The Areva Martin Podcast
Hope in dark times can come from the  unlikely places | FT. Darrion Cockrell

Hope in dark times can come from the unlikely places | FT. Darrion Cockrell

January 17, 2021

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.

Finding poetry in our moment of crisis | Ft. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey

Finding poetry in our moment of crisis | Ft. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey

January 12, 2021

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.

Connect with Natalie Trethewey:





The fight for the future | Ft. John Fugelsang

The fight for the future | Ft. John Fugelsang

January 4, 2021

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.



How to Change America One Student at a Time

How to Change America One Student at a Time

December 1, 2020

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.

This reformed KKK member says this is how you defeat Trumpism | Ft. Christopher Buckley

This reformed KKK member says this is how you defeat Trumpism | Ft. Christopher Buckley

November 22, 2020

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.

The Last Days of the Mad King | Ft. Omarosa

The Last Days of the Mad King | Ft. Omarosa

November 2, 2020



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.

Connect with Omarosa:
Twitter:                                                          Instagram:

Saving Christianity from Donald Trump - Ft. Pastor John Pavovlitz

Saving Christianity from Donald Trump - Ft. Pastor John Pavovlitz

October 26, 2020

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. 



Finding peace


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.



Redefining “Pro-Life”

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.



Damaged Donald 

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. 

Why the black community will be targeted during the election | Ft. Rev. Al Sharpton

Why the black community will be targeted during the election | Ft. Rev. Al Sharpton

October 20, 2020

The Reverend Al Sharpton has never shied away from speaking truth to power, and in these unfamiliar hours his voice may have never been more important. After making an indelible impact on the social justice movement in recent decades, his perspective gains tremendous gravity in today´s conversations. In this electrifying edition, the civil rights icon sits with Areva Martin to deliver his views from the front in the ongoing fight for true freedom.


2:01 Hard Truths

The Reverend speaks on finding himself in a place of hope even as difficult discussions continue to unfold in practically every aspect of our lives. In his view, the depth of systemic racism is finally becoming apparent even to those who may not be directly affected by inequality. In the past, The Reverend has struggled to gain support for his struggle outside the black community. With the injustices of American society so clearly on display in 2020, Sharpton sees a rare and valuable opportunity to turn neutral parties into allies.


6:38 Held Down

The Reverend, known for his passionate oratory, gave an emotionally charged eulogy for George Floyd after he was murdered by Minneapolis police. In his speech, he drew sharp focus to the systemic nature of state violence, particularly against minorities. The method and manner of Floyd´s execution was highlighted as reflective of a larger pattern. Sharpton contends that systems in the United States actively work against minorities, pointing to other everyday instances of repression that rob minorities of full expression.


11:15 The Elephant in the Room

The Reverend speaks frankly about his relationship with now-President Trump. Although it has soured recently, with the world leader using his platform to denounce Sharpton on multiple occasions, they were once associates. Their budding friendship was fractured in the 90s, when Trump came out in scathing condemnation of the Central Park 5. It was severed for good when the future chief executive became the public face of the ¨birther¨ movement, and its clear racist origins. Although it proved successful, the strategy proved unforgivable.


20:07 Framing the Facts

In the sensitive matters that define our times, bad faith arguments can destroy any hope of finding a common ground. The famous firebrand preaches the importance of a fact-driven approach in changing hearts and minds. Directly responding to public sentiment that systemic racism and police overreach are overstated, he demands that objective data points be objectively assessed. For Sharpton, those that cling to their opinions when confronted with the facts are simply beyond conversion, and must have their influence diminished


25:17 Make it Real

Despite the headlines of the past 4 years, President Trump still enjoys substantial support in the black community. Asked to address this phenomenon, Sharpton laments the effectiveness of propaganda on those most affected by this administration. While a few have seen transient financial gains due to relaxed corporate regulation, on balance Trump´s presidency has been a disaster for minorities. Noting the time for subtlety has passed, The Reverend espouses a full frontal attack on the ideologies that support the administration..


29:00 Last Call

It is said that liberty stands upon four boxes: soap, ballot, jury, and cartridge. In 2020, the specter of the fourth box looms large for the first time in generations. For these reasons, The Reverend, in accordance with his enduring endorsement of nonviolence, advocates effective use of the second during this year's Presidential Election. Warning against complacency in the face of favorable poll numbers, Sharpton advises each of us to vote as if our lives depend on it...because this time, they just might.

Connect with The Reverend Al Sharpton:
Twitter: @TheRevAl



Why “essential” workers have been made invisible in America | Ft. Dolores Huerta

Why “essential” workers have been made invisible in America | Ft. Dolores Huerta

October 12, 2020

The word ¨legendary¨ can be overused, but Dolores Huerta´s role in the story of labor, racial, and women´s equality truly merits the term. Fighting at the side of the equally iconic Cesar Chavez, Huerta was instrumental in winning worker protections that transformed life in America for migrant workers. Over half a century later, she continues her work in defending the rights of the people that power our modern society. Today´s compelling conversation with Areva offers her pertinent perspective of the COVID-19 crisis at the ground level.

