Recipe for a Good Life

Recipe for a Good Life

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Recipe for a Good Life
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What ingredients do you need? It really doesn’t take a lot for this particular recipe, the Recipe for a Good Life. Bestselling Canadian author Lesley Crewe is making her American debut and we could all use this recipe. This may be her 15th novel for her Canadian readers, but I can definately say, her new American readers will catch up.

For Lesley her writing started as an exercise for understanding her world and in doing so, we get an invitation to look into ours. How many of us think that only writers get writer’s block like the protagonist in her latest novel? And how many of us get into the weeds while trying to find that ‘grand, elusive goal? Lesley’s recipe is a simple one that comes with huge victories from within ourselves. In our conversation she lets us in to one of the most unthinkable time of her life. And shows us how even from our darkest moments, we can shine a light.

Female Scientists Breaking Barriers

Female Scientists Breaking Barriers

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Female Scientists Breaking Barriers
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Dr. Brooke Grindlinger, Chief Scientific Officer of the NY Academy of Sciences didn’t take the conventional female scientist’s route. Instead of the traditional, academic path, Brooke pursued her passion of science communications. Brooke is breaking barriers faced by women in STEM and works with young female scientists pursuing their own ‘unconventional’ paths. By leveraging her voice and platform, Brooke engages and educates audiences, emphasizing the importance of science in shaping the future.

When Freedom Speaks

When Freedom Speaks

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
When Freedom Speaks
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The First Amendment and freedom of speech are being battled daily. But the First Amendment is not just the written or spoken word, it’s also the freedom of expression. Lynn Greenky started her professional career as a lawyer. Ten years ago Lynn began teaching an undergraduate course about the First Amendment. She was disturbed about the lack of civics education in the U.S. Lynn is the author of When Freedom Speaks: The Boundaries and Boundlessness of Our First Amendment Right.

Mah Jongg and Grey Gardens

Mah Jongg and Grey Gardens

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Mah Jongg and Grey Gardens
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This week a fun, interesting, warm conversation with author and fellow podcaster Fern Bernstein. 2019 saw her debut memoir Mah Jongg Mondays: a memoir about friendship, love and faith. And this past October her second book Staunch: The Edies of Grey Gardens. Fern hosts the podcasts Mah Jongg Mondays and Grey Gardens: Don’t Just Be A Lady…Be A Legend.

Sick while single

Sick while single

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Sick while single
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Medical bias and discrimination come along with living single in a couple’s oriented society. Dr. Joan DelFattore is single by choice. She had never been moved to do anything, until they tried to kill her. That got her attention.

‘Diagnosed with stage 4 gallbladder cancer, I went to a well-known highly regarded medical oncologist and he really got on a tear about my family situation. When I said no to having a husband, children, siblings or living parents, he questioned how I would manage. I explained about the friends and extended family who had been very supportive through my surgery. My social support was more than many married people get from their spouse.’

A Mother’s Pursuit

A Mother’s Pursuit

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
A Mother's Pursuit
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Megan Nix is the author of Remedies for Sorrow: an Extraordinary Child, A Secret Kept from Pregnant Women, and a Mother’s Pursuit Of The Truth. Her daughter Anna was born very small and deaf. Anna has CMV (congenital cytomegalovirus). CMV is the leading cause of birth defects in the U.S., a virus contracted through a toddler’s saliva. The medical system doesn’t disclose the existence of CMV to the public.  It believes that additional stress during pregnancy could cause harm. A secret kept from pregnant women.

Making Love vs Porn

Making Love vs Porn

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Making Love vs Porn
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Making love, porn and sex education.

Add access to porn with society’s reluctance to talk about sex. The result, porn becomes sex education by default. In comes Cindy Gallop founder of MakeLoveNotPorn. ‘Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro-knowing the difference.’  A candid conversation on knowing the difference.

At the 2009 TED conference, Cindy launched the MakeLoveNotPorn web site in a 4-minute TEDTalk. Her talk has been described as “one of the event’s most talked about.” She later published a TED book, Make Love Not Porn: Technology’s Hardcore Impact on Human Behavior.

Intensity, Humor, LA & Kelly Sather

Intensity, Humor, LA & Kelly Sather

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Intensity, Humor, LA & Kelly Sather
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Debut short story author Kelly Sather’s ‘Small in Real Life’ explores the complexities of the human experience. The collection of nine short stories set in LA, Southern California, blends intensity and humor, invoking the myth and melancholy of L.A. glamour. Each story follows characters searching for power, fame, love, and redemption, no matter the consequences. 

Kelly Sather is a former entertainment lawyer and screenwriter. Her work has appeared in various publications, including Santa Monica Review, Pembroke Magazine, J Journal, PANK, and on ZYZZYVA. 

Sharing Voices and Podcasters

Sharing Voices and Podcasters

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Sharing Voices and Podcasters
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Sharing voices with a fellow podcaster. A few months ago, I was invited to be a guest on Jackie Tantillo’s podcast. The topic was one that I’ve often mentioned in passing but never delved into…my mom. Should Have Listened To My Mother … wonder what my boys would have to say?

‘Are you here today because of or in spite of your mother?’

How many of us have asked ourselves that question? How many of us are able to answer that question?

I became curious about Jackie and why she had chosen the name and subject. And so I invited Jackie to be my guest on ‘Sylvia & Me’. The great thing about hosting a podcast is being able to share our voices and our listeners. In today’s world, being able to explore and expand together is a wonderful feeling.

‘Are you here today because of or in spite of your mother?’

How many of us have asked ourselves that question? How many of us are able to answer that question?

I became curious about Jackie and why she had chosen the name and subject. And so I invited Jackie to be my guest on ‘Sylvia & Me’. The great thing about hosting a podcast is being able to share our voices and our listeners. In today’s world, being able to explore and expand together is a wonderful feeling.

A Trilogy, 3rd Time Around & Alka Joshi

A Trilogy, 3rd Time Around & Alka Joshi

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
A Trilogy, 3rd Time Around & Alka Joshi
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A Trilogy, 3rd Time Around and we have Internationally bestselling author Alka Joshi. The Jaipur Trilogy to be exact: The Henna Artist, The Secret Keeper of Jaipur and The Perfumist of Paris. 2020 saw the publication of Alka’s debut novel The Henna Artist, 10 years in the making. The last of the trilogy was released this past October. The rest is, as they say, history.

Named one of Forbes 2023 Women 50/50, Alka says ‘Life takes unexpected turns, and some only take place in your 60s.’

Alka Joshi is a graduate of Stanford University and received her MFA from the California College of the Arts. She has worked as an advertising copywriter, a marketing consultant and an  illustrator. Alka was born in India, in the state of Rajasthan. Her family moved to the USA when she was nine, and she now lives on California’s Monterey Peninsula with her husband and two misbehaving pups.

So Many Topics & Molly Wadzeck Kraus

So Many Topics & Molly Wadzeck Kraus

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
So Many Topics & Molly Wadzeck Kraus
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Molly Wadzeck Kraus is a freelance writer with ADHD who is always looking for an exciting topic or idea to spark her next hyper-fixation. She writes about mental health, parenting, politics, animal welfare, reproductive rights, pop culture, and dabbles in poetry & creative nonfiction. Born and raised in Waco, Texas, Molly currently resides in the Finger Lakes region of New York with her husband and three children.

When there’s so much to talk about, how do you choose? Molly caught my attention on Instagram. Reading her poem ‘Now that I have a son’ urged me to contact her. I knew there was a great conversation to be had. Turned out, I was right.

