Episode 5: Ella- The Grit and the Grace
Chapel ProbationFebruary 15, 2022x
00:51:3047.66 MB

Episode 5: Ella- The Grit and the Grace

Scott OkamotoScott OkamotoHost

Ella Baker survived APU while presenting as a half Korean and White young man knowing she was something more. Her deconstruction began early on as she realized through the sheer force of her intellect that evangelical culture had lied to her. After a period of atheism and anger, she channeled her energies into spiritual growth and became a strong, zen, christian, trans woman. 

While at APU, she was part of a group of students called, the Sisters 9. It was a writing group where they could share their writing and music that didn't fit with the values and ethos of APU's ultra-conservative evangelical culture. This group inspired me with its commitment to developing their craft with all of them developing their own identities in direct opposition to APU's identity. They were, to me, a combination of the Bloomsbury Group in 1920's England and the Beat generation of the 60's. You will hear more from this group in the future.

Finally, you will hear an indictment of evangelical higher education. While there are some damn fine professors at places like APU, far too many classes are taught as evangelical indoctrination courses instead of the stated subjects in the course descriptions. Depending on your path through the faculty, you could be well-prepared for graduate school or horribly unprepared. Or something in between. Whatever the academic experience, you will be traumatized if you aren't a conservative cis-het, white person.

As with others on this podcast, Ella found a way to survive and learn to convert the trauma into life skills. You will be inspired.

You can find Ella at Heyellabird on Instagram. 

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Music in this episode by Shin Kawasaki and Wingo Shackleford, Elephants with Guns, Azeem Kahn, and Scott Okamoto.

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