Hold It All

Philosophy/Poetics/Politics

Category: Share the Wealth Project

Share the Wealth with Mary Shannon: Practicing Radical Empathy

My work with Casa de Salud has offered me a unique perspective on the St. Louis healthcare system. Through stories of my time with Casa, we will explore the barriers to healthcare that many St. Louisans face, the local systems that make it harder for some folks to be or stay healthy, and the notion of radical empathy.

Mary Shannon graduated from Saint Louis University in 2014, where she studied political science, international studies, and Spanish. After graduation, Mary moved to Nicaragua, working with the non-profit Global Brigades for a year. Mary has since returned to St. Louis and now works for Casa de Salud, a non-profit health clinic that serves the uninsured and under-insured foreign-born communities in the region.

Join us
Sunday 13 August
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Please bring something to share
Mary begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Julia Brucks
2819A Shenandoah
Saint Louis, MO
63104

Mary studied with me in a SLU freshman  Crossroads  Honors class in spring 2011.  It has been a delight to keep in touch with and be inspired by her the last several years.

Share the Wealth with Jason Makansi: Painting by Numbers at Left Bank Books

For this week’s Share the Wealth, I invite you to learn from my friend Jason Makansi this Thursday!

Left Bank Books welcomes author and independent consultant Jason Makansi, who will sign and discuss his new book, Painting By Numbers: How to Sharpen Your BS Detector and Smoke Out the Experts!

How well do you know what you think you know? If you’ve ever pored over election polling data, argued about climate change, or read an article describing the latest study on a topic you care about, Painting By Numbers is for you. Written in an entertaining and approachable style and with humorous illustrations to help explain complex modeling concepts, Painting By Numbers helps make sense of the numbers shaping modern society. Using examples drawn from polling data, medicine, climate modeling, and more, Painting By Numbers is the essential toolkit with 12 commandments for evaluating the numbers that shape our lives.

“There’s a desperate need for every literate person to understand this.” —Dr. Elton McGoun, Accounting and Business Professor, Bucknell University

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Painting By Numbers  ($12.95) from Left Bank Books will be required to enter the signing line.

Join us
Thursday 27 July
7:00pm
Left Bank Books
399 N. Euclid Ave.
Saint Louis, MO 63108

Share the Wealth with Carrie Niswonger: Share the Wealth with Carrie Niswonger: Life Through a Lens

Photography is another way to view the world around us as well as using our eyes. While photography  has many uses, numerous people popularly use it as an artistic medium to capture moments, emotions, and memories, all collectively showing a different way to view life. Photography is also one of the very few things that defies impermanence– moments are forever captured in time to show and teach others.

As a sixth grader, I was fascinated by that idea– to capture a past moment. So, I received my very first camera for my 11th birthday. Almost 9 years later, as a sophomore in college, I have yet to put down the camera as well as take a formal photography class. 11 year-old me was determined to teach myself and learn along the way. Despite my status as an amateur-photographer, sharing my photos and showing others how I see the world brings me great joy, although I rarely have a chance to do it. Therefore, I am delighted to talk about one of my passions and share my photos.

Join us!
Sunday 23 July 2017
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 pm
Carrie will share at 6:45
At the home of Christine Wallach and Carrie Niswonger
5 East Lake Road
Fenton, MO
63026

From Chris: Directions from Google will take you to the mailbox at the end of my gravel road. Follow the gravel. When you see a three car garage (my mother’s house) look to the right for a right turn. Follow that down to the bottom of the hill and you will arrive at my house.

Share the Wealth with Ben and Liz Burkemper: The Hidden Ground of Love: Exploring the Writings of Thomas Merton

Ben and Liz Burkemper, father and daughter, are fascinated by the figure of Thomas Merton — a prolific writer, Trappist monk, poet, prophet, peace and civil rights activist, theologian, and mystic. Fresh from the latest general meeting of the International Thomas Merton Society at St. Bonaventure University, where Merton taught English in the early 1940s, Ben and Liz are set on fire and ready to share their reflections on this enlightened monk through the lens of the meeting’s theme of “Pilgrimage, Prayer, and Prophecy.”

“In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world, the world of renunciation and supposed holiness… This sense of liberation from an illusory difference was such a relief and such a joy to me that I almost laughed out loud… I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.”

A lawyer by trade, Ben is encouraged by Merton’s endless spiritual journey and quest for inter-religious dialogue. Liz studies peace and justice as an undergraduate in Washington, DC. She looks to Merton as a prophetic voice on her path towards contemplation-in-action, using thoughts in solitude to ground her as she seeks a world aware of its interconnectedness through social justice.

Join us!
Sunday 16 July 2017
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 pm
Liz and Ben begin sharing at 6:45
At Sophie House
4547 Gibson Avenue
Forest Park Southeast 63110
Please park at the west end of Gibson or on Taylor Avenue, or on the 4400 block of Chouteau.

Share the Wealth with Lizzie Corcoran

Did you ever invest a lot of time and energy doing something you loved? Do you still do that thing? For the first 18 years of my life, I was trained in classical ballet and modern dance. I want to reflect on the years of my life that I spent learning the discipline of dance and the purpose of creative outlets in our lives.

Lizzie is a recent graduate of Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice, transitioning her life from St. Louis to DC to work as a fellow for the de Beaumont Foundation. Lizzie’s favorite things to talk about are as follows: public health, behavioral science, stand-up comedy, racism, white people, community, and which is the best St. Louis brewery.

Join us Sunday 4 June… Potluck diner begins at 6:00 pm, Lizzie begins sharing at 6:45, at her home 4561 Shenandoah, Saint Louis 63110.