For our conversation I wanted to take a few of her essays and expand on each topic.

Erasing the Finish Line

Erasing the Finish Line

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Erasing the Finish Line
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Ana Homayoun’s latest book Erasing the Finish Line: The New Blueprint for Success Beyond Grades and College Admission explores erasing the faulty finish line. Explaining how we can help children build their own blueprint for success, Ana discusses important skills.

Executive functioning skills

Building social capital and fostering genuine connections
Buoyancy – the ability to bounce back from disappointments

Banned Books and Young Adults

Banned Books and Young Adults

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Banned Books and Young Adults
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SOLD by Patricia (Patty) McCormick is one of the most banned books for the 2022 – 2023 school year. It’s the story of a 13-year-old girl in India who is sold into sexual slavery. The book addresses the global issue of child trafficking. There is no graphic dialogue in the book.

Patty writes for the YA (young adult) audience. She is the author of several critically acclaimed novels. Her novels vary in topic including genocide, self-harm, and child trafficking. Banning books on such topics does a disservice to our youth. When Patty speaks at schools, young adults realize they are not alone.

Married vs Nonmarital

Married vs Nonmarital

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Married vs Nonmarital
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Jaclyn Geller, Ph.D. – Embracing Nonmarital History

Jaclyn Geller, Ph. D. is an expert in the field of marriage research and marriage history. She is the author of Moving Past Marriage: Why We Should Ditch Marital Privilege, End Relationship-Status Discrimination, and Embrace Nonmartial History.

A person can be in a committed relationship and not want to get married. And it’s not because they are against marriage. The bonds that create a family are there. They just don’t want to get married.

Food, Glorious Food & Cole Kazdin

Food, Glorious Food & Cole Kazdin

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Food, Glorious Food & Cole Kazdin
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For most of us (especially women), our relationship with food is complex, as is our perception of what we should look like. To break it all down, I spoke with Cole Kazdin, Award-winning journalist and author of What’s Eating Us: Women, Food, and the Epidemic of Body Anxiety.

Women of all ages and backgrounds struggle with a preoccupation with food and body anxiety. Cole was one of those women. She suffered from disordered eating. People would tell her how great she looked and asked for her secret. Her secret was quite a secret…she purged after eating.

Lisa Cornwell Gutsy Woman & ‘Troublemaker’

Lisa Cornwell Gutsy Woman & ‘Troublemaker’

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Lisa Cornwell Gutsy Woman & 'Troublemaker'
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‘Troublemaker: A Memoir of Sexism, Retaliation, and the Fight They Didn’t See Coming’ written by Lisa along with Tucker Booth. Lisa tells her story of a toxic working environment. It’s a story that so many have lived through. A story that not many have the courage or the ability to take the repercussions that come along with using your voice.

Lisa Cornwell is an Award-winning on-air sports media reporter. The trouble came to a head after seven years with the Golf Channel. December 31, 2020 was her last day at the Golf Channel. So on January 1, 2021 Lisa was ‘free to speak up for the many women who have been marginalized, belittled, berated and treated like second class citizens’. She had been one of those women. Now she was giving a voice to women. And not just in the field of sports media, but to all women working in a toxic environment.

We’re Back! Season 15 On It’s Way

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
We're Back! Season 15 On It's Way
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We’re Back! It’s almost the end of summer. Labor Day is around the corner and so our hiatus is coming to an end. And a new season of my podcast is upon us.

Tuesday, September 5th, Sylvia & Me is back with more extraordinary and inspiring women:

Lisa Cornwell – Award-winning on-air sports reporter and author of Troublemaker: A Memoir of Sexism, Retaliation, and the Fight They Didn’t See Coming 

Cole Kazdin – Four-time Emmy winning television journalist and author of What’s Eating Us: Women, Food and the Epidemic of Body Anxiety

Jaclyn Geller, PHD – Associate Professor of English at Central Connecticut State University and author of Moving Past Marriage: Why We Should Ditch Marital Privilege, End Relationship-Status Discrimination, and Embrace Nonmarital History

And this is just the beginning. There’s nothing I love more than having conversations with extraordinary, inspiring women.

Thankful for Our Voice – Wendy Walker & Sylvia Beckerman

Thankful for Our Voice – Wendy Walker & Sylvia Beckerman

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Thankful for Our Voice - Wendy Walker & Sylvia Beckerman
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What better way to give thanks to being able to use your voice. International bestselling author Wendy Walker sets out to interview me, Sylvia Beckerman, CEO & Founder Life Après and Après Divorce. Author of psychological thrillers, Wendy has been a guest on the podcast numerous times and a speaker at several Life Après and Après Divorce events. So the question is…who better to uncover the story behind the story?

Why the journeys? And what was the beginning? 135 episodes later…135 extraordinary women and now for some answers. How a shy, divorced, single working mom of two found her voice and in turn, created a platform for so many women. A journey that started at the age of 65 and I’m still going strong six years later. Who knows what’s next.

Tova Friedman – Holocaust Survivor – Never Forget

Tova Friedman – Holocaust Survivor – Never Forget

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Tova Friedman - Holocaust Survivor - Never Forget
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Tova Friedman, ‘Daughter of Auschwitz’, is one of the youngest survivors of the Holocaust. She wants us to never forget. Never forget the innocent children who were murdered during the Holocaust.  Together with Malcolm Brabant, Tova is the co-author of ‘The Daughter of Auschwitz’, her story of resilience, survival and hope.

From the age of one, Tova lived through the Holocaust. In 1945 at the age of 6, along with other children in her barrack in Auschwitz, Tova entered the crematorium. A glitch took place and the children were told to get dressed and return to their barracks.

The Janes…Ep 134 Part 2…Feminist Underground Abortion Service

The Janes…Ep 134 Part 2…Feminist Underground Abortion Service

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
The Janes...Ep 134 Part 2...Feminist Underground Abortion Service
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We continue our conversation with Laura Kaplan, author of The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service. A member of the Abortion Counseling Service, code name Jane, Laura recounts the evolution of the organization. And the power of women helping women. Jane was a feminist underground of  diverse women who provided low-cost abortion services, counseling and referrals before abortion was legalized in 1973. With the Dobbs decision and the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the story is one that we are reliving.

Part 2 of our conversation…how the women took control after learning the doctor wasn’t a real doctor. The arrest of 7, the passing of Roe v. Wade and the underground. 

The  Janes: ’70’s Underground Feminist Abortion Service, Part 1

The Janes: ’70’s Underground Feminist Abortion Service, Part 1

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
The Janes: '70's Underground Feminist Abortion Service, Part 1
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Laura Kaplan was one of the members of the 1970’s underground abortion service, Abortion Counseling Service of Women’s Liberation. Code name ‘Jane’, the Chicago based organization was a place for women seeking an abortion. There they could find a level of protection and financial help. Laura is the author of The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service.

Family Business & Cindi Bigelow

Family Business & Cindi Bigelow

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Family Business & Cindi Bigelow
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Cindi Bigelow is the 3rd generation President and CEO of the family-owned Bigelow Tea company. She was born with the name. But name alone does not make for sustainability at the top. It takes the skill and determination to make themselves better every day. For over 25 years, Cindi has made sure that she’s better and better every day.

Bigelow Tea is the national market leader of specialty teas. Cindi’s initiatives have included leading the company’s greening efforts.  Conserving water and natural gas earned Bigelow Tea’s 2012 designation of being a ‘Zero Wat to Landfill’ company.

