A New Season of Grow Kinder® Is Coming!

Show Notes

In this teaser episode, Committee for Children CEO Andrea Lovanhill gives listeners a sneak peek into the upcoming season of Grow Kinder and reveals two new hosts who’ve joined the podcast: Dr. Tia Kim, our VP of Education, Research, and Impact, and LaShuna McBride, our VP of PR and Communications.

New episodes begin airing next week. Listen, rate, and follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or anywhere podcasts are found. To learn more, visit GrowKinderPodcast.org. And while you’re there, take our listener survey and let us know what you think of the show. We’d love to hear from you!



[00:00:02] SM: Welcome to the Grow Kinder Podcast, where thought leaders in education explore how social-emotional learning can help us navigate society's most pressing challenges and create a kinder, more compassionate world, brought to you by Committee for Children.

[00:00:24] AL: Hi, Grow Kinder listeners. It's your host, Andrea. I'm so excited because next week we're going to be back in your feet with a brand new season of the podcast. And 2020 has felt like a decade, more than a year. I'm sure that you felt the same. And like all of you, the Grow Kinder podcast has undergone some really big transformations this last year. And so I have some bittersweet news for everyone. Our co-host, Mia Doces, is actually leaving Grow Kinder, and she's going to continue to focus on producing Committee for Children's social emotional learning podcast for kids and families, The Imagine Neighborhood. And we also have some more big news. I'm thrilled to announce that we have two new co-hosts that are going to be joining us on the Grow Kinder Podcast. Some of you are probably already familiar with Dr. Tia Kim, Committee for Children's VP of Education, Research and Impact. Tia joined us last April to talk about the Hot Chocolate Child Protection Campaign. Tia, I’m so happy you're going to be joining us on the podcast.

[00:01:20] TK: Thanks, Andrea. I'm so thrilled to be part of this.

[00:01:23] AL: And listeners, you're probably also going to recognize the voice of our VP of Public Relations and Communications, Shauna McBride, who graciously voices the podcast intro. Welcome to the podcast, Shauna.

[00:01:33] SM: Hi, and thank you. I am so excited to be here and to start these great conversations.

[00:01:39] AL: Now, have either of you hosted a podcast before?

[00:01:42] SM: I have not, but I will say that I'm pretty obsessed with true crime podcasts, which this is not. But –

[00:01:50] AL: No. That'll be a spin off.

[00:01:55] TK: I actually haven't either. So I'm looking forward to starting this new adventure.

[00:02:00] AL: Well, I have a little more than a year under my belt of hosting. So if you want any tips or tricks, you can let me know. Although I have to say, Shauna, you have a background in journalism. And you and your team, this podcast was their brainchild. So you'll probably be giving Tia some more tips than we're able to give you. Well, we're all going to support and help each other. And then I just would love to know, what are you most excited to talk about this season? How about you, Tia?

[00:02:26] TK: I'm really excited to delve into the theme around diversity, equity and inclusion. I know what we have slated for this upcoming season really focuses around those issues. And so it's something that is deeply important to me, and I think deeply important in the work that we do. So I'm excited to delve into that.

[00:02:47] AL: Great. What about you, Shauna?

[00:02:49] SM: I am very aligned with Tia. I mean, I think conversations around diversity, belonging, inclusion, anti-racism, they're so important right now. And I love storytelling. So it'll be really fun, and hopefully informative to talk to people who have different perspectives and opinions and you know, learn and grow.

[00:03:10] AL: Great. I feel totally aligned with that as well. I think we were all really excited when we started to look at the concepts for the coming slate of episodes. So I'd also love to hear, what's one of society's biggest challenges probably related to what you've just mentioned, that you think SEL can positively impact and why?

