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Good Ancestor Podcast

Author: Layla F. Saad

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An interview series with change-makers & culture-shapers exploring what it means to be a good ancestor. Hosted by globally respected speaker, anti-racism educator, and New York Times bestselling author of Me and White Supremacy, Layla F. Saad.

51 Episodes
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In this episode, I speak with Sunday Times and Irish Times best-selling author, academic, and broadcaster, Emma Dabiri.Emma Dabiri is a teaching fellow in the African department at SOAS, a Visual Sociology PhD researcher at Goldsmiths and the author of Twisted: The Tangled History of Black Hair Culture and What White People Can Do Next. Both books are Sunday Times, Irish Times and Waterstones bestsellers.Emma is a regular presenter on the BBC and a contributor for The Guardian. She has presented several television and radio programmes, including BBC Radio 4’s critically acclaimed documentaries Journeys into Afro-futurism and Britain’s Lost Masterpieces. Her writing has been published in a number of anthologies, academic journals, and the national press. She lives in London.Emma's bestselling book Twisted / Don't Touch My Hair is our second book selection for Good Ancestor Book Club. Find out more about the book club at www.goodancestorbookclub.com.
In this episode, I speak with the meditator, writer, and speaker, Diego Perez, also known as Yung Pueblo.Diego Perez is the writer behind the pen name Yung Pueblo. The name Yung Pueblo means “young people.” It serves to remind him of his Ecuadorian roots, his experiences in activism, and that the collective of humanity is in the midst of important growth.Diego’s favorite word, liberation, took on a deeper meaning once he started meditating vipassana. Through writing and speaking, he aims to support the healing of the individual, realizing that when we release our personal burdens, we contribute to global peace.Diego has over a million followers on Instagram who connect deeply with his poetic words of wisdom and self-reflection. His work focuses on the reality of self-healing, the movement from self-love to unconditional love, and the wisdom that comes when we truly work on knowing ourselves.His first book, Inward, quickly became a bestseller on Amazon and his second book Clarity & Connection is now available.
In this episode, I speak with Xicana medicine woman and decolonial healer, Dr. Rocío Rosales Meza.Dr. Rocío Rosales Meza, is a Xicana/Mexicana seer, decolonial healer, speaker, writer, mother, & Counseling Psychology Ph.D. Dr. Rocio’s path is that of a medicine woman, she is not a Licensed Psychologist, as she is not aligned with the colonial field. Dr. Meza’s work is at the intersections of decolonizing, spirituality, and wellness. She walks and works in between the earthly and spiritual realms and often feels her work is “too decolonial for the spiritual world and too spiritual for the decolonial world.” She lives at the intersections to bring in the new that is being asked to be birthed in this space and time.Dr. Meza deeply believes in dismantling the white colonial capitalist patriarchy as she believes it is these very systems that have made us unwell. She believes that this work begins with self in decolonizing the mind to unlearn harmful colonial programming because it is people that uphold systems.Dr. Meza primarily works with Black, Indigenous, womxn and femmes of color in her sacred virtual community, The Decolonial Healing Collective. She also offers teachings to all folx wanting to learn about decolonizing the self and decolonial healing. Dr. Meza has also recently made space to work with white folx wanting to deprogram and unlearn white colonial programming so they can serve as accomplices in the movement.As a medicine woman, Dr. Meza knows that collective healing and liberation begins with healing self so that we can then act in ways to bring back the times of harmony and balance with all of humanity, Mother Earth, and all of creation. She honors her Indigenous lineage and Elder Pampamesayoq Don Alejandro Apaza from the Q’ero Inca Nation for opening her heart to do this work with all folx to help birth the new world we are seeking.
In this episode, I speak with New York Times bestselling author, Robert Jones, Jr.Robert Jones, Jr. is a writer from Brooklyn, N.Y. He earned both his B.F.A. in creative writing and M.F.A. in fiction from Brooklyn College. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Essence, Gawker, and The Grio. He is the creator of the social justice social media community, Son of Baldwin. He is currently working on his second novel.Robert’s instant NYT bestselling book The Prophets is our first book selection for the brand new Good Ancestor Book Club. To find out more about the book club visit www.goodancestorbookclub.com.