Pride vs Persistence – Reimagining ‘Pride & Prejudice’

Pride vs Persistence – Reimagining ‘Pride & Prejudice’

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Pride vs Persistence - Reimagining 'Pride & Prejudice'
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Reimagining Jane Austen’s 1813 Pride & Prejudice, New York Times bestselling author Sayantani DasGupta gives us her debut YA novel –  Debating Darcy. Sayantani moves the story to the 21st century. It’s set in the ultra competitive world of high school speech and debate tournaments. Debating Darcy explores the class conflict between private and public schools and the diverse world of American high school culture. Pride vs persistence. Sayantani allows her female characters to do all the things that their 1813 counterparts couldn’t.

Sayantani DasGupta is the author of the critically acclaimed, Bengali folktale and string theory – inspired Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond books. She is also the author of She Persisted: Virginia Apgar, a part of Chelsea Clinton’s She Persisted series. A pediatrician by training, Sayantani currently teaches at Columbia University.

Rachel Vail, Author & Big Feelings

Rachel Vail, Author & Big Feelings

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Rachel Vail, Author & Big Feelings
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Rachel Vail’s picture books explore the power of Big Feelings. The pandemic has turned the lives of children and parents upside down. We’re in the midst of a mental health crises. For some children the start of the school year across the United States can be terrifying, Most have been out of the loop of social interaction with other children. Rachel’s latest picture book Sometimes I Grumblesquinch explores, in just a few words the emotional metamorphosis of growing up.

It’s a book to be read by parents to their children with parents learning the complexity of helping children dealing with big feelings by exploring the key to Social Emotional Skills. It’s okay to share thoughts and seek comfort from adults.   A must read for parents as they read to their children.

Lisa Bradshaw, Author & Storyteller, Don’t Wait

Lisa Bradshaw, Author & Storyteller, Don’t Wait

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Lisa Bradshaw, Author & Storyteller, Don't Wait
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Lisa Bradshaw – author, storyteller, cancer survivor, TEDx speaker, mom and TV host. Lisa is the founder of The DON’T WAIT Project®, a nonprofit organization. Its purpose – raising community awareness about the impact of positive life choices. Lisa is all about empowering youth through positive media. She has built a career as a storyteller by searching for the balance between loss and trauma and what can be gained from the lessons learned before, during and after these experiences. She is the author of Big Shoes: A Young Widowed Mother’s Memoir. 

Lisa hosts a television talk show and travels throughout the country meeting people who have their own Don’t Wait story. She’s been a guest on national television and radio. Lisa’s story has been featured in multiple print media outlets and online, including Oprah.com, The Rachael Ray Show, Oprah Radio, The Good Life, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms and more.

Andie Swim and Demi Moore

Andie Swim and Demi Moore

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Andie Swim and Demi Moore
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Swimwear and women. Let’s go to the archives with Melanie Travis, co-founder of Andie Swim. Melanie had a need to find a swimsuit that made her feel empowered. It was for a business weekend. She needed empowered, awesome and appropriate all rolled into one. And so the beginning of Andie Swim. A recent collaboration has taken place with actress Demi Moore. A new swimsuit line of glamor, vintage and sexy has been added. Challenging the way we view aging women with swimwear.

That episode was #60 having aired January 20, 2021. I’d read about Melanie’s vision to create a positive experience for women and swimsuits. Her vision turned out to be a winner and so the creation of Andie Swim. You know, swimsuits for all women, all shapes, and sizes. Suits that were suitable for lounging, company parties or just feeling good about yourself. 

Take a listen. If you have a vision, go ahead and try to make it happen. And if you’re dreading the swimsuit experience…

Robin Benoit, Sorority Alumna, Author

Robin Benoit, Sorority Alumna, Author

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Robin Benoit, Sorority Alumna, Author
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Robin Benoit, Sorority Alumna, Author, Sisterhood

Robin’s first-two books were non-fiction. The Eighty-Year-Old Sorority Girls is her third book, a novel. Based on sisterhood, Robin Benoit’s inaugural work of fiction is rooted in reality. Reality of her mother’s Alzheimer’s and her knowledge of the necessity of support and sisterhood. There are many stereotypes of what a sorority is. Sorority = friendship, sisterhood, support and always showing up.

With a degree in Journalism/Public Relations, Robin established her career in public and community relations for non-profit agencies and corporations. Robin’s first book followed the success of her daughter Jillian’s vision therapy, Jillian’s Story: How Vision Therapy Changed My Daughter’s Life. Her second Robin co-authored with her daughter, Dear Jillian: Vision Therapy Changed My Life Too. Both books are stapes in optometry offices across the country and around the globe.

Author Annie Hartnett & Unlikely Animals

Author Annie Hartnett & Unlikely Animals

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Author Annie Hartnett & Unlikely Animals
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Award-winning author Annie Hartnett and UNLIKELY ANIMALS. Annie’s first novel,  RABBIT CAKE was listed as one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2017. RABBIT CAKE is currently under option with Amazon Studios. Annie’s second novel, UNLIKELY ANIMALS published this April, was Good Housekeeping magazine and Amerie’s Book club April selection. And an April Indie Next pick.

Annie is a writer with a passion. Sometimes you stumble across the unexpected. For Annie that stumble resulted in UNLIKELY ANIMALS.

Annie has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Associates of the Boston Public Library. She holds degrees from the MFA program at the University of Alabama, Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English, and Hamilton College. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and dog.

No More! Moms Demand Action

No More! Moms Demand Action

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
No More! Moms Demand Action
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Mary Ann Jacob, a library clerk at the school, lived the horror of Sandy Hook 10 years ago.  There was an announcement over the school’s public address system. Not hearing it clearly, Mary Ann called the office. From under her desk, the secretary said: ‘There’s a shooter in the building.’ Boom, boom, boom! Mary Ann and a colleague sheltered 18 children in a closet.

It’s a public safety issue, not a political one. Mary Ann is a volunteer with Moms Demand Action, the grassroots arm of Everytown for Gun Safety. She is also a Survivor Fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network. Her husband is a hunter and a sports shooter. Their two boys were required to take a gun safety course with him.  Their guns are in their house under lock and key. The gun owners that Mary Ann knows believe that gun ownership comes with a grave responsibility.

There is a ripple effect of the mental destruction to survivors, educators, first responders, communities and the children and educators whose lives include lockdown and active shooter drills.

A conversation with Mary Ann Jacob that advocates for public safety – gun safety. It’s not political. Hear why we need to act.

‘Girlhood’ and Melissa Febos

‘Girlhood’ and Melissa Febos

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
'Girlhood' and Melissa Febos
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‘Girlhood’ and the unending assaults that young women face. What is the story that we tell about ourselves? Is it our own or is it what someone else has told us? Award winning author Melissa Febos, gives us first hand insight into what happens when we learn to adopt stories about ourselves. A physical metamorphosis at the early age of eleven changed how the world around her perceived her.

Melissa Febos is the author of four books, including the nationally bestselling essay collection, GIRLHOOD, which is a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist and won the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism. GIRLHOOD was named a notable book of 2021 by NPR, Time, The Washington Post, and others. Her craft book, BODY WORK (2022), was also a national bestseller and an Indie Next Pick.

Her essays have won prizes from Prairie Schooner, Story Quarterly, The Sewanee Review, and The Center for Women Writers at Salem College. She is a four-time MacDowell fellow.

Preserving History Through Dance

Preserving History Through Dance

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Preserving History Through Dance
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Rachel Linsky has found a new way to keep the history and the story of the Holocaust alive through dance…one step at a time. Using stories from survivors, Rachel choreographs and performs their stories. Her dancers come from all backgrounds and religions and their own interpretation is incorporated in the dance.

