Our Voices Matter Podcast

Linda Lorelle

Our stories have the power to bring us closer together, if only we will listen. Emmy Award-winning journalist and entrepreneur, Linda Lorelle, guides guests through insightful, intimate conversations that reveal our common humanity.

This show is not about politics;

All Episodes

Are you ready for some football?  NFL Hall of Famers James Lofton and Warren Moon weigh in on COVID and the gridiron.  What are the odds we'll truly have a season?  Is it safe to play?  Would they take the field if they were still playing?  What about the role of professional athletes in the racial justice movement?  And yes, we talk about Colin Kaepernick taking a knee, all that followed, and so much more.Are you ready for some fun?  I am, and so are they!  Football fans know Lofton from his stellar career as a wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles.  Fans know Moon as the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, and of course, the Houston Oilers.  And if you happen to be a fan of the Oilers or the Bills, and you know your football history, you know where I'm going -- the 1992 season.  We even talk about that, so be sure and watch until the end!  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, Google "biggest blown lead in NFL history" and then listen until the end of the podcast.  You won't be sorry.This is the perfect episode to put a period on our summer season as we go on hiatus for a few weeks.  We tackle (pun intended) the issues of the day, but we also laugh a lot.  I needed that.  I'll bet you do, too.  So enjoy, and please promise me this in the midst of all we are facing -- promise that you'll keep looking for the bright side of life and cherish every laugh, every tear, every moment that reminds us how magical it is to be alive and part of the human race. www.ourvoicesmatterpodcast.comwww.lorellemedia.comThis podcast is devoted to empowering us all to better understand each other's differences...one story at a time.  Emmy Award-winning journalist, Linda Lorelle, guides guests through insightful, unexpected conversations that reveal our common humanity.  This show is not about politics per se; it is about finding a way to reclaim civility in the context of the contentious times in which we live, by sharing our personal and professional stories, in hopes that others might find a glimpse of themselves.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Jul 23

58 min

Five years ago this week, Sandra Bland was found hanging in her Texas jail cell.  Three days earlier, a Texas State trooper had stopped her for failing to signal a lane change.  Following their heated exchange, the trooper hauled her off to jail.  Questions continue to surround Bland's death which was ruled a  suicide.  A Grand Jury indicted trooper Brian T. Encinia for making a false statement about why he ordered Bland out of her car.  Prosecutors later dropped the charges after Encinia agreed to never work in law enforcement again.  In 2017, the Texas legislature passed the Sandra Bland Act requiring all police officers to undergo training in de-escalation techniques.  Bland's family received a $1.9 million settlement in a civil lawsuit.Then last year, cell phone video surfaced, shot by Bland herself, showing her arrest. Her family is now calling for a renewed investigation into her death.  Many prominent politicians are also pushing for the case to be reopened.My guest this week, an LGBTQ+ Methodist Pastor, knew Sandra.  Hannah Adair Bonner worked for two years following Bland's death to bring awareness and justice in the case.  I first interviewed Bonner on the 4th anniversary of Bland's death.   As we mark the 5th anniversary, Hannah and I build upon that conversation in light of the racial justice reckoning now facing our country.  And for those white allies new to the racial justice movement, Hannah offers valuable insight and perspective.www.ourvoicesmatterpodcast.comwww.lorellemedia.comThis podcast is devoted to empowering us all to better understand each other's differences...one story at a time.  Emmy Award-winning journalist, Linda Lorelle, guides guests through insightful, unexpected conversations that reveal our common humanity.  This show is not about politics per se; it is about finding a way to reclaim civility in the context of the contentious times in which we live, by sharing our personal and professional stories, in hopes that others might find a glimpse of themselves.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Jul 15

