Our Voices Matter Podcast

Our Voices Matter Podcast

Our stories have the power to bring us closer together, if only we will listen. Emmy Award-winning journalist and entrepreneur, Linda Lorelle, guides guests through insightful, intimate conversations that reveal our common humanity. This show is not about politics; it is about finding a way to reclaim civility in the context of the contentious times in which we live, by sharing our personal and professional stories, in hopes that others might find a glimpse of themselves.

Episodes

May 6, 2021 64 min

If there is one message to get across to those struggling with mental illness, it is this:  You Are Not Alone.

As I write this, my daughter is attending the funeral of a 25 year-old friend who took his life.  I did not know the young man, but I know he was deeply loved by his family and friends.  And I know that their lives without him, are forever changed.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness says more than 50 million adults in A...

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As we prepare to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month starting May 1st, Our Voices Matter Podcast is sharing one woman's story. It's an immigrant story of heartbreak, hope and the power of love. It's an especially poignant story as hate crimes against Asian Americans are on the rise.?

Grace Mase emigrated to America from Taiwan when she was a child. Those early days in her new homeland were fraught with challenges. Grace buried...

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April 8, 2021 49 min

It's a long way from childhood immigrant to corporate leader in America.  This week's guest on Our Voices Matter shares how  leaning into the fear got her to the top.  It might seem counterintuitive, but for Mia Mends, that's the secret sauce.  Her Ghanian-born parents passed down the family recipe to Mia and her sisters.  Fast forward a few decades and the proof is in the pudding.

Mia is Chief Administrative Officer at ...

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In case you hadn't noticed, it's March Madness and the University of Houston Cougars are in the Final Four. For this Houston-based podcast, that's a BIG deal!!

The last time the Cougars made it to the Final Four was 1984. Basketball fans will remember that as the era of Phi Slama Jama. The headliners:  Coach Guy V. Lewis, Hakeem Olajuwon, and this week's encore guest, Clyde "The Glide" Drexler.

Clyde and I sa...

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March 24, 2021 52 min

What causes a defendant, sent to prison by a judge, to say with affection and respect, "This is MY judge?"  Judge Leonia Lloyd answers that question in this week's episode of Our Voices Matter podcast.  Spoiler alert:  humanity is at the core of her answer.

Judge Lloyd's remarkable career spans more than four decades, first as a teacher, then as an attorney and judge.  She took that journey with her twin sister, Leon...

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This week's episode features a Courageous Conversation about mental health.  It was recorded a few days before the breathtaking revelations from Meghan Markle that she had considered suicide. The subject of mental health is too often taboo, but Josh Donaldson is on a mission to change that.  The courage of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in talking openly about their personal experience will, no doubt, shed further light on the ...

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March 3, 2021 55 min

Left. Right. Black. White. Point. Counterpoint.  And the beat goes on...

When does it stop? And who -- or what -- will lead the way to the nuance in the middle? 

Enter 16 editorial cartoonists.  8 from the Right -- 8 from the Left -- led by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Nick Anderson.    A changing media landscape kicked him out of his comfort zone and into an unlikely opportunity to celebrate the complexity of our humanity...th...

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"It's difficult.  It's painful.  It requires vulnerability. But if we choose to look at hate through the lens of humanity, we can totally do this."  Shannon Foley Martinez speaks from personal experience.  She speaks as a former white supremacist who left the movement and now counsels others seeking to leave a life of hate behind.  With the January 6th insurrection still fresh in our minds, hers is a voice worth lis...

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What possessed two engineers to ditch their corporate jobs in oil and gas, take a leap of faith and launch a business making dumplings?  The answer is in this week's episode of Our Voices Matter Podcast.  

Chih Lin and Mike Dorsey are all about community, connection and story -- and their story is a doozy!  I won't spoil it for you, but I will give you a hint.  They asked themselves a simple, yet profound question:  "Are...

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January 27, 2021 34 min

When 25 year-old Jilly Anais says anything is possible, she means it.  And not just for herself; but for all of us.  For our divided society.  For our world.

