Going Out: Stories about what makes the world scary

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This week, both of our storytellers are sharing stories about something that is pretty relatable at the moment — the challenges of leaving the house.

Part 1: As she goes blind due to a progressive eye disease, M. Leona Godin must learn how to navigate the world with a cane.

Part 2: A frightening encounter with police that leaves teenage Roque Rodriguez traumatized.

M. Leona Godin is a writer, performer, educator, and the author of There Plant Eyes: A Personal and Cultural history of Blindness (Pantheon, 2021). Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Electric Literature, Playboy, O Magazine, Catapult, and other print and online publications. She produced two plays: “The Star of Happiness” about Helen Keller’s time performing in vaudeville, and “The Spectator and the Blind Man,” about the invention of braille. Godin holds a PhD in English, and besides her many years teaching literature and humanities courses at NYU, she has lectured on art, accessibility, technology, and disability at such places as Tandon School of Engineering, Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine, and the American Printing House for the Blind. Her online magazine exploring the arts and sciences of smell and taste, Aromatica Poetica, publishes writing and art from around the world.

Roque (Pronounced: ROW-Keh), the son of Dominican-American immigrants is a 500-hour trained Yoga teacher. Roque is a proud co-founder of Suryaside Yoga in Queens, NY. When he’s not teaching the Suryaside community and mentoring his new teacher trainees, he is dedicated to spreading love and yoga to underserved and under-resourced communities through programs and partnerships such as, Liberation Prison Yoga which provides yoga and meditation to incarcerated people and his I Can Breathe Yoga program which offers teacher training scholarships to BIPOCs who want to bring yoga to their community. He is an advocate for prison abolition and community organizing.

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