This is the fifth episode in our ongoing series What Matters Most in America.
Dr. Stephanie Royal serves as Managing Director at the Robin Hood Foundation in NYC. She has a breadth of experience in the corporate, government and non-profit sectors. Stephanie is a visionary leader with a proven ability to create and monitor programs, policies and practices that drive organizational success. Stephanie has long been committed to creating social impact, whether in the workplace or in communities in which she lived. She has been committed to anti-bias work, helping individuals and organizations delve deep into the social construct of racism and “other-isms”. She helps organizations create inclusive cultures where differences are valued and honored. Stephanie also coaches individuals by creating environments marked by trust and safety. She encourages “courageous conversations” in order for people to better understand their own identities and how that identity shapes their overall participation within a group.
As a senior executive at Robin Hood, her work has been marked by her human centered approach to the design and implementation of strategy and the development of internal policies, processes and measurement tools, all driven by the overall mission: to sustainably and measurably lift NYC households out of poverty.
Stephanie started her career in investment banking, working for a boutique investment firm focused on corporate finance. The next phase of her career was grounded in education – Kindergarten through College. Stephanie gained national recognition for curricular design and the development of workforce programs for people experiencing poverty. She gained statewide recognition in New Jersey for her advocacy work aimed at addressing the academic achievement gap. Stephanie is also an entrepreneur, founding and then selling a company that created a unique line of women’s foundation garments.
Stephanie is a proud graduate of the University of Virginia. She earned her doctorate from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York.
Monica Berg (read her latest book!), a self-professed Change Junkie, shares her combination of wisdom and real-life awareness with talks found compelling to a wide range of men and women at different stages in their lives. She leads people to not only see how they can change (change is the only constant in life) but inspires them to get excited about a lifestyle of change.
Monica Berg is the author of Fear Is Not an Option and serves as Chief Communications Officer for Kabbalah Centre International. She lives in New York with her husband Michael and their children David, Joshua, Miriam, and Abigail.
Mother, wife, sister, daughter, teacher and friend, Monica integrates all that she is into her mission of sharing with others, what she’s discovered. Monica is a fresh voice that channels the powerful internal spark of Light living within us all. Authentic and fearless, she reminds us of our extraordinary potential and pushes us onward with compassion and understanding.
While informed by her many years of kabbalistic study, Monica also draws heavily on her own personal life experiences. She battled and overcame a debilitating eating disorder at a young age, and as a mother of four children, one of whom has special needs, she has become an outspoken advocate for him and others struggling to find their voice.
With her trademark blend of humor, insight, and honesty, she shows individuals how to create a life that feels like it is working, like it makes sense, and most importantly, a life in which they are living and loving as the powerful, fulfilled person they’ve always wanted to be. Her personal endeavors have taught her how the practical wisdom of Kabbalah can bring Light and strength into even the most challenging experiences by changing the one thing we can control, ourselves.
Minton Sparks is a decorated poet, playwright, and author who’s been invited to prestigious events like the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival and Berry College’s Southern Women Writer’s Conference (alongside Maya Angelou and Kaye Gibbons). On the other hand, she’s a blue-collar troubadour that’s performed in the American Songbook Series at the Lincoln Center, appeared at the venerable Old Towne School of Folk Music, and served as teller-in-residence at the Jonesborough National Storytelling Festival.
Whatever she is and whatever she’s doing, it’s working: Minton’s been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, BBC’s Bob Harris Show, and WoodSong’s Old-Time Radio. This past year, she was selected as a Fellow at the Vanderbilt Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy. This year, she will be an artist in residence at the Banff Performing Arts Center. She’s also shared the stage with country and folk heavyweights like Rodney Crowell, John Prine, Nanci Griffith, and Punch Brothers.
Andrew J. Bacevich (read his new book!) is Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he received his PhD in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University. Before joining the faculty of Boston University, he taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins.
Bacevich is the author of Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War (2010). His previous books include The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (2008); The Long War: A New History of US National Security Policy since World War II (2007) (editor); The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (2005); and American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U. S. Diplomacy (2002).
His essays and reviews have appeared in a variety of scholarly and general interest publications including The Wilson Quarterly, The National Interest, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Nation, and The New Republic. His op-eds have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Boston Globe, and Los Angeles Times, among other newspapers. He is also the editor of a volume entitled The Short American Century: A Postmortem, which was published in 2012.
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Read The Book That Inspires The Show
Paul Samuel Dolman, author, podcaster, and speaker, presents What Matters Most (the book!) a series of interview transcriptions from more than twenty inspirational Nashville and Tennessee residents with special guest journalist and author Bill Moyers.
Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, former Governor Don Sundquist, Academy Award-winning actress Patricia Neal, Grammy Award-winning entertainer Wynonna Judd, and many more share intimate and inspirational aspects of themselves.
This twentieth anniversary edition also features bonus material from thirty more notables from Tennessee, including local business owners, spiritual leaders, coaches, radio personalities, authors, and educators.