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Dependas, Stigma and Data…Oh My!

Published on
December 23, 2021

Season 1 of Partners in PROMISE’s Disruptive Storytelling podcast focused on military stigma covering topics ranging from mental health to military spouses being labeled a dependa. Starting in December our biweekly podcast is going on a short hiatus for the holiday season, but will return in early 2022 featuring a new topic: Data!

“We Heart Data, but Stories Complete Us” will feature military organizations that collect data on military families with a focus on sharing the data via storytelling to bring information to families and decision-makers via a one-stop data-driven podcast. Our first episode will review our own data collected from our annual Military Special Education Survey.

Who Are You Calling a Dependa?

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In episode 10 of our season covering stigma, we dig into the negative stereotypes faced by military spouses. Although on paperwork military spouses are labeled “dependents” these family members are sometimes called “dependas”. The term “dependa” has long been used as a derogatory slur for military spouses. Two new military spouses share their experiences with the stigma and stereotype and how they believe leadership can help change public perception of how military spouses are viewed. 

Guests: Callie Meredith and Sarah Curtis, military spouses

“It’s so outdated — what a military spouse is, the definition, what a spouse’s role looks like. It’s not modernized to what we do now as spouses, or what we can do now as spouses.” 

– Callie Meredith

Learn more about:

About Our Guests

Callie Meredith is a new Army spouse with a passion for helping others. Becoming a new spouse was scary and overwhelming, and she quickly realized that of all the resources out there for spouses, there wasn’t much out there for spouses just starting out. So, she decided to create her own. The “Call to Marriage” podcast is designed to be an easily accessible resource where spouses can find both positive and informative resources, helpful tips, and a friend to walk them through milestones. Outside of the podcast, Callie is an operations analyst with a love for data. In her free time, she and her husband like to take their two Goldendoodles, Goose and Icy, (big “Top Gun” fans!) on adventures, host game nights, and make s’mores. Follow her on Instagram and TikTok @calltomarriage.

Sarah Curtis is a mom, Air Force wife, military spouse coach and small business owner. Her blog and coaching program help military spouses navigate the resources available to them and find support in their military journeys. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @amilitarywifeslife. 

Want to Share Your Disruptive Story?

Disruptive Storytelling with Military Changemakers is a bi-weekly podcast presented by Partners in PROMISE, a nonprofit dedicated to Protecting the Rights Of Military children In Special Education (P.R.O.M.I.S.E.) with music by Stephen McDonough.

Want to sponsor a future episode? Email: info@thepromiseact.org

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