MILK Podcast: The Loss Season - Episode 1: Loss, Sex, Disability and Resilience with Author Emily Rapp Black

Writer Emily Rapp Black joins Mallory in The MILK Podcast Studio, to talk about the loss of her son Ronan, how her childhood was shaped by physical trauma and disability, and about the concept of resilience. Emily is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir and The Still Point of the Turning WorldHer writing has appeared in Vogue, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, O the Oprah Magazine, Brain.Child, the Wall Street Journal and others.

Photo credit: Catherine Davis

Photo credit: Catherine Davis

She is currently Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California-Riverside, where she teaches creative nonfiction and medical narratives. Emily is actively engaged in conversations surrounding disability, medical narratives, pediatric palliative care, inequities in health care delivery, and the literature of embodiment, trauma, and recovery.

Emily’s book, Sanctuary is a reexamination of the word resilience, is forthcoming from Random House in 2020 and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Cartography for Cripples, which examines the intersection of art, disability, and sex through the life and work of Frida Kahlo, is also coming in 2020.

Emily lives in Southern California with her daughter and husband. Check her out at www.emilyrappblack.com

Episode 45: Candy Canes for Breakfast, Wearing Pants Outside and Other Holiday Parenting Tips from Ana Gasteyer

Comedian Ana Gasteyer joins Mallory in the MILK Studio. Best known for her incomparable work on Saturday Night Live from 1996 - 2002, Ana brought iconic characters like “Delicious Dish” radio host Margaret Jo and middle school music teacher Bobbbi Moghan-Culpa to life, and created spot-on impressions of Martha Stewart, Celine Dion and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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Ana has since worked steadily in film, television, theater and voiceovers, while raising her family, and can currently be seen in Maria Bamford's Netflix series “Lady Dynamite” and in TBS's acclaimed series “People Of Earth.” She recorded her debut album I'M HIP, which is now available on iTunes, continues to tour the country with her live cabaret style show, and is currently working on a jazzy, holiday album in time for next Xmas.

Ana and Mallory talk for this special holiday episode about the pressure and pleasure of gifts, the vulnerability of failure, and how messing up a lyric while performing the National Anthem can be applied to parenting

Episode 44: Aerial Dance, Writing Your Feelings and Not Safe For Mom Group (NSFMG) with Writer Alexis Barad-Cutler

Alexis Barad-Cutler joins Mallory in the MILK Studio. Alexis is a writer and the founder of Not Safe For Mom Group, a digital space and community for mothers to tell their stories and express unfiltered feelings without judgement.

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Through #NSFMG Alexis has opened a frank, vulnerable dialogue that moms have been craving. Alexis also creates content for sites like Mindr, Fatherly, Beyond Mom, Hey Mama, and Well Rounded — among other outlets that cater to the parenting set.

She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, and their two young boys — who not only provide endless material for her writing, but also inspire her undying affection for dirty martinis. Find her @notsafeformomgroup on Instagram.

Episode 43: Two Jews/Three Opinions, The Tree of Life Shooting, and Saving Starfish with Rabbi Leora Kaye

Rabbi Leora Kaye is the Director of Programs at URJ, Union for Reform Judaism, and she joins Mallory in the MILK Studio. They discuss Anti-Semitism, parenting while Jewish, and how we can be more inclusive as Jews and as humans. As a Rabbi, Leora seeks ways to expand people's understanding of Judaism, encouraging them to approach their spiritual lives on their own terms.

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Leora's work experience spans the Jewish world and includes education, programming, and filmmaking. She first combined her interests in media and ethics by working on the Sundance award-winning documentary Blue Vinyl. She went on to work as the rabbinic consultant for Shalom Sesame, and has been an adviser on many other media projects. As Director of Community Engagement at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, Leora spearheaded innovative initiatives including the synagogue's groundbreaking conversion program. She also served as the Youth Director of Temple Israel in Boston and as Associate Director of Programming for Synagogue 2000.

leora kaye rabbi milk podcast host mallory kasdan

In her current position at the URJ, Leora is responsible for creative advancement of the core priorities of the Reform Movement: Tikkun Olam, Strengthening Congregations, Audacious Hospitality, and Youth. Leora graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and received rabbinical ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. She and her husband Doug Gordon, a writer and television producer, live in Brooklyn with their children, Galit and Zeb. She is on twitter @LeoraKaye.

Read more on the Tree of Life Synagogue by Mallory Kasdan in the Washington Post.

MILK Episode 42: Empowering Women and Girls, Being the Connector, and Getting Out The Vote with Carley Roney

Carley Roney joins Mallory in the MILK Studio. Carley is an entrepreneur and co-founder of The Knot, NYC's most successful early Internet company. She led The Knot from its early days as a wedding website to a multi-platform, multi-brand billion dollar company called XO Group.

Outside of XO, Carley has focused her expertise in branding, content, and community building to support female-founded start-ups and progressive causes.

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Carley sits on the Board of Directors of fashion disruptor Rent The Runway, as well as non-profits Power of Two, Project Entrepreneur, and Brooklyn Community Foundation. She is a huge fan and advisor to female-led political community organizing start-ups Motivote and Sister District.

She lives in Brooklyn with her family and wants you to VOTE.  

