Office of Youth Empowerment (OYE), a partnership of the Child Welfare Academy and FFCA. She spent a decade managing the college fund for foster youth & provides training for child welfare staff & allies. She was a foster parent for 15 years and has adopted from foster care. Amanda has been recognized for her work to amplify youth voices and share her own experiences. She received the Casey Excellence for Children Award, was named one of Alaska's Top 40 Under 40, was recognized by Alaska Children Trust as a Champion for Kids, was honored by the YWCA as a Woman of Achievement,  was named one of Treehouse Foundation's Champions for Re-Envisioning Foster Care in America in 2020, and was recognized by the University of Alaska Anchorage as an Alumni of Distinction in 2021. Heidi Huppert (she/her) is a life-long Alaskan and social work veteran of over twenty years. Heidi is the Chief Program Officer for Covenant House Alaska and a subject matter expert in human trafficking, ethical storytelling, and youth experiencing homelessness.  Heidi's passion for this work comes from her own experience as a young person experiencing homelessness. Heidi has been featured in several publications, panels, and public appearances for her lived experiences. Heidi received a Bachelors in Social Work and Anthropology from UAA.  She was a 2021 40 under 40 award recipient and recognized by the Alaska Legislature for her work. Heidi graduated from the FBI Citizens Academy in 2021 and served on their board until 2024. On her off-time, Heidi cannot be found as she usually travels in the woods or hides in her art studio. Heidi is known as a mischief engineer, a friend of dogs and lover of science fiction.Slides - https://www.dropbox.com/s/tumgmogavmrkhqm/20250512_0900.mp3?dl=0Facing Foster Care AK website - www.ffcalaska.orgCovenant House AK website - www.covenanthouseak.org
Baháʼís’ Struggle for Gender Equality, Justice, and Religious Freedom in Iran - Daniel Lord, Nava Sarracino
07-04-2024
Baháʼís’ Struggle for Gender Equality, Justice, and Religious Freedom in Iran - Daniel Lord, Nava Sarracino
Daniel Lord earned his undergraduate degree at UC Santa Cruz, during which time he also studied acting at UC Berkeley.  He holds master’s degrees in education and psychology and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Michigan.  After working as a licensed mental health professional, he pursued law and human rights studies at the University of Iowa. While there, he participated in the Iowa Playwrights Workshop.  He retired as a psychology professor at the University of Alaska but is an affiliated global faculty member with the Bahá’í Institute of Higher Education in Iran.  Close to a second retirement, he currently works as an attorney-public advocate in Anchorage and is a member of the American Bar Association’s International Law Section. Nava Sarracino was born to American and Iranian Bahá’í parents. She grew up in South Africa, where she earned her Master's in Sustainable Development. She moved to Anchorage 15 years ago and has worked in a birth center and as a medical biller. But she sees her calling in life as a theatre practitioner and storyteller and believes deeply in the power of the arts to be a great educational tool.  While working as a project manager in rural Alaska, she brought theatre and storytelling into the local school and has performed in communities worldwide. Her latest story-telling event was at the Halifax Fringe Festival in Canada, and her most recent stage performance in Anchorage was in RKP’s production, “Lifespan of a Fact.” In her latest theatre project, she hopes to bring awareness to the plight of the Bahá'ís in Iran by sharing the story of 14 individuals who were killed in Iran 40 years ago for their faith. Bahá'î website - https://www.bahai.org/
A Conversation with U.S. Representative Mary Peltola
31-03-2024
A Conversation with U.S. Representative Mary Peltola
Mary Sattler Peltola is a member of the US House Representatives. She was elected in August 2022 to fill the remainder of the late Representative Don Young’s term, becoming the first Alaska Native to serve in Congress and the first woman from Alaska to serve in the U.S. House. In November 2022, she was elected to a full two-year term in Congress. She serves on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, its Aviation Subcommittee and Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, and on the House Committee on Natural Resources and its Water, Wildlife and Fisheries, and its Federal Lands subcommittees. Rep. Peltola is Yup’ik, born in Alaska and raised on the Kuskokwim River.  She began fishing commercially with her father when she was six and worked as a herring and salmon technician for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game during college. At age 24, she was elected to the Alaska Legislature, where she served in the House for ten years.  A Democrat, she helped to rebuild the Bush Caucus, which passed legislation and influenced budgets that improved lives in rural Alaska under her tenure as Chair. After leaving the legislature, she worked as Manager of Community Development and Sustainability for the Donlin gold mine project and as Executive Director of the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. She served on the Orutsararmiut Native Council Tribal Court and the Bethel City Council, and on the boards of the Nature Conservancy, Alaska Humanities Forum, Alaska Children’s Trust, and Russian Orthodox Sacred Sites in Alaska.  Mary has seven children (including three stepchildren).
