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Mr. Ira Fowlkes MO Black Chamber of Commerce President: Welcome to Ferguson USA Hot Talk Radio
Mrs. Daniels tell us about EU?
Lashell: Yeah, so actually I'm working for the state of Tennessee and I started getting all these ideas and dreams. And so, I would get newspapers and different things and cut out headlines and cut out images and layout, what I was seeing in my dreams. But I didn't have any idea as to what I wanted to do, with what I saw. I just knew that I wanted to bring blacks together and in my dream, we where together, wealthy families, creating opportunities for lots of other people. It was so exciting to see and visualize such beaty and excellence. Cause in life at that time, those views where completely blocked. I was going through a lot. You know when you finally get low enough, in life, when you find that without God, nothing is working? That is where I was. So, eventually, I get to the place, once I found that I could put everything underground online. I started going through newspapers, no one was on the internet back then. If they did have a website, you could simply reach out, so I started looking for black writers, looking for artistic people that would buy into the vision, the idea. So, I started sending out messages and asking, Hey, what if we had different focuses, each go into the community and come back to one platform. We’d showcase the best of the best within the culture. And so Mr. Ron in Nashville was a writer that responded and we came together with many others. And that's where we started. We was creating the platform everything underground, but we called it urban flair back then.
Mr. Ira: Okay, why did you call it Urban flair?
Lashell: Well, you know, we thought back then we are all urban and we want to showcase black excellence flair. EU, Everything Underground was a part of Urban Flair. And so Everything Underground focused more in those days on Hip-hop. EU kind of picked up speed in Nashville TN, quickly. Eventually, we were utilizing that name more and being pulled into opportunities by that name so the concept kind of rerouted itself through underground -hip-hop.
Mr. Ira: Yes. And one of the things, you know, the Bible it tells you, if you have a vision, write it down and you followed those steps. You had a vision, just as you are saying, you had a dream visions and you wrote them down. And one of the hardest things in life to do is when you have a dream is to find somebody who agree with you, and you said you found Ron. How are you doing Ron?
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Ron: Fine. Good afternoon, how are you doing?
Mr. Ira: I am doing well. Yes, so you found Ron. And, Ron first of all, tell me about who Ron is. Tell me a little bit about yourself?
Mr.. Ron: Thank you, thank you. But I've been in the media business for over four decades now. I've done newspaper work, I've done radio and TV work and magazine work. And the thing that I guess interested me the most about what Lashell’s idea was from the beginning was that, most of what I'd done is not been black owned and black operated. I've done some things black owned and black operated and I still do now, but the bulk of it has been with white-owned and white operated companies. So that was the thing that really fascinated me the most, was being able to work with the black operation. And then we just seem to kind of have chemistry and we've had it from the beginning and I guess we still have it now. So that was it.
Mr. Ira: Well, I know for a fact okay, you will have a chemistry. Cause I mean, she called me -, you know, I got a phone call from her one day here in St Louis, the thing that I've been impressed the most of what you guys created is that -, you showed that blacks can work together. And not that by its across generations, by bringing generations together. EU events are always exciting high energy and respectful. Are you with me on that?
Dr. Ron: Certainly, yes. And that's one of the things that impressed me too, was the intergenerational ties and links. And that's something that we stress, is working across the generations and not letting that be a barrier to anybody.
Mr. Ira: Mrs. Daniels when you first had your dream okay, you said that you want to kind of bring people together okay. You know, a lot of that people don't follow their dreams. When they have a dream, they sit back a lot of times, you know, and they sit on their dream, and they say, no I should have done that. But in this case, not only are you an innovative, for lack of better description, but you are also a mother and a wife also. So, you have a very, very beautiful young lady as your daughter. And I have to say this to you upfront, okay.
Mr. Ira: I learned a bit about Dr. Adams, and now I got Dr. Adams, ready, Welcome, Dr. Adams., Your mother talks about you all the time. All the time, okay. So now you got on your resume, you got MPH. What does that stand for?
Tanisha : That stands for Master's in Public Health.
Mr. Ira: Okay. You got MHS. What does that stand for?
Tanisha: That’s for Master's in Health Sciences.
Mr. IraAny we know that Dr. is a doctor, okay.
Mr. Ira: Well, you are at a real prestigious university in Tennessee, McHarry Medical School. And from there I think you guys produced more black doctors in the whole country. Am I right?
