InkHouse Announces New Podcast Partnership With Jake Murray’s Power of Good
Sep 04, 2019 The InkHouse Production Team
We are on a journey to tell stories about people making real change in the communities they live in or serve. After 25 years working in education and human services, our friend, Jake Murray, also felt compelled to share hope rather than fear. He created the podcast Power of Good to highlight incredible, socially innovative people and organizations.
Jake recently invited our team to take over the production of his podcast to help broaden his reach since we are a like-minded organization that believes meaningful and positive change is possible through stories-- they have the power to shift perspectives and inspire action.
We sat down with Jake to learn more about the genesis of Power of Good and what he hopes will come as a result of working with InkHouse to share these stories.
Q: What led or inspired you to create a podcast dedicated to sharing the stories of people and organizations doing good things for others?
JAKE: I launched Power of Good with three goals in mind:
1. I wanted to elevate our capacity to think outside of ourselves, to serve and care for others and to see the commonality - not the differences - in the world around us. Today, there is plenty that divides us – politics, geography, income inequality, racial and ethnic stereotypes, religious beliefs. We know that hate crimes have been on the rise for the past three years, and today’s news is too often demoralizing. Power of Good very intentionally looks for counterexamples and counter-narratives. Alex Haley, the author of the 1976 book, “Roots: The Saga of an American Family,” put it best when he urged us to not exhaust ourselves with the negatives all around us, and instead, “find the good and praise it.”
2. I had been searching for a way to capture – or at least bottle in 30 minutes or so – all of the people who have inspired me and continue to inspire me over my 25 years in education and human services. I wanted an effective way to share their work, focus, and spirit. They all have amazing stories to tell – stories that hopefully inspire listeners in similar ways, and maybe also motivate them to continue or begin similar work.
3. Through this podcast, I hope to authentically and honestly describe what service is and isn’t. This type of work can be inspirational, rewarding and oftentimes life-saving. But it’s also often unromantic, hard, confusing and even painful. There are setbacks, failures, and people who can’t be reached. There’s never enough funding, staff come and go, and on and on. So, there are key lessons in this podcast about what it's really like to pursue “good” and what it takes to genuinely serve others, and pursue an important mission.
Q: Do you feel more of an urgent need to share positive, hopeful stories in 2019 than you had, let’s say, before 2016?
JAKE: Yes - unfortunately. According to the Brookings Institution, the U.S. is more polarized politically, demographically and geographically than at any other time in recent history. There is conflict between red states and blue states, cities and rural areas, immigrants and some citizens, religions and other religions - the list goes on and on. Yet despite polarization, there are people reaching out to and supporting others across these dividing lines every day, in every community and in every state – whether to promote education, health, and wellness - or simply because they feel compelled to do so. Now more than ever, we need to share their stories and efforts – to reinforce that empathy and kindness are alive and well, and just as prevalent as the forces that divide us.
Q: Why is doing good so powerful?
JAKE: Doing good, seeing good, and hearing about good work fosters optimism. And optimism is a powerful mindset - one that research suggests promotes a range of positive health, educational and life outcomes. When most people think of optimism, it’s often the belief that “the glass is half full,” everything is going to work out, things are generally good. But that can be too pollyannaish. Everything is NOT always ok. We face major problems: There is inequality and struggle, violence and pain, the climate is in trouble, etc. So, for me, what’s key is what I call Actionable Optimism - acknowledging that challenges in the world are real, but not fixed. And smart, passionate people can and are addressing these challenges. Progress is possible, and if we look, we can see it.
Q: In doing this podcast, what surprised you and what did you learn?
JAKE: Meeting and listening to the amazing guests and organizations featured on Power of Good has left me with some key takeaways:
- A powerful and common trait among those doing good is problem-solving. They all see a problem, try to understand the roots of the issue and develop and test a solution. So, the more we teach and practice this skill in any and all parts of our lives - home, school or work - the better!
- Doing good and helping others is often about reframing. There are many times when the people I interview or the people they’ve worked with could have given in to circumstances (homelessness, disabilities, trauma), stereotypes (gang member, drug addict) and pervasive problems (hurricanes, food insecurity, sexual exploitation). But, they reframed their situations, their identities, their paths to take positive steps and make positive changes.
- Doing good and helping others is modeled and passed on. Many Power of Good’s guests share stories of parents, siblings and mentors who inspired them through their example.
Q: What do you hope the outcome of this podcast will be?
JAKE: That we “live in hope” and more of us become Actionable Optimists. Also, that we recognize, appreciate and support those around us who already are!
Q: Who would be your dream podcast guest?
JAKE: In many ways, I already have my ideal guests - those I have interviewed so far. They do amazing work every day, and often under the radar. They truly inspire me. But if I can dream for a moment, here’s a list to start:
- Ava DuVernay - powerful storytelling to compel change
- Anna NimiRiano - speaking truth to power and in the face of great personal danger
- Ellen Degeneres - the power of humor to promote good
- Bill Gates/Jeff Bezos/Satya Nadella - the responsibility of those with tremendous wealth to transfer it to - and care for - others
- Steve Kerr / LeBron James - using the platform of sports to promote social justice
Our first episode features Karen Voci, president of Harvard Pilgrim Foundation, who talks about the lifestyle changes that will make for healthier communities. Listen to this episode on Apple (subscribe on app), iHeartRadio, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and follow the podcast updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
To learn more about InkHouse’s integrated services, including podcast production, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.