33 min

Humans across the globe are finally talking about race.  Not in whispers, but out loud.  Real, raw talk that requires self-examination while giving others #permissiontospeak and having the #couragetolisten with an open mind.  What happens when those dialogues are among family members?  And what happens when those family members are multi-racial?  In part 2 of our series "#Courageous Conversations" we find out.In the wake of George Floyd's death and massive protests confronting police brutality and racism, Tonya Kemper was compelled to act.  Tonya's birth parents are Black and Sicilian.  She was adopted and raised by a white family.   Her brother, Terry Hochstedler, is one of Tonya's three white siblings who says he's never thought of her as his "Black" sister; simply his "sister."The family had never really talked about race until Tonya pushed the subject front and center.  She poured out her thoughts and feelings in a letter to her family, called a virtual meeting, and then read it to them. Tonya reached out to Our Voices Matter to share her story in hopes that it will inspire other families to have their own courageous conversations.  We asked if one of her siblings might agree to engage in this dialogue, and Terry stepped up.None of this is easy.  All of this is necessary, if we are to get at the root of this disease called racism.  Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Jul 8

54 min

If ever there were a moment in history when we are in dire need of diverse dialogue that leads to solutions, this is it. Most of you probably haven’t heard of Convergence, but you need to know about its work and how its methodology can help all of us have #courageous conversations in our everyday lives.For more than 11 years, this Washington, DC non-profit has brought together people with opposing points of view to talk about issues of critical national importance, and believe it or not, arrive at solutions. We’re talking education, healthcare, incarceration, economic mobility, building a better Congressional budget process and more. The folks who come to the table typically wouldn’t be caught dead together in the same room. Many of them are now friends and trusted colleagues.There is a lot to learn here. How to build trust. How to find common ground. How not to turn your opponent into an enemy. Our guide in this conversation is David Eisner, Convergence’s new President & CEO. Let the learning begin.www.ourvoicesmatterpodcast.comwww.lorellemedia.comThis podcast is devoted to empowering us all to better understand each other's differences...one story at a time.  Emmy Award-winning journalist, Linda Lorelle, guides guests through insightful, unexpected conversations that reveal our common humanity.  This show is not about politics per se; it is about finding a way to reclaim civility in the context of the contentious times in which we live, by sharing our personal and professional stories, in hopes that others might find a glimpse of themselves.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Jun 24

37 min

For White Americans seeking to understand the depth of Black America’s pain and anger, the Tulsa Race Massacre is a good place to start. My guest today, Reggie Turner, produced and directed a documentary with first person accounts from survivors. They lived to tell the story of a thriving community that was a bastion of Black economic independence and wealth — until it was burned to the ground by a mob of angry White people.Rather than releasing this episode on our regular Wednesday schedule, it seems fitting to post today, June 19, 2020, in honor of Juneteenth. Juneteenth commemorates the day slaves in Texas learned of their freedom from the Confederacy, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. The fact that President Trump had planned a political rally in Tulsa on that day, given the city’s history, felt like a slap in the face to many in the Black community. He has since moved the rally to the following day.It’s been almost a century since Black Wall Street was burned to the ground, but the wounds are still fresh. How long does it take to heal a wound? Doctors would say it depends on how large or deep the cut is.This one runs deep.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Jun 19

50 min

The events of the last few weeks have been a catalyst for humans around the world to engage courageous conversations that have the capacity to change our culture.   Open, raw, necessary and difficult dialogue about racism, discrimination, police brutality, prejudice and privilege.  White privilege, to be exact.  Rarely discussed in "mixed company" and typically relegated to the ranks of "we don't talk about this", these incendiary topics are now front and center from social media to the family dinner table to corporate boardrooms, and everywhere in between.  And that's a good thing.  It's a critical step on our journey toward understanding and acceptance of our fellow humans, and equality for all who walk this earth.So, how do we begin these challenging conversations? It's a question to which I gave considerable thought as I embarked upon this new series on Our Voices Matter.  My first guests are a Black female entrepreneur and executive coach, a White female oil and gas executive and a White transgender male executive for a multinational tech company.As is our mantra on OVM, we agreed to give each other permission to speak, and have the courage to listen with an open mind.  And as for the answer to the question I posed — we agreed that the best way to begin a #courageous conversation is to start where we are.www.ourvoicesmatterpodcast.comwww.lorellemedia.comThis podcast is devoted to empowering us all to better understand each other's differences...one story at a time.  Emmy Award-winning journalist, Linda Lorelle, guides guests through insightful, unexpected conversations that reveal our common humanity.  This show is not about politics per se; it is about finding a way to reclaim civility in the context of the contentious times in which we live, by sharing our personal and professional stories, in hopes that others might find a glimpse of themselves.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Jun 17

