Talking tolerating discomfort, Brené Brown, the freedom of not giving a damn, and more with Sharyn Holmes

Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Episode 20

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Sharyn Holmes

In this conversation Gutsy Girl Sharyn Holmes and I discuss doing the work of social justice, how important it is to be able to sit with discomfort as we do this work, Brené Brown and so much more. I loved this conversation for its clarity and honesty. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Sharyn Holmes is a biracial Asian Australian. Not for the faint of heart, Sharyn’s work dives deep into social justice, spirituality and personal sovereignty.

Sharyn works as a consultant and coach to clients in the spiritual, online business, creative and wellness industries on anti-racism & conscious business strategy guiding them to cultivate an anti-racist identity.

She disrupts spiritual business and entrepreneurial spaces with #dearselfstyledguru letters calling for better representation, equity and inclusion for Black, Indigenous and Womxn of Colour.

She teaches people through her workshops and programs, Unpack Your Privilege, Gut Instinct and the program Gutsy Leadership combining soul, conscious business strategy and social justice.

Connect with Sharyn:

Website: http://www.gutsygirl.com.au/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gutsygirlart/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gutsygirl.com.au/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gutsygirlart 

Credits: Harmonica music courtesy of a friend

Talking spirituality as a weapon, facing the shadow and more with Rachel Ricketts

Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Episode21

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Rachel Ricketts

Rachel Ricketts is a racial justice advocate, intuitive coach, public speaker + writer. She is an outspoken champion for women of color, educating all hue-mans on anti-racism and inclusion. Her life's purpose is to help us all better understand our role in perpetuating oppression, of ourselves and/or others, and learning concrete tools for committing to the solution. Rachel hosts online and in-person workshops including her Spiritual Activism series which promotes racial justice, reconciliation and recovery from racialized trauma. She leads talks + workshops around the world and is currently working on her first book. Rachel loves donuts, dancing and all things metaphysical (ideally all at once).

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Rachel:
www.rachelricketts.com 
@iamrachelricketts

Credits: Harmonica music courtesy of a friend

Talking the ups and downs of social justice work, the trap of expectations and much more with Makenna Held

Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Episode 19

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Makenna Held

In this episode Makenna and I discuss how we can, with the best of intentions, do harm when we intend to do good in the realm of social justice. How expectations are joy killers and so much more.

Start with a vintage, enameled cast iron Dutch Oven (teal is her favorite).

Then sauté a mirepoix of business acumen, marketing, and strategy; pour in a good bottle of Integral Coaching methodology; add a cup of movement and spirituality; and a hearty handful of feminist theory. Whisk gently. Follow with a sprinkle each of intuition, wry comedy, and truth talking; and finally a dash of Tibetan theories of Emptiness. Place in the shade for two hours on a bright sunshine-y day and VOILA! You’d have Makenna Held.

Makenna is the founder of the Your Leadership Recipe methodology, REAL Marketing, the Courageous Cooking ™ school, and an author, speaker, coach, and consultant. With experience spanning from Academia to Marketing to Non-Profit Work to Entrepreneurship, Makenna is uniquely positioned to support business leaders in carving their unique success path. 

Connect with Makenna:

 website: www.makennaheld.com  
twitter: @makennaheld
facebook: facebook.com/makennaheld 

Credits: Harmonica music courtesy of a friend

Talking The Breadth of Blackness, Social Media Manipulation and more with Leesa Renee Hall

Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Episode 18

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Leesa Renee Hall

In this fascinating conversation Leesa Renee Hall and I discuss how white supremacy limits the ways that black people are perceived and the boxes we are “allowed” to fill. We also talk about social media, how to become less reactive and understanding how the algorithms keep us in our bubbles, and so much more. This was a conversation I was really looking forward to and it didn’t disappoint.

Leesa Renee Hall is an author, facilitator, social historian, and creative word artist. Author of seven books, Leesa was known as a technology pioneer before turning her attention to writing about the intersection of race, spirituality, and leadership.

After writing half a million words over 365 consecutive days, Leesa discovered that expressive writing can help expand our sense of identity and connect to a higher guidance. She helps highly sensitive introverted leaders (HSIL for short) use the art of self-inquiry to question their unconscious biases so they create truly inclusive communities, companies, and corporations.

Leesa is on the Advisory Board for Awarepreneurs, a global community of social enterprise business leaders and entrepreneurs with a focus on social justice, diversity, and inclusion. Leesa’s tips have been featured in American Express OPENGlobe & MailChoiceThe Ottawa CitizenToronto StarProfit, and Inc. to name a few, along with television, radio and podcast appearances.

