Good People, Cool Things
Good People, Cool Things

Episode 123 · 6 months ago

123: How to Change the World By Doing Good with Annalisa Enrile


For perhaps her whole life, Annalisa Enrile has been an advocate for other people. She’s a social worker, professor at the University of Southern California, community organizer, and activist against human trafficking.

So, naturally, Annalisa was a great host for a show like Goodniks, which explores the journey and meaning of doing good in the world. It’s storytelling at its finest.

We’re talking about how you (yes, YOU) can change the world on a more day-to-day and less epic scale and why the next generation is bringing us a ton of hope.

Good people cool things as a condcast feature in conversations with entrepreneurs, writers, musicians and other creatives. Get inspired by their stories to do your own cool thing, and here's your host, Joey held. Welcome to good people cool things. Today's guest is Anna, Lisa and relay, host of the Good Knicks podcast, which explores the journey and meeting of people who are doing good in the world. And, Hey, any other podcast with good in the title I already know you're gonna be a fan of unless you hate listen to this show, and then maybe not. But good next is still very good and worth checking out. An Lisa is a big believer in the power of storytelling, so we're talking about how we can be more curious and tell better stories to promote good things in the world, to enact change. She's a huge defender of human rights, which take a look around, it's there, in question lightly. So we're gonna talk about how we can try and overcome all the charmidists that's been going on through self care, through helping others, through working with different organizations, different people, all to do better and do good in the world. And Lisa is also a professor at USC School of Social Work. So we're talking about what inspires her, about the next generation, and we're trying to answer the questions of how we can stop slavery and human trafficking. It's a big goal, but it starts by talking and learning more about it, and so we're getting into that conversation in this episode as well. There's lots of good stuff, perhaps fitting good nicks. Good people, cool things, lots of good it's all coming together all full circle and if you want to hear even more great conversations, go over to good people, cool things dot com. Sign up for the newsletter, which only goes out a couple of times a month, so you're not getting bombarded by stuff, but you are getting good stuff, just like this conversation with an Alisa. To kick things off, can you give us your name and your elevator pitch, but also the type of elevator that we're running on? Hi, my name's Anna, Lisa Really, and I'm so excited to be here. Um, my elevator pitch. I just finished doing the first season of good nicks, which is a podcast that talks about people who are doing good in the world. I am also a professor at the USC school social work. My area is in human trafficking, Um, in social change, and the type of elevator I'm on. Um. I recently got to go, Um, you know, to that big building in Dubai, Um, the world's toss building. Of course, now that you've asked me this question, I can't think of the name of it. But as you're as you're going through the elevator, I think what's really cool about it is um it gives you like the heights of other places that you're in Um and and it's so tall that you actually it's not a class elevator till the very end. Um, but I think it's like really neat to kind of be on a journey and on flow, on a parallel journey compared to the other places. So maybe that's where I'm at right now. That's super cool. I like that. Like that. Now you you said you're the you just wrapped up season one of good next obviously the show is called good people, cool things, so we have a common interest of people doing good. Probably different focus areas, but still, I mean they're still doing great things. So kind of a two part question for you. How did you get into this? How did how did good Knicks get started and what do you hope listeners get out of it? So how good Knicks got started is I have a really good friend who's the producer of the show, Jeff Lightner, and he and I have worked on different, especially innovation projects together. He was the first innovator in residence at the School of social work, and so he had this idea about really doing a deep dive into how people do good, because it's such a time in the world, what people need to be doing good, but that...'s very daunting, and so we thought could we, you know, give these like little snippets about people's journeys and their processes and, Um, I don't want to give it away for folks that haven't seen it, but there's a little bit of a twist at the end, which I think makes your question about how I came to it really interesting, because if you get all the way to the last episode, you'll find out there is actually one uniting factor of all of our good nicks. Um that is not apparent until the very last episode, and so then it becomes a little bit strange as to why I'm the person that is the host, and I think that you know it came to that, because Jeff and I really wanted to create a space where we made people realize this type of good, whether small or you know, uh, lowercase G or big case G, could happen with anyone, as long as they have, you know, the wherewithal to pursue this kind of commitment to the world. Um and and, yeah, and that's kind to how we how we started, and that's really what we want people to get out of it too. Is like you don't have to think about good as like some huge impact change that you have to make on the world, but all, hopefully, all of these small acts, you know, build kinds of the world that we really want to be living in as opposed to where we are now. And I think you've kind of you kind of touched on this a little bit, but I think just and this certainly comes across in good necks of the kind of transformative power of storytelling which, from my my prep for this, I kind of feel like that's a common theme for