The Empowerment Zone

By Dr Ramona Houston

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with Dr Ramona Houston - zoning in on African American and Latino empowerment: building economic, political, educational and social power; advocating for health, philanthropy and service; championing racial and social justice.

Episode Date
Wicked Policing: A Reality in All Black Communities throughout America
09:29
Ramona Houston: The Tragedy of Tyre Nichols —

Although “The Empowerment Zone” celebrates Black History all year, Ramona has decided to devote all episodes in February to recognizing Black History Month. Considering the recent tragedies in the US with the police beating and murder of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Ramona begins this month exploring racialized police violence in the United States. In this episode Ramona reads her recent blog post “Wicked Policing: A Reality in All Black Communities throughout America.”

Feb 06, 2023
Trailer! Ramona Houston: The Tragedy of Tyre Nichols
01:17

Next episode available from Monday, February 6th, Ramona Houston's take on the recent tragedies in the US with the police beating and murder of Tyre Nichols in Memphis.

Wicked Policing: A Reality in All Black Communities throughout America

Feb 03, 2023
We return Febrary 6th
01:18

See you soon!

Jan 30, 2023
Happy New Year 2023
01:33

We return February 6th

Jan 02, 2023
The Extraordinary Impact of Artists
41:44
Christian McBride: How artists influence people and society through their music and actions — 

From James Brown to Winton Marsalis, artists have an incredible amount of influence, impacting all aspects of society and people, including today’s guest Christian McBride. Listen to Ramona’s conversation as Christian talks about the music and the artists who have impacted his life and his development as a musician. According to Christian, example is of utmost importance, because it is your example that creates change; for people follow examples. Christian McBride is an eight-time GRAMMY-winning bassist, composer, and bandleader. He is the Artistic Director of the historic Newport Jazz Festival, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the TD James Moody Jazz Festival, and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. In addition to artistic directing and consistent touring with his ensembles, he hosts NPR's “Jazz Night in America” and "The Lowdown: Conversations With Christian" on SiriusXM. Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Christian now lives in New Jersey.

For more information about Christian McBride, visit https://www.christianmcbride.com.

Dec 12, 2022
Trailer! Christian McBride: How artists influence people and society through their music and actions
01:34

Next episode available from Monday, December 12th with guest Christian McBride

The Extraordinary Impact of Artists

 

Dec 09, 2022
How do you grow a business?
39:19
Peter Martin: Get a few real customers and learn from them — 

Peter Martin is Ramona’s inspiration for starting her podcast (https://ramonahouston.com/podcast/how-do-you-start-a-podcast/), and today she talks to him about his entrepreneurial journey. Growing from the free “Two Minute Jazz” video podcast to “Open Studio,” an online jazz education platform that currently has over 3000 students from 120 countries in the world, Peter shares his advice on what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Peter Martin is an acclaimed jazz pianist, educator, and founder of Open Studio. He was recently featured in the New York Times for his groundbreaking work (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/15/opinion/sunday/learning-jazz-piano-online-internet.html).

Peter is also co-host of the acclaimed music podcast "You'll Hear It" with Adam Maness. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Peter now makes St. Louis, Missouri his home.

To learn more about Peter Martin, Open Studio and his podcast, visit https://www.openstudiojazz.com and https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/youll-hear-it/id1342674932.

Dec 05, 2022
Trailer! Peter Martin: Get a few real customers and learn from them
01:51

Next episode available from Monday, December 5th with guest Peter Martin

How do you grow a business?

Dec 02, 2022
Take the Leap!
30:51
Donna King: Do what makes you happy — 

In today’s episode, Ramona talks to entrepreneur Donna King, Chief Visionary Officer and Head Designer of P. Sherrod & Co., an Atlanta-based leather lifestyle brand founded in 2009. Donna shares her story of how she “took the leap” and persevered through the challenges of entrepreneurship to build her company. If you are temporarily paralyzed by fear, this episode will inspire you. For all others, you may also be inspired to support the brand. The holidays are here and it is time to purchase your gifts for the special ladies in your life, and the place to begin is P. Sherrod and Co. P. Sherrod and Co. offers an amazing collection of fine Colombian leather handbags, accessories and small leather goods. The brand has been featured in FORBES, UPSCALE and ATLANTA magazines. Beginning in the Spring of 2017, the collection became available in major department stores, BELK and Macy’s. Most recently the Fall collection was spotted by a CBS costume designer and has been a staple for some of the major characters on “The Young & the Restless” on CBS. A native of Jersey City, New Jersey, Donna now lives in Atlanta.

To learn more about Donna King and P. Sherrod and Co., visit https://www.psherrod.com.

Nov 28, 2022
Trailer! Donna King: Do what makes you happy
01:39

Next episode available from Monday, November 28th with guest Donna King

Take the Leap!

Nov 27, 2022
Masterclass: The Patrice Gaines Story
36:06
Chiquita Lockley and Patrice Gaines: Champions of Restorative Justice — 

It is a fact: the United States has the largest incarceration rate in the world. With a system that disproportionately criminalizes and incarcerates the poor and people of color, criminal justice reform has become one of the key social issues of the day. Listen in as Ramona talks to author and journalist, Patrice Gaines and filmmaker, Chiquita Lockley about their inspirational short film, “Masterclass: The Patrice Gaines Story.” The film peels back the layers of America’s (in)justice system while highlighting the need for a shift to restorative justice. The film is adapted from Ms. Gaines bestselling memoir Laughing in the Dark.

To learn more about Chiquita Lockley, visit http://www.eggsovereasyfilm.com. To learn more about Patrice Gaines, visit https://patricegaines.com/.

Nov 21, 2022
Trailer! Chiquita Lockley and Patrice Gaines: Champions of Restorative Justice
01:33

Next episode available from Monday, November 21st with guest Chiquita Lockley and Patrice Gaines

“Masterclass: The Patrice Gaines Story”

Nov 18, 2022
Christians Against Christianity
35:30
Obery Hendricks: Exposing the hypocrisy of right-wing evangelicals — 

The evangelical right has become a powerful force in US politics. Interestingly, many right-wing evangelicals have used the Bible to justify and promote white supremacy and power as well as marginalize and demonize various groups. In this episode Ramona talks to best selling author and Biblical scholar Dr. Obery Hendricks about his newest book Christians Agains Christianity: How Right-Wing Evangelicals Are Destroying Our Nation and Our Faith. In their discussion Dr. Hendricks uses biblical texts to deconstruct and challenge many beliefs of right-wing evangelicals on key issues of the day such as immigration, homosexuality and abortion, to name a few. Dr. Obery Hendricks is one of the most influential African American biblical scholars in America today. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University in Religion and African American and African Diasporic Studies and Emeritus Professor of Biblical Interpretation at New York Theological Seminary.

For more information about Dr. Obery Hendricks and to purchase his book, visit https://oberyhendricksphd.com/.

Nov 14, 2022
Trailer! Obery Hendricks: Exposing the hypocrisy of right-wing evangelicals
01:51

Next episode available from Monday, November 14th with guest Dr. Obery Hendricks

"Christians Against Christianity"

Nov 11, 2022
Alonso S. Perales: Pioneer of Mexican-American Civil Rights
32:20
Dr. Cynthia Orozco: Highlighting the life and legacy of an American icon — 

Reading biographies is one of the best ways to learn about life and history. In this episode Ramona talks to scholar Dr. Cynthia Orozco about the amazing life and legacy of Alonso S. Perales. Of Alice and San Antonio, Texas, Perales is the principal founder of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the most significant Latinx civil rights organization in the US. Orozco recounts Perales' unknown legacy in her full biography of this significant civil rights activist, US diplomat, and author. Listen to their conversation as Dr. Orozco explains why she believes that Perales was the most important Latinx leader before the 1960s. Originally from Cuero, Texas, Dr. Cynthia Orozco is Professor of History at Eastern New Mexico University, Ruidoso, and author of several award-winning books.

