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The Listening Project

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The Listening Project

JMC 4970/5970

Julie Jones - Gaylord College of Journalism

Listening is key to being a good leader, storyteller or journalist. Yet, only about 10% of people have the ability to listen effectively.  Technology does not help. The constant ‘ding’ of phone notifications, DM messages and social media posts disrupt our conversations all the while interrupting and speaking without thinking is becoming a norm. The Listening Project will teach you active listening and ways to practice these skills in your life.

Speakers from the fields of strategic media, journalism, politics, mental health and technology will share their innovative approaches to listening. You will learn how to “listen” to research and the social network patterns underpinning all social media behavior. We will learn how to have difficult conversations with civility. This incudes discussions centered on race and inclusivity.

We will have fun too. Think improv coaches. We will go out into communities, plunk down chairs in public spaces and set up signs that saying “I am here to listen” to see who comes forward to talk. The Listening Project will open your mind to hear the world and people around. It will set a foundation you will build on for the rest of your career.

Public Lecture Series

Saying Yes: Listening Lessons From the World of Improv

Wednesday, August 28, 2019
1:30 pm
Gaylord Auditorium

Lecture Flyer

Cristela Carrizales

Actor/Artistic Director
OKC Improv

Cristela Carrizales is a respected Oklahoma City actor, singer, improviser and director. Currently, she is the Artistic Director of OKC Improv as well as founder and Artistic Director of The City Cabaret OKC. Cristela regularly teaches improv through classes and corporate workshops. She has appeared in a number of stage productions around OKC. Highlights include Phantom in The Rocky Horror Show at Lyric Theatre; Christmas Eve in Avenue Q at The Pollard Theatre; Helen in Fat Pig and Susan in [title of show] for Ghostlight Theatre Club; Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Dionne in Hair, Charlotte Lucas in Pride & Prejudice for Reduxion Theatre. Directing credits include The Man From Earth for Ghostlight Theatre Club and Same Time, Next Year for Oklahoma City Theatre Company. In addition to her scripted work, Cristela regularly performs at OKC Improv with troupes BitSing, After Hours and NEXT! She appeared in the film in Cowgirls 'n Angels starring James Cromwell.

Resolute: The Clara Luper Legacy

Wednesday, September 25, 2019
1:30 pm
Gaylord Auditorium

Lecture Flyer

Marilyn Luper Hildreth

Civil Rights Pioneer

As the daughter of civil rights pioneer Clara Luper, Marilyn Luper Hildreth was on the vanguard of the nonviolent civil disobedience protests of the 1950s and 1960s.  It was the then-seven year-old Marilyn who first had the idea of going to Katz Drugstore’s lunch counter to order a Coke and a burger.  On August 19, 1958, Clara Luper along Marilyn, her other children and thirteen members of the NCAAP youth chapter took part in the first lunch counter “sit-in” in the nation.  Two days later Katz changed its segregation policy for all its 38 stores in four states.  Hildreth continues to spread her mother’s message of courage in the face of intolerance and education as a key to advancement for all people.

Joyce Henderson
Civil Rights Pioneer

Joyce Henderson was an Oklahoma City high school student in the mid-1960s. She served as the song leader on Saturday mornings at Calvary Baptist Church when the city’s civil rights giants gathered to plan marches and protests across Oklahoma City.

Henderson’s early work with the NAACP was helped by her relationship with one of her high school teachers, Clara Luper. It was Clara who led thirteen children into Katz Drug store in Oklahoma for the nation’s first lunch counter sit-in demonstration. She also chaperoned Joyce and a large group of black students who attended the 1963 March on Washington where they heard Martin Luther King Jr., deliver his “I Have a Dream” speech. Clara became Joyce’s teacher, mentor, and personal guidance counselor.

Of her thirty-seven years in education, Joyce spent twenty of those years as principal at five different area public high schools in Oklahoma City.

Her many honors include induction into the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation Wall of Fame.

Stan Evans
Assistant Dean University of Oklahoma’s College of Law 

As Chairman of the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission, Dean Evans energized the entire state on Human Rights awareness and sought recognition for people who have been giants in this important area.  He provided leadership to the commission and the two state investigative offices.