you that you're you're really big into how storytelling can can change the world, whether it's it's massive scale or smaller scale. I don't think everyone has this gift, though, of being able to tell stories. So how can we work on that and better tell stories to promote good things that people are doing? I think first you have to be curious, like you have to be really curious about the the why and the how and and not just what is happening, and have a genuine which is actually easier said than done, but have like a genuine interest in in people's experiences. I think oftentimes we're trying to relate to people in such a way so that we're like always trying to say, like, where am I in that story? But sometimes we can just have a story for the sake of that person's story and find connections in other ways. They don't have to exactly match. You know where we have been or how we see things, and I think the way that you know people can just go back to this kind of lost art of conversation and and even whether that's not, whether that's using like modern technological ways of doing it or really just sitting down and learning how to listen to people. Um, I think that's the first step and and really honoring that everyone has such an important story. I think that we're so used to, like, especially in this world of content creation, there has to be something epic or unique or whatever. I think there's something beautiful in everybody's story and if we can kind of cultivate that. I mean that, Sune sounds a little bit woo woo, but you know, but but it's it's true. Yeah, I I agree. I feel like, Um, instagram is a really good example of kind of the epic nous of everything. It's like because there is so much out there that like you almost have to do it. Like, I don't actually this is probably more on youtube than than Instagram, but these bird dog commercials where Pinocchio is the spokesperson and it's just this like shrill, high pitched voice, and I mean it, it drives me nuts, but I'm like it does catch my attention because it's this ridiculous thing of like what's going on? But to your point, I've I do value like the I don't want to call them like lesser stories, but like sort of the more kind of like ordinary and everyday things where it's like it's not a person that's, you know, gone across the world dripping off lunches to people like you know,... out of helicopters and stuff like that. Like there's still so many cool things that people are doing. So I appreciate your take on that. Yeah, thanks. I mean I think about like some of the things that you know, our good Knicks told us, these people that we interviewed in and one of them was like um or a few of them were like I just saw something that really made me think, like this should not be this way in the world and I wanted to fix it and do my little part in it. And one of our good knicks was like, yeah, when I was like five, I started a tooth club because I thought everyone should have clean teeth. I mean it's kind of ridiculous and absurd, but you know, as a first step that made kind of sense. When she talked about her journey afterwards. I Love I don't know what I was doing at five, but it certainly wasn't starting probably any clubs, let alone tooth clubs. Yeah, one other thing that I I think it's interesting to talk with fellow podcasters is about, and this kind of goes back to the like ongoing content creation cycle type of thing, like podcasts especially, I think it can be hard to take breaks. You know, it's like some of some of the most popular podcasts like a Conan O'Brien needs a friend. They're trying out multiple episodes a week now and it's like every I think it's every Monday is a celebrity interview and then every Wednesday, and I'll probably get that wrong and I'm sure I'll have some super fan yell at me, but something like that. And I think it can be, I mean it can definitely be like overwhelming and daunting and good knicks, you just wrapped on season one and now you've got a break before the next season. But this is something that you always wanted to do. We're like, you know, we have our our set amount of episodes and we're going to have a nice like strategy around that. or how or you just saw the stories that you had and you're like, oh, this seems like a good place to kind of kind of cut things off. Yeah, we always meant to have like a nice round. So these ten episodes, and you know the way that both are producers, both Jeff and Amandameo, who was our producer and our editor and director Um, really envisioned it was these, you know, ten themes around doing good and maybe like by the third episode, we started getting overwhelmed by you know, people calling us, emailing us, leaving comments around. Wait, I know other good nicks and and that's when it started to take on almost a life of itself. By the time I got to the last episode, I was the one like telling Jeff and Amanda like wait, wait, are we sure? Can we wait? Wait, how seen? Can we do this again? But so did they? Did they give you an answer? Do you know? One season two, it's gonna get a scoop. I don't have a scoop to give you yet. We are not sure, but we are thinking about, you know, Um, the infrastructure of things in different ways that we can kind of build it. Uh, it is. It is interesting. It's hard to talk about like without revealing, you know, kind of the end, which I don't want to do, but Um, it is this idea of like within different pockets and communities, like how folks do good and how very different it is. Um. So I'm excited to see, like if we can continue to tell that story in innovative ways and in ways that people stay interested in it's like that. Well, we're looking forward to season two and one of the other many things that it seems like you've been for for maybe even your entire life and certainly throughout your career, is being a defender of human rights, which, let's just take a look around at what's going on here in the US, and I mean across the world too, but it's been rough. It's been from two so why? This is probably a pretty loving question, but why is this still so an ongoing...

