Let's Talk: Conversations on RaceApr 27, 2023
Finding Your Voice
SEASON FINALE: In this last episode of Season 7, I talk to Ally Henny, vice president of The Witness: a Black Christian Collective, and author of I Won't Shut Up: Finding Your Voice When the World Tries to Silence You. We talk about her upbringing in rural Missouri, and her journey finding her voice in the wake of Michael Brown's murder.
Here Jenny Thomas tells her fascinating story of being biracial and transracially adopted. She talks about the racism she experienced from her birth mom, and the racial identity instilled in her by her adoptive mom. Hers is a story strength, overcoming and faith.
Inner City Struggles and a Way Forward
Here I speak with Dr. LaShunda Leslie-Smith, CEO of Connected Communities, about a better way to lift impoverished communities. Toxic charity is... toxic!
The Problem with Assimilation
This was such a fantastic conversation with Melody Wollgren, who is biracial Korean. She speaks of growing up trying to assimilate into the white world around her and the emotional dissonance that created.
Being Biracial and the Search for Belonging
On this episode, I speak with Author Tasha Jun about her recently released book, "Tell Me the Dream Again: reflections on family, ethnicity and the sacred work of belonging. " She talks about growing up rejecting her Korean heritage, learning to fully embrace it and now raising kids to know who they are. It was a rich, electrifying conversation!
Interracial Marriage and Biracial Rage
In this episode I talk with author and playwright Monique Franz about the joys and challenges of interracial marriage and the common response of biracial people towards racial injustice.
Banning Rosa Parks
In this episode we look at the troubling issue of book banning. School districts all over the country are banning books about important Black figures and racial justice. Is it ever ok to ban a book? Joining me is educational leader and therapist Kesha James.
Courageous Christianity and the Future of the Multiracial Church
Dr. Jemar Tisby joins us as we discuss his book, "How to Fight Racism: Courageous Christianity and the Journey Towards Racial Justice." Why does pursuing racial justice take courage? We also discuss the exodus of many Black Christians from the Evangelical church. Is racial integration in the church still a viable goal?
Diversity is not Enough
Listen in on this incredible with Maya Crane, founder and CEO of Maya Crane Solutions. She talks with us about the work organizations have to do to not only attract but retain people of color. This is the last episode of Season 6! Enjoy and we'll see you in the spring!
Things You Didn't Know About Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In this SPECIAL EPISODE created in honor of Marvin Luther King Jr. Day, we look at King's trip to Ghana, Africa, and discuss one of his less known speeches, as well as some poignant facts about his life. Joining me is one of my favorite interviewees, my son Ben!
In this episode, I interview Pastor Dönnivon Dödd, youth pastor and youth counselor in the Rochester City School District. Pastor Don is daily surrounded by teenagers and sees the highs and lows of Generation Z. He brings us tremendous insight into their world. If you have a teenager in your life, listen to this poignant episode!
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of GENTRIFICATION
What is gentrification and is it a good way to revitalize communities? Join me as I interview Pastor Melvin Cross. It is a fantastic, rich conversation!
Culturally Responsive Education, Social Emotional Learning... What does it all mean, and why is there so much pushback?
Here I interview Davné McCleary, social worker in one of Rochester's suburban school districts. We discuss CRE and SEL: why are they necessary and why is there so much controversy over them?
The Crazy, Beautiful, Complicated Life of Biracial People
Listen in on this engaging conversation between Stacey Green, Jobina Jones-McDonnell and me about the joys and complexities of being biracial.
Who are the Good Parents - and is America Truly a Meritocracy?
It was phenomenal speaking with CEO Deb Hanmer. In this episode we talk about her work helping parents advocate for their children and then we discuss the question of whether America truly is a meritocracy.
Modern School Segregation
In this first episode of Season 6 I interview journalist and author Justin Murphy. We talk about why schools across the nation are still heavily segregated - some more than others. Why does segregation persist and what can be done about it?
We Belong Here
Race Replacement Theory says that white people are slowly being replaced in the US by non-white people. Those who subscribe to this theory don't like that idea - at all. They think that America is a white nation, that it should always be a white nation and that Black people, and other POC, do not belong here. Black people have been told this for so long that many suffer from Imposter Syndrome, a perpetual sense of not truly belonging. In this last episode of Season 5, I discuss the roots of this syndrome and disclose it for the lie that it is.