Evans currently serves as the Chairman of the OBA’s Military and Veteran’s Section and is one of the lead volunteers in the Oklahoma Lawyers for America’s Heroes Program which provides free legal services to Oklahoma soldiers, veterans, and their families.  He is also the chief legal coordinator for Oklahoma City’s MAKE-A-WILL and Family Financial Counseling Programs.  Over the past 6 years, through the use of volunteer attorneys, law students from both OU and OCU, and Legal Aid of Oklahoma, over 500 families now have the tools to pass wealth from one generation to the next and have been assisted with family finances.  For these two projects and his mentoring of Oklahoma young lawyers and law students, he received the OBA Pro Bono Person of the Year in 2011, the OBA’s Diversity Award in 2013, and two Oklahoma Governor’s Commendations.  His work on these community projects and others continues. 

In 2006, Dean Evans wrote an article My Thoughts on Law School and on Becoming A Lawyer, which was published in The African American Law School Survival Guide.  He has made CLE and professional presentations to OBA entities and firms on Diversity – Recruit, Retain, and Advance.

Evans is a Viet-Nam War Veteran.  He spent 32 years on active duty service in the U.S. Army rising to the rank of Colonel.

The Evans have also funded scholarships at the OU College of Journalism, the OU College of Law, and with the Oklahoma City Urban League.

He and his wife of 48 years (Saundra) have two children (Lisa & Stan II).  It was the loss of their oldest child, Lisa, in 1997 that caused a change of direction in their lives.  Lisa at 26 years old was a former OKC TV News award winning anchor (Lee Evans).  She was killed by a drunk driver.  The Evans, accepted God’s plan, then determined that the rest of their lives would be devoted to helping others create a vision of success; and in guiding people to become the best they can be.

Sound Power

Wednesday, October 9, 2019
1:30 pm
Gaylord Auditorium

Lecture Flyer

Stan Heist
Director of Talent Development for News
Sinclair Broadcast Group

Stan Heist is Sinclair’s Director of Talent Development for News. He has more than 20 years of journalism experience as a chief photographer, university lecturer and in recruiting and training at the corporate level. 

For more than a decade, Stan has taught journalists across the country to help become better storytellers. Outside of the US, he has been invited to speak to groups in Canada, Japan, and Denmark. 

Since 2006, Stan has been a faculty member of the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) News Video Workshop and serves as the co-chair in charge of curriculum development. Stan has ten regional Emmy awards for in local news and was 2005 NPPA National Television News Photographer of the Year.

Stan holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland and is an active member of the NPPA, the Radio Television Digital News Association, and the Association for Talent Development. Stan has an active FAA Part 107 Remote Airman Certificate and is Chief of Operations for the company Drone program.

The Space Program Listening as an Act of Creativity and Freedom

Monday, October 21, 2019
1:30 pm
Gaylord Auditorium

Lecture Flyer

Stevie Johnson, PhD
Director of Education and Diversity and CEO of The Space Program
Tulsa Community Foundation

Stevie “Dr. View” Johnson is a DJ, producer, higher education scholar-practitioner, TEDx Presenter, and community activist from Longview, TX. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Health and Exercise Science in 2011, Dr. View earned his master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration in 2013, and his Ph.D in Higher Education Administration in 2019 from the University of Oklahoma. Dr. View is the CEO of The Space Program (TSP), a hybrid record label and non-profit organization collective of artists, entrepreneurs, activists and scholars, that creatively disrupts systems of oppression through the creation and production of Hip-Hop music. Dr. View is also the Director of Education and Diversity Outreach of the Archives of American Song, at the Tulsa Community Foundation. Dr. View has student affairs experience as he was the previous Assistant Director of Diversity Retention in the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), and oversaw the nationally recognized Black Male Initiative Program, which received the 2017 American Association of State Colleges & Universities (AASCU) Excellence and Innovation Award for Student Success and College Completion, the first time an institution from the state of Oklahoma has ever received the award. Dr. Johnson is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., a husband to his beautiful wife Ariel, and father of his 2-year old son Amir Sky. 

