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Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride With Ramy El-Etreby

I am so excited to share this week’s episode with you! I had the honor of interviewing my good friend and phenomenal applied theater artist, educator storyteller, and writer, Ramy El-Etreby.

Ramy and I had a deep conversation on creativity, the power of storytelling, and the way narratives shape our perspectives. We also talked about Ramy’s solo play, THE RIDE, which is currently running at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

THE RIDE, which is written and performed by Ramy, is a tale about struggling to reconcile seemingly conflicting identities: Gay, Arab, and Muslim. After being outed publicly in the LA Times, Ramy’s world is turned upside down. THE RIDE takes Ramy down a dark hole where he loses touch with the most precious parts of himself.

Ramy’s writings have appeared online on PopSugar, Medium, The Huffington Post, Queerty, KCET, Love Inshallah, as well as in print in the anthology Salaam, Love: American Muslim Men on Love, Sex, and Intimacy and the forthcoming journal POC United: Graffiti to be published Fall 2019 by Aunt Lute Books.

To purchase tickets to Ramy’s THE RIDE, please visit https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/5760

You can learn more about Ramy El-Etreby by visiting his website or his Twitter/Instagram: @dramarams.

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Moving Beyond Fear and Embracing your Experience

This week’s episode, with special guest Nurjahan Boulden, is so important and powerful.  Nurjahan was 21 years old when she was shot with an assault rifle in an attack that killed the man next to her. That one night changed the trajectory of her life. Even as she moved on to become a teacher and mother of three, PTSD and complications from the bullet wound continually threatened her future. 13 years later, she is now recognized as America’s leading coach for survivors of gun violence who are ready to Feel Safe Again.

Nurjahan and I talked about perseverance (especially through fear), facing reality, navigating trauma, and reclaiming your voice. I was moved by Nurjahan’s honesty and openness as she shared her truth in this interview. Plus, we also talked about her love of dancing.

Nurjahan’s story has been featured in a number of publications, including Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health. In addition to paving the way to recovery for survivors around the world, she hosts online support groups and community resilience workshops, and is partnering with mental health professionals to bring gun violence prevention and recovery programs to schools and organizations across America.

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Special Birthday Episode!

What?! It’s my Birthday! Each year, as a way to intentionally reflect, I share a special birthday edition of T.H.E. Celebration. This year has seen so many blessings come my way, and I am so grateful for them. Even those challenging days, when I lay awake at night worrying what my next move should be, brought opportunities for growth. Ultimately, 31 has been a great ride.

To jump into a 32nd year that is grounded in gratitude, I’ll be going through my birthday ritual with you, which is to share one self-love affirmation for each year that I’ve been alive. That means that today, there are 32 of them!

As I reflected upon this past year I realized that books and reading have been such a source of inspiration and grounding for me. One of the best ways to honor that aspect of my life is to connect it to my birthday celebration.

Which is why I’ll also be sharing 7 quotes from 7 different books that have shaped, guided, and impacted me this past year.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all of the love, support, and affirmation you share with me. I am so grateful to be in community with you.  

You’re the best. I hope you enjoy today’s birthday edition episode.

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DIY Judaism, Passover, and Love With Andrea Hodos

This week, my guest is the awesome facilitator Andrea Hodos. In Andrea’s own words, we talk about “Jewish things” – what Judaism means to her and how it came to inform her life. We talked about her specialty, which is creating meaning and building empathy by putting things (and people!) in relation to one another, and also about Passover (specifically, what it means to her and her family)!

Andrea Hodos is the director of Moving Torah, a method for using movement, writing, and theater to explore Jewish text and Jewish story. Through her work in Moving Torah, Andrea developed a Jewish/Muslim women's performance project called "Sinai & Sunna: Women Covering, Uncovering and Recovering." She is also the Program Co-Director of NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change. Andrea and her husband, Aryeh Cohen, are among founding members of the Shtibl minyan, a DIY Jewish spiritual community in Los Angeles.

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The Real Talk Project and Gender Justice With Amreen Karmali

Today, I talk to educator Amreen Karmali about the power of education and founding The Real Talk Project. Amreen and I mostly discuss gender justice, allyship, intersectionality, and approaching difficulty with creativity and love. We also ponder ideas of shame and guilt and how they play into both approaching patriarchy and patriarchy itself.

