Ep.4 “One Day at a Time” by Emma Schulman

Emma Schulman explores the effects of climate-fueled natural disasters on already-susceptible domestic violence survivors in Colorado after the 2021 Marshall Fire.

Ep.4 “One Day at a Time” by Emma Schulman

In this episode of Inherited, storyteller Emma Schulman explores the effects of climate-fueled natural disasters on already-susceptible domestic violence survivors in Colorado. She meditates on the nature of trauma, embedding with the team at SPAN, the Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, to investigate how the 2021 Marshall Fire impacted the nonprofit’s most vulnerable clientele and staff.

Continuing this season’s series of bonus episodes, Inherited host shaylyn martos sits down with Emma Schulman. Together, they talk about Emma’s reporting process and growth in the YR Media newsroom.

Inherited is a critically acclaimed climate storytelling show made by, for, and about young people. We’re a production of YR Media and distributed by Critical Frequency. 

For more information about our podcast, head to our website at yr.media/inherited, and follow us on the socials @inheritedpod. 

SEASON 3: EPISODE 4 Transcript

“ONE DAY AT A TIME” by Emma Schulman


HOST SHAYLYN MARTOS: The Marshall fire, the most destructive fire in Colorado history, displaced thousands in 2021. And behind those statistics lies a concerning trend many overlook. In the aftermath of the fire, those experiencing domestic violence faced an escalated crisis.

Håfa adai, and welcome to Inherited — we share the work of young audio storytellers, hoping to uplift a new generation of climate advocacy. I’m your season host, shaylyn martos. And this is season 3, episode four: “One Day at a Time”.

[Inherited theme] 

Domestic abuse affects women, as well as LGBTQ+ and BIPOC folks, at staggering rates. They have less access to resources, to housing, to mental health support. And as global temperatures rise, Colorado is more at risk for wildfires and other climate disasters. 

Our storyteller for this episode, Emma Schulman, saw how the Marshall fire devastated the Boulder County community — and how the government response overlooked compounding stressors that affect unsafe relationships. Today, she shares the voices of women working to provide a safe space for survivors and their children.

Here’s Emma Schulman with “One Day at a Time”.

[fade out shaylyn’s theme]


EMMA SCHULMAN: In December of 2021, I’d just boarded a plane at the Denver airport, headed to California.

[slow piano music]

 In those moments before the flight took off, I was scrolling through my phone, my screen full of the news of fires sweeping through Boulder, Colorado. 

Even though the fire would never reach Fort Collins, where I live, I couldn’t help but worry about how it might harm my friends there. 

In my teenage mind, I was also worried about how the fires would affect me. I was planning on starting at University of Coloradodo University-Boulder in the fall. Would going there still be a possibility?

Boulder, and my college, did survive the fire. I’m a student there now. But this natural disaster, what we now call the Marshall Fire, changed the city. I can still feel its shadow in every corner of Boulder. Over a thousand people lost their homes in the Marshall Fire. Many more were forced to evacuate. 

Tsunemi Rooney, a therapist living in Boulder, was one of these evacuees.

TSUNEMI ROONEY: When I realized I needed to get out, I went nuts inside the house  trying to just get the cats and get up.

EMMA: It’s part of the human condition, to want to survive. Traumatic situations, like a fire, can bring out a special type of stress, or panic, in many people. 

And at first, Tsunemi only had time to think of herself. 

TSUNEMI: I didn’t take anything. I didn’t take my drivers license. I didn’t take a passport. All I did was grab two cats and their food and get out, but the house was like a tornado hit. Meaning I lost my mind inside 10 minutes.

[staccato music]

EMMA: Tsunemi called on her coworkers, who were more safely located, to help her navigate through the traffic clogging the highway.  

TSUNEMI: All the cars I couldn’t get out of. So from that, how I got out was the SPAN, you know, my executive director and they were all calling to do this, to do that, where are you, turn this way, turn that way.

EMMA: Tsunemi works at the SafeHouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, also known as SPAN. 

SPAN is an organization that helps domestic violence survivors by providing a number of services, including a hotline, a shelter program, education and legal support. 

These services become even more important during natural disasters like the Marshall Fire. Domestic violence survivors face an escalated crisis during climate change-related events, due to the increased stress, tension, and lack of resources.  

