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The Afterword

A Conversation About the Future of Words

The Afterword Podcast brings producers, creators, consumers and inventors of words to a common table. Our guests provide ramps of accessibility into each topic through authentic conversation. Whether we're talking with an author, illustrator, gamer, genealogist or comedian, we want to learn how words become catalysts for advancement and cultural progress. This podcast is for anyone who enjoys words and macrotrends and is interested in how they intersect.

The Afterword Podcast Stickers are here. 3” Vinyl Stickers are $3 including shipping - Venmo us at @Afterword-AmyB. Each sticker helps support the conversation about the future of words. Thank you for your support as we get ready to launch season 3 of the Afterword Podcast.


We want to thank one of our guests, Jim Dukes, who helped create our new logo. You can visit his site to see his other work.

 

Podcast Episodes

The Afterword on Vaccines

They changed history. But how? The truth behind vaccines.

The creation of vaccines gave us a powerful new weapon to fight diseases. The history of immunology began in 1796, with the smallpox vaccine, and the innovation has not stopped. This medical miracle has been viewed with hesitancy for centuries, but research has proved the effectiveness of vaccination. Do the advancements outweigh the risks? What have we learned that may help create safer and more effective vaccines?

Dr. Brenton DeBoef, interim dean of the graduate school at the University of Rhode Island, and Dr. Tiffaney Threatt, associate professor of pharmacy at Presbyterian College, help us unpack the stories about vaccines and immunology. 

Episode 1

The Afterword on Coffee

What are the stories behind the bean and the beverage?

Coffee brings people together. Whether you prefer black, latte, single origin or instant, this beverage can connect ideas and launch conversations.

But do you know the story behind the bean? For instance, did you know that for every cup of coffee, it takes a farmer one year of work to grow the beans? This ancient brew has become part of every culture, so join us at the table as we take a "coffee break" with Brittany Koester, owner of Azalea Coffee Bar, and Bryan Miller, general manager of Piecewise Coffee. 

Episode 1

Episode 2

The Afterword on Motivation

How do we motivate others to reach their goals when facing challenges?

How do we motivate others or ourselves to do those tasks which may not be preferred? What can we do to increase resilience in order to promote solving tough problems? Is motivation innate or is it cultivated? We'll hear stories that inspire us to push forward and overcome obstacles! Dr. C.C. Bates, professor at Clemson University and Lauri Yanis, Vice President with Pioneer Valley Books share their personal motivational tips and insights.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Grandparents and Caregivers
Raising Young Children

What supports help multi-generational families navigate gaps in our culture?

Parenting is challenging. It grows more complicated when it crosses a generational gap. New technology , societal bias, and legal systems often compound the difficulties these families experience.

Michelle Anderson of the Appalachian Council of Governments and Pam Meeker-Stolz from Alliance of Relative Caregivers join the podcast to talk about tools that help a growing number of grandparents and caregivers raising children.

What we talked about:

  • How communities can support grandparent-parents and kinship carers as they navigate expectations

  • Ways we can listen to families experiencing multi-tiered traumas

  • How to help alleviate the isolation, stigmas, and negative stereotypes that many experience doing second-round parenting experience 

  • Why connecting to others with similar stories is key to bridging the social divide and finding sustaining support.

Episode 1

Stories of Urban Revitalization

How can we renew our cities in ways that help every citizen flourish?

When we consider the potential renewal of our cities, community development, and the prospect of urban sprawl, we need to look at all the stories behind transformation.

How do cities lose their authenticity in these changes? What are the benefits of fixing up, rather than mowing down? How do we balance the need to transform cities with the preservation of culture, without dividing our neighborhoods?

Strong designs, public and private partnerships, accessible transportation, and good leadership help guide vision. Join us as Dorothy Dowe, Greenville City Council member, and Dr. Lee Hardy, professor emeritus at Calvin College, explain the impact of revitalization.

The Geography of Nowhere

Episode 1

Episode 2

Power of Being in Nature

The benefits of being outside and how outdoor education plays a role.

