Pink Granite

Casey Chapman-Ross, Hosted by Shellie Hayes - McMahon

March 08, 2020 Season 1 Episode 1
Pink Granite
Casey Chapman-Ross, Hosted by Shellie Hayes - McMahon
Chapters
Pink Granite
Casey Chapman-Ross, Hosted by Shellie Hayes - McMahon
Mar 08, 2020 Season 1 Episode 1

In this inaugural episode host Shellie Hayes-McMahon sits down with progressive, political photojournalist Casey Chapman-Ross. Casey is a photographer, publisher and mom on a mission to teach children that they have the power to change the world. Casey sits down for the very first Pink Granite podcast to discuss her I Am An Activist! coloring book line as well as her experience photographing Beto O'Rourke's historic 2018 Senate Campaign.

Host: Shellie Hayes-McMahon, Operations Director - Annie's List
Guest: Casey Chapman Ross, Political Photojournalist - CCR Press

Link to Purchase I Am An Activist! Coloring Books: https://www.caseychapmanrossphotography.com/shop

Casey's Community Engagement:

Austin Women Invest to Elect, Online: https://www.txinvesttoelect.com/
People's Community Clinic: https://www.austinpcc.org/

Professional References:

John Glaser Photography: http://johnmglaser.com/
Jack Sanders Artwork and Posters: https://jacksandersart.com
Sarah Presson Artwork and Posters: https://sarahpresson.com
The Waking Giants Subscription Box: https://www.wakinggiants.me/

Casey's Favorite Podcasts:

Pod Save America
The Daily by the New York Times
FiveThirtyEight Politics

Support Pink Granite and ensure we can continue to deliver engaging interviews on a regular basis, lifting the voices of the women who support our community.

Visit www.Patreon.com/PinkGranite to learn for how as little as $3 a month you can become part of our community.

Find Pink Granite online at www.PinkGraniteTexas.com

Connect:

 Instagram @PinkGraniteTX
Twitter @PinkGraniteTX
Facebook @PinkGraniteTX 
#PinkGranite

This episode of the Pink Granite Podcast was Produced by Jack Anderson and Executive Produced by Amy Whited. Music composed and performed by Jack Anderson.

Show Notes Transcript

In this inaugural episode host Shellie Hayes-McMahon sits down with progressive, political photojournalist Casey Chapman-Ross. Casey is a photographer, publisher and mom on a mission to teach children that they have the power to change the world. Casey sits down for the very first Pink Granite podcast to discuss her I Am An Activist! coloring book line as well as her experience photographing Beto O'Rourke's historic 2018 Senate Campaign.

Host: Shellie Hayes-McMahon, Operations Director - Annie's List
Guest: Casey Chapman Ross, Political Photojournalist - CCR Press

Link to Purchase I Am An Activist! Coloring Books: https://www.caseychapmanrossphotography.com/shop

Casey's Community Engagement:

Austin Women Invest to Elect, Online: https://www.txinvesttoelect.com/
People's Community Clinic: https://www.austinpcc.org/

Professional References:

John Glaser Photography: http://johnmglaser.com/
Jack Sanders Artwork and Posters: https://jacksandersart.com
Sarah Presson Artwork and Posters: https://sarahpresson.com
The Waking Giants Subscription Box: https://www.wakinggiants.me/

Casey's Favorite Podcasts:

Pod Save America
The Daily by the New York Times
FiveThirtyEight Politics

Support Pink Granite and ensure we can continue to deliver engaging interviews on a regular basis, lifting the voices of the women who support our community.

Visit www.Patreon.com/PinkGranite to learn for how as little as $3 a month you can become part of our community.

Find Pink Granite online at www.PinkGraniteTexas.com

Connect:

 Instagram @PinkGraniteTX
Twitter @PinkGraniteTX
Facebook @PinkGraniteTX 
#PinkGranite

This episode of the Pink Granite Podcast was Produced by Jack Anderson and Executive Produced by Amy Whited. Music composed and performed by Jack Anderson.

