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Our Voices Matter Podcast

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Best Episodes of Our Voices Matter Podcast

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ICYMI — and because I’m on the road — we’re re-posting this episode that gets to the heart of our mission. If you’re sick and tired of Washington gridlock and you long for our political leaders to actually DO something, I’ve got some good news for you.  The Convergence Center for Policy Resolution has figured out a way to get Congress (and others) moving in the right direction.  Thank you, Rob Fersh, for having the vision to create this organization that shows even the most intractable of us how to #gsd, (get something done) even when we don’t always agree.  Here’s an update on the impact Convergence is making in its 10th anniversary year. Support the show
Jean Becker - OVM19
One year ago today, Barbara Bush passed away.  In honor and memory of the former First Lady who was loved and admired by so many, a very special episode with a woman who had a front row seat to the remarkable lives of both Barbara and her beloved George, the 41st President of the United States.  Jean Becker worked along side the Bushes for the past 30 years, 25 of them as the former President's Chief of Staff after he left office.  Just two and a half weeks ago, she closed the doors of the Office of George Bush for the last time.  In her first sit down interview since then, Jean shares just a few of the treasure trove of stories rolling around in her head.  Some will make you laugh, some might bring a tear to your eye, and some, regardless of your politics, will remind us all how the former President and First Lady embodied civility.Support the show
Andrew Hanauer - OVM 14
I continue to be inspired by passionate, engaged citizens who roll up their sleeves and do their part to help bring Americans together across divides -- political, racial, economic and religious. As Director of the One America Movement, Andrew Hanauer and his team are doing more than their fair share to foster constructive dialogue that leads to action.  In less than 2 years, the organization has started chapters in 11 states with plans to grow to 40 in the next few years.  Clearly, there is a hunger and a need for methodologies that work.  What a pleasure it was to meet Andrew and get his perspective on how we can respect each other's differences while addressing critical issues that demand attention and solutions.  Listen or watch and enjoy!Support the show
OVM 20 - Zachary Barnett
Imagine you are diagnosed as HIV positive.  You feel every hope and dream you ever had for your life..come crashing down around you.  Now imagine that your apparent misfortune turns out to be a beacon of light that could literally help change the face of how AIDS is treated across the globe.  Zachary Barnett doesn't have to imagine it; he is living it.  And he's sharing his story here.  Joins us on this remarkable rollercoaster ride that gives us a glimpse into the future of eradicating AIDS..and the shame that comes with the diagnosis.Support the show
Lauren Anderson - OVM 17
“The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.”  Then one day, the sugar plum fairy went to jail.   Not exactly the fairytale ending Lauren Anderson was looking for when she broke barriers to become the first African American principal dancer at Houston Ballet.  But it is her truth, and it was her answer when I asked her to share a story about when she felt like “the other”.  It was a painful, public wakeup call that she now uses to help others learn from her experience, and help herself re-create the ending she deserves.Support the show
Breaking Down the Bubble
“If you have any information about this crime, please call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.”  I probably read that line thousands of times over the course of my career as an evening news anchor in Houston.  I recently had the good fortune to sit down with the highly accomplished, passionate woman who now leads that venerable non-profit and is expanding its reach.  For Rania Mankarious, the road to Crime Stoppers CEO was a circuitous one, but she is exactly where she’s supposed to be — leading with heart, operating in grace and breaking down the bubbles to help remind us of our common humanity. Support the show
Healthcare & the Divide
 “We are paying for the Care, not the Health.”  And that’s the problem, says Elena Marks, President and CEO of Episcopal Health Foundation.  In just about every poll that asks what Americans most care about when deciding who will get our vote, healthcare is at or near the top of the list.  It will most certainly be a major topic during next week’s Democratic Presidential debate here in Houston.  Although no one can argue that we don’t all need care to keep us healthy and able to live productive lives, howwe get there remains the source of bitter, partisan debate both inside and outside the halls of Congress.  The question is, what is the consequence of that divide when people’s lives literally hang in the balance.  Our guest in this week’s episode of Our Voices Matter has some striking insights to share from the trenches on behalf of those whose voices too often remain in the shadows.Support the show
