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.

Where to listen

All available episodes

Dr. Karen Poteete

How can you achieve health, happiness and success in 2021?

Good health is extremely important to having a happy and successful life. As we enter 2021, everyone is recommitting to achieving their goals, including those centered on health and wellness. Today’s guest Dr. Karen Poteete inspires listeners to embrace a healthy lifestyle. Sharing her personal journey through processed hair, unhealthy eating and drinking, and stress, […]

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Lynette Correa-Velez

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) in Higher Education

Lynette Correa-Velez is on a mission to impact college students and alumni as a DEIB coach. In this engaging conversation Ramona and “Dr.” Lynette, as Ramona affirmatively calls her, explore a range of topics including the recent Georgia US Senate run-off elections; embracing family, culture, and community; and advancing student success. Lynette is the Assistant […]

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Gerald Baptiste, Jr

How can we reduce the spread of airborne pathogens like COVID-19?

COVID-19 has disrupted our ability to gather in groups safely. That is why we need new technology to purify the air and make the indoor environment safe, so businesses can drive revenue and we can resume our normal lifestyle. Join Ramona as she talks to Gerald Baptiste, Jr., about photocatalytic oxidation technology, a new product […]

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Stan Watson

Vote, Georgia, Vote! The Runoff Election for US Senate

Political empowerment is important to advancing the interests of the African American and Latino/a communities. That is why Georgians must vote in the upcoming runoff election for US Senate on January 5, 2021. Join Ramona with Stan Watson as they discuss why it is important to vote and understand how government works. A seasoned public […]

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Lorenzo Sanford

The stars are lining up in 2021!

It is a new year! Jupiter and Saturn are joining forces in 2021 to create “The Great Conjunction.” Now is the ideal time for you to connect and align with the stars, so that you may live your best life. Join Ramona and Lorenzo Sanford today in their illuminating and delightful conversation on how the […]

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Ramona Houston

Let’s Finish Strong!

Special Episode: Georgia is now in an important runoff election for two US Senate seats. More than ever, the African American and Latino/a American communities must vote. Voter turnout is key to winning in this run-off election. Understanding this fact, Ramona is using her power and platform to push more people to vote. In this […]

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Bryon Jennings

Does Dave Ramsey’s financial plan really work?

A champion of financial empowerment and wealth-building, Bryon Jennings will be a regular guest on our podcast. In his second appearance on our show Bryon challenges Dave Ramsey’s financial plan and suggests alternatives for building intergenerational wealth. Although he is not a financial planner, Bryon explores issues that will help Black and Brown communities to […]

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Judith Martinez Sadri

Addressing Stereotypes – The Right Way

Stereotypes disrupt many of our lives, causing discomfort, pain and anger. Many times we do not know its origins or how to address them. In this interview, Ramona talks to Judith Martinez Sadre about her personal and professional experiences with stereotypes. Learn from Judith how you can use these uncomfortable moments as opportunities to make […]

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Sabrina Jenkins

Managing Transitions

There is only one condition that is constant in life, and that is change. Although change is an experience that all of us have to endure, many find it difficult to embrace. Sabrina Jenkins knows all about change. Enjoying a 27-year career with the Atlanta Braves, Sabrina changed vocations and is now President of CEO […]

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Derek Hubbard

How to become an agent of positive change

In our current environment, individuals can no longer remain silent about the social issues that challenge our communities, nation and world. Silence is indeed complicity. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stated, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good […]

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Dr. Dhanfu Elston: Complete College America

Complete College America is on a mission to eliminate barriers to college access and completion. As Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President for Strategy, Dr. Dhanfu Elston is dedicated to accomplishing this mission. In this discussion, Dr. Elston expands upon the work of CCA and how its Game Changer Strategies are accelerating the success […]

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Mariela Romero

How do you handle a crisis?

Everyone has experienced moments of crisis in life. For most of us, these can be very challenging times. After enduring several personal and professional crises, Mariela Romero has developed a different perspective. As she explains, crises are periods of change and opportunities for growth. According to Mariela, we only experience crisis when we choose not […]

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Dr. Cynthia Orozco

Discovering and Uncovering a Mexican American Shero of Texas

Join Ramona as she talks to fellow historian Dr. Cynthia Orozco about her new book Agent of Change: Adela Sloss-Vento, Mexican American Civil Rights Activist and Texas Feminist. Considering the fact that few biographies exists about Mexican American women, this discussion with Dr. Orozco is indeed a treat. Dr. Orozco talks about her book on […]

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Monique Russell

Why is communication key to self-empowerment?