Support the show (http://www.patreon.com/PinkGranite)

spk_1:   0:04
you're listening to the pink granite podcast. Pink Granite is a bipartisan community supporting women as they forge a career in Texas. Politics and policy. Candidate's staff, lobbyists, activists and, yes, even supportive men all have a place in the paint granite community. Learn more and support our work by visiting pink granite, texas dot com and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at Pink Granite. T X Thank you so much for listening. This is Amy. Why did the founder of Pink Granite and you are listening to our very first audio interview? Because Pink Green, its foundation, has always been strong women supporting strong women. We decided to frame this first interview as a conversation between two women who support and celebrate each other's work but also aren't afraid to answer some tough questions. I hope you'll enjoy this first pink granite conversation between Shelly Hayes McMahon, the operations director at Annie's List, and Casey Chapman Ross, a political photo journalist.

spk_0:   1:27
So I'm Shelly Hayes McMahon, and we're here today with Casey Chapman Ross from Casey Chapman Ross Photography. How you

spk_1:   1:33
doing today, Casey? I'm good. Thank you.

spk_0:   1:35
So glad to have you here with us for those of you who don't know Casey Casey has an extensive history and activism. She is a professional photographer, has her own photography business, women lead business. She is also launched a line of coloring books. We're gonna get into all of that today. So, Casey, let's get started. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

spk_1:   1:55
Well, in addition to what you mentioned, I would also add, in 2019 when I published my first book about Bentos campaign, I simultaneously started my own publishing company called CCR Press, and along with the messages and the books that I had in my mind, too get out into the world. I started it so that I can also be a resource for other authors that want to publish. So that's kind of a focus, I would say in 2020 and beyond, to work with other authors that wanna publish books on progressive titles.

spk_0:   2:30
So you're running to women owned businesses? Absolutely. Because that's what we do. So did you study photography in school? Did you study publishing in school?

spk_1:   2:40
No, to publishing a little bit photography? Yes, it's always been, I guess, a passion hobby of mine growing up I got my first camera for my uncle when I was probably around five or six little coming out with a little blue Kodak camera. Super cute when I would set my stuffed animals and my parents up for portrait's and things like that and then that carried on. I did some in middle school. I did as much as I could get my hands on in high school in photojournalism, your book newspaper, anybody that would let me, you know, use that as an elective credit. I filled that time. And then in college I got my bachelor's in arts and studio art at U T. And I did some photography, although the classes were really competitive at UT, so I didn't get as many hours as I probably would have liked. But I was also kind of dabbling another art and screen printing and, you know, just being a college kid. So, yeah, I've done it forever. And then I guess I kind of got off on a path in real estate for about 10 years in Austin. And while I loved it, I after sometime realized it just wasn't my passion, and it was probably not going to ever be my passion. So I started sort of trying to rediscover what that looked like for me. And even though I didn't have a path as a career as a photographer, I didn't have a path in mind. I was determined to figure it out, so I just kind of quit everything and started trying. I love that. That was a mouthful of every year involving

spk_0:   4:06
about that. So we've watched your progression over the last couple of years, and one of the larger steps that happened one of the bigger moments in the last year or so was true to form. Can we talk a little bit about your adventures following better his campaign, how the book came about and where you are now?

spk_1:   4:24
Sure, when Beto announced I was already doing a lot of political work, but I could tell that his campaign was going to be different, it was gonna be very energized. But he also announced in April of 2017 right as I was having a baby. So I knew that I wasn't gonna be as active as maybe I usually would be with a newborn at home.

spk_0:   4:44
When you say active you mean, what sort of political activism

spk_1:   4:48
I just mean present? Like, I wasn't gonna be at as many events, or I may not be able to volunteer as much or just be everywhere that I typically just tried to do as much as possible and be his present as possible. Yeah, just at all the events at all the rallies at all the public things in town halls and everything. So I knew I wanted to follow his campaign closely, and over the 18 months or so that I followed his campaign and worked with them. I did as much as I could. But when the campaign ended, I realized I had a catalogue of a lot of images that I felt like, really help tell the story. But I didn't have nearly enough to fully tell a story by myself. And I had met so many incredible people on that campaign and made so many new friends that I felt like it was most appropriate to build a collaborative book. So I reached out to all the other photographers that I knew that I could get my hands on that worked and had images. You know, we all just killed it tryingto produce work that helped build him up and build that team up. So I connected with any artist that I knew was involved in, Ah, lot of the ambassadors and volunteers. I wanted stories I just wanted to tell as big collection of stories as possible. So

spk_0:   6:11
that's what true to form is who your some of your favorite photographer collaborators that you have you been able to work with.

