Spark Sessions Podcast
By Spark Sessions Podcast
Join us and find your SPARK!
Spark Sessions PodcastApr 18, 2021
Kris + Michelle: Season 3 Wrap Up
Join Kris + Michelle as they discuss + reflect on key themes and moment from Season 3.
Kali Franklin, MSW: "You don't always have to know what to say."
This episode features Kali Franklin, MSW, LCSWA. Kali talks about how her lived experience as a trauma survivor led her to social work.
Sterling Grissom, MSW: "How do I build rapport? Sit on the same bleacher with them."
This episode features Sterling Grissom, MSW, LCSWA. Sterling talks about the importance of doing your own work so that you can support others in doing theirs.
Alejandra Davis, MSW, LCSWA: "Sometimes it's hard to live with what you're doing...because you're like, am I hurting someone else by what I'm doing? (36:37)
This episode features Alejandra Davis, MSW, LCSWA. Alejandra discusses how ethical dilemmas really do occur in practice and how she stays connected to social justice through her work with justice-involved youth.
Octavia McLean, MSW, LCSWA: "I was so so unsure of myself and I just had to trust that I had my toolbox and I had tools that were in them." (33:18)
This episode features Octavia McLean, MSW, LCSWA. Octavia gets real about her experience in the job search and encourages new social workers to not get discouraged.
Deja Stover, MSW, LCSWA: "I know there's a disconnect here that they aren't seeing, and it's my job - I took an oath - to do these things. I have ethics to live by." (33:44)
This episode features Deja Stover, MSW, LCSWA. Deja shares her interest and desire to do clinical work and how she stays connected to social justice.
Tray Ruffin, MSW, LCSWA, LCASA: "When you’re in that room with someone and they are in a crisis, you can’t pull out a book…" (34:42)
This episode features Tray Ruffin, MSW, LCSWA, LCASA. Tray shares about his experience providing psychiatric evaluations and lessons he has learned since graduation.
Jasmin Ashford, BSW: "I think that the profession as a whole doesn't focus on all the possibilities and all the opportunities that a social worker could do..." (35:51)
This episode features Jasmin Ashford, BSW. Jasmin discusses her journey in elder care and her current job functions and roles, as well as what she wishes she had learned during her BSW program.
Destiney Springs-Walker, MSW: "How do I navigate being in such a system that then oppresses the same population that I'm trying to liberate & empower?" (40:58)
This episode features Destiney Springs-Walker, MSW. Destiney shares how she is navigating working within systems as the only social worker on her current staff. Destiney challenges social workers to consider how we continue to dismantle systems while working within them.
Abbie Peck, MSW, LMSW: "How do we work withing a system we may be abolishing?" (38:37)
This episode features Abbie Peck, MSW, LMSW. Abbie shares her thoughts on macro social work, policy, and the micro/macro divide and how she hopes social work education will more strongly highlight the importance of macro practice.
Xuan Truong, MSW, LCSWA: “The term ‘self-care’ is very ethnocentric because it isn’t taking into account cultural competencies.” (41:32)
This episode features Xuan Troung, MSW, LCSWA. Xuan shares about her journey, life post grad school and how she continues to advocate for disability rights.
Season 3 Kickoff: Kris + Michelle (7:10)
Join Kris + Michelle as they discuss Season 3 where we will focus on novice social workers. Our guests for this season have graduated within the past two years and are here to spill the beans on the real world of social work.
Kris + Michelle Season 2 Final Wrap Up
In this episode, Kris + Michelle reflect on the final two episodes of Season 2. Make sure you're all caught up, then listen to their reflections on the season and evolving roles of social workers.
Keshia Sandidge: "Be ok with getting involved in political discussions because ultimately, if you don't, decisions will continue to be made FOR you and not WITH you in mind."
This episode features Keshia Sandidge, LCSW, who is running for NC Senate in District 34. Keshia shares her journey of getting involved with political action and reminds us that social work is political.
Miriam Espaillat: "There is a space for you. There is a place where you can have impact."
This episode features Miriam Espaillat, MSW, LCSW. Miriam is the co-founder + Director of Community for Raydal Hospitality. Miriam shares how she uses her social work skills + social justice mindset in the restaurant industry.
Kris + Michelle: Season 2 Recap
In this episode, Michelle + Kris share their thoughts and reflections on the first part of Season 2. Make sure you are all caught up and then listen along. They also share how to become a supporter if you are so inclined!
Jordan Harrold: "Widows are not just your grandmas. Widows look like any woman you can see."
This episode features Jordan Harrold, MSW, LCSW, owner, Clinical Director, and therapist at Harrold Counseling and Wellness. Jordan shares how she has bridged a personal tragedy into shaping her work and passion.
Tchernavia Montgomery: "The real challenge is reimagining that system and seeking to incorporate individualized solutions into the lives of certain populations...that's equitability."