3:13 Essentially Invisible
As the numbers clearly show, the fallout from COVID disproportionately affects people of color. Huerta points to an even more stark contrast when considering the millions of migrant workers that form the backbone of the American workforce. While some workers were able to receive benefits such as hazard pay, the undocumented are typically left out of these initiatives. Worse, when these undocumented workers are mistreated, they have no recourse thanks to a byzantine system of contractors and clients that make accountability impossible.

5:42 Corporate Commitment

In the profit-driven industries of today, there is precious little room for inefficiencies of any kind. This means that workers who miss work for any reason risk losing their income...COVID-19 is no exception. Workers forced to choose between feeding their families and public safety face an impossible choice. For these reasons, the onus falls directly on the employer to ensure employees are kept safe. In Huerta´s view, this includes providing all appropriate PPE as well as redesigning workspaces to mute transmission.

8:33 Don´t Wait for November

The civil rights leader also stresses that there are immediate and tangible actions that citizens can take to assist in the struggle for worker rights. Political will is the driving force behind social change, and so constant pressure on representatives ensures the will of the people is upheld. With the historically anti-union Republican Party working to remove key worker protections in recent legislation, Huerta believes it is imperative that citizens act now.

Connect with Dolores Huerta:


What the civil rights movement teaches us about this moment | Ft. Jesse Jackson

What the civil rights movement teaches us about this moment | Ft. Jesse Jackson

October 4, 2020

The name Jesse Jackson evokes a range of reactions in the United States of America, but his cultural impact is undeniable. Over his decades in the public eye, his words and actions have made an indelible impression on the national consciousness. From controversial spiritual leader to one-time presidential candidate, the iconoclast´s unvarnished perspective on these volatile moments in history is the focus of today´s compelling conversation.


2:07 The Longest Struggle

After spearheading the fight for equality for decades, the Reverend Jesse Jackson has practically become synonymous with race relations in America. Commonly viewed as an incendiary presence, the roots of his passion have been laid bare in the wake of ongoing nationwide demonstrations. Detailing his long view of the fight for equality, he opens with a relevant quote from Dr. King: ¨the arc of the Universe is long, but it bends toward justice.¨


3:46 Pouring Concrete

One of the most visible characteristics of the modern BLM movement is its lack of centralized leadership. Jackson sees this as a mark of a work in progress, pointing to the natural formation of hierarchies in practically any organization. Leaders naturally emerge with time. He also emphasizes the importance of collective engagement within movements designed the challenge existing systems. A sustainable approach is paramount, and the long-term viability of a leaderless civil rights movement is yet to be seen.


9:48 Exploiting the Moment
There can be little doubt that the urgency of today´s issues have created a moment ripe for radical change. The Reverend enthusiastically advocates for optimizing our opportunities to make a mark on the future: exploiting the moment. As the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s shows, the will of the people decides the shape of society. This perspective follows a fundamental tenet of Political Science: ¨Never let a good crisis go to waste.¨


11:04 Debunking Distractions

One of the more controversial elements of the ongoing demonstrations in cities across the US is the collateral damage that can result. Detractors often use damage to property to delegitimize these forms of protest. For these reasons, agents provocateur have repeatedly attempted to hijack these social justice movements by doing undue damage to residential property. Jackson goes into detail on the history of protest sabotage, as well as the demographics that make painting these demonstrations with a broad brush problematic.

14:53 More On Leadership

The Reverend sharply criticizes national leadership, specifically the President, for its role in inciting violence. Pointing to the administration´s unsatisfactory response to the murder of a police brutality protestor at Charlottesville, he condemns what he sees as passive encouragement of dangerous ideology. Left unchecked, these belief systems can tear society apart at every seam and radicalize otherwise seemingly normal American citizens.


20:21 Beyond Rhetoric

A particularly effective aspect of Jackson´s platform is is ability to influence legislation. His most recent contribution, a bill proposing to redefine racism as a public health crisis, could have far-reaching implications. According to the veteran activist, the time has come for American society to undergo a meticulous self-examination. He believes that reviewing the roots of systemic racism will quickly uncover the myriad structural issues faced by minorities in America. In turn, targeted solutions such as this legislation can be devised.


28:33 A Unique Opportunity

While The Reverend´s approach has had tangible effects for Angelenos, he recognizes that LA is an environment all its own. Los Angeles County has one of the largest public service workforces of any local municipality, as well as one of the nation´s largest budgets. For Jackson, this puts the leadership of Los Angeles in a singular position to redirect resources to its most disadvantaged residents. By addressing inequalities in areas such as housing, policing, and education, LA can build a model that can be replicated elsewhere.


48:16 Evolution of the Democratic Party
Jesse Jackson famously ran for President as an independent on multiple occasions, capturing a diverse coalition numbering over 6 million in 1988. At the time he was considered a radical for his stances on matters such as healthcare and criminal justice. Since then, the party has moved left appreciably. Here, the former candidate speaks on seeing his passionately held ideas pass into the political mainstream in a critical election.

Connect with Jesse Jackson:


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