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Dismantling Systematic Oppression Through Education

Featuring Guest -

Andrea Malone

Headshot of podcast host.
hosted by: Brandon Stover
EP
65
August 16, 2021

Andrea Malone is the Founder of Humble Teacher, a full-service online course platform centering liberation and anti-oppression work. Originally launching with only 5 courses, they quickly received over a hundred course signups within a month and have expanded their offerings to over a dozen courses addressing racism, diversity, equity, activism and more. Andrea’s passion for anti-oppression and liberation work emerged early on. The challenges she faced growing up as a biracial Black woman in a largely segregated city drove her to continuously question and research race in America.

Despite the challenges, Andrea established herself as an accomplished marketing manager and department head capable of executing multi-channel campaigns exceeding expectations in corporate America. But after a decade of being burnt out, she left corporate America and built her first startup, Red Plum WP Builder, a website design and digital marketing firm. Working with justice-minded organizations and consultants to grow, create change, and honor communities led her to what would eventually become Humble Teacher. Now she helps online instructors that share ways in which anyone can join in the journey to end systemic racism, bias, and white supremacy culture specifically in commerce and education.

Today she shares the two sides of dismantling oppression through anti-oppression and liberation, her journey from corporate America to becoming a founder, and how she used her unique skills that tackle a problem she deeply cared about and how you could too.

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what you'll learn in this episode

  • How pervasive Andrea believes oppression is in our current societal systems
  • How Andrea experienced oppression during her 10 year career in corporate America
  • The process to uncover who you authentically are, not who society says you should be
  • Mentors who helped Andrea understand the experience she was having
  • How Andrea came up with the idea for Humble Teacher
  • How to make an impact on a problem you care about without being an expert or knowing a solution
  • Why we need multiple solutions to dismantle oppression
  • What is anti-oppression and liberation work
  • Humble Teacher's courses addressing racism, diversity, equity, activism and more
  • What is the difference between a safe space and a brave space
  • What to expect in a Humble Teacher course
  • What is Humble Teacher's business model
  • Andrea's marketing strategy to grow Humble Teacher
  • Humble Teacher's traction and impact so far
  • Interpersonal racism vs systematic change
  • How to address feeling like the other or that you don't belong
  • What Andrea's ideal future looks as result of her liberation work

How Andrea Believes We Can Push The World To Evolve

Do the work, whether that's with humble teacher or someone else or someplace else To have a liberated future. To have a better future. To have a more beautiful future. We've all got to do the work for ourselves so that we can figure out how we can be a part of solutions.

Selected Links & Resources From This Episode

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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Andrea Malone Interview

Brandon Stover: [00:00:00] Hey, you welcome to evolve a show about the stories and skills of social entrepreneurs solving the world's greatest challenges. I'm your host, Brandon Stover and today's guest is Andrea Malone, founder of humble teacher, a full-service online course platform centering on liberation and anti-oppression work

originally in launching with only five courses. They quickly received over a hundred core signups within a month and have expanded their offerings to over a dozen courses, addressing racism, diversity, equity, activism, and so much more.

Andrea's passion for anti-oppression and liberation work emerged early on the challenges she faced growing up as a biracial black woman in a largely segregated city, drove her to continuously question and research race in America.

Now, despite the challenges, Andrea. Established herself as an accomplished marketing manager and department head capable of executing multichannel campaigns, exceeding expectations in corporate America. But after a decade of being burnt out, she left corporate America and built her first startup red plum, WordPress builder, a website design and digital marketing. Working with Justin minded organizations and consultants to grow, create change, and honor communities has led her to what would eventually become humble teacher. Now she helps online instructors now help ways in which anyone can join in the journey to end systematic racism, bias and white supremacy culture, specifically in commerce and education

today. She shows the two sides of  anti-oppression and liberation work. Her journey from corporate America to becoming a founder and how she used her unique skills that tackle a problem she deeply cared about.

Now let's hear from Andre about her mission to end systems of oppression and to deepen liberation work.

Andrea Malone: [00:01:39] So homo teacher is all about big picture anti-oppression work and liberation work and how that kind of trickles down into everyday application is looking at different systems within our society, education, policing, law, healthcare, social work, et cetera.

Looking at these different systems within our societies and seeing what changes do we need to make in order to correct some of the oppressive policies and procedures that we have in place, as well as re-imagine what a more freer and liberating world would look like. If the system was changed in a way that was quite possibly completely.

So humbled teachers, an online course platform where we again sent her anti-depression and liberation work in those different parts of our society.

