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Her With Amena Brown Episode 29: Writing Unapologetic Happy Endings with Adriana Herrera

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Amena talks with romance fiction author Adriana Herrera. Author of American Dreamer and American Fairytale, a part of the Dreamer Series, Adriana talks about how her experiences in the field of social work inform her fiction and why she believes in writing unapologetic happy endings for characters of color. Amena and Adriana discuss how reading romance can be a form of self-care and how all of us can revel in our own happy endings/beginnings. To learn more about Adriana and to purchase her books visit: http://adrianaherreraromance.com.

Adriana was born and raised in the Caribbean, but for the last 15 years has let her job (and her spouse) take her all over the world. She loves writing stories about people who look and sound like her people, getting unapologetic happy endings. When she’s not dreaming up love stories, planning logistically complex vacations with her family or hunting for discount Broadway tickets, she’s a social worker in New York City, working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Listen on iTunes and Stitcher.

Click here to view the transcript. (Coming soon!)

Show Notes:

American Dreamer

American Fairytale

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Beverly Jenkins

Becoming - Michelle Obama

Eat Pray Love - Elizabeth Gilbert

She Did That Award: Janelle Monáe


Giveaway

Adriana has kindly offered to give away one copy of American Dreamer and American Fairytale to a lucky listener! This giveaway is open internationally and will end next Tuesday 4/23/19. Enter through Rafflecopter!


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HER With Amena Brown Episode 28: Online Community & Bridge Building with Latasha Morrison

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Amena talks with speaker, reconciler, and founder of non-profit Be the Bridge, Latasha Morrison. Latasha shares the lessons she’s learned from founding an online community which led to the founding of a non-profit. Amena and Latasha talk about how the practice of self-care is important in bridge building work and how Latasha stays grounded as her organization is growing so quickly. For more information about Latasha, visit https://latashamorrison.com/ and for more information about Be the Bridge, visit https://beabridgebuilder.com/.


Tasha is a bridge-builder, reconciler and a compelling voice in the fight for racial justice. When she speaks, she expresses a passion for social justice issues across the globe. At the heart of this incredible woman, Tasha uses her platform to encourage racial reconciliation among all ethnicities, to promote racial solidarity in America, and to develop others to do the same.

With a Master's in Business, she educates on disparities and injustices and creates spaces for positive dialogue around racialization. A gifted speaker, Tasha travels the country challenging audiences everywhere to step outside their known, safe worlds in order to connect with others who are different from themselves, changing the world one dinner table at a time. She has simultaneously cultivated "Be the Bridge," a non-profit ministry to equip and provide tools for those who are actively involved in taking the next steps toward racial reconciliation.

When not captivating audiences with her dynamic presentations and conscious raising workshops, Tasha can be found exploring her hometown of Austin, Texas, drinking tea, laughing with friends, viewing Christmas movies and listening to Christmas music all year long!


Listen on iTunes and Stitcher.

Click here to view the transcript.



Show Notes:

Be The Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation (October 15, 2019)

Be The Bridge

Trayvon Martin

Tamir Rice

Jada Pinkett Smith: The Racial Divide: Women Of Color & White Women (Interview with Jane Elliott)

She Did That Award: Oscar winners Ruth E. Carter (Best Costume Design) and Hannah Beachler (Best Production Design) for Black Panther

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HER With Amena Brown Episode 27: The Integrity Of Making Art with Makeda Lewis

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Amena talks with her sister, visual artist and author of Afro-feminist coloring book Avie’s Dreams, Makeda Lewis. Makeda shares her creative process and what grounds the art she makes. Amena and Makeda also discuss the tensions between business and making art and Makeda shares why it’s important for community engagement to be a part of art making. Stay tuned until the end to hear Makeda’s unique twist on her nominee for a She Did That Award.

