Somewhere in the Middle with Michele Barard
Rev. Dr. Nicole B. Simpson shares her journey through pain to help others help and grow financially and spiritually

Rev. Dr. Nicole B. Simpson shares her journey through pain to help others help and grow financially and spiritually

July 5, 2020

Somewhere in the Middle with Michele Barard welcomes bestselling author Rev. Dr. Nicole B. Simpson

Reverend Dr. Nicole B. Simpson, CFP®, is a practitioner with over 29 years of experience in the securities industry. On September 11, 2001, her life was drastically altered while working as a financial planner on the 73rd floor of 2 World Trade Center. Simpson was on the 44th floor when Tower 2 was hit during the World Trade Center attacks.

Today, Simpson compassionately assists families on how to begin to walk along the road to recovery when faced with a catastrophic, unexpected disaster. She is actively involved in spiritual, emotional, and economic empowerment. A compelling empowerment speaker, television/ radio personality and author, Ms. Simpson travels throughout the United States teaching in a practical and easy to understand manner. Her straightforward approach motivates everyone who hears her message to take action to change their future. Her commitment is to engage people with the thought, “If money were not an issue, what would be your life’s purpose?”

Pastor Nicole’s life began to take shape when she turned seven years old. Gifted with a Bible by her mother, she spent most of her time in her room reading the red words in that Bible, which sparked her interest. Those red words told her to do good to please God, and they taught her how to pray. Through scripture, she learned how to seek God’s comfort amid every storm. Like most individuals, Nicole has suffered unexpected, significant personal tragedies that have affected her entire family emotionally and financially. What is critical, but often avoided, is the experience and willingness to share strategies that instruct others how to overcome unexpected disasters that can stagnate one’s personal life because of a crisis. “How does one pick up the pieces of their life and move toward their ordained purpose?” She can answer those questions and put the necessary steps into perspective to begin the recovery process.

In January 2016, Dr. SImpson embarked on a new life journey. She became the pastor of Micah 7 Ministries in Piscataway, NJ. She is the visionary and CEO of the Power of Gospel Ministries, a best-selling author, and an entrepreneur. Simpson has written several books, including Planning for A Reason, a Season, and a Lifetime, The Ultimate Plan…A Financial Survival Guide for Life’s Unexpected Events, which was nationally distributed through Tate Publishing, and Dare 2 Dream…Pushing Past Your Pain to Pursue Purpose, a book that changes the lives of everyone who reads it. It later became her first Amazon bestseller.

In June 2011, Simpson released 9/11/01: A Long Road Toward Recovery, her second best-selling book. The book reflected upon the challenges of World Trade Center survivors who had been neglected emotionally and economically. In January 2014, she released her fifth book, Personal Prayer for all Occasions. Her highly anticipated sixth title addressing how to recognize the voice of God, Listen and Learn How God Speaks to You, was recently released. Nicole’s media profile includes appearances on CNN News, BBC World News, Huffington Post, Crains NY Business, Fox News, and UPN 9.

Nicole B. Simpson is a Cum Laude graduate of Oral Roberts University. She completed her Master of Divinity degree at New Brunswick Theological Seminary in May 2016 Magna Cum Laude. In January 2017, Simpson enrolled in Boston University to pursue her Doctor of Ministries in Transformational Leadership, which she completed in December 2019.

Diversity and Criminal Justice Reform Advocate Dr. Maxine Bryant shares her journey to serving her community

Diversity and Criminal Justice Reform Advocate Dr. Maxine Bryant shares her journey to serving her community

June 26, 2020

Somewhere in the Middle with Michele Barard welcomes Diversity and Criminal Justice Reform Advocate Dr. Maxine Bryant 

Dr. Bryant holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Ball State University, a Master of Arts Degree from Saginaw Valley State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Services Degree from Walden University. All of her degrees have a concentration in Criminal Justice & Corrections.

Dr. Bryant has given leadership to two criminal justice agencies. She founded and served as the Program Administrator of the Arete Community Corrections Center, a federal halfway house in Saginaw, Michigan; and she served as the Executive Director for Offender Aid & Restoration of Marion County, an agency providing educational and counseling services to inmates housed in the Marion County Jail and to ex-offenders needing assistance.