62 min

For decades he struggled to find the words. They were always there, bubbling up just beneath the surface, but they had to stay hidden for the sake of his safety and his sanity. It took the murder of George Floyd and the resulting, massive outcry for the words to finally come tumbling out. He could no longer hold them in. He put them on paper, but that wasn't enough. He needed to speak them out loud. And now he has. Dr. Ron Inge turned his successful dental practice into a flourishing corporate career, now serving as the Chief Operating Officer of Delta Dental of Missouri. Most would say he has "made it" and has achieved the American dream. But what he and so many other Black men have found is that success, even if they overcome the odds to achieve it, comes with a price. All these years later, the memories are fresh. They are raw. They are offered here as a means of healing our collective souls.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Jun 11

42 min

The intersection of art, history, medicine, society and culture can teach us a lot.  Especially in the midst of crisis.  Especially if we ask the right questions.  What will it take for us to come together?  In whose interest is it for us to come together?  In whose interest is it for us to remain divided?  Provocative questions posed by Dr. Marcia Brennan, Modernist Art Historian and Professor of Humanities at Rice University.In the few days between our scheduled interview and the time we sat down, America went from two crises -- COVID and the economy -- to three -- the brutal murder of George Floyd and the resulting Black Lives Matter protests.   Dr. Brennan and I had a lot to cover.  Layer on top of that her work as an Artist in Residence with end of life patients at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and our conversation grows richer.Where are the connections?  What can we learn?  As you'll see in a poignant story she shares, it all comes together like The Backside of the Tapestry.OurVoicesMatterPodast.comSupport the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Jun 6

37 min

Lockdown, social distance, wear a mask.  Protest, open up, ditch the mask.  As our divisions deepen, the death toll continues to rise.  Nearly 100,000 Americans dead from COVID-19.  "How can we expect people to care about one another when we've built a society that's like...you make it on your own or you fail on your own?"  Excellent, insightful question posed by this week's guest, Dr. Kari Nixon, a scholar of Medical Humanities and Assistant Professor at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington.  There's a nice, long definition of what it means to be a Medical Humanist, but I love Kari's simple definition: she studies human nature in crisis.  And boy are we in a crisis.We are in an epic struggle to balance our individual freedoms with our collective right to health.  It's an important topic we'll be exploring in the next couple of episodes.  What do you think is our greatest challenge as we come to grips with this societal dilemma?  Dr. Nixon's thought-provoking perspective is sure to spark conversation that might generate some heat, but that's what Our Voices Matter is all about:  giving each other permission to speak and having the courage to listen with an open mind.And while you are doing that, keep in mind the photos of the blanket posted on this page.  Kari is knitting it.  It's her way of honoring all the lives lost -- and still to be lost -- to COVID-19.www.ourvoicesmatterpodcast.comwww.lorellemedia.comThis podcast is devoted to empowering us all to better understand each other's differences...one story at a time.  Emmy Award-winning journalist, Linda Lorelle, guides guests through insightful, unexpected conversations that reveal our common humanity.  This show is not about politics per se; it is about finding a way to reclaim civility in the context of the contentious times in which we live, by sharing our personal and professional stories, in hopes that others might find a glimpse of themselves.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