[slow piano music waterfalls]

The Marshall Fire had a long-lasting effect on every community in Boulder Colorado, including SPAN, which saw an increase in people seeking shelter and protection from violent partners. 

Researchers have pointed out across the globe, women are more prone to domestic violence after natural disasters – which are growing more frequent as temperatures rise. 

Tsunemi spoke to me about how the experience of evacuating helped her understand her clients’ struggles more deeply. 

TSUNEMI: So only in retrospect I say, this is what trauma does to people. I mean, truly this is what trauma does.

EMMA: I wanted to learn more about how survivors of domestic violence are impacted by events like the Marshall Fire. Unfortunately, it’s often dangerous for these people to speak on the record, since many live in secrecy for their own protection. However, I was able to talk with the folks at SPAN, who work closely to support these survivors. They discussed the impact the fire had on their clients, and their community. 

Here’s Anne Tapp, SPAN’s Executive Director. 

ANNE TAPP: The immediate experience of the evacuees or the people who lost homes in the Marshall Fire, I think was just kind of dealing with that overwhelming loss and trying to kind of get your feet under you. 

EMMA: I also talked with Nicole Borrelli, SPAN’S Housing Director. She’s a survivor herself, and told me about what the label means to her.

NICOLE BORRELLI:. It means just making it through the day. That’s how I see it. 

EMMA: Tsunemi, Anne, and Nicole, have seen how survivors, and the people who support them, can all be deeply impacted by the climate crisis. Today, they’ll share what it looked like to navigate the Marshall Fire, and its fallout. 

[new piano music]

EMMA: Even before the Marshall Fire, housing was limited in Boulder. And since the fire, this housing crisis has only gotten worse.  

ANNE: Yeah, we had clients impacted by the Marshall fires as well as staff and supporters. We had a number of people that lost their homes. No clients did, but other folks in our network did. 

For the clients when it became apparent that they were evacuating towns, we took a little bit of time to track down people, but we found the families that we were working with relocated them to a hotel. In one case, the regional hotels were full and the outlier hotel had increased its price because so many evacuated or people evacuating from the fire were needing hotels. So there was a really frustrating kind of price gouging.

EMMA: In the same way that some people hoarded N95s in the early days of the pandemic, only to turn around and sell them for outrageous prices, hotel owners hiked up the price on rooms and housing costs when the Marshall Fire hit. So much so, that the Attorney General’s office investigated complaints around this issue. 

Supply and demand, right? If you couldn’t afford the new rates, you were out of luck.  

ANNE: In addition to just the trauma of people fleeing their homes and in several cases not knowing for a number of days if their apartment was still standing or if their home or their neighbors’ homes were still standing . So it was pretty physically challenging to just manage that, but really emotionally intense and draining and scary. 

[warbling notes]

EMMA: Anne remembers the way that both staff and survivors were impacted, and often manipulated, by price gouging. 

ANNE: It’s just tragic that people would do something like that. But, you know, it happens in, in, in disasters. I mean, people take advantage. We were in the position where the organization paid for those costs. We did that for our staff that had to evacuate as well as for clients. For someone who had limited means fleeing their home, trying to find a safe place to stay, and then having to deal with, you know, a $350 hotel room indefinitely. It’s just for a lot of folks. It was just kind of an additional injury to the trauma they were already experiencing. 

EMMA: Navigating the evacuation process was also a big challenge for the SPAN staff and the survivors they served.

ANNE: Oh, my God. What? I lost everything. What am I going to do? The next thing is like, what? What, what do we need to do today and tomorrow to find a safe place? Do I have insurance? Renter’s insurance? If I didn’t, how do I get a hold of whoever owns the property and figure out what’s going to happen next? 

EMMA: But as the weeks of recovery went on, the community rallied around those impacted by the fire. 

ANNE: I would say our community did a remarkably good job of mobilizing immediately. So within, you know, within 24 hours, there were things set up to provide fire victims with gift cards, with clothing, with the ability to kind of access insurance information or just talk to somebody who knew how all of this works or what they needed to do. 

EMMA: At this point, the community finally had a little bit of breathing room to process the fire, and to support their neighbors who were still suffering. Surviving a natural disaster can be incredibly overwhelming.  It shows how fast one’s life can change. For some, existing struggles got worse after the fire. But for others, the fire was the catalyst for brand new hardships.  

