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 220: CBD—A PRIMER

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On Episode 220 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Leslie and Tesi drop back in with Tatum Drewes to talk about health, healing, and helping. Not only is Tatum an inspiring woman, pioneer, and business owner who believes in helping others live their best, pain-free life, but she's also an expert in CBD oil and the medicinal properties of the hemp plant. Tatum owns Higher Healing and is generous in sharing her passion and knowledge as the hosts learn more about this natural healing phenomenon and how much it can benefit women across a country in the midst of an opioid drug crisis.

FIND TATUM & HIGHER HEALING ONLINE BY CLICKING HERE.

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Thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

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 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 214: Rachel Held Evans, 1981-2019

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On Episode 213 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi re-release an episode that aired last summer with the late Rachel Held Evans. The two struggle to say goodbye to this thinker, writer, and modern-day prophet. Rachel was someone both women looked up to immensely and the sisters grieve at her passing. During this conversation, Tesi and Rachel talk about the faith, justice, and a Mama Bear's response to the world we live in. They specifically dive into Rachel's book, Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again, and wade through new answers to age-old questions like: How do you love your neighbor when you vehemently disagree with their beliefs? How do you overcome personal insecurities and be an advocate for truth and justice? What can we learn from the bible about satire, resistance, peace, and cultural disruption? Leslie and Tesi will spend the week mourning the loss of this sister and fellow Mama Bear. They hope listeners will continue to read Rachel’s books and blogs and be challenged to think about how faith and culture drive their perspective and how their response can bend toward justice, liberation, and love.

Also discussed on this episode:

  • The historical and modern-day challenge of struggling with a powerful and oppressive empire

  • New ways to find comfort in ancient texts

  • How can a collection of books be used for both oppression and love?

  • Reading the bible through a lens of liberation

  • The story of Esther (spoiler: this tale might sound familiar in its depiction of racism, narcissism, and the spoils of power)

  • How to overcome deep insecurities and speak your truth

  • How to be an ally and an advocate

  • How motherhood shapes faith

LINKS:

Support the GoFundMe Page for Rachel’s Family | Rachel’s obituary | Buy her books! (And then read the BIBLIOGRAPHY for more reading!) | This post is referenced in the podcast | Also mentioned in the podcast was this book, Womanist Midrash, by Wilda Gafney.

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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 210: The Simple Life

On Episode 210 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie take a break from politics and gnashing of teeth to reflect, recharge, and “get their house in order” so that they can be more effective in the passionate march toward more love and more justice. The women talk about the beauty of simplicity and the challenge of finding peace and balance as a modern-day American woman. They focus on money, media, parenting, and relationships and within each category discuss ways to simplify life in order to live with clearer intentions and meaning. The Mama Bear road to revolution is always complex and today it points inward.

Jen Hatmaker’s Blog Post | Marie Kondo Money Tips

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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 202: Can A Mama Bear Get to the Good Place?

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On Episode 202 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Leslie and Tesi talk about their love of Kristen Bell, Maya Rudolph, and The Good Place. Without any spoilers, the two women discuss a quandary presented in Season 3. Can any of us really get to the good place? Are the systems in place keeping us from eternal peace? Is it even possible for a modern-day Mama Bear to be a truly “good” person whose actions reflect her heart? The two women have so many questions and they explore this idea with candor and curiosity. For good measure, the sister-co-hosts end the show with a few segments that listeners are sure to relate to.

Want to learn about Leslie’s Clothing Swap? Click here. | Check out this list of sustainable clothing sources. | Crude Skincare | Argrow’s House | Patagonia | Grund America

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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 187: Cultural Appropriation

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On Episode 187, Tesi and Leslie add their Mama Bear voice to the discussion of cultural appropriation…a conversation they feel is relevant not just on Halloween but on every other day of the year as well. They discuss how to be cultural appreciators rather than appropriators, why they cling tightly to the maxim that Friends Don’t Let Friends Wear Blackface, and what makes them adamant in their belief that when you know better you do better. The sisters are candid about past mistakes and misteps, they bring the research behind their current views, and challenge one another, as well as listeners, to look beyond themselves and carefully consider the weight of each of our actions.

Lots of links this week! Check them out to learn more about cultural appropriation…

How to do better….here we go! Read about it HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE. Are you a parent? Read THIS. Hey, nuance! Let’s talk about it. One more HERE. Maasai fashion and appropriation. Check out this VIDEO. (It might break your heart.) Love THIS article about appropriation vs. appreciation.

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Episode 186: Feminist Awakening with Libby Babbott-Klein

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On Episode 186 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Libby Babbott-Klein, a producer, author, and creative director with a focus on activist and political content. Libby ran the video department for Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection, and launched a feminist jewelry line (Libby B.K.), and for over a decade, she has been creating content that is rooted in social change and entertainment. The women sit and talk about feminism in 2018 and explore the idea of teaching even our youngest children about gender equality.

Follow Libby on Instagram | Buy the book Baby Feminists

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Episode 185: Make America Kind Again, Part II

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On Episode 185 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie re-visit the topic of kindness in America in 2018. Not only do they reiterate the importance of modeling kindness and teaching kindness to the next generation, but they also discuss how to live a healthy life of kindness. Thanks to a listener suggestion, they take a look at Brene Brown’s theory that the most compassionate people are the most boundaried and they discuss how to incorporate healthy boundaries in the Mama Bear life. Also discussed is the very real and very sobering fact that America has historically not ever been kind to certain groups of people. They acknolwedge this blindspot and vow to work even harder to steer the ship away from an undeniably sullied past and toward a kinder, gentler future for ALL people.

LINKS:

Go back and listen to MBD Podcast Episode 181: Make American Kind Again, Part I.

Read Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | A summary of Harvard Study mentioned in the podcast can be found HERE | Greater Good in Action findings can be found HERE

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Episode 184: Ordinary Places with Shannan Martin

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On Episode 184 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, Tesi and Leslie chat with Shannan Martin, a mom, writer, and advocate for those on the fringes. Shannan makes her third appearance on the podcast and she and the sisters discuss community, neighborliness, committing to relationships with those with whom you are connected by proximity, and being an everyday advocate in your corner of the world. Through their conversation, listeners are invited to reflect on the meaning of kindness, their social position in America, and the ways in which they interact with their community and the world around them.

ALSO DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • It’s impossible to fix systemic issues without knowing the people around us

  • If you make the world better for one person, you make the world better

  • We are all mothers

  • Life gets better when we become better neighbors

  • It is possible to be a good community member even when you’re an introvert

LOOKING FOR MORE? CHECK OUT THESE LINKS:

Shannan’s new book: The Ministry of Ordinary Places

Listen to Episode 106: When the Earth Shakes Underneath You with Shannan Martin

Listen Episode 131: The Proximity of Power with Shannan Martin

Shannan recommends this BOOK and this PODCAST

Find Shannan online:  Website Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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Episode 183: Boys will NOT be boys

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On Episode 183 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie discuss rape culture, toxic masculinity, the Brett Kavanaugh appointment to the Supreme Court, and why they, as fierce Mama Bears, MUST act as cultural disruptors in this moment in time. In other words, they discuss why and how the dangerous old adage “boys will be boys” and everything it stands for must be stopped. The women lament the current state of our culture, but ultimately offer tangible tips on how to talk to the kids in your life about sex, consent, and responsibility, and raise up a new generation that honors the humanity of all.

Links for further study: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Recommended reading: Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein

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