Good People aren’t White Saviors

Kelsey Nielsen

Kelsey Nielsen first traveled to Uganda to “love on babies” at an orphanage as a self-described “White Savior.” Then she started to ask questions about privilege and power and how best to help people. She is one of the founders of “No White Saviors” an Instagram account that has turned into a movement.

Our conversation on the Good People podcast went so long that I broke it into two parts. I could’ve asked her more questions. You can listen below or on Apple Podcasts or probably other places too. (I like doing the interviews, but not so much the administrivia a podcast or life requires.)

Part 1

Part 2


Show notes:

No…

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Building on the work of other journalists

Yesterday I chatted with a documentarian in Scotland who is working on a film on where food comes from. We chatted for an hour about chocolate, bananas, and coffee.

I think journalism is like science in that community members build on each other’s work. I always take the time to help out a fellow journalist. I think it’s part of the responsibility of this work.

I had a chat with Elizabeth Cline very early on in her process of writing Overdressed. I even introduced her to my friend Dalton, who appeared in WHERE AM I WEARING. I also chatted with Marcus Stern who did a really great piece on child labor in coffee for The Weather Channel and Telemundo.

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A baboon in Ethiopia is named after me

Check out this note from a student who read WHERE AM I EATING a few years ago:

Hi Kelsey! Thanks for the invite for The Facing Project. Can’t wait to look into it more! You spoke to my sociology class with Máel Sheridan at Hamline university after we read your book in 2015. Funny story, and long story short: I’m a Peace Corps health volunteer in Ethiopia and was trying to explain in local language the idea behind your books as it relates to my community (where are all these goods coming from? How did they get here?). A couple weeks later the live-in guard at my health center appeared with a pet baboon. It was then named after you in honor of your books. “Kelsey” spelt differently in afran Oromo…

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