Somewhere in the Middle welcomes Diane Sears to discuss being “In search of Fatherhood”

Somewhere in the Middle welcomes Diane Sears to discuss being “In search of Fatherhood”

June 12, 2020

Diane Sears, United States Coordinator for International Men’s Day, shares why we need prison reform

DIANE A. SEARS is the United States Coordinator for International Men’s Day ( – a position she has held since 2009; the creator of the International Day of Prayer for Men and Boys which launches the United States’ observance of International Men’s Day; Chair, USA 2012- 2022 International Men’s Day Ten Year Plan Committee; a member of the International Men’s Day Coordination Committee where she represents the United States; Editor of a book on Fatherhood and Men’s Issues – IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD® -- TRANSCENDING BOUNDARIES

(; and Managing Editor of a quarterly Fatherhood and Men’s Issues Journal —IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD® -- which moderates a Global Dialogue on Fatherhood. The concept for IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD® was created by Sears’ mentor, the late L.T. HENRY, a classically trained jazz musician who briefly performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and was a former drummer for internationally acclaimed songstress and film and television actress MS. DELLA REESE; author; photojournalist; and sales and success motivation trainer who died in March 1999 – a concept Ms. Sears has resurrected. MS. SEARS serves as an External Board Member of the results-oriented two-tiered FATHERS AND CHILDREN TOGETHER Initiative created by members of United Community Action Network (U-CAN) at SCI Graterford which is designed to eradicate Fatherlessness and intergenerational incarceration. MS. SEARS’ work on Fatherhood and Men’s Issues has received global attention as evidenced in a 2009 International Men’s Day speech given on the floor of the Western Australian Parliament by THE HONORABLE NICK GOIRAN ( 2009/12/02/ international-mens- day-adjournment-debate-speech/). A member of the University Council for Akamai University’s Fatherhood and Men’s Studies Program ( which is located in Hilo, Hawaii, SEARS advises the President of Akamai University on Fatherhood issues and assists him in the enhancement of the institution’s Fatherhood and Men’s Studies curriculum and in forming strategic alliances with national and international Fatherhood organizations. She is also a member of the National Affinity Network for The Boys’ Initiative ( which is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

MS. SEARS has interviewed Men who are Fathers throughout our global village concerning issues, directly and indirectly, related to Fatherhood and has developed and maintains working relationships with male parenting organizations in Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States. She has authored and published reviews for numerous books about Fatherhood and Men’s issues which include Father and Child Reunion: How To Bring The Dads We Need to the Children We Love, by Warren Farrell, Ph.D.; Swallowed By A Snake: The Gift Of The Masculine Side Of Healing by Thomas R. Golden, LCSW; The Ultimate Survival Guide for the Single Father by Thomas Hoerner; Nothing’s Wrong: A Man’s Guide To Managing His Feelings by David Kundtz; Hey Daddy, Read This by Donald Roberts, an award-winning journalist and anchorman for Virginia’s NBC-affiliate television station WAVY-TV; We Fish: The Journey To Fatherhood by University of Pittsburgh Professor Jack L. Daniel, Ph.D. and his son Omari C. Daniel, Ph.D.; Death To Diabetes: The 6 Stages Of Type 2 Diabetes Control & Reversal by DeWayne McCulley; Fatherhood by William H. Cosby, Jr., Ed.D.; The Spirit Of Fatherhood: Embracing Our Role As Fathers And Reclaiming Our Children by S. Bruce Olamina Stevenson; 25 Things That Really Matter: A Comprehensive Guide To Making Your Life Better by Gary A. Johnson, the Founder and Publisher of the Homework Help Page and Founder of the Gary A. Johnson Company, a management-training and consulting firm; The Self-Esteem Trap: Raising Confident And Compassionate Kids In An Age Of Self-Importance by Polly Young-Eisendrath, Ph.D.; A Promise To Ourselves: A Journey Through Fatherhood And Divorce by television, film and Broadway actor Alec Baldwin; A Father’s Right by Anthony Gallo; 2011: The Global Depression by global economist and economic consultant to the Government of Canada and the United Nations Economic Commission Ruben James; Do-Over! by Robin Hemley: and The Man’s Book: The Essential Guide For The Modern Man by Thomas Fink.

SEARS has co-moderated discussion forums, panel discussions, and national teleconferences on Fatherhood and Men’s Issues and has been a frequent featured guest on radio talk shows in the United States and Australia

Sam Woods, Author of Imprisonment, shares his journey from the streets to prison to author

Sam Woods, Author of Imprisonment, shares his journey from the streets to prison to author

May 22, 2020

Somewhere in the Middle welcomes Samuel Woods, author of Imprisonment

Samuel Woods is a native of Canton, Ohio, where he was indoctrinated into street life at the age of twelve. Despite a strong desire to turn things around for himself, Sam found himself moving from the juvenile court system to the adult prison system. He currently is incarcerated in Mansfield Correctional Institution serving a 35-years to life sentence for murder. He has been in prison for 6 ½ years.

