Trials To Triumphs

Trials To Triumphs

Netflix star, producer, content creator and a proud Howard University graduate, Ashley Blaine Featherson-Jenkins is stepping out with her brand-new podcast Trials to Triumphs. The interview-style show debuted on the Oprah Winfrey Network, which includes the popular Oprah’s Super Soul podcast. As one of the lead actresses in both the movie and series Dear White People, Ashley is deeply connected to many of the premiere innovators and performers in the entertainment industry. Her personal and professional struggles, along with her gift for relating and connecting to people from all walks of life, will allow Ashley and her notable guests to open up about the trials that led to their many triumphs. In these intimate and revealing conversations, Ashley and her guests will unpack moments that remained hidden from the public as guests worked to become who they are today. After each episode, listeners will feel inspired and empowered to keep going, no matter where they are in life. Some of Ashley's guests include Kelly Rowland, Robin Thede, Michelle Williams, Amber Riley, Danielle Brooks, Estelle and many more of today’s cultural trailblazers. Each week, Trials to Triumphs will deliver hope, inspiration and plenty of laughs… just what the world needs right now.

Episodes

September 26, 2022 45 min

How to Get Away with Murder actress Aja Naomi King is a self-proclaimed eternal optimist. Today, Aja confides in Ashley about how that optimism has sometimes hurt more than it has helped. Aja explains how shedding harmful superstitions and embracing vulnerability helped her receive the support she needed after experiencing two devastating miscarriages. Aja also discusses what both motherhood and her disappointments taught her about...

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YouTube star and creative producer Maya Washington, popularly known as ‘Shameless Maya,’ has never said no to a challenge. Maya describes how growing up in Canada offered her a supportive environment of both diversity and exploring the arts. Once Maya moved to New York City, she says she finally found the courage to fully express herself because to make it in NYC, you had to be “shameless.” Maya also talks about the peaks and the v...

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September 12, 2022 38 min

Before landing her dream role as the first Black lesbian superhero in The CW’s Black Lightning, Nafessa Williams prayed for the endurance to persevere in Hollywood. In this enlightening conversation, Ashley and Nafessa discuss taking leaps of faith. In Nafessa’s case, that was trading in the safety of her district-attorney job to pursue acting. Inspired by Sidney Poitier’s famous quote: “The reward is in the journey”… Nafessa now p...

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September 5, 2022 37 min

With over 40 years in the entertainment industry, Abbott Elementary star Sheryl Lee Ralph has a trove of  both trials and triumphs to her credit. The Tony Award-nominated multi-hyphenate takes Ashley back to the beginning of her career and describes who she was before landing her breakthrough role as Deena Jones in the seminal Broadway musical Dreamgirls. Sheryl underscores key lessons she learned from her parents and mentors, incl...

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August 29, 2022 41 min

Ten years after releasing a concept trailer that would go viral and propel his career, Dear White People creator Justin Simien is learning to take a step back and celebrate his wins. Already close friends, Justin and Ashley reflect on their personal and professional growth since the show ended and revisit the risks that led to their success. The fearless visionary unpacks the pressures of breaking ground as a Black creative and tou...

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Insecure(HBO) &Twenties(BET) actress Christina Elmore has always had a game plan for her career, but now she’s learning how to let the cards fall where they may. Ashley and Christina, who’s also one of her very best friends, dig deep into what it means to let go of unrealistic expectations and allow your most authentic self to emerge. Like most black and brown women, Christina has faced pressure to be everything to everyone thr...

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A recognized leader in the DEI field and Ashley’s mother, Cynthia Featherson has always been the backbone of her family. However, she has rarely asked for what she needs in return. As she gets older, Cynthia realizes that keeping her world small and her feelings bottled up does not serve her. She attributes this new-found awareness to Ashley. Throughout the years, Ashley has encouraged her mom to speak her truth unapologetically. I...

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August 8, 2022 42 min

Jurassic World: Dominion actress DeWanda Wise is allowing herself to take risks and give God the steering wheel.  DeWanda says because she and her family didn’t have a lot growing up, she “was always a person who questioned, naturally, the status quo.” She shares how her intuition, even at a young age, has shaped the stories she gets to tell in her work. DeWanda explains how she has come to realize her purpose in life is “to bear w...