Jilly is on a mission to live life to the fullest, with meaning, purpose and a whole lot of fun!   Want proof?  Just check out her Instagram.  This social media influencer has more than 3.5 million followers across multiple platforms, showcasing her seemingly endless talent.  

S...

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January 20, 2021 52 min

We all have it in us.  But sometimes we're not sure how to get it out -- how to express it -- how to unlock our kindness.  And let's face it.  If there's anything the world needs more of right now -- it's kindness, empathy and respect.

Let's say you're White and you want to reach out to a Black friend,  deeply affected by racial injustice.  What should you say, or not say, to express your support?  Or maybe y...

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January 2, 2021 15 min

What does it mean to be human?  This question is at the forefront of my mind.  I didn't expect it to be there on the second day of this new year.  I expected to come out of the blocks with a fresh take on the usual message of hope and inspiration.  But we are not living in usual times.

I will stop writing now and invite you to watch and listen to my raw, unfiltered thoughts, brought about by a Twitter post from a previous Our V...

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December 18, 2020 2 min

This week’s podcast is an invitation to revisit an earlier interview after watching the brief video below. It stars actor and activist, Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy), one of the driving forces behind Bank Greenwood

The new mobile banking platform was inspired by the early 1900’s Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, also known as Black Wall Street. The recirculation of Black wealth occurred all day, every day, and Black busines...

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December 3, 2020 57 min

We have a choice to make.  As Americans, as humans, there is no doubt we are at the crossroads.  Which way will we go?  I asked that question of the Rev. Dr. Luke Powery, desperately wanting an answer that will make me want to get out of bed in the morning.  Of course, nothing is that easy, but through the twists and turns of our conversation, I came out on the other side with a sense of optimism.  And yes, hope.

Powery is an author...

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November 25, 2020 37 min

Anyone who lives her life leading with love has my utmost respect and admiration.  Add in a ridiculous amount of talent, intellect and empathy and you can count me as a super fan.  Kam Franklin, lead singer of the Houston band, The Suffers, has been making music for more than ten years now.  As you will hear in this week's episode, in life and in music, Kam leads with love. 

My conversation with Kam is timely for a couple of rea...

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November 18, 2020 25 min

Thanksgiving 2020.  With all the chaos and heartbreak that defines this year, I'll bet you this --America's Tables will look and feel a lot different.  In the midst of turkey and all the trimmings, there will likely be talk of COVID tests and Zoom meetings.  Virtual school and mask wearing.  And the giant elephant in the room -- the Presidential election.  That one may very well make your well thought-out family and friends...

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November 11, 2020 41 min

Even in the age of COVID and the relentless assault on civility, art finds a way.  It finds a way to heal, to inspire, to engage and to elevate.   It connects us to each other and reflects our common humanity, while it illuminates and captures the power of our stories.

My guest this week understands this at her very core.   Jessica Green has dedicated her life to creating, collaborating and sharing art.   She led the famed Maysles D...

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November 4, 2020 12 min

Election Day 2020 has come and gone.  The votes are still being counted.  Now the real work begins:  forging The Path Forward.  

As I share my thoughts on the subject in this week's podcast, I invite you to join me in Our Voices Matter's new initiative, The Path Forward,  by sharing your solutions on how we move forward together.  Pull out your phone, video record your thoughts and upload your video on OurVoicesMatterPodacas...

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October 28, 2020 57 min

What if I told you that the path toward healing our divides lies in peeling back our pain?  Are you willing to go there?  My guest this week on Our Voices Matter is more than willing.  In fact, he uses his lived experience to help others navigate that treacherous, yet transformative path. 

Aaron Layton is an educator and diversity consultant who holds a Master of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.  O...

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It starts with dehumanizing "the other."   It can lead to domestic terrorism.   Recent headlines out of Michigan provide yet another horrifying example of how far we've gone astray.  Those accused of plotting to kidnap and do harm to Governor Gretchen Whitmer put her humanity aside, to prove a point.  Their point.  Those who disagree be damned.

Are we listening, America?  This is our wakeup call.  Choice Number 1:  Demon...

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