In this episode, I speak with climate justice and antiracism activist, Mikaela Loach.Mikaela Loach is a climate justice activist, the co-host of The Yikes Podcast, writer and a 4th-year medical student based in Edinburgh, Scotland.In 2020, Forbes, Global Citizen and BBC Woman's Hour named Mikaela one of the most influential women in the UK climate movement. Her work focuses on making the climate movement more inclusive and focusing on the intersections of the climate crisis with oppressive systems such as white supremacy and migrant injustices.Her activism has been featured in the BBC, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle and VICE. She uses her Instagram platform and The Yikes Podcast to communicate the need for system change, climate justice and the dismantling of white supremacy.
In this episode, I speak with award-winning British science journalist and broadcaster, Angela Saini.Angela presents science programmes on the BBC, and her writing has appeared in New Scientist, The Sunday Times, National Geographic and Wired. Her latest book, Superior: the Return of Race Science, was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and named a book of the year by The Telegraph, Nature and Financial Times. Her previous book, Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong, has been translated into thirteen languages. Angela has a Masters in Engineering from the University of Oxford and was a Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.In 2020 Angela was named one of the world's top 50 thinkers by Prospect magazine, and in 2018 she was voted one of the most respected journalists in the UK.
In this episode, I speak with creative, entrepreneur, educator, and speaker, Sinikiwe Dhliwayo.Sinikiwe Dhliwayo is steadfast in her belief that Blackness and humanity are inextricably linked. She is driven daily by a deep desire to change the narrative of what it looks like and feels like to be well. Whether making yoga and meditation accessible to those who need the practice most or telling stories of marginalized folks through elevated photo and video, Sinikiwe is dedicated to creating a more equitable and just society. Her work and efforts to make the wellness space more equitable can be found in Beyonce, Byrdie, Dame, Goop, Well and Good, and Refinery29. Her previous teaching and speaking engagements include The Re-Treat, Create and Cultivate, The Wing, Unwell Conference, Lululemon, Goop League, Summit, Faherty Sun Sessions, and Girlvana.
In this episode, I speak with British-Nigerian media executive, writer, and satirist, Nels Abbey.Nels Abbey is a British-Nigerian media executive, writer, and satirist. Prior to any of the above he was a senior banker in the financial district of London. He is a former BBC executive, a Clore Fellow, a Penguin Fellow, a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts and sits on the boards of various companies. His writing work has been published in every major quality British newspaper and many magazines.He is a social and political commentator and regularly appears on Channel 4 News, Newsnight, Radio 4, Times Radio, LBC and Sky News. He is also the founder of the Black British Writers' Guild. Think Like a White Man is his first book.Think Like a White Man is a satirical self-help book which explains the rules by which mediocre white men continue to get ahead. It is one of the first satirical books on race by a Black British author, and is an incisive and timely examination of racism today.
In this episode, I speak with American novelist, Kiley Reid.An Arizona native, Kiley Reid is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was the recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship. Her New York Times-bestselling debut novel, SUCH A FUN AGE, is currently in development by Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions and Sight Unseen Pictures.The novel was longlisted for The 2020 Booker Prize and a finalist for the New York Public Library’s 2020 Young Lions Fiction Award, the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work by a Debut Author, and the Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award. Kiley’s writing has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Playboy, December, Lumina, where her short story was the winner in the 2017 Flash Prose Contest, and Ploughshares, where her short story was the winner of the 2020 Ashley Leigh Bourne Prize for Fiction.Kiley lives in Philadelphia.
In this episode, I speak with advocate, storyteller, and minimalist, Christine Platt.Christine Platt is a passionate advocate for social justice and policy reform. From serving as an advocate for policy reform to using the power of storytelling as a tool for social change, Christine’s work reflects her practice of living with intention. She holds a B.A. in Africana Studies, M.A. in African-American Studies, and a J.D. in General Law.Christine has written over two dozen literary works for people of all ages. When she’s not writing, Christine spends her time curating The Afrominimalist—a creative platform chronicling her journey to intentional living.Christine is a member of the Association of Black Women Historians, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and serves as an Ambassador for Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.Christine regularly partners organizations on educational initiatives including Teaching for Change, Turning the Page, An Open Book Foundation, First Book, Eaton Workshop, PEN/Faulkner Foundation, and Writers and Artists Across the Country.She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Lee Montessori Public Charter School in Washington, DC.
