Not About You

Not About You is a podcast about identity and social justice. I’m the producer and host of the show and I wanted to make a show where a white, straight, cis-gendered man (that’s me) connected with folks with different lived experiences from my own about the ways parts of their identities bump up against injustices. We’ll be talking about race, gender, religion, representation, protests, politics, relationships and more. My hope is that this series leads to more conversation and interaction. I want folks who are hesitant or new to standing in these struggles to feel more comfortable showing up for change and asking questions. I want underrepresented voices to have new ways to be amplified and supported. I’ve set up a voicemail line, 612-361-9261, where you can share comments, suggestions and personal stories of your own. Transcripts of any episode of Not About You are available upon request. Email -Levi Weinhagen
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Dec 19, 2018

“When white people make roses, they’re just f***ing roses!”

On this episode, TK Dutes talks about code switching, producing radio, what it means to be professional and the realities of living your dream.

Keisha TK Dutes is a graduate of CUNY Brooklyn College with a degree in TV/Radio. Throughout her college career, she found her niche in college radio stations and began honing her personality as an energetic, opinionated, funny programmer and thorough interviewer.

Listen to TK's radio show 'TK in The AM' live on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays:

TK is the producer of Buzzfeed's 'Thirst Aid Kit'

You can hire TK as an event host, an interviewer, a moderator, an audio producer and she even teaches audio production classes. Check out TastyKeish dot net for details!


Nov 20, 2018

“There’s a big difference between lived equality and legal equality.”

Nancy has been locally and nationally recognized for her role as owner and CEO of Clockwork. She is co-author of “Interactive Project Management: Pixels, People, and Process” (New Riders, 2012) and author of the upcoming book, “How to Win at Business by Being Nice to Humans.”

She serves as the Chair Emeritus of the National Board of Directors of the Family Equality Council, is on the Board of Trustees at Minnesota Public Radio, is on the Open Twin Cities Advisory Board, is on the Amplified Voices Board, and is a member of the advisory board for the innovative entrepreneurial conference, Giant Steps. She is also a member of the Women’s Presidents Organization and was the Emcee for the Women’s March MN in 2017.

Oct 10, 2018

“Health is not a moral imperative.”

On this episode, fat feminist Cat Polivoda delves into body positivity, fat advocacy and what it takes to run her own business. She also talks about being a joyous person and explains what happens when we conflate thinness with health. 

Cat Polivoda owns Cake Plus-Size Resale - a body positive, plus-size thrift shop in Minneapolis, MN. Focused on fostering a shop space and local community centered on radical self love and size-acceptance, she is dedicated to making plus-size fashion more accessible and affordable. 

Cat also co-hosts Matter of Fat - a new podcast through KFAI Community Radio! In this body positive podcast with Midwest sensibilities Cat & her co-host/producer Saraya highlight voices from our community with a lens on body size, body positivity, & fat liberation. You can listen here!

Sep 5, 2018

“Just because it’s journalism doesn’t mean it has to be unattractive. It can feel good, too.”

Filiberto Nolasco Gomez grew up in a working-class Mexican community in Eastern Los Angeles. On this episode of the podcast, he talks about how much his name means to him and how challenging it seems to be for folks to pronounce it correctly. He also talks about citizenship, the real work of being a journalist, what music means to him and how masculinity operates as a means of survival and sometimes a barrier to connection. 

Filiberto is the editor of Workday Minnesota, a publication focused on telling the real stories of Minnesota's working people.

He also writes and produces a podcast about music and culture called El Hauteque.

May 21, 2018

This is a 3 minute sample with clips from a few episodes of Not About You. Check it out, share it, and then subscribe and listen to all of the episodes!

Apr 19, 2018

For 400 years you have not had to address this.” - Resmaa Menakem

Resmaa Menakem talks about his work and the goals of his book 'My Grandmother's Hands,' including the healing needed around racialized trauma, the different approaches needed for different bodies, and whose responsibility it is to engage with the work of racial and social justice.

