Summary: CTZN is having conversations at the intersection of wellbeing and justice. We’re not afraid to ask hard questions and have radical dialogue about politics and patriarchy, white supremacy and worthiness. And we’re serious about showing up for one another and taking action for the wellbeing of everyone.
First of all, this is the first podcast we’ve ever recorded on a school bus, which felt appropriate given it was a conversation with the Nicole Cardoza, the founder of Yoga Foster, which is focused on making yoga in schools elementary. Nicole is a disruptor, a creator, and a connector who is constantly moving the line forward of what’s possible in wellness. She recently launched Reclamation Ventures, an impact fund dedicated to investing in underestimated entrepreneurs closing the wellness gap, and is innovating towards a more accessible wellness for everyone.
In this episode, we're talking to the writer, runner and recovering addict, Charlie Engle who I met many years ago over our shared love for running, but whose story blew me away. Known to many as "The Running Man", Charlie managed to go from rock bottom to resilience many times over. And he continues to push the limits of what is possible for the human body and for human kind.
Dr Maytha Alhassen is a Syrian-American journalist, poet and scholar, working to bridge the worlds of social justice, academic research, popular culture and healing arts. And on this episode of CTZN podcast, she schools us on the history of immigration and white domination in America. May was born a learner only to grow up in a White America that treated her multi-linguistic skills as a deficiency. She always found school to be regressive and disappointing, and set out to learn all the truths on her own terms and is speaking them out loud. In this episode, May educates us on the real history of Muslim bans and immigration restrictions and how it's not about whether immigrants are welcome or not, it's about white supremacy. And it's about understanding our relationship to one another so that we can testify to justice with our words and actions.
Michelle Cassandra Johnson is shaking things up in the yoga world and speaking all the truths about toxic culture and white supremacy so that real healing is possible. She is a social worker, yoga teacher, long time race equity trainer and author of the book Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World. And she is showing us what radical self care really looks like.
Ana Maria Archila is a resistance icon. She’s known by many as the “lady in the elevator” after her confrontation with Senator Jeff Flake went viral during the confirmation hearings for Justice Kavanaugh. But that wasn’t her first rodeo. Ana Maria has been disrupting, bird-dogging and advocating for human rights and dignity since she emigrated here at the age of 17. She teaches us that disruption is essential to slowing things down and getting people in power to listen. Everyday people speaking truth to power is what this country is all about.
Today, we are talking with Chief Empowerment Officer, Heidi Sieck. She is the founder of VOTEPROCHOICE, long time advocate for reproductive rights, and bad-ass feminist. And when she is not getting pro-choice candidates elected or lobbying congress, she is throwing down alongside me on the street, in the capital, at the supreme court or wherever we are needed. She’s here with us today to help us make sense of the recent abortion bans that are sweeping our nation and take back our rights.
Today we’re talking to Nadia Bolz Weber who is one of the most provocative and unexpected voices in Christianity today. She is a former stand up-comic, NY Times best selling author and founding pastor of the House for All Sinners & Saints, a Lutheran church in Denver, Colorado, But beyond her accolades and achievements, she is brutally honest, hilarious, vulnerable and profoundly wise. The Washington Post calls her a “tatted up, foul-mouthed champion to people sick of being belittled as not Christian enough for the right or too Jesus-y for the left”. And she is committed to making a spiritual home for Junkies, Drag Queens, Outsiders and everyone in between (which is my kind of church).
This conversation with Rachel Cargle is fierce and it is important. And while white folks need to #dothework as rachel says, it’s not really about us. It’s about protecting black lives. And so she invites us to consider how we are really showing up and for what purpose. It’s not enough to attend an event or post something on social media, Real “allyship” looks like going to get our people, paying our privilege forward and listening - really listening - to black women and following their lead.
Why is it so hard for white people to talk about race? In this episode, we talk with Robin DiAngelo about white fragility and the defensive moves that white people make when confronting or challenged with racism.
Adrienne Maree Brown is never satisfied with the obvious, the visible, the surface - but rather endeavors to dig deeper, to go underneath and to venture beyond the what we think we know about ourselves and one another. Her book, Emergent Strategy has been a disruptive force in the movement in all the best ways - challenging us not just to do better, but to BE better. Join us for a provocative episode of CTZN Podcast that explores accountability and redemption, reclaiming pleasure and making like slugs.
In this episode, we are are talking with Mark Gonzales - architect, storyteller, creator and author - about reshaping the public imagination and waging beauty on all fronts. He challenges us to ask hard questions of who we are and why we are here. And to be more imaginative, to dream bigger about how we can create new stories and structures that reflect our values: love, beauty and belonging.
Erin Schrode was an activist in the womb. By the age of 13 she had started a non-profit called Turning Green, a global student-led movement devoted to cultivating a healthy, just and thriving planet through education and advocacy around environmentally sustainable and socially responsible choices. She is young and passionate and hungry. And it’s not that she’s fearless but rather fear-with. She can face her fear and do it anyway. And at the age of 24, she surprised even herself when she decided to run for office becoming the youngest person ever to have run for congress. In this podcast, Erin talks to us about taking risks, doing the right thing and living a life of service.
In this episode, we are sitting down with Dr Chelsea Roberts, school teacher, yoga influencer, activist and truth-teller, as we talk about breaking the silence and how to live up to the promise of oneness in yoga and wellness communities. She believes in the power of yoga in restorative justice work and is on a mission to create more inclusive and authentic spaces of healing.
Jamia Wilson is many things: an activist, a feminist, a storyteller, a media-maker and a thought leader. But more than anything, she is a truth teller. In this podcast, you experience the full power and spectrum of Jamia’s feminist truth and perspective. And what I found most compelling in our conversation, was her ability to be both brave and vulnerable at the same time. Jamia isn’t afraid to get uncomfortable, to tackle tough issues and to hold the complexity of our intersectionality. The deeper that we're willing to go within ourselves - in our own ability not just to speak the truth, but to know it - the more we can hold the truth for others.
In our conversation, Paola talks about our capacity to hold two truths at the same time. And she really embodies that. She is relentless in her resistance to the racist policies of this administration, to defending and protecting the undocumented community, and to fighting for the freedom and wellbeing of women and children. But she is simultaneously passionate in her expression, ecstatic in song and dance, and generous in her love as an organizer and mother. And she shows us that we can be many things at the same time, And we need to.