May 27

40 min

An event.  A person.  A kind word.  All have the power to encourage and change a person's life.  If anyone can attest to that, it's James Brown.  I first interviewed him about a year ago as his new digital platform, EncourageX, was just launching.  I don't have to tell you how much our world has changed since then.  But what hasn't changed is the need for what James has built, and his vision of a world where encouragement is at our core.   In fact, we need it now more than ever.As we cope with our new reality born of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed like an ideal time to revisit this feel-good endeavor -- one that speaks to my soul and the mission of this podcast.  Enjoy the conversation and an exciting announcement that follows!Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

May 20

30 min

What are your rights during a pandemic?  The global death toll from COVID-19 continues to rise.   The push to reopen economies is gaining momentum.  The rights of the individual versus what's deemed best for the common good, are on a collision course.  Who has the constitution on their side?  We thought it a question worth exploring, so we invited Justin Dyer, Director of the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy, to help us decipher how our forebears envisioned such a crisis to our democracy.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

May 13

18 min

When The Virus takes a loved one, what happens next? How does one grieve through quarantine? How is a life celebrated when social distancing is in effect? How does a family come to grips with death in the age of COVID-19?They weren’t ready to say goodbye.  The 88-year old beloved husband, father of 5 and grandfather/great-grandfather of 34, had a lot of life yet to live.   More church services and birthday parties to celebrate.  More family outings to enjoy.  More baseball and football games to attend with his beloved son and namesake.  In this week’s episode, James T. Campbell shares his deeply personal journey, saying goodbye to his beloved father, James C. Campbell.OurVoicesMatterPodcastSupport the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Apr 30

43 min

 The stress is real. The question is: “How do we cope in a healthy way that leads to resilience in the age of COVID-19?” As Our Voices Matter continues its focus on helping us get through this crisis together, today we highlight resources available through The Women’s Fund in Houston. The 40-year old non-profit champions women and girls, but the online tools it is now providing can help all of us advocate for our health. Let’s vow to come out strong on the other side. Executive Director, Linda Rhodes, is our guide.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Apr 24

14 min

This is the story of one woman's Coronavirus journey.  "There's no cure for COVID-19.  Go home and take care of yourself," said the healthcare worker.  Sick, alone and determined not to give into the fear, one Houston area woman heard those terrifying words and took them to heart.  She went home and did everything in her power to rid her body of Coronavirus. From symptoms, to diagnosis to tips on what is working for her to feel better, Lesley Throup holds nothing back.  Listen, watch and check back with us regularly on Our Voices Matter Podcast as we follow Lesley's journey back to health.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Apr 14

37 min

Like so many small business owners, Jerry Lasco is fighting for his family, his employees and his community during this age of COVID-19.   Forced to furlough many of the 500 workers who keep his popular Houston restaurants going, Jerry started looking for ways to help them and other hospitality workers survive.  This isn't the first time he's had to pick up the pieces and re-think how to move forward.  The last time was on 9/11 when he was an airline pilot who lost his job that day.  He's now using that grit, resilience and lessons learned to tackle this new crisis head on, leading with his humanity.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Apr 9

21 min

COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. Wash your hands. Self-quarantine. Stay home, where the assumption is you are safe. From the virus. Not your abuser.As of this writing the Coronavirus pandemic is in approximately 110 countries. Domestic violence is in every single country, and has been, long before the virus upended our lives. “It’s been a pandemic for decades,” says Indrani Goradia. “And now we have a pandemic inside a pandemic.”Goradia grew up in a household where she says “violence was as free as breath.” This author, life coach and TEDx Talk speaker has devoted her life to eradicating violence against women and girls. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Goradia is calling our attention to a population of our fellow citizens who are not only fighting the novel coronavirus, they are fighting the abusers with whom they are sheltering in place. What should they do to survive? What should you say if a victim reaches out to you? Goradia uses her personal experience and professional expertise to offer guidance during this dangerous time of uncertainty.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Apr 6