To learn more about Dr. Cynthia Orozco and to purchase this important biography about Alonso S. Perales, visit https://cynthiaorozco.com/.

Nov 07, 2022
Trailer! Dr. Cynthia Orozco: Highlighting the life and legacy of an American icon
01:39

Next episode available from Monday, November 7th with guest Dr. Cynthia Orozco

Alonso S. Perales: Pioneer of Mexican-American Civil Rights

Nov 04, 2022
Herstory in Living Color
44:25
Krysta McGowan and Celene Alexandria: Raising Awareness about Intimate Partner Violence — 

Since 1987, October has been recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which evolved from what was known as the "Day of Unity.”  According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience physical violence by an intimate partner. Moreover, 33% of teens in the US have experienced physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from an intimate partner.  So what can be done to put an end to this?  The first thing is to raise awareness to educate and empower our communities on the red flags as well as the resources available for help. In this episode, Ramona talks with Krysta McGowan, MBA, CIC and Celene Alexandria, MPH, MS, who are both extremely passionate about removing the masks and putting an end to domestic violence.  Listen to hear their stories and what you can do to create change. A native of San Jose, California, Krysta McGowan is Founder and CEO of her own image consulting firm Critique Consulting. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Celene is a health communications specialist. Both now make Atlanta their home.

To learn more about Krysta McGowan and Critique Consulting, visit http://www.educatetoempower.org/. To learn more about Celene Alexandria, visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/celenecraig. For more information and resources centered on domestic violence, visit the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. For anonymous, confidential help, 24/7, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

Oct 31, 2022
Trailer! Krysta McGowan and Celene Alexandria: Raising Awareness about Intimate Partner Violence
01:51

Next episode available from Monday, October 31st with guests Krysta McGowan and Celene Alexandria

Herstory in Living Color: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Oct 28, 2022
The Future of NGOs Global Summit, December 8-9, 2022
32:41
Dr. Carolyne Opinde: Empowering organizations through The NGO Whisperer Center for Social Impact —

The world is going through a rapid transition. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are faced with volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) at the local and international levels. What then is the future of NGOs? Listen to Ramona as she talks to Dr. Carolyne Opinde, Founder of The NGO Whisperer Center For Social Impact. Dr. Opinde shares her work and how the NGO Whisperer is empowering NGOs around the world to prosper and make impact despite VUCA. Dr. Opinde also announces and invites listeners to attend “The Future of NGOs Global Summit,” December 8-9, 2022. The virtual summit encourages NGOs, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, funders, and government agencies to attend, learn and share best practices in advancing social impact. For more information about Dr. Carolyne Opinde, the NGO Whisperer Center for Social Impact, and The Future of NGOs Global Summit visit https://ngowhisperer.com/summit/. Book your early bird ticket before October 31, 2022, and receive a 50% discount.

Oct 24, 2022
Trailer! Dr. Carolyne Opinde: Empowering organizations through The NGO Whisperer Center for Social Impact
01:51

Next episode available from Monday, October 24th with guest Dr. Carolyne Opinde

The Future of NGOs Global Summit, December 8-9, 2022

Oct 21, 2022
Challenging the “Mis-education” of African Americans
39:10
Andrew Baskin: Inspiring students to live to their fullest potential — 

Since its publication in 1933, The Mis-Education of the Negro by Dr. Carter G. Woodson has influenced generations of African American educators, including Ramona’s guest Professor Andrew Baskin. Listen to Ramona's conversation with Professor Baskin as he discusses his work as a college educator and how he has encouraged and compelled students to achieve academic success. Mr. Baskin is Professor Emeritus of African and African American Studies at his alma mater Berea College, in Berea, KY. Having taught at the college for thirty-six years, Professor Baskin is the only faculty member to receive Berea College’s three most prestigious faculty awards for community service, academic advising, and excellence in teaching.

To learn more about Professor Andrew Baskin and to support the Andrew and Symerdar Baskin Student Research Fund named in his honor, visit https://www.berea.edu/give/baskin/.

Oct 17, 2022
Trailer! Andrew Baskin: Inspiring students to live to their fullest potential
01:51

Next episode available from Monday, October 17th with guest Andrew Baskin

Challenging the “Mis-education" of African Americans

Oct 14, 2022
Ladies, have you ever considered a career in the automotive industry?
36:17
Grené Baranco: The lack of diversity and women of color in the dealer space - 

According to Forbes, women drive 70-80% of consumer purchasing decisions, which includes vehicle purchases. Despite the amount of money women invest in cars, the automotive industry lacks diversity when it comes to women and, particularly, women of color. In fact, there are only six black women new car dealers in the US! Listen to Ramona and Grené Baranco as they discuss why it is important for women of color to be represented in the dealer space. For over 25 years Grené has enjoyed a highly successful career as an automotive executive and industry leader, currently serving as Vice President of E-commerce for Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead. She also owns G Lux Automotive, Atlanta's newest independent online dealership. Originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Grené now makes Atlanta her home.

To learn more about Grené Baranco, visit http://www.gluxautomotive.com.

 

Oct 10, 2022
Trailer! Grené Baranco: The lack of diversity and women of color in the dealer space
01:33

Next episode available from Monday, October 10th with guest Grené Baranco

Ladies, have you ever considered a career in the automotive industry?

Oct 07, 2022
How can municipalities produce academic success and teacher pipelines within the Latino community?
41:17
Angela Valenzuela: Look to Academia Cuauhtli -

Providing educational support with identifiable teachers are important to the academic success of all students. In today’s episode Dr. Angela Valenzuela shares her work with Academia Cuauhtli (Nahuatl for "Eagle Academy”), a partnership model with the Austin Independent School District and the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center that supports the educational development of students and creates pathways into the teaching profession for bilingual and dual language educators. Listen and learn how the Academy incorporates culturally relevant teaching methods and uses bilingual educators to elevate academic achievement among Latino students.

Dr. Valenzuela is a professor at the University of Texas at Austin in both the Cultural Studies in Education Program within the Department of Curriculum & Instruction and the Educational Policy and Planning Program within the Department of Education Leadership and Policy, where she also serves as the director of the Texas Center for Education Policy. Dr. Valenzuela also founded and operates an education blog entitled, "Educational Equity, Politics, and Policy in Texas.” Originally from San Angelo, Texas, Dr. Valenzuela now makes Austin her home.

To learn more about Dr. Angela Valenzuela, her blog, and Academia Cuauhtli, visit https://education.utexas.edu/faculty/angela_valenzuela http://texasedequity.blogspot.com https://academiacuauhtli.com/

Oct 03, 2022
Welcome to Season 3
01:33

We're looking forward to starting Season 3 of The Empowerment Zone on October 3rd, 2022. Please tune in and subscribe to ensure you won't miss any new episodes.

Ramona Houston

Sep 26, 2022
The Power of Voting from Abroad
41:13
Democrats Abroad Global Youth Caucus - 

With less than 100 days to the mid-term elections, the Democrats Abroad Global Youth Caucus is mobilizing voters around the world to engage in the political process and cast their votes. In this episode Jose Miguel Madrigal Hidalgo, Sruthi Venkatraman and Justin Hart of the Democrats Abroad Global Youth Caucus talk with Ramona on the process of voting from abroad, why voting is important, and how voting empowers the community. Providing a plethora of perspectives from different parts of the globe, these three tell us why young people should get more involved in the voting process and how Democrats Abroad supports their political journey. Go to Vote From Abroad to register to vote and Democrats Abroad to join the fun!