...ship? I mean, that is that? That is the question of the Millennia, I think. Um, I mean I have a very I'll give you my academic kind of answer, and that is, or maybe it's not academic, maybe it's common sense. We need to not forget history and I think that we live in a time where news is so fast, I mean everything is so fast, right and instantaneous, and we can really, Um, live kind of almost a whole lifetime in a week, and so what happens is we forget the lessons that we've learned. So I'm Filipina and we just had the most horrendous election in the Philippines where we have re elected, Um, the family of the you know, infamous Philippine dictatorship, and it's like Unbelieva. You know, how did this happen? And everyone can say, like corruption and poverty, and things like that. But I think quite simply it's because we have forgotten the lessons that we've learned. So you could go into places where there's whole generations that don't remember what happened even a generation before. And so I think that, you know, in the rush to kind of keep getting better, we forget to look back and that foundation and our history and what we've gone through. Those are lessons that we have to learn from and I think that's, you know, kind of why we're still dealing with what we're dealing with and and ebbs and flows. You know, we we two steps backwards, one step forward, et Cetera, several stuff sideways. So yes, definitely, spirally, I think that goes back to what you were talking about earlier, about having a curiosity. And like, I mean, I'm not, I certainly wasn't alive, you know, fifty hundred years ago or thousands of years ago, none of us were. But like, I'll still get into these rabbit holes sometimes where I'm going down a path just to learn about something from a historical time, from before I was born, and I think it is important to to at least be curious about it so to learn a little bit or else. Yeah, we words are like a lot. Yeah, yeah, I know what I mean, and I think now more than ever, we have like we and we literally have, you know, any amount of knowledge at our fingertips. And so when I work, especially with Youth, I really like to encourage that Um, yeah, that curiosity and wanting to be able to Um, you know, foster um these types of connections with the past. I just think it's so important, unbelievably important. Um. I have a niece who's thirteen and when she gets into something, I will slide down that rabbit hole with her and because I think it's important to really understand things, not just broadly but deeply. and Um, yeah, what's a recent rabbit hole? You've gone down together? Six have you heard of that? It's like this, Um, you know. It's one of the popular Broadway shows right now and it's about the six ex wives of Henry, the eighth Um. It's actually supported by a very popular podcast called noble blood, and so she and I have gone down that rabbit hole together. I was really happy because she really wasn't Um, you know, a strong history student, didn't love it, and this just made her kind of love things that were historical, because there was a contemporary twist and interpretation that I think resonated, you know, not just with herself but also with her friends, and so I said, yeah, let's go through it. Let's start with Henry the eighth. Six X wives, the strangest thing, a very common launching off point. Yeah, yeah, that wasn't that for you. I think my first production to Henry the eighth... um through the Hermann's hermit song. I'm Henry the eighth, I am it is not at all about which is a nice little that's little twist on things. Love it. We've all heard the Daniel powder song. You had a bad day and then there's a bunch of other words. I don't know it off the top of my head, but I do know that you might be having a tough day and here's something that can help raise your spirits. Don't listen to the Daniel powder so I mean you can. It's a fine song. But even better than that the agency for Change Podcast, which tells the stories of people who are doing good in the world. It's inspiring, it's uplifting and it just might help you turn your day around and it might even make you realize there's something you could be doing to change the world. Because you're hearing other people that are doing good, you're like hey, that's easy enough for me to do as well. We can all use a little more heartfelt, uplifting spirits in our lives that give us the opportunity to make an effect change. Every week, host Lynn and Kelly talk with a different do good or someone who's using their power to improve the world. NEW EPISODES OF AGENCY FOR CHANGE COME out every Wednesday. Wherever you listen to your podcast, you can check out old episodes right now. You can wait for the new one that comes out conveniently the same day as this podcast. You've got two great shows that you can listen to, making your Wednesday, your Hump Day, fantastic day. Take a listen agency for Change. You said when you're working with the youth and you're a professor at USC School of Social Work. So, first off, fight on. My sister went to USC, so I still have a couple of USC shirts and I always forget when I'm wearing them out and I'll be like, I was at a basketball game one time and a guy just threw up a peace sign of me, like a fight on and I was like yeah, can, can I help you? And then you're just like kind of nodded at my shirt and he said and I said Oh, yes, yes, that's fight on, and then he was like Oh, he'd like do. He looked terrified for a second that I wasn't going to give him one back. But there's a long winded way of seeing. Like you're working with all these young minds all the time. What's something that inspires you about our next generation? Oh my God, the hope inspires me. Um, I am the audaciousness, and this is not this is even like younger than my own students I have. You know, my students are graduate students, so they're they've gone through like their Undergrad work and are really focusing, you know, in this in these specialized areas. But you know, this belief that they have that things can change, that they could do things to create that change, is a constant source of inspiration for me. And also what they're doing. You know, when I say their audacious nous, I mean they're doing things that I would never think about, Um, you know, think about doing or changing, uh, when I was younger, maybe, Um, you know, like Oh, I think we should rebuild in the juvenile justice system. I think we should figure out a new way of policing that doesn't include police. I mean those are really amazing kinds of things to me and they come to it with, you know, Um, not just the possibility and potential, but, you know, really with, I think, grounded it in kind of reality, Um, and and how to utilize resources, Um, in ways that I think are just getting better. Um and so that keeps me engaged, it keeps me challenged. You know, like to be a professor, you've got to be a little bit ahead, just a little bit Um and so, Um, it's really quite a joy to work in those spaces. I don't even...