In this episode, Kris + Michelle speak with Tchernavia Montgomery, MSW, LCSW, Executive Director of Care Ring. Tchernavia discusses health equity, showing up as our full selves, and how her own journey keeps her hopeful for others.
Maruka Rivers: "I am not my sister's keeper but I am my sister."
In this episode, Kris + Michelle interview Maruka Rivers, LCSW, CCPT, Chief Visionary Officer & Clinical Director of MRiversAwakenings Healing Collective. Maruka leads a conversation about bridging the gap between micro and macro work while focusing on decolonizing therapy.
Roger Suclupe: "If we are going to make waves…if we are going to help shift the narrative, we need to utilize and leverage our positions of power."
This episode features Roger Suclupe, MSW, LCSW, Clinical Assistant Professor + BSW Program Director at UNC Charlotte School of Social Work. Roger shares how he bridges the gap between the classroom and the community.
Anna Blanton: "You can be a stellar social worker and have really, really concrete boundaries."
Reverend Joey Honeycutt: "Journeying with them does not mean you hold the manual open so they can read it. It means you both wander the wilderness together."
This episode features Joey Honeycutt, MDiv, MSW, LCSW-A. Joey shares how a crisis of faith led her and how her social work training came together on her life's journey.
Welcome to Season 2!
Join Kris + Michelle as they discuss our upcoming Season 2 where we will highlight social workers as doers and, more importantly, bridge builders.
Kris + Michelle: Season 1 Wrap Up
Join Kris + Michelle as they download Season 1 of Spark Sessions Podcast and chat about what has resonated with them thus far.
Kristie Puckett-Williams - Part 2: "Pain is the greatest motivator for change."
This episode is Part 2 of the conversation with Kristie Puckett-Williams, the Statewide Campaign for Smart Justice Manager for the ACLU of North Carolina. Kristie continues an honest look at how we really move towards racial equity.
Meredith Powers, PhD, MSW: "We, as a profession, think about “person and environment”, but it’s really the political, social & economic. Often, we leave the physical environment out of it."
Holly Jackson - Walls of Love: "What you put out into the universe is what you get back."
This episode features Holly Jackson the Founder + Creator of Walls of Love. Holly shares how her personal struggles led her to showing love and support through the magic of human kindness.
Kristie Puckett-Williams - Part 1: "Rather than the system drowning me the way that it was designed to do, it actually taught me how to swim with my hands tied behind my back."
This episode features Kristie Puckett-Williams, the Statewide Campaign for Smart Justice Manager for the ACLU of North Carolina. Kristie shares her personal journey and the pain that let her to fight to decarcerate.
Tomeka Isaac & Michaela Penix: "We have to be bold and call out racism and the effects on a person's health."
This episode features Tomeka Isaac and Michaela Penix, two amazing women working hard in their own ways to close the gaps in maternal health. Tomeka shares her personal story of loss and Michaela sheds light on how you can help stand in the gap for mothers and babies.
Alison Clougherty: "There's nothing about my son that needs to be fixed."
This episode features Alison Clougherty, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Blind Early Services of Tennessee. Alison shares her very personal journey of raising a child who is blind and helping others understand that ability is more than meets the eye.
Brandon Stiles: "My identity is not negotiable."
This episode features Brandon Stiles, a senior manager at an electric company in the southeast US. Brandon shares an important perspective on representation in the workplace and how happy hours can change everything.
Toussaint Romain: "Everyone is not needed, from a historical perspective, to fix this problem. The RIGHT ones are needed."
This episode features Toussaint Romain, a lifelong activist. Listen as he shares his focus on community and his unique perspective on getting involved.
Artie Hartsell (they/them): "We are all just walking each other home. You know?"
This episode features Artie Hartsell, a social worker whose lived experiences were the catalyst for their organizing for equality. Their trajectory of service and organizing began early in life and has led them to working closely on LGBTQIA+ and human rights legislation.
Hope Vibes: "Do what you can with what you have until you can do more."
This episode features Emmanuel and Adrienne Threatt, co-founders of Hope Vibes, a Charlotte based non-profit that started with a social media rant. Come hear about their innovative solutions to support our homeless neighbors.
Welcome to Episode 1 of Spark Sessions Podcast!
This inaugural episode focuses on what "sparks" Kris and Michelle - how they met, how they created this space to inspire change, and how they hope you will be moved to action by the lived experiences of doers and action takers. Come get to know us.
Spark Sessions Podcast Teaser (1:06)
Meet Kris Taylor and Michelle Vance, the co-hosts of Spark Sessions Podcast!
As social work educators, Kris and Michelle inspire people to see themselves as solutions. Their intention is to ignite curiosity and change by highlighting voices and invite listeners to build knowledge, networks, and strategies to fight injustices. Together, we can shift conversation to action.
In this podcast series teaser, hear from Kris and Michelle about the purpose behind Spark Sessions Podcast and what to expect from the series.