Ep 66: A Love Letter to Friendship with Desiree Lynn Adaway and Pamela Slim

Ep 66: A Love Letter to Friendship with Desiree Lynn Adaway and Pamela Slim

What a joy and honor it was to hold space for reflective conversation with two change-making women who have an epic friendship that has spanned more than three decades, Pamela Slim and Desiree Lynn Adaway.

The two met on a hill in Northern California on the first day of college at the age of 18 and have been best friends ever since. From completely different lived experiences, Desiree is a black woman from the south side of Chicago, and Pamela a white woman from Marin in the San Francisco Bay  Area, they unite around common interests and connections that transcend while never forgetting their differences. They love each other’s families fiercely and fight in their own unique ways and in their own communities for inclusion, equity and justice.

Mother to two grown daughters, Desiree is also a consultant, trainer, coach and speaker working to build resilient, equitable, and inclusive organizations. Holding a vision for people’s lives, workplaces and communities until they can hold it for themselves, she has committed over 20 years to creating, leading and managing international, multicultural teams through major organizational changes in over 40 countries. She also teaches and advocates powerfully in the online space and in a course I took from her and her partners called Diversity is an Asset.

Pamela is an award-winning author, community builder, consultant, speaker, and small business strategist. Alongside being a step mother to an adult son and raising her two teenagers, she’s also the founder of The Main Street Learning Lab in downtown Mesa, where she works to increase the effectiveness, equity, and visibility of small business owners from marginalized communities including women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community, and to connect these business owners with the rapidly growing opportunities in Mesa, the Phoenix metro area, and beyond.

Being deeply seen and deeply understood is a theme that runs through this conversation, as we explore the ways that Desiree and Pamela experience the epic guideposts in their lives and in their friendship.

I felt like the entire conversation was a love letter to friendship and a call to action to risk being known, knowing others, expanding our perspectives and championing diversity. I hope you’ll listen with an open heart and leave this conversation as I did, committed to the specific challenges that Pamela and Desiree offered us and inspired to show up every day as a better ally and a better friend.

Much appreciation,

P.S. Know someone who would love this conversation? Click forward now to pay this forward to a friend who may be interested.

This Episode is Dedicated by:
Nicole Lee

Nicole Lee is the founder of Inclusive Life™ and mom to Madison and Zindzi. She is also the co-founder of the Lee Bayard Group LLC and Black Movement-Law Project (BMLP).

Nicole Lee is a diversity, equity and inclusion expert, leadership coach, nationally recognized speaker and strategist who regularly consults with nonprofits, schools, businesses, and political and social movements to improve their climate for themselves and all those that they serve.

Nicole is a prolific speaker and commentator who has regularly appeared on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and BBC. She has been recognized for her outstanding contributions in the private and public sectors through numerous awards, including Congressional Black Caucus, Running Starts “Women to Watch”, Black Women’s Roundtable TrailBlazer and Global Leadership and the National Newspapers Publishers Association’s Press Champion Award.

Nicole is also an attorney and nonprofit leader, having formerly served as the first female President of TransAfrica, the nation’s premier African American foreign affairs organization. She, along with civil and labor rights icon Bill Lucy, was the coordinator of the Life, Legacy and Values of Nelson Mandela, a six-month national celebration of the life of Nelson Mandela and his US Memorial Service at the National Cathedral. She is a founder of the BMLP, a legal organization affiliated with the Movement for Black Lives.

Visit Nicole Lee’s Website:

Follow Nicole Lee on Social Media:

In This Episode We Talk About:

  • The beautiful birthday letter Pamela wrote to Desiree and posted on Facebook that inspired me to record this episode
  • Pam and Desiree’s life before they became best friends, how they found each other and how they’ve shaped each other’s lives since
  • What the bracelet Desiree wears every day says and how it connects to her motherhood, her work, and her life journey 
  • How I learned from Desiree that allyship is a daily commitment and how that connects to how Desiree and Pamela approach their friendship 
  • What it looks like to be in right relationship
  • What Desiree means when she says “Pam never remembers that I’m black and she never forgets that I’m black.”
  • The “Sister Resister” card Desiree pulled from her deck that connected perfectly to this conversation
  • The epic snapshot moment of Pam’s with her own daughter that Desiree says exemplified Pam’s self-awareness and lack of ego
  • Dismantling and examining cultural norms and creating our own definition of culture
  • Pamela’s and Desiree’s challenges for us to expand our own awareness and perspective of diversity by reading books only of authors of color for 3 or 6 months (you choose!) and to notice in our spaces and places who is and isn’t being represented

Mentioned from this Episode:

This Week’s Challenge: 

For this episode, Pam and Desiree challenge us to take 3 to 6 months of reading books that are from people of color, if you’re a dominant identity or if you’re white. While you’re at it, you’ll notice how your perspective and view of the world around you will change.

