Retitled, Ep.6: Michelle Staples-Horne

This is Retitled, a series in which I try to find people who work in women’s health and related fields. I’ll ask them why they entered into their profession, the impact their work has on women’s health, and discuss the issues around women in health, science, and society.

In this episode, I interview Dr. Michelle Staples-Horne, medical director for the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, a member of the board of directors for the academic consortium on criminal justice health, and former president of the Society of Correctional Physicians.

Dr. Staples-Horne talks about the challenges she faced being black and female in the workplace, how she made a career change while having a family, and how the corrections system became a steady source of healthcare for many young people in our communities.

  1. J. of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved: A Call to Develop Evidence-based Interventions to Reduce Sexually Transmitted Infections in Juvenile Justice Populations.
  2. CNN: “Jailhouse docs choose inmates over insurance”
  3. Women & Health Journal: Efficacy of an HIV/STI Sexual Risk-Reduction Intervention for African American Adolescent Girls in Juvenile Detention Centers: A Randomized Controlled Trial.


Retitled, Ep. 5: Navid Madani

In this episode of Retitled, I interview Navid Madani, Senior Scientist at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Instructor at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. We talk about how her work of HIV biochemistry has lead to improving research capacity and empowering women scientists in the Middle East and North Africa.

Check out her projects here:

  1. CTRL+S
  2. Science for Disenfranchised Youth, Nature Asia.

Happy International Women’s Day!

FlowersTo be honest, I hadn’t heard of this International Women’s Day until a college trip to Italy, where women traditionally receive yellow mimosa flowers. Not only was it nice to get flowers out of nowhere, I was delighted to learn that there was a day to celebrate women beyond Mother’s Day, since I felt that there were so many other amazing accomplishments made by women in addition to motherhood.

SamataRadio was started to highlight such accomplishments. So far, we’ve talked to students and scholars advocating for reproductive rights and drafting international laws. Future interviews will include researchers designing science training programs in for women in the Middle East.

The point of these interviews is to amplify the voices of women making an impact in their fields and to record the challenges of their work, the achievements they’ve made and the decision-making processes they’ve gone through to get to where they are now.


Amplifying voices of women is an important step in achieving gender equality. Check out the World Bank’s Voice and Agency, written by Jeni Klugman of the Harvard Kennedy School, for more practical steps for empowering women globally.

Also, look forward to more shows coming out monthly, and send us comments, ideas and suggestions at



Mujer Simbolo de Vida, Ep.1: Sofia Corsi

SamataRadio is proud to introduce our second podcast, Mujer Simbolo de Vida.

This show is hosted by Margarita Olarte, a medical student at the Universidad de Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia. Margarita will talk to outstanding women in Medellin about how society has shaped them into who they are today, and how they now work to change society tomorrow.

This first episode features Sofia Corsi of the Filarmónica de Medellín (

This, and all future episodes will be in Spanish. Please share and comment on


(Music by Macroform)

Retitled Ep. 4: Dr. Marcela Garces

After a long break, this year in Retitled begins with Dr. Marcela Garces, an associate professor at the Universidad de Antioquia Department of Preventative Medicine and Public Health, in Medellin, Colombia.

In this episode, we talk about her year after medical school in the Amazon, the challenges of obtaining work in the US when her degrees weren’t recognized, and finding success and happiness at home in Medellin.

To learn more about the Open Hands Initiative, the Universidad de Antioquia, and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, check out the links below.

Future episodes will air the first of each month. This interview, and the rest to come, will highlight leaders in the fields of health and women’s rights and, we hope will inspire you do the same.

Open Hands Initiative

Universidad de Antioquia

Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

In our culture.

These are the nine that were killed at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, on June 17th, 2015.

These are the nine that were killed at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, on June 17th, 2015.

It’s been hard to figure out the words to describe the events here in the US over the past few weeks. Even after the birth of Black Lives Matter initiative earlier this year, cops are assaulting young black girls and pulling guns on the boys that want to help her at pool parties; an individual is putting on blackface to impersonate and co-opt black womanhood; and, in a state where the Confederate flag still waves high, a white man killed 6 black women and 3 black men in a church because blacks were supposedly “raping our women and taking over the country.”

Gender-based violence manifests in so many ways as dictated by culture. And for the US, racism is its culture.

On a personal note, I wanted to share a few memories:

In the 5th grade, I was invited to a pool party of an elementary school friend. Being one of the three other black children, I was aware of how other pool-goers saw me. When my dad picked me up, he mentioned that he was not allowed to go to that pool as a child, as it was a white-only pool then.

I got rid of my hair relaxer a few years ago, less because of wanting a naturally curly hair style, but more because I didn’t want to pay money for hair treatment that didn’t suit my wallet or my image. At a dance club, a young black girl with relaxed hair emerges through the crowd to hold my hands and tell me that I was brave — to look as I naturally do. It saddened me that embracing one’s own black womanhood can bring fear and insecurity. It upsets me even more so now that the process is treated so flippantly by others.

On family road trips, we frequently would pass through South Carolina. Every time we stopped at a gas station, Confederate flags flew on the backs of trucks filling up with gas and in the store windows. In July 1999, the NAACP called for a boycott of the state because of its insistence in flying the flag over the state capitol. It was not a problem for us to take pit stops before and after entering the states, so we never needed to step foot in South Carolina. But still, that flag flew on the Georgia and North Carolina sides of the border, alike.

My grandmother belonged to an AME church that was centered in downtown Decatur, GA, and was relocated to my neighborhood as Decatur gentrified. The church, like all churches, formed a beautiful community. It’s men’s club, the women’s circle, the choir, and other church ministries- all of which formed a safe space for members and newcomers alike. I remember going there on an Easter and seeing my grandmother rock side-to-side to the music, smiling.

No memory like that can be violated.

Retitled Ep. 3: Forced Marriage, with Vidya Sri

This is Retitled, a series in which I try to find people who work in women’s health and related fields. I’ll ask them why they entered into their profession, the impact their work has on women’s health, and discuss the issues around women in health, science, and society.

The third episode features a discussion on forced marriage with Vidya Sri, a Fellow at the Carr Center at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is the founder of Gangashakti, an NGO that advocates for and provides support to survivors of forced marriage in the United States. She’s also written the definition of forced marriage for the Encyclopedia of Sexual Abuse and Violence. Now, she leads the Initiative on Violence Against Women.

Additional resources:

1. Sri V. Voices from the Frontline: Addressing Forced Marriage Within the United States. 2013.

2. ABA Resolution on Forced Marriage. American Bar Association; 2014.


4. The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government