The Facing Project This is the show that seeks to strengthen communities by connecting people through stories. Hosted by the founders of The Facing Project non-profit organization, J.R. Jamison and Kelsey Timmerman, each month's show carries a theme and features performances of stories that follow The Facing Project's model. This podcast features extended commentary on the stories, leaving listeners with the courage to share their own stories and the empathy to listen to others.
The Facing Project

The Facing Project

From Indiana Public Radio

This is the show that seeks to strengthen communities by connecting people through stories. Hosted by the founders of The Facing Project non-profit organization, J.R. Jamison and Kelsey Timmerman, each month's show carries a theme and features performances of stories that follow The Facing Project's model. This podcast features extended commentary on the stories, leaving listeners with the courage to share their own stories and the empathy to listen to others.

Most Recent Episodes

S04 E08 - Life With Cancer

Did you know that nearly 40% of Americans will be diagnosed with some type of cancer during their lifetime? That's shocking, right? So, this got us curious about life with and after cancer — or in other words, the stories of those still deep in their fight and those who made it through to the other side. This time on The Facing Project, J.R. Jamison shares the stories of an oncologist and two cancer survivors, and later he is joined by mother-daughter and storyteller-writer duo Connie Robertson and Aimee Robertson-West to discuss Life With Cancer. Photo Credit – Aimee Robertson-West (provided) Stories included in this episode – Cancer Is My Specialty Dr. Michael Williamson's story as told to Dagny Zupin from Facing Cancer in East Central Indiana. Performed by Carl Frost. The Consequences of Cancer Connie Robertson's story as told to Aimee Robertson-West from Facing Cancer in East Central Indiana. Performed by Amy Leffingwell. I Decided to Stop Being Mad Brian Fitzgerald's story as told to Eddie Metzger from Facing Cancer in East Central Indiana. Performed by Larry Beck.

S04 E07 - Stopping the Cycle of Addiction

J.R. Jamison shares the stories of three woman from rural Kentucky whose lives have changed forever due to addiction: one from a sister who fights each day to win back her brother; another from a pharmacist on the front lines of the opioid epidemic; and one from a young mother who abused pain pills after the death of her child. Later in the show, J.R. is joined by Kyle Brewer, the Peer Specialist Program Manager for NAADAC—the Association for Addiction Professionals. Photo – The Facing Project at Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky Stories included in this episode – Denial Is Over Robin's story as told to Missy Reid from Facing Addiction in Knox County, Kentucky. Performed by Melinda. Abuse Is No Secret Susan's story as told to Sarah Wilder from Facing Addiction in Knox County, Kentucky. Performed by Amanda Hummer. Love Is Greater Than Anger Debbie's story as told to Melinda Hornback from Facing Addiction in Knox County, Kentucky. Performed by Tiffany Erk. Music used in this episode – "Like Life" by Hello Keller Released under an Attribution 3.0 United States (CC BY 3.0 US) License. From the Free Music Archive. "A Moment" by Scott Gratton Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) License. From the Free Music Archive.

S03 E05 - Autism in Adulthood (Rebroadcast)

In the next decade, 500,000 teens with autism will enter adulthood and age out of school-based services. Adults with autism are less likely to access healthcare, have a job, or pursue a degree beyond high school. Join J.R. Jamison and Kelsey Timmerman as they discuss Autism in Adulthood. This episode originally broadcast on March 27, 2021. Stories – One Day I'll Flap My Arms in Freedom, and No One Will Care Kyle Reninger's story as told to Jason Newman from Facing Autism in Adulthood This is My Son Belinda Hughes's story as told to Ivy Farguheson from Facing Autism in Muncie, Indiana Music – "Warm" by Cambo\ Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license.\ From the Free Music Archive.

S04 E06 - Reclaiming the Disabled Narrative

We've all seen and read the stories of those with disabilities portrayed as secondary characters, there in the background to support the able-bodied lead in their quest for love, adventure, and success. But what if the script were flipped, and those with a disability were the main characters finding their own love, adventure, and success? Join J.R. Jamison as he shares the story a polio survivor who loves to dance; a former runner with an auto-immune disorder who is finding a new path; and a college student with autism who asks us to pay attention. Later in the show, J.R. is joined by global disability influencer Monica Engle Thomas who has reclaimed her own narrative and uses it to inspire others. Photo – Provided by Monica Engle Thomas. Stories included in this episode – Carry Sandy Penrod's story as told to Jennifer Stanley from Facing Disabilities in East Central Indiana. Performed by Beth Nahre. Finding My Way Antonio Kioko's story as told to Deirdre Lane from Beyond Face Value: A Facing Project from Principal Financial in Des Moines, Iowa. Performed by Carl Frost. Pay Attention Carter Tharp's story as told to Jamie Reece from Facing Autism in Muncie, Indiana. Performed by Charley Isaacs. Music used in this episode – "HOEDOWN" by Jason Shaw Released under an Attribution 3.0 United States (CC BY 3.0 US) License. From the Free Music Archive. "The Woods (Remastered)" by Axletree Released under an Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License. From the Free Music Archive. "Gourd Hunting" by Jesse Spillane Released under an Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License. From the Free Music Archive.