40 min

I'm right there with you, Dr. Dalmia Manoj.  That's why I'm sharing your story with the Our Voices Matter audience.  Your voice matters, along with those of every healthcare worker and first responder on the front lines of caring for COVID-19 patients.   Along with every person on this planet now living under a shroud of uncertainty previously unthinkable until a few short weeks ago.  This is a place where all of you can be heard.  This is a place where we will put your stories front and center.  This is a place where we will honor your truth.   Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Apr 6

13 min

My conversation with Melody Meyer, is a great way to kick off Women's History Month on OVM.   Meyer is a trailblazer for women in energy and started in the industry 40 years ago.  You could count her female colleagues on one hand -- or less.  Talk about feeling like "the other!"  Today, after retiring from a stellar career at Chevron, Meyer is embracing her second act, advocating for parity and transparency in the industry to which she has devoted her life -- an industry which itself is often "otherized."    How did she deal with being the only woman in a male-dominated industry in her early years?  How can the industry do a better job of telling its story?  And what's her advice for women leaders and those who aspire to lead?  Our conversation covers all of this and more, including the recently announced reorganization of energy giant, BP.   Meyer is a BP Board Director.Meyer was trained as a mechanical engineer and started her career designing offshore platforms and pipelines.  She now shares her passion, experience and expertise to help navigate the energy transition toward a net zero carbon future.  It's going to take all of us to get there.  And Meyer says our chances are best if we focus on education, conservation and a climate solutions mentality.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Mar 4

28 min

What on earth could possess the owner of a successful energy company to produce a musical about a 17th century cloistered nun who is up for sainthood?  For Donna Cole, CEO of Cole Chemical, it's all about connection.  Connecting the right and left sides of her brain.  Connecting  one good person to another.  Connecting us all to our common humanity.Cole is a Japanese American woman who started her business with $5,000 at a time when Japan-bashing was common.  Today, Cole Chemical & Distributing has revenues in excess of $80 million.  While Cole continues to run her company, she also embraces her creative side, as co-founder of Pantheon Productions, a media company focused on changing the way women are perceived by men, and the way women perceive themselves.  Her current venture, the musical Lady of Agreda, premieres March 12, 2020 and runs through April 5th in Houston, Texas.  Cole's vision is to multiply her efforts as a mentor by "telling great stories about strong women and supportive men to inspire others and motivate them to do good things."  Amen, Donna.  And thank you!Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Feb 26

32 min

By now you know that Our Voices Matter podcast originates from Houston, Texas.  If you don't live here and have never visited, what are you waiting for?!?  But seriously, there is good reason to pay attention to this great city, poised to become the 3rd largest city in the country in a few short years.  Why should you care what happens here?  Because, as my guest this week explains, "Houston is where the American future is being worked out."  Sit back and enjoy my conversation with noted Rice University researcher, demographer, Founding Director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, and now author, Dr. Stephen Klineberg, as he previews his soon-to-be-released book, "Prophetic City: Houston on the Cusp of a Changing America."    Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Feb 19

30 min

Sitting down with Aida Araissi, Founding Director of the Bilateral Chamber in Houston, Texas, is like taking a quick trip across the globe with your best friend as a tour guide.  Sure, she knows all the sites you'll want to see, but more important, she'll give you a human perspective that will leave a lasting impression and likely change how you view the world.Born in Tunisia and raised in Houston, Aida founded the Bilateral Chamber to help foster business relationships between the U.S. and the Middle East.  For more than 20 years she has guided her stakeholders through good and bad economies while navigating the very real human challenges that go along with the territory. What a perfect guest to share both personal and business stories with the Our Voices Matter audience, to help remind us of our common humanity.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Feb 5

