Episode 1 │ Peace. Justice. Bundles. (PERU)
Updated: May 4
"Take it, embrace it, run with it. Set aside any fears that you may have. And have an open mentality to want to learn and try different new things, and to expand your cultural competency levels." (Kayla, Episode 1)
In planning for the launch of Young, Gifted and Abroad, I had (and still have) a list of people I wanted to ask to be guests. But I was hesitant to start asking too many people right away. I wanted my very first guest to be someone dynamic, whom I'm also comfortable with so that none of my nervous energy would take over during the interview. And then I thought of my cousin, Kayla Bryant! She's one of the most dynamic people I know, and she's up to some life-changing things this year. She just finished undergrad at the University of Louisville, she and her fiancé just bought a house, she's getting married in July, and then she's going to grad school in the fall. So I figured, why not add being a guest on a podcast to that list? When I approached Kayla about it, her first response was, "Yes ma'am!!!! I'd love to!", and it was on from there.
Kayla was a member of the 2015-2017 cohort of Muhammad Ali Scholars. The Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of Louisville runs this program, where participants learn about social justice in an urban context. Part of the program involves studying abroad during a summer, and Kayla's cohort went to Peru in the summer of 2016!
Social justice in an urban context.
She spent much of her time learning what various local organizations are doing on the ground to address the needs of vulnerable populations including women, children, and sex workers. Having to acknowledge certain privileges she has as an American in the face of poverty and other forms of precariousness humbled her and made her even more grateful for the life she has. Overall, Kayla told me that she loved being in Peru and especially enjoyed interacting with so many young people there. She came away from the experience more inspired than ever to not shy away from anything she wants to pursue in life. Kayla can be found on Instagram (@kay_bee35) or Facebook (Kayla Bryant).
Be sure to listen to this episode, "Peace. Justice. Bundles. (PERU)" for more! And don't forget to check out the resource list below!
Danielle G. is the creator, host, and producer of Young, Gifted and Abroad. You can find her other writings at DeelaSees.com.