TrailBlazers Podcast Season 3


Case Lane

Ep. 41-Prepare for the Future!

Having been to 100 countries and lived in 11 of them, Case Lane describes her experience as a foreign diplomat and global traveler. Educated in communications, political science, business, law and economics, her website,, provides advice to people thinking of starting a business all the way to experienced entrepreneurs.

(Click on Read More)


Molly McKay Williams

Ep. 42-Championing LGBT Rights

Daughter of Nan McKay, Molly shares what is was like being on the front lines of the fight for marriage equality in California for over 15 years. As co-founder and Media Director of Marriage Equality USA, Molly describes her journey through the the early days of marriage equality advocacy all the way through the day that LGBT marriage became legal.

(Click on Read More)


Sharon Cossey and Gail Gillespie

Ep. 43-Life, Discrimination, and Divorce

Sharon, Gail, and Nan, long-term friends on a retreat in Las Vegas, talk about growing up, going to Maya Angelou's Black Tie birthday parties given by Oprah, and discrimination in the workplace and elsewhere. Gail gives great advice on choosing a marriage partner, surviving an abusive household, and being a young woman in today's climate.

(click on read more)


Verna Jones-Rodwell:

Ep. 44-Hope, Health and Healing in Elected Office

Verna Jones-Rodwell shares her early start as a community organizer and advocate for affordable housing and community development where she worked to improve the living conditions of Baltimore's poorest families. At age 34 she launched her first campaign for political office seeking to represent her district in the Maryland House of Delegates.

(Click on Read More)


JoAnn Kukimura

Ep. 45-It's the Greatest Joy to See Things Work!

JoAnn Yukimura explains her love of Kauai, her early years on the island, and her efforts to preserve and protect her island home. As Mayor and County Councilperson for Kauai, she learned to use her voice to influence policy including restrictions on development for setback and height limitations. One of her most signficant contributions was the development of public transportation which made it easier to get to work because of the high cost of living.


Brianna McDonald

Ep.46-A Champion Against Bullying

Brianna McDonald was bullied as a child, including being held under water in a lake by five girls, until it became so bad, her parents had to move to another town. It still affects her today as she struggles with the Imposter Syndrome. As President of Keiretsu Forum Northwest, a funder of women-owned businesses, she explains how company investment works and how women-owned companies can qualify for funding. She discusses alternative investment opportunities in futuristic companies. She talks about work/life balance, and her future fears for her children and the world.



Janice Stewart

Ep. 47-Birmingham Church Bombing: I Was There

One of our most powerful episodes to date, Janice Stewart describes seeing the 16th Street Church in Birmingham burning as she was headed to Sunday school. Sunday, September 15, 1963, at 10:22 a.m., the church became known around the world when a bomb exploded, killing four young girls attending Sunday School and injuring more than 20 other members of the congregation. In this episode of Trailblazers Impact, Janice transports you to the scene of the bombing and makes you feel like you were walking with her, toward a war zone. Five of her close friends were killed that day in this historical church bombing.


Diane Jackson-Chapman

Ep.48-Standardized Tests Said Below Average to Average - Now Have My PhD

Dr. Jackson-Chapman revisits memories of growing up in the days of a vibrant, thriving Gary, Indiana; a steel-mill city devasted by the decline of manufacturing in the 1980s-90s and the disinvestment that followed. She reflects on her lessons-learned as a young parent determined to fully achieve her academic and professional dreams. She discusses the many women (and 2nd husband) who became the "wind beneath her wings" propelling her across the finish line with her PhD and all while taking on a 2nd marriage and raising a total of 5 sons. (Click to Read More)


Kent Watkins - BONUS

Ep.48-I Helped Write the Civil Rights Act

Kent's podcast is a gift for students of history! He was directly involved in the passage of the The Civil Rights Act of 1964, a landmark civil rights and labor law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Kent gives us inside information on how the law actually was passed and what it like to participate in the March on Washington. He also describes his work at HUD as Secretary Weaver's Chief of Staff and involvement in producing the Fair Housing Act. 

(Click on Read More)




Sharon Hirota

Ep.49-Quit My Job or Stay?

Sharon Hirota, a native of the Big Island of Hawaii, was faced with a difficult decision. Her boss had resigned, she was chosen to replace him, and then he decided not to quit. She was at a crossroads. Should she go back to her old job or should she leave? When her housing program needed a shot of creativity in decreasing the waiting list turnover, she developed a new program for families on the waiting list, using her own personal experience to bring a new perspective. Married young and family oriented, she shared her philosophy of housing with the low income families on the waiting list - and it worked!

(Click on Read More)


Debbie Feinberg

Ep.50-Fears for Children Today

Debbie grew up in an environment of helping others and was a creative entrepreur as a child. She talks about her Jewish heritage and living in Israel for a year during a particularly tumultuous time politically. We went on to talk about children and gun violence, including her fears for her own children. She discusses living her convictions and staying close to her authentic self at all times. We discuss roles for women, both traditionally and today. We discuss her career, focused on marketing products in the medical device and health care fields.


Betty Lou Larson

Ep.51-Insight into the reasons and magnitude of homelessness.