The Ivy League Terrorist
I didn't know what to expect.  It isn't every day that one gets to sit down and talk with a  former recruiter for Al-Qaeda and ISIS.  What led him down that path; why did he ultimately leave that life; what is he doing now to make amends, if one can make amends for such heinous acts committed; and perhaps most important, what can we learn from him to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our nation?The answers to these questions and more are revealed in this timely interview with Jesse Morton, a one-time suburban kid who became, in his words, The Ivy League Terrorist.   The conversation I had with him just five days before this 18th anniversary of 9/11, is part of a larger project Lorelle Media is producing about how to counter violent extremism.  Morton's chilling words about the divisiveness gripping our nation, and its connection to terrorist strategy, will stop you in your tracks.  At least I hope it will.    Support the show
What the World Needs Now
Light and Love. Those are the two words that immediately come to mind when I think of Grammy Award-wining Gospel singer, Yolanda Adams. Yes, she has the voice of an angel that can bring one to tears with its power and its glory. And yes, that voice resonates around the globe, gifting her with millions of fans and awards too numerous to count. But to me, it is her luminescence that lifts her God given talents into a higher stratosphere. With her extraordinary voice and her laser sharp intellect, Yolanda embodies and emanates the light and love this world so desperately needs. When you are in her presence, you can’t help but feel hope. So listen...feel the hope...and then share your thoughts on this question: How will you spread the love?Support the show
No Pride on Re-entry
There was no pride in reentry.”  It wasn’t until his News Director sent him to visit the Viet Nam Memorial that #KPRC news anchor Bill Balleza started feeling safe enough to come out of the shadows and reveal his military service.  For too many years, he and his brothers felt like “the other”. In tomorrow’s episode of #Our Voices Matter with Linda Lorelle, Part 2 of an intimate #conversation with my former co-anchor, as emotions bubble to the surface.  Here’s a sneak peek.  #kprc #clik2houston #military #proudveteran #marine #journalist #truth #empathy #permissiontospeak #couragetolisten #podcastSupport the show
"When Anyone is Slighted, We're all Slighted"
Joy Sewing is the girlfriend you just want to hang out with. Caring, insightful, fun and funny, not to mention whip smart, being in her presence makes you believe that anything is possible; that there is always hope. She's a rock star in so many aspects of her life; journalist, author, advocate, new foster mom, compassionate friend, and countless other hats she wears oh so stylishly. For all her accomplishments, Joy has had her share of struggles, too. Like all of us.In her current role as Fashion Editor of the Houston Chronicle, Joy brings her whole self to every interview, giving readers so much more than a designer's take on the latest trends from the runway. Her questions reveal the human at the core. Occasionally, she writes from a very personal space, taking readers along on her jagged journey filled with peaks, valleys, unexpected detours, and the nuggets learned along the way. Her ability to write with such authenticity is one of the reasons why I wanted to add her voice to our conversation about civility and respect for our common humanity. Hers is a voice worth listening to as we seek to heal the divides that separate us.Support the show
Rusty Hardin - OVM 8
He's been hailed and pilloried as a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney.  His roster of clients includes Dow Jones, Arthur Andersen and J. Howard Marshall, III (Anna Nicole Smith was not a fan), not to mention a who's who of professional athletes:  Roger Clemens, Warren Moon, Wade Boggs, Adrian Peterson, Calvin Murphy and Rudy Tomjanovich.  As a result, he's become a celebrity in his own right, as the highly successful, name partner of Rusty Hardin & Associates, a 12-attorney firm in Houston.   He's one of four attorneys in the U.S. and the only one from Texas honored as a 2018 Global Elite Thought Leader in litigation by Who's Who Legal.Not bad for a North Carolina boy from humble beginnings.   Part of that upbringing included going toe to toe with his mom at the dinner table, expressing their political differences while breaking bread.  They always finished the meal with a hug.  This is just one of many stories Rusty shares during our free-wheeling conversation about how his experiences shaped him, his thoughts on our divided nation, and steps we might take to come together.Support the show
