139 episodes

Welcome to ItsPersonalPodcast hosted by Gary R. Gray Jr. Gary is a teacher in Manila (Philippines). He enjoys talking with anyone who is willing to listen and share their stories with him. On this podcast you will find a talk series from Gary in which he dives deep into his childhood and current life. He takes the time to dissect his decision making and "accomplishments" up until now, and if he is truly living a full life. On his second podcast series #ItsPersonal, Gary speaks with educators, authors, teachers, parents, people from all walks of life on who they are behind the computer. His mission is to speak with those from the Global Majority, and listen. He takes guest on a ride down memory lane, asking personal questions about identity and true meaning of life. It's not your typical pod. And don't expect professional editing. You can find Gary on all social media platforms @GaryRGrayJr

Its Personal Podcast Gary R. Gray Jr

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 16 Ratings

Welcome to ItsPersonalPodcast hosted by Gary R. Gray Jr. Gary is a teacher in Manila (Philippines). He enjoys talking with anyone who is willing to listen and share their stories with him. On this podcast you will find a talk series from Gary in which he dives deep into his childhood and current life. He takes the time to dissect his decision making and "accomplishments" up until now, and if he is truly living a full life. On his second podcast series #ItsPersonal, Gary speaks with educators, authors, teachers, parents, people from all walks of life on who they are behind the computer. His mission is to speak with those from the Global Majority, and listen. He takes guest on a ride down memory lane, asking personal questions about identity and true meaning of life. It's not your typical pod. And don't expect professional editing. You can find Gary on all social media platforms @GaryRGrayJr

    EP. 126 Saadia Faruqi on Ali the Great and early Influences during her writing career

    EP. 126 Saadia Faruqi on Ali the Great and early Influences during her writing career

    As we sit down with Saadia Faruqi, a talented writer and advocate for diversity in children's literature. Saadia shares her inspiring journey of writing books that resonate with her daughter, with a strong desire for her to see herself represented in literature. We explore the importance of having range in writing, capturing the early years, middle school, and older ages to cater to a wide audience.

    Saadia also discusses her mission as a Pakistani American writer and the significance of discussing religion with children. Get a sneak peek into her new series, "Ali the Great," focusing on the early years, set to release on August 1st.

    We also delve into the exciting books that Saadia has in the pipeline for the upcoming years.

    Website: https://saadiafaruqi.com/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/SaadiaFaruqi
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/saadiafaruqi/

    • 20 min
    EP. 125 Antonio Michael Downing, Orphan Blue, Black Grandma's & creative freedom

    EP. 125 Antonio Michael Downing, Orphan Blue, Black Grandma's & creative freedom

    Join us on this episode of the podcast as we dive deep into the life and experiences of Antonio Michael Downing, author, musician, and speaker. Antonio shares his journey growing up in Toronto and the profound influence his grandmother had on his life and family.

    We explore the pressures that people of color face when creating and the challenges of letting go of control when it comes to something you've built and created. Antonio also shares his perspective on life as a bounty of creativity, and the mental health tools he uses to take care of himself.

    Tune in to learn more about Antonio's new book "Orphan Blue" and the powerful stories he tells through his work.

    Follow Antonio online:
    Website: https://www.antoniomichaeldowning.com/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/John_Orpheus
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/johnorpheus/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/john.orpheus.3/

    • 35 min
    EP. 124 Ekiuwa Aire, exploring African history and representation, and influences

    EP. 124 Ekiuwa Aire, exploring African history and representation, and influences

    Join us on this episode of the podcast as we chat with Ekiuwa Aire, founder of Our Ancestories. Ekiuwa shares her experiences growing up in boarding school in Nigeria and how her family, especially her kids, inspired her to write books that represent African history and culture.

    She also discusses her biggest influence, Vasti Harrison, and how her work has impacted her own writing. Tune in to learn more about Ekiuwa's journey and the importance of representation in children's literature.

