George goes back home to Indiana, where members of Hoosier Action are refusing to give up on fellow Hoosiers. George recalls growing up with Kate Hess Pace, founder of Hoosier Action. Members of Hoosier Action like Tyla Barrick Pond, Scott County physician Dr. William Cooke, and Tracy Skaggs detail environmental hazards and the devastations of Indiana’s opioid epidemic. Together, they have made space for shame to turn into vulnerability and creative resilience.
All these Hoosiers–George included–testify to how when we see when we see each other, we strengthen our communities together. And we win.
Kate Hess Pace
Kate has worked in organizing and advocacy for the past 20 years. Prior to starting Hoosier Action, she worked as a community organizer for ISAIAH in the Twin Cities for 8 years working to develop the leadership of people who have been left out of public decision making. She led the campaign to win the Homeowners Bill of Rights, securing some of the strongest foreclosure protections in the country, she was an integral part of the successful efforts to defeat voting ID on the ballot in Minnesota, and she worked with Director Richard Cordray of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to put forward some of the first federal rules on predatory lending. Kate is a national trainer, leading trainings and workshops for community leaders across the country for several years. She is a sixth generation Hoosier and deep believer in the potential of the state and its people.
Learn more: The Forge
Dr. William Cooke
Dr. Cooke is a family medicine doctor in Austin, Indiana. He is the medical director and founder of Foundations Family Medicine, P.C. He runs the hospitalist program at Scott Memorial Hospital in nearby Scottsburg, manages three school-based clinics, and teaches at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine and Indiana University School of Medicine. In 2018, the American Academy of Family Physician named him Family Physician of the Year. He is finishing a book called Canary in the Coal Mine. Dr. Cooke and his wife, Melissa, have six children.
Tyla works as a home health care aide and leads Hoosier Action’s environmental justice campaign in Franklin, Indiana. She’s brought others along with her and led a community campaign to force the powers that be to clean up Franklin. She chaired a community rally with over 100 people and was at the center of the testimony from impacted residents that finally moved the EPA to create a clean-up plan for the area. Tyla and her husband have four amazing kids.
Learn more: Hoosier Action
Tracy is a mother, grandmother, and a leader at Hoosier Action. Five years ago, she began to recover from a heroin addiction. Since then, she’s gone back to school, earned her bachelor’s degree, found her church, and has continued to work with communities of recovering addicts.
Learn more: News and Tribune
Dan Alexander's Story
Dan Alexander is a Bloomington, Ind.-based Hoosier Action leader and second generation worker at the Bedford GM plant and UAW member, who focuses on union efforts and small town factory workers.
Talking with Dr. William Scott
An extended conversation between George Goehl and Dr. William Scott, a Hoosier native and the doctor at the center of the HIV crisis in southern Indiana in 2015.