Yes: Yes, we produced most black doctors for America -.
Mr. Ira: Say it again Tanisha, Cause really -. See, we are proud about young people when they can work with their parents cause sometimes that is kind of hard to do, you know?
Tanisha: Yes, absolutely.
Mr. Ira: Because she is driven, okay. Now also when did you decide that you wanted to be a doctor?
Tanisha: Well, honestly it's been something from childhood that I think my mom kind of put in my head early, you know? Oh, you know, you're going to be a doctor and a lawyer. That was my thing. I was going to be a doctor and a lawyer, you know? And then when I got older, I'm like, lady, you have got to pick one, you know. But I mean, it has been done. But yeah, it was put in my head early. I really didn't even know the pathway to becoming a doctor and just do it one step at a time. You know, did the bachelor's degree and then I'm like, okay, what's next? And then I did the Masters, which was optional. And then, now I'm here. So yeah for me, honestly it was just along the pathway of after I got my Masters in Public Health.
Mr. Ira: What school did you go to? What college?
Tanisha: For undergrad, I went to Purdue University. That's where I graduated from.
Mr. Ira: The boilermakers?
Tanisha: Yeah, the boilermaker. Yes, that's where I went for undergrad. And then for grad school, I went to Tennessee State University, which is also an HBCU school here in Nashville, Tennessee. And then I got my Masters in Health Science here at Meharry Medical College
And then I will be here for the MD. But yeah, so after I got my master's in public health, I was working as a biostatistician for the state of Tennessee.
Mr. Ira: What is a biostatistician? And you have a MD focus?
Tanisha: A biostatistician basically crunches numbers for statistics, you know. We pushed out statistics for the state. This many kids pass T cap, this many kids didn't, you know, these kids in this zip code are failing, you know, those kinds of things every year. So, we worked a lot with this system called ACEs, which is Adverse childhood experiences. Which basically has determined that the biggest predictor of your health outcomes as an adult, is your childhood stresses. It's actually more predicted by the way you're treated in childhood, then by smoking and drinking combined, which is a big, big risk factor. We actually found that people that are abused as a child, that psychological stress that your body experiences, actually can predict the way that you are healthy or unhealthy as an adult more so than other risk factors. So that really got me interested in psychiatry. So that's what I'm mainly pursuing here at the Meharry medical college
Mr. Ira:. What are your thoughts about the recent decision by the FDA administration to crack down on menthol cigarettes? So, what are your thoughts about that?
Tanisha: Well, I mean, cigarettes are definitely something that lead to various negative health outcomes, so anything that's going to mitigate it is good to me and my opinion. Especially in the black community, cause, we have been very heavily targeted with menthol cigarettes and continues to be targeted with alcohol and different things of that nature. And I just think it's really funny because, you know, things like marijuana, you know, are considered highly illegal and very regulated and things of that nature. But as far as data, it doesn't show that it does anything even remotely close to what cigarettes and alcohol do. So, I definitely think it should be reversed, maybe not you know, legalized or something of that nature, but I think cigarettes should definitely be something that's more controlled. And I definitely think that, you know, it's definitely pushed out of our community as much as possible. And if you want to smoke cigarettes? You should go do that as an adult on your own intuition. Not because you were heavily influenced by, you know, media fuel board, availability. It shouldn't be that kind of determining factor of whether or not, you're abusing any of these substances. So, I mean yeah, I'm in full support of that.
Mr. Ira: Okay. Right now you are in your third year in Meharry. So how long will it be before you leave there?
Tanisha: One more year and some change. I'm in my third year, so yeah, I working hard to finish my third year and my fourth year and then I am done.
Mr. Ira: And then you have an idea when and where you are going to practice and where you want to go or you're just going to roll the dice?
Tanisha So, you kind of have to roll the dice after medical school. Because you will enter into what is called a match program, where they basically match you with a program that likes you and that you like. So sometimes you can get your number one choice, and choose where you're going to be and sometimes you don't.
Mr. Ira: So now let me ask you a question Dr. Adams. What are your thoughts about Everything Underground?
