THE WILD AND FREE PODCAST
The Wild and Free Podcast is a collision of passion and purpose where you will meet wildly passionate world changers and human trafficking and sex industry survivors alike who are making a big difference in their corners of the world.
Our podcast is available on several platforms, but all our episode links here are to Spotify.
SPILLING THE BEANS ON THE CAFE
Twila and Donovan
Yes, we got a building for our cafe (finally) but how did that happen? All the juicy details are in this episode and I promise you, it's wild! So have a listen
IT'S AN INTIMACY DISORDER
Michael Browning, Sexual Addictions Therapist
After experiencing, both personally and professionally, the struggles of addiction and its effects on loved ones, Michael was inspired to provide a specialized care for people who are struggling with their own, or a loved one’s, sexual addiction. In this episode we talk about everything related to sexual addiction - how it effects us, our communities, our relationships and how it relates to exploitation. But even more importantly, how do we heal and why is it so important that we heal?
HE SETS THE LONELY IN FAMILIES
Debbie and Deanna
Yes, you are seeing that right. Deanna is back, and along with her is Debbie, her mentor. The two have been walking together since Deanna's exit out of the sex industry. Debbie is an absolute gem and their relationship is one we can all learn from when it comes to coming alongside and creating community with the vulnerable in our lives. We all want to see people set free, but how do we support them along the way? Give this episode a listen - and spoiler alert, it's not as complicated as you think!
JUST BECAUSE IT LOOKS HEALTHY, DOESN'T MEAN IT IS
After overcoming a traumatic upbringing and escaping the sex industry, Deanna sought healing from a residential program for exploited and trafficked women. She has a Master's Degree from Asbury Theological Seminary and has authored two books which we discuss quite a bit in this conversation. Actually, we talk about EVERYTHING in this conversation from what it's really like to be a porn star to how porn culture is affecting our relationships inside and outside the church, and so much more. Buckle up!
SHOWING UP, PLANTING SEEDS AND BUSTING MYTHS
Andrea Heinz - Survivor/Abolitionist
Andrea Heinz is a Socialist Feminist from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada who writes and speaks about commercialized sex.
After spending 7 years in the licensed and regulated adult industry (2006-2013) she is now a sex trade abolitionist and Equality Model proponent. Andrea shares her journey and insights with students, professionals and the general public. She is married with three young children and she took the time to sit down and tell us her story while dispelling myths about sex work in a beautifully vulnerable way.
DAUGHTER'S AND SONS
Jen, Phil and Wellington - Hope Ministries
Remember Jen and Phil from our very first episode in 2021? If not, go check it out, and then listen in on this conversation with them and their dear friend Wellington. Wellington and his wife Deanna have been with Jen and Phil as they've walked alongside women on the streets of Brazil since almost the very beginning. Although you will normally find Wellington behind the scenes figuring out all the technology, we managed to get him to show his face and my goodness - get ready to be convicted ya'll! This episode will catch you up on what Hope Ministries, the coffee company you helped fund, and make you squirm in your seat (in the best way!) Enjoy!
Jan Gerrie, Her Hope Shop
Today on the podcast we have one more ethical company to help you get that Christmas list stroked off, and they are LOCAL! (To southwestern Ontario). Jan Gerrie is one of the owners of Her Hope Shop, but she is also a full-time student of Psychology at Redeemer University, as well as a part-time PSW in long term care. She loves farms and cities, books and coffee and cats and is most certain that there will be ALL of the above in Heaven. Jan is passionate about chasing justice and seeking mercy in the dark places and she longs to walk with a posture of learning and humility alongside pain and suffering and to find God there. And this, she does! We go there in this episode - and we are both enneagram 4's - so get cozy and enjoy!
CALL A SPADE A SPADE
Naomi Holland, Redeemed With Purpose
It's the second episode in our Ethical Business series and this one is on fire! Listen in to find out all about Naomi Holland's company - Redeemed With Purpose - which she uses to give money to International Justice Mission. But mostly her heart is to use the business as a platform to educate parents and kids on the effects of pornography on people and its undeniable connection to sexual exploitation. Naomi is a cowboy-turned-pastor's wife, has two children, has lived all over the world but now calls rural Alberta home. This conversation is going to FIRE YOU UP!
IT'S NOT BUSINESS, IT'S PERSONAL
Christy Asper, Paper Baristas
This episode kicks off our Ethical Shopping Series - and no, it's not a mistake that we are heading into one of the most commercialized seasons of the year! Christy is the owner and lead designer of Paper Baristas - a fair trade paper and stationary "roastery". Their love for all things coffee and freedom is how this business was launched and their products are BEAUTIFUL! Listen to hear how they are cleaning up the paper supply chain, supporting front line organizations working with survivors of human trafficking, AND stick around all the way to the end for a special promo code so you can get your greeting cards from them this season (and all the seasons!)