Marriage is on the decline throughout the Western world. Why is that? Why is marriage important, and if you are married, how can you safeguard your marriage? What unique marriage challenges do Black people have? Listen in on this riveting interview with LaShunda Leslie Smith who, with her husband, has been working to strengthen marriages for many years.
The Importance of the Arts in the Black Community
Dancer and choreographer Nicolette Ferguson joins us to discuss why the arts have been so crucial in the Black community.
Should We Send Our Kids to HBCUs?
Why were HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) formed? Why do we still have them and why are so many Black parents sending their kids there? Here I speak with Dr. Julia Stevenson about her college years at Hampton University, an HBCU in VA, why she went there and why those years were so important to her life and career as a surgeon.
Raising Black Daughters
How can we raise Black daughters who are strong and confident and who know who they are despite colorism, hypersexualization and false notions that they are less beautiful than white women? Pastor Jenn Bibb shares poignant wisdom in this compelling interview.
Raising Black Sons
Pastor Timothy Bibb joins Let's Talk discussing the joys and challenges of raising Black sons in America.
Inner-city Violence and the Power of the Black Church
Pastor Melvin Cross joins us to discuss two crucial topics: violence in the inner-city, and the power and importance of the Black church. What are some of the causes and solutions of inner-city violence and how does the Black church fit with the racial reconciliation movement?
Creating Generational Wealth in the Black Community
In this first episode of Season 5, financial manager, Michelle Sinclair Doyley, tells us that though Black people were often barred from past opportunities to accumulate wealth, we can begin now. We can take steps to turn the tide for our children and our children's children - even if we don't have a lot of money to save or invest. Join us for this riveting conversation!
SPECIAL Black History Month EDITION: The Courage, Excellence and Honor of The Tuskegee Airmen
In this SPECIAL BLACK HISTORY MONTH EDITION, we provide a cameo of the brave aviators who helped to secure our victory in WWII. My very special guest tells us some of the courageous exploits of these honorable men and how they turned the tide of history in more ways than one.
Suicide Risk in Black Youth
Why is suicidal behavior on the rise among Black youth? In this episode, I interview psychologist, Dr. Ellen-ge Denton about her suicide research in Guyana, South America. How might this research make sense of some troubling data here in America?
What is Cultural Appropriation -and what is it not?
Is it cultural appropriation when Black musicians play Classical music? What about when white musicians sing jazz or gospel? When is it appropriation and when is it appreciation? To help us make sense of all of this, I interview award winning author Dr. Jeffrey McCune, Director of the Frederick Douglass Institute at the University of Rochester.
When Black Kids Attend Majority White Schools
In this episode I interview Kimberly Brown, advisor to a Black Student Union at a mostly white suburban high school. What do Black students who attend majority white schools experience? What can be done to help mitigate some of the negative impact?
Growing up with Racist Family - and Becoming Anti-Racist
In this episode I interview friend Jeff Bickford who grew up with racist family and racist ideas, but rejected those ideas in his youth and adulthood. We don't always have to be the product of our surroundings.
What is an Anti Racist Curriculum - and why are parents coming to blows over it?
Over the past several months, many school board meetings across the country have turned into near fist fights, always over the same things: masking and Anti Racist Curricula. In this episode, I interview Shane Wiegand and Kesha James, co-leads of the Pathstone Anti Racist Curriculum Project. What is it and why is it so controversial?
Voter Suppression: are we losing ground?
In this episode I interview attorney John Bradley who speaks about the tactics being used to limit the vote. Why is this happening and why is it dangerous?
Being Biracial is Complicated
This is a sneak peak into a book I'm writing about being biracial - and the sometimes difficult journey of finding racial identity.
Covid Vaccine Hesitancy in the Black Community
Black people die from Covid at a higher rate than anyone else, and yet, Black people are the most hesitant to receive the vaccine. Why is that and what can be done about it? Join me as I interview infectious disease expert, Dr. Angela Branche. This is a great episode for anyone who is hesitant, even if you aren't Black!
