February 21, 2020
"I don't really now how this big, black lesbian got accepted into so many circles, but it happened for me. Since they let me in the door, I'm going to always have something to say."
In this episode, we welcome Brandy Donaldson - author, speaker, and activist - to the microphone.
Brandy began her journey into social advocacy and activism shortly after moving to Illinois. Her volunteerism has included Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley, the Rock Island County NAACP, The African American Leadership Society (Quad Cities), Dress for Success, Young Professionals of the Quad Cities, the Q2030 Regional Action Plan, The QC Empowerment Network, The Chemo Care Package Project, which she created, the Palomares Social Justice Center and African American Lesbian Professionals Having a Say (ALPHAS), which she co-founded. Brandy also serves on the Illinois Council on Women and Girls and the Equality Illinois Advisory Council.
Brandy is a vocal advocate for change, in particular for change in the oppression of marginalized people. She is a living example of what it means to "use your voice." She is a creative force for good, and it is an honor to hold space for her story.
Connect with Brandy at www.brandydonaldson.com
February 6, 2020
"It doesn't matter who tells you that you can't have access. You go and you see... 'Can I get in here?'. And maybe not today, but tomorrow you can try again. I think it's important for women to give themselves permission."
Welcome to Episode 2 of Season Three: The Mamas and the Makers. In this episode, we sat down with Gaye Shannon Burnett.
Gaye has been active in the local community with art and drama programs for young people for over 20 years. She is an artist with studio space at Bucktown Center for the Arts. She uses intense colors and compelling interpretations in her work to help create a different conversation regarding "abstract expression" in African American art. As an artist of the Black Diaspora, her work explores colors, motion, social commentary, and influences taken from her life experiences
She is the co-founder of Azubuike African American Council for the Arts. Azubuike's mission is to reconcile the racial divides that exist in our community by giving at-risk youth a voice to express themselves, to be heard without bias, and to spark a much larger conversation about race relations in the Quad Cities through the arts. Gay's vision is to use the arts to understand the past and help shape our future while telling a compelling story about why our lives matter.
She is a force for good in the world and we are here to hold space for everything she has to share.⠀⠀
January 25, 2020
Welcome to Season Three: The Mamas and the Makers! In this first episode, we welcome Sara Dean, the original Shameless Mom, to the mic for an incredible conversation about what it takes to make something you love.
Sara is the creator and host of the Shameless Mom Academy Podcast, a top rated podcast with over 2 million downloads. Her biggest passion is helping women own their space. After enduring her own identity crisis following the birth of her son, Sara took her background in psychology/health/ wellness and rebuilt her identity, one step at a time. Sara motivates and inspires women to stop shrinking and start shining. She is on a mission to inspire women and moms, in particular, to live bigger, bolder, braver #everydamnday.
Sara serves women through her podcast, her thriving Momentum Mamas membership community, her Tenacious Mamas business & leadership mastermind and her annual event, Shameless Mom Con.
When she’s not supporting Shameless Moms, you’ll find Sara with her husband and 7 year old son - building Legos and pretending to understand Pokemon.
Connect with Sara at www.shamelessmom.com
The Shameless Mom Academy podcast
Free Facebook Group
September 28, 2019
+Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault+
"When the truth gets stuck in us, it crowds out the space that could be used for love and connection. Telling the story is a way to get the truth outside of me."
In this final episode of the Season of Survivors, Sarah sits down with her wife, Becky... not to interview her, but to BE interviewed by her, and to share a part of her own survival story she has not shared before. Sarah tells the story of her own sexual assault, a story she had buried from conscious thought for nearly two decades. She shares her experience processing the sense of betrayal specific to being assaulted by someone she trusted. She opens up about how she still struggles to name her assault as rape. And she acknowledges that she still has more work to do to find healing in this place.
Her story is brave and it is beautiful and it was brought into the light because of the brave beauty of every woman who sat down across the microphone from her this season.