Resources mentioned in this episode:
The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture

Connect with Leesa:
www.instagram.com/leesareneehall 
www.leesareneehall.com/patron

Credits:
Harmonica music courtesy of a friend

Talking culture, and your “So What?” w/ Andréa Ranae

Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Episode 17

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Andréa Ranae

In this conversation Andréa Ranae and I talk about systems, culture, your, “So what?”, the self help industry, your work in the world and so much more.

Andréa Ranae is a vision-led facilitator and coach who believes that together, we rise. She is deeply committed to doing her part in cultivating a world that works for everyone and does so by placing her work at the intersections of personal growth, social justice and conscious business.

As the creator of Coaching as Activism, she supports people doing transformative work to deepen their impact by taking a critical look at how their work and lives are connected to social change. As the co-founder of Whole / Self Liberation, she offers and uplifts practical tools, resources and wisdom for those who want to make change happen in their lives and communities. As a coach and consultant, she works with entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations that want to be more inclusive and impactful do so through their approach to leadership, their marketing and their company culture. She's a huge fan of #blackgirlmagic, sunsets and veggie burritos.

Connect with Andréa:

Twitter: @andrearanaej
Instagram: @andrearanaej
Facebook: facebook.com/andrearanaej
Website: www.andrearanae.com & https://coachingasactivism.com/

Credits:
Harmonica music courtesy of a friend

Talking Cultural Identity, Appropriation, and Transformation w/ Anuradha Kowtha

Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Episode 16

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Anuradha Kowtha

In this conversation Anuradha and I talk about the subtleties of cultural appropriation, cultural identity, the process of transformation, and the challenges of imagining different. We also talk about curry.

Anuradha Kowtha is a Transformation Consultant, writer and choreograher. A proud American and Brit, she is also proud of the south Indian heritage from her own immigrant parents. Anuradha has a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and a Masters in Rhetoric. She’s an experienced educator, researcher, editor and business owner. She is also an accomplished Bharata Natyam dancer and painter. Now she guides clients through this work of rediscovering who they are, why they are here and removing the conditioning that keeps them apart from that knowledge.  She writes powerfully about this work from within the fire of her own life. 

Connect with Anuradha:
Twitter: twitter.com/AnuradhaKowtha
Facebook: facebook.com/manifestbydesign
LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/anuradhakowtha
Instagram: www.instagram.com/anuradhakowtha/
Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/ManifestByDesign
Website: www.manifestbydesign.com

Credits: Harmonica music courtesy of a friend

Talking Inclusion, Self-Determination, KWANZAA, and More with Desiree Adaway

Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice

EPISODE 15

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DESIREE ADAWAY

In this conversation Desiree and I take on the issues of inclusivity, the values of Kwanzaa, what it’s like to walk through the world as a black woman, the challenges of creating a truly new world, and so much more. I loved this engaging and inspiring conversation and I think you will too.

Desiree Adaway is a seasoned nonprofit consultant and facilitator. All of her presentations have a mix of thought provoking content presented with humor and wit. When she teaches she makes a point to connect with every person, and create a safe space for their growth.

She is known by staff, senior leadership, peers, and partners as being great at open, honest, and productive conversations. She is not afraid of addressing anything that gets in the way of great work. Her style is positive, approachable, engaging, service-oriented and audience-centered.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram Kendi
White Fragility by Robin Di Angelo
Liberatory Consciousness by Barbara Love

Connect with Desiree:

Desireeadaway.com
desiree@desireeadaway.com
https://www.facebook.com/desireeadaway
https://twitter.com/desireeadaway
https://www.linkedin.com/in/desiree-adaway-4373265

Credits:
Harmonica music courtesy of a friend


Talking Social Justice, Storytelling, Cultural Appropriation and more with Elinor Predota

Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice

EPISODE 14

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ELINOR PREDOTA

In this episode Elinor and I talk about social justice work, storytelling, how to avoid being culturally appropriative and so much more. This wide ranging conversation will get you thinking in ways you may not have before.

Elinor supports people who long to make action for social justice an everyday part of their life and work, but who feel stuck, confused, or overwhelmed, to build their inner resources of resilience, awareness of self, society and environment, and confidence.

