Robbie Montgomery’s public life extends back decades. She began her career touring with certified hit-makers such as Stevie Wonder and the Rolling Stones before starting her current chapter as a restaurant owner. The soul singer and soul food lover sits down today to discuss how early struggles fueled her ongoing pursuit of happiness.
Neonatologist Dr. Brian Sims has long carried an understanding of how socioeconomic factors impact health outcomes through his professional life. An Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Alabama (Birmingham), Dr. Sims has dedicated himself to human development from its earliest stages. He sits down today to express the essentiality of black doctors in modern medicine.
The 92nd anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King´s birthday is a poignant opportunity to consider the impact of his legacy. Award-winning author Beverly Jenkins approaches this moment in our history with clear eyes. Today, she joins Areva for a compelling and timely conversation on a dream deferred.
We all badly need an inspiring story. And there are few people with a more compelling story than Darrion Cockrell. stands out as especially compelling. Transcending inauspicious beginnings to eventually become the 2021 Educator of the Year in Missouri, the St. Louis native has ample perspective on striving for success. Today, Cockrell joins Areva Martin to explore unlocked potential, promises fulfilled, and what a commitment to educating every child could mean for our future.
A Pulitzer Prize winner and former US Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey has developed a high-profile platform for her perspective. Although her poetry gained her an initial following, she hopes to spark difficult conversations by putting her personal story in prose. Hers is a journey fraught with turbulence, from grappling with black womanhood in America to losing her most reliable role model for the challenge at just 19. This anxious moment in our history moment give her insights added gravitas in this emotionally charged edition of the podcast.
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Actor, comedian, and political commentator John Fugelsang is a lifelong liberal excited to see his vision of the world come closer to reality. Growing up in Arizona gave him an impossible to ignore look at conservative culture and how it can evolve over time through the effort of a population. With the political atmosphere across the nation fraught with tension, Fugelsang turns his attention to what comes next for this wide ranging conversation on current events.
Long ago, Debby Irving dedicated her life to making the world a more enlightened place, one lesson at a time...ironically, she ended up becoming the student. Her career as an educator changed her view of the racial dynamics that define life in America. In this thought-provoking discussion, Irving endeavors to deconstruct the concept of ¨whiteness¨ and highlight the inherent danger of white ignorance.
Gaining perspective can be a life-changing experience, and few Americans understand this idea like Christopher Buckley. After serving the country in the War on Terror, Buckley developed what he called ¨an addiction to hate¨ that saw him fall into the clutches of the Ku Klux Klan. The now-former member of the ¨Georgia White Knights¨ grew to benefit from the privilege of perspective, with his recent op-ed for CNN gaining national attention. The reformed white supremacist visits us today to discuss a path forward through understanding.
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From the entertainment world to the political sphere, Omarosa Manigault-Newman holds an undeniably unique position in our cultural moment. The Apprentice cemented her as a powerful voice in contemporary culture. Today´s conversation details her ascension to the White House alongside former Apprentice host President Trump, including firsthand accounts of chaos in the West Wing.
In America Christianity has become increasingly associated with the Republican Party.
John Pavlovitz is a Christian pastor, an author and activist known for his social and political writings. His popular blog Stuff That Needs to be Said is read by millions. He has two books out one bearing the same name as his blog, and is a collection of some of his most widely read and beloved essays on faith, politics and greed. His second book, A Bigger Table was recently re-released. We're so happy today to be welcoming John to the show, and having an opportunity to sit down with him during this really crazy period that we find ourselves in.
America the Malevolent
America is living through a period that generates almost continual pain and grief. It’s a product of the malevolence, at the highest levels of our government. It’s exacerbating people's pain by continually manufacturing emergency after emergency. It’s perpetual. We don't know what we're going to deal with every time we get up in the morning. We never have time to sit with anything long enough to really grieve it.
We're in a place where many people feel like they are suffocating right now. The information that we're getting daily if incredibly distressing. We need to pull away and get some silence and solitude and rest. But if the opposite is true, if isolation and loneliness seems to be what's causing our anxiety. Community is medicinal. We need to seek out other people who are asking the same questions carrying similar burdens, and holding similar outrage. Those are the things that really help sustain us in these times.
Fighting the Theocracy
John never spoke about politics or individual politicians before 2016. But the Christian right, and Donald Trump have aligned to create a theocracy that is built on a religion of fear. Donald Trump has leveraged all the fears and prejudices that are the worst of religion. He has capitalized on people who have raised been raised with a God who is white, cisgender, heterosexual, American Christian, and votes Republican. He's fooled people into creating a disconnect between their religion and the Jesus of the Bible.
Understanding Toxic Christianity
People have been raised for decades in a really toxic Christianity. They can't even understand that the character of a loving God is an embracing idea. This isolationism of Donald Trump and this separation that he feeds into, it's really bears no resemblance to Jesus. In fact, Christians need to understand that the biblical Jesus who was not white and not republican and not Christian, would really be threatened in this America. And we, especially as a white Christians, we have to understand that every minute and realize that that's who we're speaking for. The “least of these” that Jesus teaches about has nothing in common with the Republican cruelty that we're seeing.
Pro-life means being for humanity. If we ask if Donald Trump and his policies are “for humanity”, the answer is categorically “no”. He takes away health care during a pandemic, that is not for humanity. Separating childre from their parents is not for humanity. People who are moderates and progressives need to continually lift up the idea of a consistent pro-life ethic and continually point to the fraudulence of Trump Christians who seem to embrace the idea of the fetus, but anything beyond the birth canal is irrelevant to them.
Donald Trump represents the most damaged version of humanity. But because he is the president people are now aspiring to that. We really have to be people who look for people who are hurting, and try to figure out how to reach them. As a Christian, that compassion is the sole marker of a believer. Do you care about other people? The fact that Trump is incapable of doing that says something about him. But the fact that someone would embrace him says a lot about them as well.