Black Girl Back Talk

Stories of Racial Bias from Girlhood to Womanhood

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  • 5. Race and Mindfulness with Ruth King

    Ruth King grew up in South Central, Los Angeles with seven siblings in a single-parent household. Her childhood was far from easy, and she was exposed to things that no child should have to experience, forcing Ruth to grow up at a young age. Fast-forward to today, Ruth is the founder of Mindful of Race Institute as well as an author, educator, and meditation teacher. Ruth’s Mindful of Race Training Program is taught worldwide and offered to organizations, teams, and leaders to help intertwine mindfulness-based principles with racial conditioning and its impact. In this episode, Ruth breaks down her experience of growing up as a black girl and what events helped shape her into the person she is today. She also breaks down the mindfulness work that she does and explains why it differs from basic racial sensitivity training.Tune in to Episode 5 of Black Girl Back Talk and let’s get mindful with Ruth King.Some Questions I Ask:So as this little girl growing up in this large family in Los Angeles, what were some of your childhood experiences? [...] When did you experience anything around race? (15:43)What was your dream for yourself when you were able to go to school? (22:36)Do you ever grow tired or weary of work around racism? (37:54)Is there a story, or a tale, or something from your childhood that brings comfort? (50:40)Is there an emotion that you wish you didn't have to feel again? (53:41)In This Episode, You Will Learn:What Ruth’s ‘Brave Space’ work involves (5:30)About Ruth’s life growing up (13:01)How Ruth felt growing up in a space of constant fear (19:43)About Ruth’s spiritual awakening and her journey to start loving herself (28:01)Why Ruth believes racism is like heart disease (34:04)About mindfulness and what the term means to Ruth (55:45)Resources:Ruth King’s latest book - Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside OutRuth King’s other booksConnect with Ruth King:WebsiteInstagramLet's Connect:WebsiteLinkedInFacebook

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  • 4. Identifying and Overcoming Trauma with Dr. Alisha Moreland-Capuia

    Dr. Alisha Moreland-Capuia knew her calling at just eight years old - she wanted to do something to help take-away, or reduce, suffering in this world. Growing up as a black girl in Oregon, a State with deeply racist roots, Dr. Alisha’s struggle shaped the woman she is today and drives the incredibly important work that she does.It was her calling of tackling suffering that pushed Dr. Alisha to pursue higher education. She received a BS in Biological Sciences with a minor in Urban Studies from Stanford University before gaining her doctorate of medicine from the George Washington University School of Medicine. She is currently the director of trauma-informed treatment, consultation, and outreach at McClean Hospital and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. Her work centers around the intersection of trauma, addiction, and mental health as well as how systems identify, manage, and distance themselves from trauma. Dr. Alisha has written two books, The Trauma of Racism and Training for Change, and published a myriad of scientific articles on her work.In this episode, Dr. Alisha talks about her childhood and what it was like to be a young black girl finding her way in the world. We also discuss what led her down the path of psychiatry and trauma, what her work has revealed about human suffering, particularly in black communities, and why it’s essential that changes be made to alleviate trauma and suffering in this world.Tune in to Episode 4 of Black Girl Back Talk and let’s talk openly and honestly about trauma with Dr. Alisha.Some Questions I Ask:What about racial bias as a girl? Did you have any experience of that? (12:51)What took you into college? (21:10)Do you have opportunities to talk to children about trauma? (48:07)Can you please talk a little bit more about how healing from trauma can occur? (54:17)In This Episode, You Will Learn:About what life was like for Dr. Alisha growing up as a black girl (6:44)About what drew Dr. Alisha to psychiatry (24:24)What three things Dr. Alisha believes underscore trauma (28:34)Why the environment that you procreate in is just as important for your baby as the genes they inherit (37:25)Why it’s important for systems in society to change in parallel (50:47)Looking back, what Dr. Alisha would say to the younger version of herself (59:55)About Dr. Alisha’s books, Training for Change and The Trauma of Racism (1:02:17)Resources:Book Training for ChangeBook The Trauma of RacismDr. Alisha Moreland-Capuia’s McClean Hospital Profile and PubMed SearchConnect with Dr. Alisha:LinkedInTwitterLet's Connect:WebsiteLinkedInFacebook
  • 3. The Ones We've Been Waiting For with Alice Walker

