Human Powered is a show about how people make places better. In our first season, we explore Wisconsin together to meet real people and hear in-depth stories that we hope leave you feeling closer to your neighbors—and inspired by where you live.
Brought to you by Wisconsin Humanities and Love Wisconsin and produced by Field Noise Soundworks.
THE POWER OF BEING SEEN (WITH TRACEY ROBERTSON)
This episode spotlights Tracey Robertson, a nonprofit leader and community organizer who was tired of hearing her neighbors repeat stereotypes she knew were not true. She figured that to change the narrative, people needed to be able to see each other more clearly, as complex individuals each with a story to share. In this episode, we learn about a project called Color-Brave that evolved from conversations in a coffee shop to a traveling exhibit and book. You'll meet Mushe and Shawn, featured in Color-Brave, and the photographer and museum curator who made it possible.
THE POWER OF INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE (WITH MARVIN DEFOE)
This episode starts with a meal around a fire, in a place where people have been cooking and eating for more than 5,000 years. Our hosts are Marvin Defoe and Edwina Buffalo-Reyes, members of the Red Cliff band of Lake Superior Ojibwe in Bayfield County. For the last three years, the Red Cliff Tribal Historic Preservation Office has been collaborating with two archaeologists helping excavate sites on tribal lands. Listen to hear what they are doing to reclaim and revitalize the deep history and culture of their people—and to help train a new generation of scholars committed to centering indigenous knowledge.
THE POWER OF PLANTING SEEDS (WITH MARGARET FRANCHINO)
We all eat. But the foods we eat, and have access to, varies widely. In this episode, we meet some people who have been gardening in Green Bay's vibrant community garden program for years. They tell us why these gardens matter, what they grow, and how planting seeds impacts their lives in real ways. We also talk with some of the women who got the garden program started, figured out what makes a garden thrive, and are keeping it going despite ongoing challenges.
THE POWER OF UNTOLD STORIES (WITH RACHEL MONACO-WILCOX)
Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Rachel Monaco-Wilcox understands this. She founded LOTUS, a free victim rights legal clinic, and Untold Stories, a writing and art-making workshop for survivors of human trafficking. In this episode, we talk with Rachel about her work, as well as participants of the workshop who carry the torch and share their stories so that others may find their own way. Rachel is one of those people who blazes new trails, but she does not walk alone. She brings others along to find beauty, courage, and strength within themselves.
THE POWER OF EXPERIENCE (WITH CAROLINE GOTTSCHALK DRUSCHKE)
The Driftless region of Wisconsin is no stranger to flooding. Its spectacular valleys and ridges were formed by the flow of rushing water over millions of years. But in recent memory, the floods are getting more intense, and happening more often—a combination that is having a profound impact on local people and communities. In this episode, we’ll hear stories from people who experienced the flooding firsthand, from farmers to firefighters. And we’ll hear from people who think that these stories might just hold the key for creating a sustainable future in the Driftless—and beyond.
THE POWER OF LISTENING (WITH ARIJIT SEN)
Who are the experts in a city? In a neighborhood? In this episode, we meet a professor of architecture who has designed a ‘field school’ that encourages students to dig into these questions. We sit on front porches in some of Milwaukee’s most economically challenged neighborhoods to learn from residents that building community, and caring for a place, takes more than a hammer and nails.
HUMAN POWERED TRAILER
A podcast about people making places better with real stories from Milwaukee to the Driftless to the Red Cliff Reservation. Meet inspiring people doing incredible things.
What people are saying
"Among us are neighbors making things better; Human Powered brings their stories to life, warming our hearts and bridging distances real and perceived."
- Michael Perry, best-selling author of books including Population: 485 and Truck: A Love Story, columnist and singer/songwriter
"People across Wisconsin are doing amazing things! I'm so excited to get to know more of my Wisconsin neighbors through this podcast."
- Maureen McCollum, host and producer for Wisconsin Life on Wisconsin Public Radio
Jimmy | Host
Jimmy Gutierrez (he/him) is a journalist, storyteller and audio producer from Milwaukee. He’s currently working on filling information gaps in Milwaukee’s low-wealth neighborhoods with the help of Stanford’s JSK Fellowship. He’s helped launch, co-host and produce a number of different podcasts during his time at New Hampshire Public Radio.
Craig | Senior Producer
Craig Eley is an audio producer and cultural historian whose work has been heard in radio shows, podcasts, documentaries, and museum installations. He previously worked for the radio show To the Best of Our Knowledge and has a Ph.D in American Studies from the University of Iowa. He lives in Madison with his wife and son.
Jen | Producer
Jen Ruben is the Executive Producer at Love Wisconsin. She co-produces the Moth StorySlam in Madison, leads storytelling workshops around the state, and co-hosts Inside Stories podcast. She teaches a Social Policy class at the University of Wisconsin School of Social Work and wrote the book, We Are Staying: Eighty Years in the Life of a Family, a Store, and a Neighborhood.
Jessica | Producer
Jessica Becker works as the Director of Communication for Wisconsin Humanities. She has spent her 20 year career with Wisconsin Humanities creating and managing statewide programs that celebrate the state’s people and stories. She holds a Masters in Museum Education and lives in Madison with her husband and daughters.
Jade | Producer
Jade Iseri-Ramos is an audio producer based out of Madison. She is also a reporter and producer with WORT 89.9FM.