Wundhers of Motherhood
From booty calls to boundless MILs, hear the lived experiences of these Southern Sister-Friends as they laugh us through their journey of raising tiny humans. Each episode will feature mothers sharing the ish no one told you or if they did you weren’t listening because you didn’t have any kids!
Pandemic vs. Protest: All Mothers Were Summoned (Episode 2)
On this episode of Wundhers of Motherhood, the Circle Moms delve into an emotional dialogue of how they all grappled with knowing that George Floyd called out for his deceased mother in his last breath. They each expressed how heart-wrenching it is to hear your child call out for you when they are in distress, and if they were compelled to have BLM conversations with their young children. The sister-friends also explored the challenge it is to raise Black boys and girls in this America, with the fear of the unknown for what lies ahead. Tune in to hear how they suppressed Black guilt, handled all the calls from their allies, and activated to see sustainable change for the future.
May 24, 2021
The Real-Real of Womb Life (Episode 3)
On this episode of Wundhers of Motherhood, the Circle Moms take a walk down memory lane as they share their personal Womb Life journey. Have you ever been told you would be paralyzed from an epidural? Can you imagine how that follows you and impedes your future birthing plans? Sister-friend Candace serves as the start of this episode as she shares the real-real of her water birth experience. To follow suit, the rest of the Circle shares each of their birthing plans and experiences; the differences in age or child; the epidural, natural, C-section, home birth and water birth experiences; and how they felt immediately after delivery. Whether you are a mom in the making or a mom of many, this light-hearted reminiscence will give you all you need to know about which birthing plans best suits you.
May 24, 2021
From the Bounce-Back to the Glow-Up (Episode 1)
Is the bounce-back truth or myth? After childbirth, so many mothers are succumb with the idea of reclaiming their old self and even their prior bodies. They want the freedom of going and doing whatever they please, and they desire to fit into their favorite jeans again. From fad diets, aggressive workout plans, and waist cinchers, moms struggle with the reality of the new you. Listen as these sister-friends walk you through their journey in search of the mystical unicorn called the bounce-back and their discovery of the glow-up.
April 11, 2021
#MOMversations on Race with Natalie McKinney on Educational Funding and Re-allocation of Funds
Natalie McKinney is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Whole Child Strategies, Inc. A neighborhood non-profit designed to coordinate efforts, provide funding and critical supports to organize, mobilize and empower community-designed and initiated solutions. These solutions work to identify and address the root causes to the out-of-school barriers hindering children from arriving to school, every day, on-time, engaged and ready to learn. Prior to Whole Child Strategies, Inc., Mrs. McKinney served as the Director of Policy for both Shelby County Schools and legacy Memphis City Schools, which included policy development and legislative planning. As part of the largest school district merger in American Public Education history, Mrs. McKinney led the effort to revise and develop a school district policy manual to accommodate what amounted to an amalgamation of a rural, suburban and urban school district. Prior to her arrival to Memphis, Mrs. McKinney founded and served as the inaugural director of the Juvenile Law Clinic at North Carolina Central University School of Law; providing a holistic approach to representing youth accused of delinquent behavior and expelled from school. During her tenure at NCCU School of Law, Mrs. McKinney served as an adjunct professor and coordinator of the pro bono program. During her time in North Carolina, Mrs. McKinney also served as a juvenile law research associate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Institute of Government. At the beginning of her career, Mrs. McKinney served as an associate at Moore & Van Allen, PLLC, in Durham, North Carolina and at Alston & Bird in Atlanta, Georgia.
April 08, 2021
#MOMversations on Race with Renée Wilson-Simmons on ACEs and Mental Health
Renée has been a senior program officer at the Annie E. Casey Foundation; director of the Health Promotion Program for Urban Youth at Boston City Hospital; director of the Community Coalition to Prevent Black Homicide, the first Office of Minority Health-funded project focused on preventing homicide in an African American community, and director of a five-year National Institutes of Health-funded school-based intervention, Reach for Health, that was named a promising program by the U.S. Department of Education.
April 08, 2021
#MOMversations on Race with Larissa Gregory on the Education System & Relevant Pedagogy
As a former Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapist, Behavior Interventionist, Dean of Students, Assistant Principal, and school leader in Shelby County Schools and the Achievement School District, Larissa Gregory has over ten years of first-hand experience bringing direct behavioral and discipline support(s) to students, families, teachers, and community members. . Larissa currently serves as the Social Emotional Learning Department Chair for the Memphis Teacher Residency and an Adjunct Professor of Education with Union University. Larissa is an advocate for culturally responsive systems and routines aimed to directly combat systemic barriers and challenges - facilitating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in action. Larissa is the Founder of L|G Behavioral and Educational Consulting, LLC. She daily seeks to eagerly cultivate the consulting firm, to be one that would effectively and efficiently intersect her expertise with her interests. Since launching, Larissa has facilitated the successful integration of Social Emotional Learning + Health and Restorative Practices for high performing Schools and Districts, as well as non profit organizations in Memphis and beyond.
April 08, 2021
#MOMversations on Race Criminal Justice and Gun Sense with Joia Erin and Kat McRitchie
Joia Erin has a Bachelor of Arts & Sciences degree in English & French from Louisiana State University and a Master of Public Administration & Policy degree from the University of Memphis. She is primarily responsible for systems education, organizing, and community building in the Memphis area. A native of Memphis, with strong New Orleans roots, she spent most of her life between two uniquely diverse cities on the mighty Mississippi River. Joia leads Just City’s Court Watch project and supports participatory defense efforts in youth justice. Joia is also the Memphis Advocate for Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. She is very passionate about youth justice, the abolishment of state-sanctioned executions, and the end of mass incarceration in the United States of America. Kat McRitchie holds a Bachelors Degree in History from Duke University, and a Masters in Urban Education from Union University. She teaches Sociology and Contemporary Issues at Crosstown High. Kat currently serves as the volunteer Tennessee state chapter lead for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the largest grassroots gun violence prevention group in the country. Kat and her husband Dan live in Memphis with their 3 young kids, and they are committed to working toward a more just, healthy city for all Memphis children.