[warbling notes]

ANNE: Even community members who weren’t clients, they weren’t, you know, they weren’t experiencing violence before the fire, there were a number of cases after where we were talking to survivors whose – their lives fell apart and their partners’ ability to kind of hold it together was compromised, too. And so power and control and abuse started to emerge in the relationship. 

EMMA: Power and control within the cycle of abuse makes it harder for survivors to get out of the situation that they’re in. The cycle of abuse has a few stages – the building tension phase- an incident of abuse – reconciliation and the calming phase. During these disasters, the cycle of abuse can become more intense. 

Tsunemi: You know, I’m so good at dealing with somebody else’s trauma. I had no idea how this was going to hit me. 

EMMA: As a therapist, Tsunemi unpacks and understands how trauma works. But it was totally different to be thrown into a traumatic experience herself. 

TSUNEMI: I was actually doing virtual, you know, meeting with actually SPANS leadership, and then we were talking or meeting, and then I was looking outside the window. I, you know, I live in Superior Colorado and they said, you know, you know, I see this cloud out, it’s really dark outside and someone said you know there’s a fire, like a brush fire out there somewhere.I said, goodness, it’s kind of dark.

EMMA: For Tsunemi, like many others, the apocalyptic black sky was the first sign of trouble. Though the government had sent an emergency out to residents, telling them to evacuate, the system failed. Only 1 in 5 of these messages got through. 

TSUNEMI: I keep looking out and say, you know, it’s kind of dark.Then I say, you know twhat? Let me go down there and turn on TV. I go down there and turn on TV. It says, “get out.”


EMMA: We all think that we know what we’re going to do during a crisis. We plan things, we practice fire drills, we make up hypotheticals in our head about how to avoid this situation. But the truth of the matter is, anyone is capable of freezing in an emergency. 

TSUNEMI: [gasp] Oh my goodness. I kind of thought – Oh, oh, I froze. Frozen, right, this is a trauma response. I froze and I thought I would never do that. I know exactly what to do. Trauma, bring it on. That’s my specialty.

[staccato music] 

That’s what I do for business. I did not know what to do. I stood there staring at tv. I said, oh, oh. Then I thought oh my goodness I have cats, I have two cats, where are they?

And then I started scrambling and all I could do was to grab two cats and then get out. And by the time I got out and they put them in the car and I tried to get out, I couldn’t get out.

EMMA: This experience has informed the way Tsunemi sees the care she provides at SPAN. 

TSUNEMI: There are multiple families and individuals who are impacted by the fire. And then in this case, I’m just gonna give you one example, one, the specific family, a family of, you know, the four children and, and three adults. So the entire seven people were fired, you know, they lost everything. Okay? So then trauma-informed will be, they’re already experiencing, you know, family violence, and then they lost everything. So then under-marginalized, you know, group of people out there, now, now what’s gonna happen? The trauma-informed tells you that the intensity of violence increases. 

[chord progression] 

EMMA:  Trauma informed care has many aspects that it focuses on: Safety,  Trustworthiness and Transparency, Peer Support, Collaboration and Mutuality,  Empowerment and Choice, and Cultural, Historical and Gender issues. On the flip side of trauma informed care is another approach, called strength based care.

Strength based care focuses on the collaborative relationship between a person and the services or resources they’re using. Together, the supporter and the supported develop an outcome based on the person’s individual strengths.

Tsunemi spoke about these strengths, and the importance of remembering that survivors of trauma are not helpless. They’re powerful. 

TSUNEMI: At the same time people also have strength and the resiliency that they come out. Under extraordinary circumstances, there is incredible power that people show and they go to whole different places, like hitting the bottom, and there’s no more, you know, bottom to hit. We cannot forget. 

So this is how we operate, like Safe House too. We cannot always see people. Poor, sad, you know, helpless people – we don’t do that. 

[slow piano starts] 

We were saying while we were holding that, that they go through incredible, you know, horrible places, but also people have made it. This is why they’re here.

EMMA: Tragedies, like natural disasters, often shine a light on long-standing issues that have been plaguing communities. 

