Ellen Sears and Wayne Boatwright

Recorded April 28, 2023 Archived April 28, 2023 40:56 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: ddb002620


Ellen Sears (75) and colleague Wayne Boatwright (61) discuss religion, death, addiction, and meritocracy.

Subject Log / Time Code

Both Ellen (E) and Wayne (W) discuss their involvement in their mutual group, Braver Angels.
E speaks about how she looks at people beyond their political affiliations. Wayne agrees and elaborates that he puts emphasis on each person as a sovereign individual.
E discusses divisions caused by trying to be "right" and also how division arrises as a result of religion.
W talks about his Presbyterian faith and his connection the faith's belief in being born again. W ties this to his values of meritocracy and hard work.
E describes her family history of having to flee persecution because of their Judaism. She explains how her family moved to Omaha, Nebraska, her birthplace.
E recalls going to the movies with her great grandmother at 7 years old.
W talks about being a 5th generation Californian.
E recalls the day her husband passed away, 5 years ago. She describes waiting for transportation for her husband's body, and experiencing a hummingbird flying in place in front of her face. She expresses that this hummingbird was her husband, Rick.
W talks about his time in San Quentin State Prison about 10 years ago. He speaks about how he came to conceptualize comedies and tragedies during this time. He goes on to say that he chooses to live life in comedy rather than tragedy– which to him, means to put focus toward his future and progress.
W speaks about killing someone while driving drunk. He explains how this destroyed the victim's family and his own.
E talks about seeing God not as an interventionist, but rather, as a creator who has left everything up to us.
E expresses not wanting to be defined as a widow after her husband's death. She explains that this desire inspired her to reinvent herself– and believing in God has provided her with that unlimited power.
W speaks about the English language's limitations with regard to the term "alcoholism." He explains that he wishes for the term to express that alcoholism is something that can be changed rather than something that is a stagnant state.
W talks about logos and being in control of what he does.
E speaks about the perils of seeking perfection and the virtues of patience.
W describes thinking past his crime. He elaborates that his crime led to introspection, questions of belonging, creativity, and realizing that he wants service to be a central part of his life.
E talks about how music connects to her faith.


  • Ellen Sears
  • Wayne Boatwright

Recording Location

University of San Francisco

Venue / Recording Kit

Partnership Type

Fee for Service