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Originally aired by NPR's The Limits with Jay Williams on 7/19/22.

Emmy-nominated actor Colman Domingo discusses the power of intentional art, his recent projects, and coping with loss.

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Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, actress and author Michelle Williams has been perfecting the art of manifestation. Michelle tells us what happens when she speaks about her greatest dreams and fears out loud and says that you must “put voice” to your ambitions for them to happen. She tells Ashley about her battle with depression, acknowledging that even at times when “we think we’re unscathed physically,” our mental health can be...

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This week, Ashley welcomes Dear White People costar Griffin Matthews to dig into the promises made over the course of their lives. Griffin details his upbringing in the suburbs of Pittsburgh from experiencing racism in his youth to finding community in college and healing from those past hurts at Carnegie Mellon. He discloses how the Supreme Court’s landmark decision on gay marriage empowered him to dream of marriage and how that c...

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To get to her breakout role as Mercedes on Glee, Amber P. Riley made some hard choices that eventually led her to the life she’d always dreamed of. But, as she tells Ashley, it didn't happen overnight. Amber’s relationship with the Glee cast was tested through real-life experiences they navigated together, including some she describes as “trauma bonding.” She also discusses the tragic losses of several of her Glee castmates. Th...

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Hip Hop rising star Lady London is known for her unique flow and powerful freestyles. Unlike some of her most memorable lyrics, her success hasn’t been improvised. Lady London explains to Ashley why she believes “stagnancy is the same as regression” and how she finds growth in times of being uncomfortable.  She shares her struggles with being “subject to public scrutiny or subject to whatever people have to say” on social media. Sh...

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Ashley’s husband Darroll Jenkins Jr. reveals the changes and challenges he overcame to become the life partner he is today.  Darroll, who is now a sports agent, talks about letting go of his basketball dreams and what it took for him to build an abundant life with Ashley. Darroll admits to being a selfish boyfriend at the start of their relationship, but now lives to love and support Ashley for a lifetime. Darroll and Ashley tell t...

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Actress and singer/songwriter Naturi Naughton-Lewis’ greatest trials have become her greatest triumphs. Ashley and Naturi chart her journey from singing in her church to stardom becoming the final member of the platinum-selling girl group 3LW. The two-time NAACP Award winning actress recounts making the difficult decision to leave 3LW at its height and details the decade it took her to get over the pain it caused her.

Naturi explain...

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Ashley chats with close friend and critically acclaimed actress Aisha Hinds about her path to replenishment. Aisha has appeared in a number of hit series including 9-1-1, True Blood and The Shield. She made her mark with a powerful performance in Underground playing icon Harriett Tubman. In this vulnerable conversation, Aisha reflects on how her parents’ divorce left her feeling fractured as a young girl and led to her “pursuit of ...

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Trials to Triumphs host Ashley Blaine Featherson-Jenkins welcomes award-winning actress Malinda Williams to the show for a powerful conversation about discernment. Malinda has appeared on a wide variety of beloved TV shows including Sister, Sister, Moesha and Soul Food. She has also turned in powerhouse performances in films such as The Wood, Accidental Love and First Sunday. Malinda explains why she's cautious about the roles ...

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Emmy- and Tony-nominated and Grammy-winning actress Danielle Brooks opens up to Ashley about pushing through some of her darkest hours to find love, sisterhood and her purpose. She talks about the sacrifices that led to dream roles in HBO’s Peacemaker, Netflix’s Orange is the New Black and The Color Purple on Broadway. She also describes how she balances marriage and motherhood with the hectic career of a working actress. Danielle ...

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Comedian and executive producer Robin Thede created HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show to surround herself with funny women. She explains to Ashley that making room in the entertainment industry is serious business.  After years ascending from the writers’ room to on-camera work, Robin says she realized that her work isn’t about making everyone happy, but about “elevating the art in some way that’s valuable.” Robin tells Ashley about h...

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Ashley sits down with Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Estelle to talk about “the courage to lay it all down.” Estelle shares how losing her manager at a crucial time in her career led to a turning point. Like a rocket rising and watching the pieces fall away, she released harmful habits during this intense season of growth. Estelle says she steered herself out of her own way to make room for new experiences. She reveals what...

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