This pic is from when I first started dancing. I was 6 years old and we lived in Ireland. That photo was taken right before my first recital.

Wednesday 10 May: Share the Wealth with Magan Wiles — BECAUSE MY HEART IS HUNGRY FOR YOURS: My Torrid Love Affair With Argentine Tango

Argentine Tango developed in the late 19th century in the working-class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, which were teeming with lonely young men from Italy and Spain who crossed the ocean to seek their fortune, never to see their families again.  From this solitude and heartbreak grew the Tango: an improvised social dance with a technique born from the need to create and hold a warm embrace between 2 people.  We’ll talk about the history of Tango; the fascinating particulars of Tango culture; and its practical applications for performers, feminists, practitioners of mindfulness, and anyone interested in becoming better at partnership.

Magan is an actress, tango dancer, and small business owner whose passions all dovetail in an obsession with human connection.  She attended Saint Louis University as a theater undergrad 2004, and begin her professional acting career in St. Louis after graduation.  After completing an MFA in acting at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 2012, she moved to New York City where she was miserable for 2 1/2 years.  There she started Hustle Creative, which provides bookkeeping and business management for creative entrepreneurs; booked some decent acting jobs; and began casually dating tango.  She didn’t really fall in love until she moved to Los Angeles in 2015 and began taking classes with Oxygen Tango School that fall.  She frequently visits St. Louis to do plays and will appear in Small Craft Warnings with the Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis starting May 3.

Join us
Wednesday 10 May
Potluck supper begins at 6:00 p.m.
Magan begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Jessie and Savannah
714 Limit Avenue
Apartment #1N
Saint Louis, M0 63130

Share the Wealth with Cami Kasmerchak: The Hidden World of Vivian Maier

Vivian Maier’s work was first discovered about 10 years ago when a man named John Maloof purchased a trunk full of negatives at a Chicago storage auction. Maloof did not know it then, but he had stumbled upon a small portion of Maier’s more than 100,000 film negatives. This previously unknown prolific body of Street Photography mostly captures life in Chicago and New York where Maier worked as a nanny. Her mastery of photography and the brilliance of her work have been recognized only recently. We will view some of Maier’s work, and discuss Maier, photography, and what our own “100,000 negatives no one knows about” might be.

Cami Kasmerchak is an amateur photographer fascinated by Maier’s near perfect exposure and focus in her work. Selfishly, she wants your take on some of her own questions about Street Photography and is excited to talk about one of her favorite photographers with others.

Join us
Sunday 30 April
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00
(please bring something to share!)
Cami begins sharing at 6:45
at 5305 Delmar Boulevard
Apartment  401
Parking on  Savoy Court
Saint Louis 63112

Share the Wealth with Colin McLaughlin: The Life of Eugene Debs

Eugene V. Debs was a free speech advocate, a presidential candidate, a trade unionist, and a man who dedicated his life to economic justice for the working class and antiwar efforts surrounding World War One, “The War To End All Wars.” (This nation entered that conflict 100 years ago this month.) We will discuss how these causes have been furthered since the time of Debs, and how some of the issues have stayed the same, or worsened. We can also ask ourselves if anyone in our current political arena emulates the life of Eugene Debs.

Colin McLaughlin has been working on a research project/theatrical production about Eugene Debs presidential run from prison, after he was convicted for opposing the first world war (and encouraging draft dodgers). Come discuss the saga of Eugene Debs, the play being written about him and his plight for social justice, the deep relevance of what he fought for, and how it relates to our current social/political landscape.

Join us
Sunday 23 April
Potluck begins at 6:00 p.m.
Colin begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Andrew Wimmer
5712 Arendes Dr.
South City Saint Louis
63116

The Good News of Opening, 4.9.2017

I asked Kine and Puck if they’d be willing to open their home on campus to host Share the Wealth with Marilyn Vazquez, and they agreed;  warm hospitality was also extended by tennis teammates Bekah and Sarah.  They had the following response to Marilyn’s time with us: “We were very grateful to gather and listen to Marilyn (Maryville student) sharing her life story as an undocumented immigrant. Her compelling story had a huge impact on us and truly opened our eyes and minds towards adversities that people like Marilyn have to deal with every day! Tennis is a very mental sport, but hearing about such powerful life stories teaches us more about mental toughness than every tennis lesson ever could!”

Sunday 9 April — Share the Wealth with Marilyn Vazquez

I came to the U.S when I was five months old, and attended public schools, made friends, and played sports my whole life. I will be speaking about the two key issues facing the integrated and undocumented population of immigrants in the United States: health and education. I love this country, and it has always been my home, and I feel a great deal of patriotism for America. However, I realized, even though I blended in with my friends, my undocumented status created barriers to my future of pursuing a higher education. I will also share about my mother’s fight with an invasive and vicious breast cancer and how her undocumented status eliminated her chances of survival. As the election looms over our everyday lives, I believe the fear and anxiety among some communities must be shared with everyone.

I graduated from Saint Charles High School in 2016, and am attending Maryville to study Biology. I hope to pursue a career in medicine, and eventually work with the Peace Corps or Doctors Without Borders. I’m grateful and blessed for my friends and family I’ve built at Maryville and throughout my life. Without them, I wouldn’t have the life and opportunity I do now.

Join us
Sunday 9 April
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Marilyn begins sharing at 6:45
At the apartment of Kine and Puck on Maryville’s Campus
650 Maryville University Drive, 63141 St. Louis
Hilltop Apartments (far north end of campus)
Apartment number: Pine 15