The Iconocast

Chude Pam Allen is a member of the Bay Area Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement. She coordinates speakers for schools and community groups and has spoken widely about her own experiences. Her writings can be found on their website,, which is considered by many veterans to be the best source for information on the Southern Freedom Movement.

In 1964 Chude participated in the student movement in Atlanta, Georgia while a white exchange student at Spelman, a historically black college. That summer she was a freedom school teacher in Holly Springs, Mississippi. She is featured in Doug McAdam’s book, Freedom Summer and in the award winning film, Freedom on My Mind.

After leaving the South, Chude was an organizer of the Women’s Liberation Movement, first in New York City and then in San Francisco. She taught anti-racism workshops for both women’s liberation groups and the YWCA. She is author of the 1970 classic, Free Space, A Perspective on the Small Group in Women’s Liberation and wrote the chapter on woman suffrage for the book, Reluctant Reformers: Racism and Social Reform Movements in the United States. In the mid-seventies she joined Union Women’s Alliance to Gain Equality and became editor of their newspaper, UNION WAGE. She is featured in the film, She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry.

Direct download: i71_chude_allen_pt12.mp3
Category:Iconocast -- posted at: 1:20pm CDT

In episode 70 Joanna interviews Beth Roy. Beth Roy was born into a Jewish family and raised in Texas where she attended a segregated high school at the time that the Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education. Nurtured by parents committed to racial equality, she has built a life with a quest for justice at its center. She is an author, educator, therapist and restorative justice practitioner. She was part of founding the Practitioners Research and Scholarship Institute, a dynamically diverse group promoting writing and relationships among oft-marginalized people. In 2008, the project published its first anthology, Re-Centering Culture and Knowledge in Conflict Resolution Practice. She resides in San Francisco with her partner and two playful dogs.

Direct download: i70_beth_roy.mp3
Category:Iconocast -- posted at: 10:18am CDT

In episode 69, recorded in the fall of 2017, Joanna interviews Carol Lee and Sarah Lee.

Carol is second generation Chinese American of Toi San background. Carol works with PICO California growing faith communities’ institutional capacity for long-term justice work in Oakland, California. Their program creates accessible on ramps to uncover the root causes of injustice in housing, policing, and immigration policy, while cultivating communal spaces to creatively, seriously, and maximally steward their communities' power and resources for collective liberation.

Sarah is a second generation Chinese American of Hokshan and En Ping descent. Sarah works as a Sanctuary Organizer with Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, developing networks of community safety for immigrants through congregations and immigrant justice coalitions. Her specific focus has been uplifting the stories of formerly incarcerated immigrants and those most in danger of deportation through a project called Migrants in the Pulpit.

In 2017 they created the “Reading is Resistance” Readathon for people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent. The commitments of the readathon included: to speak and act from a deep foundation of the historical work for liberation, to imagine and create a more loving and just world, to resist cultural amnesia by reading and sharing knowledge, and to support organizations doing critical work.

Direct download: i69_carol_and_sara_lee.mp3
Category:Iconocast -- posted at: 12:42pm CDT

In episode 68 Joanna interviews David Solnit. David is an organizer, writer and puppeteer. His activism began in high school with draft resistance organizing and hasn’t stopped since. He was part of shutting down the WTO in Seattle in 1999 and in San Francisco the day after Iraq was invaded in 2003. This past year he spent time at Standing Rock, creating art and telling the story of that struggle, as well as helped to organize art at the People’s Climate March in Washington DC in April. He currently works with as the North American Arts Organizer. 

In the San Francisco Bay Area he organizes with anti-corporate capitalist, climate justice, anti-war, human rights, and environmental justice groups. He is editor of Globalize Liberation: How to Uproot the System and Build a Better World and with his sister, Rebecca Solnit, he co-wrote The Battle of the Story of the Battle of Seattle.

Direct download: i_68_david_solnit.mp3
Category:Iconocast -- posted at: 1:23pm CDT

In this episode, recorded at the Kinsler Bartimaeus Institute in February of 2017, Elaine Enns and Ched Myers reflect on the fragmentation of movements for justice since the Beyond Vietnam speech. Ched shares about the disillusionment following the 60s when justice-minded people broke into niches, focusing on one issue to the exclusion of the rest. Elaine offers the wisdom of Audre Lorde who challenged people to "do their own work" and recognize that our very bodies are intersectional and therefore our movements must be as well.

Elaine Enns and Ched Myers are co-directors of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries. Elaine recently completed a doctorate of ministry on historical responsibility and intergenerational trauma among Canadian Prairie Settler Mennonites and their relationship with Indigenous neighbors. Ched Myers has authored many books, including Binding the Strong Man and Say to This Mountain. Together Ched and Elaine reside in the Ventura River Watershed.

Opening song by Joshua Grace, with Charletta Erb on violin.

Direct download: i_67_Audre_Lourde_.mp3
Category:Iconocast -- posted at: 11:51am CDT

In this episode, recorded at the Kinsler Bartimaeus Institute in February of 2017, Elaine Enns, Ched Myers and Joanna Shenk offer input on the history of enslavement, the eras of reconstruction and the drafting of the Beyond Vietnam speech that Dr. King delivered on April 4, 1967, one year before he was assassinated.

Many people in movement communities are familiar with the Beyond Vietnam speech, but few know about the man who drafted it, Dr. Vincent Harding. Elaine and Ched offer analysis of the history of movements for justice in the United States, encouraging us to neither overplay our current political reality or underplay the obstacles and oppression of the past. Joanna shares from her personal relationship with Dr. Vincent Harding and from his own words describing the experience of drafting the Beyond Vietnam speech and what it means for us today.