spk_1:   6:17
So Sam Eisen manner covered a lot of town halls for Beto. She, I think, worked on somewhere in the 50 60 70 town halls throughout Texas, and I knew she had, ah, large catalogue of powerful images, and I'm so glad that she contributed to the book. John Glaser is a photographer out of Houston. He covered a ton in the Houston area. I was kind of all over the place. I covered his 254th town hall up in Gainesville, cause that's where my family's from. So we all just came to the collection with a different set, and so we all complemented each other really well. But then there was all of the poster artist like Jack Sanders helped design the first Beto for Texas merge and some of his posters. Sarah Pressing designed a lot of also merchant posters. The guy that did Armadillo, Christmas Bazaar and All the Armadillo World Headquarters posters in Austin. He's just a famous poster artist throughout Austin. I'm blanking on his name, but I'm gonna find him. He also did about over Texas poster for the Willing Nelson concert, and I just so much, so much talent. Um, was donated to that campaign, and I'm so glad that so much of it was a part of it.

spk_0:   7:37
It was quite the movement, yes, so moving from the large swing that we have taken now going from true to form, which is, ah, photographic journey following better his campaign for over a year,

spk_1:   7:50
about 18 months, I think

spk_0:   7:52
that's a lot of time out of your life. Now you have gone in the direction of Children's activism and moving kids and teenagers into more of an activist role. Your first book was I am an Activist. Let's talk a little bit about that because my kids were extremely excited about it. I know a lot of people in our circle were crazy excited about it. So walk me through the beginning of that. The beginning stages of that. And where that is now,

spk_1:   8:20
basically, right after I finished true to form, I was thinking Okay. What What is the next story? I'm gonna tell how I'm constantly searching for ways that I can combine our in creativity and furthering the progressive movement. How can I contribute to the community in that way? Because it's fun for me. I feel like I bring something unique in that way. And I'm always thinking of ways that I can combine the two passions. So right after, true to form, you know, I'm always bringing my kids up to the Capitol. I'm trying to involve them in any way that I can. I took a picture of my son and daughter and their cousin, my niece at the Capitol, and they're all holding hands looking up at the Capitol, which is now the cover of I'm an activist. It just inspired me. I don't know. I I just saw that and thought, Gosh, if we could inspire more kids to get engaged in two, visit the capital, learn about it, just familiarize. I feel like that's such a huge part of becoming, ah civically educated person later just being around it. And so I thought, Oh, I could turn that little picture into a colorable page with this, you know, just playing with APS on my phone and stuff. So it just kind of started playing with it and then thinking, I've got some of these other pictures from rallies that I could turn into illustrations. And so I just started putting together. A collection of my image is turned in illustrations using this app and started thinking as I was building that of what words are powerful in the activist movement that a child might be able to identify with. But maybe they don't hear those words in their everyday education like Geo TV. I asked my son, Do you know what geo TV means? He's like, I don't know something about watching television. I'm like, Definitely not, um so a lot of adults don't know what gotv mains in solidarity and all these words that kept coming up in speeches and events that I would attend that just I feel like it needs to be part of the conversation with kiddos about what it means toe have a voice and speak up for what you feel passionate about and when your friend does that, stand next to them and hold their hand, put your arm around them, support them in their little passions as well. So I feel like just kind of building. That narrative is important, and I am an activist is geared towards probably elementary school. It just depends on your kid, and they're all appropriate for any age. And my kids span 3 to 10 and they all appreciate it on different levels. But it's a simple kind of introduction to some key terms, I think, whereas when we get into the next series that I'm doing this year, it's more of an education on the issues. It's a little bit more mature, still appropriate in content, but it kind of goes deeper into some of the issues.

spk_0:   11:26
I think one of the things I really have a 13 year old who loves the book one of the things I really appreciate it about I am an activist is the fact that it does move Children to action regardless of where they are, because we live in such a bully society now. The fact that they can use their feelings they can advocate. They can be optimistic. All of these catch phrases and words that you use in the coloring book or not just applicable in civic society. But it's also applicable in their lives as Children. So just you're turning these kids and a great human beings. That's fantastic. I'm sure launching this line has not been easy. Have you had a circle of supporters? Do you have investors or just people who have helped you get this moving?

