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Black History TrailBlazers #6

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Black TrailBlazers Making History

Janice Stewart Educator, Entrepreneur, Gov / Non-Profit Professional

Ep. 47  - One of the most powerful interviews of TBI, Janice takes us through growing up as a young African American woman in Birmingham, and we experience alongside her what life was like in segregated Alabama through her eyes. She ponders whether racism has really come that far since the Birmingham bombing and worries about what her grandchildren will face. She talks about the pressure on today's children of all races.

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Sharon Cossey and Gail Gillespie - Affordable Housing Gurus

Ep.43 - Sharon Cossey started her career in the affordable housing industry in 1970. Sharon provided solutions that made a difference in the lives of people living in assisted housing. Her approaches weigh the impacts on the general community, budgetary constraints, and long-term growth. Gail Gillespie brings extensive knowledge of federally subsidized housing programs and decades of experience in property management and development, as well as a keen aptitude for analysis, informed perspective on housing issues, a vivacious personality, and superb communication and presentation skills. Gail trains nationally in both the public housing and housing choice voucher programs. They give their perspectives on life, discrimination and divorce.

Read more about Sharon and Gail.

Carolyn Sue Williams - Political Scientist, Educator, Gov / Non-Profit Professional

Ep. 88 - Dr. Carolyn Sue Williams was the eldest daughter in a family of 11 other siblings in the Baton Rouge,Louisiana, of the 1950s, describing herself as an totally un-inspired high school student with only the prospect of "working in a white woman's kitchen" after graduation. Unexpected opportunities and exposure worked to change her trajectory. She went on to become one of the first four Black women in America to be awarded a PhD in political science in the early 1970s; an accomplishment even she never saw coming. Dr. Williams has to her credit the credentials of college professor by her late 20s, and a Presidential appointment as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development at HUD headquarters by age 32.

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Valarie Austin - Book Publisher & President of Vauboix Publishing LLC, a Veteran-Owned business

Ep, 70 - Valarie R. Austin is a 1987 graduate of "the Academy"; that is, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; the long historied flagship school for military leadership and the venerable male-dominated bastion of education until 1980. Lt. Colonel Valarie Austin, an African American female, attended during the Earliest years of female enrollment, graduating West Point in 1987, with a degree in Military Science and Leadership. Now retired with 20+ years of service, and earning four college degrees along the way, Col. Austin has dedicated the balance of her life to elevating the academic and professional pursuits of high school students by writing and speaking on the differences between an industry and an occupation providing financial guidance and other life lessons with her book: "The Student's Comprehensive Guide for College and Other Life Lessons."

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