PODCAST

Heromakers Podcast

Laurie Nichols & Ann Chow

Lively conversations about important topics to inspire all of us to change the world, one act, one word, one dream at a time.

Nelli Kim on How Cancer Clarifies a Call + The Intersection of Fashion & Making Our World Better
In this episode, Laurie is flying solo and talks with the amazing Nelli Kim, Founder & CEO at RĒDEN, which makes radically comfortable shoes with a purpose, and Founding Board Member of RAISEfashion, a network of fashion industry leaders, providing pro bono consulting to Black-owned brands and individuals, with a mission to advance the equity of Black talent. She is also Co-founder of Embers International, which works to fight the injustice of human trafficking.Nelli talks about how she got into fashion and her climb up the ladder to high-end fashion apparel and shoes, and then the moment when she felt called to intersect her experience with raising money for organizations doing good in the world. Nelli shares honestly about her cancer diagnosis, the healing process, and how her experience made her goal to make comfortable shoes even more meaningful. We talk about the power of mentorship and making ourselves available to others, and about why heromakers can be found in unlikely places.Heromakers can be found on IG @heromakersmovement and on FB @heromakersmovement. You can also visit our website at: https://www.heromakersmovement.com. Nelli's Links:LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nelli-kim-370754a6Personal Instagram: @nellibellekRĒDEN: https://www.shopreden.comEmbers International: http://www.embersinternational.orgRAISEfashion: https://raisefashionnow.orgIn this episode, we reference Megs Yunn on Celebrating Birthdays, Building Joy, and Speaking Dignity to Children  (S1E23).You can watch this and other episodes of the podcast on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuVDFP8jEcv5bdhr8VLzXjA. Like us and follow us today!And share this episode with your friends. Want to support this work we do?? We are on PATREON and would love if you would join our growing community! Check it out here: https://www.patreon.com/heromakersmovement.
Mar 23 2022
47 mins
Mannie Thomas on Changing False Narratives, Reversing Toxic Masculinity, and Lessons Learned After Incarceration
In this episode, Laurie and Ann talk with Mannie Thomas, co-executive director and director of programming at Success Stories, which "provides an alternative to prisons that builds safer communities by delivering feminist programming to people who have caused harm." Here, Mannie shares his own journey of growing up with false narratives about himself and what it meant to be a man--and which led him down a destructive road to prison. There, Mannie began to see himself, others, and the future differently, eventually earning five degrees and assisting other men to see how broken worldviews impact everything. Mannie shares what he has learned, helps us understand patriarchy and toxic masculinity, and gives us a glimpse into the power of true community, redemption, and moving past shame to find the real person hidden inside each of us. Heromakers can be found on IG @heromakersmovement and on FB @heromakersmovement. You can also visit our website at: https://www.heromakersmovement.com. Success Stories can be found here: www.successstoriesprogram.org, and on Instagram here.In this episode, we reference Hector Guadalupe on "Life After Incarceration and Why All of Us Need Second Chances" (S1E14).You can watch this and other episodes of the podcast on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuVDFP8jEcv5bdhr8VLzXjA. Like us and follow us today!And share this episode with your friends. Want to support this work we do?? We are on PATREON and would love if you would join our growing community! Check it out here: https://www.patreon.com/heromakersmovement.
Mar 16 2022
48 mins
Latanya DeVaughn on Pursuing Dreams, Launching the Only Mobile Bookstore in the Bronx, and Developing a Love of Reading
Mar 1 2022
35 mins
Hope England on The Intersection of Laughter & Trauma and What Covid-19-induced Paralysis Taught Her About Her Calling
In this episode, Laurie and Ann talk with Hope England, a brilliant and funny psychotherapist and comedian who founded  Humor for Hope, an organization that prevents and heals trauma by using comedy and improvisation. Hope and her team formed an alternative inpatient therapy for trauma survivors and chronically and terminally ill children and patients. Hope holds a degree in writing and producing for television and sitcoms, has studied education and theater, and is a graduate and former employee of The Second City and The Second City Training Center. She is a practicing psychotherapist who works in trauma and crisis intervention with an emphasis on grief, loss, death, and dying. We discovered Hope after we delved more into The Witness Institute and talking with founder Ariel Burger (Season 3, Episode 6). In addition to her work with Humor for Hope, she is a Fellow at The Witness Institute. Here, we talk about the intersection of laughter and trauma and how her own melding of the two brought her through some very dark days this past Fall when she contracted Covid-19, which led her to develop Guillain-Barré syndrome, leaving her paralyzed from the neck down for a period. Hope shares how she discovered comedy and when she realized it could be used to heal the wounds of others. We also talk about her adventures, dark retreats, and laughter as "carbonated holiness" (Anne Lamott).Heromakers can be found on IG @heromakersmovement and on FB @heromakersmovement. You can also visit our website at: https://www.heromakersmovement.com. Humor for Hope can be found here: humorforhope.com, and on Instagram here.You can watch this and other episodes of the podcast on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuVDFP8jEcv5bdhr8VLzXjA. Like us and follow us today!And share this episode with your friends. Want to support this work we do?? We are on PATREON and would love if you would join our growing community! Check it out here: https://www.patreon.com/heromakersmovement.
