Associate Professor of English Colin Rafferty, who teaches courses in creative non-fiction writing, has a new project that highlights the proud history of Mary Washington’s student civic and civil engagement, a podcast titled “Good Trouble UMW,” inspired by famous call-to-action phrase by the late John Lewis.
As part of this year’s Common Experience for incoming first-year students, the podcast Good Trouble UMW will look at the history of student activism at UMW, with interviews from students, alumni, and faculty who worked to change the university, the state, and the world. The first two episodes feature stories from students and staff who participated in this summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, in which marchers were teargassed and pepper sprayed by police. Upcoming episodes will look at the Human Rights Club of the early 2000s, the history of LGBT activism at the school, the movement to divest UMW from investments in fossil fuel, and more.
Good Trouble UMW features brand new and archival interviews with members of the Mary Washington community. The podcast helps first-year students connect the political action they learn about in the Common Experience to the university that they’ve chosen to attend, and to see themselves as parts of a tradition of making what the late Civil Rights hero and representative John Lewis told the Class of 2011 was “good trouble—necessary trouble.”
UMW faculty, staff, and students assisted in the production of the podcast: Sarah Dewees (Associate Director of the Center for Community Engagement), Leslie Martin (Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Community Engagement), Anand Rao (Professor of Communication and Chair of the Dept. of Communication and Digital Studies), and student Callie Jordan.
Episodes are available now via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and elsewhere. Each one is approximately ten minutes long—perfect for walking between classes along Campus Walk—and the podcast will appear weekly on Tuesdays during the fall semester.