Mustafa Tameez - OVM 6
If you watch cable news, his face might look familiar.  Mustafa Tameez makes the rounds regularly on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC and other networks as a "pundit", weighing in on a variety of topics making headlines.  You might have already formed an opinion about him, most likely based upon your politics.  But I assure you, there is much more to this man born in Pakistan and raised in Queens, than meets the eye.  He and I have done business together for the past few years at his firm, Outreach Strategists, but even I learned things about him in this interview that I didn't know.  I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed talking with him.Support the show
EncourageX - James Brown - OVM 4
EncourageXInviting James Brown to be a guest was kind of a no-brainer.  He had me at "Encourage"!  I love that word and all the positivity it evokes.  I first met James when he was an executive at a Houston-based oil field services company.  Little did I know that a few years later he would be taking a leap of faith to fulfill a long-held passion and start his own company.  You might be wondering what a company called Encourage is all about, other than the obvious.  Listen to my conversation with James and be surprised...and encouraged...by what you hear.  Then download the app on iTunes and start encouraging any and everyone you can think of.  As we navigate these tumultuous times, we can all use a little encouragement along the way. -Linda Linda Lorelle discusses the power of encouragement with James Brown, the founder and "Chief Encouragement Officer" of EncourageX.  Together they examine how positive support can have lasting social and psychological benefits.  New technology which automates reminders based on life events will schedule alerts to help you reach out regularly to loved ones and friends.  The programming even makes recommendations on how to help or what to say to loved ones when experiencing a life event. With words weighted so lightly upon the tongues of giants, how do we measure their importance or meaning?  With the power of encouragement.Support the show
Rob Fersh-OVM 2
In this episode, Linda Lorelle interviews Rob Fersh, the President and Founder of Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, a proven leader in developing consensus solutions on critical issues of national importance.  Linda and Rob do a deep dive into the work Convergence is doing in Washington to help resolve disagreements and old rivalries in a civil, respectful manner that can produce effective solutions.Support the show
Check Your Ego
Is there someone in your family with whom you disagree politically?  How do you handle that?  Do you allow them to speak freely while you listen with an open mind?  As you know, that’s the Our Voices Matter mantra. It’s one this week’s guest actively practices in his own family, as well as among the 500 employees who staff his restaurant business, including its signature concepts, The Tasting Room and Max’s Wine Dive.  Jerry Lasco, CEO of Lasco Enterprises, sits down with me to share how his midwestern values and growing up in the military play a role in how he shows up in the world today, as a husband, father and entrepreneur whose life trajectory changed on 9-11.Support the show
Shannon Foley Martinez - The Black Sheep and White Power
There was a time when Shannon Foley Martinez and I would never have been able to sit down and have a conversation. She embraced white supremacy. I am black. I have often wanted to speak frankly with someone who has openly expressed hatred for African Americans, or for that matter, hatred for anyone. In September of this year, I got my chance. I interviewed Shannon as part of a larger video project Lorelle Media is producing about how to counter violent extremism. When we sat down for the podcast interview, my questions came pouring out. Little did I know, my emotions would, too, as I made a split second decision during the interview to share something intensely personal. My story about being “the other”. Shannon listened to me. I listened to her. Listening is where it begins in the quest to put an end to the “othering” that has overtaken our society and is tearing at the fabric of our democracy, not to mention what makes us human. Shannon’s journey from dysfunction to despair to dehumanization of others — and herself — is a lesson for us all. Healing from hate is possible.Support the show
A Seat At The Table
