a podcast by and about women
a podcast by and about women
Tes is a long-time blogger and foodie. For the past 10 years, she’s focused her blog and work around women’s issues. This is her long-form interview podcast. She’s lined up women activists and volunteers from around the world to tell their stories and the stories of the women they work with.
Today, Tes talks with Shanequa Levin. Shanequa is an award-winning social justice leader, motivational speaker, and author. She is also a registered ordained wedding officiant. Shanequa published a memoir titled Poverty’s Phoenix, which is about surviving childhood poverty. She is the founder and CEO of the Women’s Diversity Network, a social movement organization practicing transformative justice processes based on group leadership where marginalized lives are centered. The mission of the WDN is to connect and mobilize women of different backgrounds to create positive change through collective work and a unified sisterhood. Through WDN, she has created the Health Equity Task Force, which focuses on addressing Maternal Mortality. She’s created a yearly summit that brings diverse people together to learn about social justice issues and celebrate cultures.
In 2020 she convened a Black-led, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-generational coalition of organizations, activists, and community members who are working to ensure genuine public safety for all Long Island communities called LI United to Transform Policing & Community Safety. LI United’s mission is to transform public safety by divesting from policing and investing in our communities.
Shanequa also founded the Long Island chapter of Mocha Moms, a support group for mothers of color, and is the former director of Every Child Matters in NY, an advocacy and electoral engagement organization on behalf of kids. She is a member of The State of Black Long Island Equity Council through the Urban League of Long Island, a community advisor for the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, a Co-Chair for the Long Island Million Women Community, a Community Advisor for Hofstra University’s Healthcare Entrepreneurship Community Challenge, and the creator of culturally relevant Facebook groups. She has also been instrumental in advocating policy changes to Early Care and Learning, Raise The Age, Paid Family Leave Insurance, Bail Reform, and more. As a survivor of childhood poverty, drug-addicted parents, an incarcerated father, and a teen mom, she uses her voice to help others break negative generational cycles.
To learn more about Shanequa Levin:
Today, Tes talks with Jeanee James. Jeanee is an award winning photographer, sculptor and potter. She’s also an adventurist, who has seen much of the world. She lives her life with passion and gratitude and believes we create and design each chapter in our life book. Her story is an extraordinary one that will inspire you to be proactive in creating more joy and going after that passion you put on hold because life took over.
Jeanee is an Alaskan, raised in the beautiful town of Homer, a place that is in her DNA and sculpted who she is. She says it gave her the foundation of her journey in art, adventure and travel.
Her love of art started in Alaska, receiving an art scholarship, but she changed paths and achieved a degree in Travel and Tourism.
She has backpacked all over Europe, lived on a kibbutz in Israel, was a deckhand, filleted huge halibut in Alaska, been a tour director through the Canadian Rockies, climbed the pyramids in Egypt, floated in the Dead Sea, scuba dived in the Red Sea, hiked in Australia, explored the Tahitian Islands and people, worked on luxury cruise ships traveling the world. She hiked 556 miles solo across Spain on the sacred pilgrimage called El Camino De Santiago.
She was named Woman Artist of the Year Brevard County central Florida 2008,
Best Photography studio/Photographer Readers Choice Florida 2016
Won National Honors in sculpting with Genius Women in the Arts 2020
She created, designed and leads Women’s Art Retreats she calls “Untethered”, a creative adventure for women to reboot, refill and feed women’s souls through art, hiking, music, food and inspiration.
Here is her story, with lessons of love, heartache, gratitude and ultimately following your dreams.
To learn more about Jeanee James and her custom private group, Untethered retreat:
Facebook: Jeanee Seljestad James
YouTube: Alaskan Pilgrim
Today, Tes talks with Maxine Thomas. Maxine exemplifies the true definition of a servant leader in the community. Accordingly, Maxine was awarded the 2017 Bob Dickerson leadership award in recognition for her leadership, courage, persistence, and commitment as a RESULTS Grassroots Volunteer. She is also the recipient of the Do Something, Be Someone Positive Leadership Award awarded by the Saint Florian Leadership Development Center.
She believes that no one should live in poverty and families must take an active role in changing their communities.
Through RESULTS she is improving access to education, health, and economic opportunity by sharing her personal story of triumph. Maxine was elected by the grassroots advocates to serve on the International Board of Directors for RESULTS. Many media pieces have been written about Maxine’s efforts to support her community, one of which is her great success in having her own Op-Ed published on The Hill. She is passionate and committed and uses her voice to influence political change. Through the international work of RESULTS, she maintains ongoing efforts with her members of congress and elected officials. Maxine thrives to build bridges between everyday people and our policy makers.
Throughout her experiences, she has learned that making a significant change can seem impossible and at the very least, takes a lot of work. She is continuously thinking of ways in which she can impact the lives of people around her.
To reach Maxine Thomas:
Facebook: Maxine Thomas
Today, Tes speaks with Roberta Parrino-Clinton. Roberta is the Program Director at Moms for Moms NYC, dedicated to helping and empowering women through her community activism and professional endeavors. She spent over a decade of her professional life in Corporate America in marketing and strategy roles in the financial services and technology industries, before transitioning to helping non-profits and women owned small businesses.
Roberta has her MBA from the D’Amore McKim School of Business at Northeastern University and a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation from the University of Connecticut.
In her spare time she enjoys learning about different cultures through food and travel with her husband and two sons, reading, baking specialty cakes, and working out.
To reach Roberta Parrino-Clinton:
To reach Moms For Moms NYC:
Smita Sharma is an independent photojournalist and visual storyteller whose work questions deep-rooted stereotypes and sheds light on underreported stories. Smita is known for her work on complicated human rights, gender and social issues and for her ability to represent people with dignity.
Smita’s work has been published in various places like The New York Times, BBC World, TIME, Channel 4, CNN, National Geographic Magazine amongst many others. She is a Getty Images grantee and an IWMF Reporting Fellow. Other than her home country India, she has also worked in different countries highlighting sensitive stories.
Smita received the Indian Of The Year award in 2017 and Exceptional Women of Excellence award by Women Economic Forum in 2018. In 2019, she won the One World Media Awards for her film Rebels With a Cause at BAFTA, London. She has exhibited and shown her work globally including the UN Headquarters in New York. Smita is a graduate from the photojournalism and documentary photography program of International Center of Photography, New York and is based in Delhi.
To learn more about Smita Sharma:
Twitter & IG: @smitashrm
Today, Tes talks with Chrysula Winegar. Chrysula is Senior Communications Director at the United Nations Foundation, where she leads the New York public affairs team focused on UN system communications liaison and special initiatives. Prior to her current position, she founded Wake Up World Communications, a digital communications agency focused on social action, working with clients including the United Nations Foundation, Fox Searchlight, Malala Fund, EngenderHealth, Family Planning 2020 and many others. Her earlier career was in various marketing and communications roles in the private sector, including Ernst & Young, Estee Lauder Companies and NatWest UK.
To learn more about Chrysula Winegar: