Multi-level Marketing

Eleanor Russell, of the Noisy Ghost podcast, visits Talkin’ Socialism to discuss pyramid schemes, tupperware parties and the commodification of community.


Sanctuary as an Organizing Strategy

Episode 78, recorded 09.08.2017:


As the federal government intensifies its crackdown against immigrants and immigrant communities—from the DACA repeal to Trump’s travel ban—the struggle for sanctuary becomes ever more important. The Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN) is an interfaith organization that mobilizes with 30 congregations throughout the Chicagoland area to fight for sanctuary that goes beyond basic, short-term protections. “Sanctuary is not a one-time event. It’s a process. It’s a strategy, a way of organizing,” says immigration organizer Cinthya Rodriguez.

In this episode, two members of CRLN discuss their vital organizing work in immigrant communities. Claudia Lucero is a long-time community organizer in the Chicago area and currently serves as CRLN’s Executive Director. Cinthya Rodriguez is the Immigration Organizer for CRLN, where she mobilizes faith communities to support undocumented-led movements.

Use the audio player below: or [right-click] to download for listening later OGG VORBIS (33.6 MB) (47:06)

Towards a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine

Episode 77, recorded 07.19.2017:


Since its founding in 2001, The Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine (CJPIP) has advocated for a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that categorically ends terror and recognizes the rights of all people living in the region. Its platform includes an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, an end to U.S. policies that sustain the occupation, and the undertaking of a fair negotiation process with international support.

In this episode, two members of CJPIP’s steering committee discuss their activism and the challenges of creating a lasting peace in Israel and Palestine. Rebekah Levin is a founding member of CJPIP and the co-author of the study “Human Rights in the Occupied Territories 1979–1983,” produced with former Israeli politician and activist Shulamit Aloni. Caren Van Slyke is a founding member of CJPIP and an active voice in peace and justice campaigns for more than four decades.

Use the audio player below: or [right-click] to download for listening later OGG VORBIS (33.6 MB) (42:09)

The Fight For Reproductive Justice

Episode 76, recorded 07.07.2017:

More than 40 years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision put abortion choice in women’s hands, reproductive justice remains contentious both in the streets and in state politics. At local clinics, the Illinois Choice Action Team’s volunteer escorts must guide patients safely into the clinic and shield them from harassment from picketers; in Springfield, the legislature passed new protections on abortion rights, only to face a likely veto from Governor Rauner.

In this episode, DSA’s Tom Broderick discusses ICAT’s volunteer escort program and the ongoing struggle for reproductive justice in conversation with Betsy Schaack, a clinic escort volunteer, board member of The Clinic Vest Project, and practicing paralegal for 25 years, and Sheila Loop, a long-time clinic escort volunteer, deputy general counsel for a national healthcare IT company, and former legislative aide to former senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN).

Listeners can petition Governor Rauner to advance the abortion rights bill (H.B.40) by calling his Chicago office at (312) 814-2121.

Use the audio player below: or [right-click] to download for listening later MP3 (31.8 MB) or OGG VORBIS (33.6 MB) (37:45)

Friends Advocacy Teams

Peace on EarthEpisode 75, recorded 04.15.2017: The Friends Committee on National Legislation is a non-partisan Quaker lobby that dates back to 1943. Speaking for its constituent Quakers, or “Friends,” the group leverages its nationwide network to advocate “social and economic justice, peace, care for the Earth, and good government,” according to its statement of legislative policy.

In this episode, E. Garnet Fay, the chair of the Public Policy Committee of the Illinois Conference of Churches, and David Kelm, a non-Quaker “friend of a Friend,” discuss the FCNL and its efforts to craft peace-oriented policy, including a recent focus on cutting Pentagon funding.

Use the audio player below

or [right-click] to download for listening later
MP3 (21.5 Mbytes) or OGG VORBIS (16.6 Mbytes) (24:43)

Our Guests

E. Garnet Fay
Having grown up on a farm in north-central Illinois, E. Garnet Fay graduated from Northwestern University and received a JD degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law. An Oak Park resident, he practices law in the area of Wills and Trusts and Estate Administration with an office in the Monadnock Building in Chicago. An active member of the Society of Friends since joining as a “Convinced Friend” in 1979, he has been involved in a variety of Friends concerns, including serving on committees of the American Friends Service Committee, chairing the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and the Justice Coalition of Greater Chicago. Garnet presently chairs the Public Policy Committee of the Illinois Conference of Churches and serves on the board of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago. He has long supported the Friends Committee on National Legislation, having headed the Development committee and served in other efforts of the FCNL.

David Kelm
David grew up in the country between Lockport and Lemont, IL. When he realized his mother would not be able to afford his college tuition he decided to become a hair stylist and work his way through. He got his BA from Concordia University in 1992 in a returning adult degree completion program. During the thirty years between high school and his BA, he had a successful career as an owner-stylist. David sees himself, like many today, as spiritual but not religious. His thinking has been strongly influenced by ‘A Course in Miracles’, the writings of Eckhart Tolle, the skill set known as ‘Non-Violent Communication’, the trainings of the ManKind Project and in being a Laughter Yoga Facilitator. David, though not a Quaker, is referred to as a FOF (friend of a Friend) and as such has attended four annual national lobby days in DC, where he first became aware of the Advocacy Team concept. On the night of the election he was on a train to DC for last year’s annual meeting and he decided bringing the Advocacy Team home would be his way of ‘turning the other cheek.’

For More Information

Friends Committee on National Legislation- Advocacy Teams
Friends Committee on National Legislation- Issues


Episode Producer: Tom Broderick
Sound Recording: Charles Austin
Post-production: Charles Austin
Web Page: Charles Austin and Bob Roman