A Sojourner’s Truth Podcast: The HISTORY of Our Stories

Due to The Call and Response Conference, my team was delayed in publishing last week’s podcast episode. Earlier this week, we published the episode, featuring my aunt (mom’s baby sister), Latrice Williams, talking about the HISTORY of Our Stories and specifically discussing the history of our family across generations.

S1E4_Latrice Williams

Today’s episode features a conversation with my dear friend, godmother, mentor, and acclaimed choir director and Bennett Belle, Joyce Garrett talking about the HISTORY of Our Stories. In it, she shares her personal experience participating in the Civil Rights Movement as a college student and the continuous fight for racial justice today.

S1E5_JoyceGarrett

Joyce Garrett, a native of Kinston, North Carolina consistently produced outstanding choral ensembles for over thirty years at Eastern High School, Washington, DC.  A consummate musician and exemplary music educator, Garrett served as Founder/Artistic Director of the Excellence Without Excuses program, a youth intervention, values-training and scholarship program she created for the award-winning Eastern High School Choir of Washington, DC during her teaching career there from 1972-1999. Garrett directed the United States Naval Academy Gospel Choir in Annapolis, Maryland from 1990 until 2006, performing throughout the United States from California to New York, showcasing the Gospel Choir’s talents, and serving as a catalyst for Academy minority student recruitment and retention. Garrett received the Bachelor of Arts Degree from Bennett College, and the Master of Music Degree from The Catholic University in Washington, DC. During her teaching career, she received numerous honors and awards Currently, she serves as the Music and Worship Arts Ministry Director of the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA.  She is married to James Garrett and is the mother of two adult children, Rodney and Melanie Messer.

Follow her work through the Joyce Garrett Fan Page.

Subscribe to A Sojourner’s Truth Podcast today:

Blog Announcement

Find us on iTunesSpotify, SoundCloud, and YouTube.

Lean In: When Black Women in the Workplace Talk

Lean In Book CoverI recently interviewed Dr. Ancella Livers, author and Senior Design Faculty of the global Center of Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC concerning Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, and whether or not it applies to the experience of black women in the workplace.

When Facebook’s No. 2 executive and billionaire, Sheryl Sandberg, released her book entitled, “Lean In: Women, Work, and The Will to Lead,” earlier this year, it was sure to become a success. The back cover reveals an endorsement by Oprah, who labeled the book, “The new manifesto for women in the workplace,” followed by the raving reviews of The New York Times, The New Yorker, Fortune, Forbes, The Atlantic, and Entertainment Weekly. It’s no secret; everyone wants to hear what Sandberg has to say on the topic of women and leadership.

For experienced professional women in the workplace, Sandberg is actually not saying anything new. On the other hand, she is a woman who has been privileged to have education, access, opportunity, mentorship, sponsors, and coaches, all of which increased her likelihood of success in the workplace. When people look at Sandberg, they a see a white woman and it is important to recognize that her experiences are not typical of the average woman who works. From her privileged experiences, she paints a broad stroke in her assessments without fully acknowledging all of power dynamics at play, particularly when considering the experiences of women of color.

Continue reading article at UrbanFaith.

Coffee Talk: Reconciling Black Women and Their Hair

Christena Cleveland photoOn A Sista’s Journey, I’m always excited to introduce different voices, friends, and those making a positive impact in the Church and the world. For our “Christians Celebrating Black History Series,” I decided to invite writer, Christena Cleveland, for a coffee chat. Here the voice of this woman as she shares about Black women and their hair, practically entering into other people’s worlds, and the importance of diversity:

Continue reading “Coffee Talk: Reconciling Black Women and Their Hair”