Episode 230: Kindness is Cool

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On Episode 230 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie revisit an episode (previously titled Make America Kind Again) that reminds listeners of their stance on kindness: We refuse to let it die! In fact, they wholeheartedly believe that what America needs (along with policy change) is more kindness. The women also recognize the responsibility we have as parents raising children in our current American culture to make sure that the virtue of kindness outlasts the test of time. Because, in some spheres, kindness seems to be on life-support, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie spend this episode discussing what we can do to instill this value in the kids we influence. How do we raise kind kids? It turns out, there's actually a language to kindness and it's discussed in this fun and fascinating episode!

LINKS:

A summary of Harvard Study mentioned in the podcast can be found HERE | Carol Dweck's Mindset is a must-read | Greater Good in Action findings can be found HERE

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Episode 228: Horrified by Gun Violence? Here's What We Can Do

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On Episode 228 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi channel their feelings of helplessness over the recent gun violence ravaging America and put together a list of things that we, as individuals and Mama Bears, can DO as a response to white nationalism and terrorism. The women leave no stone unturned to the multi-layered horror we’re currently experiencing (they discuss upcoming elections, gaslighting, toxic masculinity, racism, video games and mental illness) and look for ways to sway the dial through owning our individual agency and doing what’s right.

Further reading on: Video Games | Democratic campaigns that need your help | Stop the Madness | Legislation | Episode 153: Gun Culture & How to Deal

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Episode 226: The Language of Racism & Why Words Matter

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On Episode 226 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie discuss current events, in particular, President Trump’s recent tweets at four congresswomen asking them to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” They lament the president’s use of power to other and divide, and focus in on the words “go back” in an effort to highlight the history of such sentiment and the use of the phrase as a dog whistle for white supremacy. The two sisters look back at the historial context of this phrase and others, discuss their own racism and a mama bear response, acknowledge the cultural waters in which we swim, and ask listeners to jump into this national conversation armed with information. They conclude the episode with a tale of Leslie’s recent trip to Egypt and a few surprises she encountered there while traveling with a U.S. passport in 2019.

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Episode 223: To Throw A Party & Change the World with Kelly Welk

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On Episode 223 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie sits down with Kelly Welk, hostess extraordinaire and anti-sex trafficking advocate. Years ago, Kelly looked around and saw extra — extra food in her refrigerator, extra space in her home, extra seats at her table — and felt compelled to find ways to share her plenitude. She started by throwing a dinner party for friends to raise money for Rescue Freedom International and has since raised tens of thousands of dollars for trafficked girls, started a business, and engaged her community in big and beautiful ways. The women talk about how to act on your big and bold dreams, how to channel what you love into making a difference in what you care most about, and how to find the courage and wisdom to engage the Mama Bear to share your abundance.

Find more of Kelly: Insta | Website | FB | Dream Catcher BooK

Dream Catcher Community | Rescue Freedom International

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Episode 219: Love & Letters with Ashley Asti

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On Episode 219 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Ashley Asti, a woman who is using her Mama Bear to form relationships with men and women incarcerated in our country. Ashley became a pen-pal to over 30 prisoners and extends her spirit and care as someone who teaches and encourages women in prison to put pen to paper and express themselves through writing. The women discuss mass incarceration, Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy, the lost art of letter writing, and poetry as activism. Ashley is a powerhouse of love and compassion and her intentionality and thoughtfulness extends into her skincare line as well, which is also discussed on the podcast.

Get to know Ashley and explore her books and products on her website: AshleyAst.com

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Episode 217: Learning Cultural Competency with Huda Essa

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On Episode 217 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Huda Essa, an extraordinary woman who uses her training and experience to educate and influence communities across the nation as a Cultural Competency Consultant. Huda is a TEDx speaker and the author of a motivational children's book, Teach Us Your Name, which is focused on empowering children to take pride in their many identities while showing respect for themselves and others. Throughout the conversation, the three women discuss the importance of recognizing personal biases, understanding the influence of our culture, and the small yet profound steps all of us can take in order to promote a more accepting and inclusive world.

