Hosted by Thomas F. Coleman
Focusing on Freedom & Justice
Current and Future Episodes
The Freedom Files is a Pursuit of Justice Podcast focusing on a wide range of issues involving liberty, justice, and equal rights, with a special emphasis on people with disabilities whether they are young adults, seniors, or any age in-between. Episodes will address freedom of choice in matters such as health care, finances, living arrangements, sexual relationships, marital status, social interactions, and recreational activities. Some episodes will reminisce about past advocacy activities for other causes and issues. The tactics used and lessons learned while advocating on those issues -- police oppression, LGBT+ rights, hate crimes, family diversity, singles' rights, and trafficking of abused teens -- can be adapted to develop winning advocacy strategies for today's activities which are directed towards conservatorship and guardianship reform as well as mental health rights for people with developmental disabilities.
Attorney Thomas F. Coleman, the producer and host of the podcast, has 47 years of experience in civil rights education and advocacy on issues such as personal privacy, sexual civil liberties, family diversity, freedom from violence and abuse, and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and marital status. For the past decade, his activities have focused on conservatorship and guardianship reform and protecting the rights of people with cognitive disabilities in these proceedings under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Coleman is the founding executive director and the current legal director of Spectrum Institute. He is the author of many policy reports and legal commentaries on the rights of people with disabilities.
Maia Gryskiewicz, a production/journalism intern for the podcast, is an enthusiastic and ambitious third-year student studying Multimedia Journalism and Digital Technology and Culture at Washington State University. She will graduate in May 2021. Maia is passionate about visual communication and loves combining her writing skills with her design skills to craft beautiful, high quality brand communications and material. Maia records the podcast interviews on Zoom, edits them for distribution on You Tube, and also edits an audio-only version for distribution on the podcast’s website, Facebook page, and through other podcast distributors. She also summarizes the content of the podcast episodes to share them online with potential audiences.
Diane Coleman-Rogers, a marketing advisor to the podcast, has been involved with Spectrum Institute in various capacities for 20 years. She was a marketing advisor to the American Association of Single People (AASP) aka Unmarried America from 2000 to 2008. She inspired the formation of the Emancipation Project to rescue abused teenagers from boot camps and so-called "boarding schools" -- a project operated by Spectrum Institute from 2004 to 2006. With experience as a graphic design artist, Diane created the logos for former projects such as AASP, the Emancipation Project, and the Disability and Abuse Project, as well as for Spectrum Institute itself. She will provide advice to a strategic communications intern working to promote the podcast.
Emmi Deckard, an assistant producer and feature story writer for the podcast, is a third-year student at UCLA. She is majoring in bioengineering and minoring in disability studies. Emmi is involved with a campus organization known as Alternative Breaks. Two years ago, she traveled with the group to New Orleans for week to learn about the widespread impact that Hurricane Katrina had on the area and how they have been rebuilding their community and reforming policy every since. Emmi is a journalist with the Daily Bruin, the main campus newspaper for students and faculty. She will use her journalism skills to develop stories for the podcast which will help guide the interviews. Her articles will be published online along with the release of each episode.
Trinity Pierce, an assistant producer and feature story writer for the podcast, is a third-year student at Washington State University. She is majoring in multimedia journalism as well as Japanese. Trinity has experience working as a journalist with The Daily Evergreen, a student newspaper distributed at 200 campus locations and which has 70,000 online readers each month. Trinity describes herself as a "diligent college student with a passion for storytelling." That passion will guide her as she develops stories for the podcast which will be published online with the release of each episode. Upon graduating, Trinity plans to teach English aboad for a year or two and then find work at a newspaper or news desk at a radio or television station.
Sponsored by: Law Office of Thomas F. Coleman and Spectrum Institute
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