Sam Woods has a beautiful and loving wife, Ashley Woods, and two wonderful children, Samuel Woods, Jr. and Daeshona Miller. It is their love and support that keeps Sam motivated to fight for justice in his case. He wants those who are in a similar situation to continue to never give up the fight for their freedom and encourages them to go to the legal library to learn everything they can about the law.

Sam Woods is the author of Imprisonment, which will be out in June 2020. Visit to learn more.

Somewhere in the Middle Welcomes Christian Author Alan Black

Somewhere in the Middle Welcomes Christian Author Alan Black

May 8, 2020

Alan Black shares his journey of surrender to become a Christian author

Alan Black grew up in the United Methodist Church. While he proudly embraces his background and personal history within the United Methodist Church, he does not feel that denomination is important. What matters most is the relationship that you have with the Lord.

Through the years, if Alan were to describe his relationship with the Lord using one word it would be “transformation” marked by daily growth in his walk with the Lord, and as well continuing to display the fruits of his Spirit. For these times, his attitude and belief are that the world is looking to Christians to see if, in fact, their talk does indeed match their walk.

Like all of us, Alan has experienced twists and turns along the road of life. But each step along that road has led him to this point in life to humbly say that he is an author. But being able to say that he is a Christian author is the most important thing of all to him.

To everything, there is a time and season. Though Alan was unsure of what was in store for him, Alan sought to be obedient and to trust in the Lord. Alan is now able to show others that God will qualify you and lead you to accomplish what His charge is for you if you can be a willing servant.

Education Consultant Joy Simuel shares her experience guiding parents through the special education process

Education Consultant Joy Simuel shares her experience guiding parents through the special education process

April 24, 2020

Somewhere in the Middle welcomes Education Consultant Joy Simuel 

Joy is an energetic and experienced special education professional with a passion for pushing students to realize their full potential. With over 10 years of experience, she is a dedicated and resourceful educator with a solid commitment to the growth of the whole child. Giving parents the knowledge and confidence they need to advocate for their child.

It was during an annual review of IEP (individualized education plans) and re-evaluation meetings that Joy realized parents were signing documents, leaving meetings not feeling heard and overwhelmed. She decided that she would start her own special education consulting business to help parents navigate the special education process. After much prayer Joy resigned from her teaching position on June 13, 2019, from Fairfax County Public Schools and took the leap of faith to start Joy Simuel Consulting LLC.

Joy received her bachelor’s degree from Peace College in 2011 where she majored in Child Development and minored in Psychology. She received her special education license from East Carolina University in 2014. Joy has taught in the Wake County Public School System in North Carolina and most recently Fairfax County Public School System. This is where she developed a reputation for advocating for the diverse and unique needs of her students.

Author, Anti-Racism Coach, and Workshop Facilitator Kaolin K joins me on Somewhere in the Middle

Author, Anti-Racism Coach, and Workshop Facilitator Kaolin K joins me on Somewhere in the Middle

April 10, 2020

Kaolin K shares her experience working with white people seeking to foster equality in their lives

Kaolin K is originally from Brooklyn, NY, where she raised her two adult children. She worked in politics and the Arts, and in the 90’s Kaolin moved to Northampton, MA, attended Holyoke Community College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and matriculated in the Opera Department at Smith. Kaolin developed the Talking About Race self-study curriculum, which is designed for white people who want to foster equality in their lives, drawing upon the Kaolin’s classroom experiences teaching a course for college students titled Let’s Talk About Race. Kaolin has also worked in politics organizing marches on Washington, DC for peace and justice, ending US Intervention in Central America, and as the Health Benefits Field Representative for the Local 205 - DC 1707 Welfare Fund in NYC. Deeply invested in social services and education since 1991, Kaolin was also a member of the Anti-Racism Committee in the National Organization for Women (NOW) and was their National Keynote Plenary Speaker on White Privilege for their 50th Anniversary celebration in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Kaolin does public speaking and consults with teachers and activists who are using her book Talking About Race: A Workbook About White People Fostering Racial Equality in Their Lives. In addition to teaching, Kaolin has appeared in several documentaries.

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 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.