Dr. Tererai Trent — Awakening the Sacred Dream Inside of Us
Clint Smith — How More Understanding Activates Real Hope
Before Dr. Tererai Trent became Oprah’s “favorite guest of all time,” she was a woman with a forgotten dream and a profound desire to recreate our world for the better.
Born in rural Zimbabwe, Dr. Trent is one of the most internationally recognized voices for quality education and women’s empowerment today. She’s the author of ‘The Awakened Woman: Remembering and Reigniting Our Sacred Dreams’ — a book that shares her story of how she planted her dreams deep in the earth and they prayed they would grow and break the cycle of oppression of women today.
In this conversation, Branden and Dr. Trent go deep into the heart of the power of an awakened woman and why our dreams will have greater meaning when they are tied to the betterment of your community.
Kevin and Blake Walsh — Choosing to Stay Until Tomorrow
Clint Smith is a poet whose work goes beyond passion and straight into the world of social engagement — his work creatively invites his listeners out of ignorance and into the world of a real and authentic kind of empathy.
Clint Smith is a writer, teacher, and Ph.D. Candidate at Harvard University. He is a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion, an Individual World Poetry Slam Finalist, and author of the poetry collection Counting Descent. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The Guardian,and he has delivered two popular TED Talks, The Danger of Silence & How to Raise a Black Son in America.
In this conversation, Branden and Clint go in deep into the heart of our work of building a better world coming from an understanding of how the world has already been built.
Cody Goldberg — Play as a Form of Radical Inclusion
Seconds before Kevin Walsh was about to attempt suicide in 2007, he received an unexpected phone call from his first crush, Blake Moore. That phone call saved his life. Now, a decade later, the two are married.
Not many people had heard their story until Kevin posted his story on Quora in answer to the question, “What is one moment in your life you thought could only happen in a movie?” His response went viral and was then featured on HuffPost, Buzzfeed, The Independent and People.
In this episode, Branden, Kevin and Blake go deep into the human struggle to find a reason to stay until tomorrow and the power of speaking our love for each other out loud.
Adam Foss — Making an Impact From Inside a Broken System
When Cody Goldberg and his wife received the news that their daughter, Harper, was diagnosed with a condition that would require her to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life, it would change everything. More specifically, it would make Cody a forever zealot for inclusion of children experiencing disability in playgrounds across America after realizing how alienated they are from them by design. As a graduate of NYU in film and television who then pursued careers at Red Bull and Adidas, Cody has never accepted the idea that you have to let go of play.
He’s currently the Executive Director of Harper’s Playground, a non-profit that is dedicated to leading with the belief that the power of a well-designed and realized inclusive play space can truly transform a community.
In this episode, Branden and Cody chat about the work of being radically inclusive one playground at a time and how we can all benefit from more play.
Drake White — A Roadmap To Your Ideal Self
Former prosecutor, Adam Foss is a fierce voice for compassion in criminal justice reform. He’s currently the founder of Prosecutor Impact, a non-profit organization built around the mission of improving community safety in the US by requiring better incentives and more measurable metrics for success beyond, simply, “cases won.”.
Not only did he advise President Barack Obama on criminal justice reform, but he was also named the 2017 Nelson Mandela Changemaker of the Year. There is no other way to describe Adam Foss but as a 21st century ‘Giant of Justice’.
Recorded together at Life is Good HQ in Boston, Branden and Adam discuss the difference between sympathy and empathy and gain a better understanding of the most important actor in the criminal justice system: the prosecutor.
Pantsuit Politics — Setting Out to Find the Nuance Again
Drake White is an American country music singer and songwriter from Alabama with a passion for storytelling. With his passionate delivery from the stage, White seems to have inherited his grandfather’s ability to touch crowds with a sermon. However, White stresses that he isn’t a preacher, but doesn’t see a problem with putting his own methods for surviving the world out there.
He’s most popular for his debut single, "Simple Life," for his label release early in 2013. A year later, White signed with Big Machine affiliate Dot Records. In August 2016, Dot released White's debut album, Spark.
Drake has found the beauty between the partnership of drive and creativity. In this conversation, Branden and Drake talk songwriting, investing in others and living outside the rulebook.
Thank you to Talkspace for sponsoring this week’s episode. Go to talkspace.com/sounds and enter coupon code COUPON to get $30 off your first month.
