Justin Michael Williams

Justin Michael Williams is a pioneering transformational voice for diversity, inclusion, and wellness. He is an award-winning speaker, Grammy®-nominated recording artist, and author of Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us. Visit justinmichaelwilliams.com.

Author photo © Jamaal

Mario Van Peebles

Mario Van Peebles made his directorial debut with NEW JACK CITY. The film was heralded as a gangster classic and became Warner Brothers' most profitable movie of 1991.

Mario went on to direct and act in several other films including his multicultural western POSSE, the award-winning political thriller PANTHER, about the Black Panthers Party for self-defense and BAADASSSSS! He started acting professionally on the stage at 11 years old, his feature film breakout, was in the movie, HEARTBREAK RIDGE with Clint Eastwood. He went on to act in numerous projects, including playing political, icon, Malcolm, X in the feature film ALI directed by Michael Mann. The Van Peebles family are no strangers to “edutainment” Mario is not afraid to take on subjects that challenge. He wrote, directed, produced and starred in ARMED a psychological, thriller, about a good guy with easy access to meds and weapons of war. Passionate about social justice and raising Eco consciousness, Van Peebles did a series called MARIO’S GREEN HOUSE chronicling his family’s comic attempts to go green while living in Hollywood. In the documentary space he did the FIRST AMENDMENT PROJECT for Sundance featuring the renowned poet Amiri Baraka. He made FAIR GAME which explored the prison industrial complex and BRING YOUR A GAME which shares the necessary skills for young black boys to thrive and survive. 

Shelly Tygielski

Shelly Tygielski is a trauma-informed mindfulness teacher, speaker, and activist. She founded the CNN Hero-featured global grassroots organization Pandemic of Love, and is the author of Sit Down to Rise Up. Visit shellytygielski.com.

Author photo © Demetrius Philp

Also By Author

Justin Michael Williams, Shelly Tygielski, and Mario V...

The end of racism—really? When your eyes stop rolling, tune in to this podcast to hear why it’s actually possible—in our lifetimes—to free our society from systemic racial oppression and  injustice. In part one of this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Justin Michael Williams and Shelly Tygielski about their new book, How We Ended Racism. In part two, filmmaker and activist Mario Van Peebles joins the conversation to share his own hope-giving perspective. 

This stirring and uplifting podcast explores the five assumptions that perpetuate racism; the eight pillars of possibility; the pledge to help end racism; how our inner work relates to the outer change that we’re working toward; assertion versus assessment, and learning to recognize our own biases; shadow work and confronting the concept of supremacy; taking action where we’re standing right now; “loving with bigger arms”; crossing the divide within families; the metaphor of the inherited house; the practice of calling forward; intraconnection; the link between exposure and empathy; the SUSS process: State, Uncover, Synergize, and Select; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

Justin Michael Williams: Stay Woke

Justin Michael Williams is a meditation teacher and personal coach who is also a Billboard top 20 recording artist. With Sounds True, he has published Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us. In this special video episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Justin about his upcoming “Stay Woke, Give Back” tour, in which he will explain his unique approach to meditation and give copies of Stay Woke to youth in various cities across the US. Justin explains his “freedom meditation” technique and the experiences that led him to practicing mindfulness. Tami and Justin also discuss the blind spots of traditional meditation, the need for spiritual practices to acknowledge real-life struggles, and the dangers of spiritual bypassing. Finally, they talk about why it’s essential we begin teaching all children mindfulness skills from an early age and how we as a society can make that happen. (66 minutes)

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Ep 9: Live the Questions Now

When it comes to building the Great Turning, it’s natural to have questions: What is my individual role in it all? How do we win? Who do we fight? While Jess wrestles with her desire for a “prescription” of what to do, Joanna invites us to “live the questions” instead. In this episode, we learn about the three dimensions of the Great Turning and the way forward: community, relationship, and solidarity. 

In this episode:

  • There are no perfect road maps, but if we come together in courage and community, the way will emerge
  • The climate crisis is not just an environmental issue but a spiritual crisis of disconnection
  • Bonus Exercise: The Bodhisattva Check-In

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

Ep 8: Eros and Thanatos

This episode explores the powerful role of Eros (sensual love) and Thanatos (death) in fueling our connection to the world as we contribute to the Great Turning. Joanna and Jess discuss how we might learn to see our world as our lover (and as our self), the gifts of cultivating a sensual connection with the world, and how facing mortality can make the gift of being alive feel even more precious. They also reflect on the closeness of Joanna’s own death, which Joanna sees as “going home” to rejoin the cycle of life.

In this episode:

  • Using our love and awareness of impermanence as fuel for activism
  • Discovering ways to truly feel interconnected with all life through sensual presence
  • Reflections on mortality and our place in the cycle of life

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

Ep 7 Bonus: Seventh Generation Exercise

This bonus episode will support you to take the main insights from Episode 7: “We Are a Part of a River of Time” deeper into your life. 

Jess will guide you through an adaptation of the Work That Reconnects exercise called “The Seventh Generation,” which she talks about in Episode 7. We recommend listening to the episode before doing this bonus. In this exercise, you will be invited to use your imagination and do some creative, guided role-playing with a friend, where one of you will speak as yourself, and the other will speak as a future being. 

For this exercise, you’ll need a friend and a place that is quiet enough for you to sit face-to-face and talk freely.  

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

 

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