Daily Border Crossings
By Samantha Fletcher
Daily Border Crossings is a show that looks at what it’s like to feel like you’re crossing a border each day when you show up at a place. It could be work, school, college, a place you volunteer, maybe your neighborhood. Each day when you arrive, you feel like you have to leave so much of yourself outside the door, you can’t bring all of you with you, and it feels like you’re crossing a border.
Each episode, we talk to people who feel this way, sometimes to those who CAUSE others to feel this way, and have general conversations around "othering" and not including certain types of people.
Each episode, we talk to people who feel this way, sometimes to those who CAUSE others to feel this way, and have general conversations around "othering" and not including certain types of people.
30 in 30, ep1: Mentor v. Champion with Dr. Freeman Hrabowski
The 1st of 30 episodes in 30 days. 30 shorts, these are highlights of the most thought-provoking, talked-about Daily Border Crossing episodes.
August 03, 2022
Yes, Black People Camp, Hike and Kayak: Ian Solomon of Amplify Outside on Environmental Healing, Black Recreation as Black Liberation and the Joys of Nature
Meet Ian Solomon of Amplify Outside – a Black man who, get this, HIKES & CAMPS & KAYAKS! Gasp! Yep, a popular stereotype and misconception is that Black folks don't really "do" the outdoors, staying away from woods and mountains and stray or woodsy animals. Out to debunk such myths, Ian -- whose motto is "Black Recreation is Black Liberation" -- takes every chance he gets to be outside. He’ll talk about ENVIRONMENTAL HEALING, a topic that is othered, especially one not discussed a lot in the Black community. And what are Sound Baths? How can we get healing from sound? From the night sky? So much to learn! While we're outside celebrating Juneteenth, listen up for reasons to keep being out there. It will benefit your overall health more than you might think. When there is so much mental health talk and so many of us are thinking about how to do better, live better, stress less – TRUST ME! You don’t want to miss this episode. Find out some things we've been missing out on! (Some of us, anyway.) Find Ian Solomon at @amplifyoutside on all the socials.
June 22, 2022
The Truth about Career and Technical Schools - How much is it costing you financially and professionally to overlook these gems?
On this ep of DBC, we're talking career and tech schools and the fact that they lead to so many lucrative lifetime professional experiences and opportunities that many people miss out on because of overlooking and "othering" them thanks to stigmas. Our guests are Shelette Pleat, principal of a career and tech high school, Nikasha dicks, PR and marketing director for a community/technical college, and Katie Sievers, from credentialing organization Credly What comes to mind when you think of career and technical schools? Community colleges? Career and tech schools at the high school level? Some of you may refer to them as vocational and tech, many are changing names from voc to career to highlight that they lead to lasting careers. Are you considering attending? Or did you attend? And if you didn’t, why not? Voc tech, career and tech are often looked at as the step brother to 4-year colleges and universities, but my guests today would say not so fast. You may recall Pres. Joe Biden giving praise to community colleges, where his wife has spent her career teaching. My guests are all weighing in and showing us that these schools, though often overlooked, also often lead to some quite lucrative careers – all while saving thousands of dollars spent at 4-year universities. You don’t want to miss this discussion on DBC.
