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INTERVIEW: How We're Failing New Morticians

INTERVIEW: How We're Failing New Morticians

By The Order of the Good Death

Mortuary schools began as embalming schools, sponsored by embalming chemical companies. Today, mortuary schools are designed to be more holistic, covering everything a new mortician may face in the industry. But what groups are being left out of this education? The last decade has brought hard discussions around serious gaps in what is taught to students and if they're ready for the reality of working in the death industry. 

In this episode Caitlin talks with two funeral directors, Joél Maldonado and Ezra Salter to discuss race and gender in funeral education and practice. 


Episode Guests

Joél Maldonado is a funeral director, sacred end-of-life and grief care professional, and educator. Learn more on her website, The Grave Woman

Ezra Salter (they/them) is a Louisiana licensed funeral director and embalmer, a board member of Wake, a New Orleans based deathcare non-profit, and co-creator of the Louisiana LGBTQ+ End of Life Planning Guide.


Episode Resources

Sandi Baker article mentioned in the episode, Why Are All the Wax Heads Caucasian? 

Petition to Remove Racist and Discriminatory Language From Mortuary College Dress Codes and Handbooks

Order of the Good Death, Working in Death: How Do I Become a Mortician?

Audio excerpt from Ask a Mortician webseries, Why Are Black and White Cemeteries Still Separate? 

Cultural Competency: Black Hair and Skin Care for Non-Ethnic Funeral Professionals 

Louisiana LGBTQ EOL Guide 

Trans Death Rights Are Human Rights 


Episode Credits:

Hosted by Caitlin Doughty 

Produced by the Order of the Good Death,

Sarah Chavez and Lauren Ronaghan

Edited by Alex de Freitas

Music by Kissed Her Little Sister

Podcast artwork by Jessica Peng

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