    In the small community Alice grew up in, there was a road being built by convicts. There was also a spring near her house, so Alice's parents would give her and her siblings a pail and a dipper and tell them to provide water to those men. Many years later, she understood the teaching behind that action: to not fear each other, regardless of how rough they were looking. Alice Walker is a prolific and internationally celebrated writer, poet, and activist. She is the author of seven novels, four collections of short stories, and six children's books, including her latest "There are sweet people everywhere." She won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 1983 and the National Book Award for the exquisite novel, "The color purple." She also wrote several bestselling books, like "Possessing the secret of joy," "The temple of my familiar," and "We are the ones we've been waiting for," to name a few. Her work has been translated into two dozen languages and sold over 15 million copies. Alice has been an activist her entire life and is a staunch defender not only of human life but all living creatures. In this episode, we get to know bits of Alice's past, and relationship with her siblings, parents, and grandparents. We talk about her perception of oppression and racism growing up, and her vision for the future. We also talk about white people's purposeful lack of memory about racist acts that legitimate them and strip Black people from their humanity, turning them demonic at the same time, and much more. Tune in to episode 3 and grasp some of the golden nuggets Alice selflessly gifted us with.Some Questions I Ask:Who was little Alice, and what was she like? (6:28)Tell me about what you played as a child; what kind of games did you play as a girl? (12:15)When you were a girl, what was your first experience of racism? (23:09)What is the contribution we should be making toward that future? (34:28)In This Episode, You Will Learn:Complicated souls tend to talk little (7:56)The spring and the road being built. About Alice's parents teaching (10:24)About white people's lack of desire to remember and the dehumanization of Black folks (18:25)The price the first Black kids to be schooled with white people paid (28:21)Some words from Alice to little Alice (46:38)Resources:Alice Walker websiteBook: Alice Walker - The Color PurpleBook: Alice Walker - Sweet People Are EverywhereBook: Mary Trump - The ReckoningBook: Rupa Marya & Raj Patel - InflamedFilm: Yemanja: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil. Narrator, Alice Walker
  • 2. The Devastating Effects of Racism On Mental Health with Dr. Ingrid Waldron

    Systemic racism might be hard to perceive without perspective. To our guest, Ingrid Waldron, growing up in Montreal in a multicultural environment, racism was being called the n-word at school or eventually suffering physical abuse for being Black. It wasn't until her parents took her to Trinidad, where they were originally from, and she got in touch with a dominant Black society, that she discovered the existence of a more profound, more ingrained racism. After five years in Trinidad, living in Canada had a completely different meaning for her.Ingrid Waldron is the Professor & HOPE Chair in Peace & Health in the Global Peace and Social Justice Programme at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of The Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities & Community Health Project (the ENRICH Project). Ingrid is also de the Co-founder and Co-Director of The Canadian Coalition for Environmental and Climate Justice and Co-Founder and Board Member of the Rural Water Watch Association.She also co-produced the Netflix documentary "There is something in the water" based on her book with the same name.Our conversation revolved around the adverse effects of racism on our psychological and physical health. We delve into the social determinants of health caused by racism in Canada and its link with high-stress levels and chronic diseases. Ingrid shared bits of her past, her first experiences with racism, and the sad discovery of systemic and environmental racism. We also talk about a tendency among Black people to be more open about mental health issues caused by racism, some of the things she learned in her extensive work in the subject, the increase of Black scholars talking about it, and much more.Tune in to episode 2, and learn about the devastating effects of racism on our mental health. Some Questions I Ask:Who were you growing up? How was Ingrid like as a little girl? (3:28)As a girl, did you experience this realization about race when you were a child? (5:53)Could you talk about the impacts of racism on mental health and how we are showing up because of that devastation? (25:04)In This Episode, You Will Learn:About Ingrid's life-changing experience in Trinidad (6:53)Racism is very effective in making Black people believe there is something wrong with them (8:37)The time Ingrid experienced systemic racism in a way she never had before (17:57)About Ingrid's first contact with the effects of racism on mental health (23:37)About one of the most devastating effects on mental health for Black women today (47:51)Resources:The ENRICH Project websiteBook: There's Something In The Water There's Something in the Water Connect with Ingrid:LinkedInLet's Connect:WebsiteLinkedIn
  • 1. Using the Courage to Be the Only One in The Room to Eliminate Racism

    The first step to heal from trauma is to acknowledge its impact; therefore, if we want to understand the effects of structural racism on Black women today, we need to look at the wounds produced by the intergenerational racism replicated since the enslavement time.  For our first episode, I have the pleasure of receiving Dr. Angela Reynolds, CEO of the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh. She is an experienced Senior Director with vast experience working in the non-profit industry. Angela is a strong and caring professional with a Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis and an M.S. in Statistics from Carnegie Mellon University - Heinz College. She also holds a B.A. in Mathematics (Sociology minor) from Bryn Mawr College.  Our conversation revolves around the impacts of living at the intersection of racism and sexism, Dr. Angela's experiences with racism as a young girl and adult, and how those experiences changed her. We talk about her childhood, her perception of racism as a kid, and how she dealt with it. We also discuss the effects of adultification of Black girls, YWCA's mission of eliminating racism, the need for policies granting gender and race equality, and much more.  Hop on and join me on this first episode of Black Girl Talk Back, to learn a bit more of what this podcast is about, and give yourself the chance to know this extraordinary Black leader, role model, and woman.