In the case of Boulder, the housing crisis was drastically affected by the Marshall Fire. 

Today, Nicole Borelli is the Housing Director at SPAN. But previously, she experienced housing insecurity firsthand. 

NICOLE: Yeah. I’m a survivor of domestic violence, so I came to Colorado because I was fleeing a very violent situation in Georgia. I couldn’t get out of the lease, so I was penalized for that. I had to pay a lot of money to try to get my credit in order because of that, so it was a really difficult, hard road for me to recover from, just from being a survivor of domestic violence.

 But like I said, in Colorado, it’s a little bit different because we do have that protection here. So I see that a lot of clients have had to deal with the same situation that I dealt with in another state. Being able to get out of that lease and not being penalized for it is absolutely amazing. 

EMMA: Under the federal violence against women act, evicting survivors for being in an abusive situation is illegal. But often, survivors don’t know this.

NICOLE: I think there’s a lack of knowledge. I think that a lot of people are a taboo subject. So they see it as, Oh no, like this is your problem. You put yourself in the situation. So there’s a lot of victim-blaming that happens in this. Oh, if the cops are getting calls, we don’t want to deal with that. You’re a problematic tenant. So there’s definitely – and this happens more often, I would say, than not – there are people who are understanding and forgiving. But, you know, you get both sides of the spectrum when it comes to that.

EMMA: Many issues around survivors rights and safe housing are still unresolved.And to Nicole, most solutions that were proposed after the fire, felt like short term Band-Aid fixes. Without enough direct support from the government, on housing and other systemic inequalities, progress is slow. 

NICOLE: Yeah, it’s a huge frustration. I feel like we, we just are in survival mode and we’re just trying to maintain on a day-to-day basis without really looking forward to like, okay, where are you going to be a year from now, two years from now, because we’re so focused on just keeping people housed today and maybe next month. And that’s like as far as our vision can go, because the need is so abundant it really is extremely frustrating to just kind of live in that place where it’s just survival mode. Like, okay, five years down the road, where are you going to be? Like, I can’t even focus on that. You know, it’s extremely frustrating. 

EMMA: Nicole, and the other people I spoke to, have voiced feeling frustrated and sad that they can’t fix everything for the survivors they serve. 

NICOLE: Not even that I want to – only have this, like, short term vision because Like I said, the abundance of the need that is right now. Like either, these people are going to not be able to pay. Their rent. They’re going to get evicted all this.

We’re not solving any problems. We’re just dealing with the problems that are already in society and trying to make a tiny little difference. But in reality, we’re not making any difference. We’re just prolonging the inevitable. 

[anxious bells music] 

EMMA: Still, Nicole finds that it’s best to take things one day at a time. 

NICOLE: Yeah. It means just making it through the day. That’s how I see it. So I was like, okay, go to bed, You know, like, you know, sleep and then wake up the next morning. You survived. And they are in this chaotic world that we live in and it really is just that.

[anxious bells music] 

EMMA: It’s easy to stop caring about an issue after it stops receiving a certain level of attention, especially when that issue does not affect us directly. But we’ve got to remember that issues of domestic violence, climate-fueled disaster, lack of housing and resources DO affect people directly. Every. Single. Day.

Climate change is not a standalone crisis – it’s an intersectional one. It intensifies all the challenges people face in our society. When an existing issue, like domestic violence, intersects with natural disasters, it gets amplified. And our existing protections are not enough. 

But I’m encouraged by the work of people like Anne Tapp, Tsunemi Rooney, and Nicole Borelli. They are still fighting for a better world for survivors, even when it’s hard, or feels hopeless. Fighting for a better world for survivors is fighting climate change


[fade in shaylyn’s theme]

Hey there, it’s shaylyn again. Thank you so much for listening to “One Day at a Time” by Emma Schulman.

And that’s episode four of Inherited! We’ll return next week with an all-new episode featuring another impactful climate storyteller. And tune in this Friday for a bonus BTS interview with Emma on her process, inspirations and growth throughout this season’s production.

[fade in shaylyn’s theme]

Saina Ma’ase’ for joining us for episode four! We’ve got more stories, more young storytellers, and bonus craft interviews each week. Tune in to Inherited every Wednesday, wherever you get your podcasts.