Another challenge… when you are in any situation, school, work, office, ask yourself “who is here?”, “who’s not here?”, and “why aren’t they here?”. Answering these questions will raise your level of awareness, and help you bridge the gap that exists in the areas where we are not seeing diverse representation.

Learn More About Desiree:

Desiree is a seasoned nonprofit consultant and facilitator. All of her presentations have a mix of thought-provoking content presented with humor and wit. When she teaches, she makes a point to connect with every person and create a safe space for their growth. She is known by staff, senior leadership, peers, and partners as being great at open, honest, and productive conversations. She is not afraid of addressing anything that gets in the way of great work. Her style is positive, approachable, engaging, service-oriented and audience-centered.

Email her @: desiree@desireeadaway.com

Connect with Desiree:

Learn More About Pamela:

Pamela Slim is an award-winning author, community builder, consultant, speaker, and small business strategist. She is the founder of The Main Street Learning Lab in downtown Mesa, where she works with business owners to remove obstacles to small business success and test and try new business ideas.

She is best known for her book Escape from Cubicle Nation (named Best Small Business and Entrepreneur book of 2009 from 800 CEO Read) along with her follow up book Body of Work. Both were published by Penguin/Portfolio.

Pam is frequently quoted as an expert in publications such as BusinessWeek, The New York Times, Money Magazine and Psychology Today. Pam lives in Mesa, Arizona.

Connect with Pamela:

Announcements:

Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative

As this episode is released, we are just days away from the two year anniversary of the Charlottesville Rally. I remember waking to the news the next day and deciding I had a responsibility to use my voice and the platform I’m building with the Mother’s Quest Podcast to pursue social justice. Many said “yes” alongside me and The Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative was born.

First season episodes, with a focus on anti-racism and police brutality, are up at www.womenpodcastersinsolidarity.com, and episodes I recorded for our second season, on the intersectional impact of gun violence, are assembled on the latest Mother’s Quest Blog.

Last weekend’s events, two mass shootings within 24 hours, blasted our consciousness with the work still ahead and urgency to fight gun violence and also the racism tied to these events. I hope you’ll follow the links in the show notes to the episodes recorded and that they might shine some light on a path forward. Because, as my guest on this episode’s podcast Desiree says, we only get free together.

Want More Reflection in Your Life? Book A Discovery Call

Some key themes that emerge from this conversation with Amy Simpkins, is the power of reflection and the power of being seen. These are elements that I bring, not only to every podcast interview, but to my one-one-one coaching and Mother’s Quest Circle facilitation. If you’re seeking more space for pause and reflection in your life, I encourage you to reach out to me for a discovery call to learn how we might work together.  Visit mothersquest.as.me/discoverysession to schedule a time to talk.

Click here to book a discovery call

One Minute Mom Manifesto

⚡️Have you been feeling a nudge to say “yes” to create your Mother’s Quest Manifesto? The official challenge and giveaway may be over, but the invitation and content is always there for you to create your #oneminutemommanifesto

Here are some easy steps you can follow…

👉 Join the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group www.mothersquest.com/community to find the “unit” for the Manifesto Challenge’s reflective prompts and live videos. It’s all waiting for you!

👉 Follow along with the “unit” at your own pace. Share your reflections along the way in the comments. Let us cheer you on!

👉 Give yourself some quiet time to create your own #oneminutemommanifesto in whatever way feels good…writing, art, photos, song. It can be simple and quick. Don’t overthink it. What matters most, as a guiding light, for how you want to live your life at this stage of raising your children?

👉 Share your #oneminutemommanifesto on social media with the hashtag. Tag me if you can to make sure I’ve seen it. Consider nominating a friend who would benefit.

–Join us, share or tag a friend, or comment on how the #oneminutemommanifesto has helped you if you’ve already created yours.–

Would LOVE for more of you to join us in claiming, or reclaiming, HOW you want to live your life ✨🙌

Did you catch the Father’s Day Special?

