“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” ― Coco Chanel
This week's "Millennials on a Mission" are doing just that — using the power of their voice to not only speak their minds, but to encourage their peers to do the same. With their podcast based out of the Nation's Capitol, Amber, Jazzmin, and Ka'Lyn discuss social and cultural issues with a unique comedic flare. I had the chance to sit down with the ladies recently to hear more of their story.
Meet the ladies of The Link Up.
CC: Tell me about yourselves: Where are you all from? Discuss you college experience -- where did you complete your undergraduate/graduate degrees? What did you study, and what are you all doing in your careers now?
TLU: We all attended schools in Virginia, and just happened to cross paths. Amber is from Philadelphia and attended VCU where she studied Fashion Merchandising; Ka'Lyn is from California and attended Old Dominion where she studied English; and Jazzmin is from Richmond, VA and attended Old Dominion as well and studied Spanish.
Amber is currently building her own personal brand and the beginning stages of her own business. Ka'Lyn is currently a graduate student at Bowie State University and a pre-school teacher at a charter school in DC. Jazzmin is a preschool teacher and spanish language program coordinator at a pre-school in arlington. We all attended PWI's, (predominantly white institutions) so we all dealt with owning our blackness, learning when our voice was needed, and how to make an impact on campus in our own special way.
CC: Who/what has inspired you to begin The Link Up? Have you faced any challenges in launching your podcast, and if so, what have you learned from them? What are some of your favorite topics to chat about, and what's the process like for producing each episode?
TLU: The Link Up was born thanks to our good friend Mia J. She said that we always had these very intriguing conversations in our apartment, and that it would make a great podcast. We had a running joke among our girls about "The Bad B*tch Link Up," which was basically when we all hung out together, so we ran with that and came up with The Link Up. Every time we are around each other, it's a celebration of life, love and lots of laughter.
One of our favorite topics is definitely FEMINISM because we can find a way to bring that into every conversation. We are all very vocal about our feelings towards male entitlement as it relates to feminism, too.
The only challenge we have faced with our podcast is the software. Sometimes it can be very difficult recording, editing and saving all these podcast episodes to one laptop, but we make it work! We record each episode in Ka'Lyn & Jazzmin's dining room with one Samsung mic, wine and our voices. The fruit of our labors is then posted all over the internet!
CC: Who is the ideal listener for The Link Up? How do you hope to inspire other millennials with your podcast, and what can they expect from you ladies and The Link Up in the near future?
TLU: We want to target millennial men and women! Our episodes are not gender specific, but we do talk about a lot of issues that cater to those in our age group. We would love to have listeners from all backgrounds and this is why we work very hard on finding topics that can suit all listeners.
For those who are just tuning in, BRACE YOURSELF. We are RAW, UNCUT and UNAPOLOGETIC! There is not cut card on this show! We say what we feel and do not apologize for those feelings. Also, we love feedback so keeping the conversation on social media by using #WATLU is important. It connects our listeners to use and also helps them meet others like them! Our goal is to be the voice for those who feel voiceless and to push those voiceless kings & queens to speak out and be comfortable with their voice. Millennials have A LOT to say and it needs to be heard!
To the ladies of The Link Up, to be a "Millennial on a Mission" means to live out your dreams, regardless of any financial, social or emotional setbacks you may face. "You are determined to make a difference in your life and the lives of other by doing what you love," the ladies say. "No one can silence you, so be yourself --unapologetically."