In this episode, I speak with yoga practitioner, author and founder, Susanna Barkataki.An Indian yoga practitioner in the Shankaracharya tradition, Susanna Barkataki supports practitioners to lead with equity, diversity and yogic values while growing thriving practices and businesses with confidence. She is the author of the 2020 book Embrace Yoga’s Roots: Courageous Ways to Deepen Your Yoga Practice, for people who want to teach or learn yoga and are unsure about integrating their values into their practice without disrespecting ancient yoga philosophy.Susanna is founder of Ignite Yoga and Wellness Institute and runs 200/500 Yoga Teacher Training programs. She is an E-RYT 500, Certified Yoga Therapist with International Association of Yoga Therapists (C-IAYT).With an Honors degree in Philosophy from UC Berkeley and a Masters in Education from Cambridge College, Susanna is a diversity, accessibility, inclusivity, and equity (DAIE) yoga unity educator who created the ground-breaking Honor {Don’t Appropriate} Yoga Summit with over 10,000 participants.
In this episode, I speak with counseling psychologist and educator, Dr. Mariel Buquè.Dr. Mariel Buquè is an Afro-Dominican counseling psychologist and educator. She provides clinical care and teaches courses at Columbia University and Columbia University Medical Center in the areas of culturally-responsive delivery of mental health care and the decolonization of eurocentric therapeutic practices. Her clinical work focuses on healing the wounds of intergenerational trauma for Black, Indigenous, People of Color.Dr. Buquè focuses on delivering racial healing therapeutic practices and workshops and conducting mental health and anti-racism workshops across the United States in the areas of structural racism, cultural competency, implicit bias, and microaggressions, as she believes in the liberation of our minds and of oppressive systems as necessary qualities of our overall wellness.
In this episode, I speak with journalist, author, and academic, Ruby Hamad.In 2018, Ruby Hamad's Guardian article, ‘How White Women Use Strategic Tears to Silence Women of Color’ became a global flashpoint for discussions of white feminism and racism and inspired her debut book, White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color. White Tears/Brown Scars has received critical acclaim in Australia and overseas where it has just been published in the US, Canada and the UK.Ruby was a long-time columnist for former Fairfax Media's feminist flagship Daily Life and her writing has also featured in The New York Times, Prospect Magazine, The New Arab, and more.The sixth of seventh children of Lebanese-Syrian parents who fled to Australia at the height of the Lebanese Civil War, Ruby now splits her time between Sydney and New York. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in media studies at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia.
In this episode, I speak with writer, speaker, consultant, and brand strategist, Tayo Rockson.Tayo Rockson is a writer, speaker, consultant, podcaster, professor, and brand strategist who runs UYD Management - a strategic consulting firm that helps organizations incorporate sustainable diversity and inclusion practices.As the son of a diplomat, Tayo grew up understanding the nuances of multicultural diversity while living on 4 continents. He has leveraged his experiences to establish himself as an authority in communicating effectively across cultures and personal branding by gracing various stages including TEDx, the prestigious Chautauqua Institution as well as the United Nations.Tayo's most recent accomplishments include writing the bestseller Use Your Difference To Make A Difference and launching the national anti-racism campaign called #LetsTalkBias.
In this episode, I speak with author, screenwriter, and actress, Reema Zaman.Reema Zaman is a Bangladeshi-American author, screenwriter, and actress. She is the author of the memoir I Am Yours and the dystopian novel Paramita. I Am Yours was adopted into the curriculum of several high schools through an innovation grant by the Oregon Department of Education, and is currently in development to become a movie. Reema's essays have been published in Vogue, The Guardian, Salon, and other major outlets. She writes about family, relationships, love, sex, politics, science, social justice, feminism, and anti-racism. Reema was born in Bangladesh, raised in Thailand, and currently lives in Portland, Oregon, with her rescue teacup chihuahua, Fia the Fierce.
