My guest today has a long list of credits to her name: author, creative, educator, podcaster, and public speaker just to name a few. She embodies joy. She's one of those people that after you spend time with her, you just feel better, happier, and more optimistic. I'm so glad you get to hear Rahbin Shyne's story!
My guest today has a long list of credits to her name: author, creative, educator, podcaster (her books and podcast are linked in the show notes), and public speaker just to name a few. Rabhin has taught in the Long Beach, CA Unified School District for over twenty years. She’s worked a total of 30 years in education at various levels—K-12, community college and university. She earned her BA in Sociology from Stanford University and J.D. at UCLA School of Law. Oh ya, and she does all that while also walking half marathons multiple times a year. She embodies joy. She's one of those people that after you spend time with her, you just feel better, happier, and more optimistic. From the second we met, we hit it off. I normally sit and visit with each of my guests for a while before we officially start recording for the podcast. I usually never leave those segments in the final, edited version. But today, our conversation right out of the gate was INCREDIBLE. I wanted you guys to have the chance to hear the whole thing and see Rahbin's genuine nature. She starts dropping pearls of wisdom before the show even started.
I'm so thankful Rahbin mentioned scarcity vs. abundance. It is true that it is a mindset and what you see is what you look for. As she mentioned, we are both, in our own unique ways, working towards the same end: helping voice the stories of Black people in America. We are competitors - we're co-workers for a larger cause. Our country needs as many of these conversations as we can get.
Rahbin's words on allyship were poignant and hard hitting. Allyship is not enough. Sometimes I think, as white people, we pat ourselves on the back and say, "but I'm on their side. I marched in a rally. I have Black friends. I have a BLM sign in my yard." Great - but what are you doing about it?! I've actually had someone ask me that. My gut reaction was, "probably not enough." But then I responded to him honestly with: Well, I'm educating myself in Black history from Black authors, I'm listening to lived experiences, I'm learning about systemic racism, and I'm dialoguing with white friends about it all. Do you agree with Rahbin's statement, "We're all entitled to live a life in which we thrive without limitation?" If so, what are you doing about it? This question is challenging because it disrupts our comfort zone. It requires that we take a stand at the expense of friendships, convenience, what others might think of us. It's the equivalent of putting our money where our mouth is.
If you would love to hear more stories like those found on Gramercy, check out Rahbin's podcast, 365 Brothers on any podcasting platform.As Rahbin says, you will discover the breadth and depth of Black men in America. It will expand your world, your heart, and your understanding, as it has mine.
I'll close with a quote from Rahbin's dream dinner guest the singer and songwriter, Prince. He's known for saying, "Compassion is an action word with no boundaries." May we all be inspired to try acts of compassion by simply smiling more and saying "hello" to people different from as, just as Rahbin has.