[00:03:29] TK: Thinking about SEL and equity at large, I think one place where SEL and social-emotional learning can really show up is thinking about how do we help young people have become a really great contributor to society and help to make positive impact and change. So really teaching skills not only to improve their individual trajectories skills, but how are they going to use those skills to then impact the communities that they live in positively. Like when I think about my own kids, and how I want SEL to influence their lives, that's what I really think about and that's what we have conversations about as a family, is really like how are you going to use these skills for good and to make positive change in the community and society that you live in. And so I think, particularly in that climate that we're in, I think those are important things for us to think about as we impart these skills on to kids’ lives.

[00:04:24] AL: What about you, Shauna?

[00:04:26] SM: I've been thinking a lot about the word society lately. I feel like, for a lot of folks, it's no longer really confined to just your local community. So for me, it's really important to think about society from a global perspective and how it's important to not just think about what matters for me or for the people I care about, but we're also interconnected globally. So the importance of having strong social skills and being self-aware and socially aware and building relationships that are really solid, I feel like it's more important now than ever, because you're going to interact with people that are different from you and have different opinions and grew up differently. And navigating all that, it's just critically important. So I'm excited to dig into all that.

[00:05:21] AL: Well, and to your point to, both of your points, we are going to be diving into some really rich, nuanced, and sometimes tough conversations over the course of the season. Given the complexities of the topics we'll be covering, how are you going to be kind to yourselves on this journey?

[00:05:35] SM: It might sound a bit silly, but I'm very serious about nurturing myself. I think it's especially important given everything that we've all been through since the pandemic hit and really before the pandemic, right? So I'm at a point where I am very unapologetic about self-care and taking care of myself in the ways that work for me. I recognize that what works for me, may not work for others. But I think we all need to – We need find big and small ways to advocate for our needs. For me, I am all about bubble bath. I have a mini-trampoline that I utilize when the mood hits. I read a lot. And also, I eat ice cream, cake, whenever I want, when I want, not in huge quantities or anything, but you know what I mean. And sometimes none of those things are possible. And I read the news, and I see what's happening in the world. And it's a lot. But for me, bottom line, I am going to keep trying to be the change that I hope to see in this world and also extend myself the same amount of kindness that I extend to others. And I'm going to keep eating cake.

[00:07:00] TK: I really like to run for self-care. I'm a big believer in self-care too. And I always felt like running was a place for me to kind of clear my mind, and particularly like running outside. So I'm glad that weather is getting warmer and hopefully less rainy here in Seattle so that I can continue to do that, because that really helps me.

[00:07:22] AL: Yes. I will just take up the mantle of representing the segment of our listeners who have difficulty engaging in exercise or seeing that as self-care. I'll take that on you guys. Don't worry about that.

[00:07:37] TK: And while I'm running these days, I like to listen to k-pop. The combination of those two is how I’m kind to myself.

[00:07:46] SM: Do you have a favorite k-pop group?

[00:07:48] TK: Of course. It’s BTS.

[00:07:50] AL: This is Tia’s spin off podcast.

[00:07:57] TK: This will be, yeah, the Grow Kinder season two. The intersectionality of K-pop and SEL?

[00:08:08] AL: There probably is. And if there was, you could make that happen.

[00:08:14] TK: What about you, Andrea?

[00:08:16] AL: What am I doing for self-care? Oh, I do struggle a little bit with making time for that. But I actually in this last year, recognizing the many challenges that we would have and taking on my new role as CEO here at Committee for Children have intentionally – I'm a planner. So I have scheduled time for myself. I have a mental health break weekly, which I can use that time to engage in whatever kind of self-care really helps with my mental and emotional well-being. I'm actually using my vacation time, which has been historically difficult for me. And so I've planned some just days of respite with my family. And then I like to engage in drawing, which is a hobby that I just picked up in the last year or so. So some creative outlets there. So that's probably what I'll be relying on.

[00:09:12] TK: Oh, I love that. Have either of you ever watched the show Parks and Rec where they would talk about treat –

[00:09:19] AL: Treat yourself day. Yes. I've actually not watched that full show, but I do know that part of it.

[00:09:26] TK: Everyone needs multiple treat yourself days.