Find Huda online: TEDx TALK | Website | Book | Facebook | Instagram

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Episode 215: A Response to Floods & Fear

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On Episode 215 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie devote their Mama Bear Mini to talking about terrorism, what it is, who is committing acts of terror, and how the media, politicians, and our culture contribute to how we view the topic. It’s an interesting discussion that’s less about actual acts of terrorism and more about the way this modern threat shapes the way we think and the way we live our lives. Leslie also reports on the flooding in the Midwest. This episode is a bit intense, but as always, the sisters do their best to educate and inspire.

Links: Charles Grassley | Article

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Episode 213: (S)Heroes: Sudan & She the People

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On Episode 213 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie discuss a few headlines that have their attention lately. They spend the hour looking at politics around the globe and the ways in which women are insisting upon and leading major change. They discuss the female-led protests in Sudan where women have shown up and watched their dictator, Omar Al Bashir, step down from decades of horrific leadership, and the power that women, particularly women of color, have in the upcoming caucus and election here in the States. They encourage listeners to watch for the women around them who are leading us to more love and more compassion and do what they can to lift their sisters up and encourage positive change in all corners of the world.

Sources: She the People : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Sudan: 1 | 2 | 3

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Episode 212: Buy the Change with Jane Mosbacher Morris

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On Episode 212 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie sits down with Jane Mobacher Morris, author of Buy the Change You Want to See and CEO of To the Market, a global company which connects consumers and businesses to ethically made products from all over the world. During the first five years of her career Jane worked in counter-terrorism at the U.S. Department of State, but after a trip to India during which she visited businesses that liberate women from the sex trade and provide a safe work environment in the artisan industry, Jane decided to make her career switch and start her own company. Leslie and Jane discuss her fascinating journey, their shared belief of the power each of us holds in our pockets books, and explore practical tips and actionable advice for becoming a more informed consumer and how to use our purchasing power for good.

Learn more about Jane Mosbacher Morris and To the Market!

Website | Instagram | Book | Twitter

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Episode 211: Mama Bears Gone Wild

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On Episode 211 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie discuss the college admissions scandal and the influence of wealth, privilege, race, and connection in accessing higher education in America. The two discuss the waste of the mama bear exhibited by the people involved in “Varsity Blues” … and ask themselves hard questions: If we had the wealth and influence, would we do the same? Are there ways in which our mama bear has gone wild in her own unique way? Has she been wasted? The women discuss ways that the mama bear can indeed go wild and how we can actively work on reigning her in when need be. They challenge listeners (and themselves!) to NOT be the ones to use our voices and our rage for those who are already at the top and who are already the benefactors of all the privilege the world offers, but rather use the mama bear on behalf of the truly vulnerable among us.

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Episode 207: Pantsuit Politics with Beth Silvers & Sarah Stewart Holland

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On Episode 207 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi sits down with the fabulous women of Pantsuit Politics, Beth Silvers and Sarah Stewart Holland to talk about the importance of productive political dialogue and how we can be patient, vulnerable, and grace-filled even in the most hot-button conversations. The women discuss their new book, I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening), as well as topics that range from the Dixie Chicks to Covington Catholic High School to the importance of women talking about politics and how to do so with our kids. Listeners will love the spirited dialogue and come away better prepared to engage in the politics and policy that so crucially impact our everyday lives.

Learn more about Beth and Sarah! Website | Book | Podcast | Instagram | Twitter

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Episode 204: On Intersectionality

On Episode 204 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie go back to school to learn more about INTERSECTIONALITY. The co-hosts are earnest in their discussion and do their best to define the term, learn its history, and drive home the importance of considering interectionality in our feminism, advocacy, and march toward justice.

