Find the Good News with Oran Parker
Ep. 28 - The Short End of the Stick Ft. Laura Grantham Broussard - Find the Good News with Oran Parker

Ep. 28 - The Short End of the Stick Ft. Laura Grantham Broussard - Find the Good News with Oran Parker

February 27, 2019

Sometimes to talk about good things we need to talk about bad things. We have to go into the darkness of the cave, but make sure we’re lighting lanterns along the way. Laura Grantham Broussard sat down with me for a visit on Find the Good News, and our conversation was a bit like that. Laura caught my eye online because she was one of the few voices ringing out in our area taking an active position of compassion and mercy for immigrants and asylum seekers. She’s one of the one’s lighting those lanterns on the way into the cave. If I’m being honest, I typically feel a good bit of fear when the subject of migrants, foreigners, asylum seekers, or border walls come up. These are volatile times, and as a past guest of the show once said, “You can’t change anyone’s mind anymore.” Still, that’s one of the unwritten missions of this little show, isn’t it? Shouldn’t we all make an effort to have honest and elevated conversations—even uncomfortable conversations—that might cause a shift in thinking or a change of heart? I’d say that’s the kind of conversation I have with Laura in this episode. She speaks frankly about the immediate needs of the families that she serves through the Immigrant Families Together network and reveals many of the catalysts for their migration to safer lands. What I really love about Laura Broussard is that she’s actually doing something. She’s not sitting on the sidelines. She’s using her voice on new media networks to help bend the bow toward social justice, but she’s also putting actual energy into serving our brothers and sisters, these children of creation—and that’s what they are—manifesting resources for families that are totally at the mercy of a stranger’s kindness. That hope for kindness is not what they always receive. Laura has that unique knack for looking at history to help generate her compassion. Because she can see where she’s come from, she can see others as herself, and in turn, treat them as she would want to be treated. She sees the common ground that we all share, the things that bind us, and that many of the comforts and securities we enjoy simply come from being born in the right place and the right time—good old fashioned luck. It’s easy to find voices stirring the pot with the long end of the stick, voices that use degrading rhetoric that dehumanizes immigrants, making their troubles easier to disregard. Laura understands that they are people—just like you and I—and they are the ones getting the short end of the stick in this pot we stir with our words. Laura Grantham Broussard, all of the locals that support her efforts, and the Immigrant Families Together network are using their words and works to help these people in desperate situations. Maybe there are lanterns hanging along the walls of the deep, dark cave. Maybe there’s a light on outside as well. Maybe people like Laura are helping to transform these dark spaces into comfortable and safe homes filled with love, friends, and resources. For mothers and fathers wandering far from their homes and wondering what’s next, I believe it’s the good news they’ve been praying and hoping for.

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THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY PARKER BRAND CREATIVE SERVICES >> www.ParkerBrandUp.com

FOR MORE INFO ABOUT LAURA GRANTHAM BROUSSARD & THE IMMIGRANT FAMILIES TOGETHER NETWORK >> www.facebook.com/lg.broussard and https://immigrantfamiliestogether.com/donate-to-a-mom 

Ep. 27 - The Sugar Bowl Ft. Brook Hanemann - Find the Good News with Oran Parker

Ep. 27 - The Sugar Bowl Ft. Brook Hanemann - Find the Good News with Oran Parker

February 20, 2019

Brook Hanemann, the director of Banners at McNeese State University, agreed to visit with me on Find the Good News. Like other guests, I knew very little about her before our conversation. Also, like other guests, it was an absolute pleasure to get to know her. There’s something thoughtful and poetic in the way Brook speaks. She often closed her eyes when she would recount stories of her youth, and her descriptions of her childhood haunts were sweet, dripping with heavenly honey. I could feel the light on my own skin in her words, as Brook took me back to the places and people that shaped her, those forever-experiences enshrined in her mind, the catalysts for all of her talents, passions, and dreams. Theatre, art, dance! It’s all there in her timeline. She shared joy and loss, life and love,… death… and birth. As her name implies, we meandered gently downstream, from one lovely experience to the next, never regretting a single ripple or eddy as we babbled along around sharp rocks and soft sandy banks. Brook has a knack for sharing the experiences that shaped her, and this gift gives more merit to her insights. Her story of the sugar bowl—the name of this episode—is revealed in her retelling of a great blessing. You see, Brook was baptized on the isle of Ireland, the land of shepherds and saints, at the hands of one of the most insightful and good-hearted men to have ever walked the earth. Her delivery of this spiritual experience is not something I’ll soon forget, and it imprinted upon me the importance of being truly present and always humble as a child of creation. Brook looks deeply into her own timeline, the whole of her history, and she captures that energy, the full force of that magic, then puts it to work manifesting new and glorious things. I have to believe that some of that mystic, ethereal dust is sprinkled on offerings of Banners at McNeese State University. The good news is that if we look closely at this cultural program we’ll see a bit of Brook Hanemann’s history flowing comfortably into it, fusing and melting directly into our own. 