[00:09:29] SM: I'm in agreement with that. I think it's a good question. Because being kind to yourself can be hard.

[00:09:35] AL: Well, as you both know, our podcast name is Grow Kinder. So I want to ask you each about kindness. But before I do that, I want to help our listeners just get to know you a little bit better. So I was wondering if each of you could share a little about your background and maybe what led you to Committee for Children. Tia, why don't we start with you?

[00:09:51] TK: Great question. So I am trained as a developmental psychologist. So back in my early years of doing research, I primarily focused on trying to figure out what were the causes of juvenile delinquency and aggression, and particularly thinking about what might be unique predictors for different racial and ethnic minority groups. And then my research has evolved over time and, of course, now that I'm at Committee for Children, much more focused in the education space, and primarily around social and emotional development. But I think the heart of my research has always been applied, and translational, and really taking what we know from research and trying to figure out the best ways to create programming, either it’d be prevention programming, or intervention programming. I always wanted to help kids and I always felt like the research should help kids. So I'm glad. That's what led me to Committee for Children. I think it's a great, unique place that actually does that, that takes research and translates it into programming that's hopefully effective. So I think it’s a great landing place. I'm not going to lie though. The reason we came to Seattle was because of my husband's job. So there's that too, but –

[00:11:08] AL: Well, how lucky that he found a place here that spoke to him and so did you. Very different places, but still. Also, I just have to say to our listeners, if you do not have a psychologist at work to annoy, you are just not living. Like I am constantly asking Tia questions about my own children and their development. And she's very reassuring that they are on a pathway to be happy, healthy kids in the long run. So it's always helpful for my anxiety to leverage that work relationship and to bother her with those sorts of things.

[00:11:47] TK: Yup.

[00:11:48] AL: She does it with very little eye rolling, which is, if you knew Tia, personally, you would be surprised by.

[00:11:55] SM: Can I say the same? So there was a period when every day after work I would come home and tell my daughter, “Tia says that…” and my daughter, Eva, was not amused with the amount of research driven information I was being given.

[00:12:11] AL: Oh, that’s not the case in our house, but I'm starting with my kids younger. So they respect Tia’s authority.

[00:12:18] TK: That’s true. Give your kids a few more years, Andrea, they probably will start rolling their eyes.

[00:12:24] AL: Then I'm just going to send them to you directly. How about you, Shauna? What about your journey to get here?

[00:12:30] SM: So my background is journalism, broadcast journalism. And, really, I like to classify that as storytelling. I am one of those really strange people that knew what I wanted to do and what I want it to be when I was really little. When I was seven, my family was living in Guam. And one night, I was walking through our house, and I walked past the TV, and I saw a brown woman reporting the news. And that really stood out to me, because I had never seen someone that looked like me in that kind of role. And that was it. It was game over for me. I knew what I wanted to do with my life. And to this day, I have no idea how I knew. But I really remember that moment like it was yesterday. But I just knew that that was my path. And I knew that I wanted to tell stories. And more importantly, I wanted to tell stories that could impact, and as Tia would say, hopefully have a positive impact on the way people think and the way they see the world and see each other. And I recognize that it might seem crazy that I had all of those thoughts when I was seven, but I did. I really do remember that moment really vividly. So I became a journalist and a mom. And eventually I really wanted more time for family life. So I transitioned to for-profit work and then nonprofit work. But I always have had this tug-defined purpose-driven work, which is what led me to Committee for Children. I wholeheartedly truly believe in the mission, the vision. I think that people are phenomenally smart. Researchers on staff that will give you parenting advice never hurts, and everyone's very compassionate and driven and just kind of all the things, and it's really just a joy to do this kind of purpose-driven work. That's what led me here.

What about you, Andrea? What led you to Committee for Children?

