The Empowerment Zone

Dr Ramona Houston is focussing on all aspects of strengthening African American and Latinx communities.

Ramona Houston The Empowerment Zone LIVE

Sep 2021
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The Empowerment Zone: Celebrating 1 Year and 100 Episodes!

The Empowerment Zone Podcast

Ramona Houston: Host

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In this show we zone in on Black and Brown empowerment: building economic, political, educational and social power; advocating for health, philanthropy and service; championing racial and social justice; critically analyzing current events and issues from our perspectives. We also spotlight and celebrate our history, (s)heroes, culture, institutions, organizations and events by creating synergies between our communities. We believe that by working together, we will increase our capacity and effectiveness in ushering in a better nation and world.

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Ramona Houston podcast surveyIf you are interested in advancing the empowerment of the African American and Latinx communities, please subscribe on your favourite podcast app and join us twice weekly as Dr. Ramona Houston and her guests get into the zone to explore Black and Brown relations and our journey to empowering our communities.

All available episodes

Amerika Garcia Grewal

Democrats Abroad: Providing Americans living internationally a voice in government

Political empowerment is an important aspect of power. Join Ramona today as she talks to Texas voter Amerika Garcia Grewal about Democrats Abroad. Amerika is the Asia Pacific Deputy Regional Vice Chair of Democrats Abroad. During her discussion with Ramona Amerika talks about how she shifted from cause-based activism to politics after moving outside the […]

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Edward Vargas

How do you work beyond labels to develop collaborations?

With this episode “The Empowerment Zone” begins its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Although the podcast celebrates the achievements and contributions of the Latino/a/x community 365 days a year, Ramona recognizes the value and importance of commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month. Today Ramona talks with speaker, author, mentor and consultant Edward Vargas. Ed discusses his path […]

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Russell Gunn

The Forces of Jazz and History Unite: “The Sirius Mystery” (new CD)

Sacred music and the artists who create it are treasures within all cultures. Today Ramona talks to one of Atlanta’s treasures Russell Gunn. Listen to this enlightening conversation between Ramona and Russell as they explore the worlds of music and history, the African Diaspora, and his latest CD “The Sirius Mystery.” Russell discusses his musical […]

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Dr. Anju Reejhsinghani

How do you transition into Higher Education Administration Seamlessly?

Many professionals aspire to work in higher education administration. Despite this clear goal, it may be difficult for some individuals to achieve, especially since there are multiple routes. Join Ramona today as she talks to Dr. Anju Reejhsinghani about the steps professionals must take in order to move into higher education administration. Dr. Reejhsinghani is […]

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Dr. Valencia Sylvain Stinson

Healing and Domestic Violence

“The man I love or the woman I love” could be declarations of emotion. This statement can produce wonderful feelings until that emotional connection is riddled with violence and abuse. Join Ramona and Dr. Valencia Sylvain Stinson today as they examine domestic violence. Dr. Sylvain Stinson shares her personal story and provides advice on how […]

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Ambrose Leburu

Are you committed to the change you want to see in your life?

Creating change in your life can seem daunting for some people. Many become overwhelmed, leaving them feeling stuck. If you want to learn some simple steps on how to create change in your life, listen to the discussion today as Ambrose Leburu shares his methodology on how to successfully change. Ambrose is a professional trainer […]

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Dr. Katherine Bynum

Black and Brown Coalitions against Police Brutality in Dallas, Texas

The African American and Mexican American communities have a long history of working together in Texas to advance civil rights. Listen to the conversation today as Ramona and scholar Dr. Katherine Bynum discuss Black and Brown coalition-building against police brutality in Dallas, Texas. During their discussion they explore how the Black and Brown freedom struggles […]

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Glenice Harris

Building Wealth from Black Wall Street to Black Main Street

Financial independence comes with having a vision for your future and your family’s future. It is about planning in advance for the expected and the unexpected. Financial factors to consider are health insurance, life insurance, long-term care insurance, a plan for your child’s college education, a retirement plan, an emergency fund, etc. Listen today as […]

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Melvin Jones

How has COVID changed the arts and education in America?

COVID has deeply impacted both the artistic and educational communities. In fact, many professional practitioners of the arts dually function in various levels of education. As nations across the world begin to emerge from this shared moment in history, we will discover more and more how the pre-COVID ideas of normalcy and the conventional models […]

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Dr. Deena González

Moving from Faculty to Administration

As faculty progress through their professional careers, many choose to move into higher education administration. Although these positions require a different skillset and much more time and energy, being an administrator does have its rewards. Administrators have the opportunity to shape the strategy and direction of the institution. Enjoy the conversation today as Ramona talks […]

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Stephanie Lopez

How does America increase Latina representation in public service?

Although Latinos make up nearly 20 percent of the US population, they hold less than 2 percent of all local, state, and federal elected and appointed offices. LatinasRepresent, an initiative of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), is on a mission to change this reality by working to increase Latina civic engagement and political representation […]

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Jasmine Stevenson

Teaching Children Confidence… with Dance

In the art of dance nothing comes easy. Dance teaches the discipline to never give up. Dance also teaches life skills needed for other aspects of life and career. Join Ramona today as she and Jasmine Stevenson explore the value of the art of dance. They discuss how dance builds confidence within children at an […]

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Dr. Adriana Ayala

What is the value of Service Leadership?