April 12, 2022
Mental Wellness: Mindset & Resilience Expert Chazz Scott on the Power of Thoughts, How We (Adults & Children) SHOULD BE Thinking, & Wise, Rich & Rewarding Tips for a Life of Success & Self Care
Resilience and mindset expert, keynote speaker and published writer, Chazz Scott tells us how to take control of our thoughts and then control of our LIVES! Find him at www.chazzscott.com. He has been named BE Modern Man by Black Enterprise Magazine, selected as Top 30 Under 30 by HBCU Buzz, and was a recipient of The Positive People Award by The Baltimore Times. HIs IG page is filled with insightful, helpful, encouraging messages of knowledge and wisdom to better our lives, including a post discussing the need to regularly do a mental diet. His usage of the phrase "mental wellness" is an example of his commitment to positivity and positive language. A scientist by trade, Chazz has the remarkable ability to understand and explain in the most practical, easy-to-grasp and understand way the power of thinking and having an awareness of thoughts to ultimately lead your life in a better direction. WHAT ELSE IS REMARKABLE: HE OFFERS THESE TEACHINGS AND SERVICES TO KIDS 11-18 AS WELL AS ADULTS! How aware are you of what you’re thinking? Maybe you feel convinced that fear isn’t a factor in your life, but lemme ask you this: Did you not land that job? Not launch that business? Not nail that interview? What if your behavior caused those things to happen, behaviors…showing a lack of confidence or some worry. Our behaviors are connected to our thoughts. So while you’re thinking you’re not afraid or intimidated or scared, your behavior is showing otherwise BECAUSE our behaviors are aligned with our thoughts – EVEN thoughts and beliefs we’re not consciously aware that we’re holding on to. And this can ultimately get in the way of our success and achieving goals. Deep, right? This is the kind of thing you’ll learn about from my brilliant guest on this episode of DBC! His name is Chazz Scott, and we are talking about mental wellness. But not just like it’s some buzzword. No. Specific points on healthy mind lifestyle changes YALL! That connect with you actually accomplishing big wild dreams or small daily goals, and GET THIS — not just for adults! For our children too? How to be mentally well, ways to think to be successful — in middle school?! And high school. They’re not teaching this stuff in schools, to young people! But my guest is! Who’s teaching this stuff to our kids, Black kids? My guest today…and he can teach yours too, so listen. Time flies. It’s already a month into this new year! Coming up on Black History Month. We want to get it right this time! To start that business, write that book, leave that job, try that idea! You are tuned into the right show, you don’t want to miss the amazing Chazz Scott, a resilience and mindset expert who’s dropping gem after gem on just how powerful the mind is and then what WE NEED TO DO WITH THAT POWER to get us where we’re trying to go. And i’m like some of you, thinking I’ve heard this mind stuff before – NOPE. You ain’t heard it like Chazz Scott is delivering it. He makes goal achievement and accomplishing things in general so practical and doable. I’m telling you! Get your notetaking apps out, get your voice recorder ready bc you wanna keep some of these tips to live by. Seriously. And at the end of the mindsets conversation, there is a bonus portion of Chazz talking about THE legendary Dr. Freeman Hrabowski. Stay tuned for that bc whenever UMBC president and civil rights icon Hrabowski is involved, there’s always some knowledge dropping. And then you don’t wanna miss my wrap up where I tell you about the upcoming show and a new twist on career and technical colleges high schools and the long term earning potential that might make you rethink them as solid, viable options for you or your child.
January 29, 2022
Special TIE DIE Edition with Chief Medical Illustrator Chidiebere Ibe on faith, art, & normalizing Black bodies in medicine
Chidiebere Ibe & his passion for art and medicine was the perfect guest for DBC's 1st TIE DIE episode, where we highlight & explore the intersection of Technology, Innovation & Education + Diversity, Inclusion & Equity. We sat for a delightful convo. Tune in and find out: the big role his Christian faith plays desire to "normalize" & response to negativity thoughts on studying in the US or UK childhood sparks of creativity and surgery holiday plans I am so excited about my guest and what this young man means for the culture, our culture and for really the world in general. He’s the 25-year-old Nigerian recent college graduate who has been making news and social media headlines with his medical illustrations of Black people. I sat down with him from my cozy place in the U.S. to his cozy place in Nigeria. Wait til you hear the role he said God has played and is playing in his life! He shares why he’s doing this and what it means to him, and you’ve likely heard a lot of that, but I wanted to dig more into the makings of him. Who is he? What are his plans for his future? Is he interested in doing any studying in the U.S.? And what about his childhood? What inspired him? Parents? Siblings? An extra piece of his story that’s so special is that he’s self taught, SELF TAUGHT Y’ALL! Have you SEEN these illustrations? Google him! Imagine my shock when he told me he did not do art as a child, in terms of drawing. He was creative & would construct things. Plus he was into animals, you’ll hear about a lizard, but a thing I really wondered about was this idea of being a doctor and an illustrator. I often see one or the other – the doctor focuses on medicine and hires an illustrator; or an artist/illustrator often focuses only on drawings and not on medicine, so the fact that these 2 fit so perfectly together for him piqued my interest. He talks about that, and that also made him the perfect fit for the first TIE DIE DBC episode. Enjoy!
