Culture Rich Conversations with the
Black Awareness Association, Juneau

They say the shortest distance between two people is a story – and every Thursday afternoon, the Black Awareness Association of Juneau bridges the gaps in our understanding about the biggest race and social justice issues of our times with thoughtful conversations from the Black community in this special series. 

Led by Sherry Patterson, the Black Awareness Association of Juneau launched the series in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, which triggered the need for deeper discussions about racism and Black culture. KTOO is thrilled to partner with the Black Awareness Association of Juneau to bring you  perspectives that were birthed from life experiences.


Thursday, March 17, 2022: From diapers to dollars: One Black entrepreneur’s journey.

  Jasmin Smith’s new business began with what all new moms dread. She ran out of diapers while shopping at a mall with her baby twins and had to make do with a blanket and some baby clothes. Although her improvised solution was far from ideal, it did spark the idea for BabyVend – a…

BabyVend was only the beginning an for Anchorage mom

Guests: Jasmin Smith, owner and founder of BabyVend
Jasmin Smith says it’s never easy to start a new kind of business, but as a Black woman, there are simply more hurdles in winning the confidence of investors. On top of that, it was hard to convince them about the need for vending machines to dispense diapers and baby supplies. Also, starting a company…

Thursday, March 10, 2022: A crypto conversation: Why Black Americans find empowerment in the digital economy.

Studies show that LBGTQ and Black Americans are leading the cryptocurrency revolution. In a survey last year, the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, found that the majority of crypto investors are under forty, do not have college degrees, and two-fifths are people of color. On this Thursday’s Culture Rich Conversations, Christina…

Cryptocurrency: A brave new world for Black investors.

Guests: Joseph Juana Robinson, a self-taught cryptocurrency investor.
Joseph Juana Robinson says the crypto world is full of scams and get-rich-schemes —  but if you do your homework, keep humble, stay patient and don’t get greedy — there are opportunities to earn big returns. Robinson believes  cryptocurrency is a form of investment that offers economic empowerment to Black Americans and other historically disadvantaged…

Thursday, March 3, 2022: A conversation about friendship and race continues…    

It was an intimate discussion between two friends that began on the radio, not long after George Floyd was murdered. Heather Pedersen, who is white, worried about how the social upheaval from this tragedy would affect her black friend, Kelli Patterson – who is also one of the hosts of Culture Rich Conversations, a weekly…

Conversation about friendship and race continues…

Guests: Kelli Patterson and Heather Pedersen
An intimate conversation with Kelli Patterson and Heather Pedersen about their cross-racial friendship

Thursday, February 24, 2022: Gospel music, the wind behind the wings of Black culture.

Pastor Bobby Lewis’ energy is contagious. Just sitting in a room next to this Harlem minister makes you feel good. And hearing him on the radio, talking about his passion for Gospel music, might be the next best thing. On this week’s program from the Black Awareness Association of Juneau, Kelli and Sherry Patterson talk…

Listen to the whole show: Gospel music and Black history go hand in hand.

Guests: Pastor Bobby Lewis, Harlem.
Pastor Bobby Lewis tells the story of his lifelong love affair with Gospel music — and how it’s been a powerful force in helping African Americans, not only survive slavery, but find strength and inspiration on their journey to freedom.

Thursday, February 17, 2022: Telling the story of racism in America

Natasha Boozer’s family is well known in Juneau. Her younger brother, Carlos, grew up to play professional basketball and win an Olympic Gold medal in 2008. Today, Natasha is carving out her own success as a writer in Las Vegas, where she homeschools her children. The lessons, she says, include important conversations about racism and…

Listen to the Program: Critical Race Theory as a tool to address systemic racism

Guests: Natasha Boozer, author of The Palmer Women.
Natasha Boozer says Black parents need to talk with their children about the history of racism in America and how to protect themselves against it — a subject too important to trust to the schools alone, which rarely do a good job of telling the whole story.  In this conversation with Christina Michelle, Boozer explains…

Thursday, February 10th: Juneau student attends historically Black university.

On this Thursday’s Culture Rich Conversations, the Black Awareness Association of Juneau follows-up on one of their scholarship recipients, Raekwon Razor — one of a growing number of African American students who attends what’s known as an HBCU — a Historically Black College and University. Christina Michelle and Sherry Patterson talk with Razor about his…

Thursday, February 3rd: Culture Rich Conversations launches a new season

When the killing of George Floyd unleashed racial turmoil across the nation, the Black Awareness Association of Juneau responded by creating a radio program on KTOO, as a safe space to talk about race and social justice, as well as celebrate Black culture. They later gave the show a name: Culture Rich Conversations, a show…

Listen to the show:

Guests: Discussion with Christina Michelle, Sherry Patterson and Michael Patterson

Thursday, January 6th: New Year’s Resolutions vs. New Year’s Intentions  

  Do you already feel your resolve weakening over some of your New Year’s resolutions? Research shows that only a small percentage of us actually succeed in keeping them. But hey, don’t stress out. Instead, enjoy a laid-back, playful conversation on this Thursday’s program from the Black Awareness Association of Juneau, which looks at reframing…

Thursday, December 23rd: Kwanzaa, a celebration of community, family and culture.

There are seven days of Kwanzaa, which begin this Sunday. And on each day of this celebration, a candle is lit to symbolize  one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa. On this Thursday’s Culture Rich Conversations, the Black Awareness Association of Juneau will explore this celebration of family, community and culture, which started as a…

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