Working for Catholic Charities as a homeless advocate, even into retirement, she still represents the organization's priorities in homelessness at the State Legislature. She provides an insight into the reasons and magnitude of homelessness. She talks about Housing First as the best, but expensive, program and provides an example of how this worked for a chronically homeless mentally disabled individual. (Click to Read More)



Ellen Walsh

Ep.52-A Global Perspective of Discrimination

Ellen Walsh reflects on a childhood filled with the joy and discoveries of living in Hawaii, Japan and Iran, along with the pain-filled memories of living in Mississippi in the mid-to late-1950s; a state where segregation was the "law of the land" and witnessing her mother's pain as a brown skinned Polynesian married to a white Portuguese engineer. Her mother was directed to the "colored door" while her father was directed to the front door. 


(Click on Read More)


Donna Miller BONUS

Ep.52-We Have It! Let's Use It! Women Helping Women

Donna Miller founded a company called Purse Power, providing everyone an opportunity to purchase from women-owned businesses, including businesses with 20% women on the board. Knowing that one out of four women is impacted by domestic violence, she wanted to accomplish two goals: provide more shelters for abused women while giving more economic power to women to make choices to support other women. She also has built a phone app to locate women-owned businesses near you.

(Click on Read More)


Jennifer L.W. Fink

Ep.53-Single Parenting, Depression, and Raising Boys

Jennifer gives her thoughts on the journey of raising four boys, much of the time by herself as a single parent. She has struggled with depression, thinking that depression equals sadness and when people aren't exhibiting sadness, she felt they must be pretending. She talks about her real love, writing, and her transition, starting with journalism, to becoming an award-winning freelance writer. Surviving a divorce, home schooling, and parenting and then getting remarried, she has experience in and thoughts about many areas.  (Click on Read More)


Teri Ijeoma

Ep.54-Successful Stocks Trader Top 4 Trading Secrets

Teri ljeoma shares her 4 secrets to trading in the stock market. Her interest in the stocks market started when she was in high school, and she worked on Wall Street to learn the trade. She credits her mother and her grandmother for her success today, her drive to persevere and that motivation to keep going. Creating her course "Trade and Travel" has been one of her major contributions, teaching individuals how to invest in the stock market and how to make their money work for them. The success of her students keeps her motivated.

(Click on Read More)


Rocio Cavazos

Ep.55-Engineer Turned Successful Investor

Growing up in a society where gender bias was prevalent, Rocio Cavazoz always found that she was attracted to professional industries where women were few and far between. She started out as an engineer then later transitioned into finance where she worked on Wall Street for 12 years in another male dominated industry. Being passionate about empowering women and wanting to create an impact through social purpose led her to focus on micro-finance where she could empower low income women in the developing world. 

(Click on Read More)


Linda Dupre Hull

Ep.56-Sr. Level Financial Managers Are Problem-Solvers, Not Worker Bees

Linda Dupre Hull, age 67, provides powerful insights into a childhood where at age 12 she became a partner with her father in developing the family budget and managing the family finances out of the necessity of ensuring the family could survive off of his earnings. She shares the backdrop of being a life-long resident of New Orleans; a city defined by its history of segregation and poverty. She came tg to understand very early on the absolute necessity for adopting a personal budget, managing your finances . . .

(Click on Read More)


Jewel Burks Solomon

Ep.57-Advocate for Representation in and Access to the Technology Industry

 For Jewel Burke Solomon an entrepreneurial drive set in early, as she sold her own paintings while in high school and dreamed often about charting her own path. She thrived while at Howard University, parlaying her success to an internship at Goldman Sachs in New York, then leaping across the country to join Google. She sold Google apps and products to enterprise customers. A major professional turning point was founding Partpic, which used a visual search software for customers to submit a picture of and find repair parts. (Click on Read More)


Carena Lemons

Ep.58-From the Courtroom to the Silver Screen

Carena Lemons can seemingly do it all, with a successful law practice and an acting career. Her entertainment work isn't just a passion, it's also a major selling point to her Raleigh, N.C.-based law firm. She supports clients who want a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the industry. Her most recent role was in the film Harriet. Over time she's discovered that by approaching the firm with a business mindset, nurturing and growing her organization with a solid client base, has been the most effective way to achieve growth. 

(Click on Read More)


Carnela Renee Hill

Ep.59-The Power of "Walking Afraid"

Design is about more than aesthetic choices for Carnela Renee Hill. It's building relationships and new opportunities for strengthening others. Hill shares her journey of tackling each day as it comes, relying on belief that God will guide her in what she sees as her ministry. Her design business accelerated in 2015 when she was invited to help decorate the White House at Christmas for an HGTV special.

SHOP for her book Walking Afraid on our website!


(Click on Read More)


Sherese Brewington Carr

Ep.60-I come from generations of social change agents; I am who I was Intended to be!

Sherese Brewington Carr provides a rapid-fire delivery of her professional insights into the world of migrant farm work, the criminal justice system and what it takes to help both veterans And ex-offenders to successfully transition into the contemporary workplace. She shares her foundational beliefs established as a childhood "farm girl" who benefitted from the larger culture of rural community activism and a world class educational opportunities gained at two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  (Click on Read More)

Scroll to Top