Resmaa Menakem MSW, LICSW, S.E.P. has appeared on both The Oprah Winfrey Show and Dr. Phil as an expert on conflict and violence. He has served as director of counseling services for the Tubman Family Alliance; as behavioral health director for African American Family Services in Minneapolis; and as a Cultural Somatics consultant for the Minneapolis Police Department. As a Community Care Counselor, he managed the wellness and counseling services for civilians on fifty-three US military bases in Afghanistan.

Resmaa currently teaches workshops on Cultural Somatics for audiences of African Americans, European Americans, and police officers. He is also a therapist in private practice in Minneapolis.


The first self-discovery book to examine white body supremacy in America from the perspective of trauma and body-centered psychology.

American Gods slave ship scene:

Professor Mahmoud El-Kati:

Mar 30, 2018

“My Thai-ness or sense of Thai identity is not up for anyone else to quantify based on how white I seem.”

Tricia Heuring talks about being "racially ambiguous" and "automatically American." She shares her culture shock from arriving in the US at 18 having learned about her own American culture largely through television and American cultural items she had access to growing up in Egypt, Thailand, and Saudi Arabia. And Tricia shares how her lived experiences have given her a unique perspective as a curator and community organizer. 

Tricia Heuring is a curator, arts organizer, and educator living in Minneapolis. A mixed-race, multi-cultural American, she was born in Thailand and spent formidable years in Hawaii, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. While setting down roots in the Twin Cities over the past 15 + years, she’s instigated various platforms for cultural production and creative communities. Since finding her forte in visual art, she has become an advocate for curatorial practices that re-frame the role of the gatekeeper to instead, facilitate equity and inclusivity in the art world.

She practices this philosophy at Public Functionary, a Northeast Minneapolis based alternative art space she co-founded in 2012. Public Functionary has been called “a fantastic gift to a great art city” by New York Magazine’s senior art critic, Jerry Saltz and “a beacon of hope for the local indie art scene” by the Star Tribune. Heuring holds a B.A from Macalester College and an M.A. from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. She currently teaches arts leaders as an adjunct in the arts management graduate program at St. Mary’s. Heuring serves on board of the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and was recognized with a “40 under 40” award from the Twin Cities Business Journal.

Mar 12, 2018

This episode features Ashley Fairbanks talking about growing up poor, being Anishinaabe and whether or not there’s a right way to be native. Ashley talks about the relationship between art and activism and she shares where her confidence comes from.


Ashley Fairbanks is an Anishinaabe artist, organizer, and digital strategist. As an interdisciplinary designer, Ashley works with a cohort of artists that do racial justice popular education and organizing, seeking ways to creatively innovate social-change work. She's a founding member and artistic director of the ROVE project, a united effort of Rhymesayers Entertainment, community organizers, and artists utilizing hip hop to impact our electoral process. 

Twitter: @ziibiing



Oct 2, 2017

Carin Mrotz presented this Yom Kippur sermon in Minneapolis at the Shir Tikvah Synagogue in 2017

The text as prepared for delivery:

In preparing, I asked my self: What do I want to say to you. What do I need you to know, today, on Yom Kippur. And who am I to tell you? I think about that a lot – who am I in relation to this congregation, this community. I’m the director of an organization that serves this community, and also asks a lot of you. And I’m a member of this congregation. It can be hard to hold some of these those roles at the same time. I’m a board member, and sometimes when I usher at Shabbat, I find myself only talking to people about JCA. Or while I’m sitting in the library reading while my kids are in religious school. It can be hard to know how to just BE in the congregation and not feel that I’m working. Sometimes Jewish becomes such a thing that I do that I forget how it feels to just be. So rather than fight all of that, I’m just going to step into it here, and be all of those things here with you.