47 min

Don’t you just love it when you meet someone and you instantly click? That’s how I felt when I met artist and author, Justin Garcia, only a few days ago. By the time our brief encounter ended, I knew I wanted him to be a guest on Our Voices Matter; that his voice is an important one to add to our ongoing conversation about connection and humanity. I’ve always believed that art, in all its forms, has the power to bring us together in ways that nothing else can. Its transcendent nature speaks to the core of who we are as humans. In Justin’s words, “the artist is there to translate something deeper about ourselves and how it connects to humanity.” Amen. Let the conversation begin and feed your soul as it fed mine.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Jan 29

25 min

She's devoted her life to "trying to understand what's behind you when I look at you, when I talk to you and I hear things that are different from my experience.  I want to understand 'where does that come from' because it's got to be enriching."  It's that approach to life and learning that Dr. Ira Blake brings to her role as the first woman and the first African-American to lead the University of Houston Clear Lake.  On any given Friday, you will find this dedicated educator walking across campus, engaging with students, listening to their stories, dreams and  challenges so that she and her colleagues can best meet their needs.   She's a soft-spoken powerhouse leading UHCL into a new era of growth, where a top notch education goes hand in hand with her mission to ensure that each student knows that their voice matters.  Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Jan 22

29 min

Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Jan 15

25 min

“Being able to get over yourself and listen to a different perspective is important, not just from a social perspective but also in business.”  Add an insatiable love of learning and a work ethic on steroids, mixed with a heavy dose of empathy, and you have all the ingredients necessary to create a  career as one of the most successful General Managers of a BMW dealership in the country.  Never mind that you started as a receptionist and  you’re a woman of color in a male dominated industry.   Maria Moncada Alaoui isn’t one to back down from a challenge, even when she feels like “the other”.  Instead, she says “bring it on!”   What a perfect message to kick off a new year and a new decade, especially during these challenging times.  This is not the time to stick our heads in the sand and shy away from conversations that matter, whether at the kitchen table or in the workplace.  Our Voices Matter and our future is in our hands. This is the time to show up, step up and listen.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Jan 8

26 min

“This isn’t about being against Trump or for Trump; this is about saying ‘folks, this political theatre we’re in is dysfunctional.  It helps no one.’”  Joseph Kopser is all about being part of the solution.   A U.S. Army veteran, successful entrepreneur and one-time candidate for Congress, Kopser is now heading up an Austin, Texas-based non-profit dedicated to creating a safe space where Americans don’t have to worry about being demonized because of their party affiliation.  USTomorrow is working to increase civic engagement, build coalitions and reduce hyper-partisanship at a time when political divisions are driving  dangerous wedges throughout all aspects of our society., not to mention the pending impeachment of President Trump.  The challenge is to find the sweet spot where issues rather than partisanship take center stage.   As you’ll see in my conversation with Kopser, he and his team are up to the challenge.www.ourvoicesmatter.comwww.lorellemedia.comSupport the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Dec 2019

38 min

As I write this on December 10, 2019, we Americans are in the midst of a real-time, real-world, real-consequences lesson on the privileges and challenges of living in a constitutional democracy.  Perhaps you didn't pay attention to civics when you were in school; or perhaps you were never taught civics in school (that's a whole other episode).  Whatever the circumstance, as our President faces impeachment (articles were unveiled today) and our divisions continue to widen, now is the time to pay attention and learn about the document that serves as a blueprint for how our government is supposed to function, and why it matters.  Before it's too late.My guest this week has spent his career studying, understanding, writing and teaching the United States Constitution.  As Director of the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Justin Dyer is sharing his wealth of knowledge and his passion for civil discourse with a new generation.   During our conversation, he helps put the current political landscape into historical context and shares his hopes and fears for post-impeachment America, based on the document our founders created.  We are so lucky to live in a country that so much of the world flocks to in search of freedom;  but what are we willing to do keep it?  Please take moment to put away your politics and promise that you will listen with an open mind.  Our very future depends on it.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Dec 2019

