December 11th, 2019 | Season 2 | 1 hr 35 mins
barkha madan, bollywood, buddha, buddhism, dalai lama, film, humanity, interview, love, society, spirituality
Anuj Rastogi is joined by Barkha Madan at the AwokenWord studio. Barkha Madan is a former Indian model, film actress and film producer who has also appeared in television serials and hosted TV shows in India. Barkha had risen to prominence through major film and fashion projects, while undergoing her own inner exploration and journey. In November 2012, Barkha finally made the leap into her self-described "calling" and underwent ordination to become a Buddhist nun and changed her name to Ven. Gyalten Samten. Barkha shares her incredible journey from the runway and silverscreen, and the experience of immersing herself in new characters, before eventually following through on her true spiritual calling. Anuj and Barkha discuss the challenges of a modern life in a modern, materialistic and social media driven world, as well as the joys of travel, meeting people, looking back across her experiences, and the ways in which her path has impacted countless others.
July 25th, 2019 | Season 1 | 2 hrs 10 mins
art, conversation, culture, death, democrats, evolution, fatherhood, history, humanity, joe rogan, love, metoo, politics, religion, science, society, world
Anuj sits down with Ali A. Rizvi back in the AwokenWord studio. Ali is an author, speaker, and musician who grew up in Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan before moving to the US and eventually Canada at the age of 24. Anuj and Ali discuss his background, life experiences growing up, the insights Ali gleaned in working with the dead, science, and religion. They dive deep into the challenges and questions unanswered by religion, the history and impact of religion on human cultural evolution, and the role that spirituality may or may not play in our lives, as well as the beauty of wonder and fatherhood and everyday life. The conversation turns to the current US Democratic primaries and the role of politics, identity, populism and social forces shaping the world today.
June 13th, 2019 | Season 1 | 1 hr 23 mins
america, apex youth center, cnn, conversation, culture, darius baxter, david brooks, gangs, gun violence, history, human, humanity, interview, love, new orleans, politics, prison, religion, society, sxsw, sxsw edu, system, world
Live from SXSW EDU, Anuj Rastogi sits down with Lisa Fitzpatrick, co-founder of the APEX Youth Center based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Lisa shared the stage as the opening keynote in SXSW EDU 2019. Lisa's story is a rare glimpse into the mind of a true hero who overcomes incredible trauma and build a life of humanity and compassion. Lisa shares her personal journey from tragically falling victim in a random act of violence to devoting her life and efforts to welcoming the community quite literally into her home. Lisa shares the story behind founding a community organization that has changed the lives for over 1,200 youth to date, and how her experience as a pastor, a business executive, and mother has shaped her incredible contributions to the world.
April 14th, 2019 | Season 1 | 1 hr 3 mins
america, conversation, culture, david brooks, goodprojects, gun violence, history, human, humanity, interview, lisa fitzpatrick, love, politics, science, society, sxsw, sxsw edu, washington, world
Live from SXSW EDU, Anuj Rastogi sits down with Darius Baxter, co-founder of GOODProjects based in Washington DC. Darius shared the stage as the opening keynote in SXSW EDU 2019. He is an incredibly inspiring leader, and shares his personal journey from tragically losing his father at age 9, to being raised by a strong mother, and the choices he made between pursuing a Wall Street career and serving the community, modern political life in America, inspiring new generations, and being the change in action.
one of the country's most prolific event producers, as well as a talented author, speaker and poet. Anuj and Dwayne dive deep into many important territories, from Race, the experience of being black in this world, creating spaces and platforms for others to shine, being a man, fatherhood, sociopolitical polarization, the importance of self love, and paying it forward.
January 19th, 2019 | Season 1 | 2 hrs 33 mins
#metoo, #womensmarch, conversation, culture, gentleman, gillette, hip hop, history, human, humanity, interview, love, manhood, masculinity, men, politics, science, society, toxic masculinity, world
In this episode of the AwokenWord podcast, Anuj Rastogi is joined by Jeff Perera, public speaker, motivator and leading voice in the evolution of our perceptions of manhood, masculinity and empathy. A well-respected voice, TEDx speaker and writer, Jeff has been devoted to the cause long before the #metoo movement, and polarizing ads such as that from Gillette, were in the public consciousness. Anuj and Jeff explore both very personal and collective experiences on issues of self reflection as men, self-love, as well as the related conversations on race, and our current political climate.
