Real people. Real stories. Humanity unlocked. A podcast about the power of the humanities in Wisconsin prisons.
In this series of six episodes, we are talking with people who have been impacted by the justice system. From a storytelling workshop at Oakhill Correctional Facility, to a poetry workshop with people who were formerly incarcerated, to a conversation with writers and editors of prison newspapers, we are digging into the importance of the humanities as tools for searching for meaning and understanding. With our hosts Dasha Kelly Hamilton and Adam Carr, we will bring you remarkable stories of people inside and outside Wisconsin prisons who are using the humanities to overcome the dehumanization of incarceration.
"My body's locked up. My mind is not locked up."
- Robert Taliaferro
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Season 2: Humanity Unlocked
EPISODE 1: DEATH-DEFYING FEATS
In the first episode of Human Powered 'Humanity Unlocked,' we are stepping out with the remarkable and singular Dasha Kelly Hamilton. Dasha wields words to make magic happen, whether on stage herself, in writing sessions like Prose & Cons, or while chatting with co-host and public historian Adam Carr. We'll drop into one of her workshops and talk with Josh and Fontaine, both students and writers who have responded to Dasha's challenge to find courage in their own unique relationship with words. The result is poetry like you've never heard before. Dasha says that most of the people who meet her didn't know what they were getting into, so get ready. This is going to be good!
EPISODE 2: A MIC AND FIVE MINUTES
Some would say that storytelling is what makes us human. In this episode, we are going to hear some great stories. We are heading to Oakhill Correctional Facility, where the University of Wisconsin Odyssey Beyond Bars Project offers storytelling workshops each semester for incarcerated students who are in the English 100 course. This is UW-Madison’s first face-to-face credit-bearing course inside any Wisconsin state prison since 1917. We will hear from Peter Moreno, the founder and Director of the program, Kevin Mullen, who designed the curriculum and teaches the course, and Mark Español, a former student. And, we get to hear the story Mark told at the English 100 graduation inside Oakhill!
EPISODE 3: THREE CONVICTS, TWENTY DOLLARS, AND A NEWSPAPER
Started in 1887 by three well-known convicts, The Prison Mirror is often considered the best prison newspaper in the United States. But it is just one of many. In the 1980s, Robert Taliaferro was a writer and editor for The Mirror, as it was called in those days. Shannon Ross is a writer who started The Community in 2014 when he was in prison. The newsletter, which he still edits today, reaches half of Wisconsin's prison population. With hosts Adam Carr and Dasha Kelly Hamilton, Robert and Shannon come together to talk shop. We hear from them about why their work centers human-interest stories from people who are incarcerated and what we can learn from those who have an inside perspective.
Find all of season 1 in any podcast listening app and on the EPISODE PAGES ➔
Dasha | Season 2 Co-Host
Dasha Kelly Hamilton is a writer, performance artist and creative change agent. She applies the creative process to facilitate dialogues around human and social wellness. She is the author of novels, poetry collections, spoken word albums, and a touring production called Makin’ Cake. She was Poet Laureate for both the City of Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin. Her A Line Meant project is a statewide poetry exchange for traditional Wisconsin residents and residents of Wisconsin prisons.
Adam | Season 2 Co-Host
Adam Carr is a storyteller, artist, filmmaker, radio producer, urban explorer, community organizer and historian. He is also a lifelong Milwaukeean and works at the intersection of community and communication. He helped organize events to acknowledge the 50th anniversary of the open housing marches in Milwaukee and is the author of “Explore MKE: Your Neighborhood, Our City,” a children’s book made in collaboration with third graders. He works for the Milwaukee Parks Foundation as the Director of Strategic Partnerships.
Jimmy | Season 1 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 sons.
Jen | Producer
Jen Rubin is the Executive Producer for Love Wisconsin. She leads storytelling workshops with the Odyssey Project’s Odyssey Beyond Bars English class and co-produces the Moth StorySlam in Madison. She wrote the book, We Are Staying: Eighty Years in the Life of a Family, a Store, and a Neighborhood.
Jade | Producer
Jade Iseri-Ramos is an audio producer based out of Madison. She is also a reporter and producer with WORT 89.9FM.
Jessica | Creative Director
Jessica Becker works as the Director of Digital Communications for Wisconsin Humanities. She has spent her 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.
Human Powered Interns
For the second season of Human Powered, our interns contributed their talents, passion, and dedication to help bring the show into the world. From top left to bottom right: Kali Froncek, Alejandro Dominguez, Kamika Patel, and Megan Gordon.
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