For well over a year, a group of people and organizations in Marin have rallied to celebrate innovative, creative business owners who have persevered through the pandemic and a long overdue racial reckoning. The origin of that effort was the “We Are One Marin” campaign, a collaboration including the Marin Council of Chambers’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force, the Marin Independent Journal, with support from the Marin Community Foundation.
The campaign, whose mission is to identify ways to promote social equity in business and in community, kicked off as a series of ads promoting the opportunity to celebrate our BIPOC-owned businesses, with spotlights on a number of Mill Valley and Marin City businesses and organizations, including Denzel Allen‘s Strength Den MV strength training facility, Marin Conservatory of Dance co-owners Melinda and Leliani Neal, Mojo Dojo Karate owner James Henry and many more.
In the months that followed, the IJ spearheaded the We Are One Marin Podcast, which has invited the business owners from those ads to participate in a podcast discussion – one where you will hear deeper storytelling about the merchants of Marin. Hosted by Stephanie Plante and Kalina Cloud, this podcast is a place to explore the way Marin works.
On the final day of 2022, acclaimed journalist Katie Couric leveraged her massive platform to focus on “how to make 2023 your best yet,” shining a light on the We Are One Marin podcasts that, among others, focused on a trio of Marin City leaders whose organizations have been lifting up their community for years: Paul Austin’s PlayMarin, Felecia Gaston‘s Performing Stars and MC Arts & Culture, the multi-faceted gallery space run by Oshalla Diana Marcus, Marin City Arts and Culture director.
Couric spotlighted Stephanie Plante a former TV reporter who spearheaded the We Are One Marin Podcast with project manager and producer Kalina Cloud, supported by a grant from the Marin Community Foundation. The project has “facilitated essential discussions about supporting the most fair experience possible for everyone, no matter their background,” Couric wrote. “
“We are having hard conversations every day about race and equity, conversations about how to have these talks as a white person and a brown person, and mostly, we are listening to our colleagues and their experiences,” Plante says. Click on the images below to listen to a trio of podcasts focused on Mill Valley Chamber members from Marin City. Each organization is steeped in the history and foundation of Marin City’s vitality and importance – past, present and future.
The national attention provides a great reminder that the We Are One Marin campaign has expanded to not only profile racially diverse business owners, but expanded to include Veteran-Owned Businesses and Business Owned by Anyone with Disabilities.
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Here are some of the standout We Are One Marin Podcasts: