Somewhere in the Middle with Michele Barard
Food Activist Yvette Blair-Lavallais shares about food as a human right and why communities must fight against the creation of food deserts

Food Activist Yvette Blair-Lavallais shares about food as a human right and why communities must fight against the creation of food deserts

January 24, 2020

Somewhere in the Middle welcomes Food Activist Yvette Blair-Lavallais

Reverend Yvette Blair-Lavallais was seven years old, sitting in the pew at Lee Chapel AME Church in Dallas, when she sensed that God was calling her to preach. By the age of 10, she became involved in children’s Sunday School and afterschool Bible studies. God continued to shape her for ministry as she took on leadership roles within the church and the community throughout her teen and young adult years.

Yvette has held pastoral appointments in The United Methodist Church, including serving as the Associate Pastor of Discipleship at the historic St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church in Dallas. Her fruitful ministry included cultivating and leading the Young Adult Ministry, Women’s Ministry, Bible study, e2 Elevate Your Experience Wednesday Night worship, and serving as Director of The Zan Wesley Holmes, Jr. Servant Leadership Institute.

Yvette was named the 2017 Woman of the Year by IMessenger News/Texas Metro News for speaking out and giving voice to the numerous clergywomen who have been victims of sexual assault in the church. She is featured in the 2019 documentary, "Shatter the Silence," produced by Cheryl Allison and WOW Films. Yvette speaks to the need for the church to repent and to dismantle the patriarchy that perpetuates violation against women.

Yvette has spoken at conferences including the 2018 "Talking Bout a Revolution" Women's Conference presented by the Mennonite Church USA and she was invited to present her paper, “Where Do We Go From Here: When the Church Disturbs the Status Quo” at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee as part of their MLK 50 Memphis Teach-In.

Yvette wrote and released her first book, Being Ruth: Pressing Through Life’s Struggles with Fearless Faith, in the summer of 2017. She weaves this biblical story of the ancient sacred text with real-life, practical application of navigating and through challenges and getting to the life-giving spaces that God has already created.

Yvette is a native of Dallas, Texas, holds a BA in Journalism from the University of North Texas, and has more than 25 years of experience in media, corporate communications, public relations and non-profit, including receiving a congressional appointment to serve as the Public Relations Specialist at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. She is a writing coach and professional editor and has helped more than 20 pastors publish books.

Author and Coach Dr. Kendra Davis-Burch shares her journey toward self-discovery and helping other women overcome their challenges

Author and Coach Dr. Kendra Davis-Burch shares her journey toward self-discovery and helping other women overcome their challenges

January 10, 2020

Christian Coach, Author, and Inspirational Speaker Dr. Kendra Davis-Burch helps women change their lives for the better

Dr. Kendra Davis-Burch is a 1999 & 2009 graduate of Winston-Salem State University. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology (1999) & a Master of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling (2009). She is also a 2016 graduate of Apex School of Theology where she earned a Master of Divinity Degree. Kendra earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree in Biblical Studies at Apex School of Theology May 2017.

In 2010, Kendra established K*METAMORPHOSIS, a Christian counseling organization whose vision, mission and philosophy were birthed out of the desire to fill a much-needed treatment gap in the community. The organization’s mission is to utilize a holistic approach to restore fallen humanity. This organization believes that individuals; despite their past are capable of transforming spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

In 2012, Kendra became a published author. Her book Rivers of Life, a collection of life-changing sermons and homilies; has been said to be a resource that will empower you and inspire you to bounce back from anything. Many have described it as a spiritual vitamin that will rejuvenate, revitalize and refresh you! Kendra has released her second book NO MORE DISCOUNTS: “Lessons Learned Living Single!” A therapeutic tool used by many who have found themselves in the vicious cycle of abuse and toxic relationships, while seeking love and happiness. Kendra’s transparency in this book has empowered others to heal, forgive and move beyond the pain to find their purpose! In May of 2017, Kendra released her third literary project PRAY MORE, TALK LESS.

Somewhere in the Middle welcomes Hitachi Choparazzi, Author of the New Urban Novel, Pimp of da Ratchetts and Founder of the Billion Dollar Blueprint Movement

Somewhere in the Middle welcomes Hitachi Choparazzi, Author of the New Urban Novel, Pimp of da Ratchetts and Founder of the Billion Dollar Blueprint Movement

December 20, 2019

In my business, Urban Book Editor, I often work with talented writers who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated. You would not believe the level of genius that our country has locked away behind gates and walls. It’s truly a waste of talent.

Fortunately, some of these amazing people can come forward, despite these challenges to produce their work and share their genius with their audiences.

I’m excited to share an encore presentation of an interview I conducted with Kolany Chatmon, Sr., aka Hitachi Choparazzi, author of the new urban novel, Pimp of da Ratchetts, which can be purchased on Amazon and at his website hitachichoparazzi.com.