S04 E05 - More Than My Illness

Genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events—all contributing factors to the more than 40 million adults in the U.S. who suffer from anxiety or depression. Yet, with nearly 12% of the overall population battling these illnesses, mental health is still stigmatized and misunderstood. Join J.R. Jamison as he shares the story of a missionary who battled depression 4,000 miles from home, and another from a college student with a "broken brain" who says the best way to help is to listen. Later in the show, J.R. is joined by that former college student who is now a high school English teacher at a virtual public school in Washington state. Stories included in this episode – It's Not the Common Cold Bailie Sage's story as told to Jon Toronto from Facing Depression in Cache Valley, Utah. Performed by Amy Leffingwell. It's Not My Fault My Brain is Broken Kiah Penfield's story as told to Chris Bavender from Facing Depression in Muncie, Indiana. Performed by Melinda. Music used in this episode – "spring_thaw" by The Green Kingdom Released under an Attribution 3.0 United States (CC BY 3.0 US) license. From the Free Music Archive. There Is Always A Reason" by Borrtex Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license. From the Free Music Archive.

S04 E04 - Teachers are Heroes

Teachers and educators are facing challenges like never before, including battling misinformation, burned-out kids, parents, and of course—COVID. Join J.R. Jamison as he explores these challenges and shares the story of a man who stays in teaching despite external pressures; another from a woman who uses empathy to teach multicultural education; and one from a teacher who decided to make her own kind of change—at the Statehouse. Stories included in this episode – This Is Why I Teach An anonymous story as told to Suzanne Clem from Facing Teaching Mrs. Miller, You Set Us Up! Barbara Miller's story as told to Clarissa Cheslyn from Facing Teaching Votes for My Students Melanie Wright's story as told to Susan Volbrecht from Facing Teaching Music used in this episode – "GREEN LEAVES" by Jason Shaw\ Released under an Attribution 3.0 United States (CC BY 3.0 US) license.\ From the Free Music Archive.

S02 E11 - A Shooting in the Heartland (Rebroadcast)

In 2019, a gunman opened fire in Dayton's Oregon District, killing nine people and injuring 27. It was the 233rd mass shooting of 2019 . . . and one of 107 in the Midwest. Join J.R. Jamison and Kelsey Timmerman as they hear from three survivors from that night, and sit down with Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley to discuss A Shooting in the Heartland. Stories Like the Book of Job Dion Green's story as told to Ria Megnin. Performed by Kasaahn Johnson. Unwritten Books Tom McMurtry's story as told to Rick Gebhart. Performed by Saul Caplan Somebody's Child Jason Phillips's story as told to Whitney Bell. Performed by Chris Hahn. Music Used in this Episode "I'm What You'd Be Without Her" by Doctor Turtle\ Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license. \ From the Free Music Archive.

Presenting "This American Carol": IPR's Live Radio Drama

As a special treat for the holidays, we're proud to bring you IPR's production of This American Carol, a new radio drama broadcast on Friday, Dec. 17, live from Sursa Performance Hall. This American Carol is a contemporary comedy mashup of A Christmas Carol and The Office, as told in the style of NPR's This American Life. The new production is written for IPR by award-winning playwright, screenwriter and professor of theatre at Ball State University, Dr. Jennifer Blackmer. The main character is Carol, a successful branch manager who has a misguided idea of what celebrating the holidays at work actually means. Carol, who wants things done in a very specific way, won't listen to anyone's input and, after a fit of epic proportions (her staff literally fear for their jobs), she decides to cancel the party. The next day, three mysterious meetings pop up on Carol's Outlook calendar (ghosts) who come along to teach Carol that respecting your coworkers and listening to them not only makes for a good team, but they can also become the family you need but never had.

S04 E03 - Life After Prison

Each year, more than half a million people are released from state and federal prisons, some of them after years of incarceration. But with an unemployment rate of over 27% for the formerly incarcerated, what does life on the outside look like for them? Join J.R. Jamison as he explores this question, and shares the story of a woman with a felony who is working on a new life with her kids, and another from a retired prison doctor who works on re-entry program reform. Later in the show, J.R. is joined by Dr. Jacquelyn B. Frank, Professor of Aging Studies and Human Services at Eastern Illinois University, whose research and community engagement work focuses on long-term incarceration and life after prison. The co-host this time around is 15-year-old Charlie Isaacs who is a fan of the show and hopes to someday go into radio.  Stories included in this episode – You Can Only Go So Far with Optimism An anonymous story as told to Rodrigo M. Jr. and Allison W. from Behind the Faces of Criminal Justice in Chippewa Valley, Wisconsin. Performed by Tiffany Erk. Ken's Story Ken Adler's story as told to Rachel E. and Nicole B. from Behind the Faces of Criminal Justice in Chippewa Valley, Wisconsin. Performed by Larry Beck. Music used in this episode – "The Collector" by Broke For Free Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0) license. From the Free Music Archive. "I Will Wait For You" by Scott Gratton Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license. From the Free Music Archive.

S04 E02 - Afghanistan, My Neighbor

In August, over 200,000 Afghans fled their country in a matter of days, adding to the 2.5 million who left in the months prior to the Taliban takeover. But where did they go and what would be their fate? Join J.R. Jamison as he explores the past and present of Afghanistan, and shares the story of Dr. Mohammad Saber Bahrami—a man who fled the country after the Soviets invaded in 1979 and made Muncie, Indiana his new home. Later in the show, J.R. is joined by Dr. Bahrami's wife, Bibi Bahrami, the founder and president of AWAKEN, a nonprofit organization that provides key educational programs, vocational opportunities, health care services, and timely emergency assistance to women and children in Afghanistan, and works with Afghan refugees to ensure that the systems, structures, and support are in place to help them thrive in their new home. Story included in this episode – From Khwara Banda to Muncie\ Dr. Mohammad Saber Bahrami's story as told to Bibi Bahrami from A Midsummer Night's Narrative: Stories of Home, performed by Bryn Marlow Music used in this episode courtesy of Sean Ashcraft. Used by permission.