[00:14:35] AL: Oh, well, I love that purpose-driven work. I feel similarly. And that that kind of developed early. I’ll also say, if you don't have someone at work that is a cheerleader that will inspire you and help you find the right words to inspire others, you're also missing out. And so I appreciate that very much about our dynamic, Shauna. And I'm glad you both found your way to Committee for Children.

My pathway here, I think a lot of our folks came out of education or research. And I really was drawn to nonprofit work. So I knew I wanted mission-focused work pretty early. I thought the sort of direct service or more sort of socially focused nonprofit work wouldn't quite be for me. I come from a family of nurses that my whole life at dinner I was hearing lots of stories about their interactions and service to people. And I thought, “I don't think that's for me,” like the emotional toll that it took, the physical toll that it took. So I really focused on nonprofit work in the environmental space for quite a while, but I did get to work with schools, with local government. And it was really fun. The sort of environmental conservation, and getting kids engaged around that. But what I also realized is that it didn't feel upstream enough. And I would see these interactions between kids, within families, from parents, from teachers with kids that sort of interpersonal relationship struggles and discipline practices, like in public during environmental or outdoor classrooms. Like it showed me a lot of the things that like I had experienced growing up and dynamics in my own family were everywhere. And how was I going to help these kids focus on the planet and taking care of each other and taking care of – They weren't at their core understanding other’s perspectives, relating to other people in a healthy way, developing skills to work together. And so I kind of recognize that.

But when I came to Seattle, and I stumbled upon Committee for Children, it was such a serendipitous thing. It was my first week in Seattle. I had just set up my computer and the position I applied for was going to close in 30 minutes. And I thought, “Man, this mission looks incredible. This research is amazing. This looks like this real turnkey solution for some of these things that I want to focus on in my next role.” But also, I should probably just have at least put in one application here, my first application in Seattle, so that I can get a job and stay here. And two days later, I had that job, which was a very entry-level position. And a few weeks later, I thought, “Man, I found something really special in this work. And I'm going to see it through and try to contribute in whatever ways I can.” And for me, it's just been such a rewarding and incredible journey to focus on social-emotional learning, and also in the work that we do in prevention of bullying, and abuse. And all of those things would have made such a difference in my own life growing up that it feels like a privilege to do that for children now.

So let's talk about kindness. Has there been a time in your lives when you receive kindness from another person that really stands out to you? And I'd love to hear how that experience shaped you or your mindset.

[00:18:05] SM: I love the word kindness. And it's interesting to think about moments of kindness, because they definitely stand out. And for me, I think my grandmother is someone who I've had a lot of lovely experiences with. She lives in Houston, Texas. She's a true southerner, a true matriarch of our family. She's very statuesque and was married to – And she's close to six feet tall, married to a man who was five-six or five-seven, but he was obsessed and adored her. And everyone in my family does as well. And she makes everyone feel very special. And when I was little, even to this day, she would call me darling whenever we talk, say, “How are you doing, darling?” And the word darling is kind of etched in my memory. And there came a point when we were at a family reunion or something and I noticed she was calling everyone darling. And I was not cool with that. I went up to her and said, “Grandma, do you call everyone darling?” And she said, “Yes, darling.”

And I think why I relate that to kindness is there something about the way she'd say it and look at me when she'd say it that always made me feel very seen, and she does that for everybody. And we all feel it. And I've tried to carry that forward because, really, it matters when you feel seen and heard. And even though I'm still a little salty and bitter that she calls everyone darling, I appreciate that it's something we've all kind of connected with and try to pass on as kindness.

[00:19:42] TK: I love that story. Mine’s a little different. So in thinking about this question, so the first thing that comes to my mind these days, I have to spend a lot of time with my husband, because we both are at home because of COVID. And he does a lot of things that kind of irked me, but one thing that I've been getting really irritated about is when the toilet paper roll runs out, he never changes it.

[00:20:06] AL: People are going to really relate to this, Tia. And you can tell already.