Hitachi Choparazzi is a native New Yorker who comes to us from Arizona by way of Omaha. He’s a writer, tattoo artist, and entrepreneur. He’s also the founder of the Billion Dollar Blueprint Movement.

In this interview, Hitachi Choparazzi shares a great deal about his own background growing up in the streets and how he’s worked to turn his thinking around and, in doing so, turn his life around. #incarceratedlivesmatter #freehitachi

Purchase Pimp of da Ratchetts at Amazon or at Hitachi Choparazzi's site

Somewhere in the Middle welcomes Education Expert and Social Worker Dr. Terriyln Rivers-Cannon

Somewhere in the Middle welcomes Education Expert and Social Worker Dr. Terriyln Rivers-Cannon

December 6, 2019

Education Expert and Social Worker Dr. Terriyln Rivers-Cannon shares her experience working with and helping children succeed in the Atlanta public school system

Dr. Terriyln C. Rivers-Cannon is a School Social Worker in the Atlanta area and has devoted over 18 years to improving the lives of Georgia’s school-aged population. Her role is that of a child advocate, providing appropriate interventions and services that help an average of 2,500 children and families per year who are at risk for educational failure.

Terriyln had a spotlight press release for CUTV News Radio in 2017 followed by a featured interview on December 1st that provided her with an opportunity to discuss her nonprofit organization Karing Actions Towards Inspiring Eagles (K.A.T.I.E.), which she dedicated to her aunt, Katie Mae Tindal, who was also a Social Worker.

She is also the host of “DARE to Soar with Doctor R.C.” on The Bold Brave MEDIA network, which airs every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Eastern time. Terriyln was the recipient of the 2019 National School Social Workers Association of America Award. She is the first African-American from Georgia and the first African-American female to win that distinction and has been recognized numerous times going above and beyond in service to the children of Georgia.

Education or Execution? Author Steffen Hou Discusses the Death Penalty in the US

Education or Execution? Author Steffen Hou Discusses the Death Penalty in the US

November 22, 2019

Did you know the United States is the last Western power to use the death penalty? Steffen Hou discusses the devastation the death penalty causes in individual lives and entire communities.

Steffen Hou is a Danish author and filmmaker, who lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. As a true-crime author, he has worked all over the world and written about topics such as child abductions, the Ku Klux Klan, the white supremacy movement, human trafficking, and the death penalty.
Steffen Hou emphasizes that he always describes problems through the people who are victims of them rather than through experts sitting at their desk. Therefore, he always follows his main characters closely over a period of time and he is not afraid to put himself in danger zones. He is also known to tell his stories in a captivating and engaging way, so readers feel that they have a good reading experience.
Besides the authorship, Steffen also produces documentary movies.

You can find Steffen Hou's book, The Deprived: Innocent on Death Row on Amazon.

Author Sherry Hill, mother of late New England Patriots player Marquise Hill, shares her journey

Author Sherry Hill, mother of late New England Patriots player Marquise Hill, shares her journey

November 8, 2019

Sherry Hill, author and mother of late New England Patriot's player Marquise Hill, shares her journey through grief after her son's death

Sherry Hill is the proud mother of the Late Marquise Hill who played as #94 at LSU and #91 with the New England Patriots. Ms. Hill is a ’79 Alumna of Alabama A & M University where she earned a B.S. Degree and Pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha in ’77. She has ten years of experience in the public school system and 16 years of experience with the Federal Government. Ms. Hill’s proudest achievement is helping steer young people in the right direction while working as a Juvenile Counselor with the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). Ms. Hill has a passion to help the youth and needy.

Sherry Hill’s first book, The Marquise Hill Story: From the Cradle to the Bowl, is five-star rated on Amazon. Hill shares the story of a little boy growing up in a cutthroat environment in South Louisiana from the perspective of a grieving mother who gave her all to guide and support her son while rearing him on her own. Sherry Hill started writing the book three days before Marquis died; she wanted it to serve as a tool to communicate the value of spending quality time with one's children to guide them on the right path and help them find themselves. After her son’s untimely death, it also became a focal point to move through grief into purpose.

True Talk: How African-American Characters Are Portrayed in Literature and Film in the United States

True Talk: How African-American Characters Are Portrayed in Literature and Film in the United States

November 5, 2019

Julia Black and I discuss how African-American Characters are portrayed in literature and film in the US

Julia Black and I are getting into the topic of how African-American Characters are portrayed in literature and film in the US a little bit deeper this time, and it's just because the topic is so big. It's it really warrants a lot more discussion, a little bit more thoughtfulness. So, we are doing a special True Talk. This is like a little bonus True Talk. It's a little bit longer than the other ones. And that's why we're making it a bonus. And the topic required a little bit more than 10 or 15 minutes, which is what most of our True Talks end up being.