Dr. Johnson will discuss how Hip Hop allowed him to investigate the experience of African-American students at traditionally white universities as part of his (collaborative) dissertation.

My VA, My Story: Listening as Caretaking

Monday, October 28, 2019
1:30 pm
Gaylord Auditorium

Lecture Flyer

Thor Ringler
William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital

Thor Ringler works as a writer/editor at the Madison VA Hospital where he manages the My VA, My Story project. 

My VA, My Story team members interview veterans about their life stories, write up narratives based on the interviews, revise the stories with veteran input, add them to the electronic medical record, and share the stories with the veteran's care team. The aim of the project is to foster a closer connection between VA providers and the veterans in their care.

He started writing poetry again after a 5 year vacation to graduate school and is inspired by the stories of the veterans he interviews. Most of his poems are about these interviews. He states, “I'm very honored to be able to listen to other people's stories, to do my best to write their stories, and to share them with others."

Ringler has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from Edgewood College, and lives in Madison. He is currently working on a collection of poems and stories related to his work at the VA. 

Thor will be discussing the My VA, My Story project and its impact in the medical field. 

Reporting from This Land

Monday, November 4, 2019
1:30 pm
Gaylord Auditorium

Lecture Flyer

Rebecca Nagle
Freelance writer, Organizer
Producer, reporter, host of This Land podcast

Rebecca Nagle is an award winning advocate and writer focused on advancing Native rights and ending violence against Native women. Nagle is a citizen of Cherokee Nation and a two spirit/ queer woman. Her writing about Native representation and tribal sovereignty has been featured in the WashingtonPost, USA Today, Teen Vogue, the Huffington Post and more. In 2016, Nagle was named one of the National Center American Indian EnterpriseDevelopment’s Native American 40 Under 40 for herwork to support survivors and advocate for policy change to address the crisis of violence against Native women. Nagle lives in Tahlequah, OK where she works for her tribe on language revitalization.

Listening With Our Eyes: Telling Stories That Cross Cultures

Wednesday, November 6, 2019
1:30 pm
Gaylord Auditorium

Lecture Flyer

Lisa Berglund

Owner, Gold Dog Media

Lisa Berglund, the founder of Gold Dog Media, Inc. is an award-winning videographer, editor, producer, and storyteller. For over 50 years, the National Press Photographers Association has awarded its Photographer of the Year to the finest in the nation.  Lisa was the first and only woman videographer to receive this honor.

Lisa’s work with corporations, international news groups, and non-profit organizations has given her powerful professional experience – including shooting, producing, and editing news, marketing, and promotional videos, documentaries, PSAs, and music videos.

Lisa’s specializes in working in some of the most remote corners of the world, because she feels strongly about giving a voice to people who are rarely heard.  She has worked in over 25 countries, including Angola, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sri Lanka, India, and Ecuador.

Lisa is also a sought after teacher and coach.  She consulted for the E.W. Scripps Company, helping more than 1,000 working journalists become better visual storytellers.  She is a presenter at the National Press Photographers News Video Workshop, and has taught at the Poynter Institute, and numerous schools and universities.

Kari Costanza
Senior Editorial Advisor, World Vision 

Kari Costanza travels the globe as one of World Vision’s most prolific storytellers, reporting, writing, and producing videos for World Vision. 

She has completed numerous story assignments for World Vision magazine, and she has won awards for her reporting, feature writing, and photography, including a coveted 1st place FOLIO Eddie Award for “Afghanistan: Battle-Scarred Courage,” and the top Maggie Award from the Western Publishing Association for an image from Angola.

Prior to joining World Vision in 1995, Kari worked for 10 years as a news producer at television stations around the United States, including stations in Seattle.

Kari has Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Psychology and Communications from the University of Washington.