‘We hold this history of the Holocaust and the importance of keeping it alive. But if we all remain in our own community bubbles, studying only our histories how can we learn and keep the histories alive?’

Royalty or Foundling  & Family Secrets

Royalty or Foundling & Family Secrets

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Royalty or Foundling & Family Secrets
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Society tells us that we love our mothers. But what happens when that love isn’t there? Justine Cowan felt no love for her mother. No matter how she tried, she couldn’t feel that emotion. What Justine felt for her mother started out as fear. Over time the fear turned to anger and the anger turned to hatred. Hatred that held her back from learning a secret that her mother had tried to tell her. A secret that Justine’s mother had kept for decades.

Justine was in her 50’s when her mother died. She had grown up knowing a couple of things about her mother: her mother was illegitimate, and she came from aristocracy. Throughout her life, there was never any discussion about family. Her mother’s death changed all that. The woman who was known as Eileen Thompson was in fact Dorothy Soames. For the first 12 years of her life, Dorothy had lived at the Foundling Hospital short for London’s Hospital for the Maintenance and Education of Exposed and Deserted Young Children. Established in the 18th century, its mission was to save “bastard” children from death or a life on the streets. In reality, they were treated to a life of physical and emotional abuse.

Justine Cowan is the author of The Secret Life of Dorothy Soames – A True Story.

Mother’s Day and Kate Swenson

Mother’s Day and Kate Swenson

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Mother's Day and Kate Swenson
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A Mother’s Day Special with Kate Swenson, a very special mom.

Kate dreamed of being a mother from a very young age. While other young girls dreamed of being a ballerina or president, being a mother was hers. And that dream came true 11 years ago with the birth of her son, Cooper. Kate and her husband now have two more sons and a daughter. Her dream though came with an unexpected path. At the age of three, Cooper was diagnosed with nonverbal autism.

Kate is the creator of the blog and Facebook page Finding Cooper’s Voice and the author of the newly released Forever Boy: A Mother’s Memoir of Autism and Finding Joy. Yes, the word is JOY. Listen to a woman who exceeds our expectations of what motherhood is. Cooper now has a vocabulary of 20 words.

Food, Healthy Heart and Dr. Klodas

Food, Healthy Heart and Dr. Klodas

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Food, Healthy Heart and Dr. Klodas
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Dr. Klodas is a cardiologist who is looking to put herself out of business, as she would say. Why? Because, according to the CDC, 80% of all heart disease should not exist. It’s proved by people who live in what’s called ‘Blue Zones’ around the globe. They’re home to some of the oldest, healthiest, and happiest people. A large reason comes from how they manage what they eat.

After years of treating her patients with statins, she noticed that the overarching cause of their heart issues were not because of a deficiency of the right drugs, but deficiency of eating the right foods. With tenacity and willpower in her blood, she decided to go out on her own and do something about it.

Dreams to Reality, SCORE

Dreams to Reality, SCORE

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Dreams to Reality, SCORE
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With her passion for helping entrepreneurs and small business owners for over 30 years, Liz Sara shines in her new position as President of the SCORE Foundation. SCORE is a national free network of mentors for entrepreneurs and small business owners. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of SCORE. And Liz is the right person supporting its mission of mentoring and educating America’s small business owners.

When Liza Sara was a guest last year, she was just appointed by the President as the Chairperson of the National Women’s Business Council. The council is a non-partisan federal advisory committee that makes recommendations to Congress and The US SBA.

The Red Cross & Mary Barneby

The Red Cross & Mary Barneby

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
The Red Cross & Mary Barneby
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Mary Barneby finds herself among very notable women, Juliette, and Clara. The Girl Scouts and the American Red Cross share some history.  Both are over 100 years old, and both were started by women. Clara Barton was 60 when she founded the American Red Cross in 1881. Juliette Gordon Low was 52 when she founded the Girl Scouts of the United States of America in 1912. And back then, that was considered quite old. Did I mention…Mary is the Regional CEO of the American Red Cross, a journey she started in the mist of the pandemic, September 2020. For eight years prior to joining the Red Cross, Mary had been CEO for the Girl Scouts of Connecticut.

Our conversation covers so many areas  – from disasters to mental health and healing, to helping find those who are missing. During the pandemic, it helped many stay up-to-date in their career by volunteering in a variety of different areas.

Positivity, Alzheimer’s and Eugenia Zukerman

Positivity, Alzheimer’s and Eugenia Zukerman

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Positivity, Alzheimer's and Eugenia Zukerman
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Nearly four years ago, Eugenia was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Eugenia made the choice to be positive. A choice few can make.

Upon hearing the diagnosis, Eugenia returned home, stared at the wall, and started writing. The result, a book of poetry Like Falling Through a Cloud.  It follows her journey through her gradual cognitive impairment and memory loss.  Writing has helped Eugenia process the emotions that she has been dealing with since the beginning of her diagnosis.

Thinking & Nancy Colier

Thinking & Nancy Colier

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Thinking & Nancy Colier
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Thinking, thinking, thinking…we can’t stop thinking. When we talk about selfcare it usually contains words like diet and exercise. But what about our emotional care?

Nancy Colier is an author, psychotherapist, and mindfulness teacher. Her books include Can’t Stop Thinking and The Power of Off: The Mindful Way to Stay Sane in a Virtual World. Her newest book, The Emotionally Exhausted Woman: Why You’re Feeling Depleted and How to get What You Need will be released this fall. Nancy has been featured on Good Morning America, The New York Times and countless other media. She is also a regular writer, blogger for Psychology Today and Huffington Post.

Seeker of Lost Stories – Ruta Sepetys

Seeker of Lost Stories – Ruta Sepetys

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Seeker of Lost Stories - Ruta Sepetys
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Ruta Sepetys hadn’t known the depths of 1989 Romania, the maniacal dynasty of dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and the brave young Romanians who fought for their freedom. Being the daughter of a victim of communism, Ruta thought she knew about post-war communist systems and their history. On tour in Romania with her publisher promoting her first novel Between Shades of Gray Ruta had a rude awakening. Their translator was searching for listening devices.  She was checking the ashtray on the outside table they were sitting at in case the ‘blue-eyed boys’ were listening. That’s when Ruta learned about the more than 20 million Romanians who had suffered during Ceaușescu’s evil regime. 

Lauren Leader: Thought Leader, Activist, Author

Lauren Leader: Thought Leader, Activist, Author

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Lauren Leader: Thought Leader, Activist, Author
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Women’s rights, we sometimes forget the long journey that it has taken to get here. What we are presently faced with is a chipping away of what we consider our fundamental rights. Why is this happening and what can we do? For some answers I turned to Lauren Leader. Lauren is passionate and obsessed with ensuring that women get the voice they deserve.

Lauren is an activist, thought leader and co-founder and CEO of the nonprofit All In Together (AIT). AIT is one of the only national, nonpartisan organizations empowering and mobilizing women across the political spectrum to become advocates and leaders at work and in their communities.

Fixed & The Art of Perception

Fixed & The Art of Perception

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Fixed & The Art of Perception
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Art and problem solving, I can’t imagine what one has to do with the other. I never thought that looking at art could help solve a problem. That is, until I had a conversation with Amy Herman, a recovering attorney, author, and art historian, amongst other things.