April 08, 2021
#MOMversation on Race with Linda Villarosa on Environmental Health
Linda Villarosa is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, covering race and public health and a former executive editor at Essence Magazine. Her 2018 Times Magazine cover story on infant and maternal mortality in black mothers and babies was nominated for a National Magazine Award. Last year she contributed to the ground breaking 1619 Project. Her essay highlighted physiological myths, based on race, that have endured since slavery. Linda's April 29 cover story examined race, health disparities and covid-19 through the lens of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club of New Orleans, and her August 2 article, The Refinery Next Door, looked at environmental justice in Philadelphia. Linda teaches journalism and Black Studies at the City College of New York and is writing the book Under the Skin: Race, Inequality and the Health of a Nation, which will be published by Doubleday in 2021.
April 08, 2021
#MOMversations on Race Maternal Health with Nikia Grayson
Dr. Nikia Grayson, DNP, MSN, MPH, MA, CNM, FNP-C (she/her/hers) is a Reproductive Justice informed public health activist, anthropologist and family nurse-midwife who has devoted her life to serving and empowering people in underserved communities. Nikia graduated from Howard University with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in communications and public health respectively, from University of Memphis with a master’s in medical anthropology and from the University of Tennessee with a master’s in nursing and a doctorate in nurse practice. She completed her post-master’s certificate in midwifery at Frontier Nursing University. Nikia is the Director of Midwifery Services at CHOICES Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, where they have opened the first non-profit comprehensive reproductive health care center in the country and the first birth center in the city. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for SisterReach, the only Reproductive Justice organization in Tennessee. She resides in Memphis, TN, with her husband DeSean, daughter Brielle, son Gabriel, niece Lyric and nephews Kai and Amir.
April 08, 2021
#MOMversations with Stephanie Nerissa White on Pivoting and Planning
Stephanie Nerissa White, the founder and president of Stephanie’s Advanced Mentoring, a company devoted to supporting and empowering women and children. Stephanie will share the difference between a tutor, proctor and supplemental educator and tips on how we can stop the panic and start the plan for a successful school year for our children.
April 08, 2021
#MOMversations on Race Respectability Politics with Tosha Downey
Tosha Downey is Director of Advocacy for the Memphis Education Fund (MEF), a partner organization in the city’s effort to transform chronically underperforming schools. Prior to joining MEF, Tosha served as Director of Government Affairs at the Noble Network of Charter Schools in Chicago, IL. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Tosha completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education at Clark Atlanta University. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctorate from the University of North Carolina School of Law. Tosha has spent more than 20 years leading and supporting non-profit teams in charter school management, college access, student recruitment, community engagement, and talent acquisition. Prior to joining Noble, she worked for the Academy for Urban School Leadership, Comer Science & Education Foundation, and the Ryan Family Foundation. She is a graduate of Leadership Memphis, the New Memphis Institute’s Leadership Development Intensive, and Leadership Tennessee. She sits on the Board of City Year Memphis and Planned Parenthood of Memphis and North Mississippi, and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She is the only child of Geraldine Downey and the late William Downey, who have long been pillars of the Soulsville community in South Memphis.
April 08, 2021
#MOMversations on Race with Lesely Brown Rawlings
Lesley Brown Rawlings is a proven equity champion with expertise in talent management and human capital practices designed to drive culturally competent, inclusive and transformative outcomes for teams and communities. With a passion and commitment for supporting organizations in implementing sustainable practices for systemic equity, she delves into the policies, strategies, behaviors and mindsets essential for centering diversity, equity and inclusion for communities pushed to the margins.
March 16, 2021
#MOMversations on The Power Struggle & the Matriarchy with Nikia Grayson
Adriane Johnson-Williams is a native Memphian, who got her start in Memphis City Schools, she is dedicated to improving the lives of black and brown people in her hometown and across the nation. Dr. Adriane Johnson-Williams is Founder and Principal at Standpoint Consulting. Just prior she was Special Assistant for Strategy and Planning at LeMoyne-Owen College. She was also a Program Officer at the Pyramid Peak Foundation for two years. Dr. Johnson-Williams was a founding staff member and ultimately became Director of Collaborative Action with Seeding Success, the Shelby County, TN collective impact effort focused on improving cradle to career outcomes. Over the course of those two positions, she took advantage of professional development opportunities with the Annie E. Casey Foundation to sharpen her skills in results-based leadership. She is now an advanced practitioner. Dr. Johnson-Williams was an assistant professor in the College of Human Resources and Education at West Virginia University. She began her career as researcher for the Council of the Great City Schools, an advocacy group for urban school districts, located in Washington, D.C. Dr. Johnson-Williams received a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Johnson-Williams received her Master of Education in Secondary Education from The George Washington University and her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and French from Wellesley College. Dr. Johnson-Williams is currently board chair for ACE Awareness, an organization whose mission is to educate Greater Memphis about adverse childhood experiences, support families in creating safe and supportive environments for children and change policies and practices to prevent and mitigate ACEs. She also board chair and co-founder of Whole Child Strategies, Inc. an organization seeking to center the lived experiences of people in communities in seeking solutions to the challenges facing families and children and limiting the educational opportunities of children and youth. She as named 2020 Woman of the Year by Girls Inc. of Memphis and received the Evelyn S. Field Award from SisterReach for demonstrating Reproductive Justice at the Intersections.
March 16, 2021