Elinor offers one to one, group and DIY programs which are grounded in a long and wide-ranging background in activism, community development, spiritual counseling, ritual work, storytelling, and facilitation of learning. Elinor’s work is rooted in the magic of creativity, of relating across difference, and of becoming alive to all that is present, within and without us, here and now

Resources mentioned in this episode:

https://elinorpredota.com/ 
https://www.instagram.com/epredota 
https://www.facebook.com/PriestessElinor 
https://twitter.com/ellie_nor

https://www.patreon.com/omkariwilliams

Credits: Harmonica music courtesy of a friend

Talking Story and teaching inclusion with Patti Digh

Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Episode 13

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PATTI DIGH

In this episode Patti Digh and I talk about the power of story, what inclusion looks like and how we move from our specific silos to being a more inclusive society. In this conversation we look at ways to navigate the challenges that we face in our work places, as a country, and as individuals.

Patti Digh has written 8 books on global diversity and living mindfully, has worked and traveled in over 60 countries, has served on the President's Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities, and has learned more from her transgender Autistic son than from any of those other experiences. Patti is the founder of The Art of Activism and Life is a Verb Camp, and is currently writing a book on the history of normalcy with her husband, John Ptak.

Resources mentioned in this episode:
Life is A Verb by Patti Digh
The Geography of Loss: Embrace What Is, Honor What Was, Love What Will Be by Patti Digh
Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution by Paul Watzlawick

Connect with Patti Digh:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pattidigh?ref=br_rs

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pattidigh/?hl=en

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pattidigh

Website: https://www.pattidigh.com/

CREDITS: Harmonica music courtesy of a friend

Talking self care for activists with Jena Schwartz

Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice

episode 12

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Jena Schwartz

In this episode Jena Schwartz and I discuss how writing can be used as a tool of self care for activists. We also talk about ways we can keep going in these challenging times. *

* We had some audio issues with this episode. You can clearly hear the conversation but there is some echo from time to time. I apologize for that but the conversation is so rich I didn’t want to deprive you of Jena’s wisdom and heart.

Jena Schwartz believes that fierce encouragement goes a lot further, when it comes to writing and life, than more prescriptive approaches to teaching and coaching. She is much more interested in the messy work of the creative process than in outcomes and hitting the bullseye.

Jena’s philosophy has its roots in Jewish beliefs, though her work is secular in nature and reaches readers and writers around the world. She is particularly interested in creating spaces where people can use writing as a way of exploring personal narratives and stories, and in looking closely at how we treat ourselves and each other in this broken and beautiful world.

Since 2014, she has been leading writing groups and retreats dedicated to free-writing, generating material, quieting the inner critic, and connecting with others. She believes that anyone who writes is a writer, and also coaches people who want to live their truth more fully.

Jena went to Barnard College and has an MFA from Emerson College. She came out at the age of 36 and now lives in Western Massachusetts with her wife, Mani, kids Aviva and Pearl, and a bulldog puppy, Chalupa. If she could have any superpower, she would choose to be able to speak every language in the world.

Connect with Jena:

www.jenaschwartz.com 
www.patreon.com/jenaschwartz 
www.facebook.com/thepromptress 
https://www.instagram.com/jenaschwartz/
http://desireeadaway.com/freedom-school/

CREDITS: Harmonica music courtesy of a friend

Last Week Was Brutal. Where Do We Go From Here?

STEPPING INTO TRUTH: CONVERSATIONS ON RACE, GENDER, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

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This is a special mini episode of Stepping Into Truth. This is just me, Omkari, talking about the things happening in our country right now and a response that I think may move us along.

episode 11

Resources mentioned in this episode:
https://www.patreon.com/omkariwilliams
Credits: Harmonica music courtesy of a friend

Talking about women's sacred stories with Ronna Detrick

Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice

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Ronna Detrick

Episode 10

In this episode Sacred Conversationalist Ronna Detrick and I discuss the sacred stories of women and why looking at them through a new lens is so important. Have you heard of Jael? I hadn't. Hearing her story was just one fascinating piece of a fascinating conversation. You are in for a treat.

Ronna Detrick, M.Div., is a writer, speaker, and spiritual director (though she prefers being called a Sacred Conversationalist). Her greatest passion is retelling, reimagining, and redeeming the ancient sacred stories of women...and those of women today! So that is what she does - over and over again.

Resources mentioned in this episode:
Connect with Ronna at ronnadetrick.com

CREDITS: Harmonica music courtesy of a friend

Talking race, age, and art with Nell Painter

Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice

episode 9

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Nell Painter

In this episode of Stepping Into Truth artist and historian Nell Irvin Painter and I talk about race, age, art and what it was like to go from being a history professor at Princeton to an art student as a self described, "old woman".