Check out some of the articles and resources mentioned in the podcast:

What is Intersectionality … | 5 Reasons Intersectionality Matters | YouTube Video | Amy Schumer Video | RBG Biography | Grace and Frankie | The Female Persuasion

Listen to Kimberle Crenshaw’s podcast, Intersectionality Matters. Find it HERE.

Listen to Episode 163: Let's Do Better By Black Mothers & Babies: A Look at Racism in the American Healthcare System.

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Episode 203: Share Those Renegade Stories with Janelle Hanchett

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On Episode 203 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie get really real, really fast with Janelle Hanchett, founder of Renegade Mothering and author of I’m Just Happy to Be Here. The three take on the illusion of perfection, the freedom of truth, the power of sharing your story, and the hope in everyday miracles…even after trauma. The conversation is intimate, passionate, and a must-listen for anyone who needs a dose of compassion and a wallop of courage.

Find more of Janelle: Facebook | Read the Book! | Twitter | Instagram | Website

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Episode 200: Marie Kondo is a Mama Bear!

On Episode 200 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie talk about the Marie Kondo craze that has so many of us captivated and curious. In true Mama Bear fashion, they provide commentary on Kondo’s Mama Bear methods by acknowledging her sometimes counter-cultural method and her critique of gendered social norms and the excessive consumerism so often exercised in the Western world. The women praise Marie Kondo’s emphasis on gratitude and celebrate her quiet revolution of equality. With a small analysis of the “mental load” so many women share and talk of a little xenophobia thrown in for good measure, the women have a great time discussing the KonMarie method and the layers it entails.

Listen to some of our favorite Mama Bear Minis if you’re looking for cultural commentary on the teens in MAGA hats at the Indigenous Peoples March:

Make America Kind Again | Make America Kind Again, Part II | Boys Will NOT Be Boys | Cultural Appropriation

Watch Kondo work her magic here and check out some our favorite articles responding to the Marie Kondo craze:

Vice | Vice 2 | McSweeneys | NBC | The Atlantic | The Lily | The Huffington Post

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Episode 199: Toxic Masculinity...Again

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On Episode 199 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie celebrate the writers (we see you, Mama Bear marketers!) behind the Gillette Razor commercial and discuss how to talk to those in our lives who disagree or take issue with the message behind the ad. They dive into the cultural waters of toxic masculinity, once again breaking it down and analyzing the rub. How did we get here? How do we do better? How do we talk to people we love about being a woman in this world? The two women share their ideas about the commercial, discuss the government shutdown, and then tackle two listener questions, ultimately leaving listeners with a new dare for a new day.

Want more episodes where the Mama Bears discuss toxic masculinity and how we can do better? Try these!

 Episode 183: Boys will NOT be boys | EPISODE 142: PEACE OUT, PATRIARCHY! (AKA THE HOLIDAY EPISODE!)

EPISODE 134: THE BIRDS, THE BEES, AND BEYOND (#METOO) | Episode 67: Rape Culture and Why We Can’t Not Talk About It

Watch the commercial here and read more here.

Listener questions (send yours to mamabeardares@gmail.com!):

  1. I honestly feel continuously stressed. Your podcast helps in that I feel part of a community of people who are all feeling this. But it also brings up even more issues I Didn’t know! It turns out the more you know, the heavier the head. All this to say, I’m so glad I know more about what everyone around me is going through but some days it just feels really overwhelming. How do you stop from feeling that all the time?

  2. How do you balance lifting up the women around you and also holding other women accountable to our highest potential?

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Episode 196: The Other Side of the Mic with Tesi & Leslie

On Episode 196 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie switch seats and instead of hosting the show, they are interviewed by life coach, friend, and podcast host extraordinaire Rumaisa Rahman Khawaja! The ladies love dishing about their relationship (sisters, besties, and biz partners), their marriages (they married a pair of brothers), their parenting styles (they have 8 kids between them), and their passion for hosting a podcast to inspire others to action. It’s a fun switch that will introduce listeners to the Mama Bear Dares hostesses AND keep long-time listeners entertained with new insights (you’ll learn about Leslie’s biggest fear) and observations (like Tesi’s favorite place on the planet). Happy New Year to all the Mama Bears! 2019 is sure to be the best one yet!

