In the first episode of On the Edge with Eddie, I have a conversation with my sisters, Dr. Elorm Etsey Annan and Elma Etsey on what it was like for us when we moved to the United States and the struggles of being an Africa in America at a young age. Hope you learn something from our shared experiences.
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In this episode we start a three part series on Critical Race Theory, Social Construction Identities and Intersectionality.
Critical race theory offers a way of seeing the world that helps people recognize the effects of historical racism in modern American life. The intellectual movement behind the idea was started by legal scholars as a way to examine how laws and systems uphold and perpetuate inequality for traditionally marginalized groups. More about Dean Wing
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Listen to Dean Wing Part 2
Nana Ama Agyemang Asante is a Ghanaian journalist, editor and writer. She co-hosts the “Citi Breakfast Show” at the Accra-based radio station Citi FM. In 2015, she was named Radio Personality of the Year for your persistent efforts in speaking truth to power. 2017, she was awarded a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellowship by the National Endowment for Democracy. In this episode we chat about her travels and her views on the black culture in Ghana, US and the UK.
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As a specialist in business financial crime and financial crime compliance policies in the UK, my conversation with Trudy, a Ghanaian-Londoner focuses on the diplomatic nature of racism in Europe, specifically in the UK. We also discuss the topic of imposter syndrome as a black individual.
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Derek Kwadwo (D.K.) Nnuro is a Ghanaian-American fiction writer. He is a graduate of the fiction program at the Iowa Writers Workshop, where he was a recipient of the Meta Rosenberg Memorial Fellowship and a Teaching Writing Fellowship. He was awarded the Robert J. Schulze Fellowship in 2016 and is a recipient of a fellowship from the Ragdale Foundation. In this episode we chat about the identities from DK's new novel, What Napoleon Could Not Do and his pursuit of the American Identity as a Black man.
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The 6-3 center is agile and athletic with a tremendous work ethic. As a Nigerian native, Ugo is a 2016 Temple University master’s graduate with a degree in globalization and development communications. In college, she helped guide her team to the WNIT Elite Eight (2016) and the American Athletic Conference semifinals (2016). Nwaigwe played professionally overseas in Nigeria, Spain, Angola, Portugal, and Argentina and was a Nigerian National team member in 2016 and 2017. Ugo and I talk all things growing up Nigerian-America and the difficulties of adjusting as a Black athlete.
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As a passionate supporter of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives, Harmon is an advocate for social justice reform, she has been the keynote speaker for the CMU Multicultural Celebratory as well as the Liberty High School Diversity and Inclusion Series. Lastly, she has created a “brave space” within Iowa’s WBB program for Black student-athletes to share their experiences in an effort to amplify the voices of minority student-athletes within the athletic department. Our conversation in this episode dives into the mind of a trailblazer athlete turned coach and all the struggles that comes with it.
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As a decorated dancer and instructor (specializing in Latin American style dancing), Modei Akyea brings rich perspective from his travels around the world. A gentle soul with soo much knowledge about dance and language, Modei and I talk through how dance and languages played a role in his Black story.
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A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Annica joined the University of Iowa athletic staff as assistant athletic trainer in October, 2010 working with Women's Soccer and Softball. As a graduate of Central Florida University and Northern Iowa, she has been involved in many sports ranging from football, men's and women's tennis to baseball. A member of the National Athletic Trainers' Association, the Athletic Trainer's Association of Florida and the Southeastern Athletic Trainer's Association, Annica and I discuss her journey from Jamaica to Iowa, and the inspiration she received from a single mother.
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Growing up in the deep South, Coronda “Aku” Lee discusses her struggles of being raised with the southern culture with lack of black representations. Our conversation includes topic of code switching, fitting into the southern culture and the difficulties of making friends in different parts of America. Coronda received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and her Masters in Program Management from Colorado State University. She is currently the Medical Education Team Lead for Neurology Residency Program at VCU.