Resources for Survivors:
Family Resources (local)
September 28, 2019
+ Trigger Warning: Miscarriage +
In this episode, we sat down with Katie, a survivor of miscarriage. Katie unpacks her story delicately, the way you unpack some little treasure you've stored away for safekeeping. And in many ways, that's what Katie had done with this memory up until this point. She had kept the memory of "Baby T" alive inside of her, and wanted to share that memory with all of you. She hones in on the importance of slowing down with grief and not rushing the process. She also speaks to the idea that she felt she needed to "just move on" from this miscarriage... a sentiment shared by many women. Finally, she talks about the tension and anxiety she felt during her next pregnancy, making it difficult to connect to the joy of the experience.
Katie is brave and she is beautiful. And her story follow suit.
September 28, 2019
+Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault, Spiritualized Trauma +
"And then one day, I sat up in bed, and said, 'I'm whole again.'"
In this episode, we sat down with Rachel, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and later, a survivor of an abusive marriage. Rachel grew up in a deeply religious context, and when her abuse was disclosed, she was silenced and told to believe that what happened to her was her fault. This belief took root in her, informing her decisions through much of her adult life, and ultimately landing her in an abusive marriage. Rachel's story offers powerful proof of the impact of early childhood messaging.
But she also offers powerful proof that healing is possible. And her healing is brave and it is beautiful. Join Sarah and Rachel as they hold space for the story of this survivor.
+Links to Resources for Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence +
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Argrow's House (local)
Family Resources (local)
July 18, 2019
+ Trigger Warning: Eating Disorders, Miscarriage +
"I believe in the power of community, in surrounding yourself with people who can believe things for you that you can’t believe for yourself when you’re in pain. And I’m a big believer in hope. Hold on to hope. Hold on to hope that you will come out of this stronger.”
In this episode, we sat down with Liv, a survivor of an eating disorder, multiple miscarriages and the grief of holding on to a dream she didn't know would ever be possible. Liv is raw and vulnerable in the telling of her story, starting with college and her brush up against the world of modeling. She shares in depth about the suffering of experiencing multiple miscarriages and the pain that resulted when she wasn't sure if she would be able to be a mom. She also talks about hope and healing and how she found her way back to herself.
Liv is brave and beautiful and it is privilege to hold space for her story.
+Resources for Survivors +
National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA)
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association
June 27, 2019
++ Trigger Warning: Domestic Violence ++
In this episode, we sat down with Joni, a survivor of domestic violence who is committed to understanding the patterns from her past in order to find healing in her present. She is a gifted storyteller who expertly weaves the details of her lived experience into a story line that is recognizable to anyone who has suffered and survived a toxic relationship.
Joni has done the work to move through her past and offers the audience the hope that comes from healing. She is brave and articulate and full of passion and purpose.
Resources for Survivors:
National Network to End Domestic Violence
June 13, 2019
In this episode, we sat down with Amanda. Amanda is a survivor of birth trauma, a very real experience for many women who have given birth. Challenging the idea that the only "successful" birth story is the one that goes perfectly according to plan, Amanda shares what it was like to walk through an experience that didn't follow the arc she expected. She opens up about how the impact of the trauma didn't surface immediately, but when it did, it began to distort her understanding of the birth process as a whole - an important point for women to hear as they recover from giving birth and find that healing is a multi-faceted, many months-long process. Amanda is tender and vulnerable and completely accessible as she shares from some of her deepest pain and her deepest joy.
+ Resources for Survivors =
Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth
QC Women's Therapy
May 30, 2019
In this episode, Sarah sat down with Nicole and Kate, the team who helps her make the Project possible. Together they unpacked the profound impact this virtual community has had on them individually, and gave a little behind-the-scenes peek into what is coming next at The Beautifull Project. Stick around for the end.. there is an invitation included for each and every one of YOU!
For more information, visit www.thebeautifullproject.com/events