To learn more about the Democrats Abroad Global Youth Caucus, visit https://www.democratsabroad.org/yc.

Aug 29, 2022
Trailer! Democrats Abroad Global Youth Caucus
01:39

Next episode available from Monday, August 29th with guest Democrats Abroad Global Youth Caucus

The Power of Voting from Abroad

Aug 26, 2022
Part II: The Social Responsibility of the scholar
27:19
Dr. Emilio Zamora: The work of a scholar activist - 

Scholars have always played a significant role in movements to advance racial and social justice. In Part II of his conversation with Ramona, Dr. Emilio Zamora discusses why and how scholars should be involved in the community. Dr. Zamora shares his work in Texas in the campaign for Ethnic Studies—involving petitions for inclusion in the standard curriculum and workshops to help teachers incorporate Ethnic Studies into their classrooms. This work keeps Dr. Zamora grounded and inspired to continue making the historical claim for divinely-inspired and constitutional-based rights for all. Originally from the small town of La Feria, in South Texas, Dr. Zamora is a Professor of History and the Clyde Rabb Littlefield Chair in Texas History at the University of Texas at Austin.

For more information about Dr. Emilio Zamora, visit https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/history/faculty/ezamora.

Aug 22, 2022
Trailer! Dr. Emilio Zamora (part 2): The work of a scholar activist
01:33

Next episode available from Monday, August 22nd with guest Dr. Emilio Zamora

Part II: The Social Responsibility of the scholar

Aug 19, 2022
Part I: The Social Responsibility of the scholar
24:33
Dr. Emilio Zamora: The evolution of a scholar activist - 

Scholars have always played a significant role in movements to advance racial and social justice. In Part 1 of his conversation with Ramona, Dr. Emilio Zamora discusses his career trajectory as a Mexican Americanist historian and how his research has shaped his consciousness of social responsibility and his approach as a scholar activist. Expanding on his research on Mexican American activists Alonso Perales and José de la Luz Sáenz, Dr. Zamora explains how the lives of these men have provided lessons on how to advance racial and social justice. Originally from the small town of La Feria, in South Texas, Dr. Zamora is a Professor of History and the Clyde Rabb Littlefield Chair in Texas History at the University of Texas at Austin.

For more information about Dr. Emilio Zamora, visit https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/history/faculty/ezamora.

Aug 15, 2022
Trailer! Dr. Emilio Zamora (part 1): The evolution of a scholar activist
01:51

Next episode available from Monday, August 15th with guest Dr. Emilio Zamora

Part I: The Social Responsibility of the scholar

Aug 12, 2022
How can communities increase the number of African American teachers?
36:57
Sharif El-Mekki: intentionality in developing black educators — 

Many individuals matriculate through their formative years in K-12 education without having an African American teacher. This is a problem for multiple reasons. Listen to Ramona’s conversation with Sharif El-Mekki as they discuss why there are so few African American teachers and what communities must do to intentionally attract them to the profession. The Center for Black Education Development is dedicated to this mission. Sharif shares strategies that the Center has implemented to address this challenge, among them public policy, professional learning and pathways. The charge is simple: #weneedblackteachers. Former Principal and Teacher, Sharif El-Mekki is the Founder and CEO of the Center for Black Educator Development. A native of Philadelphia, he continues to make the city his home.

To learn more about Sharif El-Mekki and the Center for Black Educator Development, visit http://thecenterblacked.org.

Aug 08, 2022
Trailer! Sharif El-Mekki: intentionality in developing black educators
01:39

Next episode available from Monday, August 8th with guest Sharif El-Mekki

How can communities increase the number of African American teachers?

Aug 05, 2022
How can African Americans and Latino/as influence media?
34:50
Kamela Boyd, Part II: the impact of communications on culture - 

Listen to Part II of Ramona’s discussion with Atlanta-based media and communications expert Kamela Boyd. Kamela shares her thoughts about the evolving impact media has on culture and marketing. She also discusses why it is so important for African American and Latino/a professionals to pursue careers in journalism. According to Kamela, media has a profound influence on behavior. As media professionals, African Americans and Latino/as have the power to shape media. Kamela serves as director of communications and marketing for the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians, leading all communications efforts. Originally from Tallahassee, Florida, Kamela now makes Atlanta her home.

To learn more about Kamela Boyd, visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/kamelaboyd/..

Aug 01, 2022
Trailer! Kamela Boyd, Part II: the impact of communications on culture
01:39

Next episode available from Monday, August 1st with guest Kamela Boyd

How can African Americans and Latino/as influence media?

Jul 29, 2022
How do institutions usher under-represented groups into health professions?
38:11
Dr. Catherine Ortega: Pathway Programs, the key to increasing diversity - 

Like many other fields, the health profession lacks diversity, primarily due to the systemic structures that impede access to educational and professional opportunities. In this episode Ramona talks to Dr. Catherine Ortega about careers in health and how institutions and organizations can create pathways, as opposed to pipelines, for career access and success. Dr. Ortega explores the many challenges to entry into the health profession. More importantly, she expands upon the multiple strategies and tactics institutions can employ to attract and recruit under-represented groups into the health profession. Notably, these valuable pathway strategies may work for you, no matter your industry. Dr. Ortega is a Faculty Member at the University of Utah and a Physical Therapist and Athletic Trainer. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Dr. Ortega now resides in Utah.

Jul 25, 2022
Trailer! Dr. Catherine Ortega: Pathway Programs, the key to increasing diversity
01:33

Next episode available from Monday, July 25 with guest Dr. Catherine Ortega

How do institutions usher under-represented groups into health professions?

Jul 22, 2022
Part I: How identity shapes leadership
41:12
Joel Alvarado: The evolution of a transformative leader — 

Identity is so important to individuality and leadership. We are all constantly evolving. As many of you know, it is not so important how others define you, as it is for you to define yourself. In Part I of this series, Ramona talks to Joel Alvarado about the evolution of his personal identity. Joel discusses how his life experiences as a Puerto Rican growing up New York in a multi-national and multi-cultural community, visiting his Afro-Latino family members in Puerto Rico, attending Morehouse College—a Historically Black College and University in the South, and studying race and class has shaped his identity and approach to leadership.

Joel is Vice President of Strategy and Engagement at the Partnership for Southern Equity and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Jul 18, 2022
Trailer! Joel Alvarado: The evolution of a transformative leader
01:33

Next episode available from Monday, July 18 with guest Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur

Part I: How identity shapes leadership

Jul 15, 2022
Do you need more rest?
31:51
Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur: Challenging the myth that you must “earn your rest” — 

What is something everyone needs, but few get enough of it? Rest. Rest and relaxation is vital to productivity and creativity. Rest rejuvenates our minds, bodies and spirits, so that we can enjoy life and perform at our maximum potential. Yet, most of us push ourselves for long hours and rest only enough to keep us moving along. In their conversation Ramona and Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur talk about their journeys in discovering the importance of rest. Saleemah encourages rest, suggesting ideas on how to rest in different ways without guilt or shame. Saleemah is the Director of the Office of the Chief Communications Officer and Chief of Staff of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Jul 11, 2022
Trailer! Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur: Challenging the myth that you must “earn your rest”
01:18

Next episode available from Monday, July 11 with guest Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur

Do you need more rest?

Jul 08, 2022
A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community
34:39
Dr. Natalia Molina: Elevating the significance of urban anchors in building community - 

There are places in every community where marginalized people come together to affirm their humanity, culture and community. In Los Angeles the Nayarit was one of those esteemed places and spaces. Today Ramona talks to Professor Natalia Molina about her most recent book A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community. Dr. Molina shares the life of her grandmother and how her restaurant operated as an urban anchor, an important site for community building. Natalia Molina is Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, specializing in History, Latinx Studies, Immigration, Gender, Foodways, and Public Health. She is also a 2020 MacArthur Fellow. To learn more about Natalia Molina, visit http://nataliamolinaphd.com/.