Based out of Atlanta, Makeda Lewis is all hard-softness and imagination. She is an illustration and multimedia artist, primarily working with ink and paper and plexiglass, focusing on themes of isolation, quiet anger, and love. She also works with non-profit and arts organizations to create programming around community engagement with the arts and art history. Feminist Press published her coloring book Avie’s Dreams in 2016. She has been featured on nylon.com, bet.com and various artist/author talks along the east coast. She is 27.

Listen on iTunes and Stitcher.

Click here to view the transcript.

Show Notes:

Avie’s Dreams

ZuCot Gallery in Atlanta

Damien Hirst

Death Of A Salesman - Arthur Miller

Tidying Up With Marie Kondo - Netflix

Wild Seed - Octavia Butler

Felix Gonzales-Torres

Barbara Kruger


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HER With Amena Brown Episode 26: Becoming An Author with Alia Joy

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Amena talks with blogger, author, and writer Alia Joy about her new book Glorious Weakness: Discovering God in All We Lack. Alia talks about her transition from blog writing to book writing and why it’s important to write about the narrative and experience of poverty. Alia shares advice on how to walk alongside a loved one who lives with mental illness and how to practice creativity recovery when we write about vulnerable things. To learn more about Alia and order her book, visit: https://aliajoy.com/

Alia Joy is an author and speaker who shares poignantly about her life with bipolar disorder as well as grief, faith, marriage, poverty, race, embodiment, and keeping fluent in the language of hope. Sushi is her love language and she balances her cynical idealism with humor and awkward pauses. She lives in Central Oregon with her husband, her tiny Asian mother, her three kids, a dog, a bunny, and a bunch of chickens.

Listen on iTunes and Stitcher.

Show Notes:

Glorious Weakness: Discovering God In All We Lack

Alia’s Patheos column: The Fluency of Hope 
She Did That Award: Alia’s mom

Click here to view the transcript.


Questions we didn’t get to on the show:

Kathy from Twitter: Can you list your favorite Korean American women and what would you eat with all of them?

Alia’s answer: I can! My favorite Korean American women would have to include my mom and daughter and we’d be eating sushi because it’s my favorite, or if it was home cooking, my mom’s fried rice. 

Then I’ve got to give a shoutout to Kathy Khang, Tasha Burgoyne, and Grace P. Cho, who are my #kimchisisterhood. They sustain me on Voxer when being a Korean American woman writing in a largely white dominant industry is… trying. Also, they are all talented writers and speakers and they make me braver.  I also have great respect for Helen Lee and the work she does at IVPress to market thoughtful quality books written by POC, even though I’ve never met her. And I’d eat anything if I got to be with them in person and share a meal but if it’s in my dreams it’d be Korean food and I’d order bibimbap or Kimchi Jjigae and we’d all share banchan and laugh way too much. 


Jenny from Twitter: What authors, poets, essayists, etc influence your writing life?

Alia’s answer: So many! I can’t possibly name them all because I read a ton. I primarily read fiction and memoir so my influences tend to be novelists. I’ve been most heavily  influenced by Mary Karr, Amy Tan, Jesmyn Ward, Anne Lamott, Bryan Doyle, Mary Oliver, John Blase, Marilynne Robinson (her novels, not her essays-her essays are too smart for my brain), Brennan Manning, Sandra Cisneros, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, James Herriot, Kent Haruf, Louise Erdrich, Henry Nouwen, Dorothy Day, Leif Erikson, Maya Angelou, Jane Kenyon, Ted Kooser, WS Merwin, I could go on and on and on. 

Everything I read influences my writing life, even if I think it’s bad writing, at least I’m learning what not to do. Language needs to be ingested regularly to produce anything worthwhile. If you’re not gobbling down and savoring words on a regular basis, your work will come out anemic and limp. You want red-blooded words, robust and hearty and ready to work for you. You only get that from reading wide.


Margaret from Twitter: Favorite taco? 

Grilled fish street tacos with tomatillo jalapeño salsa, they’re so spicy, they melt my face off while I eat them. It’s heaven. 


Vivian from Twitter: Favorite Lipstick?