spk_1:   12:14
I am an activist was the first book that I launched back in November, and I kind of immediately saw a path that it could take down kind of using the same platform of a coloring book to explore different issues. So I thought, OK, in 2020 I'm gonna tackle some of what people in my network feel are the most important issues to talk about with their kids. So I put out a poll. I took a bunch of votes, the sixth issues that rose to the top or the six issues I decided to tackle on 2020 ve a coloring book. So I decided to do this new Siri's and in taking that on. I definitely ask for support from what has just been an amazing system of friends and clients and family. First and foremost, I couldn't do any of it without my husband. I mean, we really tag team life. I have 3 10 7 and about to be three years old, and my husband's also self employed. And so we're just constantly ships passing in the night, just helping each other, supporting each other and doing the day today. So I'm very grateful for his support, not only his support with the kids, but just enthusiasm towards everything I do. He's like, Go for it and my parents. I grew up in a really politically active family, which I could get into later, whatever. But my parents were always the first ones to order in 10 copies of every book. I'm like, y'all are gonna get exhausted ordering 10 copies of every because I'm doing six books this year. Um, but anyways, they're they're they're just great. And then, you know, I have some clients that I always know I can count on. Adam Lowy is one of them. He is always supportive of what I do He was one of my first photographer clients. I did his team's head shots and I've done press conferences for him. And when I told him that I was going to tackle a series of six issue based books, he was the first to volunteer to help. And so, and he's a big reason that I'm gonna be ableto follow through on all six, and I'm very grateful for that. But really, you know, it's been incredible how so many people have stepped up every time I post something. You know, I've been in the progressive community for about seven years now, and it just never ceases to amaze me how supportive we all are of each other, especially women in the community. It's just really a neat thing how every time I post something, somebody old message me saying, How can I help with this? I want to give this book to this person that I think can make a real big difference. And every other day I get people reaching out saying, How can I help you? And I hope that I'm doing the same or more in return, and I'm always looking for opportunities tow, give back because we're all just trying our best to empower others and get our message out and to make a safer, more collaborative community. And so I just feel like I have a lot of community and a huge support system that I'm very grateful for, and I hope that I get back is usually

spk_0:   15:28
I'm happy to be a part of that. So we are moving into 2020. Hang on. We're already in 20 points and we have multiple multiple campaigns going on. Right now, we have a movement to flip the Texas House. We also have another movement to elect the first woman speaker of the Texas House. What are you doing in 2020 campaign wise?

spk_1:   15:53
So in 2020 I'm focusing most on educating myself on all of the issues. Aiken dig into all of the races I can learn more about. I really want to kind of dig deeper into understanding the structure of all of it and the dynamics of all of the different races and all of the different issues. And, you know, part of that is, I'm really involved in a group called Austin. Women invest to Elect, and so that is an education in itself on how the fundraising arm of politics works and the dynamics that go along with that. And, you know, I'm grateful through that group. I get to meet a lot of the Senate race candidates throughout the United States, and so I'm really just kind of trying to get all of the information from all of the different sources around me to have a better full understanding of how it all works. I don't want to just follow one candidate, and I probably won't make another book like true to form because I won't have a complete collection from one person. But I feel like in order to be champion is not the right word. But I want to educate myself as much as possible so that I can explore different areas. I don't know what making informed choices is, Yeah,

spk_0:   17:12
it's incredibly important. And I think coming out of 2016 going into 2017 we learned a lot about making informed choices, and that's a nice segue into this.

spk_1:   17:23
Thank you. You're welcome.

spk_0:   17:26
A lot of women in the United States in 2017 had this awakening, right? The majority of it was based around the presidential election from 2016. So did you have that moment? I know you come from a very progressive family who are already politically active, but did that moment spur you into further action? A more radical action?

spk_1:   17:49
I'm not sure. I feel like I was already on a path to learn as much as possible. And I think 2016 just further justified that I was doing the right thing for me, that there's a lot of work to be done to educate myself, to educate my kids a lot of work in the community, that we still have a long ways to go on. It was an eye opener, for sure, but I think it just solidified what I was doing. Okay, look, I got to keep going and find new ways and better ways and more efficient ways. And how can I do more and more and more?