Listen to these two amazing fathers who were on the show here:

Acknowledgments:

A big THANK YOU to our “patrons” for helping to bring these conversations to myself and other mothers through financial and/or in-kind support:

Nicole Lee

Olivia Parr-Rud
“Vince” of the While Black Podcast
Sara Brannin-Mooser
Lindsay Pera
Julie Castro Abrams
Alexia Vernon
Brooke Markevicius
Democracy Clothing
Michael Skolnik
Helgi Maki
Kari Azuma
Tamara Sobomehin
Katie Krimitsos
Carrie Caulfield Arick
Rachel Rosen
Chandra Brooks
Jen Simon
Monisha Vasa
Celia Ward-Wallace
Vanessa Couto
Desiree Adaway
Rachel Steinman
Katie Hanus
Denise Barreto 
Sage B. Hobbs 
Samantha Nolan-Smith
Jody Smith
Emily Cretella
Collette Flanagan
Titilayo Tinubu Ali 
Carly Magnus Hurt
Lizzy Russinko 
Suzanne Brown
Mara Berns Langer
Mallory Schlabach 
Katharine Earhart
Jessica Kupferman
Jen Jenkins Dohner
Genese Harris
Tonya Rineer
Liane Louie-Badua
Cristin Downs 
Erin Kendall 
Niko Osoteo 
Erik Newton 
Claire Fry
Divya Silbermann
Rachel Winter
Caren and Debbie Lieberman
Cameron Miranda
Fran and David Lieberman
Debbie and Alan Goore
The Sustainable Living Podcast

Support the Podcast

If you’d like to make a contribution to Mother’s Quest to support Season Three of the Podcast and/or help provide coaching scholarships for mothers, follow this link to make a contribution.

If you would like to “dedicate” an upcoming episode to a special mother in your life, email me at julie@mothersquest.com

Mother’s Quest is a podcast for moms who are ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life.

Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. lifeEngaging mindfully with their children (E), Passionately and Purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), Investing in themselves (I), and Connecting to a strong support network (C).

Join our community of mothers to light the way and sustain you on your quest at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest/

EP34: Season Two Finale: The Power of Friendship and a 50 Year-Old Book Club with Fran Lieberman and Sandy Klasky

EP34: Season Two Finale: The Power of Friendship and a 50 Year-Old Book Club with Fran Lieberman and Sandy Klasky


It’s a joy and honor to bring this final episode of Season Two, Episode #34, with my own mother Fran Lieberman and her dear friend Sandy Klasky, who are celebrating their book club’s 50th anniversary.

I couldn’t think of a more special way to close this season then reflecting with two women, who are mothers and grandmothers, on the lessons of their E.P.I.C. lives across decades, how they’ve passed on values of social justice to their children and grandchildren, the power of friendship, and of shared experiences, like reading books together, to build community.

In this episode, we talk about what shaped my mother and Sandy as they emerged from the stable years of the 1940’s and 1950’s into the tumultuous times of the 1960’s and 1970’s, the ways they sought to have impact beyond their family as women when there were fewer opportunities open to them, how they invested in their own interests and friendships while raising their children, and looking back now, the wisdom and advice they would offer to their younger selves.

The 50th anniversary of their book club, and how it’s been an important constant in their lives, is a thread we weave throughout the episode and the challenge they offer us is to read books that they felt made a profound impact on them. They share the reason behind the success and longevity of their book club and friendship and also some snapshot moments from across the years that they will always remember.

Stay through to the end for a funny blooper reel capturing some behind the scenes moments of what it took to persevere through the challenges to record the podcast episode. It was a testament to the power of what’s possible with today’s technology and to holding a growth mindset no matter what your age.

I loved the perspective and inspiration that shines through this unique conversation on the podcast and I hope you will too. So, get comfortable, pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee, or maybe a glass of wine, and settle into the wisdom from these two life-long friends.