What does love feel like to you?  To a man named Russ, love feels like sitting at Sarah Harmeyer’s table.  A hand-crafted wooden table, lovingly made and beautifully set, where people from all walks of life are welcome, no matter who they are or what they believe.  A Neighbor’s Table.   Could it be that something so simple has the power to help bridge our divides?   Table by table, person by person, state by state, that’s exactly what Neighbor’s Table is doing.  Join me in this uplifting conversation with Sarah Harmeyer, a self-proclaimed people gatherer whose heart and passion know no bounds.  We saved a seat for you.Support the show
Free Trip to Egypt
Tarek Mounib is the Creator and Producer of Free Trip To Egypt, an inspiring film about the power of human connection. Born and raised in Canada to Muslim Egyptian parents, Tarek was a Senior Manager at a large Canadian Software Enterprise (Nortel), until he moved to Switzerland in 2003 where he received Swiss citizenship and build up various companies. Motivated by his fascination with fostering a sincere dialogue and better understanding of different points of view, he took a sabbatical from the business world to complete his Masters in the Study of Mysticism and Religious Experience at the University of Kent in England. To further his education, Tarek spent a year immersing himself in Jungian studies at the C. G. Jung Institute Zurich and completed the Spiritual Guidance and Alchemy programs led by Atum O’Kane. In 2016 the successful entrepreneur blended his business acumen and spiritual studies by founding The InnerSpace, an alternative medicine holistic health center in Zurich, where he serves as the Center Coordinator. The center focuses on helping people find their natural state of relaxation, inner balance and peace with services including massage, yoga and pilates, homeopathy, physiotherapy, craniosacral work, naturopathy, nutritional counselling, therapy and more. Continuing to reside in Switzerland, he remains involved in all of his businesses but now focuses and hones his time on his true passions which include building bridges through a universal language that exists beyond beyond all religions, cultures and world-views - the language of the heart. Support the show
I File that Under Chickens**t
“Leading from hurt rather than leading from heart means we’re working our shit out on other people.” Nobody like Dr. Brene Brown to keep it real and help us understand how to be better humans.It is her mission in life, and it strikes at the very core of what Our Voices Matter is all about. How do we learn to disagree without demonizing, have conflicting viewpoints while maintaining mutual respect and begin to bridge the divide that’s tearing us apart? For starters, we have to stop working our shit out on each other. Brene was at the top of my interview list when I decided to launch this podcast. To say that I am humbled and honored that she agreed to be a guest is the understatement of the century. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know what a rock star she is — credentialed out the wazoo, for sure; but it’s her heart, her humor and her willingness to be vulnerable that have forged an unbreakable bond with legions of her followers across the globe. From Netflix to TedTalks to Oprah’s orbit, Brene is spreading her message, based on reams of research data, to show us a path toward greater connection and humanity. We couldn’t be more excited to help spread her message here. Enjoy, then engage with the OVM community in conversation.Support the show
Difference Matters
Linda Lorelle interviews Katie Mehnert Support the show
Clyde "The Glyde" Drexler- OVM 13
NBA fans know him as "Clyde the Glide", a reverential nod to his silky smooth moves on the hardwood that landed him in all the record books -- 10-time NBA Allstar, one of the 50 greatest players of all time, Olympic Gold Medalist, NBA Champion and member of the NBA Hall of Fame.  He also happens to be one of the nicest guys on the planet, someone who truly cares about others.  He is also someone who isn't afraid to speak his mind -- about anything.  If you ask him a question, no matter how controversial, he'll give you a straight up answer.  And what I admire most about him is that he always leads with love.   Sit back and enjoy a little slice of life through the eyes of "the Glide"!Support the show
Brice Everheart - OVM 10
It is central to the mission of Our Voices Matter to include a diverse group of voices, including those of our youth.  I can't think of a better young man to represent his generation than  Brice Everhart.   Wise beyond his years, Brice is articulate, engaging and already a successful entrepreneur at the tender age of 11.   This is one interview you'll want to watch, rather than just listen, so you can see what's inside that big, black briefcase that Brice carries with him.  Intrigued?!  I thought so!😉​Support the show
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Podcast Details
Nov 8th, 2018
Latest Episode
Oct 30th, 2019
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
33 minutes

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