October 5, 2017
Having a conversation with GP and JP was beyond phenomenal. Gina Pollard is sweet and spicy and the spiritual leader you want in your corner when life gets lifey and John Pavlovitz, the Pastor of the Resistance, inspires action through his writing and pushes the reader to extend themselves to contribute to healing and working on behalf of humanity.
Both are my spiritual mentors and it was a joy and gift to listen and learn in their presence.
Gina Pollard is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist® and a Life Transition Coach. Her focus is in helping people deal with grief and loss, past abuse issues, and moving into new life stages. Her experience in leading Mending the Soul abuse support groups, and providing pastoral care gives her a deep understanding what it means to feel deep pain, need a glimmer of hope, and do the work to have a fulfilling life.
A self-described “hope junkie,” Gina loves to journey with others, helping them to validate the whole of who they are in the world and in their lives. Gina earned her Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and is ordained by the National Association of Christian Ministers. In addition to her coaching and recovery practice, she also works at Fuller Seminary Arizona helping to provide spiritual formation for seminary students.
John Pavlovitz is a writer and pastor from Wake Forest, North Carolina. In the past three years his blog Stuff That Needs To Be Said has reached a diverse audience of millions. A 20-year veteran in the trenches of local church ministry, John's mission is to help the Church become a more compassionate, loving environment for all people. His first book A Bigger Table, was released this month (October 2017).
To connect with Gina:
* Website: www.ginapollard.com
* Facebook: Gina Pollard
* Twitter: @GinaPollard
* Instagram: @ginadpollard
To connect with John:
* Twitter: @johnpavlovitz
October 4, 2017
I have not yet met these brilliant women, but I know that it's going to happen. We met because of our love for social justice and empowering others and have been able to really connect on a soul level. On this episode, we discuss social justice, politics, the 2016 presidential election, intersectionality, racism, sexism, gender and more.
Bios and social media handles to come.
**NOTE** This podcast episode includes adult language, be aware of little people who may be listening.
September 21, 2017
I met Dr Tia McNair at the Research Symposium at the University of Michigan. She is highly intelligent and knew her stuff and I, along with the audience, was intrigued. She discussed diversity, equity and inclusion and broke it down so that it was easy to follow along.
Dr Tia Brown McNair is the Vice President in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success at Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in Washington, DC. She oversees both funded projects and AAC&U’s continuing programs on equity, inclusive excellence, high-impact educational practices, and student success, including AAC&U’s Network for Academic Renewal series of yearly working conferences. McNair also directs AAC&U’s Summer Institute on High-Impact Educational Practices and Student Success. McNair serves as the project director for several AAC&U initiatives: "Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation," “Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: Campus-Based Strategies for Student Success,” and Purposeful Pathways: Faculty Planning and Curricular Coherence.” She directed AAC&U's projects on "Advancing Underserved Student Success through Faculty Intentionality in Problem-Centered Learning,” "Advancing Roadmaps for Community College Leadership to Improve Student Learning and Success,” and "Developing a Community College Roadmap. McNair chaired AAC&U’s Equity Working Group that was part of the General Education Maps and Markers (GEMs) project that represented a large-scale, systematic effort to provide “design principles” for 21st-century learning and long-term student success. She is the lead author of the book Becoming a Student-Ready College: A New Culture of Leadership for Student Success (July 2016). McNair is a co-author on the publication Assessing Underserved Students’ Engagement in High-Impact Practices. Prior to joining AAC&U, McNair served as the Assistant Director of the National College Access Network (NCAN) in Washington, DC. McNair’s previous experience also includes serving as a Social Scientist/Assistant Program Director in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources at the National Science Foundation (NSF), Director of University Relations at the University of Charleston in Charleston, West Virginia; the Statewide Coordinator for the Educational Talent Search Project at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission; and the Interim Associate Director of Admissions and Recruitment Services at West Virginia State University. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at several institutions where she taught first-year English courses. McNair earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and English at James Madison University and holds an M.A. in English from Radford University and a doctorate in higher education administration from George Washington University.
To connect with Dr Tia McNair:
* Twitter: https://twitter.com/aacu
* Website: http://www.aacu.org/
* Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Association-of-American-Colleges-and-Universities-48308128458/
September 14, 2017
I heard about Greg Williams' work long before I was introduced to him. And when we finally spoke, I knew it was important for the state of recovery to connect with him further, both for my own understanding and for others benefit. Greg is a down to earth person in long-term recovery. I hope that our paths of recovery advocacy cross in real life someday.
Greg Williams, Co-Founder of Facing Addiction, is a person in long-term recovery from addiction, and the award winning documentary filmmaker of The Anonymous People and Generation Found. Greg has a Masters degree in addiction public policy from New York University, and over a decade of experience working with non-profits and government agencies on addiction. Greg served as the Campaign Director and one of the executive producers of the historic UNITE to Face Addiction rally on the National Mall on October 4, 2015 (B.A. Quinnipiac University; M.A. New York University).
September 8, 2017
Melvin is an amazing human who loves the outdoors, farming and social justice. He's the sower of social justice and wants community farming to be diverse and accessible to all, but especially to young black boys and men so that they are able to see themselves represented and know that they are eligible too.
Melvin Parson attended Eastern Michigan University for both his Bachelors and his Masters in Social Work degrees. He lives in Ypsilanti, MI. He's the founder of We the People's Grower's Assocation (WTPGA) which is dedicated to building stronger communities, to foster a system that helps improve lives by developing skills and positive social networks that empower people to make a positive contribution to the community, to provide support in relation to valuable self-esteem building, to also provide jobs and education using gardening/farming as the vehicle. WTPGA will provide support in an effort to produce stronger communities. WTPGA’s contribution will center on growing chemical free vegetables while making them affordable and accessible in the community. This effort will be done with help of inter-agency collaborations, support from the community. In the spring of 2016 WTPGA plans to hire several part time staff members directly from the community and hopefully enlist a host of volunteers that believe in our efforts.
