As promised, here is our special that we have compiled for you lovely folks at home.
Because we cannot physically gather yet, we have pulled out six of the most compelling and memorable stories about discrimination from our archive. The episode features stories from some of the most beloved and accomplished black Athenians in town; we are so pleased to bring these voices to you here. . We hope hearing these stories will make you more attuned to life experienced from others eyes.
If you listen, we challenge you to donate the price of our normal show tickets ($10) — or maybe more if you can! — to the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement. Though we’re a nonprofit ourselves, we want to show our support for the black community buffeted for so long by such terrible violence and injustice.
“The Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement advocates for racial and social justice and strives to combat discrimination through education and activism. AADM offers various workshops, programs, and resources designed to help citizens protect their civil and human rights. In January 2016, Mokah-Jasmine Johnson and husband Knowa D. Johnson launched Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement in an effort to combat repeated allegations of discrimination by bars and business owners in downtown Athens.
Since that time, they have worked tirelessly to build an effective movement. The Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement’s mission is to encourage fair treatment of people of all races, bring awareness, and advocate against systematic practices used to repress or cause harm to particular group or individuals. To break the cycle of systemic discrimination in schools, criminal justice system or business environment with a focus on racial and social issues. To develop sustainable programs, provide resources, workshops, and training that foster positive social change!”
The featured storytellers are:
Celest Divine is a poet, spoken word artist, educator and therapist Celest Divine fell in love with spoken word in 1997, but she really has been a poet since she was eight. She self-published two books of poetry, You Don’t Know Me (Poetry of a Diva Under Construction) and Butterfly Revolution: She Speaks Again, and two spoken word CDs. In 2010 she joined the local collective African Soul, which blends soul music and spoken word. They’ve released two CDs: Eclectic Gumbo and Agape. She is joyfully employed as a Therapeutic and Instructional Support Coach in Special Education, where she supports teachers and assists with children with severe emotional behavior disorders.
Valdon Daniel is a retired principal and math teacher, is the chairman of the Athens Housing Authority. A native Athenian, he has given his time, education, and passion to the community. Working throughout Athens area, Daniel taught mathematics at Clarke Central High School and in Oglethorpe County for 14 years. He then began his transition to the administration sector of education by serving as Assistant Principal at Cedar Shoals High School for two years, and Associate Principal at Clarke Central High School for nine years. Beginning in 1994, Daniel led Burney Harris Lyons Middle School before retiring in 2003. During his term as principal, Daniel started an athletic program so that middle school students could participate in after-school sports at their schools, rather than just practicing with the high school sports program.
Krystal Cobran is what anyone would consider a wunderkind. She wrote a book called The Brave Educator that helps teachers create connection, honesty, and mutual dignity when talking about race in the classroom as well as built an online course on the same topic. She currently hosts The Space Between Us podcast, where she explores connection + creating open, and honest conversations about race across differences – without the guilt and shame.
She also designs + facilitates one-of-a-kind live dialogues, workshops, and trainings about race that deliver clarity, connection, and concrete next steps for organizations. You can see more of her work at KrystalCobran.com
Earnest Thompson completed his undergraduate work at Howard University. In 2011 he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Creative Writing at the University of Georgia. He has published several dozen essays and short stories in Southern Distinction, the magazine Beginnings and The Atlanta Voice newspaper. He’s also a past organizer of Rabbit Box.
Stevie King is a lot of things: husband, father, entrepreneur, and Jesus follower. Wearing all these hats and living in a world where sometimes all anyone sees is the obvious gives him unique hindsight and perspective on 20/20 vision.
LaTasha Sheats is the founder and director of Strong, Beautiful and Godly Girls, Inc., a group that encourages young women to stay in school, serve the community, and triumph over apathy, adversity and self-doubt. The group’s annual fashion show featuring the girls and their sewing skills has uplifted the esteem of many. LaTasha also organizes an annual Back to School block party that helps needy families provide school supplies for their children. The Athens Area Human Relations Council has recognized her work and dedication with the Reverend David H. Nunnally Sr. Founder’s Award.
We’d also like to thank Lucca Carver for our musical intro and outro.
We hope you enjoy this episode and take away something new about your community and the people around you.