Inherited is brought to you by YR Media, a national network of young journalists and artists creating content for this generation. We’re distributed by Critical Frequency, a women-run podcast network founded by journalists. 

The story, “One Day at a Time,”  featured in today’s episode, was written, produced, and voiced by Emma Schulman, an Inherited season 3 storyteller.

I’m shaylyn martos, your Season 3 host, and producer.

The co-creators and senior producers of Inherited are Georgia Wright and Jules Bradley.

Our audio engineer is James Riley. Our audio engineering fellow is Christian Romo. 

Dominique French and Nyge Turner provided production support, and our intern is Esther Omolola.

Our Executive Producer is Amy Westervelt from Critical Frequency.

YR Media’s Director of Podcasting is Sam Choo, and our Sr Director of Podcasting and Partnerships is Rebecca Martin.  

Original music for this episode was created by these young musicians at YR Media: Christian Romo, Anders Knutstad, Noah Holt, Jacob Armenta, Chaz Whitley, Michael Diaz, Sean Luciano Galarza, and Jay Mejia Cuenca. 

Music direction by Oliver “Kuya” Rodriguez and Maya Drexler. Other music licensed from APM Music.

Art for this episode created by YR’s Marjerrie Masicat.

Art direction by Brigido Bautista.

Michella Rivera is our web designer.

Project management from Eli Arbreton.

YR Media’s Creative Director is Pedro Vega, Jr.

Special thanks to Maggie Taylor, Jazmyn Burton, Shavonne Graham, Donielle Conley, and Kyra Kyles. 

Please throw us a rating or maybe even a review on the Apple Podcast app – it goes a LONG way towards getting these stories out there! You can also follow us on Instagram and Twitter @inheritedpod. 

If you want to learn more about our show and this season’s cohort of storytellers, head to our website at yr.media/inherited. 

Thanks for listening!


Shaylyn: Hey, folks, you’re listening to Inherited –  a sound-rich, solutions-focused, youth storytelling podcast about the climate crisis. I’m Shaylyn Martos, your season three host. 

In Episode 4, Emma Schulman shared the voices of three women working to provide domestic abuse survivors with resources and support after the 2021 Marshall Fire in Colorado. 

If you haven’t heard Emma’s episode “One Day at a Time,” go listen – right now! Emma and I actually worked together in the newsroom at YR Media and we made some time to chat about her journey in news production so far, how the story about SPAN came to be, and her goals for the future. Here’s Emma Schulman. 

Emma: My name is Emma Schulman. My pronouns are she/her and I am a student at CU Boulder. And then I’m also a journalist in the newsroom. 

Shaylyn: In the newsroom, here at YR Media! [Emma: Yeah.] I’ve been working with you for, what is it, almost a year now? And I’ve seen you grow immensely, Emma, since we started working together in the YR Media newsroom. So can you tell me just a bit about what you’ve been doing in YR and how this new venture into audio and podcasting has challenged you? 

Emma: Well, first and foremost, I think that all formats, like writing and storytelling, are fun for me. Like, I’ve never had a bad experience, and I think if you are having one, then something needs to change. But I think probably it’s been the transition from thinking, okay, this is how people are going to see this thing, you know, and this is how people are going to hear this thing. But I think that that’s been kind of the challenge. It’s also been fun just to think about how, you know, you use the things, the two things differently. 

Shaylyn: Yeah. Because how people take in stories over audio is very different from when they read it. You know, I have other questions that are specifically about Inherited, but I’m wondering if you could just say a little bit about your journey in YR because when I met you, you were just coming into the newsroom for the first time, hadn’t had something published online. And look at you now!

Emma: Yeah, I think that, well, first and foremost, like not to continue to be like, you know, give YR more praise… I talk to, about you guys all of the time, because I think that well, number one, you guys really did help me, I think in a lot of ways to just realize, like, this is like your strengths, this is things that you can work on. I didn’t think, too, that it was possible to get paid this early on as a journalist. So that’s like, that’s really cool. 

Shaylyn: Well, I’m just, I’m so glad to see you grow into these new challenges with podcasting. And, you know, we are talking kind of in an early space in your production, you’ve done a lot of reporting and you’re kind of in your second draft of your script right now, which is still kind of early. Right? So I’m wondering at this point in time, your story has changed a lot since what you originally thought. What was your original pitch and how did it change? 