[00:20:10] TK: Toilet paper roll. And I get irate, because it's so annoying, like, just change it. And so a few months ago, I was like pissed because he kept doing it and I was getting on him. And then one day, I noticed that the toilet paper roll is changed, but not only was it changed, but it was like folded into a triangle. Like when you go to a hotel and when you first walk into the bathroom, it's like folded. I thought, “Ha! That's strange.” But every bathroom that I went into in my house had folded toilet paper. And I thought that's odd. And then it kept happening day after day, like every time I was going to the bathroom, the toilet paper roll was folded. And it finally dawned on me that my husband was doing it. So not only – I guess he had listened to me. Not only was he changing the toilet paper roll. He was folding it for me. And so I found it hilarious because, Andrea and Shauna probably know, because I say that. I don't think he's that kind in general, but I thought that was a very kind gesture, coming from him. And then he actually listened to my complaint, and did that.

And I think I like that example, because I'm not in general a very overt kind of emotional person or like expresses my feelings very like largely or overtly. And so I think what I really appreciate are really small gestures of kindness. It doesn't even have to be by people I know very well. So for instance, someone in the grocery store line saying, “Oh, you want to go first? You don't have that much stuff.” Or someone opening the door. Like if I have a lot of things in my hand, opening the door for me. I think just small things like that, I just really appreciate it, and it kind of just teaches me that even small acts of kindness kind of go a long way. So that's why I use that example.

[00:21:58] AL: That’s awesome. What a good description of just kind of small acts. But I'm just going to add to this even though you didn't ask me. I've been thinking a lot about like the way people describe kindness. And I think that the two of you have taken these two different tracks that I hear a lot, and doing this podcast for the last year, when you ask people about what kindness means to them, there's these sort of small acts of kindness, which actually are ways that you build trust as well, right? So when you have an ongoing relationship with someone and they are demonstrating through small acts over time that they care for you and that they respect you, that that builds trust. And then there's this other way of being in the world that is more – The track Shauna was discussing, which I actually really relate to inclusion, to a feeling of belonging. That they are accepting you and seeing you and that they want you there, right? And so I like that these are the two things that came out on my own is a little more on the on Shauna's track.

[00:22:57] TK: I do want to say, though, that the toilet paper folding did not last for that many days. But I'll take what I can get, right?

[00:23:07] AL: But it's one thing in a series of things. I'm sure there'll be other things that he does that demonstrate that. You both know that recently I lost my grandfather who’s one of the people that raised me, and he was the type of person more along the vein of what Shauna was saying, like he really made other people's light shine brighter. He lifted people up, and he infused every interaction with kindness and empathy. He kind of created this feeling of calm support when you met him and interacted with him. And you got the sense that he saw you as an individual and cared about you. And I think that's a way of being in the world that promotes kindness also in others. And so I think both those things are necessary. Those small acts and that way of being that respects and sees other people.

[00:23:57] SM: Andrea, you know that's you, by the way, right? When you said calm support, I mean –

[00:24:01] TK: Ding-ding-ding.

[00:24:02] AL: Well, thank you for saying that. I definitely am one of the few people in my family that is described as having his demeanor. Many of the women in my family have what we would call the Emerson temper, which is a different – Whatever gene is passed down through my grandmother's line predominantly in the women.

I just want to thank you both, because this is going to be I think really educational for me too. I have done this for a little while, but having both your voices in the podcast, I always benefit from our conversations internally. And I'm excited for the listeners to benefit from that as well. And so, welcome. Thanks for joining us, and I'm excited to get started on this with you all.

Listeners, we're going to be back with new episodes next week.

[00:24:49] TK: And be sure to rate and follow us on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher and anywhere podcasts are heard.

[00:24:57] SM: To learn more, visit growkinderpodcast.org. And while you're there, be sure to fill out our listener survey. We'd love to hear from you.


[00:25:06] SM: Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoyed the show. For more episodes and information, visit growkinderpodcast.org. And while you're there, we'd love to hear more about you and what you think of the Grow Kinder Podcast. Until next time, be sure to rate and follow us on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.