December 22, 2021
A Candid Conversation with Dr. Gholdy Muhammad: Dropping Knowledge, Wisdom & Lessons for Education and for Life
The incomparable, amazing educator and author Dr. Gholdy Muhammad, author of Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy, visits Daily Border Crossings and gets candid, discussing everything from food and family to 19th century Black women who inspired her work to Taboo and Spades! She discusses her book including how she came up with the title, why the book -- which is grounded in the teachings from Black women in Black literary societies from long ago -- is for all students. Gholdy has made such waves, she’s now working with music super producer Pharrell Williams & shares about that. You may have heard about her style of pedagogy or even heard her thoughts on critical race theory —some of which she shares on this episode — but what do you know about her? What drives her? What was life like growing up and who were the special ppl who poured into her so wonderfully that they created the beautiful human she became who now pours into so many? What did she say about Jazmine Sullivan's speech at the Soul Train Awards & hear how she connects that to the long history of Black excellence & Black education. Black excellence and education are the foundation of her book — why does she think her book has been such a success and more importantly, what advice does she have for aspiring authors? Speaking of her book, a number of teachers and schools and districts are using her framework, while many schools, when it comes to antiracist and inclusive and culturally responsive teaching, say they prefer to wait for teacher buy-in to do so. Wait for Gholdys strong views on buy in and why it’s extremely problematic, harmful, and a shameful thing to do. Finally, Gholdy joins me for the new Point Counter Point, where guests get 30 seconds to discuss each item in a list of topics -- and we learn if she's a Taboo or Spades person! All that and more on this episode of Daily Border Crossings -- produced and hosted by Samantha Fletcher, music by Miles J Beats, on socials as @milesjbeats.
December 11, 2021
The Updates Show - What's Samantha Fletcher doing, done & what's to come on DBC?
Season 2 opens with Episode 1, The Updates Show -- updates on the host, on past guests, & on what new/dif things & people to expect this season! This is a special rare chance for listeners to get a peek into the life of the host. I, Samantha Fletcher, am so used to interviewing people BUT this time, I will be I’ll be taking questions and sharing my journey. Listeners can expect to hear what I've been doing, including what a year at Harvard for a mid-career wife, mother, busy Black woman was like, as well as some powerful life lessons I've learned that I believe will help plenty of folks out there. I'm hoping to share valuable nuggets of wisdom I picked up from my life journey. I'm also gonna tell you about some exciting upcoming guests this season -- hello Dr. Gholdy Muhammad! -- and changes/additions to the show -- hello YouTube & more guests! And will update you on guests from last season -- for example, you’ll hear from Marty Swaim talking about race from the perspective of a white educator and antiracism leader (from ep 1) and from the popular Asian American educator episode (ep 7), I caught back up w Cindy and Ariana, you'll find out if things have or have not changed for them. Othering continues. We will explore it, bring it to light, and learn from it. Come find out what I have in store -- and how it can help move you forward to being a better human being and inclusive member of society. Excited! I’ve missed you!