Love Rumaisa and want to hear more from her? Listen to Ru’s fabulous podcast Real Talk with Ru HERE!

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Episode 194: The Criminalization of the Poor (AKA The Holiday Episode!)

On Episode 194 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie discuss the alarming facts pointing to the criminalization and additional hardships on America’s marginalized communities. After exploring the fees that our justice system places on the marginalized, the high cost (and inconvenience) of poverty, the additional scrutiny on the Earned Income Tax Credit by the IRS, and the outright criminalization of our country’s poor, the sisters ask listeners to think about news and the perspectives they encounter critically and to always challenge themselves to spread love and compassion out into the world … during the holiday season and beyond.

You’ll find the links discussed in the podcast here:

Episode 173: The High Cost of Poverty | Jazmine Headley and the Danger of Mothering While Black | Increasing Court Fees Punish the Poor (NPR) | Propublica Article | Jazmine Headley Video

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Episode 193: Food Activism & Climate Change with Helen Defossez

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On Episode 193 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Helene Defossez, an an author and activist who leads a group of Mama Bears (les mamans ours!) in her home country of France. The three women jump into a delightful and fierce conversation about food as activism and why eating more veggies and less (or no!) meat is an act of resistance in terms of climate change. The women discuss veganism and the treatment of animals, veganism as an environmental and political practice, and vegetables as a means of improved health. Also discussed is culture and relationship to food and farming practices, compassionate living, and Tesi’s discovery of the garlic press. :-)



Learn more about Helene and find her books on her website. Visit the French Mama Bears on Instagram!

Additional links mentioned in the episode: Cowspiracy | Forks Over Knives | Tesi’s Vegan Pins | The Vegan Matriarch

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Provide Clean Water!

Shop with the Mama Bears this holiday season and 100% of your purchase will go to clean water in rural Tanzania through Empower Tanzania! Shop HERE!

Episode 192: Human Tafficking with Shontell Brewer

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On Episode 192 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Shontell Brewer, an incredible woman who is a teacher and mother and a fierce Mama Bear advocate for the growing number of those trafficked in the United States and beyond. Shontell shares stories from the frontlines, provides an education into the issue of sex-ploitation and human trafficking, and offers insight and advice on how to safely navigate technology in the face of predators. The women discuss Shontell’s work as a preventionist for trafficked individuals across the nation, how her skill and passion have aligned to make the world a better place, and the truth that each of us — and all the children we encounter — have worth and that an understanding of that worth could be life-saving.

Find more of Shontell online! Book | Twitter | Website

5 Myths of Human Trafficking

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Buy Jewelry for Clean Water!

Buy beaded jewelry made in Tanzania and support a clean water project that will impact thousands! (Made in Tanzania at a fair wage!)

MAMA BEARS, WE’RE ONLINE! HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN FIND US:

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Episode 189: Raising Politically Active Kids (and a Midterm Election Re-Cap)

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On Episode 189, Leslie and Tesi talk about the midterm election and their quest to raise politically active kids. They celebrate the nation’s small victories, reiterate their belief that the #babiesgonnasaveus, and leave listeners with a re-cap of the Water Party, an annual event that this year raised nearly $60,000 for clean water solutions in rural Tanzania. This episode is a reminder to listeners that progress is made at a pace that is almost always slow and steady, and encourage all the Fur/Plant/People mama and papas bears out there to keep doing the hard work in the direction of love and compassion.

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Buy Water Party Jewelry HERE!

Help us reach our goal! 100% of your donation goes to a clean water solution in the village of Nadaruru. Learn more about the Mama Bear’s travels to Africa HERE and the Water Party HERE.

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