Being in nature offers benefits and risks. Learning to adapt while experiencing the tension between danger and daring is just one of the rewards of being in the Great Outdoors.

Our guests this week from 2nd Nature Trec: Brad Daniel, Andrew Bobilya, and Brad Faircloth explain the transformation that occurs when we step outside. Giving space to experience the awe and wonder of our natural environment develops lessons we can transfer to every aspect of life.

Black Folks Camp Too

National Parks

State Parks

Episode 1

Episode 2

Sports and Social Transformation

How can a game change a neighborhood or a nation for good?

Do sports programs for youth support and strengthening our communities? What is the essential element that we need to help us move forward with positivity and connection in schools, businesses, teams? How can playing a game lead to better communication and understanding? To help us kick off the Third Season of the Afterword Podcast, we have two experts sharing insight and personal stories of social transformation through sports.

Jeff Hood, CEO of National Police Activities Leagues (PALS), details the power of commitment and intentionally listening to young people in order to promote positive change. Rasheed Wright director of Proskills Basketball- Richmond explains that sports is life school and a reflective microcosm of society.

Episode 1
Episode 2

Best of 2020: Supply Chains and
The stories behind them!

This was one of our most popular episodes this Year! We can all relate to the shortages and limited numbers of items this year. We are re-releasing this fantastic conversation.

When we think about how goods get to us, from end to end and back again, what are the issues that impact consumers and citizens? How can links in the supply chain promote or derail how products get to us? How do the stories behind these systems influence the global market?

What are the success stories we can learn from and how do the failures teach us how to solve problems? Dr. Mark Ferguson of USC and Scott Luton from Supply Chain Now Radio have answers to these questions and stories you will not want to miss.

Episode 1

Best of 2020: Stories From the Campaign Trail

This is a re-release of our MOST downloaded episode for 2020.


Presidential election years are usually busy for those who are interested in politics. But most of us are actually more affected by our local legislators. Knowing the stories behind the people we send to represent us is vital.

Deb Sofield is a speaker, author and coach who helps her clients find their voices and use them effectively. Phyllis Henderson was a state representative from 2010-2018 and currently serves as a development specialist for an educational institution.

In our conversation with these two guests, we learn the power of personal stories on the campaign trail. This is timely information that may help all of us navigate the 2020 election season.

Episode 1

The Afterword on 2020

A look back at our year of podcasts and projections for the future!

Amy Bowlin and Holland Webb started The Year of 2020 like most people, filled with hope and thoughts of fresh starts for the New Year.

Little did they know when recording an episode on March 12 that this would be the last time they would be in the studio to tape the podcast. Once lock down orders were implemented, The Afterword went fully remote. While not ideal, the "coronatude" (gratitude from the coronavirus) was that technology provided a way to keep the show on the road!

Join them as they look at the top episodes of the year, review some new words Jeopardy style, and share what's in store for 2021.

Episode 1

Moral Outrage, Social Disconnect and How Humans Coexist

What are constructive paths to passionate disagreement that allow us to share without destroying relationships?

Dillon Smith, content manager for Carey Nieuwhof Communications, and Rob Henderson, PhD student at Cambridge University, explain the trend of social shaming and cancel culture connected to moral outrage.

How can we balance our personal judgement of morality and norms while promoting cooperation with others?

Human beings are susceptible to one's environment, opinions of peers, and the social circles we run in. The challenge is to be wary of the voices we listen to and choose not to engage in rhetoric that is promoting negative extremism. Rather than fueling emotionally charged social media, it may be essential to let go of the urge to like or retweet and focus on connection rather than division.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Incarceration and Reentry

How do the stories of restoration help heal and give hope to those who have been in prison?

How do collateral consequences compound the cycle of punishment for those who have spent time in jail? What can our communities do to change hearts and minds regarding reentry after incarceration?

Rather than focus on prison sentences, our guests Jerry Blassingame, CEO and founder of Soteria, and Kate Weaver Patterson from Root and Rebound explain that restorative justice supports transformation. We learn that it costs much more to incarcerate as opposed to educate and that true rehabilitation will only occur when there is equity in our legal systems. 