...know if these types of sites still exist but um, I remember at least in high school, and I think we had something in college, of like a ripe my professor type of thing. Have you poked around those sites? Do you have your feedback on there? Um? So I might say no, I actually have never poked around in those sites because I've had colleagues who do and they just kind of hurt your feelings. I think a lot of people that use that are our students that are mad at you. Um. So, Um, I'll you'll always have folks that are not happy with the way that you do things. Um, and I do have to admit I'm kind of a hard grader. I do believe people should know how to do things like right really well if we're going to give them letters after their name, and so I'm not always the most popular when it comes to that. Yeah, I always. I mean it's a college student. I'm sure I felt similarly. But there was one professor in particular that same type of thing of like he's so tough, like just you know real, real terrible. I went to one of his office hours the first week and he was just like so excited that I was interested in learning more, and it's like I was like they, these professors like want you to do well, like they're not. They're not giving you a hard time because it like makes them happy, it's because they're trying to get you to do better. Oh my gosh, absolutely. You know, I was on a Dissertation Committee for a student that was actually my master. My you know, got their masters and was my students when they got their masters. They're at a different university now, but I'm there like outside chair person for their dissertation and when she passed that first qualifying exam, I cried, like me and her mom cried, Um, and it just reminded me, you know, yeah, we're it is a journey that we're on together and, Um, just the level of of pride Um, not because of something that I taught her, but for really continuing down that trajectory and and understanding like the work that she's doing is important. We've touched on some heavy topics on this and I think it can be easy to kind of overlook our own self care and our own, you know, our own health and everything with what's going on. So what's a way that you practice self care that you think it might be helpful for some other people? Um, I have a really strong tribe of friends that I keep Um and make sure that we stay in touch. I'm always the one that is like shouldn't aren't we overdo for a lunch or Brunch or whatever. Um. So I do think that I take a lot of self care in keeping those connections and taking time away from from work, you know, where I'm not distracted digitally or with emails and things like that. So that's one. Um. I love to travel. Um, I try to actually fold that into work that I do and I love to read. I mean. which is back to kind of our story piece, to quick escape. What's your top Brunch item? I feel like every good brunch starts with a good Bullini, Mimosa or bloody Mary. That has to be your foundation. Are you? I myself, I'm not a bloody marry fan. The B is in Mimosa to let's bring them on. I but I was talking with someone and they were they were trying to convince me of the merits of a bloody Mary and I think I don't even remember their argument, but I think they were saying that it once. Once they start like loading up a bloody marry where you can barely even like tip it over to drink, that's when it's gone off the rails and you don't want that. You just want like your pure tomato juice and whatever else goes in a bloody marry. But is that correct? I agree. I think so. I'm like you. I'm much more of Bullian Mimosa girl. I try to be inclusive, though, so that's why I threw the bloody marry in there. And also, like I feel like one of my best friends would never forgive me if she listens to this...