And I look out and see JCA members, board members, and staff. I see the doctor who delivered my son, I look into the choir and see the nurse midwife who delivered my daughter. And I see both of my children here, squirming their way through the adult service just to hear mom speak. I see my husband, who isn’t Jewish, who in making a family with me threw his lot in with mine and joined our community wholeheartedly. I’m accountable to so many of you in this room. We’re accountable to each other. That can feel like a tremendous responsibility, but also, today, on our holiest day and one of not just atonement but forgiveness, it feels like a blessing. And I’m going to talk to you about racial justice and resistance, and our community’s flawed inheritance. But I’ll start with Cain and Abel.

To recap, for those who don’t remember or who haven’t yet read, or who just like a good story, Cain and Abel were the sons of Adam and Eve after they were cast out of Eden. They had sisters, too, but they were obviously perfect and never did anything wrong, since I can’t think of any other reason the text isn’t about them.

Cain is the first birth in the Torah. The first person born to another person. To people who were cursed. His brother Abel follows. They are given roles: Cain tills the soil and Abel tends the flock. The soil Cain tills is, of course, cursed. God cursed the soil before he was even born. When he and his brother approach God with offerings, his is disappointing. Of course it is. Abel has the fattest sheep and Cain has fruit grown from cursed soil. And God accepts Abel’s offering and rebuffs Cain’s. God turns his back on Cain, and furious, Cain kills his brother. The first man born in the Torah becomes the first murderer. He makes his brother the first death.

I think it means something that the first man born to a person in the Torah takes the first life. I think his humanity is important. In social justice work, we draw heavily, or lean heavily on the concept of b’tselem elohim, the idea that we’re all made in the image of God. We are all made equally from the divine and are all uniquely valuable. It’s a powerful way to describe what connects us as humans. We use it to build empathy – with victims of police violence, with undocumented immigrants. It’s the way we put words to what we hope we all would just feel – that everyone is valuable, not matter how they got here, no matter what they do. It’s how we articulate what connects us to people we’ve never even met, why we care what happens to them.

There’s nothing about being made in the image of God that means we’re perfect. Cain is messy and flawed and his brother bears that burden and loses his life. And they are both made in the image of God. There is so much responsibility in being human and we’re going to hurt each other. We’re going to make mistakes because we were designed to.

Cain meets Abel in a field, ready to argue, and he kills him. And God comes to Cain and asks where Abel is. God knows what happened to Abel and doesn’t need to ask. So why does God bother to ask? God wants Cain to tell the truth. Today is Yom Kippur, a day to atone, to reflect, to tell the truth. I need to tell you some truth, too. Like MJ sang last night, I didn’t come to fool you.

First. As a community, we’ve done a deep dive into our white privilege in the name of working for racial justice. We’ve gone to trainings – I’ve conducted them – we’ve read books like How Jews Became White Folks, and articles like last year’s As Jews atone on Yom Kippur, we need to confront our White Privilege in the Washington Post. Many of us want to understand who we are and where to stand in the fight for racial equality in America, so we studied our path in becoming white and sought to understand the privileges that were granted us.

We’ve haven’t been getting this right. That’s the first truth. I did a training a few years ago with a friend and colleague, also Jewish. A black Jew. And I will never forget this - she held up a copy of How Jews Became White Folks, and said, “I could rub this book all over me and I will never become white.”

White Jews need to do the work we’ve been doing to understand how to be allies in fighting white supremacy, but somewhere we mistook the racial identity and privilege conveyed to some of us as individuals as an identifier for our whole community. We’re a multiracial community. Some of us are white. But in generalizing our community as white, we’ve cast ourselves as allies to people who live outside it, and we fall short of supporting - and seeing – Jews of color. Or Jews with origins in the Middle East or South America or Asia. Or Jews whose family history is not one of immigration at all. We’ve simplified our story, taken the Ashkenazi journey to whiteness and made it the story of American Jews. We’ve marginalized members of our own community, made them invisible. I’m sorry we’ve done that. We’re capable as a community of sitting with deeper complexity; we have shortchanged ourselves.