Remember when ‘Where’s Waldo’ was a thing? Or looking for where caricaturist Al Hirschfield hid the name of his daughter, Nina in his drawings?  We were looking to solve a problem in a way. Maybe we were waging a bet to see who could find Waldo and Nina. There were times when I knew I couldn’t find either. But what if we took a step back and instead of knowing what we were looking for, we needed to find figure out what we didn’t see?

International Women’s Day 2022

International Women’s Day 2022

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
International Women's Day 2022
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Today we’re celebrating International Women’s Day, March 8, 2022. With a number of themes running through today, I thought I would pick a few and spotlight some of the extraordinary women I have had the privilege to have on this podcast. A clip of conversation is included.

Birth, Born, Midwifery and Ahri Golden

Birth, Born, Midwifery and Ahri Golden

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Birth, Born, Midwifery and Ahri Golden
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Ahri Golden asked me how I came upon her and why I wanted to have a conversation with her. My answer was simple…I had read one of her posts about motherhood and being a woman. Then I learned about her, and Birth and Born and Delve and Shades of Gray and Stillpoint and I listened to the beautiful melody and words of Smitten.

Lean into change, lean into life – it’s a powerful act. Realizing we’re not alone. Interweaving of conversation leads to a conversation that is so needed. And there’s not one right way.

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln: OB/Gyn, Sex Ed & Busting Myths

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln: OB/Gyn, Sex Ed & Busting Myths

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Dr. Jennifer Lincoln: OB/Gyn, Sex Ed & Busting Myths
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‘Misinformation goes viral much quicker than the good old-fashioned truth.’

The first thing that jumped out at me as needing clarification had to do with birth control. It was the weirdest thing that was going viral – the idea that melatonin (quote-unquote) ‘cancels out your birth control.’

And so, Dr. Jennifer Lincoln went viral – viral with facts. Jennifer is a board-certified OB GYN who uses social media to educate and bust myths. She’s the sex education educator who should be in every school. No shame, no judgment, Dr. Lincoln demystifies sex ed and breaks down stigmas. Her passion is helping girls, women and those assigned female at birth to understand their bodies and feel empowered to advocate for themselves.

Never Forget – The Holocaust

Never Forget – The Holocaust

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Never Forget - The Holocaust
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Never Forget – The Holocaust – it really happened. Ariana Neumann uncovered the secrets that her father held tight. She put together the pieces of a puzzle he left behind. Ariana is the author of the When Time Stopped, A Memoir of My Father’s War and What Remains, a New York Times Bestseller.

Ariana tells a family memoir, a love story and the unbelievable heroism that members of her family had taken. Her father had actually hidden ‘in plain site’ during the Holocaust to escape the Nazis. Among her discoveries are family members that she had not known anything about.

Watches were something that her father collected. While hiding he would crack open his watch to make sure that time had not stopped. As Ariana write: ‘I realize that without having meant to search for them in particular, I finally have found my family.”

Mia Dillon: Broadway Actress & Reinventor

Mia Dillon: Broadway Actress & Reinventor

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Mia Dillon: Broadway Actress & Reinventor
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Mia Dillon made her Broadway debut in Hugh Leonard’s Da in 1978 and never looked back. Her work has included Once Upon a Catholic, Crimes of the Heart (Tony Award nomination), Agnes of God, The Corn is Green and Our Town. There are of course her screen and television credits throughout her career.

I had the pleasure of an interesting and fun conversation with Broadway actress Mia Dillon. What drew me to her? The story of a 10-year-old with a flute, a passion, positive attitude, and drive. Put that all together, add some realism and you have a Tony nominated Broadway actress. Oh, and did I mention, she is also a licensed acupuncturist with a Masters in Oriental Medicine. As Mia says…Life doesn’t end at 40. Sometimes it’s just getting started.’

‘Our Table’ and Peter H. Reynolds

‘Our Table’ and Peter H. Reynolds

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
'Our Table' and Peter H. Reynolds
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Peter H. Reynolds is my guest on this week’s episode of ‘Sylvia & Me.’ That’s right, a MAN! You see, Peter is a New York Times bestselling children’s book author and illustrator. I received an advance copy of his latest picture book ‘Our Table’. Within five minutes of reading it, I realized that this book needs to be read to children because the adult reading it needs to learn what it offers. And then I went back and read Peter’s other books, including his award winning ‘The Dot’.

Dystopian Pandemic and Ally Condie

Dystopian Pandemic and Ally Condie

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Dystopian Pandemic and Ally Condie
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Dystopian and The Pandemic

What do they have in common? The word ‘dystopian’ comes to mind: ‘relating to or being an imagined world or society in which people lead fearful lives.

The difference: The last year and a half – real and full of fear. Matched was imagined. Ally’s message to her audience, young and old: it’s okay to not be okay.

Matched, a dystopian young adult novel has been read by a wider readership than the young adult population. The first in a series of three, it has been compared to ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Twilight’.

Family, Food and Cooking

Family, Food and Cooking

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Family, Food and Cooking
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It’s that time again – coming up on Thanksgiving. Yes, we’re on hiatus but as promised, you’ve asked and we’re re-airing some of our extraordinary women. And right now who better than Ida Morris, CEO of the Morris Family Kitchen. She’s MacGuyver and Mary Poppins rolled into one amazing lady.

An inspiration for bringing food and family together, Ida is the perfect episode for right now. We originally aired this episode over a year ago during the height of the pandemic.

Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy.

Climate Crisis and Children

Climate Crisis and Children

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Climate Crisis and Children
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A year ago we aired a conversation with Harriet Shugarman about the climate crisis and children. The COP26 climate conference has just taken place. What better time re-air this episode?  Known as ‘ClimateMama’ Harriet spoke about children and the crisis.

Abortion & The Turnaway Study

Abortion & The Turnaway Study

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Abortion & The Turnaway Study
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Abortion and a women’s right to choose. Harmful legal decisions in Texas have brought a women’s right to choose front and center. What will the Supreme Court decide? Can we save Roe vs Wade?
 
 Dr. Diana Greene Foster, PhD headed the Turnaway Study, a ten year study. She is the author of Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having – or Being Denied – an Abortion.

What I’ve Learned

What I’ve Learned

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
What I've Learned
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This week I’m Sylvia and I’m ‘Me’. Two years ago I spoke to an extraordinary woman. Since then, I’ve spoken to over 100 women. 100 ordinary women doing extraordinary things. I didn’t set out with a specific goal in mind. But it turned out that as smart as I may have thought I am, I learned something new and different from each of these women.

Liz Sara: Women Entrepreneurship and the Pandemic

Liz Sara: Women Entrepreneurship and the Pandemic

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Liz Sara: Women Entrepreneurship and the Pandemic
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Women entrepreneurs and business owners, and the pandemic. For insight, we turned to an expert in the field, Elizabeth (Liz) Sara. Liz currently serves as the Chairperson of the National Women’s Business Council, having been nominated for the position by President Trump in 2018.

The Council is a non-partisan federal advisory committee serving as an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the President, the U.S. Congress and to the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration on issues of importance to women business owners and entrepreneurs.

Therese Plummer: Strong, Inspiring & Determined

Therese Plummer: Strong, Inspiring & Determined

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Therese Plummer: Strong, Inspiring & Determined
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This week is all about a strong, inspiring woman. A horrid, nearly fatal car crash isn’t keeping her down. I’m talking about Therese Plummer, a storyteller, performer of audiobooks and a woman who is an inspiration. In honor of Therese and wishing her a speedy recovery, here’s our conversation from this past January.