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My Guest, Alex Lodge, is a patent attorney, and over the years has devoted his time to pro bono work in order to make it easier for clients to raise themselves out of poverty. He was recently named the Pro Bono Attorney of the Year by the State Bar of Wisconsin's Legal Assistance Committee. Alex and I discuss a range of topics including mentorship, the importance of giving back to the community and why he went from being a trained research chemist to an Attorney. Read more about Alex Lodge
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Tameka Cage Conley, PhD is a graduate of the fiction program of the Iowa Writers' Workshop where she was awarded the Truman Capote Fellowship and the Provost Postgraduate Visiting Writer Fellowship in Fiction. Her work is published in Ploughshares, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Callaloo, The African American Review and elsewhere. She has received writing fellowships from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the Cave Canem Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and the Vermont Studio Center. The opera for which she wrote the libretto, A Gathering of Sons, was awarded the Bronze Medal in the Society and Social Issues category of the New York Festivals TV and Film Awards. She is at work on her first novel, You, Your Father--an epic family saga that considers the untimely deaths of African American men over six decades beginning in the early 1940s in northern Louisiana. Tameka and I discuss the origin of her pain, love and strength as a Black Woman growing up down South and her travels to Ghana, West Africa. Read more about Tameka Cage Conley
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Kosheno Moore Takahashi is an inclusion strategist with over 10 years of experience driving end-to-end employee engagement and collaboration strategies in mid to large-sized technology companies. She is recognized for successfully transforming company cultures by executing strategically aligned, culturally celebrated employee engagement programs. She is best known for leveraging technology platforms to create thriving connected workplace programs that make employees want to stay, contribute and grow long-term with the organization. She currently oversees the Communication and Inclusion programs at Workday, Inc. As Black Japanese, whose father is from poverty stricken East Oakland, California and Japanese mother, Kosheno takes us on a journey from being sheltered from the Black American experience to the anger towards her black father; a story of gratitude and acceptance. Check out her blog discussed in this episode.
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Having spent her early formative years in Jamaica, Dr. Nadine Petty is the Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice President for Community, Equity and Diversity at the University of New Hampshire. Nadine has over twenty years of experience in educational settings, including fourteen years in higher education. For the majority of her personal life and professional career, she has devoted herself to a wide-range of diversity and social justice causes and endeavors which include teaching cultural ethnography in college classrooms, serving on and leading various diversity-related committees and boards, creating and strengthening services for individuals with marginalized identities, and providing numerous interactive diversity and social justice workshops and trainings to students, colleagues, and community members. My conversation with Nadine centers around her journey around the United States, the value acceptance and racism in higher education.
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As a star running back who rushed for over 5,000 yards with 54 touchdowns in three seasons with the Silver Eagles at Monona Grove High School, Wisconsin, Toren Young opens up about the struggles of being a black student athlete at High School and at the Collegiate level. An Academic All-Big Ten, Team Hustle Award recipient, a member of the Team Leadership group with the Iowa Football program, Toren discusses how and why he needed to work twice as hard to prove himself. Being raised in a single family home, backed by his love for God, his success story has inspired many of his Iowa teammates, both White and Black. Toren Young is currently an Account Manager at Oxford Global Resources.
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Kwesi Atta-Krah is a compliance attorney at Delta Dental of Iowa where he helps provide reasonable assurance of compliance with, among other areas, applicable federal and state healthcare related laws and standards. Before law school, Kwesi held senior-level positions in auditing. In his last post, he supervised and managed risk assessments, internal controls testing and implementation, and audits involving corporate governance, corporate finance and accounting, and consumer credit solutions. Kwesi earned his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law, where he graduated with distinction. He also earned his MBA in accounting and his BSBA in finance and accounting from Drake University. A Ghanaian American married to an Indian, our conversation ranges from his journey to America, difficulties making black friends to the emotional effects of George Floyd.
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As a researcher with training and experience in clinical optometry, vision science and public health, Afua Asare’s research has focused on exploring barriers and disparities in accessing vision care and vision health initiatives in vulnerable and resource-poor populations. Afua has received several academic and research awards. She is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Ezell fellowship awarded by the American Academy of Optometry, the Canadian National Institute of the Blind Doctoral Fellowship, the Harvard Presidential Scholarship from Harvard University, and the Ghanaian-Canadian Achievement Award (2013). In this episode, Afua takes us on her journey from Papua New Guinea across the oceans to Toronto, Canada. Our conversation involves her experience of being called the "white girl" to the effects George Floyd's incident had on her mental health.
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Keith Burrell, born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa shares his story of growing up Black in a predominantly white State. As the 8th child of his family, Keith's black journey reveals the struggles of black parenting and how the educational system disadvantages the black population.
Keith is now an Application Developer at the University of Iowa Health Care. He has over 10 years of experience in reporting and analytics and uses this expertise to help Departments, Providers and researchers with their data needs. Keith earned his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from University of Iowa.
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A Kenyan descent empowered by her love for modern and contemporary dance, Sandrah Nina, shares light on the struggles of the up and coming Generation Z. Bullied and made fun off for speaking "proper English" or told she was not black enough to be a black American, Sandrah’s journey to discover her black identity is a byproduct of the encouragement she received from her Kenyan mother and her determination to change the world through dance.
Sandrah Nina is a graduate of Iowa City West High School and is currently studying BFA Modern Dance/ Marketing at Point Park University, Pittsburg, PA.
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Vanita Lee-Tatum is a visual artist, entrepreneurship educator and positive force of nature. In this episode, she takes us on a journey of finding her true Black self after grappling with life’s disappointment and struggles. Her new found strength later in life brought her many possibilities as she transitioned from a life of fear to a life of love.