Four Months Later: reflections on the January 6th insurrection
When we gladly left 2020 behind, who would have thought that 2021 would start with an attempted coup d'état? The January 6th insurrection was offensive and troubling on many levels. We can't afford to forget it and do what it takes to ensure that it never happens again. During this last episode of Season 3, I provide some thoughts and reflections on that terrible day.
Mothers, Babies and Covid 19
Do doctors treat White and Black patients differently? Why is the mortality rate higher among Black women and babies, and why have so many people of color died from Covid-19? Join us for an incredible interview with Dr. Jessica Long.
Trauma, Addiction and Daniel Prude
In this episode, I interview Dr. Louisa Olushoga, a psychiatrist who serves poor communities in Chicago. We discuss trauma, collective trauma and addiction. And then she shares her thoughts on Daniel Prude, a mental health patient who was killed by police in Rochester NY in 2020.
Was Jackie Robinson Exceptional?
The Myth of the "Exceptional Negro" goes something like this: "Most Black people are subpar, but every once in a while, one rises up and does something great." This is of course a myth. Black excellence has always been there, and it will flourish more, as more opportunity opens up.
The notion that former slaves and descendants of slaves should be given reparations has been kicked around since the close of the Civil War. We've been talking about it for 150 years and have never actually provided them. Why not, and is it too late now?
When White Families Adopt Black Children
Forty percent of US adoptions are transracial. This shows progress in our culture: no longer do couples only want to adopt children who look like them. But what are some of the challenges the children who grow up in these homes face? Melissa Luckey joins us and tells her transracial adoption story. What are some of the things she and her husband are doing to help their boys grow up with a health racial identity?
Racial Bias in the Child Welfare System
Why are there so many children in foster care and why are so many of them Black? In this episode, I have a conversation with Dr. Ashley Cross, an expert in the foster care field. We discuss the leading causes of child neglect and abuse and why a disproportional number of children who are removed from their homes are Black.
Where Would We Be Without Dr. King?
Season 3 begins with a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King's Jr, How extraordinary it was that King insisted that the movement he lead be nonviolent. He witnessed gross injustice, but he never encouraged retaliation. His March on Washington was the linchpin which finally moved JFK off the fence and motivated him to write the Civil Rights Act. Where would we be if King hadn't lead this historic movement?
First a Man: growing up in a Black nation
In this final episode of Season 2, I interview my husband, Dr. Marvin Doyley. He talks about the benefit of growing up in Jamaica, where he never even thought about race. This provided a strong foundation which helped him to navigate the racism he experienced in England and later, in America.
Let's Get Rid of Black History Month
I have been a vigorous defender of Black History Month, but I've changed my mind.
Nothing New Under the Sun
We've seen racial protests, demonstrations, boycotts and riots for the last 100 years. What have they accomplished - and is there an end in sight? My son, Ben, joins me at the end for the last word.
Race and the Church
In this episode, I interview Dr. Christopher House. Dr. House resigned from the faculty of Liberty University, after former president Jerry Falwell Jr published a racist tweet. He tells us what went down at Liberty, and then we delve into the good, the bad and the ugly of the church's involvement in slavery, the Civil Rights Movement and the current movement for racial justice.
How can parents talk to their children about racism? This week I speak with author April Randolph discussing how to teach our black children about the realities of racism, without instilling fear or anger, and how we can talk to our white children about being compassionate, aware anti-racists.
Racial Bias in America
We are fortunate to live in a country with so many freedoms. Nevertheless, racial bias runs deep. In this week's episode, we look at where we are and how we got here -- and why we're still plagued with it.
Statues, Flags and Heroes
Grassroots organizations are demanding that certain statues be removed; this is actually happening all over the Western world. But while some applaud this, others fear the erasure of our history. How do we determine which statues stay and which statues go?
Racial Bias in Sentencing and Incarceration and the Defunding of Police
In this final episode of season one, we invited Criminal Defense Attorney, John Bradley, back to finish discussing racial bias in the criminal justice system and what defunding police might look like.
Making Black Friends is Easier Said Than Done
In our last episode, we talked about the importance of having black friends. The truth is, this is can be difficult. There may be very few black people in your community, or it just may feel awkward. But if we don't have black friends, it can be very easy to allow other people and the media to shape our view of black people, and racism will just be passed down from one generation to the next.