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The Empowerment Zone

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

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.

If 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

Shaleiah Fox

Shaleiah Fox: Engaging Alumni of Color

Shifting the Philanthropy Conversation at Predominately White Colleges and Universities Today Ramona explores philanthropy and alumni giving in higher education with guest Shaleiah Fox. As predominantly white institutions change the way they recruit a more diverse student body, they should also change the way they engage alumni of color. Learn how Shaleiah, a fundraiser in […]

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Dr. Rhesa Houston

Dr. Rhesa Houston: Finding Her Role in Addressing Institutional Racism and Systemic Oppression

The Assistance Animals Consulting Racial and Social Justice Impact Initiative Today, Ramona talks with her sister Rhesa Houston, DVM, about why and how she developed a racial and social justice initiative for her business Assistance Animals Consulting. Rhesa shares a very personal experience, where she encountered the convergence of the racial and social justice protests […]

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Sandy Holt

Sandy Holt: The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

Championing Hispanic Success in Higher Education In this captivating conversation, Ramona talks to Sandra “Sandy” Holt about the incredible work of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). With HACU’s mission “To Champion Hispanic Success in Higher Education,” Sandra expands upon the multiple programs of the organization, which include advocacy, student programs, conferences and […]

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Suzette Arnold

Suzette Arnold: The Jamaican Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta

Building Businesses and Empowering Women Today Ramona talks to Suzette Arnold, President of the Jamaican Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta. Suzette discusses the value of the Chamber and its role in growing businesses in the metro-Atlanta area. Suzette also explores her experiences as a female leader in an organization of majority men. Notably, Suzette announces […]

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Elliot Kirk

Elliot Kirk: Building a Family Business

How a Rural Family Overcame Obstacles to Build a Funeral Home Business In this episode, Ramona explores the funeral home business with Elliot Kirk of Brownwood, Texas. Elliot discusses the long road of building the family business, exploring its many challenges and explaining how his family overcame these obstacles. Elliot also provides advice to aspiring […]

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Crystal Mullen-Johnson

Crystal Mullen-Johnson: Take Care of Your Mental Health

The Value of Counseling Services Ramona’s guest today, Chrystal Mullen-Johnson, discusses mental health. As Crystal explains, there is a misunderstanding about mental health in the African American community. Although African Americans experience all types of life stressors, few seek professional help. Most internalize their pain and, consequently, suffer in silence. According to Crystal, African Americans […]

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Jim Estrada

Jim Estrada: Create Your Success

Advice on Building a Career that You Enjoy Today Ramona talks with Jim Estrada about how to build a career that brings joy and satisfaction. Jim’s advice includes identifying role models and mentors, surrounding yourself with affirming people and staying connected to your culture and community. Jim is a recognized pioneer in ethnic marketing communications […]

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Angela Fobbs

Angela Fobbs: Every American Citizen Around the World Must Vote

Democrats Abroad and the Global Black Caucus Mobilize Democrats Around the Globe Ramona’s guest today is Angela Fobbs, founding member and Chair of the Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus and elected member of the Democrats Abroad Germany Executive Committee. In their discussion, Angela talks about the work of the Democrats Abroad and their efforts to […]

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Kent Jones

Kent Jones: Building a Successful Business Enterprise

How to Go from an Idea to a Sustainable Business – Kent Jones provides insight on how to create and build a successful business. Kent explores topics such as creating a business plan, marketing, and the importance of sustaining capital.

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Lyord Watson

Lyord Watson, Jr.: The Penny Foundation and Strategic Philanthropy

Strategic Philanthropy and Institution Building within Communities of Color – Today Ramona discusses strategic philanthropy with guest Lyord Watson, Jr., Founder and CEO of the Penny Foundation, based in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Aracely Panameño

Aracely Panameño: The Economic Impact of COVID

How COVID Has Made Political Engagement an Imperative – Today, Ramona’s guest Aracely Panameño discusses the economic impact of COVID on the African American, Latinx and immigrant communities.

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Dr. Robin Sibert

Dr. Robin Sibert: Special Education Services for K-12

A Discussion on How Special Education Services Levels the Playing Field for Students – Today, Ramona talks to Dr. Robin Sibert about special education services in K-12 education.

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Dr. Genine Ervin

Dr. Genine Ervin-Smith: Embracing Change in Post-Covid Veterinary Services

The Legacy of Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine and The Effects of COVID on Pet Care Ramona talk to Dr. Genine Ervin-Smith, a Los Angeles native, who is a proud graduate of Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Ervin-Smith sheds light on the historical and significant role that Tuskegee University has played in […]

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Anita Henderson

Anita Henderson: Tell Your Own Stories!

Why You Should Write about Your Life – As the saying goes, “History is told by the victor.” Ramona talks to Anita Henderson, owner of The Write Image and creator of the Write Your Life Author Coaching Program, about the importance of writing.

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Alfred Ramirez

Alfred Ramirez: Follow Your Heart and Passion

How to Create Your Own Professional Odyssey Some people stay on one job their entire life, while others create a professional Odyssey. In conversation with Ramona, Alfred Ramirez shares how to design a lifetime of rewarding professional experiences. One theme runs throughout his career, Alfred has always followed his heart and passions. Whether working in higher education […]

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Dr. Juan Andrade

Dr. Juan Andrade: The Unsung Legacy of Congressman John Lewis

John Lewis—The Fuse that Launched Latino Political Power and Leadership Development. In this special episode, Ramona’s guest, Dr. Juan Andrade, shares the fascinating history and unsung legacy of Congressman John Lewis in the political empowerment and leadership development of the Latino community.

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Dr. Mara Perez

Dr. Mara Perez: Invest in Your Community

The Importance of Philanthropy — Dr. Mara Perez, Founder and Principal of Latino Futures, discusses the importance of Latinos and African Americans engaging in philanthropy—both as donors and as professionals. According to Dr. Perez, the Black and Brown communities must become more involved in the philanthropic sector on multiple levels to ensure the viability of organizations that serve our communities.

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Cause Marketing and Atlanta History with Marilyn Pearlman

Cause Marketing and Atlanta History with Marilyn Pearlman — Today’s guest is Marilyn Pearlman, Founder and Principal of Atlanta Cause Marketing and PR. Ramona talks to her about her professional evolution working in the field of public relations and cause marketing. Through her agency, Marilyn connects businesses and nonprofits to advance the good of humanity and promote both entities.

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Dr. Brian Gosa: Take Control of Your Health!

Today, Ramona speaks with Pharmacist Dr. Brian Gosa of Montgomery, Alabama, who now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, addressing health disparities within the Black and Brown communities. As a health advocate, Dr. Gosa encourages individuals to take control of their health by educating themselves about health…

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podcast: Episode 2 with guest Lydia Camarillo

Accelerating the Political Power of the Latinx Community: Lydia Camarillo Lydia Camarillo, President of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP), explains the history and importance of building the political power of the Latinx community. Based in San Antonio, Lydia discusses the founding of SVREP and its role in increasing Latino/a political participation. Asserting the […]

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Dr. Rhesa Houston

podcast: Episode 1 with guest Dr Rhesa Houston

Leader in the Field of Veterinary Medicine: Dr. Rhesa Houston Ramona talks to her younger sister Rhesa Houston, DVM, Founder and CEO of Assistance Animals Consulting (AAC), who explains how AAC partners with health care professionals and organizations to serve as a veterinary resource for any human-animal intervention treatment plans. After realizing there was a gap […]

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