Category Archives: Be The Change

Population Media & Bill Ryerson: Soap Operas that change social behaviour & create a better world. Episode #57

Social marketing uses marketing techniques to change social behaviour and aims to influence behaviours that benefit individuals and communities for the great social good. In a world condensed with media how can we wade through the noise of consumerism in order to create social change?

Population Media Center (PMC) creates serialized dramas, also called soap operas, on radio and television in which characters evolve into role models for the audience for positive behaviour change, and the impact of PMC’s dramas are dramatic. PMC is a nonprofit, international nongovernmental organization, which strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world addressing a variety of issues. Founded in 1998, PMC has over 15 years of field experience in behaviour change communications with projects around the world.

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My Journey of Using Digital Media for Social Good. The Roadrunner, Episode #55

I love the feeling of teaching youth the power of using multimedia for social good. We hold these incredible tools in our hands every day with unlimited possibilities in how we can capture the world around us. How can we empower others to embrace digital creativity and use it as a platform to help important stories be told?

Today I’m going to share with you something special to me. It’s the audio from my very first documentary and it’s still one of my favourites. When I was learning this art form we had to choose and organization or an individual in our community to capture. I knew the perfect person and his name is Jeff Murray.

Jeff has cerebral palsy and at the time used a piece of paper to point to letters spelling out what he needed to say. I would always see him going full speed down the street in his electric wheelchair and I wondered what life was like in our small town when it came to accessibility.

As I got to know Jeff and the people in his life I came to find out he was hilarious, a smart ass sometimes, but also an incredible advocate and inspiration for change. 

She was told to be a nurse or a teacher but she wanted to be an Astronaut! Stephanie Osborne, International Woman of Mystery #Episode 54

Women today have so many more opportunities than we did fifty years ago. When you had an aptitude for math or science back then you usually had two options presented to you, being a nurse or a teacher. Those were not the options my guest today wanted to hear. In fact she had other plans, even if she was discourage, she knew she was going to be in the space program.

Stephanie Osborn is a veteran of more than 20 years in the civilian space program, as well as various military space defence programs, she worked on numerous space shuttle flights and the International Space Station, and counts the training of astronauts on her resume. Her space experience also includes Spacelab and ISS operations, variable star astrophysics, radiation physics, and nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons effects.

Stephanie holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in four sciences: astronomy, physics, chemistry and mathematics, and she is “fluent” in several more, including geology and anatomy.

Now retired from space work, Stephanie has trained her sights on writing. She has authored, co-authored, or contributed to over 35 books, including the celebrated science-fiction mystery, Burnout: The mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281.

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Two Spirit Pipe Carrier Sharp Dopler Episode #52

Lately the political climate feels as if you are walking on eggshells. There are so many opportunities to be a part of something great, to be a ally for change, but if you can’t speak your mind without fear of retribution how do we be ourselves, share our opinions and learn from others without policing our every thought and feeling? A great teacher once said to me, “We were born with two ears and one mouth because we are meant to listen twice a much as we are meant to speak.”

Sharp Dopler has been an educator, community worker and activist for over 20 years. Sharp is a member of the Ottawa Indigenous community and is of Cherokee/Sauk/Fox and Irish descent. Sharp has presented at various venues at the local, regional, provincial, national and international level and  is honoured to be considered a Traditional Knowledge Keeper and carrier of Ceremony. As a two-spirit pipe carrier Sharp has incredible stories, knowledge and a ridiculous sense of humour that I absolutely love.

Visit Sharp at Sharp Solutions:

Ray Of Hope World Kindness Day Video Premiere With Award Winning Musician Alika Hope Episode #52

The current political energy across the globe is feelings rather polarized and divided in so many ways. As we watch our social media feeds each day it can be difficult to find a ray of hope amongst the darkness. To find a way to bridge our divide and use social media for good. To let people know we are there for each other emotionally and virtually.


That is the message of The Ray of Hope Project started by my guest today, award winning musician, Alika Hope.  She had the goal of using African American spirituals to shed light on the combined anti-slavery efforts of blacks and whites in 19th century New England and now includes nine musicians and actors who incorporate African American spirituals with live music in their participatory programs.

Ray of Hope Project’s newest production, music video “IRL” is a video focusing on the importance of kindness on social media. It will premiere on various social media channels on World Kindness Day, November 13.

