A Sojourner’s Truth Podcast: Our REDEMPTION Stories w/ Janie L. Mines

This episode features Ms. Janie L. Mines, the first black female graduate of the United States Naval Academy.

S1S9 Janie L Mines

Janie L. Mines entered Annapolis—the U.S. Naval Academy— in 1976 as the only African American female in the first class of women. After leaving the military and corporate America, she continued to serve her country as the Senior Advisor, Business Process, in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy. She currently serves on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS and is an independent executive management consultant. As a Sloan Fellow she earned an MBA from the Alfred P. Sloan School of Business Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Ms. Mines founded and managed a non-profit organization for over 10 years serving socioeconomically disadvantaged adolescent boys in the community. She won numerous awards and was selected to carry the Olympic torch. She has maintained her relationship with the U.S. Naval Academy throughout the decades and continues to positively impact the lives of midshipmen and naval officers through her mentorship and ongoing support.

Her new book, “No Coincidences: Reflections of the First Black Female Graduate of the United States Naval Academy,” releases this month! In it, Janie applies the religious themes taught by her family in a real-world exposé of how those childhood experiences prepared her to enter the class of 1980 at the U.S. Naval Academy. She reveals a painful chapter in American history. It is an insightful, uniquely personal journey of fortitude, faith and resilience told by the young woman who stood alone and forced both the
institution and the armed forces to look in the mirror. Janie Mines is one of the strongest women I know. Her story will stir the conscience of the reader and provoke a truly deeper conversation of race and gender relations in our country. Sadly, it reveals how culture can undermine and corrode the best intentions of law, policy, guidance, and the leadership.
Availability: Pre-orders starting November 10, 2018 at
Shipping: December 10, 2018

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Blog Announcement

The Formation of Our Stories w/ Dr. Twaina Harris of Claflin University

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Blog Announcement

We will be publishing new podcasts on Thursdays, and they’re going to syndicate on iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, and YouTube.



Welcome to A Sojourner’s Truth podcast: Conversations for a Changing Culture! I’m your host Natasha Sistrunk Robinson, and I’m glad you’re joining us for Season One where the theme is: Our Stories:

Natasha: Hello Beautiful People!

I am thrilled to welcome my next guest to A Sojourner’s Truth Podcast. This season of the podcast, we are talking about our stories, and to guide our conversation, I’m using the outline of my upcoming book, A Sojourner’s Truth: Choosing Freedom and Courage in a Divided World. We will talk about the FORMATION of Our Stories, the HISTORY of Our Stories, Our Stories in the WILDERNESS, and Our REDEMPTION Stories.

In our second interview of the season, we are continuing our conversation about the FORMATION of Our Stories with Dr. Twaina Harris, Campus Director of the Career Pathways Initiative and Director of Academic Advising at the Historically Black College and University (HBCU), Claflin University.



S1E3_Twaina Harris

Twaina is from Orangeburg, South Carolina, and she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from South Carolina State University.  She earned a Master’s degree in Counseling from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Upon completion of her Master’s degree, she was employed by UAB as a professional academic advisor in the Division of General Studies.  After serving several years as an academic advisor at UAB, she relocated to Columbus, Ohio and served as Admissions Manager for the College of Optometry and chair of the Diversity Committee for the health sciences (including the health professions) at Ohio State University.  In 2014, she earned her Doctor of Education degree in Interdisciplinary Leadership from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. The primary focus of her dissertation was academic advising at HBCUs. She has been employed at Claflin University for 14 years.

Here are some conversation highlights:


READ ALONG as Natasha reads excerpt from Part One: Community – “Long before I knew I was a Christian or a leader, I understood that I was black and woman…(pg. 31-32).


Growing up, I regularly listened to commercials from the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) telling me that I could go to college and that a mind is a terrible thing to waste.




The United Negro College Fund is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization.



Find out more about the United Negro College Fund.

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”


Website: https://www.uncf.org/

Follow on Twitter:  @UNCF

Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UNCF

Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uncf/




Across the fence from South Carolina State University, you will find Claflin University. It is a private liberal artists school located in my hometown of Orangeburg, SC.

My mother attended Claflin University for a couple years before her health started to fail. She later returned to Claflin to work in the campus library where I spent many afternoons after school reading books and doing homework.

Founded in 1869, Claflin University was created so newly freed slaves could be educated. It is the oldest HBCU in the state of South Carolina. Beginning with homecoming 2018, Claflin will be celebrating 150 years of academic excellence and visionary leadership!


Find out more about Claflin University:

Website: http://www.claflin.edu/

Follow on Twitter:  @ClaflinUniv1869

Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ClaflinUniversity1869/ 

Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/claflin1869/


Let’s continue the conversation. Join in by commenting on the blog, subscribing to the syndication channels, and using the #ASojournerTruth hashtag on: Facebook (Don’t miss the news – “Like” and click “Following” to “See First”), Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe to my YouTube channel. You can also connect with me through my website at www.NatashaSRobinson.com.


Until next time, “Tell the truth, people!”

On Being Black, Woman, and Evangelical

On Being Black, Woman, and Evangelical


I’m thrilled that important conversations are taking place about the history and condition of the American evangelical church. I am humbled and honored to contribute to these conversations.

This week I’m sharing at Missio Alliance about the intersectionality of being black, a woman, and an evangelical.

Over the past few years, I have wrestled with identifying as an evangelical who is Black. The past couple years have made it all the more difficult because of the troubling marriage of evangelicalism (mostly reported by those in the majority people group) and American politics, that often does not reflect the priorities or interests of many black people that I know.

I just finished reading Dr. Douglas A. Sweeney’s book, The American Evangelical Story: A History of the Movement. While reading, I was encouraged to know that the debates for evangelicalism—what it means, who belongs in the group and who doesn’t, and how marginalized people are often left out of the conversation—are not new ones.

In fact, uncertainly about the definition of evangelicalism, its mark on the American and global church, and how that has impacted various people groups has been a reality since the beginning of the evangelical movement.

Continue reading at Missio Alliance.


My friend, Lisa Sharon Harper, also makes an important contribution here. Thank you, Lisa, for answering the question, “What does repentance look like for the white church?”