Most of us aspire to exert more power over our personal and professional lives, but do we recognize the importance of communication in self-empowerment? According to Monique Russell, self-empowerment is all about knowing how to communicate authentically and effectively. The way you communicate with others shapes your relationships, and, consequently, your relationships shape your personal […]

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Elisa Lagrange

Ladies, do we have the right mindset for success?

Success is all about mindset. Elisa Lagrange is on a mission to help women to operate in their zone of genius. In this engaging discussion, Elisa teaches women strategies on managing their minds. Elisa is a multicultural marketer who helps entrepreneurs and individuals build profitable businesses and significant lives. A native of Argentina, Elisa lives […]

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Marlon Addison

Are you tapping into your Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is important to personal and professional success. According to Marlon Addison, EI is a learnable skill. Discover more about EI and how it can enhance your performance, relationships, and career. Marlon is a sales and marketing leader, who has trained sales teams and college students on Emotional Intelligence for over ten years. […]

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Ari Perrymond

Inspiring children to dream BIG!

Imagination is key to achieving your dreams. Eleven-year-old Ari Perrymond is sparking the imagination of children through “Ari’s DreamWorld.” Created to engage, excite and educate young learners all over the world, the YouTube show inspires children to embrace their visionary powers. Join Ramona as she talks to her niece Ari about her new creative venture. […]

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Michelle Dionne Thompson

How do you tap into your purpose?

As a professional coach, Michelle Dionne Thompson understands the value of bringing out the best in others. In her conversation with Ramona, Michelle provides specific strategies on how to determine your purpose in life—how to answer the question, “Why am I here on this earth.” Michelle is founder of Michelle Dionne Thompson Coaching and Consulting […]

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Michelle DeGrate

How Philanthropy Operates in Black and Brown Communities

As recent studies have shown, the philanthropic sector lacks diversity. On top of that, there is a widely held belief that only rich white people engage in philanthropy. Contrary to popular belief, Black and Brown people give. In this episode, Michelle DeGrate explores the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in development and fundraising. Michelle […]

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Christine Ortega

What is Servant Leadership?

Having operated in multiple leadership roles for over three decades, Christine Ortega has created numerous impactful corporate and community partnerships. As one who truly believes in service, Christine talks to Ramona about her understanding of, appreciation for, and approach to servant leadership. In their conversation Christine explains how servant leaders engage all stakeholders, speak truth […]

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Dr Troy Harden

How can the African Americans and Latinx communities show up for each other?

Professor Troy Harden discusses his work as an educator and community activist in the Black and Brown communities of Chicago. According to Troy, the African American and Latinx communities experience similar experiences in trauma and social trauma and must show up to support each other to create social change. Troy is the recently appointed Director […]

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Joe Biden, Dr Ramona Houston

African Americans, Embrace Your Power and Vote!

As America enters the final days of the 2020 election season, many individuals and groups are engaged in get out to vote (GOTV) efforts. Voter turnout is key to winning in this election. Understanding this fact, Ramona is using her power and platform to push more people to vote. In this podcast Ramona reads two […]

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Jesus Martinez

How do you fund your business?

subscribe here Today Ramona talks to Jesus Martinez about his work in supporting small business owners. Quite simply, Jesus helps his clients to fund their businesses. As Jesus explains, business owners must understand the various types of lending. Jesus is Founder of Peach Tree Commercial Capital, a full service commercial loan brokerage firm. Raised in […]

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What does it take to be an effective leader in education?

Today Ramona talks to Hector Montenegro, Ed.D., about educational leadership. Dr. Montenegro has a long history in education, having served as a math teacher, principal, Chief of Staff for the DC Public Schools and Deputy Superintendent and Superintendent of Schools for three school districts in Texas. Now retired, Dr. Montenegro talks about his current work […]

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Roy S. Johnson

The Journey of an Agile Journalist

Today Ramona explores the fascinating journalism career of Roy S. Johnson. In their conversation, Roy discusses his extensive work covering sports, entertainment and business at several prominent publications including Sports Illustrated, History Channel magazine, Men’s Fitness and Savoy magazine. Roy also explores his current role as a statewide columnist for AL.com, where he has been […]

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Bryon Jennings

Is living debt-free really financial freedom?