37 min

"They're picked for one thing only which is empathy, being able to connect to another human being."   Empathy, connection and humanity are at the core of how Dr. Rushika Fernandopulle is disrupting healthcare, one clinic, one patient at a time.  The attributes described by the Co-Founder and CEO of Iora Primary Care are prerequisites to being a Health Coach in any Iora practice, working along side doctors, nurses and an entire team dedicated to each patient.   Dr. Fernandopulle literally got sick and tired of delivering healthcare to his patients the same old way, so he threw out the old model and created something new.  Eight years later, Iora has more than 700 employees, 48 practices from coast to coast, and is delivering primary care to tens of thousands of patients in 12 cities...and growing.    Iora's mission of leading with humanity is right up our alley at Our Voices Matter which is why I couldn't wait to sit down with Rushika to get his backstory.  Enjoy!Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Dec 2019

28 min

As we gather around the table with friends and family to give thanks for our many blessings, this is the perfect week to revisit one of my favorite Our Voices Matter interviews.    Sitting at Sarah Harmeyer's table in Dallas has been described as "feeling like love".   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.   As you celebrate this Thanksgiving holiday with your loved ones, gather everyone together for a few minutes and enjoy this uplifting conversation with a self-proclaimed "people gatherer" whose heart and passion know no bounds.  Sarah and I saved a seat for you!Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Nov 2019

34 min

“I know how much this ruined my life. The last thing I want is for someone to go down the same road.” That is why Asher Khan agreed to this interview, during which he lays bare his soul. His is a cautionary tale for anyone in search of purpose and a sense of belonging, especially a young person still in the formative years, who can easily be guided down a road from which there might be no return.As a teenaged Asher tried to navigate between two cultures, his sense of isolation and longing for true connection made him a perfect target for those espousing extremist ideology. He stopped thinking for himself, acted impulsively and ended up behind bars. His life is forever changed — his purpose now to salvage what he can of the life he still dreams of living, and helping others learn from his mistakes.At the time of this interview in November of 2019, Asher was in the midst of finals at the University of Houston, one semester shy of completing his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and Technology. He is facing the prospect of additional prison time. He is 25 years old. If you or someone you know is feeling isolated, depressed and in search of purpose and community, please — listen to Asher’s story — and then reach out for help.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Nov 2019

31 min

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 (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Nov 2019

30 min

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 (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Oct 2019

45 min

When President Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria in early October, there was immediate concern among many that the decision would lead to the resurgence of ISIS.   Nonsensical conjecture or reality-based concern?  I reached out to a previous OVM guest who is uniquely qualified to help answer that question and provide much needed context.  After all, he is a former recruiter for ISIS and Al Qaeda who helped write their propaganda playbooks.  He is now working with the good guys to try and right the wrongs of his past.  If you haven't yet listened to or watched our earlier interview, be sure and check it out.  In the meantime, here is Jesse Morton's take on what is going on in Syria, Turkey and throughout the Middle East, and why we must pay attention and be engaged in what is happening in our world...before it's too late.This interview was conducted on October 17, 2019.  Morton was in Turkey to attend a conference on Countering Violent Extremism.  Our interview took place at the very moment U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was meeting with President Erdogan of Turkey.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Oct 2019

22 min

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 (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Oct 2019

34 min

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 (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Oct 2019

33 min

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 (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Oct 2019

32 min

“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 (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Sep 2019

42 min

Seems like a no-brainer.  People are at the core of every business.  So it just makes good sense to “Take Care of Your People”.  That is the mantra of Paul Sarvadi, CEO of Insperity.  It is also the title of his new book that chronicles his company’s rise from laying the groundwork for an industry that didn’t exist — HR outsourcing — to international powerhouse with $3.3 billion in revenues.  And it’s all about the people. Great.  Fantastic.  But since people are human and humans disagree, how does this CEO lead his team to navigate those disagreements in the workplace, particularly as the divisions in America grow wider?  Paul has an answer for that and much more during our wide-ranging conversation that touches on family, faith, company culture, the economic outlook and overcoming challenges while keeping your eye on the ball.  After 33 years in the business, Paul Sarvadi is just getting started.  And so is our conversation.  Enjoy!Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Sep 2019