Feb 22 2022
43 mins
Charles Lerner on Growing Up in the Foster Care System, Unconditional Acceptance, and the Lifelong Journey of Love
Feb 8 2022
42 mins
Rabbi Dr. Ariel Burger on Tradition, Dialoguing Across Differences, and What He Learned from Elie Wiesel
In this episode, Laurie and Ann talk with Rev. Dr. Ariel Burger, founding director and senior scholar of The Witness Institute, whose mission is to empower emerging leaders, inspired by the life and legacy of Elie Wiesel. A orthodox-trained rabbi, Ariel is also an author, teacher, and artist whose work integrates spirituality, the arts, and strategies for social change. He is author of Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel's Classroom.Ariel shares about his own journey in discovering meaning in life and relationships and how his searches led him to a lifelong commitment to dialoguing across differences for the sake of each other. The three talk about the link between learning and doing and the hard work of pressing into conflict and brokenheartedness so that we can learn more about ourselves and others. Ariel talks about the continuing legacy of Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elie Wiesel, who served as his mentor and teacher. Heromakers can be found on IG @heromakersmovement and on FB @heromakersmovement. You can also visit our website at: https://www.heromakersmovement.com. Ariel can be found here: arielburger.com.Learn about The Witness Institute here: witnessinstitute.org.You can watch this and other episodes of the podcast on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuVDFP8jEcv5bdhr8VLzXjA. Like us and follow us today!And share this episode with your friends. Want to support this work we do?? We are on PATREON and would love if you would join our growing community! Check it out here: https://www.patreon.com/heromakersmovement.
Feb 1 2022
45 mins
Cole Arthur Riley on Finding Rest and Discovering Yourself in Difficult Times + "This Here Flesh" - Her Upcoming Book
In this episode, Laurie and Ann talk with Cole Arthur Riley, a writer and liturgist who founded Black Liturgies, a project seeking to integrate concepts of dignity, lament, rage, justice, rest, and liberation with the practice of written prayer. In this episode we talk with Cole about her family and upbringing (including her heromaker Dad) and why she was prompted to start Black Liturgies in the summer/fall of 2020. We talk about wrestling with pain and trauma, and why rest and rediscovery may be the answer to our losses and wounds. Cole is honest about the growth of her platform and being authentic to herself, and of course we talk about her upcoming book by Convergent Books - it's a must-read to understand black history and roundedness and to rediscover some missing elements that make for a fuller and richer life. Heromakers can be found on IG @heromakersmovement and on FB @heromakersmovement. You can also visit our website at: https://www.heromakersmovement.com. Cole can be found on Instagram at www.instagram.com/blackliturgies. She is also at https://colearthurriley.com. Her latest book, This Here Flesh - a FANTASTIC READ, can be pre-ordered here.You can watch this and other episodes of the podcast on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuVDFP8jEcv5bdhr8VLzXjA. Like us and follow us today!And share this episode with your friends. Want to support this work we do?? We are on PATREON and would love if you would join our growing community! Check it out here: https://www.patreon.com/heromakersmovement.
Jan 25 2022
46 mins
Kevin McDowell on Beating Cancer, Becoming an Olympic Medalist, and Why Our Suffering Can Inspire Others
In this episode, Laurie and Ann talk with Kevin McDowell, a triathlete who just won a silver medal in the mixed relay triathlon and placed sixth overall in the individual men's triathlon. He was one of the first American men to win an Olympic medal in the triathlon. Kevin talks about not only his journey to the Olympics and his pursuit of sports, but also his journey through being diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma at the age of 18 and how that changed his life and how he sees the world. We talk about organizations fighting childhood cancer and about the unfortunate statistic that only four cents on every dollar given to cancer research goes to pediatric research. We talk about Kevin's desire to inspire kids with cancer and why his journey through cancer, his close-knit community, and his pursuit of a dream have fueled him over the years. In this episode we reference:Cal's AngelsSt. Judes Children's Research HospitalLurie Children's Hospital of ChicagoRonald McDonald House CharitiesHeromakers can be found on IG @heromakersmovement and on FB @heromakersmovement. You can also visit our website at: https://www.heromakersmovement.com. Kevin can be found on Instagram at www.instagram.com/kevinmcdowell1.You can watch this and other episodes of the podcast on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuVDFP8jEcv5bdhr8VLzXjA. Like us and follow us today!And share this episode with your friends. Want to support this work we do?? We are on PATREON and would love if you would join our growing community! Check it out here: https://www.patreon.com/heromakersmovement.