...and doesn't hear that, because it's her go to. But she is also a purist and has the same philosophy as your friend. Okay, okay, yeah, maybe they'll go to brunch together, and they can. That's right, bloody Mary's, we'll have my bout. Yeah, that sounds good. Another question I always like to ask as a question you wish you were asked more frequently, and perhaps this might be the most ambitious question in the history of good people cool things. But how can we stop slavery and human trafficking? All right, how can we stop slavery human trafficking? I am glad you asked that, because no one ever asked me that question. So I think there's several ways. Um, none of them are easy. One is we have to be more transparent in our business practices. Labor trafficking, even though we don't talk about it as much as as sex trafficking, is a preponderance of the problem, and so if we know where our stuff is made, how it's made, where it comes from, that can be a huge disruptor in the slave trade. Um. The second is when we're talking about sex trafficking, actually in labor trafficking too. Is If we can stop this commodification of human beings, meaning if we stop believing at some level that everything is for sale, then I think that that can help, you know, stop human trafficking. And finally, we just have to keep talking about it and keep raising awareness, because I don't think people understand like how big of a problem it is, like even in a country like the United States, where the average age of sex trafficking victims is I think talking about it is maybe even the first step, just because so, so many people are so unaware of what's going on and then when you learn about it, you're like, oh, yeah, thats changed. Yeah, yeah, right, well, you're almost off the hook. Care but we always like to wrap up with the top three and again another ambitious top three hair top three things people can do to change the world. Yeah, Um, it is ambitious, but I think we're like, I think it's also I don't know, there's easy things to do. You know. One is to just start taking action. It doesn't have to be like, like I said earlier, it doesn't have to be huge things. Um, it could be something like picking a topic or an issue that you know doesn't sit well with you or that you really resonate with, that keeps you up. You know, Jeff likes to say what keeps you up at night and trying to think of I wish I had a solution to this. And then just kind of start doing your small part. So if that's climate change, maybe it's moving to like less waste or even just recycling, or Um, if it's, you know, stuff around the youth or homelessness. I mean there's all sorts of little things that we could do. Um. I think the second thing you could do is to to make it a community effort. And when I say community, I don't mean, like you know, with your whole kind of neighborhood or region, but I mean even just with your small tribe of friends, making a commitment with one another to to do something together. Um. And then I think the last thing is to be self aware about the kind of world that we want to live in and what we can do in our small part to make that happen. I like, it seems easy when you lay it out like that. Yeah, yeah, it's not hard. Awesome analy so this was fantastic. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat. If people want to listen to good next learn more about what you're doing. Where can I find you? They could find us at good next DOT org. Um, and, uh, they could find me. You know, I'm supposed to have like a really strong social media platform, but I don't. And so if you don't have the stamp, you can find me, Um,... Anna Lisa in relay at I cloud dot com, and I still prefer that. Is still the best way to contact me. Fantastic. I'm still on vine, so I'm I'm doing poorly on social media, saying I'm failing. Awesome. Well, thank you again, analyst. And of course we've got to end with a Corny joke, as we always do. A limbo champ walks into a bar. They lose good after it. Today people, good people, cool things is produced in Austin, Texas. If you're a fan of this episode, go ahead and hit that follow button. That helps more people here the show. You can send me a message, Joey, at good people, cool things dot com. Thank you to all of the guests who have been on good people cool things. Can check out all the old episodes via good people, cool things dot com. As always, thank you for listening and have a Wonderful Day.

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