Brandon Stover: [00:02:30] And can you just for our listeners, can you explain a little bit of the pervasiveness of oppression in our current system?

Andrea Malone: [00:02:36] So if I were to ask your listeners to, unless they were driving or something like that, to just kind of like close their mind close your eyes and quiet their mind and kind of just imagine every part of our society is seat in some form of oppression, racism sexism.

classism and there's a number of other ones you know systems that are oppressive to disabled people, folks of the LGBTQ community. We've built all of these hierarchies everywhere. And they're quite controlling and oppressive to a vast majority of folks.

If not honestly touching every single one of us. And I asked folks to kind of like quiet their mind when I say that, because I know that there's a lot of feelings and emotions that can kind of come into play. When you hear that, when you hear like every single part. So like education is a really big push for us right now.

So, if you were to think about every single aspect of your school district, your school and your classroom has components of racism embedded and just seeping through. Right. And that's just one form of oppression. You know, there are several others as well that are just kind of like seeping out. And I know that that to hear that, and at that, for that to be something like kind of new for somebody can feel really jarring and believe me when I first discovered it as a child, it was drawing for me too.

So I can understand how it will be dry for somebody else, but if you can. Quiet your mind, and just kind of think about that and think about that from another person's perspective and not maybe take it in personally, you know, it's not an attack on any one person. It's more about these systems have been created.

We all fall into a certain place. The question is what can we do with our place in these systems? What can we do with our role in these systems to either change their oppression and or imagine, and create new spaces that are liberating?

Brandon Stover: [00:04:50] Yeah. I think that's a really important to make that distinction between the person and the system.  And when we are trying to fix this problem, we're not necessarily attacking that person. We're looking at the structure, the systems that we've made, that our collective, all these individuals and saying, okay, this system is not serving everyone. And so we need to solve the underlying issues with that system.

Andrea Malone: [00:05:14] right, right, right.

Brandon Stover: [00:05:15] Can you give a little bit of your personal experience, both when you were younger, but then, you know, working in corporate America for 10 years, what was your experience with this?

Andrea Malone: [00:05:25] I often found that I was hired, I think, to check a box as a woman, as a woman of color. But what I've, what I found was is that there was often a lot of surprise about how black I am on the inside. Like I'm blackity black on the inside. And for the reviewers, because they can't see me, I'm a very light person but very light-skinned person on the spectrum.

Right. So what I realized was is that in a lot of places, I was being hired to check a box that they thought maybe I was going to be like an easy person to hire that was going to assimilate. You know, it was going to go along with certain things maybe because I was lighter. it was interesting because I found myself in a lot of positions where there was this assumption That I was going to assimilate that I was going to, you know, kind of like fit into standard corporate America regime. And instead I'm like, wait a minute. No. You know, as a manager, I'm noticing that we have in a very small team, you know, of folks, I've had three people come and speak to me about the, you know, one person on my team.

Who's a white woman and about how I need to make sure that I am, you know increasing her pay and giving her raises and things like that to keep her around, you know, she's doing a great job and, and that's all well and great, but no one came to me to talk to me about the black man who was on my team.

And am I made looking out for him? Am I making sure that he's getting raises? I'm not, you know, and he's doing a great job. There's no complaints against him. He's, you know, meeting all of his mark. And so you start to kind of see all of these different examples, like weaving together where you have so many people making these assumptions and these behaviors and these changes based off of the appearance of a person.

And you're watching this happen and it's happening to you, you know? And what, what happens, I think, to a person who is even remotely aware is that you become angry and frustrated and it starts to chip away at you. I've seen this a lot with women speaking out against sexism and the pay gap they're aware of that oppression it chips away at them.

Same thing for, you know, people of color, people in the LGBT community, disabled people. You have, you have all of these folks who are aware of certain systems of oppression and they are they're chipping away at you. So long story short, after 10 years of working in corporate America and dealing with microaggressions, dealing with interpersonal racism, dealing with structural and systemic racism and sexism fighting, climbing the ladder being a new mom.

And I mean, I can't even, I don't even, I haven't even gotten into. How our society is, I think with, with parents, I think it's, I think it's a disgrace, how our society treats parents you know, with paternal care, maternity leave, all of this stuff. So anyway, it just comes crashing down. And I I got burned out now.

I got burnout with everything and everyone, and and ultimately happened for me because I just kept going. And I think that's for a lot of us too, like our bodies, like if our bodies can keep going, we just keep going. Nevermind our emotions, nevermind our feelings, nevermind our mind, you know, these other parts of our body that are really important to nevermind any of that stuff,

Brandon Stover: [00:09:16] I think that's also a part of society as well to keep pushing, like you just, you just keep going.

