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Good Ancestor Podcast
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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.

30 Episodes
In this episode, I speak with #1 New York Times bestselling anti-racist educator and consultant, Tiffany Jewell.Tiffany Jewell is a Black biracial writer, antiracist educator and consultant, and mama. She is in her 15th year as a Montessori educator and nearing two decades of work in schools with young folks, families, and educators. Tiffany loves to bake bread, build LEGOS with her 8yo and 4yo, and loves watching British detective shows. She spends a lot of time dreaming up how she can dismantle white supremacy and re-imagining liberatory schools. In January her first book, This Book Is Anti-Racist, made its way into the world and it definitely won't be her last book!
In this episode, I speak with a social entrepreneur, investor and speaker, Nicole Cardoza.Nicole is the founder and Executive Director of Yoga Foster, a national nonprofit that empowers educators with yoga and mindfulness resources for the classroom. She's also the founder of Reclamation Ventures, a fund that invests in high-potential, underestimated entrepreneurs making wellness more accessible in their communities. She teaches accessible and friendly yoga classes that blend movement and reflection.
In this episode, I speak with author, influencer, and founder of Make Motherhood Diverse, Candice Brathwaite.Candice Brathwaite is a mother of two, an influencer, and the founder of UK based initiative; Make Motherhood Diverse, which seeks to challenge the usually singular narrative of motherhood. She is the author of the 2020 Sunday Times Bestseller I Am Not Your Baby Mother, a thought-provoking, urgent and inspirational guide to life as a Black mother.
In this episode, I speak with writer, pleasure activist, filmmaker and performance artist, Junauda Petrus-Nasah.Junauda Petrus-Nasah is a writer, pleasure activist, filmmaker and performance artist of Black-Caribbean descent, born on Dakota land. Her work centers around wildness, queerness, Black-diasporic-futurism, ancestral healing, sweetness, shimmer and liberation. She is the co-founder with Erin Sharkey of Free Black Dirt, an experimental arts production company. She is the writer and director of "Sweetness of Wild" a poetic-episodic film series themed around Blackness, queerness, biking, resistance, love and coming of age in Minneapolis. Her first YA novel, The Stars and The Blackness Between Them is a Coretta Scott King Award Honor Book. She lives in Minneapolis with her wife, child and family.
In this episode, I speak with author, speaker and anti-racism educator, Monique Melton.Monique Melton is an anti-racism educator, published author, international speaker, coach and host of the Shine Brighter Together podcast. She is also the founder of Shine Brighter Together, a community dedicated to healthy relationships & diverse unity.Monique travels the world speaking at conferences and events on topics related to anti-racism, personal growth, diversity, and relationships. She has been published in magazines, featured in blogs and podcasts, and has touched the lives of people all over the world. Monique is a natural big-bold dreamer and a deeply rooted woman of faith. She is a proud Navy wife to her high-school sweetheart, and a loving mother to two little ones. She has a BA in social science with an emphasis in sociology & psychology and two years of graduate school education in Clinical Counseling from Johns Hopkins University. Monique believes it's not all about your comfort, but it's about your growth.
In this episode, I speak with award-winning performer and writer , Sarah Jones.Called a "master of the genre" by The New York Times, Sarah Jones is a Tony® Award-winning performer and writer known for her multi-character, one-person shows (Broadway hit Bridge & Tunnel, originally produced by Oscar® winner Meryl Streep, and her current, critically-acclaimed show Sell/Buy/Date).Renowned as “a one-woman global village”, Sarah has given multiple main-stage TED Talks garnering millions of views, performed for President and First Lady Obama at the White House, and developed a docu-series based on her characters with Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment. Sarah has also appeared in film and TV projects ranging from Sesame Street to Broad City to the Oscar nominee, Marriage Story. Most recently, Sarag launched Foment Productions, a social justice-focused entertainment company. Sell/Buy/Date the play, which was commissioned by the NoVo Foundation, was its first production.