A very candid conversation with an amazing actor, storyteller and all around extraordinary woman. Therese has helped many of us to be able to escape, even for just a little while during these wild times. Amazing, but it was her mother who pushed her into this field.

Jennifer Jelliff-Russell: Pandemic & Female Veterans Workforce

Jennifer Jelliff-Russell: Pandemic & Female Veterans Workforce

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Jennifer Jelliff-Russell: Pandemic & Female Veterans Workforce
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Today’s guest is Jennifer Jelliff-Russell. Jennifer calls herself a military brat and spouse. An advocate for female veterans, Jennifer’s mission in life is helping them re-enter the workforce and civilian life. She realized this after working at Fort Campbell’s Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program (TAP).

And Jennifer didn’t stop there. She also took a position as an Employment Coach at Wounded Warrior Project. There she had the opportunity to work with both veterans and their caregivers.

Chandra Sanders: ‘The Mom Project’

Chandra Sanders: ‘The Mom Project’

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Chandra Sanders: 'The Mom Project’
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Working moms have been hit hard during the pandemic and the resulting financial crisis. Some of the hardest hit have been moms of color.  Chandra Sanders, a single mom of three lost her job during the pandemic. Turning to ‘The Mom Project’ as a resource to help her, she found more than just a job.

‘The Mom Project’s’ mission is to connect moms with world-class companies. And so as they say… ‘timing is everything’ and for Chandra the timing was perfect. ‘The Mom Project’ was hiring, Chandra applied and was hired. The result – Chandra is Director of their new program ‘Rise’. Her goal is to provide economic opportunities to 10,000 women in the next three years. They just started and already have over 500 moms who have benefited from the program.

Chandra Sanders’ mission is to get moms back into the workforce. She’s committed to helping moms and specifically, women of color access to economic opportunities and influence. Flexibility, adapting skills to fit a need and training…all the tools that are needed for moms, Rise offers.

Dr. Alisa Stephens-Shields: Women in the Sciences and the Pandemic

Dr. Alisa Stephens-Shields: Women in the Sciences and the Pandemic

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Dr. Alisa Stephens-Shields: Women in the Sciences and the Pandemic
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Dr. Alisa Stephens-Shields is an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a mom of an infant and a 5-year-old. The field of science has always been a struggle for female scientists to break into. On top f that, add being a mom to the mix and that struggle becomes a whole lot more challenging. A female scientist, mom and a woman of color and you’re looking at a very rocky path. And that was before the pandemic. 

Alisa’s job is demanding. It is technical and detail oriented. It involves long uninterrupted hours of thought. How was she able to do her job and take care of her family during this unprecedented pandemic?

Tanya Selvaratnam: Writer, Artist, Activist, ‘Assume Nothing’

Tanya Selvaratnam: Writer, Artist, Activist, ‘Assume Nothing’

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Tanya Selvaratnam: Writer, Artist, Activist, 'Assume Nothing'
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‘Intimate Violence’ is a term that is not well known. Tanya Selvaratnam is changing that in a big way. Her recently published memoir ‘Assume Nothing: A Story of Intimate Violence’ is her story. A story of a committed relationship and the ‘intimate violence’ she endured.

Meet the woman who helped bring down former NYC Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman. Tanya met Schneiderman at the Democratic National Convention. It started off as a fairytale romance that quickly turned into a nightmare.

Poet Maggie Smith

Poet Maggie Smith

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Poet Maggie Smith
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A perfect way to start the fall season – Let’s revisit and in case you missed it.

Maggie Smith is the award-winning poet and author of Good Bones. This week saw the release of her latest collection of poems, Goldenrod. Maggie is the author of the national bestseller Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change. In addition, Maggie is the author of The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison, and Lamp of the Body, Maggie’s poems and essays are widely published and anthologized. They’ve appeared in Best American Poetry, the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, the Washington Post, the Guardian, and elsewhere. Good Bones went viral internationally when Meryl Streep read it live at Lincoln Center.

Author Sharon G. Flake

Author Sharon G. Flake

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Author Sharon G. Flake
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Summer Break – Let’s revisit and in case you missed it.

Sharon G. Flake is a multi-award winning young adult and children’s author. She is a three-time winner of the Coretta Scott King award. Her latest book, The Life I’m In follows her groundbreaking debut novel The Skin I’m In. The impact of her debut novel more than 20 years ago, is felt today. Sharon’s books withstand the test of time. It was a given that a sequel was needed, even if it took her 20 years to be convinced of it.

Faith Ed & Linda K. Wertheimer

Faith Ed & Linda K. Wertheimer

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Faith Ed & Linda K. Wertheimer
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Summer Break – Let’s revisit and in case you missed it

Linda K. Wertheimer is an award-winning education journalist, essayist and author. Specifically, she is an educator teaching about religion…Faith Ed.. Not preaching, but teaching. And Linda makes sure that we understand the difference between preaching and teaching. Public schools are allowed to teach about religion. Teaching about different religions goes side by side with teaching about different cultures.

‘God was not kicked out of the schools. What was kicked out of the school was illegal preaching. Teachers have always been able to teach about religion, as a part of world history, a part of geography and a part of literature.’

‘The Babysitter’

‘The Babysitter’

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
'The Babysitter'
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Summer Break – Let’s revisit and in case you missed it

A summer story to end all all summer stories 

My Babysitter, My Summers With a Serial Killer is a chilling true story, part memoir and part crime investigation. Based on Liza’s summers as a child on the Cape, you won’t be able to put it down. It was the 60’s. Her babysitter was a kind, handsome handyman who took Liza and her sister on adventures. Adventures which included visits to his ‘secret garden.’ A secret garden which turned out to be where some of his victims were buried. And a babysitter who turned out to be charming, brutal psychopath. Before the term ‘serial killer’ was used.

Justice & Childhood Sexual Abuse

Justice & Childhood Sexual Abuse

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Justice & Childhood Sexual Abuse
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Summer Break – Let’s revisit and in case you missed it

Life with My Idiot Family: A True Story of Survival, Courage & Justice over Childhood Sexual Abuse, Kathy Picard’s story. 10 years of abuse by her stepfather.

The Abuse and Staying Silent

The abuse started when Kathy was 7 and lasted for 10 years. The grooming for the abuse took place at around the age of 5. Her abuser and rapist was her step-father, a person who she had been raised to believe was her father. He told her real bad things would happen if she told. At the age of 9 she told her grandmother who said’ we don’t talk about those things.’ And at the age of 28 she told her Aunt Judy who believed her but didn’t want to talk about it. Kathy promised her she wouldn’t until her Aunt died. Upon her Aunt Judy’s death, Kathy told everyone. Kathy wanted to make sure that if anything happened to her, he would be the first one they would look to.

Period. End of Sentence.

Period. End of Sentence.

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Period. End of Sentence.
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Summer break – Let’s revisit in case you missed it
‘A period should end a sentence, not a girl’s education.’

Accepting the 2019 Academy Award for producing the documentary Period. End of Sentence, Melissa Berton, founder of The Pad Project spoke those words. And so it was no leap to turn to New York Times bestselling author of The Red Tent and award winning journalist, Anita Diamant. With the foreword by Melissa, PERIOD. END OF SENTENCE. The Next Chapter in the Fight for Menstrual Justice, Anita explores menstrual issues and period poverty around the globe.

Poet Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith: Award-Winning Poet

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Maggie Smith: Award-Winning Poet
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Maggie Smith is the award-winning poet and author of Good Bones. This week saw the release of her latest collection of poems, Goldenrod. Maggie is the author of the national bestseller Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change. In addition, Maggie is the author of The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison, and Lamp of the Body,   Maggie’s poems and essays are widely published and anthologized. They’ve appeared in Best American Poetry, the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, the Washington Post, the Guardian, and elsewhere. Good Bones went viral internationally when Meryl Streep read it live at Lincoln Center.