Follow Natalia:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/school/uscdornsife/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Prof_NataliaM Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/prof_nataliam/

Jul 04, 2022
Trailer! Dr. Natalia Molina: Elevating the significance of urban anchors in building community
01:21

Next episode available from Monday, July 4 with guest Dr. Natalia Molina

A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community

Jul 01, 2022
How cities create systems to support the growth of black-owned businesses
33:10
Michael H. Ross: Look to Atlanta, the Mecca of Black Business Success - 

Are you a business or civic leader seeking to develop black businesses in your community? Then, this episode is for you. Listen to the conversation as Ramona talks to Micheal H. Ross about the long and rich history of black business success in Atlanta, starting in the late nineteenth century through the present. Acknowledged by many as the “Black Mecca,” Atlanta is a model for municipalities seeking to build successful black-owned businesses. In their discussion Micheal draws the connection between higher education, government, and business and explains how these sectors have worked in tandem to create an environment and system to produce black business prosperity in Atlanta in multiple areas: small businesses, insurance, construction, music and film, technology, and so much more.

Michael H. Ross is CEO of MHR International, a construction management company in Atlanta, Georgia. He also operates as an angel investor.

Jun 27, 2022
Trailer! Michael H. Ross: Look to Atlanta, the Mecca of Black Business Success
01:34

Next episode available from Monday, June 27 with guest Michael H. Ross

How cities create systems to support the growth of black-owned businesses

Jun 24, 2022
Ableism and its impact on inclusion among people with disabilities
43:39
Vincenzo Piscopo: A champion of inclusion and accessibility for the disability community - 

Accessibility, an essential component of DEI&A (diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility), is the process of making opportunities, environments, services and products available and usable by all people. Ablism—discrimination in favor of able-bodies people—is the reason accessibility is so important. In their discussion today, Vincenzo Piscopo talks to Ramona about his work in inclusion and accessibility and his impact in empowering organizations to leverage the skills and talents of people with disabilities. An immigrant from Venezuela and seasoned Diversity & Inclusion professional, Vincenzo took the reins of the United Spinal Association—a disability rights pioneer and the largest membership organization of people with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D) in the United States—after a long foray in corporate philanthropy with the Coca-Cola Company. Vincenzo is also the founder of the Wheels of Happiness Foundation. He lives in Alpharetta, Georgia.

To learn more about Vincenzo Piscopo, visit https://unitedspinal.org.

Jun 20, 2022
trailer! Vincenzo Piscopo: A champion of inclusion and accessibility
01:34

Next episode available from Monday, June 20 with guest Vincenzo Piscopo

Ableism and its impact on inclusion among people with disabilities

Jun 17, 2022
The Impact of Communications on Culture
38:24
Kamela Boyd: Authenticity, Empathy and Sensitivity are vital in Marketing and PR — 

Join Ramona as she talks to Atlanta-based media and communications expert Kamela Boyd. Kamela shares her career journey in public relations and her thoughts about the evolving impact media has on culture and marketing. Kamela explores HBCU excellence, WalMart’s blunder with Juneteenth products, compassion needed in coverage of the Uvalde, Texas school tragedy, and lessons learned from her professional experiences. Kamela is one of the original staff members of the Morehouse School of Medicine Satcher Health Leadership Institute founded by the 16th U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher. Currently, Kamela serves as director of communications and marketing for the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians, leading all communications efforts.

Originally from Tallahassee, Florida, Kamela now makes Atlanta her home.

To learn more about Kamela Boyd, visithttps://www.linkedin.com/in/kamelaboyd/..

Jun 13, 2022
Trailer! Kamela Boyd: the impact of communications on culture
01:13

Next episode available from Monday, June 13 with guest Kamela Boyd

Why is authenticity, empathy and sensitivity so important to marketing and public relations?

Jun 10, 2022
The 4 Pillars of Political Empowerment
39:14
Dr. John Eaves: political engagement, more than just the vote — 

Being politically engaged is essential to the empowerment of the African American and Latino communities. Why? One simple reason: government affects every aspect of our lives. Services are connected to the vote, so our communities must be involved in the political process to improve the services in our communities. Join Ramona and Dr. John Eaves as they discuss the importance of politics and government and the four primary ways individuals can be engaged in the political process.

Dr. John Eaves is a candidate for the Secretary of State of Georgia and lives in Atlanta.

To learn more about Dr. John Eaves, visithttps://www.johneavesforgeorgia.com/..

Jun 06, 2022
Trailer! Dr. John Eaves: political engagement, more than just the vote
01:13

Next episode available from Monday, June 6 with guest Dr. John Eaves

The 4 Pillars of Political Empowerment

Jun 03, 2022
How is Renasant Bank embracing social responsiblity?
29:13
Dr. Tracey Morant Adams: empowering women-owned businesses through Renasant Roots - 

Renasant Bank knows what it means to be a corporate citizen and leader in the community. Through effective corporate social responsibility initiatives the bank is making a big impact on women. Listen to the conversation as Ramona talks to Dr. Tracey Morant Adams about how Renasant Bank through its community engagement program, Renasant Roots, is answering the call to empower women-owned businesses. Dr. Tracey Morant Adams is Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Community Development and Corporate Social Responsibility Officer at Renasant Bank. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

To learn more about Dr. Tracey Morant Adams, visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracey-morant-adams-ph-d-121ab2111/.

May 30, 2022
Trailer! Dr. Tracey Morant Adams: empowering women-owned businesses through Renasant Roots
01:13

Next episode available from Monday, May 30 with guest Dr. Tracey Morant Adams

How is Renasant Bank embracing social responsiblity?

May 27, 2022
How can organizations strategically advance the political empowerment of Latinos?
45:46
Larry Gonzalez: promoting the importance of coalition-building in the policymaking process — 

Larry Gonzalez is an inconspicuous but powerful force in American government and politics. If you are interested in the political empowerment of the Latino community, this conversation is for you. Join Ramona and Larry as they discuss Larry’s professional trajectory into public affairs and his perspective on how the Latino and African American communities can work together to politically empower our communities to continue to push America forward. Larry Gonzalez is a Founding Principle of The Raben Group, joining in 2006. He is a leader of Raben’s LatinStrategies practice group where he helps clients, corporate and non-profit, develop and implement strategic plans to engage the Latino community groups and Hispanic members of Congress. Originally from Chicago, Larry lives in the metro Washington, DC.

To learn more about Larry Gonzalez, visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/larry-gonzalez-1a83804/.

May 23, 2022
Trailer! Larry Gonzalez: promoting the Importance of Coalition-Building in the Policymaking Process
01:13

Next episode available from Monday, May 23 with guest Larry Gonzalez

How can organizations strategically advance the political empowerment of Latinos?

May 20, 2022
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEI&B) in Veterinary Medicine
29:13
Dr. Niccole Bruno: Transforming the culture of veterinary medicine through BLEND — 

Veterinary medicine is the least diverse medical profession in the country, which is not reflective of pet ownership. Many veterinary professionals work in hospitals where there is only one doctor of color and/or person of color. A lack of diversity within veterinary medicine impacts the ability of veterinary professionals to educate their clientele of diverse backgrounds. This leads to a lapse in patient care. As an Afro-Latina veterinarian, Dr. Niccole Bruno is on a mission to change this reality. Join the conversation as Ramona talks to Dr. Bruno, the CEO & Founder of BLEND, a veterinary hospital certification program designed to train veterinary teams in DEI&B; not only in context but in daily application in their hospital culture. Originally from Queens, New York, Dr. Bruno currently resides in Houston, Texas.