spk_0:   18:34
I think a lot of us were in that space, even if you had been somewhat politically active before then, even if it was just voting or a lot of people have now determined. I need to vote in every election, even if it's just school bond election. I need to vote because every boat has repercussions and every non boat has repercussions. So you're not the only woman out there who has been moved into action. But I think as the circles continue to grow, the things that you are doing with the coloring books and just actually your photographic journey because you work with a lot of candidates a lot of can't you the headshot queen. Thank you. I don't really see a lot of candidates. You have not used you for their head shots, especially your very empowering headshots of women. Do you have a different technique that you use when you are photographing female candidates?

spk_1:   19:29
I'm passionate about what they're doing. I make an effort to get to know them personally and lift them up. So I think they can tell that I'm with them, that I'm not just taking a picture of not just, you know, there to do a job. I'm really trying to connect with them and their journey, and I think that makes a difference. I think really smiles come out. They trust me. I have built a really loyal client base in Austin that I'm grateful that I think people see me is just a trusted source of help. I don't I don't know, you know, And I also am eager to use my platform to help give them exposure and things like that. But, you know, with females, nobody ever wants the camera to be at a lower angle. But sometimes I feel like with the right lighting, you really can pull that off because it does give just this little essence of power when you know that you're looking up to them. And I really try hard to pull that off without it being unflattering because it accomplishes something if you can do it. And so I really try toe, pull that off whenever I can. Can we take

spk_0:   20:48
a couple of minutes and talk about the cross, the arms,

spk_1:   20:51
the crossed arms? I'm okay with the crossed arms. So I feel like the crossed arms should always be paired with an awesome, genuine smile. I mean, I think you know, everybody says it's unapproachable, right? You're closed off or whatever, but I'm okay with it when your face says I'm listening. Are I'm engaged? I'm a happy, warm person. Not everybody can pull it off. Sometimes it's sort of a genie in a bottle kind of look, but I'm always open to playing with. I think a big smile goes a long way. No matter what you're doing with your arms, people can see it in your eyes and they can see it in your smile and your you know, when your eyes get just a little bit smaller. You know, that's a real smile, and people tend to shy away from that. But I'm always like, No, I mean, if you're a little bit squinting, you're actually really smiling. That's what people do. We're all humans, and I think the more real you look, just the better. I love that. You love all of it. You like what you're hearing and want to support pink granite in a more meaningful way. Consider becoming a patron today. Visit patri on dot com slash pink granite and learn for how as little as $3 a month. You can show your support for the website and, in exchange, receive access to members on Lee information, newsletters, even events depending on the level you choose. So again, visit patri on dot com slash pink granite and become a patron today, So outside

spk_0:   22:36
of your work with campaigns, you do a lot of work with the organization that I work for. Do you work with any non profits? What's your other community engagement?

spk_1:   22:46
I photographed a lot of events throughout town for different nonprofits. One people's community clinic I've worked with for years. I helped start back in the day. It's been years, but young professionals for People's Community Clinic, it's It's the favorite about flight. I know those called Y P P S o. For years we had this young professionals group that helped build kind of a fresh donor base for People's Community Clinic. And although I don't think that is any longer happening and with Austin, women invest to elect also, it's not unknown profit. But in organizations that I get involved with, I'm always looking for that angle that how do we keep the fresh interest and keep the momentum building through time? So I wouldn't say there's any one that I can think of that I work with more than others. But I shoot 101 150 events a year, so I work with anybody. I could get my hands on and try to build them up and work with them. However I can, within their budget toe, make it happen because I feel like strong imagery goes a long way towards selling the event in future years. And, you know, I think it's a big value. So

spk_0:   23:58
you just shot the women's rally? Yes, a couple of weeks ago. I know at our offices we do a lot of training and you have been gracious enough to come in and do head shots for these young professionals that we're working with. And they took that as a huge.

spk_1:   24:13
But I'm glad

spk_0:   24:14
not having a headshot on their high iPhone. So that was glad to Dio. They loved that. So we have three hot questions that I want to ask you. This first thing that comes out of your mouth. What's your favorite way to get the news?

spk_1:   24:30
Probably podcast, honestly. 5 30 a pod. Save America, The daily New York Times Daily lowered the daily. That's probably my number one go to when I get any time in the car. A cue up the first daily and tryto get caught up. I don't typically like turning on the news on the TV because one, it's almost never appropriate for my kids. And my kids are always around. It's too negative. I don't like the focus on every single traffic accident and arrest made and horrible thing going on. So I try toe focus on, you know, the highlights, the positive things that are happening in the community and, you know, kind of steer away from the super sad stuff. It's not a great way to start your day.