Next truth. Even for white Jews, our whiteness does not protect us from anti-Semitism. Our rates of home ownership and college graduation have not made neo-Nazis okay with us. Our privilege is conditional, and if anything, our whiteness makes it easier for anti-Semitism to be brushed aside as not actually very threatening. Our president – sigh – tells the nation that some of those neo-Nazis in Charlottesville were fine people. Can you believe that? A woman was killed. But I’m not just talking about neo-Nazis, in the days following what happened in Charlottesville, some of us felt the sting of having the anti-Semitism erased from those rallies by our own friends. Men chanted “Jews will not replace us,” and yet when our anti-racist partners demanded justice, in some of those demands, we felt forgotten. We were forgotten.

Truth. It stung. It hurt. A Jewish friend, a longtime racial justice activist told me it felt like a door had closed. She didn’t want to make a big deal out of it because she didn’t want to prioritize her own fear when other communities were experiencing much more urgent attacks, and from systems, from institutions. But the truth is it hurt, some of us felt truly isolated.

Last fall, not long after the election, I was attacked by Nazis on Twitter. A neighbor discovered a giant swastika painted on the garage of an abandoned home in North Minneapolis, where I live. A friend of mine, a black organizer, and I went together to clean it off. I went to Home Depot and bought paint remover and we scrubbed together in the cold until it was as gone as it could be, and then because we couldn’t believe that a few hours earlier, there had literally been a giant swastika right there on a house on the Northside, we took pictures and tweeted them.

Within a few days, racist and anti-Semitic trolls attacked. They said we’d painted it ourselves for attention, or because leftists are intent on proving hate exists. Look, black women and their Jewish girlfriends don’t have to work hard to prove hate exists. So, exposed as a hoax and targeted for having committed the crime of being black and Jewish and women and publicly fighting white supremacy, we got hammered for days. I received pictures of myself photoshopped into Holocaust memes. My face was zoomed in on and analyzed for my Jewish features. My friend was merely the pet, I was her puppeteer. Some were violent, some explicit. There was one guy who kept tweeting my picture and comparing me to a young Howard Stern. Which is probably fair. But most were threatening, and most focused on my identity as a Jew and hers as a black woman and the fact that we had done this together. My friend told me she didn’t know anti-Semitism existed anymore. She’d thought it was an artifact. Something historical. “I thought you guys were normal white people,” she said. “Right?” I answered. “We did, too.”

Cain doesn’t tell God the truth. God asks where is Abel and Cain answers, famously, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Why lie to someone who already knows the truth? I try to put myself in Cain’s shoes and I think about how scary it is to tell the truth when you’re all alone.

That’s the function of anti-Semitism – to isolate Jews, to position us as an invisible buffer between the oppressed and oppressor. Conditionally safe. We get privilege but never full acceptance. We are exalted as powerful by those who wish to destroy us because it separates us from the people we think of as our most likely allies in fighting them. If everyone believes that the rich white Jews are funding the anti-racist resistance, white supremacists will blame us while black activists will feel used, controlled, resentful. We end up alone, vulnerable. A scapegoat.

I pause here, because the idea of our community being used as a scapegoat is interesting to think about today. The traditional Yom Kippur text is from Leviticus, the expulsion into the wilderness of the scapegoat—the “goat for Azazel,” carrying upon him all the inequities of the Israelites. A literal vessel to carry our sins away from us. Today, though, we’re reading Cain and Abel, a story that does the opposite – pushes us to stand and face our flaws, pushes us to ask ourselves questions we already know the answers to in order to tell the truth. To really atone is to hold our flaws close, not send them away. And if we’ve been made the vessel for others to cast off their sins, a scapegoat, it’s not a role we have to accept.

God asked Cain what happened to Abel. God gave Cain a chance to tell the truth. And he couldn’t. Or he just didn’t. And yes, he was alone, but remember, Cain was alone because in his anger at having been handed cursed ground, and in his pain at being rejected by God, he pushed his brother away. He turned inward and destroyed the person that might have supported him. In his pain, he made himself alone. And they were both made in the image of God, and Cain’s destiny was bound together with Abel’s – after he killed Abel, God sent Cain to wander, separated him from the land that was his birthright, never to return.