Emma: I mean, I think when I originally started and I think I think we all kind of do this in a way where we’re like, we have the idea in like how we visualize it in our head, right? Like, we do that thing of like, okay. This is exactly how it’s going to go. And then we all know it’s not going to go exactly that way, like, deep down, even though we like to imagine it as such. So I think I would say that it’s probably changed from like, I thought I was going to have like six sources for some reason in my head, which obviously did not happen. And I think that was for the best, too. I think it’s better to follow along with fewer people and get more in-depth coverage. 

Shaylyn: Sometimes best to hone in.

Emma: Yeah, I think that’s how it’s changed, is I think I’ve honed in a lot more too. I think I knew that hearing it would be impactful, but I didn’t realize like, oh, like this is what it was like for all these people. Like it clicked.

Shaylyn: Well, and I mean, it’s such a, it’s such a sensitive topic. And how natural disasters affect domestic violence survivors, that doesn’t get a lot of attention in the media. And you did a lot of reporting, and really built relationships with the people inside SPAN. I’m just wondering if you have any advice for, like, other young folks that are kind of trying to work on a story that is more sensitive, that is about people who are at-risk – what kind of things did you learn that you may take to your next story, or that you would suggest for another person?

Emma: Sometimes your simpler questions are a lot better than like your more complex questions because that’s the thing, you’ll get – number one, you’ll get more information out of people. But also number two, I think people kind of just understand it easier, if that makes sense. Like, people are just like, okay, like maybe they have a thing that they really kind of want to talk about, and that simple question gives them the space to really, like, kind of flow more. 

Shaylyn: A lot of people have a lot of trouble representing at-risk communities in a very effective and equitable way. How are you trying to do that in your own story? How are you trying to make space for these survivors? 

Emma: Like, there’s one person that is a survivor, but they weren’t in the Marshall Fire because they had left that relationship before and it was in a different state. We’re more talking to people who are working with survivors, and we are the survivors themselves. I think that they were willing to talk where I think sometimes with domestic violence survivors, you may not always be able to get that for a variety of reasons. One being that they really are putting their life on the line by doing that. 

One of the things we know to be true about abusers, is that they’re very very very good at stalking. And because of that, that puts a lot of those people, even if you do a lot of work to try to protect them, there is always the possibility that they could find them through that. So there’s always a risk for them. But also, number two, a lot of the people who are working there just saw the effects of just the organization and also how the organization was also affecting the survivors. And kind of almost that trickle down effect. 

Shaylyn: Well, and how did it feel for you, developing a relationship with the people at SPAN? What was that like, as a reporter?

Emma: Honestly, it was really – I don’t know if this is something I also thought I would get to do this early on either. So it was really special too, and I’m glad. I hope they also liked developing a relationship with me as well, which I know sounds very like, “please like me.” But at the same time, it’s also, I don’t know, it’s just really, it’s just really great. And it’s been – again, the situation that these people were in was not fun. But for me, it’s also been a lot of fun. And I don’t know how else to say that. But I hope, [Shaylyn: Yeah.] I hope that would make sense.

Shaylyn: Yeah, Well, I think that that’s that’s something that a lot of younger journalists face, is that they want to talk about these really tough topics and they want to do it fairly and they want to make everyone feel represented well, at the same time you’re learning and you’re doing cool things, right? So, so, there’s this kind of odd space in between where you’re learning and you’re growing, but it’s also you’re growing in the production of a story that is very, very heavy. Were there any moments where you were just, like, taken aback, in particular that really spoke to you or some of your favorite experiences with the story? 

Emma: Oh, gosh, probably when I was interviewing Tsunemi, because she was – thankfully, she did not lose her home, but she almost did. It was like very, very close and she evacuated. And I was just talking to her and she’s also, she’s a psychotherapist, so she’s helping the client. So their trauma while also dealing with it and all this different stuff. And she’s trying to get out. And she’s just like, on the phone with these people and just hearing her experience or just seeing like the array of, like, black smoke and just realizing, oh, crap, like, I got to go. Like, I think that that was probably, that was really the experience for me, of that, of just being really taken back. 