In this episode, I speak with author, transformational speaker, and top 20 recording artist, Justin Michael Williams.From growing up with gunshot holes outside of his bedroom window, to sharing the stage with Deepak Chopra, Justin Michael Williams knows the power of healing to overcome. He is an author, top 20 recording artist, and transformational speaker who is using music and meditation to wake up the world.When he was younger, Justin always wanted to be a singer, but a lifetime of being bullied, teased, and abused, made him give up his dream. Then after a seminal moment with his dying grandmother, Justin woke up—and his debut album premiered in the top 20 of the iTunes charts next to Britney Spears and Taylor Swift. He has since been featured by Billboard,, SXSW®, and shared on stages alongside some of the most compelling leaders of our time, including Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, and Chaka Khan.With over a decade of teaching experience, Justin has become a pioneering voice of color for the new healing movement—between his podcast, keynotes, and motivational online platforms, Justin’s teachings have now spread to more than 40 countries around the globe.Justin is dedicated to using his voice to serve. To being a beacon of hope for those who are lost, and to making sure all people, of all backgrounds, have access to the information they need to change their lives.
In this episode, I speak with award-winning journalist, author and an internationally-recognized speaker, strategist and advocate for maternal and infant health, Kimberly Seals Allers.A former senior editor at ESSENCE and writer at FORTUNE magazine, Kimberly is a leading voice on the socio-cultural and racial complexities of birth, breastfeeding and motherhood. She is the director of the Maternal and Child Health Communication Collective, a national consortium of over 80 organizations working collectively to shift the narrative of maternal and infant health issues, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.Kimberly was recently named one of “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” for 2018 by Women’s eNews for her decades of media advocacy work. A frequent contributor to The New York Times , Washington Post, Slate and others, her online commentaries received over 10 million page views last year. Kimberly’s fifth book, The Big Let Down—How Medicine, Big Business and Feminism Undermine Breastfeeding was published by St. Martin’s Press in January 2017. In 2018, she founded Narrative Nation, a non-profit that creates community-centered media and technology to eradicate health disparities.A graduate of New York University and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Kimberly is a divorced mother of two who lives in New York City.
In this episode, I speak with writer, stylist and consultant, Aja Barber.Aja Barber is a writer, stylist, consultant and speaker whose work focuses on the intersections of feminism, colonialism and race in regards to our clothing and how we choose to consume. Aja is a prolific writer and micro-blogger on Patreon and Instagram, where she creates spaces for deep learning and inquiry into the ways that systems of power affect our buying habits.
In this episode, I speak with author, mental health advocate and historian, Blair Imani.Blair Imani is a writer, mental health advocate, and historian living at the intersections of Black, Queer, and Muslim identity. In addition to being a public speaker, Blair is the author of Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History (2018) and Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and The Black American Dream (2020). She is also the official ambassador of Muslims for Progressive Values, one of the oldest progressive Muslim organizations to support the LGBTQ+ community. Blair has been featured in Essence, Out Magazine, THEM, Broadly, and more.
In this episode, I speak with social change activists and co-founders of Race and Resilience, Michelle Johnson and Kerri Kelly.Michelle Cassandra Johnson is an author, yoga teacher, social justice activist, licensed clinical social worker and Dismantling Racism trainer. She approaches her life and work from a place of empowerment, embodiment and integration. She has been leading anti-racism trainings for 22 years. Michelle has experience working to dismantle systems of oppression inside corporations, mid-size organizations and small non-profits including Google, Lululemon, the ACLU-WA and many more. With a deep understanding of trauma and the impact that it has on the mind, body, spirit and heart, much of her work focuses on helping people better understand how power and privilege operate in their life. Michelle explores how privilege, power and oppression affects the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and energy body.Kerri is the founder of CTZNWELL, an emerging movement to mobilize people into a powerful force for the wellbeing for all. Kerri is recognized across communities for her inspired work to bridge transformational practice with social change and politics. She’s been instrumental in translating the tools of wellbeing into practical application and social action in the public and private sector, working in collaboration with community organizers, spiritual leaders, policy makers and corporate executives including William Morris Entertainment, Congressman Tim Ryan, Lululemon, Marianne Williamson, People's Action Group and more.
Mona Haydar is a Syrian-American rapper, chaplain, poet, and MA in Christian Ethics. Billboard Magazine named Mona's breakout hit "Hijabi" one of 2017's best protest songs and one of the top feminist anthems of all time. Her "Ask A Muslim" project, created in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino terrorist attacks, garnered international attention and extensive press. The project was featured on the series "The Secret Life of Muslims" and remains the most-watched episode of the series. As an MA student, she worked as a chaplain at NYU and studied post colonial theology. 
In this episode, I speak with author, Healer and Transformational Coach, Jennifer Arnise.Jennifer Arnise is an author, Healer and Transformational Coach who is dedicated to helping Black women heal their deepest emotional pain so they can experience more joy, pleasure and purpose in their life. She lives in Atlanta with her son and their dog Bella.