    Follow Ekiuwa:
    Website: https://our-ancestories.com/en-ca/pages/about
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ancestories/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/our.ancestoriess/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/our_ancestories/

    • 15 min
    EP. 123 Jennifer N. Baker talks FORGIVE ME NOT and early environment

    EP. 123 Jennifer N. Baker talks FORGIVE ME NOT and early environment

    Jennifer Baker was named the 2019 Publishers Weekly Star Watch “SuperStar” because her “varied work championing diversity in publishing has made her an indispensable fixture in the book business.” She is the recipient of a 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship and a 2017 Queens Council on the Arts New Work Grant (as well as the QCA Jr. Board Artistic Excellence Award) in Nonfiction. Her essay “What We Aren’t” was also listed as a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2018.

    On Its Personal, Jennifer chats about her debut YA, FORGIVE ME NOT, and all of its meanings. Jennifer shares her thought process around the story, and how the multiple themes within the story have an impact on today's world. Throughout this chat, Jennfier also dives into her childhood and explains some of her most memorable moments in school.

    Website: https://www.jennifernbaker.com/bio
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jbakernyc/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/jbakernyc
    FORGIVE ME NOT: https://www.jennifernbaker.com/forgive-me-not-novel

    • 39 min
    EP. 122 Nawal Qarooni talks being a Momma and the lit world she lives in

    EP. 122 Nawal Qarooni talks being a Momma and the lit world she lives in

    Nawal Qarooni is an educator, writer, and adjunct professor who supports a holistic approach to literacy instruction and family experiences in schools across the country. Drawing on her work as an inquiry-based leader, mother, and proud daughter of immigrants, Nawal's pedagogy is centered on the rich and authentic learning all families gift their children every day.

    Upcoming book: Nourishing Caregiver Collaborations: Elevating Home Experiences and Classroom Practices for Collective Care (Stenhouse, end of '23 or early '24).

    Website: https://www.nqcliteracy.com/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/NQCLiteracy
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nqarooni

    • 20 min
    EP. 121 Breanna J. McDaniel hard truths and new books

    EP. 121 Breanna J. McDaniel hard truths and new books

    Breanna J. McDaniel (she/her/hers) is the co-founder of REIYL (Researchers Exploring Inclusive Youth Literature) and an author. She’s published in myriad academic journals, an academic anthology and her debut picture book Hands Up! was published with Dial Books in 2019, while her newest picture book Impossible Moon was published with Denene Millner Books in June of 2022.

    She has five forthcoming picture books, one with Dial GO FORTH AND TELL: The Life of August Baker, Librarian and Master Storyteller coming in February of 2024 and Cute Toot with Henry Holt Books for Young Readers in the Spring of 2024.

    On ItsPersonal Breanna chats about growing up in the South, hard truths about her current position with education, and her soon-to-be-published picture book, Cute Toot. A podcast conversation, you do not want to miss.

    Website: https://www.breannajmcdaniel.com/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bremacbooks/

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

MsK1ELL ,

My ears are listening and my have been opened.

This podcast is excellent and am looking forward to the next part when it comes out. I knew that black people live in Canada, I know the stories or some of the stories of the slaves seeking asylum there but I was under the stupid assumption that race relations were better there than here in the US. I didn’t realize it was as segregated there today, as it is here. It was educational and looks like something I need to learn more about. Thanks for giving me a glimpse into that world and opening my eyes to my ignorance.
Thank you for that gift.

Neenmachine21 ,

Thanks for sharing

Gary’s story reveals a lot about international teaching life. His voice is refreshing and earnest, mixing in the full range of life’s emotions: joy, shame, love, thoughtfulness...

I really enjoyed listening to these. Keep sharing your thoughts!

KyleJKreegs ,

Must Listen!!

I’m so proud of my friend Gary Gray Jr. on his continued contribution to education and his ability to tell a story! And his insights are based on his experience and I will listen to anything he puts out.

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