Today she uses her advanced banking skills acquired during her time as a Banking VP to help organizations create their own financial growth. She is passionate about empowering women of color and developing entrepreneurs. Learn more at https://www.vanitaleetatum.com/
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Marcella David, a little Church girl from Queens, NY to now Provost of Columbia College Chicago; my conversation with Marcella explores her identities as an educator, a lawyer, photographer, knitter and an overall interested person. We discuss the gift of accepting her true Black self and the importance of educational access.
Marcella David is senior vice president and provost and professor in the Business and Entrepreneurship Department at Columbia College Chicago. In her role as senior vice president and provost, Marcella serves as the college's chief academic officer and provides leadership for all academic planning and review. Marcella previously served as the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) and held administrative leadership roles at the University of Iowa, including associate dean of the College of Law and special assistant to the president for equal opportunity and diversity. https://marcelladavidphotography.com/about/
Listen to Marcella's Story - Part 1
Listen to Marcella's Story - Part 2
Judge Kevin McKeever, the first African-American judge to be appointed to Iowa's Sixth District court, shares his story of growing up black in Southside Chicago, his journey in the Navy and now a district court judge. My eye opening conversation with Judge McKeever shares light on the judicial system and the best way to make positive change.
Prior to being appointed to the bench, Judge Mckeever was an officer with the United States Navy, an Assistant Ramsey County Attorney, a Staff Attorney with ACT Inc. and an Assistant Muscatine County Attorney. Among many involvement in the community and dedication to empowerment of veterans, Judge McKeever also serves as a board member of the African American Museum of Iowa.
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With over 20 years of technology experience including leadership roles, Jerard Butts aka JB, takes us on his journey of growing up in Chicago, surrounded by black love and acceptance of his black self at a very early age. My conversation with JB touches on navigating obstacles that hinders black people from being successful in certain spaces.
Jerard is currently the IT Manager for the U.S. Soccer Federation where he provides leadership, direction and support in the development and deployment of the organization’s information technology initiatives. Prior to joining the US Soccer Federation, JB held several other leadership positions in IT including Assistant Athletics Director for Information Technology at the University of Mississippi and Data Center Operations Director for the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County.
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Gabrielle Orr aka Brie, a native of Eagan, Minnesota detangles the complexity of being a mixed race and the struggles that comes with having a black father and a white mother. A volleyball superstar, who at an early age found her identity in sports, my conversation with Brie details her experience as a Black Student-Athlete in a predominately white sport.
In High School Brie guided her team to an AAU National Championship (2014) and a USJO National Championship (2015). She named United States Junior Olympic (USJO) All-American MVP and was selected for the Minnesota State High School League State All-Tournament team as a freshman. In her decorated career at Eagan HS, she amassed 1,271 kills, 1,983 assists, 1,139 digs, 177 blocks and 116 service aces. Off the court, Brie uses her voice to educate and promote justice. She is a current member of the Presidential committee on Athletics student health and well-being subcommittee and the leadership chair for ISAAC, a student-athlete leadership group acting as the voice of student-athletes within UI campus, B1G conference, and the NCAA.
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A former coordinator for the Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP), Shalisa Gladney detangles her varied identities from being a black feminist, advocate and womanist. My conversation with Shalisa, who is currently the coordinator of the Afro-American Cultural Center, expands on setting boundaries for a heathy relationship to what it means to be identified as queer.
Shalisa is an educator and advocate passionate about community activism, education and grassroots organizing, especially within Black communities. As a violence prevention educator, she specializes in consent, healthy relationships, dismantling rape culture, and responding to disclosures. She is the president of the UI African American Council and Vice President for Sankofa Outreach connection, an organization that provides social events for women of color in the Iowa City area.
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My guest, Angelo T. Robinson is an 80% disabled veteran who served ten years in active duty and four years in the Naval Reserves as a Seabee. My vibrant conversation with Angelo T. Robinson uncovers how his travels around the world on military duty influenced his approach to art. Our dialog details the concept of patriotism from his view as a black veteran, the blatant racism in the south to how he is using his art to effect change.
Angelo T. Robinson is a self-taught artist and photographer. His work exudes a level of spirituality and an organic connection with the human condition. This reflects his experiences growing up as the son and grandson of preachers. Angelo’s creations invite the viewer to participate in a physical, mental or spiritual dialogue with what they experience. Deep vibrant abstracts, joyous colorful mixed-media portraits, and majestic sports pieces are brought to life using vivid colors and bold compositions. Learn more about Angelo and his art at https://www.atrfineart.com/
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Welcome! Thank you for checking out On the Edge with Eddie: Detangling Our Black Identities. My page is still under construction but feel free to check out my guest list and listen to live episodes.