Tanisha: Of course, I'm a hundred percent about Everything Underground. I think it's a beautiful concept, as for what it does for me I feel like everything underground makes it okay to be unapologetically,in support of black people. Cause everything in this country is built for the majority, we are the minority, in this country. Nothing here really is built for us, I think, for the most part, they feel like “we can join in if we want”, you know, a open invitation from the majority, right? And everything underground is all about making situations that are -, for and if someone in the majority want to join in, then you're welcome, you know. It's kind of the reverse concept. Everything is like, you're welcome to join in with us. Like this is for us, our people. So, I just feel like it makes everything just, okay to be unapologetic about what you are doing and who you're doing it for. I want to do psychiatry for African-Americans or people of African descent and the different traumas that we faced So that is my thoughts on Everything Underground and how it has influenced me.
Mr. Ira:. It's so nice to hear of a young person giving their opinion, okay, about something like this. Ron, so what are your thoughts about what Dr. Adams, just said?
Dr. Ron: Well, I mean, that's reinforcing what we’ve always tried to do; which is, we look for and seek out and try to highlight things that are happening in various black communities nationwide that are positive. Because there's a lot of positive stuff happening. You would not necessarily know that if you're only a yardstick or what's on the news or what's in some certain publications, but there are a lot of good things happening. And that's one of the things that we tried to do, is we try to find those young through old and let people know that things are happening. Because they can inspire others to want to do the same thing.
Mr. Ira: Yeah. I think one of the things, okay, we miss is, doing things for the family, doing things out of love. So, I’m going to use your title from the everything Underground blog, checking in on the media. What is that state black publication newspapers?
Ferguson USA Hot Talk Radio with Mr. Ira Fowles MO Black Chamber of Commerce President
Dr. Ron Wynn, Checkin’ In On The Media
EU/ Chief Executive Editor
One of the good things is that the vast majority of black newspapers in part, because they're not corporate, have been able to find ways to keep going. For instance, I am an editor with the largest black newspaper in the state of Tennessee, Tennessee Tribune and it's been individually owned for almost 30 years. And the pandemic did have a negative impact in it. We lost advertisers, but we were able to keep on going and find ways to keep publishing. And we never missed an issue yet, despite all the things that have happened. So, yeah. And that's true across the country, that many of the black newspapers are still going in spite of the loss of advertising, in spite of -, and a loss of subscribers. Because COVID-19 has a disproportionate impact in the black community in terms of deaths, in terms of people affected. But yet, we've been able to -, and when I say we, black publications have been able to continue to publish and to keep going. So that's one of the things that we want to stress is that in spite of all the negative things that have happened, there are still success stories out there.
Ferguson USA Hot Talk Radio with Mr. Ira Fowles MO Black Chamber of Commerce President
Mr. Ira: Well, one thing I love a lot of black newspapers, you know, have found online publishing. But I think in your case, you guys have continued to put up a hard copy out, you guys on a weekly basis, right?
Dr. Ron: That's correct. But we also do the online too. I mean, you've got to have an online presence these days, but yeah, we do still have the hardcopy. And I mean, I'm a hard copy person myself. I mean, I still find newspapers on the newsstand and sometimes it's kind of funny. It's like I've had people tell me, well, I can tell you an old man, because you are the only person in this restaurant that's got a newspaper.
Mr. Ira: Every day, you know, my wife she’s been watching I'd actually have a paper, where I can stop where I wanted to stop at, and go pick it up and start at the same spot, rather than go look for something else on the internet, okay, I’m old school of the old school. I mean the old man or whether you want to call us, okay. But reading the paper is the best way for you to educate yourself and not get distracted online, or you got to find what you're looking for online.
Dr. Ron: That's right, that's right. Yeah. And the other thing too, about just the hard copy is, that's really how I learned to read and write. In large part was the newspapers. My parents were both teachers and they had me reading the newspapers when I was very young. And the first job I ever had, they used to call them paper boys. They don't call them that anymore now they are newspaper vendors. But I was the paper boy when I was 11 years old. And that was the thing that really got me interested as well in writing for a living, was getting involved in newspapers at such an early age.
Mr. Ira: You know, one of the things, this is a nice for me to pull out And then this pandemic had exposed a lot of ways to do things that wouldn’t have been done before. Right Dr. Adams?
Tanisha: Yes, definitely. Everything has been completely transformed because, you know, with COVID -, everybody's online and everybody is on zoom, you know. -. And I mean for our generation, it's definitely more of a funny story to hear about Newspapers. We don't have that same connection with the papers, you know, as the older generation. So, I can definitely see many benefits to have both.