Here’s another truth, or maybe a question. When we’ve found ourselves alone, are there times when it’s because we’ve isolated ourselves? When we have assumed likely allyship based on a historical relationship that we haven’t kept up? When have we been hurt that other communities have scheduled something a date that’s significant to us without understanding why it might be significant to them? When we have criticized tactics without understanding the demands? or wordsmithed statements? or disavowed groups that we never had a relationship with in the first place? When have we relied on an image of Heschel marching with King because we didn’t have a more recent example of solidarity? We’ve been relying on Heschel praying with his feet for more than 50 years. His feet are exhausted.

Another truth: B’tselem elohim, the recognition of God in a stranger is not a shortcut to actually knowing them. I can recognize your humanity and fight for you, but we are stronger if we fight together, on equal terms, not because we want to help each other but because our destinies are firmly entwined. We are strongest in relationship. Those take time, and they’re messy. That’s by design – remember, we’re messy on purpose. We need to stay in relationships when it’s hard. When we feel invisible, when we accidentally make someone else invisible.

When we’ve found ourselves alone, when has that been an opportunity to make a connection?

When I was being attacked by Twitter Nazis, I was scared for my safety. I use my real name on the internet, I am a professional Jew in public, my address is listed. I knew rationally that the anonymity and distance that enabled these trolls to come after me online would also probably protect me from having to encounter them physically in my world. But I was deeply shaken, my anxiety was out of control, I was drained. And I got through it, because of my friends. They took my phone away and blocked the trolls so I wouldn’t have to see all of the tweets. They fed me meals. A dozen of my girlfriends in other states coordinated a donation to JCA in honor of fighting Nazis. From all around, I felt held, and supported.

We say that our inheritance as Jews is a broken world. Like Cain inherited cursed soil, we received a world in need of repair. We entered it broken, like Cain, but we can choose to care for it, to tend it. We can choose to bring each other closer, not isolate ourselves.

I believe our other inheritance is resilience. Some people think resilience is the ability to bounce back, but I like the way the American Psychological Association defines it – as adaptation in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or stress. I learned that not from a psychologist but from Rabbi Deborah Waxman, the President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. I had the privilege, in a dark moment, to receive some of her teaching on resilience, and I wanted to share just a tiny bit with you.

Resilience is not coming back from something terrible, it’s adapting in the current moment to terrible circumstances. I went to a training once, on how to fight racism as people of faith, and the facilitator said, “We talk about safe spaces, but my job is not to keep things from hurting you in this space, it’s to help you be resilient enough to deal with painful things and keep doing the work.” That’s what our community has always done. That’s our job right now – to support each other through challenging times, knowing that sometimes we will be messy. And we will work in relationship, because none of the paths through this moment can be managed alone.

The last truth, another question. When we’ve thought ourselves alone, when have we really not been? When have we been guided by our ancestors, our shared story of survival. When have we looked around to find ourselves sitting in a full congregation, in community, on our holiest day, together?

Sep 26, 2017

This episode features three conversations about how white folks can engage with themselves and the world in response to racism and anti-semitism. This is a response to the events in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017, as well as so many other things happening in the United States. These conversations were recorded in September of 2017.

The guests featured on this episode are:

Emily Krumberger

Brendan Kelly

Laney McKee

This episode concludes with a performance of "How to explain white supremacy to a white supremacist" by Guante. 

Jun 15, 2017

“No one is obligated to be an educator about their identity.”

Artist Rebecca Kling talks about issues surrounding gender, bathroom use and anti trans activism. She talks about being a transgender activist and educator. Rebecca unpacks the idea of reciprocity and whether someone is or isn't obligated to teach about their identity. She shares personal stories of traveling as a performer and advocate and how that's influenced her understanding of how progress is made. Rebecca also talks about ways to understand trans issues and the many ways to be an ally.

Rebecca Kling is a Washington, D.C. based transgender artist and educator who explores gender and identity through solo performance pieces and educational workshops. Her multidisciplinary performances incorporate conversational storytelling, personal narrative, humor, and more. Kling takes the position that sharing accessible queer narrative with a wide audience is a form of activism, and that understanding combats bigotry.