This episode dedicated by:

Emily Cretella of MotherHustle. Learn more at www.motherhustle.com

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • My mother and Sandy’s social justice roots, one forged as a student in New York where she was exposed to different cultures, religions, and races and one that grew from experiences of living in a segregated city of Detroit
  • The trauma of the 1960’s and 1970’s, including the deaths of leaders like John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, and how our country has risen before from tumultuous times
  • The multigenerational influence Sandy and my mother have had on their children and grandchildren, especially as a result of sharing values and experiences around politics and social justice and how Sandy’s daughter, Stephanie Klasky-Gamer, was featured in LA Magazine for her leadership as President and CEO of LA Family Housing.
  • The story of how the book club got started with women who were focused on raising their children and sought connection and intellectual stimulation. Also, what has enabled the club to endure through so many years.
  • The difference in the way they had to do research for their book club discussions in the past, going to the library and photocopying materials vs. now that we have the internet.
  • Snapshot book club moments my mother and Sandy will always remember, like coming together on 9/11 and when their dear friend, and founder of the club, Judy Duroff passed away.
  • How Sandy and I both identify with having had a mid-life Renaissance and the importance of following your heart to create your E.P.I.C. life.
  • The advice Fran and Sandy would give to their younger selves.
  • The books from their book club that made a lasting impact on them.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

This Week’s Challenge:

Read the books Room by Emma Donoghue and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

Announcements:

A Podcast Break Until February – Stay in Touch!

This episode marks the end of Season Two and the start of some time off from podcasting until Season Three begins in February. If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe and join the email list so you’ll get updates when Season Three begins. And if you want to stay connected through the break, join the Mother’s Quest Facebook group where I’ll continue to share resources, favorite episodes from past seasons, and personal reflections.

Help Us Celebrate Mother’s Quest’s First Birthday

A year ago on December 1st, I launched the Mother’s Quest Podcast as a birthday present to myself. It’s hard to believe that another personal birthday and the first birthday of the podcast have arrived.

I’d love to celebrate by highlighting your stories and how the podcast or Mother’s Quest Community has helped you to live your E.P.I.C. life. Go to mothersquest.com and use the speakpipe tool to leave me a 1-2 minute message for a chance to be featured in a special E.P.I.C. Guideposts Episode.

Everyone who submits will also be entered into a drawing for a free signature coaching session from me and some other prizes from other amazing moms in the Mother’s Quest Community. Can’t wait to hear your stories and celebrate with you.

Virtual Mother’s Quest Circle Pilot

You’re a mindful mother. And being present for your children in these years when you’re raising them is your highest priority. You’re also committed to making a positive impact in the world, something that feels even more important with all the challenges we currently face.

If the description above sounds like you, the Virtual Mother’s Quest Circle Pilot, may be right for you. Or, if you live in the S.F. Bay Area, you can participate in an in-person circle that starts on December 16th.

This signature offering provides inspiration, coaching and community to spark your E.P.I.C. life with intimate virtual reflective sessions over four months.

Click http://mothersquest.com/virtualcircle/ to learn and apply. The group will start as soon as I have a committed number of participants so don’t delay if you’re interested. Questions? Email me at julie@mothersquest.com

Visit the Website

If you haven’t yet visited the website, head over to www.mothersquest.comto explore some of the ways you can get more connected. At the site, you can sign up for our email list (to get show notes delivered to your inbox and our new “Mothers on a Quest” features), click the link to join the Facebook group and press record to leave a voice message for me. You can also download the FREE Live Your E.P.I.C. Life Planning and Reflection Sheets.

Acknowledgements:

A big THANK YOU to our “patrons” for helping to bring these conversations to myself and other mothers through financial and/or in-kind support:

  • Emily Cretella of MotherHustle
  • Collette Flanagan, founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality
  • Titilayo Tinubu Ali of Own Your Expertise
  • Carly Magnus Hurt
  • Lizzy Russinko of This (Un)Scripted Life
  • Suzanne Brown, author of Mompowerment
  • Mara Berns Langer
  • Mallory Schlabach of Marketing Magic for Entrepreneurs
  • Katharine Earhart of Alesco Advisors
  • Jessica Kupferman of She Podcasts
  • Resistance Artist Jen Jenkins Dohner
  • Genese Harris
  • Tonya Rineer, founder of The Profit Party
  • Liane Louie-Badua
  • Cristin Downs of the Notable Woman Podcast
  • Erin Kendall of Fit Mom Go
  • Niko Osoteo of Bear Beat Productions
  • Erik Newton of The Together Show
  • Claire Fry
  • Divya Silbermann
  • Rachel Winter
  • Caren and Debbie Lieberman
  • Cameron Miranda
  • Fran and David Lieberman
  • Debbie and Alan Goore
  • Jenise and Marianne of the Sustainable Living Podcast

Support the Podcast

If you’d like to make a contribution to Mother’s Quest to support Season Three of the Podcast and/or help provide coaching scholarships for mothers, follow this link to make a contributionhttp://mothersquest.com/be-a-supporter/

If you would like to “dedicate” an upcoming episode to a special mother in your life, email me at julie@mothersquest.com

Mother’s Quest is a podcast for moms who are ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life.

Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. lifeEngaging mindfully with their children (E), Passionately and Purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), Investing in themselves (I), and Connecting to a strong support network (C).

Join our community of mothers to light the way and sustain you on your quest at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest/

 

Ep 12: Breaking Bread and Building Bridges with Saadia Ahmed

Ep 12: Breaking Bread and Building Bridges with Saadia Ahmed

In Episode #12, I am honored to share this enlightening conversation with Saadia Ahmed, who I reached out to after the recent executive order on immigration to find out how I could become an ally to the Muslim community.

Saadia and her husband live in Los Gatos, California with their two children. She is a talented Financial Advisor serving high-level women professionals and entrepreneurs, couples and families. She is actively engaged in her local community, is a member of Watermark, and is passionate about issues and opportunities in the areas of education and empowerment of women.

She is also a bridge builder, and in this episode, she shares that after 9/11, she became heavily involved in outreach for her community and proactively pursued inter-faith dialogue as a way to find common ground with others.

We talk about some of the stereotypes held about Muslim women, how she has stepped into and developed leadership among the women in her community, and our mutual desire to reach out beyond our bubble, with curiosity, to better understand people with different beliefs.

Saadia and I have decided to become partners in this effort and plan to “break bread” together with other women to build understanding. This is the challenge we offer to you as well.  I hope you leave this conversation, as I did, inspired to learn more about the people around us, and the shared values that we all hold dear, no matter how different we may seem.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • The importance of building bridges of communication with our children and with those who are different from us.
  • Saadia’s move to the U.S. because of religious persecution in Pakistan.
  • The recent executive order on travel and immigration and how to become an ally to the Muslim community
  • Celebrating diversity through faith and reaching out to build bridges through “breaking bread.”
  • The importance of the examples we set for our children and of honoring our children’s individuality and views

Resources mentioned in this episode:

A big THANK YOU to our “patrons” for helping to bring these conversations to myself and other mothers through financial support:

  • Caren and Debbie Lieberman who dedicated this week’s episode to our mother Fran Lieberman
  • Cameron Miranda
  • Fran and David Lieberman
  • Debbie and Alan Goore
  • Jenise and Marianne of the Sustainable Living Podcast

Announcements:

This episode #12 marks an important milestone. It is the number of episodes I set out to complete in my first season. I didn’t know what to expect when I started out on this podcasting path, but it has been all I hoped for and more.

So much more that I did decide to extend the first season another 6 episodes to take us through to April. The next episode will be another solocast and an opportunity for me to reflect on common themes from the first twelve episodes and some of the ways in which these interviews have enriched my life. And, I will give you a preview of the interviews ahead, so make sure to listen in on that episode for all the details.

And, if you would be open to spreading the news of my extended season, stay tuned for a link to my ThunderClap campaign. With your help, the day the extended season launches, there can be a thunderous announcement on social media to help reach more moms with these conversations.

Finally, I heard from so many of you that you loved last week’s episode with Kristina Kuzmik, the Truth Bomb Mom and that you, like me, are up for her positivity challenge. I created the Live Your E.P.I.C. Life Planning and Reflection Sheets to help us record our weekly intentions using the EPIC Framework and reflect at the end of each day on that one positive thing we want to focus on. You can get the free download at mothersquest.com/reflectionsheets.

Want to join the patrons above and help support more meaningful conversations such as these? Visit the Mother’s Quest Patreon Page to become a regular patron or visit this link www.mothersquest.com/be-a-supporter to make a one-time donation. If you would like to “dedicate” an upcoming episode, email me at julie@mothersquest.com

 


 

Mother’s Quest is a podcast for moms who are ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life.

Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. life, engaging mindfully with their children (E), passionately and purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), investing in themselves (I), and connecting to a strong support network (C).

Join our community of mothers to light the way and sustain you on your quest at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest/

Subscribe to the Podcast! We are available in these channels:

    

Episode #5: Live your E.P.I.C. Life to Help Your Children Thrive