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The Mama Bear Dares podcast explores the intersection of the Mother Self and the Other Self and, in doing so, encourages listeners to discover their inner Mama Bear and unlock her power in the pursuit of a life of love and compassion.

The Mama Bear Dares podcast explores the intersection of the Mother Self and the Other Self and, in doing so, encourages listeners to discover their inner Mama Bear and unlock her power in the pursuit of a life of love and compassion.
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The Mama Bear Dares podcast explores the intersection of the Mother Self and the Other Self and, in doing so, encourages listeners to discover their inner Mama Bear and unlock her power in the pursuit of a life of love and compassion.




Episode 189: Raising Politically Active Kids (and a Midterm Election Re-Cap)

On Episode 189, Leslie and Tesi talk about the midterm election and their quest to raise politically active kids. They celebrate the nation’s small victories, reiterate their belief that the #babiesgonnasaveus, and leave listeners with a re-cap of the Water Party, an annual event that this year raised nearly $60,000 for clean water solutions in rural Tanzania. This episode is a reminder to listeners that progress is made at a pace that is almost always slow and steady, and encourage all the...


Episode 188: Story Telling for Social Change with Jessica Blank

On Episode 188 of the Mama Bear Dares, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Jessica Blank, a creator, activist, entrepreneur, and mom. As a filmmaker, playwright, director, and actor Jessica has worked Off-Broadway, on network television, and in Hollywood and her groundbreaking, multi-award-winning documentary theater work has helped shape the genre. As an activist and change-maker, she works with progressive candidates and nonprofit leaders to help them use the power of empathy and narrative to...


Episode 187: Cultural Appropriation

On Episode 187, Tesi and Leslie add their Mama Bear voice to the discussion of cultural appropriation…a conversation they feel is relevant not just on Halloween but on every other day of the year as well. They discuss how to be cultural appreciators rather than appropriators, why they cling tightly to the maxim that Friends Don’t Let Friends Wear Blackface, and what makes them adamant in their belief that when you know better you do better. The sisters are candid about past mistakes and...


Episode 186: Feminist Awakening with Libby Babbott-Klein

On Episode 186 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Libby Babbott-Klein, a producer, author, and creative director with a focus on activist and political content. Libby ran the video department for Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection, and launched a feminist jewelry line (Libby B.K.), and for over a decade, she has been creating content that is rooted in social change and entertainment. The women sit and talk about feminism in 2018 and explore the idea of...


Episode 185: Make America Kind Again, Part II

On Episode 185 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie re-visit the topic of kindness in America in 2018. Not only do they reiterate the importance of modeling kindness and teaching kindness to the next generation, but they also discuss how to live a healthy life of kindness. Thanks to a listener suggestion, they take a look at Brene Brown’s theory that the most compassionate people are the most boundaried and they discuss how to incorporate healthy boundaries in the Mama Bear life....


Episode 184: Ordinary Places with Shannan Martin

On Episode 184 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, Tesi and Leslie chat with Shannan Martin, a mom, writer, and advocate for those on the fringes. Shannan makes her third appearance on the podcast and she and the sisters discuss community, neighborliness, committing to relationships with those with whom you are connected by proximity, and being an everyday advocate in your corner of the world. Through their conversation, listeners are invited to reflect on the meaning of kindness, their social...


Episode 183: Boys will NOT be Boys

On Episode 183 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie discuss rape culture, toxic masculinity, the Brett Kavanaugh appointment to the Supreme Court, and why they, as fierce Mama Bears, MUST act as cultural disruptors in this moment in time. In other words, they discuss why and how the dangerous old adage “boys will be boys” and everything it stands for must be stopped. The women lament the current state of our culture, but ultimately offer tangible tips on how to talk to the kids in...


Episode 182: Imperfect Courage with Jessica Honegger

On Episode 182 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi sit down with Jessica Honegger, a woman who is using her fierce and fiery Mama Bear to bring fair wages and empowerment to women across the globe, and is preaching the gospel of sisterhood in her wake. Jessica stops by to discuss using our voice as women to lift up others, hustling hard for the life we want, and allowing ourselves to be burdened by big questions, like, how do I respond to the suffering in this world?The three...


Episode 181: Make America Kind Again

On Episode 181 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie remind listeners that they refuse to let kindness die. In fact, they audaciously believe that what America needs is more kindness! The women also recognize the responsibility we have as parents raising children in our current American culture to make sure that the virtue of kindness outlasts the test of time. Because, in some spheres, kindness seems to be on life-support, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie spend Episode 181 discussing what...