Jun 8, 2017

“It is difficult to dismantle a system that is invisible to you.”

Bharti Wahi talks about frequently dealing with the question, "what are you?" and where that question comes from. She talks about growing up in rural Minnesota with immigrant parents from Canada and Southeast Asia. Bharti talks about systemic oppression and the challenges in the way of changing systems. She talks about the myth that brown people don't live in the middle of the country and about being angry but staying hopeful and focused. 

As the Executive Director of Children’s Defense Fund–Minnesota office Bharti Wahi brings 20 years of professional experience as an advocate in the nonprofit world and more than a decade of experience in education. Prior to joining Children’s Defense Fund, Ms. Wahi spent three years with Greater Twin Cities United Way where she oversaw several grant portfolios related to early childhood education, two-generation interventions and literacy. Previously, she led the Children and Family Program for the Minnesota Literacy Council for five years, building the home visiting program and overseeing two early learning centers.

As an active community member Ms. Wahi serves on the Board of Directors of the Hale-Field Schools Foundation and Women Organizing Women. In addition she sits on the McKnight Foundation’s PreK-Third Grade Design Team and is currently serving on the Minnesota Department of Education’s ESSA Accountability Advisory Committee and the Department of Human Services Parent Aware Advisory Council.

Ms. Wahi holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Saint Catherine University and a Master of Arts in public policy and nonprofit management from the University of Chicago.


May 30, 2017

"People are trying to figure out how to categorize you and I think that's just a human thing."

'Pogi' talks about being an actor of color and how that makes him wonder about parts he does or doesn't get. He talks about people assume he speaks Spanish because of how he looks even though he's a Filipino-American. He talks about identifying outside of the typical "racial binary" and about being a part of a family that has ongoing immigration into the US. 

Eric 'Pogi' Sumangil is a two-time recipient of the Playwrights' Center's Many Voices Fellowship. His full-length plays include The Duties and Responsibilities of Being a Sidekick and Kicking The Gong Around. His play, The Debutante's Ball, was produced in 2015 by History Theatre in partnership with Mu Performing Arts. 

He is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association, and a co-founder of The Unit Collective, a collective of emerging playwrights of color. He is a recipient of a 2002 Excellence in the Arts award from the Fil-Minnesotan Association, and once got his name on a plaque for eating a 3-pound steak.

May 22, 2017

PH Copeland shares her experience as a Pan-African woman from North Minneapolis building power through community organizing. She shares about the way larger women are treated and talked to, the way people attempt to complement and connect that can lead to unintended harm. And she talks about the large and small ways people can dismantle oppressive systems.


May 14, 2017

"I have decided I don't care enough to be normal."

On this episode, Jess Banks talks about tracing her inability to ignore injustice back to childhood and how that set her apart from her family. She shares openly her struggles with chronic pain and what it's like to being a parent with autism raising a child with autism. Jess also talks about why she shows up to her activism work, what she gets from being a part of movements and what it means to her to be a part of a community. 

Jess Banks is a wife, mom, professor, historian, gamer, crafter, activist, autistic, UU. Jess is office manager at Atlas Games.

May 2, 2017

“If it has to get aggressive in a way of defending myself or others, I’m absolutely okay with that.”

Why does representation matter on film, in art and in life? Documentary filmmaker, film programmer and arts advocate Kareem Tabsch answers this question and so many others. Kareem talks about being a first generation American to Lebanese and Latino parents, growing up in Miami and getting his first exposure to film and movies via PBS.

Kareem Tabsch is the co-founder and co-director of Miami's largest art house cinema, an Award winning documentary filmmaker and an Arts Advocate who strongly believes in the power of the arts, particularly film, to enrich lives and revitalize communities.


Apr 24, 2017

"I took the word 'cripple' and I've been swinging it around sort of like a bull in a china shop."

