Black Oxygen

Black Oxygen

Angela Russell is a Black woman who loves Wisconsin. But sometimes, with so few Black people in the state, she needs a little extra dose of Black Oxygen. A place where she can breathe, connect, and restore by hearing and listening to Black folks in this shared journey of life.

Episodes

May 2, 2022 57 sec

The Black Oxygen Podcast will return in June for Season 6! Season 6 will be all about Black folks exploring the outdoors. See you soon!

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Mark Richardson is the Founder and President of Unfinished Business. Unfinished Business, based in Madison, Wi, focuses on career coaching, DEI consulting, and talent recruitment. In this episode of Black Oxygen we discuss Mark’s journey to Wisconsin, the great resignation, and his journey through grief. He reminds us to, “find the good stuff during hard times.”

#BlackOxygen #GrievingWhileBlack #BlackGrief #BlackInWisconsin #Unfini...

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DeVon Wilson, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the School of Letters and Science at UW-Madison, experienced deep loss and grief near the beginning of the pandemic with the passing of one of his best friends. He says, “grieving during a pandemic is difficult … I learned that I couldn’t do it alone.” In this episode of Black Oxygen, DeVon discusses his journey to Wisconsin, the difference in community needs betw...

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Fatou Ceesay, owner of Carisu Homecare, says, “with Alzheimer’s you lose your loved one twice.”  Alzheimer’s disease is the 5th leading cause of death for people in the United States. In addition, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is highest among African Americans. This week on Black Oxygen, Fatou discusses the grief associated with dementia, the importance of self-care for caregivers of folks living with...

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In discussing the Will Smith and Chris Rock incident at the Oscars, Rudy Bankston says, “success and celebrity do not negate one’s humanity.” In this episode of Black Oxygen Rudy and I cover a lot topics including the now infamous Oscars incident, the lessons that we can learn individually and locally regarding leadership and healing, leadership beyond wearing the mask of performance, and grief. There was so much packed in this con...

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After experiencing a health incident last fall, Honorable Reverend Everett Mitchell now says, “life is a gift. I was treating life as a hustle, not as the gift it is.” In this episode of Black Oxygen Hon Rev Mitchell discusses what he’s learned about the gift of life, being your authentic self instead of being on the hustle train, and navigating grief both in his roles as Pastor, Judge, and friend. We also refer back to an episode ...

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Lacouir Yancey, owner of Y-Massage, is a massage therapist, bodyworker and musician based in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. In this episode of Black Oxygen, Lacouir talks about where emotions reside in the body, the grief he has carried after losing loved family members, and how his experience of grief caused him to move his body differently. As a healer, Lacouir reminds that each of us has the power to be conduits of healing.

#BlackOxygenP...

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Originally released 11/1/2021

Born in Sudan, Nada Elmikasfhi has been working to adopt Wisconsin as her home since 2002. She is deeply guided by James Baldwin’s quote, “the place in which I’ll fit will not exist until I make it.” As Chief of Staff for Rep Francesca Hong and columnist for The Isthmus, Nada is not only working to create a sense of belonging for herself, but is working to uproot systemic white supremacy throughout our...

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Dana Sonnenberg, born in Texas, adopted and raised in rural Wisconsin by white parents believes in the ability for people to change and in the power of people showing up for her. In this episode of Black Oxygen, Dana, Project Activator of CREATE Portage County, discusses what it meant for her to be a Black woman raised by white parents, the love she has for her father, what it’s to be a woman of color living Central Wisconsin, and ...

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Georgia Allen, Executive Director of The Road Home and Co-Founder of the Soaring Independent Cooperative, says that grief comes in many forms and that non-traditional forms of grief include loss of dreams, safety, autonomy and identity.  In this episode of Black Oxygen, Georgia talks about the grief experienced as a result of economic instability, how the pandemic has amplified economic instability in Dane County, and her personal ...