MAC Lady Danger but Ruby Woo is a close second. Red lips make me feel brave. I actually have an essay in a book called Everbloom that is an ode to Mac’s Lady Danger. And NYX- lips gloss in LONDON. It’s brown but not like a ’90s 90210 brown complete with over-lined lips.


Vivian from Twitter: A writing tip or practice?

When I get super stuck, I read my thesaurus and look for words I’d like to play with. I once wrote an entire essay because I wanted to use the word corrosive. For more writing tips, you can check out this Patheos article I wrote.


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HER With Amena Brown Episode 25: Crafting A Song with Jennifer Chung

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Season 3: Create. Amena talks with singer/songwriter Jennifer Chung about the craft and process of songwriting. Jennifer shares how she maintains her vocal health and what she learned from a photoshop incident on a recent magazine cover where she was featured. Amena and Jennifer take a listen to snippets of a couple of songs from Jennifer’s latest mini album After All and talk about Jennifer’s process in writing them. Amena ceremoniously yells “THAT’S MY SONG.”

For more of Jennifer’s music: http://www.jenniferchung.com/.

For more info on Jennifer’s and her husband’s media company WATS.Media: https://www.wats.media/


Singer-Songwriter Jennifer Chung is an Atlanta local who creates storytelling content with her husband, Joules. On top of music, she's a social media strategist and manager working with brands like Leonard & Church, Judy Blue Jeans, and an Atlanta non-profit, We Love BuHi.


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HER With Amena Brown Episode 24: Season 3 Intro – The Mystery of Creativity

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The theme of season 3 is “Create.” This season is full of inspiring conversations with women of color who are creators, creatives, founders, visual artists, performing artists, and businesswomen. If you are looking for practical tips on how to kickstart your creativity and action steps that will lead you toward your dreams and passions, then these episodes are for you. To kick off this season’s theme, check out Amena’s mini-talk “The Mystery of Creativity” from Creative Mornings Atlanta and what making a cake with her grandma taught her about creativity.

Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Click here for the episode transcript.

Show Notes:

Watch the full talk: Anxiety at Creative Mornings


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HER With Amena Brown Episode 23: Life After Divorce featuring Micky ScottBeyJones

HER With Amena Brown Episode 23: Life After Divorce featuring Micky ScottBeyJones

Amena talks with Micky ScottBey Jones, also known as The Justice Doula, about life after divorce. Micky shares how her work as a birth doula informs her current work in justice and activism. Micky also shares her personal experience of divorce and gives practical tips for those walking through divorce or walking alongside someone else going through a divorce. For more information about Micky and her work with Faith Matters Network and The People’s Supper, visit https://www.faithmattersnetwork.org/.

Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Show Notes:

The People’s Supper - Midterm Five


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HER With Amena Brown Episode 22- The Path to Education featuring Dr. Alma Zaragoza-Petty

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Amena talks with podcaster and education advocate, Dr. Alma Zaragoza-Petty, about how she overcame obstacles on her path to education. Dr. Zaragoza-Petty shares the barriers first generation students encounter on their path to higher education and why it’s important for marginalized people to pursue higher education. For more information about Dr. Alma and The Red Couch Podcast visit http://redcouchpodcast.podbean.com/


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HER With Amena Brown Episode 21 - Finding Your Role featuring Javicia Leslie

HER With Amena Brown Episode 21 - Finding Your Role featuring Javicia Leslie.jpg

On this bonus episode, Amena talks with actress Javicia Leslie who is featured on the CBS show God Friended Me. Javicia shares her audition journey and what she’s learning from playing her character, Ali, who is sister to an atheist podcaster brother and daughter to a traditional reverend father. Javicia also shares why it’s important to be persistent in pursuing your dreams. For more information about God Friended Me, check your local listings and visit https://www.cbs.com/shows/god-friended-me/.

Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Show Notes:

IMDB

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HER With Amena Brown Episode 20: Finding Home featuring SueAnn Shiah

HER Ep20 SueAnn Shiah.jpg

Amena talks with musician, filmmaker, and emerging theologian SueAnn Shiah. SueAnn shares the journey of making her documentary HuanDao about her return to her parent’s home country Taiwan for a biking pilgrimage. Amena and SueAnn talk about the power of indigenous music and how returning to a familial home can help us to find what has been lost. For more information about SueAnn and her documentary, visit https://www.sueannshiah.com/.

Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Show Notes

HuanDao Documentary - Stream / On Demand 
"A Liturgy for the Perseverance of the Saints" available everywhere music is sold or streamed (Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Google Play
http://sueannshiah.bandcamp.com/

Bio

SueAnn Shiah (@sueannshiah) is a Taiwanese American musician and filmmaker and emerging theologian specializing in identity formation, racial justice, gender, and sexuality. Her first feature length documentary HuanDao premiered in Fall 2016 in Nashville, TN. Her debut solo album of reclaimed hymns “A Liturgy for the Perseverance of the Saints” just came out on June 22, 2018. In addition to her own creative and theological works, she collaborates with other artists and musicians in a variety of capacities as an artist manager, producer, audio engineer, songwriter, and creator of liturgy. She has a B.B.A. in Music Business with a Production emphasis and a Chinese minor from Belmont University and is set to attend National Taiwan University in Fall 2018 to pursue a Masters of Arts in Musicology.

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HER With Amena Brown Episode 19: Building A Table featuring Ekemini Uwan and Christina Edmondson from Truth’s Table

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Amena talks with two-thirds of the three hosts of the popular Truth’s Table podcast: writer/speaker and public theologian, Ekemini Uwan, and academician and mental health therapist, Dr. Christina Edmondson. Amena, Ekemini, and Christina discuss how Truth’s Table began and how as hosts and they foster community among their black women listeners. Ekemini and Christina share the importance of building our own tables. For more information about Truth’s Table, visit https://www.truthstable.com/.

Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Show Notes

Truth’s Table photo credit: @amybpaulson; makeup: @makeupbyjanai

Ekemini’s website and Twitter

Amena’s episode on Truth’s Table

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HER With Amena Brown Episode 18: Processing Grief Through Poetry featuring Theresa Davis

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Amena talks with author, poet, educator and poetry slam champion Theresa Davis about how we can use writing to process grief. Theresa shares how she became a performing artist and how she teaches young students to use writing to process difficult emotions. Amena and Theresa discuss helpful ways to walk alongside someone who is grieving. For more information about Theresa, visit www.theresa-davis.com/.

Show Notes

After This We Go Dark 
Drowned: A Mermaid's Manifesto

Java Monkey Speaks

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HER With Amena Brown Episode 17: The Power of Getting Lost with Kat Armas

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Amena talks with travel blogger and co-owner of coffee roasting company, The Running Over, Kat Armas. Kat shares her story of quitting her job to travel the world and the lessons she learned from getting lost. Amena and Kat discuss what we can learn when we choose to experience adventure and how to see getting lost as a positive learning experience. For information about Kat, visit https://katarmas.com/.

Show Notes:

The Running Over Coffee Co.

The Protagonistas Podcast

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HER With Amena Brown Episode 16: Finding Your Inner Leader with Jo Saxton

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Amena talks with author, speaker, leadership coach, visionary, and podcaster, Jo Saxton. Amena and Jo discuss healthy leadership and the tensions between what we perceive as leadership and what leadership looks like in real life. Based on the themes in her book The Dream of You, Jo shares how we can center our identity in the right place and heal where our identity is broken. For more information about Jo, visit https://www.josaxton.com/.