Politics, Sex and Religion Are the Only Things Worth Talking About

Monday, November 11, 2019
1:30 pm
Gaylord Auditorium

Lecture Flyer

Stafford Wood
Founder & CEO, Covalent Logic

Her friendly face and casual demeanor about all things business are merely a decoy - there is no one else you want on your side for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity or defending you in a crisis. Stafford Wood is a deadly combination of strategic brains, mystical intuition, humor and corporate marketing intelligence. As founder of Covalent Logic, a corporate communications firm in Baton Rouge, Stafford leads a team of 30 communications professionals to serve global and local clients like Shell Chemical, Hilton Worldwide and the Office of the Louisiana Governor with internal communications, graphic design, web development and public relations. She has a versatile skill set and background, including being an Accredited Public Relations professional, former webmaster for the Governor, Cyber-cop at AOL and (obviously totally related) expert in pre-Renaissance Eastern European History. Her unconventional approach to business has earned her Junior Achievement and Baton Rouge Business Report’s Young Business Person of the Year and earned her firm the US Chamber’s Blue Ribbon Award. She received two lifetime achievement awards from the American Advertising Federation and the Public Relations Association of Louisiana and has been inducted into the Southern Public Relations Hall of Fame in 2019.

Hearing the Whole Story: How to Become a Better Listener

Wednesday, November 13, 2019
1:30 pm
Gaylord Auditorium

Lecture Flyer

Deborah Potter
Veteran journalist, author, educator
Solutions Journalism Network, NewsLab
Journalism trainer and co-author of Advancing the Story

Deborah Potter is an experienced journalism trainer and reporter who spent 16 years as a correspondent for CBS News and CNN. She’s currently a consultant for the Solutions Journalism Network, looking at how local TV stations can better cover the response to social issues, not just the problems themselves.  

Deborah is co-author of “Advancing the Story: Quality Journalism in a Digital World”(4th edition, SAGE, 2018). For almost 20 years, she ran NewsLab, the journalism site she founded in 1998.  It is now affiliated with the University of Mississippi. Deborah leads workshops for professional journalists around the country and across the world, and has taught journalism as a visiting professor at the University of Montana and the University of Arkansas. She is a former faculty associate at the Poynter Institute in Florida. 

Deborah is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds a master’s degree from American University. She and her husband live in the Washington, D.C., area. They have two grown sons. Deborah loves to cook and to try new foods, especially local specialties when she’s on the road.

Deborah will be discussing how Solutions Journalism is tackling journalist’s preformed narrative structures so the reporters can listen to the nuances in any issue they are covering. 

Listening is Free: Lessons from Urban Confessional

Wednesday, December 4, 2019
1:30 pm
Gaylord Auditorium

Lecture Flyer

Benjamin Mathes
Actor, trainer and Founder of Urban Confessional
Urban Confessional

Benjamin Mathes has been an actor for over 20 years. On film, television, and stage he has worked with artists such as Academy Award-winning director Clint Eastwood, Academy Award-winning actor Alan Arkin, Sam Raimi, Bradley Cooper, Andy Garcia, Chris Rock, and Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer.  He received his MFA in Acting from the University of California, Irvine.

He serves as Head of Production for Seine Pictures, a film finance and production company in Hollywood, overseeing the creative development and production of each film.  Recently, he Executive Produced the dark comedy, Murder of a Cat (starring Greg Kinnear, J.K. Simmons, and Nikki Reed), and the biopic, Pele (in partnership with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment). 

As a teacher, he has been on faculty or taught workshops at Auburn University, Cal State Northridge, University of San Diego, University of Lima, Peru, Catholic University of Lima, Theatre of Arts in Hollywood, University of California–Irvine, and the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab. He is a certified Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework®, and has served as vocal and dialect coach for major motion pictures, network television, and theatres around the country. 

Benjamin is the founder of Urban Confessional: A Free Listening Movement. Started as a way to challenge conventional actor training, Urban Confessional is a community of artists who believe people should be heard. They stand on street corners all over the world with signs that say "Free Listening" — and you can imagine what happens next. Their work has been featured in magazines, academic publications, and blogs, and on radio and television.

Benjamin will be present twice during the semester: Sept. 4thhe will Skype in to talk about setting up Free Listening events. He will return on Dec. 4thto discuss Urban Confessional and the unintended benefits of listening.