If you’re like me, you like your podcasts short and packed with a wealth of information, which means Urban One’s nine-part podcast series “More Than That with Gia Peppers” should be enticing to you.
With conversationalist Gia Peppers at the helm, you can expect nothing less. The 20-minute podcast is an authentic podcast that highlights Black excellence across all industries. From guests like Arian Simone, President & CEO of Fearless Fund, an organization that invests in women of color led businesses, Pinky Cole of Slutty Vegan and Judge Lynn Toler (formerly of Divorce Court), you can count on hearing a word that will speaks to your spirit.
Conceived by dentsu and co-created and produced by One Solution, “More Than That with Gia Peppers” provides a platform for purveyors of the culture to share key takeaways and valuable insight with an intimate audience. We caught up with Peppers at the mid-season mark to check-in about the podcast, how it stands out from the plethora of shows that already exist and how sponsors General Motors, Kroger, and Procter & Gamble played a significant role in the interview series coming to fruition.
What attracted you to this project and what have you learned from the series?
Gia Peppers: There are a lot of factors that intrigued my interest for this specific project, but I think more than anything, it was the space to spark new types of conversations after a year when everything we knew about this world was finally put at the forefront. With the various pandemics Black folks endured this past year, we became clear on a lot of things. We need to be empowered financially, spiritually, physically, and mentally in all areas in this country—Whether that’s healthcare, food desserts, access, the digital divide or the wealth gap. We need change and many leaders are working all over to ensure that change happens. We wanted to create a space for industry leaders to have the conversations that many aren’t having, and with this show, we get to talk about a variety of subjects in new, enlightening ways. I have learned so much from being a part of this series as well. Whether it’s how powerful it is to reconnect with the land our ancestors tended to when they were enslaved, or why Black farmers are so important, or how folks overcame their own personal struggles to lead our community to better outcomes has changed many of my own approaches to how I live my life. Before this, I never even thought I’d be interested in owning a farm and now, I am certainly intrigued.
You mentioned one of your most enlightening conversations was with Samantha Foxx of Mother’s Finest Urban Farms because she really attached how mother earth and femininity go hand in hand.
Gia Peppers: She is a black woman farmer who grows her own food and is a beekeeper as well. She and I spoke in depth about how we as a people have real trauma related to the land. Obviously, so much devastation, tragedy, violence, and oppression happened in many of these open fields we drive by on long road trips. The more I thought about it, every single time I would drive by an open mass of land in Maryland, I would think about my ancestors and all they had to endure. The slightest tinge of pain would always come up in my spirit. And I can’t remember the last time I just took my shoes off and put my feet in the Soil. Samantha really explained how connecting with Mother Earth and the energy of the sun is a powerful activity and a healing one at that. It opened my perspective up to returning to the soil with the intention of connecting to heal, and not to live in the past trauma of what happened to our great, great grandparents and their parents. There’s so much power in tending to land, owning it, and engaging with it! And our conversation really changed my perspective. I recommend everyone listen to that episode, for sure.
You learned a great deal from Judge Lynn Toler, who proved to be an interesting conversation, what was a standout quote that resonated with you?
Gia Peppers: Judge Lynn Toler is such an awesome human being. I love connecting with her about her upbringing. She spoke about how her mother had a high emotional IQ and would treat each member of their family differently, based on their needs. She learned to see people as more than their worst mistakes and she carries so much of her mother’s warmth with her. All of my guests offered so many beautiful and heart-warming stories! I’m grateful to all of them because each of them have incredible stories.
How did sponsors General Motors, Kroger, and Procter & Gamble play a key role in the development and creation of this series?
Gia Peppers: The sponsors were great because they were genuinely interested in creating and funding spaces for conversations that empowered the Black community. The episode subjects are aligned with what each brand would do naturally, and they understood that these conversations wouldn’t get the amplification they needed without real support.
What makes this podcast a standout from other podcasts?
Gia Peppers: I appreciate this podcast for a lot of reasons, because it delves into the conversations that many of us act like we know about, but are so new, we haven’t really had the time to research. It offers new, enlightened ways of thinking to the radio audience and to the podcast space, which is also rare. Most radio shows don’t exist in the podcast space, so the opportunity to have both could bring together generations in ways we haven’t seen before! And that’s always exciting.
Listen to “More Than That With Gia Peppers,” here.