Amreen Karmali has been an educator and organizer for over 15 years. She spent 10 years as a middle school science teacher and holds a Masters in Science Education from CSULA. She has also facilitated a Young Empowered Women's class and a Student Organizing class, which melded her passions for all things justice-oriented with her love for teaching.  

This past year, Amreen left the traditional classroom to start The Real Talk Project, where she combines her understanding of contemporary schooling with critical lens to provide educators and community members with spaces where they can tackle ways in which patriarchy, white supremacy, and other forms of injustice manifest themselves in schools and relationships while working towards creating new ways of teaching and being together. She is also a founding member of The People’s Education Movement - Los Angeles, and is passionate about spreading health, healing, and joy to both her students and the community around her.

Learn more about the Real Talk Project by visiting its webpage.

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Nightmares Can Lead to Dreams

Slam's life quote is "Sometimes a Nightmare Can Lead to a Dream".
 In this week’s interview Slam shares how the quote, as well as writing and poetry, have motivated and helped her life. It has also led Slam to her dream; working with kids in the foster care system and helping people all over.

Slam Anderson

Florida native Slam Anderson was born the fourth of five children raised by a single mother. She spent her important adolescent years in Foster Care, and knew from an early age she’d have to forge her own path. And regardless of these early challenges, she still gained admission to the University of South Florida, where she graduated with a Bachelors in Creative Writing and is now working on her Master in Social Work.

Slam is a strong advocate of ‘Youth’ social welfare, and works in the community to promote literacy, self-empowerment, awareness, domestic violence, social justice and most importantly LOVE for ourselves and for others.

Check out this powerful and moving episode.

Follow Slam on Facebook

Slam Anderson will be our feature on this week's edition of the Live and Online: Expression Session.  Register below! 

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Sugar Coat Free with Asiya and Jameela

On this week’s episode we welcome Asiya and Jameela, aka the epic hosts of the Sugarcoat Free Podcast. These black Muslim millenial women navigate topics like mental health, pop culture, love and religion while spreading inspiration and really bad jokes.

During the interview we explored self-care, being Muslim, loving ourselves, as well as being courageous, open and true. They dropped wisdom you can write down and immediately apply to your life to improve it and bring more perspective.

Check it out!

Follow Sugar Coat Free on Facebook and Instagram

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Art, Culture and Dopeness With Marium Rana

Art, Culture, and Dopeness.  That’s this week’s episode with visual artist Marium Rana

Oh, and we talked about Black Panther, AFI, Ramadan and fasting, racism, the impact of art, creativity and courage, being yourself, and tons and tons of brilliant quotes from Marium. 

We laughed A BUNCH and we even talked about the bald eagle American pride tattoo that I have. 

Here’s just a snapshot of Marium’s awesome life: 

Marium Rana is an American-born Pakistani visual artist, who works primarily in ink and aqueous media. She has curated numerous art exhibitions throughout the United States.  She served as the design chair for TEDxFSU.

Be sure to do your patriotic duty and listen to this weeks’ FIRE episode with Marium Rana (say that last part super loud and like a MC bringing someone to the stage).

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Fasting for Health and Happiness

This week marks the beginning of Ramadan.  For those observing, it is 30 days of fasting, reflection, prayer, and community.

 

There are many spiritual and health benefits to fasting. But sustaining from food and water aren't the only ways to fast. 

On this episode, I invite you to consider joining me in fasting from these five things:

  1. Comparison
  2. Control
  3.  Social Media  
  4. Self-Doubt
  5. Over-Achieving 

For each of these, just picking 1 day a week or a month to fast, can have a positive impact on our lives. Consider it :). 

Plus learn about the reasons why, tips for getting started, and enjoy some fun stories I share. 

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A Trans Secret Agent Fights Crime

I honestly had such a FUN time on this week’s episode.  If there was a laughter barometer, we would have broke it!

I sat down with the filmmakers Shaan Dasani and Mikki del Monico to talk about their new project Agent of Change.

Agent of Change is about a secret agent who is on a mission to save the future of food, and as a transgender man, save humanity: one gender stereotype at a time!

Plus we took a deep dive into: 

  • Masculinity
  • Transgender representation in the media
  • Courage
  • Living your truth 

Shaan and Mikki have a crowd funding campaign going to support their film.  It would mean the world to me, and them, if you took a moment to check it out here

Enjoy this weeks episode!  

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