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February 14, 2022 45 min

Suzanne Johnson, First Vice President of Branch Banking for Park Bank, has experienced deep grief. In this episode of Black Oxygen, Suzanne discusses the various types of loss and grief that she’s experienced including losing her brother to gun violence and just recently learning more about her biological family through an ancestry analysis. Throughout her different experiences Suzanne eventually learned to prioritize her needs and...

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For Dr. Michelle Robinson her mom was the single most important person in her world. In remembering her mother she says, “my mom was the closest thing to an angel here on earth.” The experience of loss that 
Michelle experienced with her mother and other family members has fundamentally changed her. In this episode of Black Oxygen, Michelle shares the experience of losing her mother, what it’s like to experience chronic death and s...

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Bianca Shaw is a leader in state government, owns and runs the Black Equity & Policy Institute, hosts the podcast Bianca Talks Policy, Politics and Hip-Hop and homeschools her daughter. On this episode of Black Oxygen, Bianca and I cover a wide range of topics including being a Black woman, the difference between liberation and freedom, surviving and grieving a relationship after domestic violence, and the importance of being e...

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The incidence of pancreatic cancer is higher in African Americans compared to any other racial group in the United States.  Niketa Rae, this week’s featured guest, lost her grandmother to pancreatic cancer nearly a decade ago.  In August 2021, Niketa Rae established the Ebony Eyes Foundation to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer and let people know that they are not alone. In this episode of Black Oxygen, we discuss Niketa’s l...

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January 17, 2022 84 min

“Black men often suffer in silence,” says Geraud Blanks. Geraud Blanks, Chief Innovation Officer of Milwaukee Film, is this week’s featured guest on Black Oxygen. This week’s nuanced and complex conversation covers a wide range of topics including public mourning and the civil rights movement, masculinity, grief and emotional health, Black identify and grief, and so much more. Geraud also discusses the tenderness of his relationshi...

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January 10, 2022 59 min

Myra McNair, owner and founder of Anesis Therapy and recently named 2022 Woman to Watch by Brava Magazine, is the featured guest starting season 5 of Black Oxygen on grief, loss and mourning.  In this episode, Myra and I discuss the collective grief present as a result of the pandemic, grieving in the Black church, the role of social media in processing grief and so much more.  We also discuss the mental health pandemic that is hap...

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On this season of Black Oxygen - we are going to discuss grief, loss and mourning. Author of the Wild Edge of Sorrow, Francis Weller says, “Grief work is soul work. It requires courage to face the world as it and not turn away …”

In this season of Black Oxygen, we are going to do just that - face our grief together.

In addition to sharing some of their stories around loss, our guests and I will explore the following questions: • It...

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December 20, 2021 37 min

Gigi Stahl is an equity, diversity and inclusion practitioner in Central Wisconsin. In this episode of Black Oxygen, we discuss the sounds and vernacular of Wisconsin, what belonging looks like in Central Wisconsin, and the power of the youth voice. Gigi emphasizes that with education we should be asking the question, “how do we facilitate learning as opposed to bestowing knowledge?” We also discuss the risk of burnout for EDI/DEI ...

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December 13, 2021 80 min

Rudy Bankston, Founder and President of i Am We Classics, just published his fourth book - Snippets of Soul, Too - Healing from Love. In this episode of Black Oxygen, Rudy discusses education, leadership, boundaries, love and so much more. He says that we are collectively addicted to the status quo and that it is time for us to relearn how to connect with each other after so much separation. As it relates to education, systems chan...

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December 6, 2021 58 min

Founding member of Milwaukee’s Bronzeville Arts Ensemble and Artistic Association with Chicago’s Congo Square Theatre, Malkia Stampley, is currently directing the theatrical performance of The Gift of the Magi for American Players Theatre. In this episode of Black Oxygen Malkia discusses Milwaukee as the place where she began her theatre career, the impact of the pandemic on her craft, and the power of theatre to either heal or har...

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