spk_0:   25:16
Okay, If you weren't a photographer, what would you be?

spk_1:   25:20
You know, I saw that question coming, and I just can't think of a great answer for it. I don't know, because I was a real estate sales person and I thought, What else should I be? What is what is the answer to this question? I should be a photographer, so I've been other things, and I've come to photography because it's what I want to be doing. So otherwise, I don't know yet. I don't know the answer to that because I'm still educating myself on all the options so you could read its way into any kind of thing.

spk_0:   25:52
You could become a media mogul

spk_1:   25:54
and that may be. So?

spk_0:   25:56
So what's the one thing you cannot do your job without

spk_1:   26:00
my support system for sure. My husband, my family, my amazing clients. I go, I try to go above and beyond for all of them to give back. But nobody can do it alone. It takes a village. And especially when you have three kids, I owe so much gratitude to everybody in that support system. My in laws, the preschool teachers. I mean, we all. It's a network of support that can't do without any one person. So I'm by far I cannot do it without that.

spk_0:   26:34
Okay, So what's your favorite camera?

spk_1:   26:37
You can't shoot with Cannon currently, but I'm Sony. Curious. Um, so I don't know this year I've shot with cannon my whole life, but I'm exploring the options.

spk_0:   26:50
So for those who are listening and are looking at improving their photographic skills, what are your top three hints Or, um, what's a good word for that? Hacks? Yeah. Thanks for taking a good picture. Would say, if you don't have your photographic equipment, if you have an iPhone or an android

spk_1:   27:14
well, I think it's way more about what, Like your heart brings to your work rather than what you're using. I don't think it really matters what kind of camera you're using. Honestly, there's so many things you can do to make up for it later and editing and stuff like that. I think it's so much more about Are you photographing something you're passionate about? You know, using your unique eye and perspective. What do you see in this scene that has value? Gosh, just a CZ, Much like working with people in the industry that you respect and that you can learn from in all kinds of ways. It's just It all contributes to how your photographs tell a story. So I feel like way more so than anything technical. I mean, don't even ask me about my lenses or anything technical. I just don't pay much attention to that kind of thing. I feel like it all comes from within, and you can use whatever equipment you want, but you can also keep it super simple. And it could be justice powerful, so I don't have a lot of technical know how, honestly, if we're being honest, always good in trial by fire, I mean, that's a huge way to learn, just start shooting and start doing it and find out what those lessons are and then conquer them.

spk_0:   28:35
So you said just a minute ago that photographs tell a story. I want to take a little swing back here, as you were going through and picking out the topics for your coloring book line, which, if you wouldn't mind, could you give me the list of titles that will be coming out?

spk_1:   28:50
Yes, so there are six that the community I polled felt like We're all common issues that they felt like we're most priority to teach our kids about. The first is gun safety. Women's rights is next. Climate change, healthcare, immigration and education. And I have a dozen others in the back of my mind for next year or later this year. I don't know what my pace will be, but those are the 1st 6 so that Siris differs from the first book. The first book is kind of, you know, just familiarizing yourself with some powerful terms and some simple messaging. The series of six digs a little bit deeper into a little bit of the history of each issue. 234 things we can do in our communities. That would help further that mission. And then each book has a call in script to help young people reach out to the representatives to preface that it has some worksheets in there to help them go to a website, identify who their reps are. What district are they in? Who were their federal state reps, who are their state level reps? So they fill that in, Then they have that to reference. And then when something comes up that they're passionate about, or as they work through the book, they can call their senator and they have a script there to follow. They can write their representative, and they have a tear out sheet to mail in that they can decorate and doing their own words. And I don't want to write it for them. That's not powerful. I want to just kind of present an argument. If something hits home for them or feels like they identify with it, then they fill in the blanks on what matters to them and send that in. And I think it's so important that kids and people of any age you don't have to be old enough to vote to have a voice you don't have to. You can be. My daughter was filling this out last night and she's seven. And she was super excited to put her name in the school that she went d'oh! And it's like, Well, yeah, that's geared towards maybe 11 12 13 14 year olds that kind of talk about these issues more. But she's game, too, you know, and she's excited to get engaged. And I think just opening that conversation is huge and that she's not gonna be scared to have a voice and to call her rep here in a couple of years and speak confidently about any one of these issues. And I feel like, you know, I've kind of stuck with the platform of coloring books because it's not just a sales strategy. But if you buy two very and the child can color alongside each other and talk about what are some kind of powerful big issues without all of the intimidation and the pressure of sitting down to have a conversation about gun violence in America, it's like, let's sit down and work through this book. Let's just color for a little while and see what comes up. Let's, you know, take it one page at a time, maybe tackle a page or two tonight and then bring it out a couple weeks later and just kind of work through it together to help ease that conversation into just being comfortable and less pressuring. So I felt like sticking with the coloring book platform worked in that way to, ah, you make it easy for kids.

