• Overcoming Obstacles to Get More Black Women in the C-Suite feat. Dr. Denise Streeter

    Have you ever wondered why there aren't more black women in C-suite positions among black students? 

    In higher education, women are more likely than men to earn degrees. Black women get 64.1% of bachelor degrees, 71.5% of master's degrees, and 65.9% of doctoral medical and dental degrees. Yet a recent McKinsey study found that only 1.6% of vice presidents in corporate America are black women. Why is this happening? 

    Dr. Denise Streeter is a professor of finance in the Howard University School of Business and joins us to explore these statistics. She is HU bred, having earned a degree in accounting from Howard, as well as degrees in economics and finance from other institutions. Dr. Streeter has also taught courses to students of all ages, in various formats, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and on three continents. 

    She joins host Frank Tramble to talk about why these numbers don’t shock her, starting businesses vs working in the traditional corporate system, building support systems for black women in and out of corporate roles, and finding inspiration on her path. 

    HU2U is a production of Howard University and is produced by University FM.

    Episode Quotes:

    Is it better for black women to start their own businesses or work in corporate America?

    [05:01] The good news is that we have choices, so we can start our own businesses. And the beauty of it is that women are doing that. So we don't have to necessarily be dependent on the system if you want to hire us, but if we want to get into the system, we have to play it their way.

    Overcoming obstacles with confidence

    [03:18] We really have so many obstacles. We have to make sure we are overcoming, that we want to be the best at what we apply for. And sometimes, those job descriptions are tainted to keep those of us who won't do it out, but we have to build that confidence. And that's really your encouragement to motivate, help, and assist is important.

    On having passion for work

    [10:56] Find your passion in the place that you're going to work so that you know you're there to make deals, to bring in more clients, or whatever your thing is, because that's where you're going to be able to succeed.

    Amplifying women's voices in the workplace over the years

    [14:54] Women are more aware of who they are, so they're speaking up, and we're starting to join them together. So that we can be more supportive and they can know what it is that should not happen in the workplace. 

    Guest Profile:

    22m | Nov 27, 2023
  • A Soft Landing For Young Folks of Color feat. Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble

    More than 5 million African-Americans are reported having a mental illness. That's nearly 17.3% of the total Black US population. Black teens are among the highest rising rate of mental illness right now, especially coming right outta the pandemic. So how can we help this next generation amongst all this turmoil? Well, our guest is a passionate expert in helping youth of color take care of themselves.

    Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble is a Howard alum and founder of the AAKOMA Project, a nonprofit for the mental health of the youth and the youth adults of color. 

    Host Frank Tramble and Alfiee sit down and talk about why her work focuses on teens & young people, mental health before and after the pandemic, the challenges of managing social media intake, and changing cultural stigmas around mental health. 

    HU2U is a production of Howard University and is produced by University FM.

    Episode Quotes:

    On creating a safe space for mental health for young people

    [03:46] I want to always make sure that every young person I encounter feels seen, heard, and valued. That's my thing because in my home, I felt all of that. Outside of my home, not so much. And many young people struggle with that. So I always wanted to be like a soft landing for young people, so that’s why I focused on young folks.

    Dr. Alfiee's vision is for authentic self-expression and well-being of young people through AAKOMA

    [17:53] The message that I have for young people through the AAKOMA project is that we envision a world where every young person has the opportunity to live. Unapologetically and authentically as the best version of themselves.

    The interplay of adult self-care and empowering young minds

    [05:41] I feel like for the adults and caregivers in young people's lives, it's important for us to create the space and, more than anything, let young people know that who you are exactly as you are is beautiful. It's important and can only be enhanced if we support and take care of your mental health. But we can't do that if we don't take care of our own. So, it's important for us to acknowledge that there is an interplay between how parents and caregivers show up with our young people.

    Dr. Alfiee's vision is for authentic self-expression and well-being of young people through AAKOMA

    [17:53] The message that I have for young people through the AAKOMA project is that we envision a world where every young person has the opportunity to live. Unapologetically and authentically as the best version of themselves.

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    Guest Profile:

    25m | Nov 13, 2023
  • The Arts Reflect Who We Are feat. Dean Phylicia Rashad

    When faced with federal cut backs and potential lack of funding in education, the fine arts always seem to be the first discipline on the chopping block. So what are we missing when it comes to the full value of the fine arts? And why especially, does it seem like black artists always have to fight for recognition? We’ll dig into it today with Dean Ohylicia Rashad

    Phylicia Rashad is the Dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts at Howard University. An accomplished actor and stage director, Rashad became a household name when she portrayed Claire Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” a character whose enduring appeal has earned her numerous honors and awards for over two decades. She continues to dazzle on screen and on stage with an extensive career in theatre as well.

