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 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 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 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 201: The World is a Comic with Dami Lee

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On Episode 201 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi sits down with Dami Lee, a Seoul-born, New York–based artist who brings to life the plight of a Mama Bear with a humorous edge. Dami writes for The Verge, has drawn comics for The New Yorker, Buzzfeed, and Cosmopolitan, and writes her webcomic As Per Usual, which explores gender, identity, and immigration through her own lens. The two women discuss art and life, Dami’s upbringing and experiences, and the ways Mama Bear can be furiously engaged, but also amused by the world we share.

Find more of Dami on Instagram!

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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 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!)

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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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Episode 188: Story Telling for Social Change with Jessica Blank

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On Episode 188 of the Mama Bear Dares, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Jessica Blank, a creator, activist, entrepreneur, and mom. As a filmmaker, playwright, director, and actor Jessica has worked Off-Broadway, on network television, and in Hollywood and her groundbreaking, multi-award-winning documentary theater work has helped shape the genre. As an activist and change-maker, she works with progressive candidates and nonprofit leaders to help them use the power of empathy and narrative to radically expand their reach. powerfully uplevel their creativity, and make radically impactful work. Listeners will love Jessica’s mama-bear passion and the stories she tells to inspire us all to use narrative for social change.

Find more of Jessica and her soul-enriching work here on Instagram and her website.

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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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Episode 182: Imperfect Courage with Jessica Honegger

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On Episode 182 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi sit down with Jessica Honegger, a woman who is using her fierce and fiery Mama Bear to bring fair wages and empowerment to women across the globe, and is preaching the gospel of sisterhood in her wake. Jessica stops by to discuss using our voice as women to lift up others, hustling hard for the life we want, and allowing ourselves to be burdened by big questions, like, how do I respond to the suffering in this world? The three women also discuss keeping assumptions generous and gratitude at the forefront both professionally and personally, and why it’s more important than ever to show up for your sisters. It’s a lively conversation that will inspire listeners to live bigger and braver!

Find Jessica online: web | insta | fb | twitter | Buy her book here!


Today’s Show Sponsors:

Green Chef, Teami Blends, & Purple Mattress

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