Alka Joshi: Award-winning Author ‘The Secret Keeper of Jaipur’

Alka Joshi: Award-winning Author ‘The Secret Keeper of Jaipur’

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Alka Joshi: Award-winning Author ‘The Secret Keeper of Jaipur’
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New York Times bestselling author Alka Joshi has done it again with The Secret Keeper of Jaipur. A sequel to her award winning debut novel The Henna Artist, Alka takes us on a journey with Malik. A street child in her previous novel, Malik is now a grown man living a life among the wealthy. As with The Henna Artist, Alka explores the culture among the classes in India.

Kate Biberdorf aka Kate the Chemist, Author ‘It’s Elemental’

Kate Biberdorf aka Kate the Chemist, Author ‘It’s Elemental’

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Kate Biberdorf aka Kate the Chemist, Author ‘It’s Elemental'
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Dr. Kate Biberdorf is the author of It’s Elemental: The Hidden Chemistry in Everything. Best known as Kate the Chemist, Kate is a chemistry professor, author, scientist and ultimate Science Entertainer. A self-proclaimed pyromaniac, Kate’s is on a mission to show young girls that you can be a fashionista, wear makeup and be a brilliant scientist and chemistry nerd all rolled into one.

Judith Marks-White: Journalist, Freelance Writer, Author

Judith Marks-White: Journalist, Freelance Writer, Author

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Judith Marks-White: Journalist, Freelance Writer, Author
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Life has a habit of throwing us curveballs. How we handle them can be the key to how we move forward. I turned to Judith Marks-White, for some wisdom. Judith is an award-winning journalist, freelance writer, and educator. Her award-winning column, ‘In Other Words’ appears monthly in the Westport News. Judith’s articles have appeared in magazines and newspapers throughout the country and she has contributed fiction articles to numerous children’s publications. Judith wrote two novels: Seducing Harry and Bachelor Degree and is the recipient of numerous writing awards.

Pam Jenoff: Author ‘The Woman with the Blue Star’

Pam Jenoff: Author ‘The Woman with the Blue Star’

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Pam Jenoff: Author 'The Woman with the Blue Star'
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Pam is the New York Times bestselling author of The Woman With The Blue Star, The Lost Girls of Paris, The Orphan’s Tale, The Kommandant’s Girl, The Diplomat’s Wife, The Ambassador’s Daughter, The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach, The Winter Guest, The Things We Cherished, Almost Home, and A Hidden Affair. She also authored a short story in the anthology Grand Central: Original Postwar Stories of Love and Reunion.

Faith Ed & Linda K. Wertheimer

Linda K. Wertheimer: Award-winning Education Journalist, Essayist & Author

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Linda K. Wertheimer: Award-winning Education Journalist, Essayist & Author
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Linda K. Wertheimer is an award-winning education journalist, essayist and author. Specifically, she is an educator teaching about religion. Not preaching, but teaching. And Linda makes sure that we understand the difference between preaching and teaching. Public schools are allowed to teach about religion. Teaching about different religions goes side by side with teaching about different cultures.

‘God was not kicked out of the schools. What was kicked out of the school was illegal preaching. Teachers have always been able to teach about religion, as a part of world history, a part of geography and a part of literature.’

Linda has traveled throughout the country finding out how teachers are teaching religion. Knowledge is key to how we act and live our lives among one another. ‘In order to be a global citizen, you need to be religiously literate.’

A very educational and important conversation with Linda:
A young girl, a teacher and that’s not my religion
Mothering and speaking out
Teaching vs preaching
Public schools and religion
Varying ways of teaching
Becoming religiously literate
Fighting religious bigotry
Linda and Faith Ed

Linda is the award-author of Faith Ed. Teaching About Religion in an Age of Intolerance. Faith Ed focuses on public school’s ups and downs as they teach about world religions. Currently Linda is a Spencer Fellow in Education Journalism at Columbia University.

Linda is a veteran journalist and former Boston Globe education editor. During her nearly 30-year journalism career, she was a reporter at The Dallas Morning News and The Orlando Sentinel as well as for other publications. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, USA Today, Time, and many other publications. Linda has appeared on several NPR radio shows, including KERA’s Think in Dallas; Radio Boston; and LA’s Air Talk, as well a nationally televised program on CBS about religion and democracy.

Karen Gedney, MD: Author 30 Years Behind Bars: Trials of a Prison Doctor

Karen Gedney, MD: Author 30 Years Behind Bars: Trials of a Prison Doctor

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Karen Gedney, MD: Author 30 Years Behind Bars: Trials of a Prison Doctor
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30 Years Behind Bars: Trials of a Prison Doctor is Karen Gedney’s story, from her first day at the prison to her last. This next chapter for Karen is advocating for prison reform and mentoring children at risk. Now out of the system, Karen is able to make herself heard about the criminal justice system.

It wasn’t until 1976 that prisons had to offer medical care if there was a serious medical need. Not only was Karen one of the first doctors in a prison, but she was also one of the first female doctors. A male prison with male inmates and male guards. Two years into her start, Karen was taken hostage and raped by one of the inmates. And yet she stayed. She stayed through the Aids epidemic, through changing of guards, through years of years of change in the system. Karen stayed because she felt she was making a difference. And she did make a difference for so many of the inmates and their families.

A riveting conversation with Karen:
The beginning
A kidnapping and rape and the decision to stay
Rules, no rules and systems
Being a female in an all-male environment
She’s white, her husband is Black – they thought she gave preferential treatment to Black inmates
Evening programs and mentoring
The power of redemption
Seeing the results
Advocating for criminal justice & prison reform

Susan Bandes, Attorney, Emotions and the Law

Susan Bandes, Attorney, Emotions and the Law

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Susan Bandes, Attorney, Emotions and the Law
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From the start of her law education, Susan Bandes discovered that emotions and law are connected. She felt anger about the reasoning behind a decision that had been handed down by the courts. It was a case discussed in one of her first law classes. But Susan stayed silent. ‘I learned very quickly that if I said I was angry, I would be labeled as too emotional to be a good lawyer.’ On top of that, she was a minority of women in her class – ‘Emotion was going to be connected to my gender, women are just too emotional to be lawyers.’

Emotions come in all types. There’s anger, disgust, closure, fear, empathy, hate … just to name a few. Susan has spent the last 20 years examining the law and the claim that ‘it’s an emotion free zone.’ Can we really take our emotions out of decisions that are made?

For years Susan had been writing in the predominantly male fields of federal courts and criminal procedure. She was one of only two women on the list of the 20 most cited law professors in criminal law and procedure. But two Supreme Court cases flipped the switch and set her on the path she would follow for the next 20 years and counting: exploring the role of emotion in law.

A conversation with Susan and what we probably don’t think about
Holding back the anger and questions
A woman in a field of men
The law and emotions
Closure
Fear
A decision but no real data
Can it be an emotion free zone
Human behavior and all the assumptions
A Pioneer

Susan is a pioneer in the emerging study of the role of emotion in law. Her legal career began in 1976 at the Illinois Office of the State Appellate Defender. She became staff counsel for the Illinois A.C.L.U. in 1980 where she litigated a broad spectrum of civil rights cases. Susan helped draft and secure passage of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

Susan joined the DePaul faculty in 1984. She was named Distinguished Research Professor in 2003 and Centennial Distinguished Professor in 2012, Susan has authored over 50 articles and is among the most widely cited law professors in the field of criminal law and procedure. Her work appears in the Yale, Stanford, University of Chicago, Michigan and Southern California law reviews.