November 23, 2021
Ep. 12, THE Dr. Freeman Hrabowski & ADVICE You Need
On this episode of DBC, I am beyond honored about today’s guest -- THE legendary Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, president of UMBC -- the University of Maryland, Baltimore County -- who is responsible for breaking barriers in Civil Rights, and responsible for countless numbers of Black students and students of color who are now working in STEM. He is brilliant, engaging, funny, and full of good advice. I am also joined by some fellow students and friends who will be a part of the interview as well: Claribel Aguilar Whyte Kamille Bostick Silvana Rueda Channing Sherman
April 01, 2021
Black History Month Dos and Donts: Capitol Hill Day School Sheds Light with School-wide Effort
How do you observe Black History Month? Thinking of your (or your child's/friend's/relative's) school, was it celebrated at an individual or school-wide level? In a time when so many are unsure of what to do, Capitol Hill Day School (CHDS) has figured out ways for all students and faculty to participate in month-long activities and celebrating, that's woven into the curricula. Meet Leslie Sinsay and Jamayca Williams of CHDS, a place where participating in BHM is not optional, where every teacher and class takes part, where they take BHM seriously, SO SERIOUSLY that planning for it starts in October! Leslie & Jamayca share some of what they do, how and why they do it, and tips to help other educators do the same. We’ll also hear what some experts and professors think of BHM, including educators Rebecca Horwitz-Willis and Anri Wheeler and parent Adelle Harris, plus a statement from NAIS VP of Equity and Justice, Caroline Blackwell. from a CHDS parent, and I’ll read a statement provided on this topic by the VP of Equity and Justice for the NAIS. Let this episode help you think ways to approach heritage months and other days to recognize.
March 12, 2021
*Special "Harvard grad school, Say Her Name Edition" - Black Women: Juxtaposing Centering vs. Erasure
What started as a potential paper for a Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) final project became this special edition of DBC: *an audiovisual podcast campaign (PodPaign, yep I coined that!) that also has a YouTube version. The project -- which features many unheard of Black women Civil Rights greats as well as current Black women voices -- "Black Women: The Need for Centering vs. the Constant Erasure, Exploring this Juxtaposition", was for the course, Say Her Name: From Tituba to Breonna Taylor - Race, Gender, and Punishment, fall 2020 with professors Kaia Stern & Janelle Fouche. Who -- Featuring interviews with experts: Renowned Cardozo law professor Ekow Yankah from the popular PBS NewsHour piece on the contradictory and hypocritical treatment of the opioid vs. crack epidemics Esteemed Harvard Medical School student LaShyra "Lash" Nolen Distinguished Episcopal priest Jenifer Gamber Veteran EdTech & Diversity, Equity, Inclusion practitioner Jonathan Fichter Also, work and thoughts cited from Dr. Bettina Love, Dr. Kimberle Crenshaw, Dr. Janet Bell, Danielle Brooks, and more. Plus hear powerful thoughts of fellow HGSE grad students -- women of color who are not Black. What -- This episode also promotes campaign #ustoo, which I started to Remember, Recognize, Respect, & Regard Black women. Specifically my research posed these questions: "How does centering the ways in which Black women live and love, survive, and struggle for freedom point toward the liberation of all people? How and why is it that Black women, a group of people so pivotal to the well-being of so many other groups, so crucial to this country, so impossible to NOT SEE, have historically been and continue to be invisible often in society? Why are they largely erased? What if they were centered as often instead?" Reach me: Website: wwwsamanthafletcher.com Podcast: https://anchor.fm/dailybordercrossingsInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/csfletcher1/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/csamantha2009
January 12, 2021
DBC ep 9, Impacting millions by age 25: Richa & Vedant of India & the Success of Labhya Foundation
Richa Gupta and Vedant of India dared to dream big and work hard. Today, the fruits of their labor are exceeding even the dreams they had, and they hope to continue helping even more children in schools. They are 2 of 3 founders of Labhya Foundation, an India-based foundation whose work in social/emotional curriculum now reaches 2.5 MILLION students across 20,000 schools. And they only started this in January 2017, 3 years ago. The 3 founders met in a chance encounter but all with similar backgrounds and visions -- all from humble, meager beginnings in India, all w/ a vision for empathy building and helping schoolchildren believe for more. The realized schools in India stressed academics but w/ so much cultural diversity, students needed more in order to learn. They wholeheartedly believe a social/emotional component is imperative but this hasn’t really been added or in many cases considered before, plus no one wants to hear young 20-somethings. Ultimately, in the end, they create SEL curriculum and reach millions of students and thousands of teachers. As their website’s mission statement states, Labhya Foundation partners with Governments, Multilateral organizations & Non-profits to co-create scalable Social and Emotional Learning programs across Public Education Systems. So, how’d they do it? Learn about a life-altering exchange Richa had with a 12-year-old girl who thought her limiting views on life were normal, and learn about the pivotal, life-defining decision Vedant made at 17 after a life riddled with hardships of many kinds. These moments set the tone years before they met for their invaluable foundation that would come. I’ll say this: THIS IS A LONG EPISODE! During the first hour you’ll hear much of their backstory. And in the 2nd hour -- they give the blueprint to their success! Hear their journey, find out just what they’re doing and why, and learn just how they did it. Maybe you can help? Collaborate? Or just be inspired right now on DBC.