Anchorage <> Mat-Su Commuter Rail? - Cynthia Wentworth, LaMarr Anderson, Andrea Feniger, Joel Cladouhos - Alaska Commuter Rail Coalitio
24-03-2024
Anchorage <> Mat-Su Commuter Rail? - Cynthia Wentworth, LaMarr Anderson, Andrea Feniger, Joel Cladouhos - Alaska Commuter Rail Coalitio
Cynthia Wentworth is Anchorage-born and raised.  She first took the Alaska Railroad to Montana Creek in 1960 to visit a friend on her homestead.   In 1966, she and her sister Dana, both in the West Anchorage High School band, took the train to Palmer for basketball games.  Cynthia spent her federal and state career as an economist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Alaska Railroad Corporation.  From 2007 to 2013, she lived in Paris, France, where she translated documents on a modal shift from truck to rail for a French transportation agency.  In 2014, she earned her Master's in Cultural Anthropology from Pariss School for Advanced Social Science Studies.  In 2018, Cynthia served on Governor Walker's commuter rail advisory task force.  Since 2022, she has represented Alaska on the Sierra Club's Clean Transportation Committee and rail interest group.  Cynthia's sister Dana moved to England in 1978.  Cynthia spends winters in both England and France, close to family members and where she does not need a car.  She takes the train! LaMarr Anderson has lived in Palmer for the past 20 years and has long been active with various Mat-Su Borough citizen boards, community service organizations, and community improvement projects.  He retired as Lieutenant Colonel from the Air Force with 21 years of service. His assignments included Director of Manpower/Personnel, Hq USAF Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Mission Support Squadron Commander, and various assignments at the Hq USAF Manpower and Personnel Center and Strategic Air Command. Following Air Force retirement, he served in various civilian management roles. He served two terms on each of the MatSu Transportation Advisory and Mat-Su Borough Platting Boards.  He is currently active on the Boards of Mat-Su Health Services, Mat-Su Council on Aging, Valley Charities, and the Mat-Su Salvation Army. His other community involvement includes Palmer Rotary, Mat-Su Community Orchestra, and Concert Band.  Andrea Feniger is an Anchorage resident and has been the Alaska Chapter Director of the environmental non-profit Sierra Club for three and a half years. She holds a BA in political science from The University of Alabama and is a Master of Public Affairs Candidate at The University of California, Berkeley. After growing up in the South, she was excited to settle in a place with abundant natural access. She is grateful to have the opportunity to apply her experience and passion to climate and conservation issues around the state of Alaska. Joel Cladouhos is a father, husband, and social innovator. He was born in Fairbanks and grew up in Juneau. His background includes economic development, the blue economy, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Joel earned his undergraduate degree in economics from Grinnell College and his MBA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Joel is interested in the sustainable use of Alaska's natural resources, such as fisheries, mariculture, renewable energy, eco-tourism, outdoor recreation, local food systems, the circular economy, and the regenerative economy, and supporting the unique opportunities for sustainable development that represent the greatest potential for Alaska. Slides - https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/zaoqr37bjc2glto4a6n7o/Commuter-Rail-in-Alaska-AUUF-3-24-2024.pdf?rlkey=zrgqtxmyzraptwrk0x1cbwl4m&dl=0Alaska Commuter Rail Coalition - https://commuterrailak.comAnchorage Transportation Fair - 28 Mach 2024 - 3 pm-7 pm - UAA Alaska Airlines Center, Auxiliary Gym
Living Conditions, Reentry Challenges & Civil Liberties of Alaskas Prisoners - Robert Churchill, NAACP
