Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson – Episode 22: Ruha Benjamin

Hello and welcome to the Baha’i Blogcast with me your host, Rainn Wilson.

In this series of podcasts I interview members of the Baha’i Faith and friends from all over the world about their hearts, and minds, and souls, their spiritual journeys, what they’re interested in, and what makes them tick.

In this episode I sit down with Dr. Ruha Benjamin, a mother, a scholar, an author and associate professor in African American Studies at Princeton University, who writes and speaks about science and technology, race and inequality. Ruha and I talk about racist robots and the use of technology, the relationship between unity and justice, the Marshall Islands and the example of her parents, Star Trek, marriage as a soul growing machine, and how bringing about social change also needs to consider the spiritual reality of things. We also look at the importance of independent investigation of truth and the need to challenge our own assumptions, plus the wonderful example of Abdu’l-Baha and how He challenged the status quo. I hope you enjoy the conversation!

To find out more about Ruha Benjamin and some of the things we covered in this podcast, check out the following links:

* You can find out more about Dr. Ruha Benjamin and her work here on her website:

* I mention her talk “Beautiful Struggle” which can be watched here: The Beautiful Struggle: Understanding Racism and Transforming Words into Deeds

* You can find copies of Ruha’s book here on Amazon: People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier by Dr. Ruha Benjamin

* Ruha shares the following quote from Abdu’l-Baha: “Baha’u’llah once compared the coloured people to the black pupil of the eye surrounded by the white. In this black pupil you see the reflection of that which is before it, and through it the light of the Spirit shines forth.”

* Ruha mentions the Louis Gregory Institute:

* I mention a mutual friend named Jamey Heath, and you may enjoy one his songs on Baha’i Blog’s Studio Session series called “I Have Breathed Within Thee“.

* Ruha and I talk about the book ‘No Jim Crow Church’ by Louis Venters which can be found here on Amazon: No Jim Crow Church by Louis Venters

* I mention my non-profit in Haiti called called The LIDÈ Foundation, which you can learn more about here:

* I talk about Dr. Saiedi, who was also a guest on the Baha’i Blogcast, and you can listen to his interview here: Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson – Episode 20: Nader Saiedi

* Ruha talks about the example of Abdu’l-Baha, the eldest son of Baha’u’llah, so I thought you may find the following series of talks by Tom Price about Abdu’l-Baha enjoyable: Recreating Ourselves in the Image of the Master

Be sure to ‘subscribe’ to the Baha’i Blogcast for more weekly episodes on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and Soundcloud.

Thanks for listening!

-Rainn Wilson

About the Author

Naysan is the editor of Baha'i Blog and he has worked in various avenues of media for two decades. He’s passionate about using the arts and media to support and explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and he has produced and collaborated on popular music projects like the "DawnBreaker Collective" and the successful Ruhi-inspired sequence of "MANA" albums. His experience as a producer for CNN was invaluable while working on a number of special projects for the Baha’i World Centre, including the "Building Momentum" and "Pilgrimage: A Sacred Experience" videos. If there’s a media-related Baha’i project out there, chances are that Naysan was involved with it somehow!

Visit Author's Website

Discussion 3 Comments

  1. Ruha gives us so much to think about in this interview. Two things that I loved were her insights into the technology revolution – what is created and programmed (bots/algorithms, etc.,) – ultimately are stamped with the biases and perspectives and spiritual condition of who is doing the programming. Also, I loved her description of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as a “disrupter” of convention. Thank you so much for these programs.

    1. We’re so glad you’re enjoying the blogcast, Wandra! Thank you for listening and for sharing your insights!

  2. Great conversation! Here’s to “the new normal” – and to the dynamic disruptions we have to undergo together to bring it about.

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