Dylan Marron — How To Have Conversations With People Who Hate You
Sarah Stewart Holland (a progressive) and Beth Silvers (a conservative) became friends in 1999 and haven’t recovered since. Sarah, a professional blogger and social media consultant, and Beth, a human resources executive and yoga teacher, challenged the notion that talking news with your politically opposite college friend is always messy. What evolved out of their friendship was Pantsuit Politics — a podcast that has someone on the right (Beth) and someone on the left (Sarah) having conversations with the goal of listening to each other first and talking politics second.
In this conversation, Branden, Beth and Sarah, talk about bringing a distinctly women-centered perspective to the conversations happening around politics, intending only to learn from each other rather than walking into the discussions trying to win.
Anis Mojgani — Finding Your Way Back to Being Human
Dylan Marron is a writer, performer, video maker and self-acclaimed snacker. He also receives a lot of hate messages on the internet. Producing work that mainly focuses on social justice issues such as race, sexuality and privilege, Dylan’s learned how to take hateful conversations online and turn them into productive conversations offline — an idea and practice that we could all benefit from.
Dylan’s creative resume has included (but not limited to) writing multiple series for Seriously.tv, the voice of Carlos on the hit podcast Welcome to Night Vale, an alum of the New York Neo Futurists, and the creator of Every Single Word (Tumblr's "Most Viral Blog" of 2016; Shorty Award Nominee), a video series that edits down popular films to only feature the words spoken by people of color. And now he’s started a new podcast, Conversations with People Who Hate Me.
In this conversation, Branden and Dylan go deep into the complicated and sometimes hilarious navigation of two strangers who disagree getting to know each other.
WeRateDogs — Wielding Twitter as a Joy Outlet
Anis Mojgani has been said to be a poet who gleefully spurns the boundaries of poet. He is not only a two-time National Poetry Slam Champion, winner of the International World Cup Poetry Slam, and multiple-time TEDx Speaker, but he’s also an Iranian American living in Oregon with a passion for processing the human interior. Notable to mention: he is one of Branden Harvey’s favorite poets.
Anis has performed his slam poetry around the globe and has performed for audiences as varied as the House of Blues and the United Nations. He is also the author of three poetry collections — Songs From Under the River, The Feather Room, Over the Anvil We Stretch. In this conversation, Branden and Anis (while eating doughnuts) take an in-depth look at how poetry can be a tool for creative exploration through the tremendous grief and joy that life holds for humanity.
Noor Tagouri — Breaking the Glass Ceiling with a Hijab
In 2015, WeRateDogs was born. If you would've told Matt Nelson then that he’d be entertaining 750,000 people in less than a year, he would've laughed in your face. For those of you who never knew something like WeRateDogs existed, it does. More than 3 million Twitter followers eagerly await the internet phenomenon of dog photo submissions being paired with witty captions — and the final products are brilliant.
Not only is WeRateDogs used as a “joy outlet” for it’s followers, Matt has also ventured to use his online presence to converse and bring awareness to global conversations. In this episode, Branden chats with Matt on the creative craft of molding your words to convey your embarrassingly quirky thought or idea in 140 characters for your unpredictable audience.
John Jacobs — Life Isn't Perfect, But Life is Good
Never disregard an 8 year old who dreams of becoming Oprah one day. Noor Tagouri, a Libyan-American storyteller and journalist, is currently one of the most talked about young adults in the country having worked with the CBS Radio, Newsy, CTV News while being known as the first hijab-wearing news anchor on American television. After the release of her first documentary passion project, The Forest Haven Story, and she went on to embark on a unique journey to achieve of her dreams of exposing cultural injustices and combating the challenges facing women on a global scale.
In this conversation, Branden digs deep with Noor to truly understand the power of the right question while always aiming to break the glass ceiling.
Where does true optimism come from? How do we choose to gravitate toward hope when there is so much pain in the world? These are questions that John Jacobs, co-founder and CCO (Chief Creative Optimist) of Life is Good, has been resiliently living out the answer to ever since his early childhood. 1989 marked the beginning of his passion for three main things: spreading optimism, helping children in need, and making rad and iconic t-shirts.
In this conversation Branden chats with John about trading blind positivity for meaningful optimism.