Accountability, Authenticity, and Facilitation With Sarah Ogdie

This week, I’m joined by Sarah “with an h” Ogdie, a social worker and lettering artist based out of downtown LA. She prides herself on being authentic, bold, interdependent, and deeply invested in modeling intersectional, queer, millennial, feminine leadership. 

In January, Sarah left her job as Program Director (and former Interim Executive Director) of Community Tampa Bay after 8 years. Last year, she launched The Authentic Type as a way to get closer to one of her dreams of running a revolutionary woman-owned business, creating word-based art using typography and modern calligraphy to speak her values to the world.

Over the course of 14 years, Sarah served as a counselor, advisor and co-director during more than 30 residential sessions of the ANYTOWN® program. Over 5,000 youth have participated in dozens of interactive, school-based youth leadership conferences Sarah has led. She has previously been a certified 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens facilitator, a national Life Entrepreneurship trainer, and a Courageous Conversations about Race Affiliate Practitioner. She is also an avid meal prepper, a very slow runner, a book enthusiast, and an amateur video game player. 

On this episode, Sarah talks about the relationship between affirmation, accountability, apologies, and allyship. We share stories of our own friendship, filled with lots of laughter and including the many (sometimes embarrassing) previous versions of ourselves we’ve experienced. Lastly, Sarah shares her story of going from a reluctant manager to someone who is passionate about removing barriers and helping others be their best, and how failure has led her to embrace being scared and doing things anyway. 

You can recommend LA coffee shops to Sarah at or check out The Authentic Type here:

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The Expression Session Origin Story #3YearAnniversary

On this week’s episode, I celebrate the 3 Year Anniversary of the Live and Online: Expression Session.  To mark this milestone, I’m taking us back to the first ever Expression Session episode, featuring Wally B. 

If you’re a regular listener, I’m guessing you’ve heard Wally and his nonprofit Heard Em Say mentioned many times.  This is the interview I did with him back in July 2016. 

Wally B. is an ordained minister, spoken word artist, and the Founder and Executive Director of the Heard Em Say Youth Arts Collective.   “Heard ‘Em Say” was created in May 2007 to identify, cultivate and empower youth in activism and advocacy through artistic education and expression.  His team has competed for years at Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival..

Hosting the Live and Online: Expression Session over these past 3 years has been such an amazing and wonderful journey.  I am grateful to the many different artists, creatives, features, and people who have participated and created with me during each month’s Expression Session. 

I hope you’ll be able to join us this Sunday and celebrate our 3 Year Anniversary.   The Live and Online: Expression is this Sunday, July 28th from 12 PM - 2 PM PT. 

To support Heard Em Say and help send their team to Brave New Voices, you can learn more and donate here -

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

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Poetry for Incarcerated Youth With Matthew Cuban

This week, I’m joined by Matthew ‘Cuban’ Hernandez, a poet, speaker, and performance coach from Jacksonville, Florida. He has toured as far as Abu Dhabi and nearly every major city in the United States and Europe, performing, teaching and coaching poetry. 

 Matthew is the author of 3032, and is currently fundraising to provide 3,032 copies of his book to incarcerated youth in the Greater Los Angeles area and beyond. A teaching artist for nearly ten years, Matthew has spent the last four years working in youth detention centers across LA County. He believes allowing young people to see themselves reflected in art will empower them with the knowledge that they also have a story to tell. 

 A powerful performer as well, he has opened for artists such as Wu-Tang and has performed for platforms like BuzzFeed and NPR. Matthew is also a three time Southern Fried poetry slam champion and an award-winning poetry coach. Cuban’s favorite activity is making people feel great, including through poetry. 

 On this episode, Matthew shares how he started writing poetry and what inspires his work, as well as what it’s like teaching poetry with young people and campaigning to get their art funded. We talk about the relationship between creativity and vulnerability, how to practice self-love from secondary trauma, and what it’s like to live as an empath. Enjoy our hugging, laughing, and “singing”, in addition to three of Matthew’s incredible poems. 

 You can support Matthews Kickstarter here

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Consistency, Genuineness, and Boundaries with Sumiyah Mshaka

My guest this week is double-duty social worker and fitness guru Sumiyah S. Mshaka. Sumiyah and I talk about a bunch of complex social phenomenon including trauma, experiential change, and social work.

Sumiyah is a LCSW and group fitness instructor who comes from a family with a legacy of social justice. After graduating from the UCLA MSW program in June 2004, Sumiyah began her extensive career in social justice advocacy, youth development and mental health treatment of adolescents in foster care and juvenile justice. This has included serving most recently in a mezzo social work position in the new DMH Division, Continuum of Care Reform, Interagency Placement Committee (IPC) program.

Sumiyah is active in her community, serving on the Governance Board of CAIR-LA and volunteering with L.A. AIDSWalk, Islah L.A. and Islamic Relief’s Disaster Response Team. For the past five and a half years, Sumiyah has taught Group Fitness classes at 24 Hour Fitness.

You can learn more about Sumiyah’s work by connecting directly with her via Facebook!

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Facilitation, Mindful Policing and Activism With Lloyd Wilkey

On this week’s episode I interview activist, facilitator, and my good friend,  Lloyd Wilkey. I have had the honor of working with Lloyd over the past 6 years.  Lloyd has had a huge influence on the way I view dialogue, facilitation, youth development, and conflict mediation.  

During our interview, Lloyd shared his experience of being both a Black Lives Matter activist and at the same time training and working with police officers.  Lloyd is an advocate of what he has coined “Mindful Policing”. His work is centred on social justice, dialogue, equity and inclusion.

In celebration of Black History Month, Lloyd also graciously and beautifully shares his singing talent with us.   Lloyd is the co-founder of Diverse City Consulting and LA Riot Boxing

You can find Lloyd Wilkey on Facebook or his website

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Fashion, Creativity and Trans Representation with Cielo Oscuro

Cielo Oscuro aka Kiki from Kiki and the Mxfits is a non binary trans femme based in South Central Los Angeles.

Cielo’s focus on style means that she’s been able to shine a spotlight on QTPOC from different social and economic backgrounds, and created a more inclusive space in mainstream fashion.

Cielo’s short film about being Trans in High School - Kiki and the Mxfits - went viral, and re-ignited some much needed conversations about making High School safe for Trans youth.

In this week’s episode, we talk about her own experiences as a Latinx Trans youth, fashion, creativity, representation and the importance of QTPOC being visible in society.

You can follow Cielo on Instagram and also help with their transition here too. 

Check it out!


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