[MIDROLL, 8:25]

Shaylyn: I wanted to ask you, like, why you thought of fires affecting domestic violence survivors anyways? Honestly, Emma, that came outta left field for me personally, reading your pitch, going like, Whoa, this is something that we don’t talk about enough and it’s something that is sitting right in front of us, but for some reason we don’t see. 

Emma: Okay, so I had. So my great, great grandma Marion, basically she did deal with a really heavy domestic violence situation in her own house. And seeing how that I know has affected other people and has affected because – so my mom was really, had a really close relationship with her. And I don’t, of course, she passed before I really got to know her. But I know how that affected my mom. So I became passionate about the issue of domestic violence because of, in part, because of my great grandma. And then just other things I kind of happened, throughout life and stuff, and also just the rise of like #MeToo and all that. And then I think then because of all the different research and stuff they did over it, I also realized too, like, okay, this is how this thing intersects with climate change. Because I follow UN women on Instagram too, and I follow like all the organizations, as a good little journalist does. And basically, I think I realized like, no, this is an issue that I think I would really like to talk about. It’s an issue that affects so many people, including, like stated, my great grandma. 

Shaylyn: Well, and I think it was just kind of including the fires that were happening in Colorado, that really narrows it down. And to narrow it down even further, so not only is it domestic abuse survivors that have been impacted by climate change, but it’s domestic abuse survivors who have been impacted by the fires in Colorado. To even deeper, the people who get resources at this particular organization, in Colorado, who are facing domestic abuse. So I think that was just like a really solid way to hone in this huge crappy thing. And to do it in a way that you, as a brand new podcaster, could come in and do your best. And I and I’m just like, so proud of you for that. Right. So the deeper you go into, the more particular, the more specific you can get, actually, more people can identify with it because it is more human. What do you think is a problem in news coverage of people experiencing domestic violence that needs to be changed? 

Emma: Oh, gosh, they’re so many… well, for one, I think you still see the headlines that are still like, kind of victim-blamey in a lot of ways. I also think that we don’t like to think that these issues affect us. I think we like to stay in our own little happy bubble. Which is fair, it’s not realistic to think that we should always be thinking about these things, especially because it’s depressing to always think about these things, right? I hope this would go without saying, but don’t ask victim blaming questions. If you need documentation of some kind, maybe, just be really sensitive about that and what that could mean for that person if that makes sense. 

Shaylyn:  And how do you, how do you help yourself be more trauma informed, as a reporter?

Emma: Probably by thinking, well, number one, people aren’t defined by this. No person is just one experience. 

Shaylyn: Like, you want to ask questions that surround the person, not just on the specific situation that has caused them pain. But there are so many other things that are before, that are after, that are in their lives. That is like stuff you also need to focus on. Am I on the right track here? [Emma: Yeah.] So, Emma, do you have any more advice you’d like to give to young climate storytellers? 

Emma: Don’t give up on your story. I mean, things will always get difficult, too, at times, but just, you know, keep going. It’s very cliche advice, but that’s what I would say. 

Shaylyn: Thank you, Emma. The most important question of any journalist, that any journalist can ask any source, I’m sure you know the answer. 

Emma: Yeah. 

Shaylyn: What is it? 

Emma: Anything else you’d like to add? 

Shaylyn: Yeah! [laughs] Is there anything else you’d like to add, Emma, anything else you’d like to say? 

Emma: Not right now. This is a topic I could spend all day on, so this is probably a good place to end. 

Shaylyn: All right. Well, thank you so much, Emma. I really appreciate having you here with me. And it’s been such a pleasure working with you throughout this season of Inherited. 


Thank you for joining us for this bonus episode. Season three of Inherited continues Wednesdays wherever you get your podcasts. 

Next week we travel to a future world with Reece Whatmore, where our technology and our Earth’s biology work in tandem.

Inherited is brought to you by YR Media, a national network of young journalists and artists creating content for this generation. We’re distributed by Critical Frequency, a podcast network founded by women journalists. For more information about our show, team, and storytellers, visit our website at yr.media/inherited.

See you next week!

Support the Next Generation of Content Creators
Invest in the diverse voices that will shape and lead the future of journalism and art.
donate now
Support the Next Generation of Content Creators
Invest in the diverse voices that will shape and lead the future of journalism and art.
donate now