Women's Health

Episode 9 - S. Renee Mitchell

With over 25 years of experience as the most widely read newspaper columnist in the American West, S. Renee Mitchell left a successful career in journalism to pursue a calling as an artist, author, poet, playwright and community activist. Nominated twice for the Pulitzer, Renee left an indelible mark on the world of journalism before stepping out into this new phase of her life. She is a celebrated spoken word artist, a painter, an inspirational speaker, a woman’s advocate and an all around tornado of art, creativity and activism. Renee has shared the stage with greats such as bell hooks, Erykah Badu, Danny Glover, pianist Tom Grant, Grammy Award winners Esperanza Spalding and Dr. Thara Memory, the late singer Linda Hornbuckle and many others. She has written a libretto, seven full plays, a children’s book, a novel, two books of poetry and countless articles and short pieces. 

Renee has been described as a “Creative Revolutionist” who explores the issues of gender, race, poverty, art and identity in her diverse work. She has also been called a “creative healing griot, who nurtures hope, empowerment and inspiration.” I think she is an artistic doula who helps people give birth to their own creative power. In this episode, we discuss her 25 plus years as an award-winning journalist, what it's like to be the only person of color in a neighborhood, school or job, and what drives her to keep transforming suffering into beauty and art. 

Episode 5- Kimberly Dark

In the Spring of 2014 the college where I work hosted our first Interdisciplinary mini-conference on “Writing Sexualities.” This several-day event featured Kimberly Dark, an internationally known writer and performer in Gender and Sexuality, and Christopher Ryan, also internationally known for his work in Sociology, Psychology and Human Sexuality, and author of the best-selling book Sex at Dawn. (Regular listeners to this show know Dr. Ryan and his work quite well, I'm sure. We will air his portion of this event in the coming weeks). The speakers also each lead a workshop open to students, faculty and the community.

I was so inspired by my conversation with Kimberly that I wanted to share it with you. Kimberly teaches a body-positive form of Yoga that manages to skirt many of the pitfalls found within the modern Yoga movement in the United States. The ancient Hindu practices that were originally meant to transform the body and mind into a unified field of awareness and equanimity have become, in large part in the West, a playground for white privilege, body shaming and New Age dogma. Here we discuss the politics of the body, yoga and the culture of body shaming, feminism in the modern world and the desire we all have to feel at home in our own skin.