Somewhere in the Middle with Michele Barard
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 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

Play this podcast on Podbean App