spk_0:   32:15
So is the Waking Giants launched the first time the gun safety activist book is going to be out?

spk_1:   32:20
Yes, it's kind of premiering in their subscription box. So Waking Giants is a subscription box service that provides eager activists a brief education on the history of each issue that they're trying to tackle. And resource is that they can act on. So the gun safety activist coloring book will be in their gun culture and gun sense subscription box that goes out February this month. So I'm really excited for it to be part of that tool kit for people that are ready to take action. And, you know, I feel like their subscription service is geared towards adults and I feel like In some ways, the coloring book is almost more appropriate for adults as well, and parents as a resource for parents to engage their Children. So I don't know that, you know, some kids wouldn't naturally go towards a coloring book about gun safety. But a parent that's passionate about that needs that resource to engage their kids in that conversation. When a parent is passionate about something, it goes so much further for their kids to hear that from them. And our kids need to be educated on what we are passionate about as their parents and their leaders. So I'm ecstatic for a coloring book to make it into that tool kit of theirs because, yeah, I think it's a It's a real resource for parents. Did you have any

spk_0:   33:47
hesitation about tackling gun safety?

spk_1:   33:49
I did. I wasn't sure how much to talk about actual guns. I don't want it to be too, like fear based or to be a scary thing to talk about. I really tried to focus on what we can do positively in our communities to tackle gun violence without talking about scary stuff too much. I don't know how else to say it. I want to focus on community building and community programming that focuses on healthy Children and programming. That helps community leaders that have experienced gun violence to provide them a voice and to make partnerships with the city officials and the representatives and the hospitals and just kind of provide a big picture. How can we work together best in our communities to avoid gun violence?

spk_0:   34:42
There's a big difference between gun control and gun safety, right? And when you're talking about gun safety, we're talking about responsible gun ownership, which is a thing. It's a huge thing, especially when we're talking about or we're looking towards reducing gun violence. My 13 year old. If he's going to go visit someone, we have three questions. Do you have a gun in the house? If you d'oh, how is it stored? Absolutely. And he will ask that question of parents before I do. That's actually been doing that since he was eight and old enough to go over to somebody else's house. I think that when we are open about the conversation which you are trying cured, leading this charge of being transparent about what we need to do with gun safety. The benefits, too. Everyone in society when it comes to black and brown communities when it comes to women suffering from domestic violence, it's huge what you are doing right now. Back to my question, however, about photographs telling a story. And what I was getting at was, are all of the images in the coloring books images that you you have taken personally

spk_1:   35:54
know? So in the first book, Yes, but in the Siri's, I'm finding all kinds of sources of inspiration, but we're creating original illustrations for the new books.

spk_0:   36:06
That's fantastic. The young lady Zoe Kearns, who illustrated I Am an activist, had a chance to meet her at a event I think we're at the Riveter. No, uh, had a chance to meet her there. She's just a little inspiration. Yeah, she's that young lady is she and her mom work in another marginalized community. Do you have anything coming out along the lines of the LGBT Q eight plus rights community?

spk_1:   36:35
Yes, Like I said, there's a dozen more coloring books that the world will give us a key. There's that topic along with more content on criminal justice, racial equality, gender equality, animal rights. I mean, just you name it. I'm definitely just getting started. Did he see our press dot com? Let's dig a

spk_0:   37:01
little deeper into the gun safety activist coloring book, and especially a lot of the phrasing that you are using the terminology that should be commonplace. Can you talk a little bit about what went into that? And then we can go through the book a little bit.