Ramona and her classmate Dr. Adriana Ayala explore the importance of education, service and leadership. As the Executive Director of the Chicana Latina Foundation (CLF), Dr. Ayala talks about how the CLF helps college students by providing scholarships and leadership development. CLF uses service leadership, relationship building, and the cultural cura (embracing culture as a […]

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Dominique Vitalis

How do you build intergenerational wealth?

Financial freedom starts with having the right mindset and then seeking the knowledge. Individuals must be intentional about building credit, planning for retirement, diversifying investments and utilizing resources. Listen today as Ramona and Dominque discuss the important components of building financial prosperity and creating intergenerational wealth. A former Division 1 athlete at Georgetown University, Dominque […]

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Virginia Diaz-Laughlin

Women in Film-Making

For more than 30 years, Virginia Diaz-Laughlin has broken barriers in the film and video industry in production management. She has worked on commercials, feature films, television movies and syndicated shows. Feature film credits include “Rushmore,” “Apollo 13,” and my personal favorite “Selena.” Her most recent accomplishment is “Truly Texas Mexican: A Native Culinary Heritage […]

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Stephanie Lang

Is the history of your family and community valuable?

Join Ramona as she talks to Stephanie Lang about the importance and power of African Americans and people of color collecting, preserving and presenting the histories and stories of their families and communities. According to Stephanie, African Americans and other marginalized communities must be agents in making sure that their voices are heard and included […]

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Dr. Herman Turner

How do doctors address health disparities in the African American Community?

In this episode Ramona talks to Dr. Herman Turner about health disparities and his work with indigent populations. During their discussion Dr. Turner also explores his educational and professional experiences as an African American man in the STEM field. Listen to learn about the challenges as well as rewards of working with people who have […]

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Paula McClain

Are corporations serious about advancing diversity, equity and inclusion?

As a result of the “awakening” on racial injustice and disparities sparked by last year’s murder of George Floyd, companies and organizations are evaluating themselves internally to assess their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives. Many have announced their monetary and organizational commitments, but are they just illusions? What should be considered to ensure that […]

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Dr. Eddie Bonilla

Have communities of color worked together to advance social change?

Join Ramona today as she discusses activism among communities of color with Dr. Eddie Bonilla. In this episode Dr. Bonilla explores the far reaching influence of activists from a multiracial organization known as the League of Revolutionary Struggle, which existed from 1978-1990. The organization was led primarily by Asian American women but was attuned to […]

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Ramona Houston

How do you start a podcast?

I started my podcast with limited knowledge and technology. All I possessed was the idea. A friend and podcaster encouraged me, “Just jump in! You will figure it out as you go.” That is just what I did. Listen to this episode today as I talk about my journey to starting a podcast and how […]

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Family Matters

Join Ramona as she engages in an interesting conversation with her sisters Rhonda and Rhesa about their upbringing, relationship and philosophy on family. They attribute their loving, supportive and affirming relationship to great parenting and learning to respect one another. Enjoy childhood stories and more serious subjects on how these sisters work through their challenges […]

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Houston Sisters

Are History PhDs only valuable in the classroom?

There are so many careers that individuals with a Ph.D. in history can pursue. Historians possess a myriad of valuable skills and abilities needed in every sector of society. Listen to this episode where Ramona reads her compelling essay “Casting a Wider Net: History PhDs Change Your Perspective!” published in “Perspective on History, The Newsmagazine […]

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Shajmil Smith

Is being resilient a strength or a weakness?

Join Ramona as she talks to Shajmil Smith about Black Women and resilience. According to Shajmil, resilience is more than just pushing through. Shajmil argues that women must rethink resilience to ensure that it strategically and personally serves their interests. Shajmil also discusses her upcoming conference Rethinking Resilience to be held on May 22, 2021. […]

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Danylle Givens

Can dance be performative and transformative?

The performing arts, dance and healing go hand in hand in the experience of Abundance Dance Company. Abundance comes to create a space of healing for the dancer and audience through emotionally transparent, authentic, and innovative dance experiences. Listen to this episode as Ramona and Danyelle explore how dance serves as an invaluable tool for […]

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Atty. Francisca Fajana

Latino Justice, transforming society through litigation

Latino Justice, formerly the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, uses litigation, advocacy and education to transform the American society. Their work primarily focuses on four issues: voting rights, criminal justice, economic justice, and immigrant rights. Join this impactful conversation today as Ramona talks to Atty. Francisca Fajana, who discusses her work in the […]

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Melvin Houston

Do you need a little motivation to help you reach your health goals?

At 81 years old, Melvin Louis Houston is a living testimony of health and wellness. A devoted educator, he passionately continues his 51-year coaching career. Listen to Ramona’s conversation with her Uncle Lou as they discuss his philosophy of creating a healthy lifestyle. Interestingly, during his interview you will also learn some Texas history. Uncle […]

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Rev. Tyrone McGowan

Does faith have a role in addressing social issues?