Mr. Ira: Again Mrs Daniels. You were a visionary, okay? In creating Everything Underground. The whole understanding and constant evolution of your online presence -. And starting this journey right from Nashville Tn. You, know, people think Nashville is only a country music town. It is actually more than that. You’ve put some amazing people in rooms together. One was Dr. Bobby Jones, who has a gospel show that has been on air at least 30 years. At least, I'm not exactly sure -, I don't want to take anything away. But that is a platform for black entertainers, to come to Nashville, I should say. And he highlights unknown people, and that's what you -, in the trailblazer awards you highlight people that people didn’t even know what they were about. These are people that you don’t hear about all the time, but people making the neighborhood better, making the neighborhood run, but nobody knows about their work, along side some who are well known.
Lashell: Absolutely. We highlighted Mr. Dr. Ron, on the same ticket with Dr. Bobby Jones, many know Dr. Bobby Jones but I doubt they know how accomplished Dr. Jones is, considered a child prodigy his accolades are too long for this segment. At the same time, the entire 2015 Trailblazer class are well-accomplished people who are still creating platforms to support the culture. including Mr. Ron who has not only given so much to EU , and other newspaper publications he also continues to write and contribute to the positive narratives being pushed in today’s black media
Mr. Ira: But I will say one thing okay. That as I reflect on the time that I've known you that you've been constantly changing with the climate and doing things that affect your people in a positive way, in creating positive initiatives. And another thing we haven’t talked about is Boss Up. Tell us a little bit about that?
Lashell: Boss up is a business and entertainment conference, EU utilizes its network of professionals to move in position as teachers and leaders within the conference. So, for example, if someone is an expert in opening schools, then that person could be a workshop presenter at the conference. And what we want to do is inform our youth, how they can connect with those people who are doing what they would like to do and how these people connected can help them through their experiences by example, share resources and plan to empower their life.. A lot of us use business coaches, attorneys, or other advisors, to help us with projects. I sure do, so it’s a training ground for any professionals who want to maximize their networking dollars. So, Boss Up, by, Investing In Yourself with a membership. That membership gets you an invite to the events we create and the connections you need.
Mr. Ira: Tanisha what are your thoughts on Boss Up?
Tanisha: I think of it literally as the name, as bossing up. Like it allows different networking opportunities to take you, and whatever you're doing to the next level. You know, those different connections that you need, you make -. And then also it has a big educational platform to it; seminars and project for the sharing, you know. People that are trailblazers -, sharing how they got to this point, how you can get to this point, what kind of resources they used, what kind of things they had to learn first. And then people just really taking notes and trying to get to that next level in their own fields (minds).
Mr. Ira: Well, I have asked this question of you Dr. Adams. How do you feel about the thing that your mother has done and since you have had a bird’s eye view okay? To see what she's been doing through some of the hard times. What are your thoughts about your mother and her accomplishments right now?.
Tanisha: Well, I think it just shows that she's definitely relentless, I think it's like the embodiment of what it means to actually have a passion, you know. The type of stuff that she thinks, is a good idea, and you know, she's going to do it. It's something that's within her heart, it is in her heartbeat. Like she wakes up every day and she's like, Oh, you know, what can I do to help the black agenda. Oh, we can meet together with this group. But then she really just wants to bring that unity that she's fighting for. It's a lifestyle. I think that's what she's represented, for over 20 years.. Regardless of the ups and downs, regardless of, whatever the net income is that year doesn't matter to her, you know. It's really about what can I do to bring my people together? What can I do to help this gap that I see, you know? I feel like she does see in a unique perspective and that's what passion is all about. Like, you're supposed to be able to see your purpose and your purpose is a unique perspective on a problem,. So I feel like that's what she represents. And that's what I think about her journey.
Mr. Ira: Okay. Well, , I'm not sure you got knowledge on this. But , I’m interested to hear your thoughts on, some of our community leaders who recently said, they didn’t see racism in America. What is your thought about a comment like that?
Tanisha: Honestly, I just think that Racism has definitely changed its face, you know. But that's all it has pretty much done -.
Mr. Ira: I like the words you used . Why did you just say that it has changed its face?