COFFEE SHOPS + RABBIT TRAILS
Donovan Gerber, Marketing Director
This episode is a BIG DEAL but needs little introduction. Basically, not only do you get to meet the inaugural winner of The Golden Bean Award - THE Donovan Gerber - but you also get the inside scoop on the opening of The Wild and Free Cafe (I KNOW!!!) and how you can help. You do NOT want to miss this!
THE MOST BIZARRE RELATIONSHIP THAT SAVED ME
Trisha Baptie, Survivor
This is our last Survivor Story in our Summer Stories Series for this year so don't miss it! Trisha Baptie is a mamma, survivor, friend, advocate and so much more. She sits on several anti-trafficking boards and committees and was given journalistic credentials to cover the Robert Picton Trial from the perspective of a former prostitute, even with just a grade 6 education. We both shed tears in this one and I bet you will, too!
TRAUMA ISN'T 9-5
Katarina (survivor, mother), Deidre (daughter)
The first episode in our Summer Stories Series is here! Katarina and Deidre are a mother daughter duo and today on the podcast they share their story together walking through Katarina's 15 years being sexually exploited and abused in various ways, how she got out and Deidre's experience as a daughter being right there through it all! You'll find out the amazing ways they are reaching out to women now and get a good dose of hope for broken relationships, too! Yes, you'll need a couple hours for this one - but I promise, it's worth it!
THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN
Julie Schumacher, Simple Coffee, Vietnam
In today's episode, we chat with my new friend Julie, an army BRAT who has lived all over the world and gained much experience in the areas of social enterprise and working with and for the vulnerable and those on the margins. In fact, she owns and operates two social enterprises currently in Vietnam and this conversation is rich in wisdom learned from lived experience including mistakes and victories. She’s passionate about the power of business to transform the lives of people on the margins through skills development and dignified work. And, much like myself, she is solar powered and would love a tiny home by the beach (who wouldn't).
I COULD PULL SHOTS ALL DAY!
Anna Dickerson - Resident Barista, Wild Ginger Coffee
Today's conversation is as long-winded and hilarious as our friendship. Anna Dickerson and I go way back and not only is this coffee company her fault, but she has taught me everything I know about coffee and she continues to volunteer her excellent services at our pop up events and now in this conversation, bringing you tips and tricks to get your best cup of coffee AT HOME! Yeah, you're welcome. Besides being our resident Barista, Anna grew up on a dairy farm and now lives in Kitchener with her husband, Guy, and baby Leo who joined the family in June of 2021 - He's honestly the cutest! In the summer, Anna and Guy are usually outside -- canoeing, camping and swimming, and so naturally Leo had done all three of these before he was one month old! Her other hobbies include snowboarding, running, exploring new places and making (and drinking) specialty coffee. She is excited to return to her day job as a tour developer after her maternity leave and we certainly hope she'll still have time to make you amazing drinks when that happens! The episode is full of laughter and helpful coffee tips
Monique Ekres - Program Director, Elora House
I had literally never met Monique until the night we recorded this episode and I can tell you we hit it off - and I think you will, too! Monique first became aware of human trafficking in Bangkok, Thailand in 2013. Since then her passion for helping girls and women impacted by this atrocity has continued to grow. She recently graduated with an Honors Banchelor of Design for which her thesis focused on developing a successful anti-trafficking awareness campaign targeting Gen-Z. She is currently the Program Director at Elora House and in her free time, like to explore new places with her husband, go on hikes with her Sheepadoodle Molly, and she is a tea turned coffee drinker - so you know we're for real friends! Enjoy!
WHAT IF THAT WERE ME?
MC, Advocate At Heart
MC does change from the inside out. She doesn't own a massive organization or really broadcast her fight against human trafficking -- she simply lives it. You're going to love her because she takes this ordinary conversation and her "ordinary" life in Kitchener with her husband as of 2020 and challenges us all to make the choices that perhaps most people will never notice but it makes an incredible impact on our enslaved sisters and brothers around the world. MC is an old friend -- honestly, I kinda owe where I'm at in large part to her convincing me to go to Africa for the first time all those years ago. She is the one-est of ones on the enneagram and feels really good when her day can start with yoga. Marg is always deconstructing something - religion, society, life, a conversation - and honestly, I think that's one of the things that makes her a powerhouse for change. I know you're going to be inspired by this short but sweet conversation with my dear friend.