Period. End of Sentence.

Anita Diamant & Melissa Berton – ‘Period. End of Sentence’

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Anita Diamant & Melissa Berton – ‘Period. End of Sentence’
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‘A period should end a sentence, not a girl’s education.’

Accepting the 2019 Academy Award for producing the documentary Period. End of Sentence, Melissa Berton, founder of The Pad Project spoke those words. And so it was no leap to turn to New York Times bestselling author of The Red Tent and award winning journalist, Anita Diamant. With the foreword by Melissa, PERIOD. END OF SENTENCE. The Next Chapter in the Fight for Menstrual Justice, Anita explores menstrual issues and period poverty around the globe.

Susan Granger: Movie, Drama – Entertainment Critic

Susan Granger: Movie, Drama – Entertainment Critic

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Susan Granger: Movie, Drama - Entertainment Critic
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Susan Granger, a product of Hollywood, born into Hollywood ‘Royalty’.

A little name dropping here is more than okay. Let’s consider that her father, S. Sylvan Simon was director/producer at MGM and Columbia. After his sudden death while filming From Here to Eternity, Susan’s mother remarried and her step-father was Armand Deutsch, and MGM producer. Her godfathers were Red Skelton and Milton Berle. Lucille Ball carried her out of the hospital after she was born. Her horse was given to Elizabeth Taylor. Milton Berle set her up on a date with a newly arrived Elvis Presley. He brought her flowers and sang a Frank Sinatra song to her. And Errol Flynn read lines from Romeo and Juliet with her.

Having been born into the business, Susan knows it inside and out. Therefore, who better to be a movie and drama critic?

A fun and entertaining conversation with Susan:
Born in the Golden Age of Hollywood
Playing ‘let’s pretend’ and working with her father
King Charles, National Velvet & Elizabeth Taylor
A date with newbie Elvis Presley
Her stepdad and an honest conversation – actress vs journalist
Journalism and Pierre Salinger
Why an entertainment critic
History of the movie business
Women and them movie industry
Pandemic and its effect on the industry
Factors to look for when reviewing

‘What I looked for are films that would hold up over the years and be new to my children and grandchildren. And as the years go on, they would find them entertaining.’ (On how she chose the films for her book.)

For more than 25 years Susan has been bringing her unique perspective to the field of communication. Her commentaries, reviews and interviews are distributed around the world. Susan is also the author of 150 Timeless Movies where she reviews classic and contemporary timeless movies.

Susan has worked extensively doing speech and presentation coaching for top management and executives in several industries. Her articles have been published in WORKING WOMAN, PLAYBOY, THE NEW YORK TIMES, REDBOOK, LADIES HOME JOURNAL, FAMILY CIRCLE, TRAVEL AGENT, and COSMOPOLITAN…and many others.

Susan studied journalism with Pierre Salinger at Mills College. She then graduated with highest honors in journalism with a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Justice & Childhood Sexual Abuse

Kathy Picard: Childhood Sexual Abuse

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Kathy Picard: Childhood Sexual Abuse
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Life with My Idiot Family: A True Story of Survival, Courage & Justice over Childhood Sexual Abuse, Kathy Picard’s story. 10 years of abuse by her stepfather.

The Abuse and Staying Silent

The abuse started when Kathy was 7 and lasted for 10 years. The grooming for the abuse took place at around the age of 5. Her abuser and rapist was her step-father, a person who she had been raised to believe was her father. He told her real bad things would happen if she told. At the age of 9 she told her grandmother who said’ we don’t talk about those things.’ And at the age of 28 she told her Aunt Judy who believed her but didn’t want to talk about it. Kathy promised her she wouldn’t until her Aunt died. Upon her Aunt Judy’s death, Kathy told everyone. Kathy wanted to make sure that if anything happened to her, he would be the first one they would look to.

The stats are staggering:
1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are sexually abused
The average age of abuse is 12
Average disclosure age is 44
And the average years before disclosure is 32
 The statute of limitations for criminal proceedings is 43
The statute of limitations for civil proceedings is 53 thank to Kathy. It had been 21 up until her fight to get it changed.

The day after the civil statute of limitations changed from 21 to 53, by a unanimous vote, Kathy, who was 53, filed charges against her stepfather. In 2015 Kathy won her civil suit. She had the courage to call him a rapist to his face in the courtroom. Kathy is now on a mission to educate children that it’s okay to tell someone and keep telling until someone listens. And to educate police departments on talking to children who have been abused. Teachers and parents, friends and family all need to listen.

Kathy Picard is an inspiring award-winning advocate. Advocating for the prevention of childhood sexual abuse. Her work centers on increasing awareness of the harsh realities of sexual child abuse. She is a survivor, public speaker and public safety trainer. Kathy won an Unsung Heroin Award, the William Pynchon Award and the Zonta International’s Founder Day Award. All for her work and advocacy in the successful reform of the Massachusetts Statute of Limitations laws regarding sex crimes against children.

A very candid conversation with Kathy:
The start of the abuse
Telling her grandmother
Not speaking out
Finally breaking the silence
Answering those who said ‘Why now? It was such a long time ago. Can’t you just let it go?’
2002 the event that encouraged her
1-800 lawyer
The fight for justice and the change in the statute of limitations
Her day in court and finally saying the words to her abuser’s face ‘rapist’
Justice for that little girl
Her advocacy work

Tzvia Bader: CEO & Co-Founder TrialJectory

Tzvia Bader: CEO & Co-Founder TrialJectory

Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
Tzvia Bader: CEO & Co-Founder TrialJectory
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Tzvia Bader and TrialJectory

Tzvia Bader is the CEO and Co-Founder of TrialJectory. She is an experienced entrepreneur with decades of experience in business development, product marketing and strategy. Prior to TrialJectory, Tzvia headed the global business unit at Amdoc building new product strategy. She was the founder and CEO of KIDDOapp, and IOS and Android based family scheduling technology strategy and Vocativ, a start-up aiming to identify fake news in social media using advanced analytics. Tzvia holds a Msc (Masters of Science) degree from the University of Nottingham, Nottingham,UK.

TrialJectory – Matching Cancer Patients to Clinical Trials

With a diagnosis of malignant melanoma in hand, for Tzvia Bader this was not a battle that she could lose. Having been a technology executive for many years, she did what she knew best and turned to the internet. In her mind she had pictured a scenario similar to searching for a new house, like Zillow. Tzvia quickly discovered that this did not exist.

Tzvia learned that the process for patients to gain access to advanced treatments through clinical trials was completely broken. She mentioned this to her husband. His response: build one. And so Tzvia went about building TrialJectory. TrialJectory is democratizing access to advanced cancer treatment. Tzvia built an AI-Powered decision support platform empowering patients to own their own cancer journey. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) system helps patients understand all treatment options. In addition, it gives pharmaceutical companies transparency into patients’ needs and wants. And allows them to effectively design and recruit for clinical trials.

A very informative and hopeful conversation with Tzvia:
The cancer diagnosis and one oncologist
‘Zillow’ like search and the broken findings
 A caring oncologist and his limitations
Clinical trials making choices
Owning your journey
Breaking through the boundaries of fear
The formation of TrialJectory
Opening doors for patients
Research, technology and access to real data
Access and cost of clinical trials – it’s not what you think