Justin Michael Williams

Justin Michael Williams is a pioneering transformational voice for diversity, inclusion, and wellness. He is an award-winning speaker, Grammy®-nominated recording artist, and author of Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us. Visit justinmichaelwilliams.com.

Author photo © Jamaal

Mario Van Peebles

Mario Van Peebles made his directorial debut with NEW JACK CITY. The film was heralded as a gangster classic and became Warner Brothers' most profitable movie of 1991.

Mario went on to direct and act in several other films including his multicultural western POSSE, the award-winning political thriller PANTHER, about the Black Panthers Party for self-defense and BAADASSSSS! He started acting professionally on the stage at 11 years old, his feature film breakout, was in the movie, HEARTBREAK RIDGE with Clint Eastwood. He went on to act in numerous projects, including playing political, icon, Malcolm, X in the feature film ALI directed by Michael Mann. The Van Peebles family are no strangers to “edutainment” Mario is not afraid to take on subjects that challenge. He wrote, directed, produced and starred in ARMED a psychological, thriller, about a good guy with easy access to meds and weapons of war. Passionate about social justice and raising Eco consciousness, Van Peebles did a series called MARIO’S GREEN HOUSE chronicling his family’s comic attempts to go green while living in Hollywood. In the documentary space he did the FIRST AMENDMENT PROJECT for Sundance featuring the renowned poet Amiri Baraka. He made FAIR GAME which explored the prison industrial complex and BRING YOUR A GAME which shares the necessary skills for young black boys to thrive and survive. 

Shelly Tygielski

Shelly Tygielski is a trauma-informed mindfulness teacher, speaker, and activist. She founded the CNN Hero-featured global grassroots organization Pandemic of Love, and is the author of Sit Down to Rise Up. Visit shellytygielski.com.

Author photo © Demetrius Philp

Also By Author

Justin Michael Williams, Shelly Tygielski, and Mario V...

The end of racism—really? When your eyes stop rolling, tune in to this podcast to hear why it’s actually possible—in our lifetimes—to free our society from systemic racial oppression and  injustice. In part one of this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Justin Michael Williams and Shelly Tygielski about their new book, How We Ended Racism. In part two, filmmaker and activist Mario Van Peebles joins the conversation to share his own hope-giving perspective. 

This stirring and uplifting podcast explores the five assumptions that perpetuate racism; the eight pillars of possibility; the pledge to help end racism; how our inner work relates to the outer change that we’re working toward; assertion versus assessment, and learning to recognize our own biases; shadow work and confronting the concept of supremacy; taking action where we’re standing right now; “loving with bigger arms”; crossing the divide within families; the metaphor of the inherited house; the practice of calling forward; intraconnection; the link between exposure and empathy; the SUSS process: State, Uncover, Synergize, and Select; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

Justin Michael Williams: Stay Woke

Justin Michael Williams is a meditation teacher and personal coach who is also a Billboard top 20 recording artist. With Sounds True, he has published Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us. In this special video episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Justin about his upcoming “Stay Woke, Give Back” tour, in which he will explain his unique approach to meditation and give copies of Stay Woke to youth in various cities across the US. Justin explains his “freedom meditation” technique and the experiences that led him to practicing mindfulness. Tami and Justin also discuss the blind spots of traditional meditation, the need for spiritual practices to acknowledge real-life struggles, and the dangers of spiritual bypassing. Finally, they talk about why it’s essential we begin teaching all children mindfulness skills from an early age and how we as a society can make that happen. (66 minutes)

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Ep 5 Bonus: Breathing Through

This bonus episode will support you to take the main insights from Episode 4: There is No Future if We Go Numb and Episode 5: This Pain Is Not for Nothing, deeper into your life. 

Both of these episodes are about the second phase in the Spiral of the Work That Reconnects, Honoring Our Pain for the World. This bonus is a recording of Joanna leading a meditation called Breathing Through, recorded at a retreat in 2006. In it, she’ll guide you to create space to acknowledge and honor the pain for the world that you carry without numbing or getting overwhelmed. All you’ll need for this bonus exercise is a place where you can close your eyes and relax.  

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

 

Ep 5: This Pain Is Not for Nothing

Now we get to what may be the toughest part of reckoning with our planet’s situation: dealing with numbness, grief, and despair. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the many crises around us, and natural to want to numb ourselves to the pain. 

Joanna and Jess speak with great vulnerability and candor about what it takes to navigate our darkest feelings—and the strength and beauty that can be found when we honor our pain. 

Trigger Warning: In this episode, we discuss suicide.

In this episode:

  • When it feels like our pain could swallow us whole, it helps to remember that all feelings come and go
  • Desperation can take us to dark places, but we are more than our despair
  • Numbness—Jess opens up about her familiar tactic for escaping pain
  • Our pain becomes sacred when we allow it to deepen our connection with the world
  • Bonus Exercise: Breathing Through

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

Ep 4 Bonus: Breathing Through

This bonus episode will support you to take the main insights from Episode 4: There is No Future if We Go Numb deeper into your life. 

This bonus is a recording of Joanna leading a meditation called Breathing Through, recorded at a retreat in 2006. In it, she’ll guide you to create space to acknowledge and honor the pain for the world that you carry without numbing or getting overwhelmed. All you’ll need for this bonus exercise is a place where you can close your eyes and relax.  

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

 

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