Episode 180: Mindset with Zoie Hoffman

On Episode 180 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi sit down with Zoie Hoffman, a mama bear who is using her talent and passion to help students thrive. The women focus their discussion on the psychology of a "growth" mindset and how we all can benefit from the practice of harnessing a growth vs. fixed view of ourselves and the world. We can also apply this psychology to the children in our lives as we hope to raise a new generation of life-long learners, another topic the women...


Episode 179: Relax & Reflect

On Episode 179 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie celebrate big birthdays and back to school! This Labor Day Mama Bear Mini is devoted to milestones, lessons learned, and the beauty of taking the time to check in on your own life through a little time and reflection. Tesi and Leslie both share some of the pivotal lessons they've learned over the last decade, enjoy a few laughs, and encourage their listeners to mark moments, check in with friends, and love the life they've been...


Episode 178: Survivor: A Mama Bear Look at Domestic Violence with Autumn Miles

On Episode 178 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi sit down with the dynamic and inspiring Autumn Miles. Autumn is a speaker, radio host, author, advocate, and survivor of marital physical abuse. The women talk about the #MeToo movement, the role of community (and church) in unhealthy relationships and divorce, and how the world can step up in supporting women in the midst of abuse. Autumn courageously shares her personal story and hard-won wisdom, and gives listeners important...



On Episode 177 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie revisit privilege, racism, and 10 ways they believe white moms can use their privilege to fight racism and spread love. They trust that the podcast community is a safe place to express their observations, experiences, and beliefs about this topic and humbly ask readers to consider their perspective, poke holes in their theories, and promise to journey together to make a better tomorrow. Lovers of actionable steps and...


Episode 176: Defining Your Super Power with Dr. Zoe Shaw

On Episode 176 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi sit down with the dynamic, wise, and absolutely delightful Dr. Zoe Shaw. Dr. Shaw is a mom to five, a psychotherapist, an author, and a radio host who is full of inspiration, energy, and fantastic advice.The sisters relish in their conversation about defining our unique super power and channeling it for the good of the world, saying 'no' in order to define priorities, setting boundaries, parenting teens intentionally, and living...


Episode 175: Parenting Teens, Part Two

On this Mama Bear Mini, Tesi and Leslie talk about parenting teenagers in 2018. In particular, they discuss equipping kids with the language they need to navigate specific pressures of teenager-hood. They dive into ways parents can help prepare kids to say no to the pressures of drugs, alcohol, drunk driving and texting while driving, and discuss the language of kindness and how we might teach our kids to use their words in the face of relationship tension. The sisters also take on societal...


Episode 174: The Changing Self is the Living Self with Rumaisa Rahman Khawaja

On Episode 175, Tesi and Leslie sit down with Rumaisa Rahman Kahwaja and talk about her life's journey of learning and exploration. Rumaisa constant posture is love and compassion and the sisters love and appreciate the stories she shares about her journey to self acceptance and power. Rumaisa shares how she was mothered by a mother with mental illness, but has used that part of her story to become an phenomenal mother to her own daughter. Rumaisa grew up Muslim in Lincoln, Nebraska, and...


Episode 173: The High Cost of Poverty

On Episode 173, Tesi and Leslie discuss the high cost of being poor in America. According to the US Census Bureau, 37 million people are living in poverty in America. Because of this huge number and because of the complexities and myths surrounding America's poor, the two women dig into the research surrounding generational poverty, the small money-saving conveniences that many of us take for granted, energy inequity, the systemic underbelly of economic oppression, and the reasons why we...


Episode 172: The Fragility of Power with Rachel Held Evans

On Episode 172 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi sits down with the thinker, writer, and modern-day prophet Rachel Held Evans to talk about the faith, justice, and a Mama Bear's response to the world we live in. The two dive into Rachel's new book, Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again, as they wade through a new answer to age-old questions like: How do you love your neighbor when you vehemently disagree with their beliefs? How do you overcome personal...


Episode 171: JOY as an Act of RESISTANCE

On Episode 171, Leslie and Tesi discuss embracing and embodying JOY as an act of resistance. They discuss the long history of joy in the face of oppression and encourage listeners to take active steps toward eradicating any guilt associated with experiencing joy amid suffering. After discussing a bit of psychology in cultivating joy, they share personal mantras that encourage joy, and lean on the wisdom of those who have come before us, including Audre Lorde who said "caring for myself is...


Episode 170: Let's Dish with Allison Schaaf

On Episode 170 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi dish with Allison Schaaf, an Austin-based chef who shares wisdom on meal prep and planning, turning a passion into a business, and how to maintain a healthy life balance. Listen in as Leslie reveals her version of a "hot sandwich" and Tesi loses her mind over the mention of a honey mustard glaze. The conversation is light, fun, and full of useful tips and worthwhile wisdom. For complete Show Notes, visit the Mama Bear Dares...