The town of Harrenheim is mysteriously out of water, yet its reservoir is full. The Heroes’ Guild summons four of it’s bravest to investigate. These particular heroes are middle schoolers, playing a tabletop roll-playing game at a Nashville community center. The game master is Josh Unruh. He's also a barista and leather worker. A couple years ago, Josh was sinking into despair over our polarizing political climate. Rather than give into the hostility, he decided he would “follow his bliss”. As a lifelong enjoyer of role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, Josh decided to share the benefits of those games with kids and founded an afterschool program to teach them a new game he and his friend Keith created for that purpose: The Heroes’ Guild RPG. It incentivizes peacemaking and cooperation over fighting, and you get a front row seat at how four kids embody the game.


Thanks for listening all these years! You’re the best! To find out about Jakob’s new venture visit www.voxfamilia.net

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AuthorJakob Lewis

What happens when you want to learn more about your cultural heritage and find out that your grandma was a spy? 80-year-old Sara McCall grew up in Cuba. Now her family is learning just exactly how she came to America.

Learn more about how you can tell your family’s story at www.VoxFamilia.net

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AuthorJakob Lewis

This is a story about a way of life put on trial. Jeffory Young was a beloved farmer and major landowner in scenic Short Mountain, Tennessee. But when police uncovered his major marijuana dealing operation, they seized much of his coveted property. Yet Young never became a pariah — instead, his community rallied to get his land conserved as a wildlife area. And 12 years later, the 60-year-old is home from prison and finding that the people and the land that shaped him are now providing what he needs to get his life going again.

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AuthorJakob Lewis

The story of how Stephen Spinola got to Nashville is not a typical one. The stand-up comedian posted a tweet on the day of Trump’s inauguration that got him in a lot of trouble, so much that death threats started pouring in. Fearing for his life he uprooted from New York to settle in Tennessee, but that’s only a fraction of Stephen’s story.

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AuthorJakob Lewis

A story of Jakob’s is turned into poetry courtesy of the podcast Versify. Fighting wildfires is dangerous work. But to a 20 year old Jakob Lewis the work was all fun and games—at first. Jakob tells his story about fighting fire in Redding California to poet Lagnajita Mukhopadhyay. She then turns his story into a poem and reads it back to him.

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AuthorJakob Lewis

An immigrant restaurateur, Elizabeth Martinez, struggles to make it in America, when the person she came to the U.S. with betrays her. After contemplating suicide and being coaxed out of it by a snuggly pitbull, Elizabeth started her own Honduran restaurant and earned the title Queen of the Kitchen.

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AuthorJakob Lewis

Joel Rice got the opportunity to ghost-write the memoir of one of his childhood heroes—skateboarding legend Christian Hosoi. But Joel’s experience was an unpleasant one that brought up an old childhood trauma at a skatepark. In this episode, I call Christian to hear his side of the story, and then both Joel and Christian hash out the past on the phone together. And much like the first episode, Joel’s experience with Christian did not go how he hoped it would.

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AuthorJakob Lewis

Jakob gets a rare chance to hear what his guests think of they're portrayed as Miso and Dejan, the subjects of “Miso’s Brother”, have a drink and reflect on hearing their story. Also we pull some tape off the cutting room, and a sad farewell to our favorite production assistant, Caleb Shiver.

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AuthorJakob Lewis

Marlo Mack has a young transgender daughter. She met another woman named Debi Jackson who has a very similar parenting story to her own, the only difference is where they live. Marlo lives in a liberal community where she and her transgender daughter are supported. Debi grew up a Southern Baptist conservative in a Red State. This transition has cost her a lot more, than Marlo and her daughter.

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AuthorJakob Lewis

Jakob issues himself a challenge to redo the first story he ever made about Father Thomas, a priest. Thomas visits people on their deathbed because that’s part of his job—but one day he’s called in to see his own father during his last days in hospice.

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AuthorJakob Lewis

Miso and Dejan are Bosnian refugees who met as children when they were both resettled in the same apartment complex in Nashville, Tenn. After they each turned 30 they made a pilgrimage all the way back to Bosnia to visit the grave of Miso’s younger brother. In confronting generations of grief and the void left in his family, Miso finds the brother he actually does have.

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AuthorJakob Lewis

Sam Tucker is a passionate baker who doesn’t like to compromise on the ingredients he used, but one of them contains a tiny little protein known as gluten, and it’s proven to be a tyrannical ruler of their lives. Hear how Sam and his family fight back and still make high quality food.

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AuthorJakob Lewis

When Katie Cooley found out her brother needed a kidney transplant, she volunteered without hesitation—despite not being super close to him. Hear just how her gesture affected their relationship.

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AuthorJakob Lewis

In the final chapter of the Neighbors mini-series “Matt Got Shot,” we visit Jodi Hays,  the woman who’s security camera captured the footage of Matt’s terrifying assault. Jodi is an abstract artist—captivated by the image of the moment Matt was shot in front of her house, she made several works out of it. Then she showed it to Matt. What happens when trauma is re-interpreted and shared in a broader context?

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AuthorJakob Lewis

In Part 2 of the Neighbors mini-series “Matt Got Shot,” we explore the reality of the trauma of getting shot: first to Matt’s body, then his identity and finally to his mind.

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AuthorJakob Lewis

As Myanmar aka Burma is going through a humanitarian crisis Neighbors brings an update to the story of a man who fled the region to come to America with his family. We meet Gin Thawng. The 66-year old man lives in a Nashville apartment with his ailing wife, a baby grandson, his daughter-in-law and son. A graduate of an innovative ESL program-on-wheels, Thawng shows us something about the power that language has and how human connection is bigger than just words.

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AuthorJakob Lewis