We are excited to have a mental health clinician as our guest on the show today - Brionna Harpe. She works with underinsured and uninsured populations in Greensboro, NC, with a focus on those dealing with substance abuse. Our hosts talk with her about mental health and addressing trauma in the Black community during this time. Bri promotes mindfulness and reducing the stigma around seeking help for mental health. She explains how normalizing the conversation about trauma can help people, especially in the Black community, seek counseling more often.
Brionna Harpe is a Licensed Clinical Social Work Associate who works at a community mental health agency providing individual and group therapy. Brionna graduated with her Master of Social Work Degree from the Joint Master of Social Work Program (JMSW) in May of 2019 and currently resides in Greensboro, NC.
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
In this episode, our hosts return to the discussion from episode 6 about How Do WE “Wear the Mask” and how it relates to law enforcement, based on Maya Angelou’s poem “We Wear the Mask”. They take time to discuss their personal experiences with law enforcement, including BJ’s experience with non-compliance from civilians as a police officer. They also talk about a recent video released of an incident with a Virginia State Trooper from 2019, and the two sides of that situation. Toward the end, our hosts again discuss mental health and the importance of seeking help when needed, especially during these unprecedented times, and we’ve included those links again below.
Listen to Maya Angelou’s poem “We Wear the Mask”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HLol9InMlc
Below are links to the Mental Health resources we included in Episode 4 and mentioned again here:
- Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Dr. Joy Degruy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rorgjdvphek
- Suicide Helpline: 1-800-273-8255
- Open Path: reduced cost therapy for uninsured/underinsured people - https://www.openpath.com/
- Harmony’s blog - www.followingharmony.com
VA State Trooper stops Black driver: https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/virginia-troopers-conduct-in-stop-of-black-driver-on-beltway-is-under-investigation/2362938/
More info on VA State Trooper Incident: https://dailycaller.com/2020/07/17/officials-investigating-video-altercation-between-virginia-state-trooper-black-motorist-charles-hewitt/
Episode 7: Facing This Moment As A Bi-Racial Couple
We have two new guests on the show today - Leslie and Mayowa Alabi, a bi-racial couple from BJ’s neighborhood. They join us to discuss what it’s like to be a bi-racial couple during this movement, as well as the effect it’s had on their thirteen year-old daughter, and how they handle addressing race as a family. Our hosts also take a little time to touch back on the idea of defunding the police with our guests to see how they view it. We are thankful Leslie & Mayowa could join us for the show and share their experience with our listeners.
More info about Leslie & Mayowa:
Leslie and Mayowa are Durham residents who met as students at the University of Virginia over twenty-five years ago. Leslie grew up in New Jersey and Mayowa in Nigeria. For the last seventeen years, Durham has been home, and it is where they have raised their child. Mayowa is an architect and Leslie's professional background includes program development in the non-profit, higher education and healthcare sectors. They are both advocates of the diversity and community orientation that they believe to be an intrinsic aspect of Durham's character. With a critical view towards communal cohesion, they believe in a Durham that should strive towards - and advocate for - social and economic equity.
After the recent loss of two important icons - C.T. Vivian and John Lewis - our hosts take the discussion of this current movement to a personal level. As a Boomer, Millennial, and Gen Z, they explain how they see their role in this moment through their generational upbringing lens, including how they were raised, their values, their life journeys, and more. We share Maya Angelou’s full poem “We Wear the Mask” at the beginning of the episode to set the tone for this discussion, before our hosts take time to talk about what it’s like for them to “wear the mask” personally and as a community.
You can ready Kerry’s article on Medium here: https://medium.com/@krwatsonphotography/black-blue-bcd08fafacfe
More info about Kerry:
Kerry is a retired 20-year veteran of the Prince George’s County Police Department, where he served in several roles, including K9 handler, six years as an instructor in the agency’s Advanced Officer Training Section, and Vice-President of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 89. He was a well-respected and highly-decorated officer including the 2002 Police Chiefs’ Association of Prince George’s County’s, “Prince George’s County Police Officer of the Year” award.
Beginning in 2010, Kerry served Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker in roles including, Senior Advisor for Public Safety, Council Liaison and Liaison to Organized Labor, where he assisted in the development of polices for public safety, economic development, and labor relations.
Since leaving the Baker Administration, Kerry has worked in the field of government affairs for Fortune 500 companies in states across the Northeast Region.
Kerry was raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and is a proud graduate of Largo High School. Kerry holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Maryland, University College. Kerry is a married father of two lovely children. His daughter Sydney who plays lacrosse for the University of Connecticut and his son Corey who plays lacrosse at Stevenson University. Kerry is also a photographer, specializing in travel photography and portraiture.
As mentioned at the start of the podcast, we want to share mental health resources for anyone needing help during these trying times. Below are links to the resources Harmony listed:
We are excited to welcome our first guest on the show for this third episode – retired Police Chief for the Durham PD, Steven Chalmers. He talks with our hosts about what it was like to be a black police officer in Durham and getting to work with the first black officers of the police department who laid the groundwork for him and other black officers after him. He also touches on his time as Police Chief and incorporating community policing into the department, as well as what the future of this current civil rights movement looks like, saying it requires not just a reforming of law enforcement, but a transforming of law enforcement. Listen in to hear more!
In this second episode, our hosts discuss if this is the Civil Rights Movement for the younger generation (Millennials & Generation Z), in regards to protests, how to support the Black Lives Matter movement, and what it looks like moving forward. Each host also takes a little time to explain their first encounter with racism directed at them at a young age.
We want to say another special thanks to Dr. Charles Johnson from NCCU for providing us with reading materials and historical information for these episodes!
The image of the protestor that BJ mentioned in this episode can be found here.
And the video of Kimberly Jones explaining “How Can We Win” using a fixed game of Monopoly reference can be found here.