Love, Justice, Race & Unity (with Dr. Jeanine Staples): Episode 199

Jeanine Staples is a Professor of Literacy and Language, African American Studies, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. She focuses on dismantling supremacist patriarchies through research, teaching, and coaching. As a sociocultural literacist, Dr. Staples works to understand personal and public voices and stories to solve personal and public problems. She does this by researching the evolutionary nature and function of literacies and texts through the discourses of narrative research. She has also created The Supreme Love Project. The Supreme Love Project is a movement. It is growing out of Jeanine’s research and teaching. The project supports marginalized people, mainly women and people of color, to heal the relational and social Terrors in their soul and launch revolutions in their lives.

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  • We need to be taking care of ourselves before we can  help anyone else or achieve joy, peace or power. These things are not material and there is no way to attain it without caring for ourselves.  
  • To educate yourself on the black community from the outside we need to immerse ourselves in things we may not be comfortable with. Reading blogs, listening to podcasts, gravitating towards books, etc.
  • Trying to put ourselves in other people’s shoes does not work very well when we have no idea what life is like in someone else’s shoes and sometimes when we think we do there is so much we are missing. Instead ask questions, get first hand experiences from people in the black community.
  • Jeanine gives an example of a classroom having no books containing people of color, but having books of only white people, but also many different types of animals.
  • When we are having conversations about race, we need to realize where our experiences have come from and make sure never to imply that any human is inferior.
  • We have to realize the mistakes that we make and have made when it comes to race, often not on purpose; but we need to realize what is wrong in order to change for the better. We need to ask ourselves “how am I operating from a superiority complex?”
  • Racism was created by white people in order to maintain social, economic, and idealogical superiority.
  • The majority of America today is still white and to get to a place of equality we need to see a redistribution of wealth, a redistribution of authority and more self awareness.
  • Of course all lives matter in a general sense, but Black Lives Matter is saying that right now black lives are in the biggest crisis. All lives can’t matter until black lives matter too.
  • The way to create a community is to create an entity that becomes a real part of your company and not just a one time speaker who comes in or short lived conversation about race.
  • Find out where are you in love with the cause and where are you in love with the people who are the benefits of the cause. If you are doing this just to be popular or just be a part of the moment you are going to lose your drive.
  • Start reading, start asking questions. Begin learning from first hand accounts of experiences of black people.
  • When it comes to cultural appropriation instead of worrying about right and wrong, ask yourself what is helpful in this moment? What is supportive in this moment? What is respectful in this moment?
  • Creating an impact is thinking both short term and long term, not only do we think about making a big splash but also the ripple effect of my impact.



  • (2:05) A little more about Jeanine Staples and her SLP initiative.
  • (4:30) Stepping back and figuring out what is wrong when something is wrong, before it all comes crashing down.
  • (6:02) Caring for ourselves so that we can achieve true Joy, Peace, and Power.
  • (7:30) Immersing ourselves into media and information that will give us a point of view on race we would never get on our own.
  • (10:05) Rather than trying to put ourselves in other people’s shoes, ask a lot of questions.
  • (13:00) Examples of normalized racism that we do not even realize.
  • (17:30) What can we do while having these discussions to make sure not to say the wrong thing.
  • (21:24) Being able to take critique and still be able to stay in the fight against racism.
  • (22:48) It is white people who created racism so it is white people’s responsibility to get rid of it.
  • (24:00) Racism was constructed and built to maintain a status quo.
  • (26:30) Black Lives Matter vs. All Lives Matter.
  • (29:20) As leaders how can we create a community that’s really committed to doing the work?
  • (31:04) Figuring out why this matters to us and what specific aspects of the movement we’re passionate about.
  • (33:20) For people just getting started, what is a good way to start?
  • (34:40) Cultural appropriation, what is right and wrong for people to do?
  • (38:04) The mind set that “everything belongs to me” (entitlement).
  • (40:00) What does it mean to make an impact to Jeanine Staples?


“If there’s a breakdown anywhere, there’s a breakdown everywhere.”

“Being coddled and being pacified won’t get anyone anywhere.”

“All lives can’t matter unless black lives matter.”

“Figure out where is your love affair in the movement? Where is your love in the cause?”

“I understand the big splash, but I am thinking about the ripple effect of my impact.”


Connect with Jeanine:

Books Mentioned in the Episode: Push Out by Monique W. Morris

Free Gift: All about White Supremacy 

Information about the Break The Chains Bookclub


List of Children’s books featuring Black Children

  • FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME by Mariama J. Lockington
  • THE JUMBIE GOD’S REVENGE by Tracey Baptiste
  • JUST SOUTH OF HOME by Karen Strong
  • SO DONE by Paula Chase
  • THE ONLY BLACK GIRLS IN TOWN by Brandy Colbert
  • TWO NAOMIS by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
  • WAYS TO MAKE SUNSHINE by Renée Watson  

Watch Full Episode:

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