November 29, 2020
Ep. 8: Indigenous in the US: Meet Loyola Rankin and Isaac Moore - Native American Heritage Month
November is Native American Heritage month. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Loyola Rankin and Isaac Moore, who candidly share about life as indigenous people in this country, from family structures different from what mainstream America has taught as the traditional family to having to navigate code switching starting in elementary school, to addressing stereotypes -- hmm, do they pay taxes? is their college free? --the shock on people’s faces that they wear jeans & t-shirts, and what that NFL Washington football team’s mascot really meant and why it was horribly offensive. Plus they talk about life growing up as well as present day, and being a part of an indigenous educator organization called FIERCE that hopes to impact and revolutionize the teaching of history to be more accurate. Also, is it Native American? Indian? Indigenous? Loyola and Isaac don’t presume to speak for every native person or tribe in this country, but they’ve got thoughts and ideas on this and much much more on DBC.
November 16, 2020
DBC ep 7, Asian American Educator experiences, meet Ariana and Cindy
How are Asian American educators faring today? On today’s episode, 2 really thoughtful, wise educators share what it’s like being Asian in America. We get a little into the era of Covid and Black Lives Matter, but mostly life in general today and what it was like growing up. For Cindy, who identifies as Chinese American, hear about some traumatic childhood experiences caused by well-meaning people that shaped who she is today. Ariana, a co-founder of the Hijabi Librarians blog is Indonesian Okinawan AND Muslim, and people CONSTANTLY ignore, dismiss, or seemingly erase her Asian heritage. Hear the message she has to all immigrants to this country on their relation to the Civil Rights movement. Also, wait til you hear about Cindy’s son’s discovery of being Asian and Ariana’s young son’s thoughts on skin color. Plus lessons and truths they have to teach their children. These awesome ladies have opinions about the model minority myth, strong messages of advice for teachers, colleagues, parents, and peers, as well as tools for fellow Asian Americans and others for surviving daily border crossing moments.
October 02, 2020
DBC, ep 6, Black, Married & Champions for Justice: A Tale of 2 Awesome Women, Anika and Yolande Kwinana
Anika and Yolande Kwinana are founding members of Arlington for Justice, a nonprofit in Arlington, VA, that bills itself as an organization that works to bring a new era of public safety to the neighborhoods there by seeking reform of Arlington’s criminal justice system. The couple sat down with me virtually and shared what the Arlington for Justice is all about. More than that, though, was the candid portion, where they allowed a peek into the personal side of being married, fighting for justice on numerous fronts, the joys and hardships, tough times, times that were motivating them to get to the point of protesting and raising awareness about injustice, those Daily Border Crossings moments of being othered and the painstaking brunt of that. Yolande gave particularly insightful thoughts through her lens of being Black and an immigrant and what she discovered racially after arriving in the U.S.; Anika shares her experience of wedding planning and being a newlywed -- and keeping both mostly under wraps because...society. You won’t want to miss this as both Anika and Yolande open up about life and all these identifiers that lead to isms and to othering and to feeling like you’re crossing a border to just be.
September 13, 2020
DBC ep. 5, organizer Alexandria Bailey, candidate for DC ANC
Listen to Alexandra Bailey, an organizer and candidate running to be the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for 2F08 in Ward 2 of DC who also just completed planning, organizing and executing a successful 6-week race education series teaching participants about becoming antiracist. Here, she gets candid and personal, sharing about her life growing up biracial, challenges she faced in both public and private schools, and how her life experiences shaped her into someone deeply passionate about ensuring that people are treated fairly. Hear the valuable lessons she has for teachers and other adults, as she states: “You are not going to be able to protect your students or anyone you care about from all the trauma the world is going to provide -- but you don’t have to add to it.”
