Category Archives: Heartwood

Thomas Rashad Easley, the Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (FES), hosts the Heartwood podcast recorded on the FES campus in New Haven, Connecticut. Thomas meets with guests spanning the environmental spectrum, in pursuit of one goal: understanding how the heart impacts the woods, and the woods impact the heart.

The Dean Speaks: A Conversation with Indy Burke



In our final episode of Season 3 of the Heartwood Podcast, Dr. Easley sits down with his colleague, and Dean of the Yale School of the Environment, Dr. Indy Burke. In this candid conversation, Indy reflects on how far the School of the Environment has come in terms of its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategic planning, and explores the work that still lies ahead. Indy provides insights on how similar institutions can and should prioritize DEI in their strategic plans, and demonstrates how strong leadership is key to success.


An Exchange of Wisdom with Omavi Minder



This week, we have the pleasure of welcoming on to the show Omavi Minder, more widely known as “Mavi” — the 22 year old rap artist from Charlotte, North Carolina. Mavi, a Neuroscience major at Howard University, joins Dr. Easley in a deep discussion on what growing up in the United States south as a black youth has meant to him, and touches on issue of environmental justice and health. Mavi has collaborated with artists such as Earl Sweatshirt, Navy Blue, Pink Siifu, and others who inhabit the lyrically fluid and content dense depths of the rap-scene. You can access Mavi’s music on all streaming platforms, including his latest project “End of the Earth.”


Merging the Personal with the Professional: A Conversation with Mark Bradford



On this episode of the Heartwood Podcast, Dr. Easley sits down with Professor Mark Bradford, a fellow scholar at the Yale School of the Environment. Mark discusses how he, as a white male from Britain specializing in soil and ecosystem sciences, is able to bring issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion into the classroom. Join us as Mark dives deep into his career trajectory and teaching philosophy which merges his lived experiences with his academic profession.


Bringing the Farm to the Classroom: A Conversation with Tessa Desmond



This week on the Heartwood Podcast, Dr. Thomas RaShad Easley engages in an enriching conversation with Tessa Desmond, an Associate Research Scholar with Princeton University’s Program in American Studies. Join us as Dr. Desmond charts out her path through academia, and explains how her life experiences, such as growing up in a single-parent household in small town America and working land with her hands as a farmer influence her teaching practices and outlook on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Why We Need Accountability with Andrés Jimenez



This week, we are joined by Andrés Jimenez, the executive director “Green 2.0.” Green 2.0 is an independent advocacy campaign aimed at increasing racial diversity among environmental organizations. In this conversation, Dr. Easley and Andrés discuss the power of racial diversity and how environmental leaders can learn from Green 2.0 to make their communities more inclusive and successful.


Exploring Universal Consciousness with Marlon Davila



The Heartwood Podcast takes a spiritual journey this week with our guest Marlon Davila, a Guatemalan-born, New Jersey-based visual artist and muralist. Listen in as Marlon explains his path through the art-world and how he derives deep inspiration from nature and his spiritual connection to his surrounding environments.


The Ecology of Washington Square Park with Georgia Silvera Seamans



On this episode, we sit down with Yale School of the Environment alumna Georgia Silver Seamans who tells us stories of connecting with nature in the concrete jungle of New York City. Georgia is a trained urban forester and proud co-founder of Washington Square Eco Projects, an initiative that monitors biodiversity, designs environmental education programs, and advocates for an ecologically healthier landscape in the heart of Manhattan.


What’s in Your Survival Kit?: A conversation with Goodie Mob



Welcome to the Third Season of the Heartwood Podcast! In this season premier, host Dr. Thomas RaShad Easley and guest-host Michelle Lanier of Duke University’s Center of Documentary Studies sit down with the acclaimed Atlanta-based hip-hop group “Goodie Mob.” Founding members Cee-Lo, T-Mo, Khujo, and Big Gipp reflect on how they seek to promote a culture of awareness and preparedness as they celebrate the release of their recent album “Survival Kit.”


“Playing by the Rules” (or not) as a Black Man in Academia and Society: Dr. Robert K. Perkins, PhD in Sociology at Norfolk State University



Dr. Robert K. Perkins holds a PhD in Sociology at Norfolk State University. His areas of specialization include Urban Studies, Inequality, Social Organizations, and Socio-Cybersecurity. On this episode, Dr. Perkins and Dr. Easley draw links with one another about being Black in Academia, about navigating a society dominated by capitalistic principles and inequitable resource allocation, and managing the emotions of being Black. Dr. Perkins asks why people who play by the “rules” to achieve in society are left behind and forgotten in a culture in which they’re told they can achieve.


Chris Webby: Connecticut’s homegrown star isn’t afraid to lean into environmental activism



Chris Webby is an American rapper from Norwalk, Connecticut. Chris Webby has released many mixtapes such as the DJ Drama-hosted Bars On Me (2012) and his EP There Goes the Neighborhood (2011), which peaked at number 101 on the Billboard 200. He has worked with various artists such as Freeway, Mac Miller, Joell Ortiz, Big K.R.I.T., Method Man, Prodigy, Gatzby, Bun B, Tech N9ne, and Kid Ink. In 2013 he and his label, Homegrown Music, signed a deal with E1 Music. He then released Homegrown, another EP, in November 2012. Webster released his debut studio album Chemically Imbalanced on October 27, 2014. Most recently, Webby has released the compilation album, Next Wednesday, that features some of the many tracks he released throughout 2018 as part of his Webby Wednesday series.[1] In 2019, Webby released the third entry of his Wednesday mixtape series, Wednesday After Next.