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HER With Amena Brown Episode 39: Creativity and Business of Photography with Michelle Norris

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Amena talks with photographer and creative director at Tropico Photo, Michelle Norris. Amena and Michelle discuss navigating the tensions between creative work and business. Michelle shares why creating an aesthetic is important for anyone building a brand and why it’s important to know and understand the worth of your work. Find out more about Tropico Photo at https://www.tropicophoto.com/.

Michelle is a photographer and creative director at Tropico Photo along with her husband, Forrest Aguar. She loves creating colorful worlds, traveling, and taking walks with her dog Taco.

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

Show Notes:




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Find Michelle on her website and on Instagram at @michellenorrisphoto and @tropicophoto!

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HER With Amena Brown Episode 38: Partnership in Community with Jeannine Umutoniwase

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Amena talks with Jeannine Umutoniwase, CEO of faith-based, Rwandan social enterprise Azizi Life which connects Rwandan artisans to the global market. Jeannine shares how her upbringing and her work as a guest house manager prepared her for leading an organization. In discussing her work with Azizi Life, Jeannine talks about the importance of empowering women and the lessons she’s learned as a CEO. For more information about Azizi Life, visit https://azizilife.com. For 20% off all nonsale items use code ForHER!


Jeannine Umutoniwase worked as a Guest House Manager for Food for the Hungry in 2007. She first joined Azizi Life as a translator in 2008 and was promoted to be its Chief Executive Officer in 2016. She speaks Kinyarwanda, English and French fluently, along with some Swahili. She lives with her husband Herme andtwo daughters in Ruhango District, Southern Province. Jeannine likes to help people in need as much as she can, make sure she has enough time to hear those coming to her but also ensure that life has a better meaning for those lost hope.


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

Show Notes:

Azizi Life


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Learn more about Azizi Life on their website, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!



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HER With Amena Brown Episode 37: Narrative as Resistance Juliana Brown Eyes

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Amena talks with filmmaker, musician, photographer, and makeup artist, Juliana Brown Eyes. Juliana shares how her upbringing on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and the creativity and resistance of the women in her ancestry informs her work as a creative. She also shares why it’s important for indigenous people to tell their own narrative and history. For more information about Juliana Brown Eyes, visit https://www.jbrowneyes.com/.

Juliana Brown Eyes is a multi-talented Indigenous/Polynesian Artist from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. She is a self-taught filmmaker, musician, photographer, makeup artist, business woman, and social media influencer. She has received many awards and scholarships for her work like the Bill Gates Millennium, Horatio Alger , and AIMES Hooded Scholarship. She has been featured in many publications like Marie Claire, Huffington Post, BBC. Radio New Zealand and Glamour Magazine for her work in social justice movements like the Standing Rock movement.


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

Show Notes:

Rezaissance Woman

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HER With Amena Brown Episode 36: Creative Strategy and Entrepreneurship with Pamela Barba

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Amena talks with creative strategist and entrepreneur Pamela Barba why entrepreneurship creates equity and justice. Pamela is the founder of Vamos Ladies, a confidence and branding studio for Latinx women and shares the lessons a family legacy of entrepreneurship taught her for owning her own business. For more info about Pamela Barba visit http://www.mspamelabarba.com/. For more info about Vamos Ladies, visit http://www.vamosladies.com/.


Pamela works in the intersection of social impact, STEAM and business. Using her diverse skillsets, she supports creatives and entrepreneurs as they build radical brands and businesses. She is the founder of Vamos Ladies, confidence + branding studio for Latinx women.


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

Show Notes:

Vamos Ladies

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HER With Amena Brown Episode 35: Founding a fashion movement with Tasha LaRae

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Amena talks with singer/songwriter, lead female vocalist for Arrested Development, voice coach, and founder of the Racism Sucks fashion movement. Tasha shares her process of inspiration to creation. She also shares why the word STOP is an important word for creatives. For more information about Tasha LaRae, visit https://shopthehighnote.com/. For more information about Racism Sucks, visit https://yepracismsucks.com/.

Tasha LaRae is a singer, songwriter, jewelry designer, lead female vocalist for Arrested Development, voice coach & founder of the Racism Sucks fashion movement. Through music, fashion & education her mission is to uplift, encourage & inspire others around the world to overcome limiting beliefs & bring their dreams to life.

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

Show Notes:

Racism Sucks


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HER With Amena Brown Episode 34: Holding Space and Telling Stories with Morgan Harper Nichols

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Amena talks with writer, artist, and musician Morgan Harper Nichols. Morgan shares her creative process of combining inspirational writing and visual art and the power of holding space for other people’s stories. Amena and Morgan talk about Morgan’s subscription app Storyteller and the power of “maybe” and “perhaps.” For more info on Morgan’s art and her app Storyteller, visit: https://morganharpernichols.com/.

Morgan Harper Nichols is a writer, artist, and musician who makes her work around people and their stories. In 2017, Morgan started a project where she invites people to submit their stories to her website. From there, she creates art inspired by what they send her, and then, sends them the art, for free. As an artist, Morgan has collaborated with publications and brands including Coach, Darling Magazine, Esquire Singapore, Jungalow, and more. Originally from Atlanta, Ga. and she and her husband Patrick currently reside just a little south of L.A. in Orange County, Ca.