    Rashad has served as guest lecturer and adjunct faculty member, conducting master’s-level classes at many colleges, universities and arts organizations at Howard University among many others.

    She sits down with host Frank Tramble to discuss how Black Culture and fine arts are intrinsically tied together, art as an inspiration for change, reflects on the prominent roles and moments in her storied career, and how the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts will continue to change the world around us.

    HU2U is a production of Howard University and is produced by University FM.

    Episode Quotes:

    On choosing to pursue greatness despite the lack of recognition

    [02:02] A hundred years from now, nobody will remember who won a Grammy this year but a well-written song will still be sung. A beautiful poem will be remembered and have its effect. A great play will expound on themes that could still resonate a hundred years from now. And a film, a really good film will inspire youth to dream higher and higher and higher. It's the work that counts.

    Art is life itself

    [11:29] In museums, we see works of art that depict a starry night. We see works that depict workers in the field. We see works that depict birds in flight, but it's because art is life itself. So, like breathing, we take it for granted.

    Why do people miss the full value of fine arts?

    [10:22] People miss the value of it because we live in it all the time and take it for granted. Nature's the greatest artist of all when we look at a landscape and its changing colors within a season. We take it for granted because it happens every year when we perceive a sunrise. Even though the sunrise is different every single day, how many of us really take the time to breathe and take that in to observe those colors? The brilliance of them that is happening is why, naturally, we live in art. Our bodies are works of art.

    On playing a role that made a huge impact

    [21:35] A young man made his way through a crowd. He was from Germany, to tell me, "Before your show, we had nothing growing up in Germany," he said, "we had nothing." When your show came, we had everything.

    Show Links:

    Guest Profile:

    33m | Oct 30, 2023
  • The Pathology of Gun Violence feat. Dr. Roger Mitchell

    Gun violence in the US has reached a point where it is a public health issue. 36,000 Americans die from firearm-related events. Each year, tens of thousands are injured. The medical community calls it a biopsychosocial disease. 

    We understand the risk factors and therefore can identify how to control and prevent it. So what more can we be doing to battle this ever-urgent issue? Dr. Roger Mitchell joins us to discuss today, he is chair of the Department of Pathology at Howard University.

    Roger and host Frank Tramble sit down and talk about Dr. Mitchell’s career path, using disease modeling to address gun violence, who the audience for this research is, and his advice for emerging pathologists.

    From HU2U is a production of Howard University and is produced by University FM.

    Episode Quotes:

    Violence is a complex problem that demands diverse solution

    [06:25] One of the misconceptions about violence is that it's only homicidal; the majority of gun violence is now over 56% of gun violence is suicide, and by bringing in suicides into the conversation of violence, that decreases the other wisdom of violence because the individuals that are most impacted by suicidal violence are older white men. The individuals that are impacted by homicidal violence are younger black men. But if you look at violence across both spectrums, then it's everybody's issue that has different solutions.

    Why understanding disease helps us understand violence

    [05:16] There is both an environmental and a biological component to each disease process. And so if you understand that about violence, then you can understand it as preventable.

    Viewing violence as a public health problem

    [12:58] When you call violence a public health problem, then you can bring all of those resources to bear within the toolkit. If it's just a criminal justice problem, you're just dealing with law enforcement and the criminal legal system. But as a public health problem, you can bring all the community to solve this problem.

    Advice to all emerging pathologists

    [17:48] It is an opportunity for you to be a physician-scientist, to understand and be close to the basic science, and look at tissue and see how tissue causes, what diseases are seen in tissue, and how tissue shows itself up to cause disease. But it's also an opportunity for you to be involved in the clinical care of your patient as well. So I encourage anyone who's interested in pathology to think about it and look at it deeply, because it's a great field to go into.

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    Guest Profile:

    20m | Oct 16, 2023
  • Inclusivity in the Afro-Latine Community feat. Natalie Muñoz and Obrian Rosario

    In 2020, there were about 6 million Afro-Latine adults in the United States. That's 2% of the US adult population and 12% of all adult Latine population. Yet, while Afro-Latine have a very strong sense of culture and identity, the African-American community and the Latin community often don't know how to make sense of it.

    As a result, Afro-Latine sometimes feel excluded and discriminated against. How can we make these communities feel more included and create that sense of belonging?