Racial and social justice are in the forefront in American society. Notably, millennials are leading the way in addressing many social challenges through the power of faith. Listen to Ramona’s interview with Rev. Tyrone McGowan today to learn how faith can be used as an act of resistance in the fight against two pandemics: COVID-19 […]

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Dr. Robin Chapdelaine

The Persistence of Slavery: An Economic History of Child Trafficking in Nigeria

In this episode Ramona talks to Dr. Robin Chapdelaine about her recently published book The Persistence of Slavery: An Economic History of Child Trafficking in Nigeria (Jan 2021). During this enlightening conversation, Dr. Chapdelaine discusses the historical intersection of economics, trade and labor to explain how and why children have been used for economic purposes. […]

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Michael Neal

How COVID-19 has impacted community colleges

Community colleges play an important role in educating unique populations in our society: first-generation, non-traditional, African American, Latino American, and working-class students. Due to COVID-19, enrollment at community colleges has significantly decreased for a variety of reasons. Listen to this interview with Ramona and Michael today to learn more about the value of community colleges […]

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Blanca Vargas

How can you become an impactful activist in your community?

Helping others is what community activism is all about. Blanca Vargas exemplifies this standard. A passionate leader in the metro-Chicago area and a long-serving member of LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), Blanca has served in various leadership capacities throughout her life. Join Ramona and Blanca today as they discuss Blanca’s philosophy on community […]

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Robert Jackson

Lessons and inspiration from “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

With the rise of hate and violence and the surge of voter suppression laws across America, our country needs individuals, organizations and leaders who will join the movement against hatred and divisiveness. Listen to this powerful discussion today as Ramona and Robert discuss the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (1963). […]

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Dr. Carolyne A. Opinde

How can nonprofits be more impactful?

Nonprofits focus on solving social challenges; however, many lack direction on how to achieve their goals. Through The NGO Whsiperer Dr. Carolyne Opinde has created a sustainability model for nonprofits: “Connecting People, Raising Funds and Impacting Lives.” Join Ramona and Dr. Opinde today as Dr. Opinde explains how she helps nonprofits to tap into human […]

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Victoria Archable

What is the difference between Assisted Living and Nursing Home Care?

There are distinct differences among the various types of care facilities for seniors. Many times families are not prepared to make important decisions about their loved ones. Join Ramona today as her guest Victoria Archable explains what makes senior care facilities different from each other. Understanding their offerings and services can help you to make […]

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Tracey Greene-Washington

Choosing Purposeful Alignment

Today Ramona talks to Tracey Greene-Washington about her new book Choosing Purposeful Alignment: The Messy Middle of Transformation. According to Tracey, during the transformation process of aligning with one’s life’s mission, many experience the “messy middle” of change. Listen to this insightful conversation as Ramona and Tracey discuss her new book, which seeks to inspire […]

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Dr. Garrick White

How can communities advance positive youth development?

Many people believe that today’s youth have no direction nor purpose. Dr. Garrick White explains that this challenge exists because of the absence of adults in the lives of young people. Join Ramona and Dr. White today as they explore the significance and value of adults being present with and investing in young people. Learn […]

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Gabriel Vaca

Latino Leadership and Business Success

Developing Latino leadership, growing Latino businesses, and promoting diversity have always been central to the work of Gabriel Vaca. His career has spanned entrepreneurship, a 24-year history in corporate America (UPS International), and leading the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Join Ramona today as Gabriel discusses his passion and work in developing Latino leadership and […]

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Raquel Ark

Grow your listening superpowers

Learning how to listen is a skill that can enhance your personal and professional life. In fact, listening is an essential skill, especially for leaders. Join Ramona today as Raquel Ark teaches us how to develop our listening superpowers. Raquel is a communication expert, coach, facilitator and podcast host of “Listen in with Raquel Ark.” […]

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Kenneth and AC Fields

How can entrepreneurs do business better?

Are you a business owner seeking ways to improve your outcomes? Technology is one of the solutions you can use to enhance opportunities and increase revenue. That is what IT-Henhouse is all about. Join Ramona as Kenneth and AC Fields explain how they help businesses by developing technology that improves performance. Partners in life and […]

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Dr. Patricia Parker

Ella Baker’s Catalytic Leadership

Ella Baker is one of America’s most impactful civil rights leaders. That is why you should join Ramona today as she talks to Dr. Patricia Parker about her new book Ella Baker’s Catalytic Leadership: A Primer on Community Engagement and Communication for Social Justice. As America enters another phase of social change, we can learn […]

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Dr. Karen Kossie-Chernyshev

And Still We Rise!: Black Women Scholars, A Conversation, March 31, 2021

And Still We Rise!: Black Women Scholars in the Ebony Tower Since 1965, is a conversation highlighting the educational journeys and professional contributions of Black women scholars at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s). Join Ramona and Dr. Karen Kossie-Chernyshev as they discuss the upcoming summit, which will be held March 31, 2021, at noon […]

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