Good Morning Gorgeous: Dale Smith Thomas Teaches Individuals &Corporations How To Find Beauty Within

Often times throughout our day we put ourselves down in one way or another. Maybe we think that we are too fat, or too skinny, too tall or not tall enough. Sometimes we can’t even take a compliment when one is sent our way, we just deflect the gesture and downplay our light. How do we change the way we think about ourselves in the world? How do we go from thinking we are drab to knowing we are fab? How do we find our inner gorgeous?

My guest today, Dale Smith Thomas, experienced a similar untruth about herself and did not always think she was pretty, in fact she really thought she was nothing special at all. As she got older she began to realize that her beauty had to come from within.

In her book, Good morning Gorgeous,  Dale reflects on her experiences as Mrs. Tennessee and offers a unique perspective on what it means to be truly beautiful. She has already helped thousands of women discover their “inner gorgeous” and continues to reach more every day. In addition to her books, she’s also been a frequent guest on Dr. Phil and other major network television shows.

I know I say this about all of my guests, but I really did fall in love with Dale’s light. It felt like I met a long lost sister. I highly recommend her book because it captures the struggle within ourselves and offers a fresh outlook on how we can break the shackles of our own negative self beliefs.

Hearing With My Heart: Justin Osmond May Have A Hearing Loss, But That Hearing Loss Does Not Have Him

I have a bone to pick with the people out there who feel the need to spread their negative beliefs onto  others. Stop it. Your philosophy is tired and the human soul is energized and has proven time and time again, that you’re wrong. It’s time for us to silence the naysayers and listen to what we know to be true in our hearts, that people are incredible and to prove it all they need is a little hope.

My guest today has led an extraordinary life. Justin Osmond was born with 90% hearing loss. That is hard for anyone, but being the son of Merrill Osmond, the lead singer of the world-renowned Osmond Family, made deafness and even bigger challenge.

After 12 years of intense speech and listening therapy, he can now speak with passion and through modern-day technology, hear with conviction.

I am honoured to have him on the show and to continue to spread his incredible message. I think we could all learn a thing or two from Justin’s life experience.

May Your Choices Reflect Your Hopes & Not Your Fears, Episode #48

No matter how much time goes by I am still amazed by how many people choose to discourage others as opposed to encouraging them. Haven’t we seen and heard enough life experiences to know that the human soul is truly resilient? That each of us can overcome and achieve incredible thing when we have even just a little support in our lives. This episode of Cara Jones Speaks shares the stories of two incredible people, Christina Fry & Len Morissette, who changed their lives by making a choice that reflected their hopes.

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From Redneck to Rainbow: The Rights & Freedoms of LGBTQ+ Youth Part Two, Episode #47

Should schools be able to tell parents if their child identifies in the LGBTQ spectrum? How do we project youth who are in family that would not accept who they are and cast them out onto the streets?

Not long after the amendment of the bill  the Minister of Education rolled out the The Guidelines for best practices: Creating learning environments that respect diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions. The province told schools they had to submit a plan of how they would implement these guidelines into their schools. This was met with huge resistance from parents, community members and schools who felt their rights were being compromised.


From Redneck to Rainbow: The Rights & Freedoms of LGBTQ+ Youth Part One, Episode #46

I was new to municipal government but I was passionate about helping youth create change. One day the youth came into our meeting angry and frustrated. There was a government Bill called “Bill 10” that people were trying to pass and it stated that any youth in Alberta who wanted to have a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance or Gender & Sexuality Alliance) could be denied by their school.

These clubs have statistically proven to create tolerance and decrease bullying and suicide. The youth felt that it was not fair that these decisions were being made without the input of youth when it directly affects them and their peers.

I encouraged the youth to stand before the City Council as a delegation and ask for their support in amending the Bill.

After a great deal of preparation four of the youth bravely got up in front of the committee and identify as Transgender, Bi-sexual, Homosexual and Heterosexual youth. Their presentation was incredibly inspiring and left the adults in the room speechless.

Three days later, after youth across the province banned together to speak out, Bill 10 was amended. It was the first time since becoming an ally at age 18 that I actually saw youth speak out and effectively be heard. 

This is part one of their story.