Tanisha: It has changed it’s face, right? So no, we're not seeing, people being outright lynched and left hanging on streets and people being called the “N” word, you know, as much as we had seen it in the past. But we are seeing mass incarceration, we are seeing people that have denied access to healthcare, different access to lawyers to be able to defend themselves, different access to, education. So I mean, it's definitely just a different brand of racism. And I think that is why I'm so interested in psychiatry because I think people underestimate the power of the mindset when it comes to that concept of racism. Racism is not about those racist actions, it's about a mindset. It's about mental slavery. It's about us being able to actually break those chains and those chains can't be just truly passed down. Like if your parents don't have that mindset to give to you, because they were a victim of slavery 500 years ago and still haven't been able to break that generational curse. Then you're still a direct Protestant of slavery and racism. You know what I mean? So I think that's like what my mom and my dad were able to give me. And it's basically a mindset, you know? So that's what I think of that comment. It's not just about being called the N word or, you know, or any one issue. For example, the jail system, it's like, what's in jail? What are they doing in jail? They're breaking you down mentally. They're putting you in isolation. You're literally going crazy. Or you're literally in a situation where whatever you do, mentally, you're still chained. Do you know what I mean? So, it's really about the people that do come out of jail and they are able to be successful is because they were able to break free mentally, not necessarily getting out of jail in six months or six years. When is a person able to take off the mental chains that are put on consciously through systems and unconsciously through experiences.? You know, so -.
Mr. Ira: Well Daniels let me ask you a question, Around the country, people are chanting defund the police. How will that work?
Tanisha:. I definitely feel like the police department and even the whole incarceration system needs to be revamped. It's a private industry where they really treat people very, very poorly. And these groups, you know, often have, mental health deficits, as well as physical health deficits. So as for the entire system, I think it needs to be revamped, needs to be rebuilt. I definitely agree with that stance. I think that the conversation has to be transcended in what people actually mean when they say, “defund the police”. Doesn't mean we won't have a system in place where people can call someone to seek justice. The police in most States take in so much money and that money goes into buying Hummer tanks or buying new war weapons. Do you see the police officers driving around in old cars?. They're spending the money on things that could be better spent on preventing people from actually going into the system, on education, on healthcare, on different things. We just don't need to spend so much money on that area. You know, we do need policing, but we need quality policing. We need diverse policing and we need well-trained police officers. And then not only that, we need money to decrease interaction with the police. We won’t need as many police officers if we could get these kids some opportunity and education. People could break those mental chains that people are facing. So It’s not so much about “defunding the police” as it is to shift in what’s funded.
Mr. Ira: Dr. Ron do you hear what Doctor Adams is saying here as a man of color, you know, What are your thoughts?
Mr.. Ron: Well, let me address that in two ways. In terms of part of what you were saying, about “defunding the police”? What they're really talking about is reprioritizing the way that you look at exactly how the resources are being used. That's much more the case. I mean, some folks have hopped up on defunding the police, and they say, you want to abolish the police. No, people don't want to abolish the police. But what they want to abolish, they do want to abolish police misconduct, okay. That's what people want to abolish. I mean, there's nobody that thinks that doesn't think that there's no need to have police, that there's no need for a judicial system, but you want to have a judicial system that’s fair. And it really is about justice and not just about incarceration. One of the things that America has always thought mistakenly is that incarceration solves crime. No, it doesn’t. All it does is it locks people up, but it doesn't solve the root causes of the crime. Because the root cause of the crime is very much connected to poverty and inequality. That's where a lot of the crime comes from. So if you don't address those things, then you can have a zillion police, which you are still going to have a lot of crime. Now, as far as the other part of your question about how everything underground is moving. I think what we've done and what we continue to try to do is you try to point to ways that people in their own communities can come together and help themselves. And also, at the same time can encourage others to get involved. Because you can't change things if you don't get involved. I mean, you have to get involved at the core level. And that's one of the things that we stress. And we try to cite people who are doing things that have not been recognized by the larger society but who are doing very important things.
Mr. Ira: Well, I want to say you don’t get respected in your own community, you know what I mean? Even in the Bible, you know, Christ Himself could do no good thing in his hometown. Most people, you know, when your come back home, you are just a normal person. So Mrs. Daniels, Everything Underground has created a model, okay? For, bringing the young together, old together, in between people together, you know, and we're together as a team, as a family that we've been trying to create a family in the black community for a long time. Last remarks?
Lashell: yes sir. Thank you so much Mr. Ira, again, for everything and for being a great mentor and spiritual father to me, and best friend to EU. we just ask people to go to everythingunderground.com and consider your membership and investment in yourself and a invest in the circulation of the black dollar.