Episode 41: Being Goldilocks, Positive Self-Talk, and Racing Like a Mother with Peloton Instructor Christine D'Ercole

Peloton indoor cycling instructor Christine D’Ercole joins Mallory in the MILK Studio for part two of a MILK/Peloton series on motivation and self-care for moms.

Photo courtesy of  Peloton .

Photo courtesy of Peloton.

Christine is a decorated track racer who brings that expertise to every class. Grounded in science, music, grit and grace, Christine believes that as a rider you have two tools at your disposal: your breath and your inner monologue.

Christine has been an actress, a model and a bike messenger prior to becoming a fitness professional, and conducts workshops on positive self talk in addition to the empowerment work she does on the bike for other riders. Her mantra is “I am I can I will I do.” 

Check out Christine at https://christinedercole.com/ and @IAMICANIWILLIDO on Instagram. And check out @onepeloton

Episode 40: Spinning, Swearing, Sweating and Self-Care with Jenn Sherman of Peloton

Peloton indoor cycling instructor Jenn Sherman joins Mallory in the MILK Studio for part one of a MILK/Peloton series on motivation and self-care for moms.

Photo courtesy of  Peloton .

Photo courtesy of Peloton.

Jenn is an experienced fitness professional who became Peloton’s first instructor over 5 years ago. The company has since blown up, reinventing fitness with live & on-demand boutique studio classes you can take anytime on a bike, treadmill with a Peloton App.

Jenn and Mallory talk about the company’s backstory, about finding your “thing” after having kids, and being a woman over 40 in the fitness world. Jenn is a mom to two teenagers, and brings a no BS approach to every ride she does. Don’t f*&k with her playlists, her love of summer camp, her sports teams or her tribe.

Check her out @pelotonjenn and check out @onepeloton.

Episode 39: What Would Virginia Woolf Do about Aging and Raging Gracefully with Author Nina Lorez Collins

Author Nina Lorez Collins joins Mallory in the MILK Studio. Nina is the author of "What Would Virginia Woolf Do: And Other Questions I Ask Myself as I Attempt to Age Without Apology." In her forties, Nina found herself awash in a sea of hormones. As symptoms of perimenopause set in, she began to fear losing her health, looks, sexuality and sense of humor all at once. Craving a place to discuss her questions and concerns, and finding none, Nina started a Facebook Group with the ironic title “What Would Virginia Woolf Do?” and that forum has grown exponentially into a place where women – with strong opinions and humor – share their private selves with bravery and most of all, with truth. WWVWD has morphed into an on and offline community, and into Nina’s funny and informative book. 

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Nina is a lifelong New Yorker, graduate of Barnard College, and holds a masters degree from Columbia University in the field of Narrative Medicine. She enjoyed a long professional career in book publishing, both as a literary scout and then as an agent. She has four nearly grown children and lives in Brooklyn, where she is a trustee of the Brooklyn Public Library. Check out her website, with information about the book, the group, and a new podcast, at www.TheWoolfer.com

episode 38: protest, Puppets, and Voting like a mother With Activist anD Storyteller Sara Berliner

Sara Berliner is the founder of “Vote Like A Mother,” an organization that sells ethically sustainable merch with a wink, benefits mom run organizations, and acts as a filter for activism. Sara is also a children’s media executive, content curator, activist, and mom.

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Her career has been focused on storytelling across platforms and genres, launched from a Harvard degree in Folklore & Mythology, with criss-crossing paths through puppet theater, documentary film, the music industry, festival production and live events, children's book publishing and TV animation, and digital apps. Sara has told stories with collaborators like Todd Oldham, Julianne Moore, Sesame Street, Warner Bros., the Harry Potter film team, Disney, DreamWorks, Mattel, Highlights for Children, Scholastic, National Geographic, Penguin Random House, and Nickelodeon. 

After 15+ years creating children’s content, Sara founded Vote Like a Mother in March of 2018, making parenthood and empathy a lens for political engagement. Born in Chicago, Sara lives in New York with her husband and two kids. Find her @votelikeamother on Instagram, Twitter, FB and at www.votelikeamother.org

Episode 37: Black Women, Higher Heights and Making the Sausage with Political Fundraiser and Activist Kimberly Peeler-Allen

Kimberly Peeler-Allen has been working at the intersection of race, gender and politics for almost 20 years, and she joins Mallory in the MILK studio. Kimberly is the Co-founder of Higher Heights, a national organization building the political power and leadership of Black women from the voting booth to elected office. A highly skilled political fundraiser and event planner, Kimberly ran her firm Peeler-Allen Consulting, LLC from 2003 to 2014, the only African American full-time fundraising consulting firm in New York State. 

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Prior to that, she served as the deputy finance director for the 2002 gubernatorial campaign of H. Carl McCall. In 2014, Kimberly served as finance director for Letitia James’ successful bid to become Public Advocate of the City of New York and the first African American woman elected citywide in New York’s history. In 2018, Kimberly was selected as one of the Roddenberry Fellowship's 20 established and emerging activists to devote an entire year to projects that will make the U.S. more inclusive and equitable through their inaugural cohort. She runs Higher Heights with co-founder Glynda Carr, and runs her family with the help of her entrepreneur husband. Check out at www.higherheights.com for more information.