Timothy Iverson talks about his early life with Cerebral Palsy that required many surgeries and now means he walks with crutches. He talks about the process of going to a special school and then being "mainstreamed" in a way that was meant to be positive but didn't necessarily have positive results. He also talks about the way people treat folks with physical disabilities, how he's come to own hurtful labels and why his tenacity isn't a choice so much as a requirement.

Plus, Timmy talks about being a gay man and dealing with the idea that people with physical disabilities don't have sex. He shares openly about the realities of the similarities he sees in how gay people are treated and how people with physical disabilities are treated. 

Timothy Iverson is an IT expert, a frequent participant in the Renaissance Festival, a huge part of CONvergence, a graphic designer and a huge nerd. He's also very funny. You can connect with Timmy on Twitter @iversonimage

Apr 15, 2017

“Often times an assumption of most people is that I am white.”

Taj Ruler talks about being bi-racial but mostly being perceived as white. She talks about the differences between time in her mother's house where Sri Lankan culture was prominent and in her father's house SpaghettiOs where more common and explains the feeling of not quite fitting in either space. Taj talks about her own, ongoing quest to understand her identity. And she explains the challenges of being a person of color who doesn't fit into the black/white dichotomy that often dominates conversations of race.

Taj Ruler is an actor, improviser, voice over artist, comedy writer and teacher in the Twin Cities. She has performed at Pillsbury House Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, The Playwrights’ Center, HUGE and the Brave New Workshop. Taj studied improvisation at the Groundlings in Los Angeles and Second City in Chicago. 

Apr 7, 2017

“I think that spending time with only people exactly like you is sad and boring.”

On this episode, Carin Mrotz talks about growing up with social justice through the lens of teacher parents who engaged with the union. She talks about what American’s think of when we think of the American Jewish community and how that isn’t necessarily representative of the diversity of Jewish experiences and voices. Can unpacks how whiteness hurts literally everyone, talks about the relationship between Judaism and resistance, goes deep on Christian hegemony and tries to explain why Anti-Semitism never goes away and how it’s used to separate people.

Carin Mrotz is the Executive Director of Jewish Community Action. She has worked on campaigns for immigrant and workers’ rights and played a central role in organizing the Jewish community in support for marriage equality in Minnesota in 2012. Carin has worked as a trainer, curriculum designer, fundraiser, college instructor and organizer. She’s one of co-hosts of the political podcast Wrong About Everything. She grew up in South Florida but has lived in Minnesota for the past two decades.

Find Carin on twitter @mrotzie

Check out the Wrong About Everything podcast


For further reading:

Toward the Next Jewish Rebellion by Yotam Marom – Read I it on Medium HERE

A Brief History of Everything” by Ken Wilber 

How Jews Became White Folks and What That Says About Race in America” by Karen Brodkin

Dec 29, 2016

Here are short clips from each of the 10 episodes that make up season one of Not About You.

Subscribe on iTunes

Ep 1 - Jun-Li Wang

Ep 2 - Javier Morillo

Ep 3 - Kathy Mouacheupao

Ep 4 - Peggy Flanagan

Ep 5 - Noel Nix

Ep 6 - Heid Erdrich

Ep 7 - Hannah

Ep 8 - Regina Mustafa

Ep 9 - Alfonso Wenker

Ep 10 - Sarah White

Dec 21, 2016

“This world is going to get dull without the creatives and communities of color getting fed. And we can’t have to beg for it.”

Songwriter, photographer, mother and culture creator Sarah White talks about all the ways the various aspects of her identity demand time and energy without always giving back what she needs to survive. She deals with basic daily burdens like folks trying to touch her just because and needing to get paid to do her work without wanting to always ask. Work, life, balance and burden are all present in this episode of the podcast.

Check out Sarah's photos at

Check out Sarah's music at

Check out the podcast Sarah makes with Tricia Heurin at

Dec 18, 2016

“When have I assumed shared experience, and when have I discovered shared experience?”

On this episode, Alfonso Wenker talks about using his own practice to be able to do the work of helping others and not making it about him. He explains the minimization mindset, re-centering experiences to preserve comfort and how folks can't get really clear about their own experiences.

