Guests:  Jessie Shiveler, Community Grief Manager, Agrace Grief Support Center; Meaghan May, parent of deceased child

The worst nightmare a parent can experience is having a child die. Illness, accident, whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter. It is horrible!

That is what happened to Meaghan May, whose five-year-old son, Dominic, was killed in a freak accident in July 2018. In a matter of a few hours, the May’s family of three children lost the physical presence of their middle child. How do the parents handle their shock and grief while also consoling and being present for Dominic’s older sister and younger brother? And then how does the family go on—move forward?

The May family turned to the Agrace Grief Support Center as a place to start. One year later, they continue to find comfort as a family participating in the programs and activities that help them attain healthy survivorship and honor Dominic’s memory.

On this program, Jessie Shiveler and Meaghan May move between the personal story of the May’s family tragedy and how the stand-alone Agrace Grief Support Center is helping people throughout the community cope with grief—meeting people where they are in the process.

The services of the Agrace Grief Support Center are available to anyone, adults and children, needing guidance and support after a loss.


Guests:  Jane Earl and Tony Earl

No one knows better than Jane Earl how important it is to create an environment that makes it easy for everyone to live in, regardless of age, size or ability. Jane has muscular dystrophy and uses a scooter to maneuver herself through rooms and spaces. She and her husband, former Wisconsin Governor Tony Earl, want to stay in their own home, to age in place, like so many of us do. Already a Certified International Color Consultant, Jane expanded her environmental expertise to include how spaces can be designed to be convenient, flexible and exude great style – not just for her and her husband but for all living environments as we move forward.

On this program, Jane asks us to ponder such questions as, “Have you ever returned home from grocery shopping with both hands full and unable to open the front door? Have you ever struggled to reach something in the back of the top shelf in your kitchen cupboard? Have you searched to find a convenient place to plug in your device charger? Do you have difficulty getting into your bathtub or shower? Do you have trouble hanging up or reaching your clothes hung in your closet?” These are barriers to “aging in place,” and Universal Design offers the solutions.

Tune in as Jane Earl and her husband describe how they have designed their own living environment to be “universal,” and how Jane is working with architects and builders to incorporate the guidelines of Universal Design into projects currently on the drawing board.



Evidence of hate is percolating in America and around the world. According to the American Psychological Association, the FBI reported more than 7,000 hate crimes in the United States during 2017. In Wisconsin, there were 17 religion-based hate crimes that same year. 

Enter Masood Akhtar, PhD, who realized his dream of coming to the United States in 1984 when he won a scholarship in India to come here and complete his education. He stayed in America, became a citizen, and committed to give back, in India and the United States, and to help every person, regardless of their religion, color, and ethnicity, change their lives through education, just as his life was changed.

His goal of fighting hatred and promoting tolerance became increasingly daunting. Following the 2016 election, when suggestions of a “Muslin registry” surfaced, Dr. Akhtar spontaneously announced on local television that he was going to start an “anti-hate registry” to bring people together. This declaration has turned into the WE ARE MANY UNITED AGAINST HATE Coalition.
On this program, Masood Akhtar is joined by Mike McCabe, now executive director of the coalition. They describe how their movement is growing, how it has intervened in specific incidents of intolerance in Wisconsin communities, and how it is receiving calls from other states and countries. The coalition is currently working with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and higher educational institutions to accomplish three goals: study the root causes of hate, develop education programs to address them, and incorporate these programs into the K-12 curriculum.

Dr. Masood Akhtar is the recipient of the 2019 Manfred E. Swarsensky Humanitarian Service Award presented by the Rotary Club of Madison. This award recognizes a person whose leadership has built bridges and sought reconciliation between groups and persons to promote inclusivity.  Dr. Akhtar also received a Certificate of Achievement from Governor Tony Evers and the prestigious national FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award in Washington, DC from FBI Director, Christopher Wray.


Exposure to violence and trauma can have lifelong affects on children’s health and wellness and their academic accomplishments. Sharyl Kato, founder and director of the Rainbow Project, describes how she is seeing multiple layers of trauma expand to new arenas such as school shootings or the fear of them, affecting schools, families and communities. 

Creating a safe, healthy and nurturing world for children and families and building life-sustaining skills is the mission of the Rainbow Project. But it takes a village. Community education, support and supportive policies are essential to healing and hope for children and families who have experienced trauma.


One way to have enough food to meet the needs of the world is to grow more. Another is to preserve more of the food we grow. Until Philip Nelson, PhD, food scientist and professor emeritus at Purdue University stepped forward, food preservation was a challenge.

With a family background in tomato farming and canning in Indiana, Phil Nelson saw tomatoes spoil on the ground before they could be processed. He chose to do something about it in the academic arena.

As a student then food scientist at Purdue, he and his team developed a system of bulk sterile processing that reduces losses of quick-to-spoil fruits and vegetables. Because of his work and persistence, millions of people around the world have access to fresh, nutritious food.

For this revolutionary innovation, Dr. Nelson received the agricultural industry’s 2007 World Food Prize, comparable to the Nobel Prize. Hear his story on this program.