August 22, 2020
A conversation with Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III, part 2
It's part 2 of my interview with the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III, pastor of the historic Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago -- one of his many titles, including scholar, leader, teacher and filmmaker among other roles. On this episode, we learn about the huge impact on Dr. Moss’s life, sermons, and teachings made by his sister Daphne; what his life was really like as leader of Trinity during Pres. Obama’s presidential run while the world was focusing on Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright; what he sees as the problem with our current education model; the harmful effects of having been wrongfully labeled as having learning disabilities by teachers as a young student and the lesson he learned about the qualities of a good teacher; and positivity coming out of this pandemic because of the role of spirituality and the idea of justice and faith -- hear what he’s seeing from agnostics to people of all differing faiths. Plus, hear his advice and message to the masses regarding mental health. All this and much more. Don't forget to check out part 1!
August 01, 2020
A conversation with Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III, part 1
Renowned and gifted speaker, author, and advocate for justice, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III joins Daily Border Crossings and talks Covid 1619 “the original pandemic,” what children should do and parents should NOT do when interacting with police, and offers his keen insight on the world today. In part 1 of a 2-part interview, Dr. Moss addresses the racial protests and white people’s roles in them, response to people critical of Black Lives Matter’s intentional inclusion of LGBTQ+ & trans folks, and what needs to happen for lasting racial change. Dr. Moss also has the best stories, from his parents regularly hanging out with civil rights legends and icons (wait ’til you hear what Dr. Martin Luther & Coretta Scott King did for his parents) to having Fannie Lou Hamer sleep over. Civil rights is in his DNA; it’s no wonder he is pastor of the historic Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago -- just one of his many roles. Add filmmaker to that list; he recently founded Unashamed Media Group, which has produced numerous viral social justice-themed videos and through which he is seeking to launch a new genre called sermonic films. Wise, brilliant, compassionate leader. And he’s just an all around great guy. You won’t want to miss this show.
July 26, 2020
2 Protesters, a Professor, a Community Organizer: From Global Protests to Local Communities
Protests against racism and in support of Black lives continue around the globe. What does this mean at the local level? I talk with Sophie and Brooke, 2 white 20-something protesters on why now; college professor Kamille Bostick’s responds to a protester’s striking disappointed admission about needing to unlearn many things including particularly inaccurate information a teacher taught her about the point of the Civil War; and Alexandra Bailey, the leader of a DC neighborhood group, DC Neighbors for Racial Justice, about ways they are committing to take action. Daily Border Crossing, episode 2. #blm www.samanthafletcher.com facebook.com/dailybordercrossings
June 26, 2020
Daily Border Crossings, ep. 1, Marty Swaim, co-founder of Challenging Racism
Welcome to the inaugural episode of Daily Border Crossings (DBC) hosted by me, Samantha Fletcher. DBC is a show that takes a look at what it’s like to feel like you’re crossing a border each day when you show up at a place. It could be work, school, college, a place you volunteer, maybe even your neighborhood. Each day when you arrive, you feel like you have to leave so much of yourself outside the door. That you can’t bring all of you with you, and it feels like you’re crossing a border. It feels like you don't fully belong and that those around you don't accept the full you. It’s something we in education refer to as “othering”. You’ll hear a lot about that on here. With each episode, we’ll talk to people who feel this way, to people who work with people who feel this way, to those who work with people who feel that way, even those who CAUSE others to feel that way. The goal is to shed light on all of these folks and share their stories. This episode features an interview with Marty Swaim. A public school teacher for years, she retired with disappointment on her heart about the achievement gap and awareness of its connection to race. After leaving the classroom, she co-founded Challenging Racism, an organization that aims to "educate people about the prevalence and inequities of institutional and systemic racism, giving them knowledge and tools they need to challenge racism where they encounter it."
June 02, 2020