To learn more about Dr. Niccole Bruno and BLEND, visit http://www.blend.vet.

May 16, 2022
Trailer! Dr. Niccole Bruno: Transforming the culture of veterinary medicine through BLEND
01:13

Next episode available from Monday, May 16 with guest Dr. Niccole Bruno

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEI&B) in Veterinary Medicine

May 13, 2022
How are changing demographics shaping the political and cultural landscape of the US?
38:57
Atty. John Haroldson Suarez: Examining justice in an era of social tension — 

Over the past few decades, demographic changes have been transforming the US. America is quickly evolving to become a majority-minority country. Threatened by this demographic shift, some Americans have created an antagonistic political and cultural environment, ushering in a period of hostility and incivility toward fellow Americans.

In this episode, Ramona is joined by Attorney Haroldson Suarez who talks about how these changes have influenced justice and, more importantly, how individuals can each do their part in creating a more just society. John Haroldson Suarez is the first Latino elected to serve as District Attorney in the State of Oregon and currently serves as the Board Chair for the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI).

To learn more about John Haroldson Suarez, visit https://www.co.benton.or.us/da.

 

May 09, 2022
Trailer! Attorney John Haroldson Suarez: Examining justice in an era of social tension
01:13

Next episode available from Monday, May 9 with guest Atty. John Haroldson Suarez

How are changing demographics shaping the political and cultural landscape of the US?

May 06, 2022
Congressman Hank Johnson: Leveling the playing field for everyday Americans through the Courts
31:42
What role does the legislature play in shaping the judiciary?

America is celebrating the Senate confirmation of its first African American woman Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. The Democratic Congress is one of the forces that made this landmark and consequential event happen. Join Ramona as she talks to Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) about this significant moment as well as the importance of US Legislature in shaping the judiciary. Congressman Johnson also discusses his 2022 agenda. Representing Georgia's Fourth Congressional District, Representative Hank Johnson is a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee. He has been named one of the most effective Democrats in Congress by a University of Virginia and University of Vanderbilt study.

To learn more about Congressman Hank Johnson, visit https://hankjohnson.house.gov/.

May 02, 2022
Trailer! Congressman Hank Johnson: Leveling the playing field for everyday Americans through the Courts
01:21

Next episode available from Monday May 2nd with guest Congressman Hank Johnson.

America is celebrating the Senate confirmation of its first African American woman Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. The Democratic Congress is one of the forces that made this landmark and consequential event happen. Join Ramona as she talks to Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) about this significant moment as well as the importance of US Legislature in shaping the judiciary. Congressman Johnson also discusses his 2022 agenda. Representing Georgia's Fourth Congressional District, Representative Hank Johnson is a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee. He has been named one of the most effective Democrats in Congress by a University of Virginia and University of Vanderbilt study.

To learn more about Congressman Hank Johnson, visit https://hankjohnson.house.gov/.

Apr 29, 2022
Part 2: How can educators transform their profession?
31:42
Dr. Jose Leyba: Pioneering Mexican American/Chicano educator explores approaches to forging change — 

Educators are vital to the development of children and young adults. Following the parents, they are the first to inspire students to achieve their potential. Many African American and Mexican American students, however, are left behind due to the systemic realities that label them incapable of academic excellence. Join Ramona as she talks to leading educator Dr. Jose Leyba as he discusses how his leadership influenced change within K-12 and higher education to advance the educational development of Mexican American children. A third generation Arizona native, Dr. Leyba’s career spans over 45 years in the P-20 system, having held many executive leadership positions in K-12 such as Principal, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, and Superintendent and in higher education such Vice President, Vice Chancellor Human Resources, Provost, and Interim President.

Dr. Leyba now serves as an executive search consultant & leadership coach.

 

Find out more about Dr Ramona Houston.

Apr 25, 2022
Part 1: How can educators transform their profession?
32:20
Dr. Jose Leyba: Pioneering Mexican American/Chicano educator explores approaches to forging change — 

Educators are vital to the development of children and young adults. Following the parents, they are the first to inspire students to achieve their potential. Many African American and Mexican American students, however, are left behind due to the systemic realities that label them incapable of academic excellence. Join Ramona as she talks to leading educator Dr. Jose Leyba as he discusses how his leadership influenced change within K-12 and higher education to advance the educational development of Mexican American children. A third generation Arizona native, Dr. Leyba’s career spans over 45 years in the P-20 system, having held many executive leadership positions in K-12 such as Principal, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, and Superintendent and in higher education such Vice President, Vice Chancellor Human Resources, Provost, and Interim President.

Dr. Leyba now serves as an executive search consultant & leadership coach.

 

Find out more about Dr Ramona Houston.

Apr 18, 2022
How can information technology become more diverse?
37:21
Contrial Davis: examining diversity, equity and inclusion in IT — 

It is no secret that the technology industry has a challenge with diversity and inclusion. Information Technology (IT) is one of the many fields that must address this critical issue. Listen to Ramona and Contrial Davis as they discuss how he entered IT and what he thinks the industry needs to do to attract and retain diverse talent. Raised in Alabama and Detroit, Contrial now makes Phoenix, Arizona his home.

To learn more about Contrial Davis, visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/contrial-davis-68714a22.

Apr 04, 2022
Love, Activism, and the Respectable Life of Alice Dunbar Nelson
32:03
Dr. Tara T. Green: Black women and leadership, pleasure practice — 

As racial and social justice activism takes center stage in America, we are presented with a biography of prolific writer, educator, and social activist, Alice Dunbar Nelson, whose life in the early twentieth century reflects many of our nation’s current challenges. Join Ramona as she talks with Dr. Tara T. Green about her new book on Dunbar Nelson, a queer, liberated “race woman,” who challenged all types of oppression as she influenced the Harlem Renaissance. Dr. Tara T. Green is a professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she teaches literature and gender studies courses. Dr. Green is from the Westbank of New Orleans.

To learn more about Tara T. Green or to purchase her wonderful book, visit www.drtaratgreen.com.

Mar 28, 2022
How does offering health insurance help to grow your business?
31:41
Quentin Moses: The strategic value of health benefits for business owners — 

Health insurance is a benefit that every employee desires. That is why business owners should include health insurance in their business growth strategy. Join Ramona as she talks to independent health insurance agent Quentin Moses about group health insurance and how offering it helps business owners to attract and retain the best talent. Originally from Atlantic City, New Jersey, Quentin now makes Atlanta his home.

To learn more about Quentin Moses, visit https://www.healthmarkets.com/local-health-insurance-agent/quentinmoses/.

Feb 11, 2022
Arthel Neville Design
31:49
Connecting and empowering others through fashion — 

There are so many ways to inspire others. That is what Arthel Neville does everyday. Listen to the conversation as Ramona talks to Arthell about her journey as a nationally acclaimed journalist to an immensely passionate designer. As a trailblazer in news and programing, Arthel has expanded her impact to create an accessories line adorned with her original quotes of empowerment. Through her work Arthel seeks to connect and inspire. Arthel is currently a weekend anchor for Fox News, covering politics, foreign policy, national and breaking news. Originally from New Orleans, Arthel works out of New York.

To learn more about Arthel Neville and Arthell Neville Design, visithttps://arthelnevilledesign.com/.

Feb 07, 2022
How do you create change in your life?
30:57
Dr. Ian Brooks: Guiding individuals through purposeful transformation — 

Personal change is difficult. It requires clarity of purpose, acknowledgement of individual direction, and perseverance. To help us along this journey, Ramona is joined by Dr. Ian D. Brooks to discuss the foundations in living to our purpose and purposefully managing transformations. Dr. Brooks is the CEO of Rhodes Smith Consulting—a personal and professional development firm—and the author of 2021 Best Self-help book Intention: Building Capabilities to Transform Your Story. He shares his story of transformation and the steps taken by his clients to think clearly and act decisively for lasting change. Originally from Virginia, Dr. Brooks now resides in Los Angeles.  