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

Show Notes:

Storyteller app

Storyteller: 100 Poem Letters by Morgan Harper Nichols

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HER With Amena Brown Episode 33: Creating History with Dr. Meredith Evans

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Amena talks with Dr. Meredith Evans, a historian, archivist, 74th President of the Society of American Archivists, director of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, and the first black woman to helm a presidential library. Dr. Meredith shares why it’s important to preserve and document history and how she navigates being “First, Only, Different.” For more information about Dr. Meredith’s work visit https://www2.archivists.org/news/2018/meet-the-saa-president-dr-meredith-evans.

Meredith Evans is a manager of cultural institutions, a historian, archivist and librarian by trade and the 74th President of the Society of American Archivists.  She is currently employed as the director of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, administered by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Dr. Evans is the first  African American woman to direct a presidential library. She has a proven record of seeking and stewarding collections that foster diversity and inclusion such as the Papers of Richard T. Gibson at George Washington University, the LGBT History Collection at UNC Charlotte and Documenting Ferguson at Washington University in St. Louis. She deeply believes in supporting community collaborations to increase the number of collections that serve as evidence for written history and has written on the role and value of libraries and archives as advocacy organizations that support and document social change.

Evans earned a master's degree in library science from Clark Atlanta University, a master's degree in public history from North Carolina State University and a doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


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

Show Notes:

Society of American Archivists

Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

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Find Dr. Meredith on the Society of American Archivists blog Off The Record!

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HER With Amena Brown Episode 32: Creating accessibility and online community with Alice Wong

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Amena talks with disabled activist, podcaster, and founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project®, Alice Wong. Alice shares how an early love for reading informed her journey as a creative and as an activist. Amena and Alice discuss why it’s important to preserve disabled history and why it’s necessary for the disabled community to lead and be a part of civic engagement. For more information about Alice Wong and the Disability Visibility Project® visit https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/.

Alice Wong is a disabled activist, media maker, and research consultant. She is the Founder and Director of the Disability Visibility Project®, an online community dedicated to creating, sharing, and amplifying disability media and culture.


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Click here to view the transcript.

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Her With Amena Brown Episode 31: A Discussion of Beyoncé’s Homecoming with Candice Benbow

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Amena talks with speaker, essayist, creative, and creator of the Lemonade Syllabus, Candice Benbow, about Beyoncé’s recently released film and album: Homecoming. Amena and Candice use their own experiences with homecoming as graduates of historically black colleges and universities to discuss the cultural significance of Beyoncé’s art and creative process. Candice discusses the lessons of healing, home, and wholeness that we can learn from Homecoming. For more information on Candice Benbow, visit https://www.candicebenbow.com/.

Candice Marie Benbow is a theologian, essayist and creative who situates her work at the intersections of beauty, faith, feminism and culture. A North Carolina native, she considers herself a displaced Southerner living in New Jersey.

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

Show Notes:

Homecoming: A Film By Beyonce

Homecoming trailer


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HER With Amena Brown Episode 30: Creating Your Voice with Ametria Dock

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Amena talks with vocalist, musical consultant, professional voice coach, and founder of Fruition Organized Music, Ametria Dock. Ametria shares the tough lessons she learned as a solo artist in the music industry and how those lessons propelled the trajectory of her career. Ametria also shares what she’s learned as a business founder and gives a mini master class on how to maintain vocal health. For more information about Ametria and Fruition Organized Music, visit http://www.fruitionorganizedmusic.com/.


About Ametria:

It was the president of MCA (Geffen) Records who first noticed Ametria Dock's unique vocal talent as an Atlanta-based high school student. After signing her first record deal, Dock kicked off her music career with the release of a national debut album entitled, "It's Not About Me." By the age of 18, Ametria had already worked with some of the music industry’s heavy-hitters, like Mary J. Blige, Montel Jordan, K-Ci & Jojo, and Boyz II Mens’ Wanya Morris.

In 2003, Ametria was reintroduced to audiences as an impressive part of the vocal backdrop of multi Grammy Award winning artist, India.Arie. Her international attention has earned her an even bigger buzz among live music fans. Ametria's distinct, alto sound consistently stands out across the world on stages in Australia, Japan, London, Paris, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and South Africa. Ametria’s vocal expertise has kept her sharing the stage with super-icons like Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Robin Thicke, Musiq Soulchild, Laura Izibor, Estelle, Wynonna Judd, and most recently, President Barack Obama. She has also lent her vocal talents to country legend Lyle Lovett (on tour), and has worked with super-producer Shannon Sanders and The Band of Horses.

Over the years, Ametria’s experience as a major artist and backup vocalist for international artists has tucked her in the background on national television programs such as, Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Bobby Jones Gospel, Regis and Kelly, The Monique Show, and The Tyra Show. In addition, Dock has earned writing credits on projects for Angie Stone and vocal arrangements for India.Arie. Working with blues singer Jonny Lang and Reggae artist Gramps Morgan of Morgan Heritage, Ametria has developed an ear for singing and teaching a broad span of genres ranging from Bluegrass, to Pop, R&B, Country, Rock and Reggae.

As a professional vocal coach, Ametria has served as a reliable musical consultant for several commercial artists, proficiently helping them to continue to develop and maximize their vocal talent. With clients like Janelle Monae, India.Arie, Anthony David, new soul sensation Avery Sunshine, and Reggae artist Gramps Morgan, she continues to use her wide range of musical experience (both on stage and in the studio) to effectively teach various techniques and styles. Her efforts help to increase the stage confidence and overall vocal competence of singers, helping them find and highlight their best voice. Ametria Dock continues to be a trusted source for vocalists on various levels who are seeking guidance and tutelage.


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Click here to view the transcript.

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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.

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Click here to view the transcript.

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. 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.

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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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