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THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY PARKER BRAND CREATIVE SERVICES >> www.ParkerBrandUp.com

FOR MORE INFO ABOUT BROOK HANEMANN & BANNERS AT McNEESE STATE UNIVERSITY >> www.facebook.com/brook.hanemann and www.facebook.com/bannersatmcneesestateuniversity 

Ep. 26 - The Golden Seam Ft. Matt Young - Find the Good News with Oran Parker

Ep. 26 - The Golden Seam Ft. Matt Young - Find the Good News with Oran Parker

February 13, 2019

There are people in our lives that everyone knows, and that everyone holds in high regard. That respect often comes from the actions and good works of those individuals. Sometimes it’s their good nature that places them in such high regard. More often, it’s some combination of both. I’m always looking to meet them, these people who bind good works with their good nature, and share their heart and soul with you on Find the Good News. Matt Young, the director of 1911 Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center in Lake Charles, Louisiana, is one of those people. I’ve spoken to Matt many, many times over the years, and while our conversations were never very long, I was always left feeling better than I did before the encounter. Some have said that's Matt’s special gift, the ability to make a person feel like their conversation was the most important one that he had all day. I wouldn’t disagree with that. Matt’s friendly, charming, articulate, and professional; precisely the person anyone would want representing their project, group, organization, or movement,… but I’m always interested in the source. Where do these good qualities come from? What gives rise to them? What’s holding them all together? For Matt, like many of us, it is in the golden seam, the gilded glue that celebrates the cracks and fractures instead of running from them or denying their existence. Like many—like all—Matt Young has faced his own doubts, insecurities, and personal pains. He’s covered his true-and-best self—as many of us have done—fearing that in revealing all our parts we would lose many in our circles of friends, family, and peers. By bringing all the parts of his life out into the open, Matt has actually been witness to something wonderful, something that I would wish for all people. It is the golden seam that binds people to each other, the shining goodness that can be found in the beings around us if we give them a chance to be brighter, the glimmer of hope that invades the cracks and fractures, that heals, that unites. Yes, we talked about his professional journey to where he is today, as well as the new and exciting things that he, and those working with him, have in store for us at 1911 Historic City Hall. While all of those things are soaked in good news for Southwest Louisiana, I believe it’s Matt Young’s heart, radiating genuine kindness and goodness, that will make all of his good works and future endeavors pure gold.

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THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY PARKER BRAND CREATIVE SERVICES >> www.ParkerBrandUp.com

FOR MORE INFO ABOUT MATT YOUNG & 1911 HISTORIC CITY HALL >> www.instagram.com/mattyoung84 or www.facebook.com/mattyoung84 and www.facebook.com/historiccityhallartsandculture 

Ep. 25 - The Secret Sauce Ft. John O’Donnell - Find the Good News with Oran Parker

Ep. 25 - The Secret Sauce Ft. John O’Donnell - Find the Good News with Oran Parker

February 6, 2019

When I started Find the Good News I couldn’t have predicted the effect it would have on me. Each and every guest has left an impact. This is the absolute truth; I think about each one of them in some small way each day. John O’Donnell, the man I visit with in episode 25, doesn’t break that stride. In fact, John's eagerness to serve and willingness to lead has only motivated me to continue seeking out good people in this community and beyond, bringing their personal stories to you. Whether it’s impacting our region through his day job as the director of the Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center, or the myriad of ways he puts his passions to work in our communities on a grassroots level, John is motivating people to be more active, to live healthier lives, and to get involved in small ways that make a big difference. John is knowledgable about what he’s talking about, and he has to be. When you're making changes you’re often making waves, and those who rock the boat should be able to back up their reasons for doing it. What I loved about John is that he doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to making changes, things that need to happen right now, and he presents these issues—as well as the possible solutions—in an infectious way that makes you want to start making them right away. My perception is that with each venture into good works, John O’Donnell is consciously learning—taking note of what worked, and what didn’t—and then adjusting his thinking and tactics to ensure that the next go-round is more successful. He’s working a long plan that will enhance the quality of life in Southwest Louisiana on many dimensions, but at the same time, he’s making sure there are small and visible victories along the way to help us all stay motivated to keep working toward a broader vision. He’ll make you think twice about what you’re cooking and eating, where you’re shopping, the businesses you support, the laws you're voting for, the way we’re planning and building, as well as the way we’re all getting around from place to place. It’s good news for all of us when there are people like John O’Donnell in the community. Not only are they good people, but they are stepping into leadership roles, and teaching the next generation of leaders by their example. 

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THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY PARKER BRAND CREATIVE SERVICES >> www.ParkerBrandUp.com

FOR MORE INFO ABOUT JOHN O'DONNELL >> www.instagram.com/johnodonnell or www.swlahec.com