    Joining us to discuss are Natalie Muñoz, a recent Howard doctoral graduate who focuses on Afro-Latine identity, and OBrien Rosario, a student in the Bachelor of Arts to Juris Doctor program (BAJD). Obrian is also the president of the ¡Changó! Howard University's Afro-Latin Student Association and Spanish Speaking Society. 

    Natalie and Obrian chat with host Frank Tramble about defining different experiences under the Latinx/e community, identity and mental health and steps Howard can take to ensure Latinx/e students have a real sense of belonging on campus. 

    From HU2U is a production of Howard University and is produced by University FM.

    Episode Quotes:

    The black diaspora doesn't fit into any boxes

    [05:55] Natalie Muñoz: There are all these kinds of boxes that people try to put us in to tell us whether we fit into being able to identify or not, whether it's phenotypic features or hair features. But the reality is that the black diaspora is just so diverse that we don't fit into any box.

    How can you be supportive to the Afro-Latina community?

    [16:04] Obrian Rosario: My focus is always on community, and when we're in community with one another, we are able to learn about one another and more fully respect one another. And so look for community, whether that's joining a book club and reading about Afro-Latina identity, whether that's even throwing on an Afro-Latina Spotify playlist and immersing yourself in the culture. I think that's really what will break down the barriers, and we'll bring about that indifference. At ¡Changó!, we seek to create immersive experiences. So, every programming and everything that we did was literally bringing people into our culture—whether that is through eating the food with us, listening to the music with us, or digesting the literature with us—and so, find an Afro-Latina person and getting community.

    The importance of having a channel to talk about mental health and identity

    [14:45] Natalie Muñoz: That connection between identity and mental health is so important, and I don't think it's talked about enough. And the research is just showing, like allowing students to be their authentic selves, to really have pride in their ethnic-racial identity, can serve as a protective barrier for racism and also improve your self-esteem—the knowledge of self. 

    Now is the best time to build solidarity 

    [23:35] Natalie Muñoz: There's no better time than now for black people from the diaspora to start building solidarity. And there's also no better place to do it than an HBCU. I think they're right there. They're doing what they can, and I think if we did a little bit more, we could see so much more improvement in terms of relations between Afro-Latinos and African-Americans, but also being able to advocate each other in a time where we needed it more than ever.

    Show Links:

    Guest Profile:

    26m | Oct 2, 2023
  • The HU Writer’s Festival and Preserving the Black Experience feat. Dr. Benjamin Talton

    The Moorland-Spingarn Research Center is the largest and most comprehensive repository of books, documents, and ephemera on the global Black experience, including the personal and official papers of Kwame Nkrumah, Paul Robeson, Elaine Locke, Mary Francis Berry, and many, many others.

    2 years ago, a class of 1996 Howard Alumnus returned to campus to lead the center. Amongst the many ways he's rejuvenating it is by establishing an international black writers festival. 

    Dr. Benjamin Talton is an African studies scholar and author, and Director of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center (MSRC) at Howard University. He's also the lead organizer for the MSRCs International Black Writers Festival, which will take place September 26th - 29th 2023.

    Host Kweli Zukeri and Dr. Talton discuss the work of the research center in this episode, banning books, how the MSRCs International Black Writers Festival came to be, why we gather, and everything coming up at this years event.

    From HU2U is a production of Howard University and is produced by University FM.

    Episode Quotes:

    Defining the future through MSRC

    [04:51] When people have weaponized history, of course, our history has always been under attack. But we are, in large part, defined by our history. So controlling that is very important. So more than it is significant because we decide: "Okay, these are the books; these are the archives." This is what's significant for understanding the global black experience, that's important for the past but also important for the present. But then, also in terms of the future, we decide what new collections and books will be there. So not only saying the past defines us but we're also defining the future. And so I feel that we're in a very powerful position.

    Fostering empowerment through africana-centric education

    [25:50] We live in a society where policy and culture have been shaped and framed around disempowering us beyond symbolics…[26:06] But when you have institutions catered toward educating people of African descent for them and by them, the change is evident.

    Bringing black intellectual thought to the forefront

    [15:38] This year, I felt rather than just having amazing writers in conversation, I wanted to be deliberate about the theme to have everyone think about meditating on a particular idea, going back to the germ of the festival, which was bringing conversations among writers, activists, and scholars in conversations at Howard to make Howard the center of black intellectual thought.

    Show Links:

    Guest Profile:

    29m | Sep 18, 2023
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