December 26th, 2018 | Season 1 | 1 hr 46 mins
art, black, civil rights, dwayne morgan, humanity, inspiration, love, manhood, masculinity, music, poetry, politics, race, racism, when brothers speak, when sisters speak
In this episode of the AwokenWord podcast, Anuj Rastogi sits down with Dwayne Morgan, one of the country's most prolific event producers, as well as a talented author, speaker and poet. Anuj and Dwayne dive deep into many important territories, from Race, the experience of being black in this world, creating spaces and platforms for others to shine, being a man, fatherhood, sociopolitical polarization, the importance of self love, and paying it forward.
November 3rd, 2018 | Season 1 | 2 hrs 18 mins
art, education, history, humanity, inspiration, love, masculinity, music, poetry, politics, racism
In this episode of the AwokenWord podcast, Anuj Rastogi talks to Ian French, popularly known as "IF The Poet" and finalist in the 2015 World Slam Poetry championship in Paris. Ian has been the subject of a CBC documentary, and is a respected performer whose work spans the breadth of our collective, and individual human experiences. Anuj and Ian talk at length about the state of the world today, poetry, the journey of creativity, masculinity in today's world, being honest, the nuances of identity politics and political correctness, self-love and the importance of knowing your own story.
[*NOTE: Though planned at the time of this recording, Ian ultimately pulled out of present at the 2018 "Men and Masculinity Summit" in Toronto, for specific concerns of his own regarding a decision for this year's sumit. He's continued to be a supporter of the summit, and the cause.]
November 2nd, 2018 | Season 1 | 2 hrs 36 mins
alien, film, george lucas, hollywood, humanity, light saber, love, oscar, science fiction, star wars
In this episode of the AwokenWord podcast, Anuj Rastogi speaks with legendary, Academy award-winning Art Director and Filmmaker, Roger Christian. Roger walks through his incredible life's journey from childhood in the UK, to learning the craft of set direction to the day he was hired personally by George Lucas to lead set design on "Star Wars: A New Hope". Roger explains the process he went through in inventing and designing the light-saber, R2D2, and the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, among many elements in the enduring look of the Star Wars universe.
Anuj and Roger discuss the evolution of cinema, Roger's inspirations and experiences with some of the greats of Hollywood, today's changing political and social landscape, what it means to be a man today, and the future of his newly resurrected feature film project, "Black Angel".
November 1st, 2018 | Season 1 | 1 hr 28 mins
culture, feminism, humanity, islam, love, multiculturalism, muslim, pakistan, politics, raheel, raza, religion, tolerance, youth
In this episode of the AwokenWord podcast, Anuj Rastogi speaks with Raheel Raza, author, speaker, and incredibly fierce activist and advocate for reform within the Muslim world. Raheel talks about her experience as a muslim, and a woman pushing for reformation within the community, and for open, honest dialogue. Raheel speaks about her work with youth, with the UN Human Rights Commission, and the crisis of an increasingly polarized world, and how difficult it can be to call a "spade a spade" in a climate where both sides of the political spectrum take issue with one's views without engaging in that dialogue.
October 31st, 2018 | Season 1 | 1 hr 9 mins
brexit, home, humanity, immigration, law, lawyer, love, migrants, politics, raj sharma, refugees, society
In this episode of the AwokenWord podcast, Anuj Rastogi talks to Raj Sharma, one of Canada's leading refugee lawyers. Raj talks about his experience as a refugee protection officer, as a refugee and immigration lawyer in the context of the current migrant crisis in the US, and potential impact on Canada. Anuj and Raj discuss the concept of home itself, what it means to leave home, and what it means to find a new place to call home. The conversation makes timely reference in the context of a rise in political polarization, brexit, far-right fears and increasing globalization.