10-03-2024
Living Conditions, Reentry Challenges & Civil Liberties of Alaskas Prisoners - Robert Churchill, NAACP
Robert Churchill has been involved with organizations with equal rights as a core value for over 40 years. He has assisted incarcerated Alaskans for the past decade as a volunteer with the NAACP, Alaska Branch 1000 in Anchorage, and the Alaska Nations Reentry Group, providing help to hundreds of individuals, especially Alaska Natives, with discrimination claims, medical and other issues.  One of the Reentry Group projects resulted in a multicultural panel that does a cultural orientation for new police officers. Robert was a long-time member and Chair of the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission.  He is the former Director of Human Resources for the United States Postal Service in Alaska, and since he retired from that position, he has owned an HR consulting business.  As a parent, he was active for many years with the Anchorage Community Council system and volunteered with the Anchorage public school system. Robert lives in Anchorage with his wife, Susan, and together they have two adult children.Recommended books:The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander, a civil rights litigator and legal scholar.The 48 Laws of Power: by Robert GreeneFrom Here to Equality by A. Kirsten Mullen and William A. Darity Jr.From Here to Equality, Second Edition: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century by William A. Darity Jr & A. Kirsten MullenWaiting for an Echo: The Madness of American Incarceration by Christine Montross PBS documentary series (part of Independent Lens) - Philly D.A. | District Attorney Larry Krasner (can be watched online using PBS Passport‭Robert Churchill phone - (907) 529-0935‬
A Remembrance of Journalist Howard Weaver (October 15, 1950-December 14, 2023)
17-12-2023
A Remembrance of Journalist Howard Weaver (October 15, 1950-December 14, 2023)
Howard Weaver, a boy from Muldoon, was probably the most important figure in Alaska journalism. He led the Anchorage Daily News to two Pulitzer prizes—the Gold Medal for Distinguished and Meritorious Public Service, both times. ADN recently went on to win this award for a third time. Only three other newspapers in the 100+ year history of the Pulitzer prizes have earned that honor more often, and the paper’s continuing great work is, in part, a significant reflection of his lasting impact on journalists throughout Alaska today—whether they ever knew him or have even heard of him.  At today’s Forum, we heard from dozens of Howard’s colleagues and friends from Alaska and around the country—many of the best journalists Alaska has known.  They shared their personal and professional memories of Howard with one another. They gave the rest of us insights into a remarkable man engaged in public service journalism as a writer, editor, leader, role model, and inspiration, as well as us a window into some of the most exciting and vital times in journalism.  After leaving Alaska, Howard shared all he had to offer to editors and writers across America as Vice President for News of one of the country’s leading news organizations.  You can find more about Howard in his memoir, “Write Hard, Die Free” (Epicenter Press, 2012), or in the definitive profile of him published upon his death by author and journalist Tom Kizzia:  https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2023/12/15/howard-weaver-editor-who-led-anchorage-daily-news-through-transformative-years-dies-at-73/You can also listen to a podcast of Howard’s June 17, 2018, presentation to the AUUF Forum entitled “Living in a Post-Truth World” here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1965762/episodes/10577494A reformatted PDF of the Zoom Meeting chat can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/zxg857o31ddr1wtrng80e/20231217_0900_RecordingChat.pdf?rlkey=zgxstk0zvzwdycl1ic4oumm1a&dl=0