We’re halfway through the first season of our new podcast, Walls Plus One. If you’ve been listening, we thank you so much for your support. If you haven’t had a chance yet, no worries! Here’s a roundup of what’s been discussed thus far.
This is a short introduction to the podcast. It gives you a brief rundown of what’s to come for the first season.
Nationally, women are still only earning 73.6% of what men are earning. In this episode, Sherreta R. Harrison points out some of the reasons why we are where we are today, and how this issue also disproportionately affects women based on subgroups. For example, in Louisiana, Black and Latina women make only 48 and 52 cents on the dollar compared to White men.
Also featured in this episode is Walls Project staff member Bryson Boyd. He is responsible for all of the amazing music you hear on this podcast. As a special treat for all of you, he’s included one of his instrumental tracks. It will play in full after the credits, so make sure to listen all the way to the end.
In this episode, we take the discussion a step forward. Jan Moller is the executive director of the Louisiana Budget Project, which is a nonprofit that monitors and reports on public policy and how it affects Louisiana’s low-to-moderate-income families.
Also in this episode, we highlight the fabulous Nina Tran, an instructor for the Futures Fund, a program by the Walls Project. In fact, Nina was my instructor for Level 1 of the Coding Boot Camp! I’ve been taking classes ever since I joined the Walls Project to expand my digital knowledge. She’s my absolute favorite teacher and you’ll learn why after hearing her speak.
In this episode, we’re talking to another member of the Louisiana Budget Project. Davante Lewis is Director of Public Affairs and Outreach and he’s an expert on the topic of payday lending, which is a short-term loan that knowingly traps thousands of people in long-term cycles of debt. It’s a trap that is often only resolved with bankruptcy. The Louisiana Budget Project has advocated for several years by pushing for bills to cap the interest rate at 36%. The current average is 400%. Similar bills have seen bipartisan support nationwide and have been adopted in both red and blue states. Louisiana, however, has not been able to move the bill forward.
Representing the Walls Project in this episode is Morgan Udoh, an incredible artist and the head of our public art program. When we recorded this, Morgan had an amazing moment where she realized that she has become the very teacher that inspired her to become an artist.
If you know me, you know I’m big on the issue of transportation. Riding a bike changed my life and helped to fix all of those financial problems I discuss in episode 4. To get some perspective, I talked to Bike Baton Rouge founder and current board member, Mark Martin. We discuss the personal vehicle debt trap and the reasons why car culture is preventing people from having the freedom for an alternative.
The member of the Walls Project represented here is a bit different than usual. Marcus Toussaint is not on the payroll, but he’s as much a member of the team as anyone else. He’s the owner of Toussaint Customs and Collisions and it's his building that serves as the location for our transportation mural. He spoke during our press conference about the mural and his speech really touched everyone who attended.
Last but not least is Pat McCallister-LeDuff. We continued the idea of connectivity using her home base as the foundation. Scotlandville is a part of East Baton Rouge Parish that went from thriving to poverty. We discuss the ways urban sprawl had an impact on that outcome. More importantly, she gives some real hope by talking about all the ways we can get involved right now, today, to fix whatever problems we’re encountering.
Muralist Bryson Boutte heads up the discussion for Team Walls Project. He’s completed two major murals for the organization and is in the process of launching a new project.
Now for a little preview of what’s to come.
Alfredo Cruz talks about the struggle for housing and why Louisiana is closer to a third-world country than you might think.
Toni Bankston talks about mental health and her work with mind-body medicine.
Jahi Mackey dives in with the topic of empathy, which is truly needed to understand any of the issues we have discussed in this series.
Adonica Pelichet Duggan hits on education and how the pandemic really opened eyes on this topic.
Corey Miller is our final guest for the season and he brings it all home with a discussion about the climate crisis and how it’s literally impacting every one of us.
The finale will wrap up everything discussed in the season and explain how it’s connected to the next season, which will be released this fall.
New episodes of Walls Plus One are released every Monday at 7 a.m. If you become a Walls Project Insider, you’ll get the Walls Plus One Extended version delivered directly to your inbox. This is the version of the episode that includes all of the extras that are cut out of the shorter version.