Heromakers Podcast

Heromakers Podcast

Lively conversations about important topics to inspire all of us to change the world, one act, one word, one dream at a time.

Episodes

March 23, 2022 47 min

In this episode, Laurie is flying solo and talks with the amazing Nelli Kim, Founder & CEO at RĒDEN, which makes radically comfortable shoes with a purpose, and Founding Board Member of RAISEfashion, a network of fashion industry leaders, providing pro bono consulting to Black-owned brands and individuals, with a mission to advance the equity of Black talent. She is also Co-founder of Embers International, which works to fight ...

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In this episode, Laurie and Ann talk with Mannie Thomas, co-executive director and director of programming at Success Stories, which "provides an alternative to prisons that builds safer communities by delivering feminist programming to people who have caused harm." Here, Mannie shares his own journey of growing up with false narratives about himself and what it meant to be a man--and which led him down a destructive road t...

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In this episode, Laurie and Ann talk with Latanya DeVaughn, founder of Bronx Bound Books, the only mobile bookstore in the Bronx (and only the second bookstore in that area!), an area of over 1.5 million people. For years, Latanya didn't think it was possible to own her own bookstore, but when her son's recently-retired teacher opened one, something changed in her. Tapping into her savings, Latanya purchased a shuttle bus a...

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In this episode, Laurie and Ann talk with Hope England, a brilliant and funny psychotherapist and comedian who founded  Humor for Hope, an organization that prevents and heals trauma by using comedy and improvisation. Hope and her team formed an alternative inpatient therapy for trauma survivors and chronically and terminally ill children and patients. Hope holds a degree in writing and producing for television and sitcoms, has stu...

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In this episode, Laurie and Ann talk with Charles Lerner, Executive Director of At The Crossroads, which reaches out to homeless youth and young adults at their point of need, and works with them to build healthy and fulfilling lives. Charles shares about his own experience in the foster system and then dealing with acute homelessness and how it shaped the person he is today. We talk about the false narratives we tell ourselves and...

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In this episode, Laurie and Ann talk with Rev. Dr. Ariel Burger, founding director and senior scholar of The Witness Institute, whose mission is to empower emerging leaders, inspired by the life and legacy of Elie Wiesel. A orthodox-trained rabbi, Ariel is also an author, teacher, and artist whose work integrates spirituality, the arts, and strategies for social change. He is author of Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel's Classr...

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In this episode, Laurie and Ann talk with Cole Arthur Riley, a writer and liturgist who founded Black Liturgies, a project seeking to integrate concepts of dignity, lament, rage, justice, rest, and liberation with the practice of written prayer. In this episode we talk with Cole about her family and upbringing (including her heromaker Dad) and why she was prompted to start Black Liturgies in the summer/fall of 2020. We talk about w...

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In this episode, Laurie and Ann talk with Kevin McDowell, a triathlete who just won a silver medal in the mixed relay triathlon and placed sixth overall in the individual men's triathlon. He was one of the first American men to win an Olympic medal in the triathlon.

Kevin talks about not only his journey to the Olympics and his pursuit of sports, but also his journey through being diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma at the ag...

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In this episode, Laurie and Ann talk with Mike Thirtle, CEO of the Gary Sinise Foundation, which "serves our nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need." We talk with Mike about his 20 years of service in the Air Force, his roles in both the non-profit and for-profit sector, and of course, about Forrest Gump and the life-altering lessons we learn from Lieutenant Dan Taylo...

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In this episode, Laurie and Ann talk with Lauren McCann, founder of Calliope Advisors, a "mission-driven consulting firm and innovation partner for philanthropists, companies, and nonprofits who want to pilot new concepts and models to solve pressing and urgent societal problems." Lauren shares her own journey into making our world better through her work and what friendship and community has taught her about the world. The...

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After too long of a hiatus, we are back for Season Three of the Heromakers Podcast! Here, Laurie and Ann talk about some things they learned and noticed in 2021, how kindness creativity is flourishing in some areas, and why friendship and networking are so important. Laurie also talks about the role of self-discovery and fun in heromaking and the two share a few analogies for all of us to consider as we enter 2022.

Special invitati...

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In this episode of the Heromakers Podcast, we talk with Julie Anne Kelly, cancer survivor and co-founder of Haymakers for Hope, which gives everyday men and women the chance to fight back against cancer by training for and competing in charity boxing events to raise money and awareness. Here, we talk about Julie's own journey with a cancer diagnosis at age 22, how boxing was part of her healing journey, and how she merged the t...

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In this episode of the Heromakers Podcast, we talk with Nicholas Kristock, founder of Fleece & Thank You, a non-profit focused on connecting people who want to make blankets for children in the hospital with the heroes who receive them. A former soccer player, Nicholas sought out different volunteer opportunities while not on the field and when his twin sister told him there weren't enough blankets for the children in the h...

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In this episode of the Heromakers Podcast, we talk with Ian Hockey, co-founder and executive director of Dylan's Wings of Change and the Wingman program. In December 2012, Ian's life changed forever when he lost his son, Dylan, in the Sandy Hook shooting. Here, Ian shares about those early moments, the butterfly effect, and why grief is powerful but love more so. Grief, Ian says, is love with nowhere to go.

In this episode, ...

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In this episode of the Heromakers Podcast, Laurie and Ann talk with Katie Spotz, endurance athlete and clean water advocate. Katie has completed a number of significant physical fitness challenges--being the youngest person to row across the Atlantic Ocean (70 days, over 1 million strokes), biking across America, and being the first person to swim the Allegheny River to name just a few feats. She is currently working on a bike down...

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In this episode of the Heromakers Podcast, Laurie and Ann talk with Dorris Walker-Taylor, Senior Ambassador of Thistle Farms. Here, she opens up about the painful incident of seeing her father murdered and how that led to a lifestyle of drugs and selling herself on the streets of Nashville. 

Dorris shares openly about her decades of feeling lost and alone and how the prayers of her mother and the love of a friend finally led her to ...

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In this episode of the Heromakers Podcast, Laurie and Ann talk with Darcy Olsen, founder and CEO of Gen Justice, which "works to mend the child protection system and bring a permanent end to innocent children enduring violence." A foster parent to 10 and now having adopted 4 children, as a single mom Darcy has thrown herself into caring for kids who are sometimes forgotten on both a micro and a macro scale. Gen Justice is c...

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In this episode of the Heromakers Podcast, Laurie and Ann talk with Dion Dawson, founder and visionary of Dion's Chicago Dream. Growing up in Englewood on the south side of Chicago, Dion later spent time in the Navy, serving as a journalist and communications specialist. When his time of service was up, Dion returned to his neighborhood in the hopes of helping the people there. 

In this episode, we talk about Dion's path to ...

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In this episode of the Heromakers Podcast, Laurie and Ann talk with Samantha Tan, a 23-year-old phenom who is setting the stage for a new generation of women in race car driving. At the age of 14, with the encouragement of her father, Samantha began her love for driving fast. Today, she owns her own race car team (ST Racing) and just won her first 24-hour race in Dubai. 

Here we talk about racing cars, what got her to where she is, ...

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In this episode of the Heromakers Podcast, Laurie and Ann talk with Mark White, founder of Run Grateful and Your Town, about the power of community and why we all need physical proximity even as we continue to communicate virtually. Mark shares his own journey of recovery and how those around him stood with him as he took his life back. 

We talk about fatherhood, finding your calling, and how to make time for gratitude in your daily...

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