Nell Irvin Painter is the Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, at Princeton University. Her acclaimed works of history include Standing at Armageddon, Sojourner Truth, and the New York Times bestseller The History of White People, which have received widespread attention for their insights into how we have historically viewed and translated ideas of gender, value, hierarchy, and race. She holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts. Her visual artwork has been shown at numerous galleries and in many collections, including the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and Gallery Aferro. She lives in Newark, New Jersey and the Adirondacks.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Old in Art School by Nell Irvin Painter
Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol by Nell Irvin Painter
Artists referenced: Ben Shahn
www.nellpainter.com/

CREDITS: Harmonica music courtesy of a friend

Talking about Planned Parenthood and Navigating today's political waters with Staci Fox

Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Episode 8

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StacI Fox

In this conversation Planned Parenthood Southeast CEO Staci Fox and I talk about the organization, intersectionality among social justice groups, and what you don't know about Planned Parenthood, but should. 

Staci Fox serves as president and chief executive officer (CEO) for Planned Parenthood Southeast (PPSE). PPSE is a nonprofit organization that provides vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to people across Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Staci also serves as president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates, a 501(c)4 organization, and as Chair of the Vote Choice Steering Committee, a PAC focused on electing candidates who support reproductive choice.

Staci has been a leader in the fields of family planning and reproductive health for more than 20 years, having previously served as president and CEO for Planned Parenthood of North Florida. A native of Georgia, Staci returned to her home state in 2013 to lead PPSE. Since that time, Staci has guided the organization through numerous political attacks and economic hurdles, while ensuring PPSE’s patients continue to have access to quality, non-judgemental care - no matter what.

Staci is a graduate of the University of Georgia. She is also an alumna of Leadership Atlanta and the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program at Harvard Business School.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Age appropriate books for kids about sex and their bodies by Robie Harris
Book: Make Trouble by Cecile Richards (former president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America).
Websites where you can learn more about Planned Parenthood Southeast:
ppse.org 
https://twitter.com/PPSE_Advocates 
https://www.facebook.com/ppseadvocates/ 

CREDITS: Harmonica music courtesy of a friend

Talking Growing up black in white america with Amanda Hollowell

Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Episode 7

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Amanda Hollowell

In this conversation community activist Amanda Hollowell and I talk about growing up black in predominantly white communities, her visit to the Civil Rights Museum in Atlanta, and the necessity of organ donation from communities of color.  

Amanda Hollowell graduated from University of California at Berkeley where she received her bachelor’s degree in business communication.

A Savannah resident, she is an active advocate for organ donation and women’s rights. She has an extensive volunteer career that intersects technology, health, politics and culture.

To date, her greatest accomplishment is being the mother of her son, Joah Cash.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The Center for Civil and Human Rights: Civil Rights Museum in Atlanta

To learn more about organ donation: *LifeLink of Georgia www.lifelinkfound.org
*They have offices in the Southeast and Puerto Rico but you can find organizations around the country. Also, you can designate yourself as an organ donor on your driver's license in at least 47 states.

CREDITS: Harmonica music courtesy of a friend.

 

Talking diversity, inclusion, and action with Tommi Paris

Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Episode 6

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Tommi Paris

In this conversation Tommi and I discuss the buzzwords of diversity and inclusion, what they mean, and how we can bring those values into our day-to-day lives. 

Tommi Paris is a millennial in corporate America who wants more from the traditional nine-to-five work experience and believes that you do too. By connecting employees’ hearts and minds to business objectives through the value of diversity and inclusion, her goal is to create a place where every employee feels valued for who they are and the evolving talents they bring to the business.

With experience in employee communications, culture, and engagement initiative, Tommi enjoys creating workplace experiences that reinforce workplace diversity as an asset to the business,  honor the richness of our collective histories, and inspire us to be better together by exploring and applying principles of workplace inclusion.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Howard Ross's books on Diversity

Credits: Harmonica music courtesy of a friend. 

Talking gender, success models, and more with Naomi Dunford

Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Episode 5

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Naomi Dunford

In this conversation Naomi Dunford and I discuss gender and success models, the blissful ignorance of youth, unschooling, how she wound up starting a beauty blog at 35, and so much more. 