Episode 1
Episode 2

The Power of Humor

How do laughter and comedic stories help support a positive outlook?

If you need some comic relief, we are re-releasing this episode from January 2020. What's funny to one person isn't always humorous to another. Sometimes jokes go wrong, but our guests share that often, that is where the best comedy occurs.

James Cary is a writer for the BBC, author of The Sacred Art of Joking, and host of multiple podcasts. Harrison Brookie is a high school social studies teacher and the founder of Alchemy Comedy Theater. Join us at the table as we laugh, chat about comedy together, and begin the year with some fun!

Episode 1

The Afterword on Hunger

How do the stories of disasters, trauma, and policies impact how we support the hungry?

Hunger impacts every area of our lives. It creates loss of cognitive functioning, limits healthy growth and impedes productivity. We can offer a hand up so that no child or adult has to go to bed hungry.

Mike Darrow of Feeding the Carolinas and Alan Harkey  from Feed the Children share eye-opening stories about hunger in our country and around the world. We talk about food insecurity and how the pandemic has exacerbated this need. The average number of times a person goes to a food bank is 4 times a year.

How can corporations, partner agencies, and individuals better support the communities in our world? 

Episode 1

Episode 2

The Power of the VOTE

Do our votes matter and why do we need to exercise our civic duty?

How do our individual votes impact our communities? Why do we need to access our right as citizens? If we do not participate in the voting process then decisions are made without our consent.

Our guests Charnise Mangle and Lawson Wetli share the stories of our democratic republic and why we must use our voice through the power of the vote!

Episode 1
Episode 2

Code Switching

What does it cost us to switch from our native language to another one? Why do we benefit when we switch social codes in conversation? How can we best navigate the nuances of language, dialect and slang in a multi-cultural world?

Dr. Myles Durkee with The University of Michigan and Dr. Araceli Hernandez-Laroche from USC Upstate share how humans adapt to signals and cues in order to access the double edged sword of code switching. 

NPR 5 Reasons we Code switch

Whistling Vivaldi

Episode 1
Episode 2

Human Rights Stories

How do we tell stories of injustice in an ethical and compelling way?

How do stories humanize justice issues facing our communities? When we hold authentic conversations and hear the stories of others, it softens hearts and changes mindsets!

While we all want a happy ending, that ending is more fairy tale than fact in many current events. Human suffering and the injustices we experience create systemic indignity and remove agency.

On this episode of the podcast, Ali Noorani of the National Immigration Forum and Stephan Bauman, former CEO of World Relief, explain that experiences and emotions elevate convictions and engage people from diverse cultures. It's critical to tell other people's stories ethically without minimizing a complex narrative.

Ethical Story Telling

The Danger of a Single Story

Amanda Ripley: Complicating a narrative 

Episode 1

Episode 2

Grandparents and Caregivers Raising Young Children

What supports help multi-generational families navigate gaps in our culture?

Parenting is challenging. It grows more complicated when it crosses a generational gap. New technology , societal bias, and legal systems often compound the difficulties these families experience.

Michelle Anderson of the Appalachian Council of Governments and Pam Meeker-Stolz from Alliance of Relative Caregivers join the podcast to talk about tools that help a growing number of grandparents and caregivers raising children.

What we talked about:

  • How communities can support grandparent-parents and kinship carers as they navigate expectations

  • Ways we can listen to families experiencing multi-tiered traumas

  • How to help alleviate the isolation, stigmas, and negative stereotypes that many experience doing second-round parenting experience 

  • Why connecting to others with similar stories is key to bridging the social divide and finding sustaining support.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Virtual Education

How do we engage students in a virtual classroom?

We are embodied people, and face-to-face interaction with other humans is vital to our flourishing. How can students interact if their class doesn't meet in person?

There are ways to enhance the social emotional experience for students, teachers and parents in a virtual classroom space. Connection through two layers of screens presents challenges, but is not impossible.