Check out the Colorlines blog Alfonso suggests.

Here's where you can download the Reading List for White Folks


Alfonso Wenker is facilitator, trainer, and philanthropic strategist. He is a total nerd about all things movement-building and philanthropy.

Alfonso fell in love with philanthropy as a nonprofit intern in 2006 and was hired by a LGBT community foundation in 2007 while still in college. He has been engaged in social change work since his early teens. His activism started in doing church-based service work followed by high school and college-campus organizing. Alfonso has a broad range of experience spanning training/facilitation, fundraising, event planning and program development.

He is a queer Latino born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. Alfonso has primarily worked with and for LGBT nonprofits in fundraising and grant-making.


The premise of this show is simple. I wanted to ask marginalized folks to tell a white guy what question or questions they wish they never had to hear again. They did just that and I had them answer those question, hopefully for the last time.

Also, I've been a comedy writer and performer my entire adult life, so this show is full of jokes.

I’ve set up a voicemail line, 612-361-9261, where you can share comments, suggestions and personal stories of your own that may be used in future episodes of the podcast. If you tell me which episode you’re responding to, that will help me make follow up episodes with voicemail responses. Call 612-361-9261 with your questions, comments or stories.

-Levi Weinhagen

Dec 14, 2016

“You have to be uncomfortable if you want to make change.”

Regina Mustafa, founder of CIDI (Community Interfaith Dialogue on Islam), talks about her experiences as a Muslim-American. She speaks honestly about misconceptions about Islam, talks about the word terrorism and explains the financial and emotional incentives that work to perpetuate ideas that keep a divide between Muslims and non-Muslims.

The premise of Not About You is simple. I wanted to ask marginalized folks to tell a white, straight, cis-gendered person (that's me) what question or questions they wish they never had to hear again. They did just that and I had them answer those question, hopefully for the last time.

Also, I've been a comedy writer and performer my entire adult life, so this show is full of jokes.

I’ve set up a voicemail line, 612-361-9261, where you can share comments, suggestions and personal stories of your own that may be used in future episodes of the podcast. If you tell me which episode you’re responding to, that will help me make follow up episodes with voicemail responses. Call 612-361-9261 with your questions, comments or stories.

-Levi Weinhagen

Dec 9, 2016

Hannah talks about being a non-gender conforming person, the huge stress relief that comes with knowing people will see you as you see yourself and why adjusting to non-gendered pronouns is so difficult.

The premise of this show is simple. I wanted to ask marginalized folks to tell a white guy what question or questions they wish they never had to hear again. They did just that and I had them answer those question, hopefully for the last time.

Also, I've been a comedy writer and performer my entire adult life, so this show is full of jokes.

I’ve set up a voicemail line, 612-361-9261, where you can share comments, suggestions and personal stories of your own that may be used in future episodes of the podcast. If you tell me which episode you’re responding to, that will help me make follow up episodes with voicemail responses. Call 612-361-9261 with your questions, comments or stories.

-Levi Weinhagen

Dec 7, 2016

“I definitely knew there was going to be a life time of switching this way and moving that way.”

On this episode, Heid Erdrich talks about being a person of color in rooms when everyone assumes there are no people of color present. She talks about how cultural appropriation, how her native cultural traditions were illegal when she was a child and what “passing” means to her.

Heid E. Erdrich’s writing has won awards and honors from the Loft Literary Center, Bush Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, The First Peoples Fund and other organizations.  She teaches writing and is a frequent speaker on Native American subjects. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, kids, and a feisty Jack Russell terrier. 

Thanks for listening to Not About You. For more information about cultural appropriation go to

I’ve set up a voicemail line, 612-361-9261, where you can share comments, suggestions and personal stories of your own that may be used in future episodes of the podcast. If you tell me which episode you’re responding to, that will help me make follow up episodes with voicemail responses. Call 612-361-9261 with your questions, comments or stories. The social media hashtag is #NAYpod

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