To learn more about Dr. Ian D. Brooks, visit https://rhodessmith.com.

Feb 04, 2022
What does the Negro League, Buffalo Soldiers and Tuskegee Airmen have in common?
30:55
Kimberly Greene: Celebrating African American history through BLACK — 

There are so many ways to honor and memorialize African American history, and Ramona has discovered a business that does just that. Join Ramona as she talks to Kimberly Greene, founder of BLACK (Bases Loaded Authentic Clothing and Kaps). Through BLACK Kimberly uses licensed apparel to celebrate African American history by serving as an educational partner to the Negro League Museum, Buffalo Soldiers Museum and Tuskegee Airmen Association. Kimberly produces high quality, licensed apparel, while also financially supporting these distinguished entities. Additionally, Kimberly emphasizes the little known but crucial contributions of Black women within these organizations. Originally from New Jersey, Kimberly continues to make the state her home.

To learn more about Kimberly Green, visit https://www.blackB4U.com.

Jan 21, 2022
How has jazz music evolved over the years?
34:32
Lovell Hooks: A lifelong champion of jazz — 

Jazz is America’s classical music. Join the conversation as Ramona discusses jazz with radio personality Lovell Hooks, host of “Jazz, Straight No Chaser" on community radio WRFG 89.3 FM in Atlanta. Lovell’s show has been on the air for 30 years—the longest running show on the station. Lovell educates audiences about jazz through playing its music and telling its stories. In fact, Lovell has interviewed a long list of local and international jazz artist, who have shared their treasured experiences.

Learn from Lovell how jazz has evolved over the years. Originally from Denver, Colorado, Lovell now makes Atlanta his home.

Jan 17, 2022
The power of civic and political engagement
33:00
Rep. Donna McLeod: Encouraging citizens to participate in their government — 

The mid-term elections are right around the corner. Part of social responsibility is embracing your civic duties and responsibilities. Join Ramona as she talks to Georgia State Representative Donna McLeod about why individuals should participate in their local and national elections. In addition to voting, Rep. McLeod also emphasizes the importance of holding elected officials accountable. A chemical engineer and quality assurance consultant, Rep. McLeod is originally from Jamaica. She is now a citizen of Gwinnett County, Georgia. Notably, Rep. McLeod also announces that she is currently running for Congress.

To learn more about Rep. Donna McLeod, visit https://donnamcleod.com/.

Jan 14, 2022
Why is studying and understanding history so important?
47:04
Dr. Abel Bartley: Championing history to avoid repeating the past — 

African Americans and people of color represent tremendous potential, which is not being harnessed. Americans have an obligation to study our past so that we can avoid creating mistakes in the future. Listen to the conversation as two American historians, Dr. Abel Bartley and Ramona, discuss the value of learning history. Dr. Abel Bartley is a Professor of African American and Urban History at Clemson University. He is the current chair of the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission (SCAAHC) and President of the Southern Conference on African American Studies Incorporated (SCAASI). Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Dr. Bartley currently lives in Liberty, South Carolina.

To learn more about Dr. Abel Bartley, visit https://www.clemson.edu/caah/faculty-staff/facultyBio.html?id=88.

Jan 10, 2022
Why should African Americans care about breast cancer?
37:24
Ricki Fairley: Raising awareness through TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance — 

Like many health disparities, African American women disproportionately suffer from breast cancer. The statistics are overwhelming. Listen in as Ramona talks to Ricki Fairley about the dangers of breast cancer among African American women. Ricki shares her personal experiences with breast cancer and her work in TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance (BBCA) to inspire African American women young and old to be catalysts for change in their communities. Ricki Fairley is the CEO and Co-Founder of TOUCH BBCA. Ricki is originally from Silver Spring, Maryland. After living in Atlanta, Ricki has returned to the state to make Annapolis her home.

To learn more about Ricki Fairley and TOUCH BBCA, visit https://www.touchbbca.org.

Jan 07, 2022
What are the essentials to being a good father?
43:08
Marlon Addison: Fueling Fatherhood — 

There is nothing like having a loving and devoted father. That is just what Marlon Addison is. Join Ramona for Marlon’s second appearance on the show as they discuss the passion, responsibility and commitment involved in being a present and engaged father. The two share their personal stories of their fathers and the impact that these men had on their lives. A proud husband and father of three, Marlon is a lifelong resident of New Jersey.

For more information about Marlon Addison, connect with him on LinkedIn.

Jan 03, 2022
African American Music: The Nucleus for Resistance and Resilience
36:23
Dr. Dwight Andrews: The purpose, power and impact of African American music — 

Music created by African Americans has always had a purpose. Music provided African Americans a voice, despite the fact that throughout American history there has been an effort to silence them. Listen to the conversation as Dr. Dwight Andrews and Ramona discuss the history and significance of music as the center of the African American experience. Musician, performing artist, paster and educator, Dr. Dwight Andrews is an Associate Professor of Music Theory at Emory University and Senior Minister of First Congregational Church in Atlanta. Dr. Andrews is originally from Detroit, Michigan. To learn more about Dr. Dwight Andrews, visit http://music.emory.edu/home/people/biography/andrews-dwight.html.

Dec 31, 2021
How do you avoid becoming a “Fad Entrepreneur?”
34:14
Kent Jones: Build a solid foundation for your business — 

There are all type of entrepreneurs, and according to Kent Jones, many are “fad entrepreneurs.” Join the conversation for Kent’s second appearance on “The Empowerment Zone” as Ramona and Kent discuss the most critical work in developing successful business. As Kent explains, entrepreneurs must create systems that enable their businesses to become profitable and sustaining living organisms. In addition to discussing business growth and development, Ramona and Kent engage in a philosophical conversation about work and fulfillment. A second-generation business owner, Kent has owned and operated several McDonald’s and Baskin-Robbins franchises in Memphis, Tennessee. Kent is a native of Memphis and continues to make the city his home.

Dec 24, 2021
Motivational Monday: Do you need a morning wake up call?
38:36
Ramona Houston: “Get up! Get busy! And, go get your inheritance!” — 

Ramona has your #MondayMotivation covered! She shares one of her blogs. According to Ramona, each of you have your own Divine Inheritance that God has created especially for you! Listen today as Ramona inspires you to go get everything that God has for you!

Dec 20, 2021
How do you grow and pivot a business?
38:36
Nicole Moreno-Deinzer: Inspiring entrepreneurs to fulfil their visions — 

Today Ramona talks to magazine publisher Nicole Moreno-Deinzer. Nicole dives into, not only the creation of Epifania Magazine, but her mindset throughout the way—from imposter syndrome, to confidence, to growth. Listen to the conversation today as Ramona and Nicole discuss the challenges and rewards of growing a business. Nicole is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Epifania Magazine. Originally from the Bay Area in Northern California, Nicole now makes Los Angeles her home.

To learn more about Nicole Moreno-Deinzer and Epifania Magazine, visithttps://epifaniamagazine.com

Dec 17, 2021
Advice for Atlanta Mayor-elect Andre Dickens
31:49
Kebbi Williams: Let’s make Atlanta a premier city for the arts — 

There are so many cities known for their music and the arts, and Grammy award winning saxophonist Kebbi Williams is on a mission to make Atlanta one of the top. Listen as Ramona talks to Kebbi about his advice for his childhood friend, Mayor-elect of Atlanta Andre Dickens, on how to lead the City of Atlanta in becoming a nucleus for arts empowerment. Kebbi Williams is an internationally acclaimed musician and founder of Music in the Park in Atlanta and Gallery 992. Originally from Atlanta, Kebbi continues to make the city his home.

