Somewhere in the Middle with Michele Barard
DeWandus Johnson, Author of All Cried Out!, Joins Me on Somewhere in the Middle

DeWandus Johnson, Author of All Cried Out!, Joins Me on Somewhere in the Middle

March 27, 2020

Author and Community Activist DeWandus Johnson Shares His Journey from Prison to Activist

DeWandus Johnson Sr. was born and raised on the westside of Chicago, in the Lawndale Community. He fell into street life at an early age and was sent to prison when he was seventeen. Upon his release and while on parole, he left the grimy streets of Chicago and landed in Omaha, Nebraska. Unable to shake his “go get it by any means necessary” attitude, he found himself in prison again. While in Federal prison, he was introduced to one of the legends of the Chicago lifestyle and gained knowledge about other ways to live successfully. This friendship between the two men awakened a new understanding of life for DeWandus, and a new goal was born.

Today, DeWandus is the author of several books and has no plans to stop writing. His goal is to give unfiltered testimonies to the people that either don't know or don’t care about the untold truths about ghettos in America. DeWandus’s writing style can be described as alive, vivid, and extremely raw. His first novel was published under Royal Roar Publishing LLC and his second, All Cried Out!, was released in January of 2020.

Business Mentor and Founder of Life’s Journey to Excellence Ana Robles Shares Her Experience Helping Entrepreneurs Grow Their Businesses

Business Mentor and Founder of Life’s Journey to Excellence Ana Robles Shares Her Experience Helping Entrepreneurs Grow Their Businesses

March 13, 2020

Somewhere in the Middle with Michele Barard Welcomes Business Mentor Ana Robles

Ana Robles is the founder of Life’s Journey to Excellence in Covina, California. She helps business owners, sales professionals & entrepreneurs by providing sales training, create a system and business strategy in both group and one-on-one environments. Ana specializes in working with Small Businesses, Emerging & Established Entrepreneurs, and Independent Contractors.

Education Mentor and Author Darrian Tanner Shares Tactics for Better Classroom Management

Education Mentor and Author Darrian Tanner Shares Tactics for Better Classroom Management

February 21, 2020

Education Mentor and Author Darrian Tanner Encourages Educators to Create Win-Win Situations in the Classroom

Darrian Tanner is currently an 11th-year secondary education English teacher and a 2nd-year Instructional Mentor in the state of Florida. She was born and raised in East St. Louis, IL, and this is where her love for education truly began as she was inspired by both her teachers and aunts who were educators and administrators in the school district. Darrian graduated from the College of Education at Michigan State University with a B.A. in English Ed and completed the teacher certification program with a yearlong internship at a local high school.

Throughout her years of teaching, she came across great success on the school campus whether it was through her student mentorship programs or The Classroom Experience. Darrian was presented with the Florida High Impact Teacher Award two years in a row because of the significant growth in her students’ reading and writing state testing scores. She has a philosophy behind these results that’s much bigger than a lesson plan or special classroom assignments, and she developed a passion to share these principles with other educators. In 2016, she wrote her first ebook entitled, Finally Some Answers: 50 Classroom Solutions for the Secondary Ed Teacher. Her newest book, Teacher Authority in the Classroom: It’s Not a Battle-It’s a Bargain, was released in August 2019. In this book, she talks about the perspective of both the educators and students when it comes to understanding teacher authority in the classroom. Three years ago, she developed a strong heart to help other educators in the areas of student behavior and engagement. As a former ambassador for Teach.org and a live and online workshop presenter, Darrian makes great effort to reach educators and students across the world in hopes of impacting the world in an unforgettable way.

Tawana Williams “The Hope Coach” Shares Business and Marketing Strategies for New Authors

Tawana Williams “The Hope Coach” Shares Business and Marketing Strategies for New Authors

February 7, 2020

Tawana Williams "The Hope Coach" Discusses the Choices She Made to Build Her Writing and Speaking Career

Tawana Williams was born without arms and impaired use of her legs. She’s an award-winning Keynote Motivational Speaker, TV Personality, Author, Artist, Mentor, Executive Producer, Co-Producer, Businesswoman, Humanitarian & CEO. She’s a highly sought-after speaker with a powerful and uplifting message for all generations. Her compelling story is one of Triumph, Perseverance, and Determination. She’s overcome many obstacles and has never let her disability stop her. Tawana is the first black Tha-li-do-mide baby in the U.S. that became an Internationally acclaimed Les Brown Platinum Motivational Speaker!

She’s the author of six books including her classic book UNarmed but Dangerous. This book is her personal testimony and will be featured as her Debut Movie “Eagle Without Wings” coming soon to theaters. She became a professional speaker in 1996 and travels the country with her husband, Toby, speaking at schools, churches, daycare centers, youth programs, Boys & Girls Clubs, nursing homes, prisons, drug rehab centers, veterans’ associations, universities, colleges, fraternities, sororities, corporations & organizations. Tawana’s Mission is to give hope and inspiration to those facing adversities and challenges while teaching them how to cope in any situation.

Tawana has been featured on The Jerry Springer Show sharing her story of how she beat the odds, The Judge Hatchett Show to mentor a troubled teen, The WORD Network, Manna Express TV, TCT-TV, Atlanta Live, Lifetime TV, The 700 Club, “Your World” with Creflo Dollar and many other TV programs. She's been interviewed by Oprah's Producers twice by telephone. Her story has been told in numerous magazines. She’s the Former Spokesperson for The Agape Gospel Academy in Atlanta, Georgia from 2008-2011.

Tawana is “The Hope Coach” and she’s teaching others how to live a life with “No More Excuses.”

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.