Show Notes:

The Dream Of You 
Ezer Collective

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HER With Amena Brown Episode 15: Found Freedom with Natasha Sistrunk Robinson

Ep 15 Natasha Sistrunk Robinson

Amena talks with international speaker, leadership consultant, diversity and mentoring coach, and author Natasha Robinson. Exploring the themes of Natasha’s new book, A Sojourner’s Truth: Choosing Freedom and Courage in a Divided World, Amena and Natasha discuss Beyonce’s “Formation,” navigating the wilderness of life, and where we we can find redemption as we seek love, justice and freedom. For more information about Natasha and to order her book visit http://www.natashasrobinson.com/

Show Notes:

A Sojourner’s Truth: Choosing Freedom and Courage in a Divided World

Mentor for Life: Finding Purpose through Intentional Discipleship

Hope for Us: Knowing God through the Nicene Creed

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HER With Amena Brown Episode 14: Returning to Rwanda with Florence Mugisha

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Amena talks with Florence Mugisha, co-founder and director of women’s ministry at Africa New Life Ministries. Florence shares the story of her home country, Rwanda, post-genocide and how education for children and vocational training for women continues to help the country rebuild. For more information on Africa New Life Ministries, visit http://www.africanewlife.org/

Show Notes

Africa New Life Ministries on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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HER With Amena Brown Episode 13: Season 2 Intro - Here Breathing Live

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The theme for Season 2 is “Lost and Found.” This season Amena and her guests explore themes of surviving and processing loss, finding the joy in getting lost, returning home, finding freedom, and building something new. Listen here for a live performance of “Here Breathing” which inspired Amena to curate this season’s theme.

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HER With Amena Brown Episode 12: Healing the Body featuring Helen Hale

HER With Amena Brown Episode 12: Healing the Body featuring Helen Hale

Amena talks with dancer, curator, and embodiment scholar Helen Hale about how we can learn to listen to our bodies. Helen shares what she’s learning about the healing process, being a full-time artist, and how dance and floral design connect to her to creativity. For more information about Helen Hale visit http://helenhale.com/.

Helen Hale is a dancer, theater maker, embodiment scholar, rogue cultural agent, and relentless pursuer of beauty. Director of Helen Hale Dance, designer of HAVEN Floral Arts, and co-curator at Ginkgo, Helen performs, teaches, decorates homes and events with flowers, brings the people together, and collaborates with artists and activists in the States and abroad. When not in studio- or flower-mode, she can be found sipping something on a porch, likely being feisty, and perpetually longing for the sea.

 

Show notes:

Helen Hale Dance

HAVEN Floral Arts

 

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HER With Amena Brown Episode 11: The Body Native featuring Kaitlin Curtice

HER With Amena Brown Episode 11: The Body Native featuring Kaitlin Curtice

Amena talks with Native American author, speaker and worship leader Kaitlin Curtice about why the voices and leadership of Native leaders is necessary and important. Kaitlin shares about her book Glory Happening and how the process of laboring is important in many areas of our lives. To find out more about Kaitlin Curtice, visit https://kaitlincurtice.com/.

Kaitlin Curtice is a Native American Christian author, speaker and worship leader. As an enrolled citizen of the Potawatomi Nation and someone who has grown up in the Christian faith, Kaitlin writes on the intersection of Native American spirituality, mystic faith in everyday life, and the church.

 

Show Notes:

Glory Happening: Finding The Divine In Everyday Places

 

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HER With Amena Brown Episode 10: How To Body An Emcee featuring Mahogany Jones

HER With Amena Brown Episode 10: How To Body An Emcee featuring Mahogany Jones

Amena talks with emcee, activist, and U.S. Music Ambassador, Mahogany Jones, about hip hop and why art and justice are connected. Mahogany shares her story as a battle emcee and how she uses her influence to better the lives of women and girls. For more information about Mahogany Jones visit https://mahoganyjones.com/.

Hip Hop Soul Recording Artist, Arts Educator, U S Musical Ambassador, and recent United Way Brand Ambassador, Mahogany Jones is a proud advocate for women. 

As co-Founder and Director of aPUREmovement, her heart is to shift the paradigm of culture who’s common practice is to devalue the contributions of women, by using media and rallying people together to change the conversation. Her last recording was SugarWater and she is currently working on a new release. 

 

Show Notes:

SugarWater

 

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