Jan 18 2022
42 mins
Mike Thirtle on "Doing a Little More," Smart and Good People, and Honoring Those Who Serve
In this episode, Laurie and Ann talk with Mike Thirtle, CEO of the Gary Sinise Foundation, which "serves our nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need." We talk with Mike about his 20 years of service in the Air Force, his roles in both the non-profit and for-profit sector, and of course, about Forrest Gump and the life-altering lessons we learn from Lieutenant Dan Taylor (played by Sinise) regarding seeing the value in others.We talk about service and good leadership (hint: smart, good people are the best kinds) and about the power of love. And of course we go into a bit of the good work the team at the Gary Sinise Foundation are doing through their five pillars.In this episode we reference:Darcy Olsen: Using Every Available Means to Give Voice to the Children Unheard and Unseen in the Foster Care SystemChris Fields on Three Decades of Being a Firefighter, the Iconic Oklahoma City Bombing Photo, and Why Trauma Doesn't Have to Have the Final WordCol. Jim McDonough on Lessons on Humility, Vulnerability, and Selfless Leadership Learned from 26 Years in the MilitaryHeromakers can be found on IG @heromakersmovement and on FB @heromakersmovement. You can also visit our website at: https://www.heromakersmovement.com. Mike can be found at LinkedIn or at the Gary Sinise Foundation website. You can watch this and other episodes of the podcast on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuVDFP8jEcv5bdhr8VLzXjA. Like us and follow us today!And share this episode with your friends. Want to support this work we do?? We are on PATREON and would love if you would join our growing community! Check it out here: https://www.patreon.com/heromakersmovement.
Jan 11 2022
41 mins
Lauren McCann on Creating a Positive Difference, Following Your Own Dreams, and Sobriety with Others
Jan 3 2022
41 mins
Laurie and Ann on The Year Behind, Kindness Creativity, Making Space for Us, Rubik Cubes, Harvesting Apples, and Heromaking in 2022Julie Anne Kelly on Kicking Cancer in the ___ Through Community, Love, and a Whole Lot of BoxingNicholas Kristock on Fleece, Thank You, Empathy, Compassion, Confidence, and Many Things in BetweenIan Hockley on Lessons of Loss from Sandy Hook and Building Communities of Heromakers
Apr 20 2021
46 mins
Katie Spotz on Endurance Sports and Pushing Yourself to Do the Impossible to Raise Awareness of Those in Need
In this episode of the Heromakers Podcast, Laurie and Ann talk with Katie Spotz, endurance athlete and clean water advocate. Katie has completed a number of significant physical fitness challenges--being the youngest person to row across the Atlantic Ocean (70 days, over 1 million strokes), biking across America, and being the first person to swim the Allegheny River to name just a few feats. She is currently working on a bike down the coast of Maine for H2O for Life. And if that's not enough, Katie is hoping to complete a trip around the world within the next two years.Blending the "why" and the "how", Katie pushes herself for the sake of others, raising money and awareness to provide access to clean water around the world. In this episode, we talk about training for these events, the role of the mind in pushing ourselves, and why even though an event might be just for a day, an impact can last for a lifetime.You can find Kate on IG @KatieSpotz and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/hellokatiespotz. Her website is: https://www.katiespotz.com.Heromakers can be found on IG @heromakersmovement and on FB @heromakersmovement. You can also visit our website at: https://www.heromakersmovement.com. We are also on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuVDFP8jEcv5bdhr8VLzXjA. Like us and follow us today!And share this episode with your friends. We are now on PATREON and we would love if you would join our growing community! Check it out here: https://www.patreon.com/heromakersmovement.
Apr 13 2021
42 mins
Dorris Walker-Taylor on Finding Joy After More Than Two Decades of Pain, and Why a Place Called Thistle Farms Is So AmazingDarcy Olsen on Using Every Available Means to Give Voice to the Children Unheard and Unseen in the Foster Care System
Mar 16 2021
45 mins
Dion Dawson on Dreaming Big for His Englewood Community and How One Person Can Put Hopes into MotionSamantha Tan on Racing Fast Cars and Trailblazing as a Young Female in a Male-dominated SportMark White on "Home", Physical Proximity, and Gratitude as Values That Build a Joyful Life