Marissa Di Pasquale, CEO of Mindsets Learning, and Tom Davis, director of business development at the Center for Educational Innovation, explain how we can re-engage students for real-world problem solving through a virtual platform. Some of the issues and barriers to this learning environment are equity to resources like broadband. Our spotlight guest, Andy Vaughn from Transportant shares how innovation helps to level the playing field.

Episode 1
Episode 2

Women Empowering Women

How can we support women in our community and create prosperity for all?

When we celebrate all women's victories, stories and accomplishments, society as a whole prospers.

Former First Lady of South Carolina Rachel Hodges and Chef Erin Nobles are pioneers in the field of women's empowerment. Rachel helped found The City of Women in Columbia, SC whose mission is "She did, I can." The City of Women highlights the stories of women from history and current events, which provides one way to ensure equality and advancement in future generations.


Rachel and Erin encourage citizens all over our globe to consider: when women thrive, communities thrive. 

Resources mentioned on the episode:

City of Women

Silver Spoon Bakeshop

Wren Network

Episode 1
Episode 2

Power of Spoken Word and Art

How can word-based performance art influence public discourse?

Words have weight! Spoken word poetry is Not Just Words. Its messages have power to communicate across barriers and promote healing.

When creating art, perfection is not required. Spoken word art provides a way to release a multi-faceted language and a way for everyone to be heard.

In this episode, Jim Dukes  and Jah Smalls help us build bridges and find common ground through the power of words. Art is a conversation starter, that we listen to with our heart and see with our eyes! Make sure to join us at The Table. 

Charlotte Art League

Episode 1

Episode 2

The Rise of Antisemitism

What are the stories that fuel racial or religious hatred?

This year marks the 75th anniversary of The Auschwitz Liberation Commemoration. During the Holocaust, six million Jews died under a philosophy of hate and division. All in the past, you say? Maybe not!

Last year, the Anti Defamation League identified 2,107 antisemitic incidents, up 12% from the 1,879 recorded in 2018. History that was forgotten or manipulated is now being repeated.

To talk about that, we invited on the podcast Dr. Melinda Menzer an activist with HIAS and professor at Furman University. She is one of the torch bearers who communicates her own family's narrative of racism, hatred and escape. We also invited historian Scott Auspelmyer, director of the South Carolina Council on the Holocaust. As an educator, Scott helps make sure we never forget.

Together, Melinda, Scott, Amy, and Holland discuss:

  • Where antisemitism is growing around the globe

  • What feeds both subtle and overt antisemitism

  • Why antisemitism appeals to both far left and far right

  • How you can help stand for justice

Episode 1

Episode 2

Sports Hour

Tune in every day at 9 AM EST sharp and begin enjoying rich and original content provided by The Afterword through their Sports Hour. Learn more about the wildly popular show that’s keeping listeners around San Francisco incredibly engaged with the richest radio content you’ll find for miles.

Social Impact of Words, Art and Games

How do images, words and play connect us as a community?

The pandemic has proven how much we need each other. Not just virtually, but in real life, too. As a global community, we need human connection through authentic and immersive interaction.

How can we sustain this in our culture? Activities, shared experiences and a leveled playing field help to close the crisis of connection. Are we participating or spectating? When we care who is on the other side of the table, we have authentic interactions with humanity.

Rob Angel, the creator of Pictionary  explains how his game engages people through collaboration. He has also written a book "Game Changer" that explores the adventure of his entrepreneurial enterprise.


Rebecca Bleau & Nick Cravotta are the innovative team behind Blue Matter Games this dynamic duo understand that play is essential to being part of something bigger than ourselves.

Episode 1
Episode 2

Animal Stories and Their Appeal to

Human Beings

Why do pets captivate our hearts and impact our communities?

The pet care industry is booming. 85% of American households have a pet. Our animal friends range from cuddly puppies and energetic gerbils to sleepy cats and squawking birds. Consumers spend thousands of dollars over the lifespans of their animals.