Elaine Enns and Ched Myers are co-directors of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries. Elaine recently completed a doctorate of ministry on historical responsibility and intergenerational trauma among Canadian Prairie Settler Mennonites and their relationship with Indigenous neighbors. Ched Myers has authored Binding the Strong Man and Say to This Mountain. Together Ched and Elaine reside in the Ventura River Watershed.

Direct download: i_66_Dr._Harding_Plenary.mp3
Category:Iconocast -- posted at: 9:02pm CDT

This special episode of Iconocast Canvas features live performances from Standing with Standing Rock: A Benefit Event, which took place November 12, 2016. The fundraiser, which was emceed by Canvas hosts Nekeisha and Seth, brought together musicians, dancers and artists to support water protectors resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline in Cannonball, North Dakota. All of the proceeds, more than $2,500, went to the Standing Rock legal defense fund. The event, which took place at Fellowship of Hope Mennonite Church in Elkhart, Indiana, was co-organized by students of Goshen College’s EcoPax Club and Students for Social Reform Clubs, and by Iconocast Canvas. Read a full report back on the benefit here

Intro music: “FHH 12” by FREE Hip Hop Music on Soundcloud

Performers and speakers (in order of appearance)

  • Group song: Mimi Salvador Lucero
  • Song: Nayo Ulloa
  • Q&A: Mechelle Sky Walker, Water protector of the Omaha tribe from the Buffalo Clan residing in territory known as Lincoln, Nebraska. Facilitator: Mimi Salvador Lucero
  • Spoken word: Antonius Northern
  • Spoken word: Mimi Salvador Lucero
  • Song: Nekeisha Alayna Alexis
  • Song: Nayla Jimenez
  • Rap: Abe Medellin
  • Speakers: Cecilia Lapp Stoltzfus, Katerina Friesen and Jimmy Betts
  • Song: Seth Martin (singer) and Evra Tshisola (bass)
  • Group song: Led by Nicole Bauman and Jason Shenk. Written by Keisha Soleil.

Organizers (alphabetical order): Nekeisha Alayna Alexis, Naomi Gross, Cecilia Lapp Stoltzfus, Mimi Salvador Lucero, Seth Martin, Chelsea Risser and Hannah Yoder. Dancers: Phil Chan and Nimoy Vaidya. Rockport campaign information: Jason Shenk. Photography: Verlin Miller. DJ: Caley “DJ Rushmor” Ortman. Location: Fellowship of Hope Mennonite Church, Elkhart, Indiana and Suella Gerber, pastor.

Correction: Nekeisha sincerely apologizes for saying Mimi Salvador Lucero’s name incorrectly in the special thanks during the opening. We also regret neglecting to thank event DJ, Caley “DJ Rushmor” Ortman on the podcast.

Direct download: 005Canvas-StandingRockBenefit.mp3
Category:Iconocast -- posted at: 3:10pm CDT

On episode 65 of the Iconocast Joanna interviews Father Richard Smith. Father Richard Smith was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1978 and worked for several years in parishes in Washington State. Later, after receiving a Ph.D. in Ethics and Social Theory from the Graduate Theological Union, he taught Religious Studies at various San Francisco Bay Area Universities, before working as a technical writer in Silicon Valley. After his reception as an Episcopal priest in 2000, he served as a Priest Associate at St. John the Evangelist, working heavily for immigration reform in San Francisco's Mission District, a largely Latino community. In 2013, he became Vicar at St. John's and has worked to deepen his congregation's commitment to the larger community. He helped establish Mission Nightwalks, an effort by faith communities to stem both police and gang violence in their neighborhood. His congregation now opens their doors each weekday morning for homeless neighbors to sleep in a safe, dry space. And, with hostility toward immigrants increasing, St. John's has now become a Sanctuary congregation, accompanying and protecting newly arrived undocumented immigrants in San Francisco.

Father Richard lives in San Francisco with his husband Rob and their son David.

Direct download: ep65_Fr._Richard.m4a
Category:Iconocast -- posted at: 12:27pm CDT

In episode 64 Joanna interviews Zephyr Elise. Zephyr Elise is mixed indigenous artist, filmmaker, animator, and activist. They graduated from the Evergreen State College in 2012 with a B.A. in film and a specialization in queer and indigenous studies. Born in San Diego, CA they have since lived up and down both coasts, but currently call the #NoDAPL encampment at Standing Rock, ND home. In former incarnations, they have been an organizer with Idle No More- Two Spirits on Ohlone Lands, the executive media assistant for Indian Canyon Nation of Ohlones, and sat on the Two Spirit Council of Indian Canyon. They will be overseeing the Winyan (Lakota: woman) camp, a woman, children, and two spirit safe space in the Oceti Sakowin camp for the winter.

Direct download: i64_Zephyr_Elise.mp3
Category:Iconocast -- posted at: 1:20pm CDT

In episode four of Iconocast Canvas, Nekeisha and Sarah hang out at Activism Row at Afropunk Festival in Commodore Park, Brooklyn. At the August 2016 "Power to the Party" themed event, they talked with several organizers for Black and other liberation  and anti-oppression struggles. Interviewees include Allen Kwabena Frimpong and Walter Cruz from Black Lives Matter: NYC; Olaronke Akinmowo, founder of the Free Black Women's Library; Taliba Obuya, national coordinator of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement; Emma Chu Murphy, festival-goer and doula with Ancient Song Doula Services and Mia Anderson from the Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network. Nekeisha and Sarah open the conversations by reflecting on their experiences at the eclectic gathering dedicated to dynamic and alternative expressions of Black music and culture.

Also mentioned: Every Black Girl and Kleaver Cruz's Black Joy Project.

Music: "Spanish Winter" by The Passion HiFi (Evil Twin Records)

Direct download: IconocastCanvas-Afropunk2016.mp3
Category:Iconocast -- posted at: 12:14pm CDT

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