For the full show notes, visit https://urbanbookeditor.com/blog/julia-black-and-i-discuss-how-african-american-characters-are-portrayed-in-literature-and-film-in-the-us.

 

Somewhere in the Middle welcomes Poet and Photographer Tammy Hopson, a.k.a. Sefa Noir

Somewhere in the Middle welcomes Poet and Photographer Tammy Hopson, a.k.a. Sefa Noir

October 25, 2019

Tammy Hopson shares her quest to see black romantic love captured in photographs and poetry

Tammy Hopson, also known as Sefa Noir, was reared in the suburbs of Northern NJ. She did all the right things and followed every societal rule, moving through life doing the expected: college, career, family. Today, she is a single mother, HR professional, and dedicated daughter. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and an MBA with a focus on organizational development. Hopson currently serves as Vice President of Human Resources for a $500 million dollar a year physician group. However, underneath her responsibilities beat the heart of a passionate poet and a student of Black Culture and eroticism.

After a trip to a local bookstore in 2010, left her feeling unrepresented when trying to find a gift book about black romantic love, she began the journey create to one. As a longtime lover of poetry, sonnets, and great photography she chose to use these elements to create her first collection of poetry. Sefa Noir uses written and photographic imagery to explore the depths of passion, dedication, dominance, submission, commitment, and unrequited black love.

Order Sefa Noir's book on Amazon: Drops in Black Sand 

Somewhere in the Middle welcomes Coach, Trainer, and Speaker La Toya Gadson

Somewhere in the Middle welcomes Coach, Trainer, and Speaker La Toya Gadson

October 11, 2019

Leadership Coach, Trainer, and Speaker La Toya Gadson shares how we can act as leaders in the lives of others and how role models shape lives for the better

La Toya Gadson is the Founder of La Toya Gadson Coaching L.L.C, leadership and personal development company based out of Charlotte, NC. She is also a proud certified John Maxwell coach, trainer, and speaker. La Toya coaches and trains leaders how to lead boldly and take audacious action to intentionally improve themselves, their teams, and their businesses. La Toya’s passion is to help organizations cultivate a result-driven environment while improving employee engagement to reduce turnover and increase the effectiveness of leaders to identify top talent to avoid external hiring.

Before devoting her work to La Toya Gadson Coaching LLC full-time, La Toya held various leadership roles within Corporate America for more than 10 years where she discovered her purpose and calling to coach and mentor others in the workplace. She has been recognized for her ability to quickly turn around low performing teams and equip internal talent for leadership roles.

Noticing a need for employee and leadership development within organizations, La Toya decided to take a leap of faith in 2018 and start her own business in coaching and training.

In addition to being a coach and trainer, La Toya is a woman of faith who loves to travel internationally and works out religiously to stay fit.

Hikes Heal! Creator Leslie Ann Roszyk Shares How Nature Helps Heal the Spirit

Hikes Heal! Creator Leslie Ann Roszyk Shares How Nature Helps Heal the Spirit

September 27, 2019

Somewhere in the Middle welcomes Hikes Heal! Creator Leslie Ann Roszyk as she explains how our best healing takes place when we release what no longer serves us

Leslie Ann moved to Las Vegas 20 years ago, with dreams of illuminating the neon lights beyond measure. With no decent plan of action, she studied many different areas of interest, then after nine years of studying, she finally graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. While attending college, Leslie Ann worked in three high profile resorts as a Security Manager on the infamous Las Vegas Strip. That unique hands-on experience was just what Leslie Ann needed to fulfill her illuminating leadership dreams, yet she didn’t know it at the time. With encouragement from senior leadership, Leslie Ann took a risk and entered the realm of loyalty marketing as a developer. Leslie Ann did not have any marketing experience, yet from her background in improv and speech performance, she stumbled upon her true passion for motivational speaking, since she was now responsible for engaging and advancing two casino properties to “sell” a dream of loyalty and value to their guests. After tremendous success, Leslie Ann felt it was time to spread her wings and empower her experiences beyond the casino realm. Leslie Ann became a Certified Professional Coach, then created and developed her coaching company, Leslie Ann Coaching. Leslie Ann has built her company out of her love of nature, leadership development and the art of healing your wounded inner child. Leslie Ann has developed a revolutionary training program, called HIKES HEAL! for individuals and corporate leaders to help heal the emotional injuries of the “Walking Wounded” so they can be truly powerful leaders. Leslie Ann has found the best way to teach and help heal is outside, in nature, beyond the walls of the boardroom. Leslie Ann looks forward to sharing more of this wisdom with you as we hike our way to being the true powerful leader in our lives, our communities, and beyond!