Lauren Warren: Co-Host of Nerds of Prey Podcast on Women of Color in Gaming and Screenwriting

"I enjoy telling stories that reflect the world that I live in. I’m forming a production company and I’d like for every project on my slate to create opportunities for people to pursue their passions – especially for people in marginalized groups that have traditionally been or are prone to exclusion."

I was thrilled to interview, Lauren Warren, who is a writer, gamer, and one of the hosts of the Nerds of Prey podcastwho loves storytelling. In this interview, she shares about what makes the podcast unique, how her parents influenced her gaming, women of color in the gaming world, feminism and gaming, and her screenwriting ambitions. I'm excited about her continuous creations and their positive impact in nerd culture and the world!

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Khylen Steward: Independent Filmmaker on Her big dreams, Women of Color in Film, & Confidence
"I think I just started to figure out that while my dreams of making films were going to be hard to reach, they were definitely within reach."

I spoke with the wonderful, Khylen Steward, an independent filmmaker who recently created Creative Protest Films. Khylen shares about her big dreams in film, her recent experience at Sundance, women of color in film, and how she's gained confidence as a woman filmmaker. I have confidence that she will achieve her big dreams and continue to be a powerful force in the entertainment world.

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Dominick Evans: Filmmaking, Disability & Trans Visibility
"I fight for justice because I never want anyone to experience the very painful struggles I have had to endure. I want to make things better for future disabled kids, future generations of trans people, and anyone intersectional, marginalized, or who has otherwise been oppressed."

I was excited to interview Dominick because he's an important voice in the trans and disabled communities. He's a filmmaker in New York City working on an intriguing queer film and other interesting projects. Dominick shares about his experience as a disabled, trans man and the visibility and representation of disabled and trans persons on and off screen. I've been learning from Dominick since I started following him on Twitter, and this interview has opened my eyes and ears even wider. Dominick, also, hosts a Twitter chat called #FilmDis, which takes place on Saturday evenings.

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Skye Leigh: Life On the Road
"I can’t see myself ever going back to a typical “modern” way of life, I know at some point it will morph into something different, like living out of a backpack perhaps!"

I first met Skye in Berkeley, California. We bonded over both being from Colorado and having lived in similar parts of the U.S.-the Pacific Northwest, Florida, abroad. She didn't stay in Berkeley long. I thought Berkeley was her kind of place, but I quickly learned that there is no one kind of place for Skye. I had to let her go like when a beautiful butterfly lands on you and you wish it would stay forever. But, our value of friendship and love for travel kept us in touch. In this interview, Skye shares about how she left her corporate job over year ago to live a life on the road, favorite places she's traveled to, and what she's learned along the way.

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Talia Molé, Part 2: Giving a Platform to Childfree Women & Autonomous Education
"There’s something beautiful that happens when you come together as a community and you say all of the things that people are afraid to hear. But, because there’s power in numbers, it just gets louder and louder and louder. That platform to me is important because I just want it to get heavy. I want it to be filled with as many women as I can bring."

This week, I sat down with Lisa Hunter and Talia Mole, who are starting a nonprofit called Carved Space” in the San Francisco Bay Area. I met these two amazing women last year at the California Institute of Integral Studies (San Francisco) in the Anthropology and Social Change program, where they are getting their PhDs and where I graduated with my Master’s last May (2015).

Part 1 focused on the Carved Space nonprofit that Lisa and Talia are creating along with Lisa’s experience in the Navy and how that has helped create a veteran leg of the nonprofit. Part 2 focuses on Talia’s project that gives a platform to childfree women and on another nonprofit that she’s a part of about autonomous education.

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Lisa Hunter and Talia Molé, Part 1: Creating a Prosperous Community in Richmond, Calif., Helping Veterans Transition
"I felt the disconnect from my community, I felt the disconnect from people who look like me. I felt that I didn’t relate to people who look like me and it was pretty problematic. I had to educate myself on who I was and the world." 

This week, I sat down with Lisa Hunter and Talia Mole, who are starting a nonprofit called “Carved Space” in the San Francisco Bay Area. I met these two amazing women last year at the California Institute of Integral Studies (San Francisco) in the Anthropology and Social Change program, where they are getting their PhDs and where I graduated with my master’s last May (2015).

Part 1 focuses on the Carved Space nonprofit along with Lisa’s experience in the Navy and how that has helped create a veteran side of the nonprofit. Part 2 focuses on Talia’s project that gives a platform to childfree women, and another nonprofit that she’s a part of about autonomous education.

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Shannon Miller: Co-Host of Nerds of Prey Podcast, Women of Color in Comics & Nerd Culture, and Oscars So White
"...the most important thing for me is that my daughter has the opportunity to see other Black girls and women flourish in this atmosphere. It's also vital that she understand that the Black Girl identity doesn't exist as a monolith. All girls of color should have that."

This week, I got to interview the brilliant, Shannon Miller, about her upcoming podcast, Nerds of Prey, hosted by four Black women (Shannon, Lauren, CG, and Mel). Also, I asked her about women of color in nerd culture and comic books, and #OscarsSoWhite. In addition to her podcast, Shannon has a great blog about the representation of women on television.

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Joyce Shahboz from American Ninja Warrior
"Even during my regular workouts, guys would tell me they were impressed by how many pull ups I could do.  I always refrained from making snide remarks back."

Joyce Shahboz is one of the first women to compete on American Ninja Warriorand has been participating since season four. At 44 years old, she is also the oldest woman “to make it to Vegas and to the 5th obstacle.” She’s a role model for everyone.

I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with her when she stood right next to me at Team Ninja Warrior. I was there for the taping to watch the competition live and cheer on all the ninjas! Joyce was grounded, calm, and down-to-earth, like many of the ninjas. We talked about when she first got on the show, how she gets nervous before competing and how facing the obstacles has helped her conquer her fear of heights.

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Michelle Warnky from American Ninja Warrior
"There are definitely times I’ve heard negative comments about me not being strong enough, not sure if that was because I am a girl or because they just didn’t think I was strong enough, but I always try to use the negative comments to give me more motivation and not be brought down by them."

Michelle Warnky is one of the rockstars on American Ninja WarriorShe was the second woman to ever complete a city qualifying course making history for women on the show.

I met Michelle at the taping of Team Ninja Warrior in Long Beach, CA. While I didn't chat with her much in person, I experienced her to be sweet as pie, genuinely full of joy and grateful to her fans.

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