To connect with Melvin:
* Facebook: We the People's Grower's Association
August 31, 2017
Rochelle and I were Wolverines at the University of Michigan at similar times and we also worked (on different things) while in Ann Arbor, MI at the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives. We recently reconnected about all of the things and it is clear that Dr Woods' passion for students is contagious and genuine. You will be inspired by the work she is doing at The Ohio State University and may even decide to connect with your community in a tangible and meaningful way.
Rochelle L Woods has invested over 15 years successfully leading programs and initiatives improving post-secondary access and success of high school and college students who face significant economic and educational disadvantages. Dr Woods is currently the Director of the Young Scholars Program in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at The Ohio State University. In this role, she leads a staff of 15 in providing high-quality programming, pre-college advising, mentoring, professional development and academic support to improve pre-college preparation of high school students and the retention and degree completion of college students who are academically talented, first-generation students demonstrating high financial need from nine of the largest urban school districts in Ohio. The Young Scholars Program, under Dr Woods’ leadership, was recognized as a significant contributor in narrowing the graduation gap between Black and White students at OSU as noted in a report released by the Education Trust in March, 2016.
Previously, Dr Woods’ served as the Assistant Director of the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives University of Michigan and Program Director for Leaders and Best, a retention program that provided holistic support to economically and educationally disadvantaged first and second year undergraduate students to promote academic success and professional development. Under her leadership, the six-year graduation rate for African-American program participants was 94%, higher than the university’s rate for all students. She has presented, researched and published on higher education, focusing on issues of retention, racial climate and educational attainment of underrepresented racial groups. She served as Research Associate at the Center for Science Education at EDC in Newton, MA and as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center on Race and Social Problems at University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Woods holds a B.A. in Sociology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Michigan.
To connect with the Young Scholars Program:
* Website: https://odi.osu.edu/ysp/
August 31, 2017
I shared office space with Anthony Fowlkes during my time working as a Project Coordinator in the Office of the Vice President of Student Life and I was impressed hearing about his story and with his ambition for continued studies so soon after he graduated with his Bachelors. I knew others would benefit from hearing his story of tenacity and grit.
Anthony Fowlkes is a dual degree in the School of Education and School of Public Policy for Higher Educational Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Anthony was born and raised in Metro Detroit and continues to support Michigan's growth. Before starting his masters, Anthony completed an undergraduate degree in Economics and Asian Studies also at UM. During his studies, he worked as a research assistant in the Office of the Vice President of Student Life and in the dorms in several roles promoting diversity/equity. During his Master's program, Anthony will be interning in the Office of Enrollment Management. He hopes that these experiences will help guide him in policy work at an institutional or federal level regarding financial access issues for postsecondary education achievement.
To connect with Anthony:
* IG: @antfowl
* Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
August 17, 2017
I met Cachet Colvard through my work at the University of Michigan and I was struck by how amazing and insightful she was. As we talked about her experiences as a graduate student, I knew I wanted others to hear her thoughts on higher education and access.
Cachet Colvard is from Kalamazoo, Michigan, and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in Asian Cultures and Languages with a concentration in Chinese. During her undergraduate career, Cachet received training as an Emergency Medical Technician and worked with the Ghana School of Public Health. Cachet received a Master of Health Services Administration degree from the UM School of Public Health and is a Master of Business Administration dual degree candidate at UM-Dearborn College of Business. Cachet completed her Administrative Internship at the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) in their system-level Project Management office. During her internship at the DMC, she worked on projects for each of the 9 hospitals centered around developing system-ness, process improvement, patient experience, and healthcare quality. Throughout graduate school, Cachet served as president of Women in Health Leadership and held board positions with the Midwest Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the National Association of Health Services Executives. Cachet enjoys traveling, dancing, attending sports events and spending time with her friends and family.
Connect with Cachet:
* Instagram: @cachetrenee
* Website: www.cachetcolvard.com
August 11, 2017
Steven and I go way back as we attended the University of Michigan together many moons ago. Trust me, it's true, we look younger than we are. His witty Facebook posts of questions led me to reach out to him which resulted in this fun conversation.
Steven Snead is originally from Detroit, MI. He attended the University of Michigan for his undergraduate degree and he went on to attend Wayne State University for his Masters in Educational Leadership. He is currently the Supervisor of Curriculum and Assessment and a Research, Evaluation and Assessment Consultant at Oakland Schools.
August 3, 2017
Allison Weber is an absolute joy to be around. Her laugh is infectious and her desire to connect with people worldwide is undeniable. Her heart's mission is to humbly see others and provide soul care to the people who are largely unseen in developing countries in Southeast Asia.
Often found with a coffee in hand, Allison Weber has a raucous laugh, but a surprisingly serious side. While her career finds her teaching business communication to University students, she is in the process of developing a Soul Sanctuary, a program that provides sacred spaces for those in need of rest, renewal and restoration. During these weekend retreats, she finds deep joy leading group meditation, facilitating meaningful conversations, and relaxing in any pool of water on a rainbow unicorn floaty. When she is not occupied with those two things, she loves advocating for women as a Sseko Fellow, doing yoga, hiking and trotting the globe.
Originally from the Midwest, Allison and her husband David have lived in the United States, India, and Thailand. They currently reside in Arizona, but it is the Thai people (and food!) who have her heart. They both hope to return there one day to live and work.
To connect with Allison:
* Instagram: @shebebrave and @soul.sanctuary