Beyond the money and the sales, though, human beings create a bond with their pets and vice versa which makes our pets more like family. Rich Williams and Brett Teper are the creators of Modkat, an innovative litter box where modern cats do their business. Rich and Brett share insight about the connections between the person and the pet. 

Episode 1

Episode 2

Supply Chain Stories

How are people affected by supply and demand in the global marketplace?

When we think about how goods get to us, from end to end and back again, what are the issues that impact consumers and citizens? How can links in the supply chain promote or derail how products get to us?

How do the stories behind these systems influence the global market? What are the success stories we can learn from and how do the failures teach us how to solve problems? Dr. Mark Ferguson of USC and Scott Luton from Supply Chain Now Radio have answers to these questions and stories you will not want to miss.

Episode 1
Episode 2

Sharing Your Business' Story

Why are consumers drawn to businesses when they learn the story behind the brand?

Every successful business has a narrative that propels sales and builds relationships with customers. James Carbary of Sweet Fish Media and Mary Catherine Kunze ,founder of Uniquely MC, share the ways in which stories help build successful enterprises.

These guests explain the importance of being authentic and relational along with understanding your "why" in order to help people become economically engaged. When we use our voice to tell the lessons of success and failure in business, we draw producers and consumers toward our brands. 

Episode 1

Episode 2

Mental Illness and Suicide Prevention

Behind the statistics regarding mental health and suicide, is a person, a family and a community. 

Often, the journey of mental illness leads down dark roads. Thankfully, there are tools and resources that safely help guide and promote wellness. On this episode of The Afterword, we have a vital and authentic conversation with Terry Lee of Overflow Foundation and Dr. Kathryn Greene-McCreight  an author and Episcopal priest at Yale. 

Terry and Kathryn share their own stories of grief and explain how to let go of pain. Bringing awareness and hope to others through education, advocacy and conversation is a key element of this topic.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Fatherhood

What stories does our society tell about fatherhood and what is the impact?

What are some of the fatherhood narratives in society? How do the stories we tell about fathers play a role in shaping our community and culture? Are there tales that get repeated from one generation to another that either promote or deter healthy families? How is our perspective on the place of the dad in our family altered by the stories we hear?

To gain some insight we have a guest host on The Afterword. Licensed counselor Judy Jankowski joins author Carlton Hughes and our own Holland Webb for this inspiring conversation about fathers. See our link for Holland and Carlton's new devotional, Adventures in Fatherhood

Carlton Hughes on Twitter


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Episode 2

The Facts and Fiction of Artificial Intelligence

Do machines think? What are the ethical questions that need to be answered as we consider the use of artificial intelligence?

Dr. Scott Hawley of Belmont University and Dr. John Wyatt of University College London help us gain insight through the stories that surround AI.

Episode 1

Episode 2

We talk about the history of AI, its positive aspects, and how data impacts AI. If you've ever thought robots may take over the world or that the future belongs to dystopian entities, then this episode may help clear up the facts verses the fiction regarding artificial intelligence. Join us for a brilliant conversation!

Leveraging Your Personal Story

What is the impact of one person's story? How will others remember us? Are our narratives purposeful?

This week we talk with Oleg Lougheed, founder of Overcoming Odds, about how to craft a personal story that lets us connect meaningfully with other people. Each of us has a story; how will you tell yours? 

Join us at the table and please remember to subscribe so that you are up on all the latest episodes and show notes!

Part 1 Airs in March 16, 2020

Part 2 Airs in March 23, 2020

Video Game Stories and Their Global Impact

How do video game stories get developed and told? And how do those story lines influence gamers in the real world?

On this episode, we talk with John Staats, author and game designer, to learn how these vehicles of immersion captivate the imagination. Also at our table, we had Casey Chambers and Torin Wright, who are professional gamers with TESPA a collegiate eSports platform. This competitive team accessed their gaming stage to highlight social injustice and use their voices to protest issues around the world.

While some see video games as child's play, these guests explain that culture, agency, and social interactions are key elements as well!