Naomi Dunford is a marketing and growth coach to hundreds of small online businesses. She works with a range of clients, from the newest of startups to NYT bestselling authors, internationally renowned coaches, and established personal brands. She has been coaching and teaching online marketing since 2006.

Past clients include Danielle Laporte, Chris Guillebeau, Clay Collins and Jen Louden.

She has been featured in major outlets such as Forbes, Cosmopolitan and USA Today, and her newsletter has attracted over 50,000 subscribers from across the globe.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Naomi at ittybiz.com and on YouTube here.

Credits: Harmonica music courtesy of a friend

Talking about the power of naming with Melanie DewBerry

Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice

episode 4

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Melanie Dewberry

In this conversation author and coach Melanie DewBerry and I discuss the power of naming, finding our "original" medicine, taking up space, standing in our power and much more.

Melanie DewBerry, has worked in the business of spirituality and consciousness for over twenty six years. Her passion community and soul work is nurtured by her Native American elders and her walk on traditional “Red Road” ceremonial way of life. Melanie is passionate about supporting people in their spiritual evolution.

She is the author of The Power of Naming, A Journey toward Your Soul’s Indigenous Nature (Hay House, 2017). A professional speaker, She has spoken around the world, including TEDx talks in Austria and Canada.

She co-found the first coaching magazine, choice, and wrote the Soul of Coaching column for five years. Melanie was a Senior Leader with Coaches Training Institute for ten years. 

Today she creates personal ceremonies and rituals for individuals and business’ crossing those imperative thresholds of soul transformation and growth. 

You can catch her sipping espresso, laughing and kicking up dirt in her cowboy boots. She knew at the age of nine that she would be hired to rep. the Great Mystery, and so she does.

Resources for this episode:

The Power of Naming, A Journey Towards Your Soul's Indigenous Nature by Melanie DewBerry.

You can email Melanie at courage@melaniedewberry.com or meet her virtually at www.melaniedewberry.com 

Credits: Harmonica music courtesy of a friend

Talking about the worthiness wound with Thais Sky

Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice

episode 3

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Thais Sky

Do you feel you are you "good enough" or are you on a constant quest for self improvement? If you, like most women, don't ever feel that you are quite enough, welcome to the worthiness wound. In this engaging conversation Thais Sky and I discuss that wound, resilience, self-help and the patriarchy, the immigrant experience and more. Enjoy!

Thais is a truthspeaker, healer, women’s leadership coach and feminist on a heart-led mission to support the seekers, the edge-dwellers, and the "why the heck do I feel so broken” of the world reclaim their sense of belonging by learning how to explore, trust and express themselves unapologetically. Based on her own healing journey and decades of research and mentoring women worldwide, she has developed a comprehensive model that explores and offers tools/skills to heal the pervasive sense of unworthiness within women, what she calls the worthiness wound. She received a prestigious first-class degree in Management and has studied spiritual psychology, yoga, and leadership for over 10 years. Washingtonian Magazine named her as one of the top “8 bloggers to know.” The Huffington Post calls her “an inspirational woman” and she was nominated for Forbes Magazine 30 under 30 award. You can learn more about her and her online offerings at IamThaisSky.com and just about everywhere on social media, because #millennial at @IamThaisSky.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Thais at ThaisSky.com and on Patreon.

Credits: Harmonica music courtesy of a friend.

Talking Dismantling Patriarchy and More with Layla Saad

stepping into truth: conversations on race, gender, and social justice

EPISODE 2

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layla saad

In this episode Layla Saad and I discuss dismantling the patriarchy, white privilege, our favorite writers, and so much more. This conversation was rich, enjoy!

Layla Saad is a Black feminist writer and speaker, whose work focuses on centering the stories, art and magic of people of color.

Layla's work explores the intersecting themes of race spirituality, feminism and leadership. As an East African, Arab, British, Muslim, feminist, soul seeker, living in the Middle East (Qatar), and sharing her work with the global community, Layla stands at a diverse intersection of identities, from which she is able to draw rich and intriguing perspectives.

Layla’s own personal journey as a Black Muslim woman, her work with her clients and her writings often confront the oppressive cultures of patriarchy and white supremacy. Layla is currently writing her first book - 'From Anger, With Love: A Black Feminist Talks To Spiritual White Women About White Supremacy'

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Layla at WildMysticWoman.com and Patreon.
You can find Layla's article I Need to Talk to Spiritual White Women About White Supremacy here.
Audre Lorde

Credits: Harmonica music courtesy of a friend.