In this episode, I speak with a freedom worker, author, speaker, poet and youth mentor, Dr. Jaiya John.Dr. Jaiya John was born into foster care in New Mexico, and is an internationally recognized freedom worker, author, speaker, poet, and youth mentor. Dr. Jaiya is the founder of Soul Water Rising, a global rehumanizing mission that has donated thousands of Dr. Jaiya’s books in support of social healing, and offers scholarships to displaced and vulnerable youth. Dr. Jaiya writes, narrates, and produces, the I Will Read for You podcast, and is the founder of Freedom Project, a global initiative reviving traditional gathering and storytelling practices to fertilize social healing and liberation.He is a former professor of social psychology at Howard University, has authored numerous books, and has spoken to over a million people worldwide and audiences as large as several thousand, including national and international conferences, schools, Indigenous reservations and communities, prisons and detention centers, shelters, and colleges.Dr. Jaiya is a National Science Foundation fellow, and holds doctorate and master’s degrees in social psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a focus on intergroup relations and identity development. As an undergraduate, he attended Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and lived in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he studied Tibetan Holistic Medicine through independent research with Tibetan doctors.
In this episode, I speak with anti-racism campaigner, Tedx speaker and writer, Nova Reid.Often described as a force to be reckoned with, Nova Reid is an anti-racism campaigner, Tedx speaker and writer. Nova uses her background in mental health to support people to be the change they want to see in the world by unlearning their racism from the inside out.
In this episode, I speak with writer, speaker and spiritual teacher , Yasmine Cheyenne.Yasmine Cheyenne is a writer and spiritual teacher who helps people create their self-healing practices. Through speaking, her workbooks and courses, she helps her students navigate the sometimes tougher parts of self-healing work and integrate it into all areas of their lives.
In this episode, I speak with artist, author, activist, and transformational leader, Sonya Renee Taylor.Sonya Renee Taylor is a National and International award-winning writer and performer, best-selling author of two books The Body is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self Love and Celebrate Your Body and Its Changes Too, and founder and Radical Executive Officer of The Body is Not An Apology (TBINAA), an international digital media and education company committed to radical self-love as the foundational tool of social justice, whose content reaches over 1 million people monthly.She has shared her work and activism across the US, New Zealand, Australia, UK, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, Canada, Brazil, and the Netherlands. Sonya has been seen, heard, and read on HBO, BET, MTV, TV One, NPR, PBS, CNN, Oxygen Network, The New York Times, New York Magazine, MSNBC.com, Today.com, Huffington Post, Vogue Australia, Shape.com, Ms. Magazine and many more.She has shared stages with such luminaries as the late Amiri Baraka, Angela Davis, Sonia Sanchez, and others. In 2016, Sonya was a guest of the Obama White House, where she spoke about TBINAA’s work at the intersection of LGBTQIAA+ issues and disability justice. Sonya currently resides in New Zealand where she is an inaugural fellow in the Edmund Hilary Fellowship for global impact change makers.
In this episode, I speak with historian, journalist, poet, organizer, and mending practitioner, Dr. Maytha Alhassen.Dr. Maytha Alhassen primarily sees her labor as that of a freedom doula and an engaged wit/h/ness reviving the traditions of the feral femme. She is a historian, journalist, poet, organizer and mending practitioner. As a journalist, she worked as an on air host on Al Jazeera and The Young Turks, also field reporting for such outlets as CNN, Huffington Post, Mic, Boston Review. In 2017 she received her Ph.D. in American studies and Ethnicity from USC and gave a TED talk on her ancestral relationship to Syria.Maytha has co-founded multiple social justice organizations including the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative, the Social Justice Institute at Occidental College and Believers Bail Out (a Muslim abolition group). Currently, Maytha writes for Hulu series Ramy, is a Visiting Professor in Peace studies at Chapman university, offers yoga, meditation and reiki workshops and is trying to find time to write some books.
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