Part 1 Airs in March 2, 2020

Part 2 Airs in March 9, 2020

How We Could Talk Better About the Environment

How do stories about our natural world promote change in the environment?

Joelle Teachy of Trees Upstate and John Yunker of Ashland Creek Press help us explore the power of story in conversations about the natural environment. Where facts fail to motivate or create a change in mindset, personal narrative regarding our natural world can have a more compelling effect.

Through regeneration, respect and retraining, we can be optimistic about the future of our planet and the creatures who inhabit it. Join us at the table for a conversation that helps us consider how a healthy environment is good not just for the climate, but for all living beings!

Part 1 Airs in February 17, 2020

Part 2 Airs in February 24, 2020

Stories from The Campaign Trail

How do we connect to the personal narratives our representatives share? 

Presidential election years are usually busy for those who are interested in politics. But most of us are actually more affected by our local legislators. Knowing the stories behind the people we send to represent us is vital.

Deb Sofield is a speaker, author and coach who helps her clients find their voices and use them effectively. Phyllis Henderson was a state representative from 2010-2018 and currently serves as a development specialist for an educational institution.

In our conversation with these two guests, we learn the power of personal stories on the campaign trail. This is timely information that may help all of us navigate the 2020 election season.

Part 1 Airs in February 3, 2020

Part 2 Airs in February 10, 2020

Comedy, Humor, and Storytelling

During our first episode of Season 2, we sat down with BBC comedy writer James Cary and Alchemy Comedy Theatre founder Harrison Brookie. We asked: How do humorous stories and the laughter they generate help us live longer, better, and more fulfilling lives?

James is a comedy writer for the BBC who has worked on shows such as Miranda and Blue 42. He's the author of the book The Sacred Art of Joking about how humor works (and doesn't) in the realm of religion.

Harrison founded The Alchemy Comedy Theatre in his hometown of Greenville, SC. He keeps Greenville laughing through workshops, TedX Greenville, Furman's OLLI program, and the New South Comedy Festival. Harrison teaches high school social studies, which is no joke.

Part 1 Airs in January 20, 2020

Part 2 Airs in January 27, 2020

Season 1

In Season 1 of The Afterword podcast, we discussed the intersection of storytelling with trends such as STEM education, trauma, diversity, dementia, and smart cities. To listen to these and other conversations at our table, visit our page on Apple Podcasts

Pop Hour

This show is the perfect opportunity for listeners to wind down and get ready to welcome the weekend. Whether you’re into music or talk shows, Pop Hour provides listeners with an opportunity to enjoy original, high-quality content every single week. Tune in and discover why listeners refuse to miss Pop Hour.

Rock Hour

This is one of the oldest and most popular shows on our station. Tune in to discover new hits and enjoy the classics of the genre. Whether you’re learning a new fun fact from one of our hosts or jamming to a one-hit wonder, there’s always something new to discover when you listen to Rock Hour on The Afterword.

 

Your Hosts

Who are Amy Bowlin & Holland Webb?

Amy is a reading teacher. Holland is a writer. They both love words. So they decided to start a conversation with other nerdy, wordy people about libraries, board games, smart cities and reading education, inclusive literature, science novels, and how Curious George escaped from the Nazis. Put on your headphones and listen in.

 
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Amy Bowlin

Amy is a veteran teacher. She works with 6-year-olds in literacy intervention and shares with college seniors the art of teaching literacy. Balancing both worlds involves commuting which allows her to listen to her favorite podcasts, “Wait Wait ... Don’t Tell Me,” “This American Life” and “Revisionist History.” When she is not traveling to Greece to work with refugees, she likes to write, hike, kayak and spend time with family and friends.

Holland Webb by Mary Denman Photography

Holland Webb

Holland is a full-time freelance writer and editor. He spends his days writing about higher education, B2B technology, and nonprofit organizations. His clients have let him write for U.S. News & World Report, The Learning House, The Red Lantern, and Sweet Fish Media. Holland's favorite writers are Malcolm Gladwell, Olive Ann Burns, and Flannery O'Connor. In his spare time ... are you kidding, what spare time?

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