In this episode, I speak with writer, illustrator and spoken Jasmin Kaur is a writer, illustrator and poet living on unceded Sto:lo territory. Her writing, which explores themes of feminism, womanhood, social justice and love, acts as a means of healing and reclaiming identity. As a spoken word artist and creative writing facilitator, she has toured across North America, the UK and Australia to connect with youth through the power of artistic expression.One of The Tempest’s 40 Women to Watch in 2019, her work has been celebrated at the American Music Awards by musical icon Jennifer Lopez and shared by celebrity activists, including Tessa Mae Thompson, Reese Witherspoon, Cara Delevigne and Sophia Bush. She has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar India, Huffington Post, The Indy 100, KaurLife Magazine, Sikh Formations Journal and other publications. ​
In this episode, I speak with designer, advocate, writer and founder of Slow Factory and The Library Study Hall, Celine Semaan.Celine Semaan is a modern ambassador of cultures, fostering communication across industry, policy, academia and the broader citizen population. Her research focuses on circular design & communication, translating complex concepts and systems into approachable stories that resonate with a wide audience. Celine’s work in sustainability has made her a recognized expert; her non-profit education initiative Study Hall, incubated at MIT Media Lab, is now an official partner of the United Nations and holds an annual summit at the UN headquarters in New York. As a writer her work has been published in New York Magazine The Cut, Elle USA, and Vogue as well as studied in universities; as a designer she has been recognized and exhibited in museums around the world. She lives and works in New York, leading research on Regenerative Aesthetics within her company Slow Factory.
In this episode, I speak with best selling author, educator, and motivational speaker, Rebekah Borucki. Rebekah “Bex” Borucki, founder of BEXLIFE® and the BLISSED IN® wellness movement, is a mother of five, TV host, meditation and yoga guide, and birth doula. She has taught meditation as a profound act of self-care that can be executed effortlessly and effectively to hundreds of thousands of individuals online and in exclusive workshops and public events. Rebekah’s mission is to make mental-health support and stress-management tools accessible to all. For more information, visit
In this episode I speak with Ramon Stephens, Executive Director at The Conscious Kid.Ramon Stephens is a PhD student at the University of California, San Diego and Executive Director at the Conscious Kid. His research focuses on recruitment, retention, resilience and student voice for Black students and marginalized student groups, he is currently researching Black graduate experiences at UC San Diego. Ramon has created, developed and supported student-driven, culturally-relevant curriculum and programs for various Universities, High Schools districts, Schools and nonprofits across California, Washington and Washington D.C. Currently, his research supports UC San Diego and San Diego Unified in the development and implementation of a district wide ethnic studies curriculum. Ramon has presented his research at conferences including Stanford's Race Inequality Language (RILE) conference and the American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference.
In this episode, I speak with best selling author, educator, and motivational speaker, Leah Vernon.Leah V is an international Hijabi social media influencer, award-winning author of new memoir: Unashamed: Musings of a Fat, Black Muslim, motivational speaker, educator, and content creator. Her content has garnered over a million views combined, and she has been featured in hundreds of media platforms from The New York Times to Buzzfeed. This Detroit-native was inspired to start blogging in 2013 because there wasn't enough inclusion in the media. Her goals are to continue to spread style and self-love to underrepresented groups and to spark a fashion revolution.
In this episode I speak with Olivia Alaso and Kelsey Nielsen, two members of the advocacy campaign No White Saviors.Olivia and Kelsey are both trained social workers who have worked in the field for years. Olivia is born and raised in Uganda, Kelsey has spent around 5 years in-country working in various capacities. No White Saviors very much started as a joint outlet to see many of the harmful aspects of white saviorism in Uganda exposed. Coming from two very different experiences with a common goal, Olivia and Kelsey work together to confront the issues surrounding global racism and white supremacy.
In this episode, I speak with best selling author, activist, and speaker, Robin DiAngelo.Dr. DiAngelo is Affiliate Associate Professor of Education at the University of Washington. In addition, she holds two Honorary Doctorates. Her area of research is in Whiteness Studies and Critical Discourse Analysis. She is a two-time winner of the Student’s Choice Award for Educator of the Year at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work. She has numerous publications and books, including What Does it Mean To Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy. In 2011 she coined the term White Fragility in an academic article which has influenced the international dialogue on race. Her book, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism was released in June of 2018 and debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List. In addition to her academic work, Dr. DiAngelo has been a consultant and trainer for over 20 years on issues of racial and social justice.
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