WE ARE NOT OK WITH THIS
Jason Bonikowsky - Head of Human Trafficking, WRPS
This episode could not be more timely for Human Trafficking Awareness Month and it brings the issue right close to home in this conversation with Jason - the head of the Human Trafficking Department for Waterloo Region Police. We had a few technical issues with this one, but there is so much to learn here including how prevalent it is in our own backyards, how to spot the signs and what to do if you see something or find yourself in a situation that is questionable or down right not ok -- we HAD to use it, so just bear with us. Jay has a ton of experience across many departments in the police force which he has worked for since 2001. In his downtime, he enjoys anything outdoors and traveling whenever possible.
YOU GET ME
Sharese Martin - Wild Ginger Coffee Business Partner
This episode has EVERYTHING, literally. You get to meet my new business partner, Sharese. She lives in Elmira, ON with her husband Dustin, she’s a heck of a nurse, a fabulous friend and she feels more like a soul sister to me than someone I only met a couple years ago. She has the biggest heart for the vulnerable and the lost and she has the unique ability to make people feel like they are home when they are with her. Gosh, I love her! In this conversation, we also learned that Sharese is borderline famous, we discuss all the highlights of 2021 and what we’re most pumped for in 2022, AND, we solved the toilet seat issue. You’re welcome. Next?
I JUST WANT COFFEE! (NOT TWITCH)
Ben and Kristy Carlson - Long Miles Coffee
Welcome to this simultaneously hilarious and insightful conversation with Long Miles Coffee founders Ben and Kristy. Long Miles is where we at Wild Ginger Coffee source our Burundi roast that you all love so much! Ben and Kristy care so much for their farmers and the impact coffee farming has on the community. You'll find out exactly where our specific roast comes from and why transparent trade and your purchase of this coffee is so important in an industry that is known for being unethical. (Also, you'll learn that none of us are very good at twitch).
PEOPLE OVER PROFIT
Meghann Jaeger - Founder of The Intersection Fair Trade
This conversation is with Meghann Jaeger - co-founder of The Intersection Fair Trade and lover of people! We get all our merch from The Intersection and when you listen in on this conversation you will not need to wonder why. Join us as we chat about what it means to buy ethical, why it matters and more importantly, WHO it matters to. Meghann has expansive knowledge and experience in the Fair Trade Industry and she is passionate about inspiring all of us to do better with our purchases.
WELL, MY MIND IS BLOWN! - PART 2
Glendyne Gerrard - Founder, Defend Dignity
In Part 2 of our mind blowing conversation with the lovely Glendyne, we chat about pornography and it's connection to the human trafficking industry, among many other things! She brings such knowledge and wisdom to so many areas of these current issues, that it's an absolute gold mine of information but also experience and passion and grace. Buckle up, 'cuz this one's bound to change you!
WELL, MY MIND IS BLOWN - PART 1
Glendyne Gerrard - Founder, Defend Dignity
This conversation will blow your mind! Glendyne is the founder of Defend Dignity, a national anti-human trafficking organization and she is an absolute gem and wealth of knowledge. In part 1 of this conversation we talk about Defend Dignity’s work across Canada which includes tackling injustice at a legislative level and much, much more!
WHY WOULDN'T I RISK MY LIFE?
Luisa Krause - Elora House
This conversation with The Energizer Bunny - er - Luisa Krause is bound to pump you up! Luisa is full of life and fun and passion and she has committed her life to helping women get out of the sex industry and thrive! And she’s doing right close to home through the Elora House project.
NEVER SAY NEVER
- ESL Coordinator, Fight4Freedom
I SO enjoyed this conversation with Leola, and I know you will too! We cover everything from how hard it is to learn languages to the pain of standing at the memorial of a friend you've lost to the sex industry. Leola gets real about her journey to becoming the ESL coordinator of Fight4Freedom which is a local, anti-human trafficking organization.
UH, OH, WE GOT THE NUDGE
Jen and Phil Snell
- Hope Ministries, Brazil
Hope Ministries is our sister organization where we send 20% of our profits at Wild Ginger Coffee. Jen and Phil head it up and have such a big heart for the women trapped in the sex industry in Brazil. In this conversation we talk about how they ended up in Brazil, why the sex industry and what Hope Ministries is doing tangibly to walk along side these women. You'll also get a small glimpse into what the sex industry looks like there, and how you can help. Enjoy!
BUT FIRST, COFFEE
Twila Erb - Wild Ginger Coffee
Listen in on this conversation (with myself 🤣) about Wild Ginger Coffee where I answer all your burning questions from - "What the heck is a wild ginger?", to - "What does coffee have to do with human trafficking?" and how you can get involved.