33 min

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 (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Sep 2019

60 min

 “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 (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Sep 2019

31 min

“America is in the redzone.  The question is, do we know it.”  You don’t have to know football to understand what SpencerTillman is talking about, or his perspective on how we as a nation get into the end zone.   He wears a SuperBowl ring from his days as a running back with the San Francisco 49ers, he sits in the OrangeBowl Hall of Fame and he’s a college football game analyst for FOXSports.  He’s also thoughtful, insightful, engaged in the community and deeply patriotic.  I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed sitting down with my former broadcast colleague for a conversation that takes us both on an unexpectedly emotional journey.  You’re invited to come along for the ride.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Aug 2019

30 min

"Technology cannot replace human interaction." Seems like a no brainer, but it's a message technology guru, Crystal Washington, knows bears repeating. As Our Voices Matter continues to explore human connection and its role in civil discourse, we're eager to add Crystal's perspective as a social media marketing strategist and international keynote speaker to our ongoing conversation.Do you ever wonder what the future holds as we become increasingly addicted to our devices and the artificial intelligence that permeates them? Well, as a Certified Futurist, Crystal can shed some light on that, and how it might impact human interaction as technology evolves in our divided world. Join us for some fascinating insight into Technology, Social Media & The Divide.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Aug 2019

35 min

The tragic events that unfolded this past weekend have thrown our country once again into sorrow and turmoil. Tomorrow, I’m going live to share my thoughts about the crisis of humanity we are facing, followed by a recent episode of @Our Voices Matter podcast with guest Hannah Adair Bonner.As an LGBTQ pastor in the United Methodist Church who lives on the Arizona/Mexico border and works with immigrants, Hannah has a multi-layered perspective on the divides that are tearing us apart, and steps we can all take to heal.#OurVoicesMatter#permission2speak#courage2listenSupport the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Aug 2019

45 min

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 (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Jul 2019

34 min

“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 (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Jul 2019

36 min

It's hard to believe that in his 40+ years as a broadcast journalist, KPRC-TV Anchor, Bill Balleza, had never sat for an extended interview -- until now. As his former co-anchor, I thought I knew Bill pretty well, but our in-depth conversation revealed themes and emotions that even he didn't know were there, especially regarding his military service. From covering countless, seminal stories across the globe to his pre-journalism days as a Marine sniper in Viet Nam, we covered a lot of ground. This first part of our conversation is all about the media and our divided nation. Bill doesn't pull any punches and offers his unvarnished perspective. What are your thoughts? Does the media share any responsibility in the deterioration of our civil discourse? How do we pull out of this spiral? What are the long-term repercussions for the media as an industry, and even more important, for our democracy? Join our conversation in the comments section below.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Jul 2019

31 min

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 (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Jun 2019

44 min

Linda Lorelle interviews Katie Mehnert Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Jun 2019

29 min

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 (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Jun 2019

35 min

It’s usually in the first few words.  A story either hits you — or it doesn’t.  You decide to keep reading — or move on.  And it’s even tougher to stand out among the social media clutter that permeates our feeds.  Unless you are Loubel.  If you are fortunate enough to be her “friend”, you are treated on a daily basis, sometimes more than once a day, to a slice of humanity through her eyes.  You feast, even slow down, so you can savor every morsel.  Loubel’s stories are like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates:  you never know what you’re going to get.  You just know that it’s going to be so good that you don’t want it to end.  You will have been reminded of our common humanity.  And that, my friends, is what this podcast is all about.  Indulge yourself in my conversation with Loubel Galik.Support the show (http://patreon.com/OurVoicesMatterPodcast)

Jun 2019

37 min

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