To learn more about Kebbi Williams, Music in the Park, and Gallery 992, visit http://musicintheparkatl.org.

Dec 13, 2021
“A Twist of Fate”
30:32
Tracye Bryant: Keeping readers delighted through her novels — 

Reading engaging novels is a favorite pastime for many. Today Ramona talks to Atlanta author Tracye D. Bryant, who is debuting her second novel “A Twist of Fate.” The riveting sequel to “This Twisted Life” is a holiday must have. Join the conversation as Tracye discusses her novel, her approach to writing, and the publishing process. Tracye is a native of Atlanta and continues to make the city her home. Order your copies of “A Twist of Fate” and “This Twisted Life” now at www.amazon.com. To learn more about Tracye, visit www.tracyebryant.com.

Dec 10, 2021
WCLK 91.9 FM: The Jazz of the City
36:53
Deb Moore: Elevating jazz music and its icons — 

A gem of Clark Atlanta University, WCLK 91.9 FM has been a treasure in Atlanta for decades, and Deb Moore has been a devoted steward of the station for many of those years. Listen today as Ramona talks to Deb about WCLK, jazz music, and the artists who create it. Deb Moore is host of “Jazz at Sundown” and “Sunday Jazz Suite.”

To learn more about Deb Moore and WCLK, visit https://www.wclk.com.

Dec 06, 2021
How do you achieve maximum impact and sustainability?
31:21
Alfred Ramirez: Pause, Assess, Organize and Create Systems — 

Many individuals are continually seeking ways to improve their performance and impact. Join Ramona as she and Alfred Ramirez discuss how to develop techniques and procedures that will help you to become more effective in your professional and personal life. Alfred Ramirez is President of Diverse Strategies Now.

Originally, from Los Angeles, Alfred now lives East Moline, Illinois. To learn more about Alfred Ramirez, visithttps://www.diversestrategiesnow.com/..

Dec 03, 2021
Providing Strategies for College Success
42:55
Ramona Houston: The Value of Relationships in College — 

Ramona shares details from her unpublished manuscript that provides students with strategies for college success, focussing particularly on relationships. Her recommendations, based on in-depth research and countless conversations with professionals and educators point out the importance of developing healthy, enjoyable and affirming connections in college.

Nov 26, 2021
Why is there a renewed interest in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
47:52
Dr. Robert Yancy: The Great Migration to HBCUs — 

Currently, there is a rise and immense interest in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). More students as well as prominent professionals such as Deione Sanders and Nikole Hannah-Jones are now attending and/or working at HBCUs. Listen to the conversation today as Ramona talks to Dr. Robert Yancy about the various reasons African Americans are engaged in a “great migration” to HBCUs. Originally from Tifton, Georgia, Dr. Robert Yancy is a graduate of Morehouse College, educator, and businessman, who lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

To learn more about Dr. Robert Yancy, visithttps://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-yancy-1a18831b/...

Nov 22, 2021
Listen, Learn and Love: Leading by Example
54:22
Leedonal (Jazzmin Dian) Moore: shedding light on the foundations of leadership — 

Personal experiences shape all of us. Listen to the conversation today as Ramona talks to Leedonal Jazzmin Dian Moore as they explains how personal experiences can be an opportunity to help amplify our journey in becoming better leaders. A US citizen who lives in Germany, ”Jazz” serves as Chair of the Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus.

To learn more about Leedonal Jazzmin Dian Moore and the Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus, visit https://www.democratsabroad.org/bc...

Nov 19, 2021
The Jamaican Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta empowers women in its upcoming summit
33:41
Suzette Arnold: The PowHER Virtual International Women's Summit 2021 – 

Returning for its second year, the Jamaican Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta (affectionately known as JamCham) is empowering women through its PowHER Virtual International Women's Summit, which will be held on December 4, 2021. The summit seeks to create opportunities for women to network, collaborate, and partner. Join the conversation today as Ramona talks to Suzette Arnold, President of JamCham, about the upcoming summit. As Suzette explains, JamCham strongly believes in the empowerment of women and developed the summit to create a space for women to come together to have hard discussions around and about issues that affect women. Possibilities and opportunities are created when women bond together to solve problems, take action and be bold in decision making.  Yes, an empowered woman breathes life into everything she touches.  Register for the summit and join in the effort to EmpowHER to Rise, Thrive and Forge Forward!

To learn more about Suzette Arnold, the Jamaican Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta, and the PowHer Virtual International Women’s Summit, and to register for the summit visit https://www.jamaicanchamberatlanta.com and/or https://powherwomensummit.com.

Nov 15, 2021
How do you inspire students to solve social challenges?
37:38
Dr. Dalia Antonia Caraballo Muller: The Impossible Project — 

Listen to the conversation today as Ramona talks to Dr. Dalia Antonia Caraballo Muller, who is on a mission to create a future where there is no oppression. As a scholar and professor, Dr. Muller teaches her students how to think at the limits of the possible. As founder of the Impossible Project, a learning practice for social and planetary good, Dr. Muller helps teachers and learners inside and outside of the academy to engage in doing the justice work so urgently needed in our world. Educators and students learn what it means and what it requires to face impossible challenges and move forward toward finding necessary solutions. Dr. Muller is an Associate Professor of History at the University at Buffalo. She explores the importance of transformative education in the service of social and planetary justice. Originally from New York City, Dr. Muller now resides in Buffalo, New York.  

To learn more about Dr. Dalia Antonia Caraballo Muller and the Impossible Project, visit https://www.daliamuller.com.

Nov 12, 2021
What insurance should you choose as an employee?
39:39
Daryl Perry: Helping people to make good decision about insurance — 

Insurance can be complicated, but it doesn't have to be difficult. Everyone needs and should have insurance. That is why it is so important to educate ourselves. Join Ramona as she talks to insurance Advisor Daryl Perry II. Daryl has spent the last eight years helping educate individuals and small business owners on insurance. In their discussion Daryl provides valuable advice on how employees can make the best insurance choices for their lives. A military brat having lived all over the world, Daryl now makes Atlanta his home. To learn more about Daryl Perry, visit http://www.thewayoflifegroup.com.

Nov 08, 2021
Let’s All Recognize Our Heroes in Education
54:45
Professor Johnny Lee Lane: A Luminary in Music Education and Percussion Studies — 

Many of us have been touched by a teacher and/or professor who has made a significant impact on our lives. That is Johnny Lee Lane. Professor Lane has educated music and percussion students all over the US and world as a college professor and Director of the United States Percussion Camp at Eastern Illinois University (EIU). Listen today as Professor Lane discusses his musical evolution and his passion for music education with Ramona. Professor Johnny Lee Lane is one of the nation’s foremost college percussion educators, having served as Professor of Music and Director of Percussion Studies at EIU and Director of Education at Remo. He is now an adjunct professor at Butler University. Originally from Florida, Professor Lane currently makes Indianapolis, Indiana his home. To learn more about Professor Johnny Lee Lane, visit https://www.facebook.com/johnny.l.lane.

Nov 05, 2021
What was it like to work directly with Secretary Colin Powell?
54:43
Ambassador Kate Canavan: Recounting the legacy of an iconic leader — 

The United States and the world recently lost one of its preeminent leaders: Secretary Colin Powell. With an extensive and esteemed career, Secretary Powell devoted his life to serving America in multiple capacities: as a four-star general, National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of the US Department of State. Join the conversation today as Ramona talks to Career Ambassador Kate Canavan, who had the honor of serving under the leadership of Secretary Powell. Ambassador Canavan shares her personal experiences and joys of working with Secretary Powell. Having served in the US Foreign Service under multiple secretaries beginning with Henry Kissinger, the Ambassador shares the unique impact and legacy of Secretary Powell on the US Department of State. Ambassador Kate Canavan is a distinguished foreign service officer with over thirty-five years of service. Originally from Southern California, Ambassador Canavan is now retired and lives in South Carolina.