spk_1:   37:16
Yeah, So each issue based book will kind of follow a template of commonly agreed to solutions, finding out who your representatives are and learning how to best contact them. So in the gun safety book, I felt like based on the resource is I talked to three of the most commonly agreed to solutions are healthy community planning, diverse friendships and networks, inclusivity, friending people that don't look like you that don't come from where you come from. I feel like opening that conversation and making sure that your experience and what you bring to the table is as diverse as possible will accomplish so much. And we have a lot of work to do there, but also universal background checks, not just on some sales but on all sales, closing the gun show loophole and waiting periods. I feel like it's just to me. It's so common sense that such a major purchase be done carefully and not in a hurry. And so I feel like based on the research, those air, some really simple things that most people can get onboard with that will start helping right away.

spk_0:   38:42
So you have some great definitions in the book you define what is a waiting period. You define what are universal background checks. There's a few talking points about what we can do in our communities. And then there's the ways for the kids to get active. Can you talk a little bit about them moving into action?

spk_1:   39:04
Yes, I feel like moving into action at a young age means just beginning that process of engaging, showing up, attending community meetings, going to a rally, writing your representative, calling them just generally familiarizing yourself with all of the different ways you can dig into your community and get to know the people doing the work and just get to know what that looks like. It's just a big step towards it, not being a big scary thing,

spk_0:   39:40
so the learning part of this, which I like that you make the kids to research. This is good. Where they find their state, their city, their county. They have to know the president and the vice president, and then you push them into the Senate and Congress and the House of Representatives that I just love because Google is wonderful. But I love the fact that you are having them educate themselves. And there's a good chance you may be educating some parents out there. Absolutely also the call in script very simple, but still very inclusive of all of your all of the talking points. So here's a question for you about when we are engaging kids and we are engaging their parents. What's the line? How do you know you haven't gone too far? Gosh,

spk_1:   40:34
that's a good question. Like I said, I tried to point to things that as a society, we can we agree on most. There's a lot of platforms of gun control that I might personally I feel are appropriate and things we need to do. But I'm not trying to go so far left or so far in any one direction that like I said, I don't want to put too many words in anyone's mouth. I want it to be These are solutions that, like 80% of people agree on. There's going to be extremists on both sides and there's gonna be people that don't like what I'm saying, like a K L B J NewsRadio shared a post. I did. And there was all kinds of people that didn't agree with. I get called a whack a doodle. I'm like, Okay, I'm doing something right then, I guess. But, um, anyways, I just tried not to go too far in one direction or another. I just wanna present a common sense case and followed the direction of every town. And moms demand action and groups that I respect that air out doing the work every day I worked closely with checks is gun sense, and Ed Scruggs was a huge resource for me. Amber Goodwin with the Community Justice Action Fund. She's doing the work every day in the schools and educating on these issues, and so I really wanted to lean on them to tell me what's important And what do you see every day you're doing the work I'm not. I just want to be a voice for these organizations and a tool in a resource for them.

spk_0:   42:11
Do you worry about your safety

spk_1:   42:15
a little bit? I'm trying to navigate what that looks like and how careful I need to be and how public I want to be. And, you know, I have a family to think about. I wantto have a voice on all of these issues, but yeah, I'm tryingto think through what that needs to look like. Not just for me, but for the people in my life. Better, you know, right behind the

spk_0:   42:37
Yeah, they're they're with the everyday. So I think this is gonna be our last question. It's a good one. No. Gosh, would you consider running for office?

spk_1:   42:47
Not today. I I don't see myself doing that. I don't know what the future will bring. I never saw myself being a publisher either. S o you know, nothing's off the table, but that is not in my immediate future. How about you, Shelly? Oh, gosh. Thankfully, we're not here to talk about me. Okay? Yeah, that's that's for a whole

spk_0:   43:12
nother conversation. Casey, I have to tell you how impressed I am with everything that you have done. Using your voice, using your platform that elevate the voices of other women and marginalized communities. Black, brown, blue, purple, yellow. It is inspiring to be around. You did what you work.

spk_1:   43:34
That's good. Okay, Casey, thank you so much for being thing today. So much for having me. Thank you for listening. Please visit Pink Green, a texas dot com to become part of our community and follow along on Facebook, twitter and instagram at pink granite, T X. And if you enjoy this interview, please also take a moment to leave a positive review for a new podcast.