In this enthralling conversation, Ramona talks to Bryon Jennings, who will be a regular guest to talk about wealth, economics and business. Today, Bryon discusses money and building wealth. As Bryon explains, the black church has shaped many of the ideas that African Americans have about money. Interestingly, Bryon challenges the community’s existing beliefs about […]

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Giovanni Gonzalez

Giovanni Gonzalez: Mindful Performance Blueprint, Your Resource for Building Trust

Today, Ramona’s guest Giovanni Gonzalez discusses how he helps individuals and companies to elevate their performance. According to Giovanni, building trust and transforming organizational culture is key to building an effective team. Giovanni is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Mindful Performance Blueprint (MPB), the creator of “Access the Leader Within – 3 day Leadership […]

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Dr. Maria Hernandez

Dr. Maria Hernandez: LatinaVIDA, Empowering Latinas to Lead

Today, Ramona talks to Victoria Archable, Owner, Certified Senior Advisor, and Certified Dementia Trainer with CarePatrol Metro Atlanta.  CarePatrol is a full service placement agency that assists families in finding safe and quality care for elderly loved ones. In this discussion Victoria discusses how she helps families navigate the complex process of finding the right […]

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Victoria Archable

Victoria Archable: Helping Families Navigate the Process of Finding the Right Care

Today, Ramona talks to Victoria Archable, Owner, Certified Senior Advisor, and Certified Dementia Trainer with CarePatrol Metro Atlanta.  CarePatrol is a full service placement agency that assists families in finding safe and quality care for elderly loved ones. In this discussion Victoria discusses how she helps families navigate the complex process of finding the right […]

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Sylvia Puente

Sylvia Puente: Reflections on the Transformative Year of 2020

Today Ramona talks to Sylvia Puente about the civil unrest of 2020 and how the movement has influenced and changed conversations among decision makers. No longer are the topics of systemic racism, structural inequality, and white privilege on the margins of discussion. Sylvia elaborates on how leaders within the nonprofit, advocacy and philanthropic spaces are […]

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Tracey Washington

Tracey Greene-Washington: Philanthropy and Community as Co-Creators and Co-Designers

Ramona’s guest in this episode is Tracey Greene-Washington, who talks about her leadership in transforming the relationship between philanthropy and community. According to Tracey, the philanthropic sector must change its approach from charity to see community as partners in solving complex social issues. Tracey is President of the Indigo Innovation Group and Founder of Co-Think […]

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Eboni Hall: American Forests and Tree Equity

Today, Ramona talks to her cousin Dr. Eboni Hall about urban forestry. In this enlightening conversation Dr. Hall expounds upon Tree Equity. Tree equity approaches urban forestry as a social equity issue and not just an environmental issue, considering the fact that trees are necessary in the fulfillment of basic needs for survival. As Dr. […]

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Izora Jones and Family

Izora Jones: You Can Learn at Any Age

In this episode, Ramona celebrates her grandmother Izora Jones, who turned 94 years old this month! A resident of Fort Worth, Texas, “Dr. Grandmommy,” as Ramona affectionately calls her, is a big advocate for education. She has educated three generations of her offspring, with three of her seven grandchildren earning doctorate degrees. On top of […]

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Ricardo Negron-Almodovar

Ricardo Negron-Almodovar: A Champion for Latino Justice and Del Ambiente

Today, Ramona talks to Ricardo Negron-Almodovar about his work with Latino Justice and Del Ambient. In this enlightening discussion, Ricardo sheds light on the various voter participation challenges of the upcoming 2020 elections and explains how Latino Justice is working to address these critical issues. As one of the founders of Del Ambiente, Ricardo also […]

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Shaleiah Fox

Shaleiah Fox: Engaging Alumni of Color

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 higher education, is working to shift how The University of […]

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Dr. Rhesa Houston

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

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 and white supremacists in the community of Birmingham, Alabama. This […]

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Sandy Holt

Sandy Holt: The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

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 capacity-building initiatives. Whether you are a […]

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Suzette Arnold

Suzette Arnold: The Jamaican Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta

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 and invites listeners to participate […]

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Elliot Kirk

Elliot Kirk: Building a Family 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 business owners. Elliot is owner of Big Country Crematory and Kirk Family […]

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Crystal Mullen-Johnson

Crystal Mullen-Johnson: Take Care of Your Mental Health

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 must go beyond spiritually and […]

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