Nov 01, 2021
How do you build resilience?
45:16
Florence Chikowore: Develop your staying power — 

Often when we hear the word resilience, it conjures up images of perfection not attainable to ordinary people. Join Ramona today as she talks to Change Leadership and Resilience Coach Florence Chikowore. “Flo” uses her change leadership coaching philosophy along with her life experiences to explain how everyone can apply simple, realistic strategies to build resilience. According to Flo, in developing our resilience each of us can tap into our own God-given unique abilities and superpowers. Originally from Zimbabwe, Florence currently makes South Africa her home.

To learn more about Florence Chikowore, visit https://www.floconsult.co.za/

Oct 29, 2021
How can women develop our executive presence?
26:15
Karen KJ Johnson: Empowering queens to show up and show out — 

In many environments, the strong woman stigma has taken on a negative connotation.  Women, however, should not allow society to dictate our reality.  Listen to Ramona and her guest Karen KJ Johnson today as they discuss the importance of women owning and embracing our power in every aspect of our lives. As Ramona and Karen assert, when women do so, we change the game.  Karen KJ Johnson is a Global Brand Strategist and Founder & CEO of KJ Strategy Design Studio, a brand development consultancy helping high-achieving women of color build their brand. Karen resides in Dallas, Texas.

To learn more about Karen K.J. Johnson, visit https://www.kjsdstudio.com.

Oct 25, 2021
What is the route to sustainable growth and development?
43:04
Charles Warria: Driving solutions and social impact through horizontal partnerships — 

Charles Warria is passionate about endogenous growth and sustainable development in Africa. According to Charles, aid has not worked. Listen to Ramona’s conversation with Charles today as he explains how and why partnerships between NGOs and the private sector have created hybrid innovative and viable solutions for challenges facing communities and societies in Africa. A native and resident of Kenya, Charles Warria is a Development Economist who serves as Chief Operations Officer at iGov Africa and Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Lead at the Kenya Catalytic Jobs Fund. To learn more about Charles Warria, visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/charles-warria-8736bb18/.

Oct 22, 2021
The Empowerment Zone Live!
01:01:57

Celebrating 1 year and 100 episodes — 

Listen back to Ramona's first live podcast as she celebrated 1 year and 100 episodes with guests, listeners, family and friends. Listen to Ramona’s favorite moments, a panel of podcast guests, a Question/Answer from listeners, and other special surprises! Panelists included some of your and Ramona’s favorite podcast guests: Alfred Ramirez, Dr. Eddie Bonilla, Raquel Ark and Gregory Perrin. Thank you to all guests and listeners of the podcast. It is because of you that “The Empowerment Zone” has been so successful!

To watch the event, visit Ramona’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCM83nK89whkxzEUaeZ2AQcA

Oct 18, 2021
How can you become a more productive and balanced professional?
25:33
Dr. Michelle Dionne Thompson: Resistant Vision — 

Join Ramona today as she talks with coach and scholar Dr. Michelle Dionne Thompson about her business Resistant Vision and who it serves. Resistant Vision is creating synergy between global concerns and daily life for academics and lawyers. According to Dr. Thompson, your career is more than grasping for the next rung on the professional ladder. It is about internal gratification and the sovereignty of mind, body, and soul to create a sustainable workplace, family, community, and world using your unique expertise. Listen in as Dr. Thompson explains how Resistant Vision can help you in your personal and professional journey. Originally from Chicago, Michelle currently lives in New York. To learn more about Dr. Michelle Dionne Thompson and Resistant Vision, visit https://resistantvision.com.

Oct 15, 2021
The Business Capacity Development Alliance
31:16
Janneh K. Wright: Building global economic power — 

There is a direct connection between the economic, civic, and social engagement of a community and the prosperity of its business sector. Join Ramona as she and Janneh K. Wright discuss the Business Capacity Development Alliance (BCD Alliance). BCD Alliance aims to create the largest Black business network dedicated to the empowerment of the African American community and its business leaders. According to Janneh, through this network the community has the power and potential to control the supply chain that our businesses use and, therefore, increase the profitability within our businesses. Originally from Guyana and raised and based in Brooklyn, New York, Janneh is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Primus Business Management as well as the Founder of BCD Alliance.

For more information about Janneh K. Wright, visit www.jannehkwright.com.

Oct 11, 2021
White nationalism and the formation of Atlanta
40:38
Dr. Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar: Discovering the historical evolution of the Black Mecca — 

Today Ramona has a fascinating discussion with University of Connecticut history professor and former classmate, Dr. Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar. Listen as they discuss his current book project on how neo-Confederate politics of white nationalism provided the space for the rise of Atlanta as a Black Mecca. At the start of the Civil War, Atlanta was nearly the capital of the Confederacy; then it emerged as the capital of the New South in the aftermath of Reconstruction, before becoming the headquarters to the Ku Klux Klan (its "Imperial City") in the 1920s. How, then, did it become known as the Black Mecca by the 1970s? Dr. Ogbar is exploring this evolutionary phenomenon in his current research and upcoming book. Raised in Los Angeles, California, Dr. Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar now lives in Connecticut.

To learn more about Dr. Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar, visit https://history.uconn.edu/faculty-by-name/jeffrey-o-g-ogbar/.

Oct 08, 2021
Why should you work with a realtor specializing in commercial properties?
31:10
Alberto Sapoznik: The value of having a commercial real estate agent to represent your interest - 

There are various reasons to work with a real estate agent, especially for business owners and entrepreneurs. Join Ramona and Alberto Sapaznik today as they explore the world of commercial real estate. As owner and operator of 1st Global Realty, Alberto explains the importance of having someone on your side at the negotiating table. Through his work as a commercial realtor, Alberto empowers people to understand the terms of their agreement and contract (lease or otherwise). According to Alberto, business owners should always work with a commercial realtor to help him/her find a location and negotiate the agreement. On top of that, there is no cost to the individual! Originally from Marianao, Cuba, Alberto lives in Roswell, Georgia. To learn more about Alberto Sapoznik and 1st Global Realty, visit https://1stglobalrealty.us/.

Oct 04, 2021
What is the status of DE&I one year after America’s racial reckoning?
35:06
Rhonda C. Hight: Evaluating DE&I in Corporate America — 

After the murder of George Floyd, corporations acted with a sense of urgency to address areas of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I).  Over a year later, it appears that there has been some change. Are these changes for the better, or do companies still have a lot of work to do? Listen to the conversation today as Ramona and Rhonda discuss the current state of DE&I in the private sector. A human resource consultant and President of Let’s Talk LLC, Rhonda C. Hight is originally from Detroit and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

To learn more about Rhonda C. Hight and Let’s Talk LLC, visit http://www.Letstalkllc.com.

Oct 01, 2021
Making the Case for Compassionate Release of Elderly Prisoners
43:48
Rev. Lukata Agyei Mjumbe: Sundiata Acoli and the Elder Incarceration Problem

During the Black Liberation Movement, the US imprisoned many activists, among them Black Panther Party member Sundiata Acoli. Sundiata remains incarcerated at 84 years of age. Join Ramona today as she talks to Rev. Lukata Agyei Mjumbe about the need for American society and policy leaders to consider “compassionate release” of elderly prisoners. Originally from Washington, DC, Rev. Lukata Agyei Mjumbe is a veteran grassroots community organizer, public policy advocate, interfaith leader and Pastor of the historic Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church in Princeton, New Jersey.

Sep 27, 2021