Andrea Malone: [00:09:21] keep going, keep going, keep going for the sake of producing.

Exactly. So In addition to becoming burnout, my body shut down my mind, shut down everything. I became severely depressed. And when my body could no longer go anymore you know, I left corporate America and I said that I don't know what it is that I'm supposed to be doing. Exactly. And I don't know where it is I'm supposed to be going, but I know that this isn't it.

This is not, if I were to leave this earth tomorrow, this is not the story I want written for myself. So I left corporate America to live a life, more authentic, more authentic to myself. Didn't know what that looked like, but I had an eye, but I had a feeling that that's where I needed to go.

That is a very short version of a 10, 11 year long struggle of buying into white supremacy culture, buying into patriarchy, buying into, you know, the system of climbing the ladder, basically in a lot of ways, selling your soul, you know, to produce buying into all of these things knowingly or unknowingly.

And it is not good for you. It is not healthy. Some of us make it to retirement. I didn't, you know, I had to leave,

Brandon Stover: [00:10:39] Yeah. Can you tell me a little bit about, you know, you encourage people to uncover their authentic selves live authentically. How did you go through that process for yourself to figure out what that authenticity was and what does it really mean to live authentically?

Andrea Malone: [00:10:54] One of the things I realized is not only was I not living authentically, but very few people around me were living authentically. So I didn't really have any good examples. What I found was that the way folks were treating me or treating themselves or treating others was really a reflection of how they had been treated and they internalize it and thought it was okay.

So I had a boss that, you know, really was demeaning. What oftentimes I had recognized was someone treated them this way.

Brandon Stover: [00:11:26] Hmm.

Andrea Malone: [00:11:26] They've got some heart, they've got some issues, they got some things on the inside where their heart that they need to work on. They thought that this was okay and they're passing it on.

Some folks are just genuinely mean, you know, but more often than not, I find that folks are passing on treatment that they have accepted for themselves. And so you get this kind of environment where everybody is just not living close to who, whoever they believe in God that created the universe, whoever it was not living close to to themselves.

And it, it just, it breeds unhappiness and a lot of, a lot of strife. So anyway, so I recognize that not only was I not living authentically, a lot of people around you are living authentically and. I've seen now and felt the damage that that's done to myself to other people. And I said that I want to go on this journey because it is a journey to figure out what is authentic for me.

What is true for me? Right. It started off with me building websites. So I have a company, red plum, WP builder. That's a large part of my background in corporate America is that I'm going to leave and I'm just, I'm going to do that. And it's something I'm good at, but it doesn't feed my soul. So I said, okay, I'm going to do something I'm good at.

And just keep looking and keeping open to different opportunities, but really analyzing those opportunities. I'm not saying, just say yes to whatever and. Eventually different opportunities would happen and I would kind of learn and be exposed to different things. I think exposure is a big part of finding authenticity.

I think failure is a big part. There's no quick fix, right? You learn from your failures, your mistakes, whatever it is, you want to call them learning lessons, you know, whatever. But you, you learn from those and you need to be able to sit and digest with those. You need to be able to take time to reflect on those.

Right. So anyway, after time trying this and try that, you know, just kind of poking my head in different doors, so to speak. I had an opportunity for a client to. Build her a website for an online course that she was doing and also help market that online course. And then also facilitate it during the course and I fell in love.

And before I speak too much about it, what happened was, is I had finally found the intersection of what I was good at and what fed my spirit,

Brandon Stover: [00:14:02] Was there any mentors or people along the way that kind of helped you make this transition from corporate America to starting your own company, you know, really finding yourself.

Andrea Malone: [00:14:13] yeah, my youngest sister, Britt Hawthorne. If y'all have a chance to look her up, she is great. She's an anti-biased anti-racist teacher educator.

She had a similar path. She worked in the education system and left to live a life more authentic as well. And also really tried to like build this idea which is not hers obviously, but build on the idea of an anti-biased anti-racist curriculum in classroom and like, kind of like what that would look for for students.

And she, so she had already gone through this process before I had, cause I'm like, oh, gun-ho, I'm going to just, you know, I'm going to fight it. I'm going to make it through corporate America. I'm gonna get to the top. And I stuck with that, like way too long, but she is an excellent person for anyone to learn from.

And so she, and because she has such a depth of knowledge about oppression, racism, and bias, she was able to help me to digest what was going on, you know, the different experiences that I was having, what I was noticing, you know, work with other people, just to be able to see not only how it was for me personally, but the bigger picture was, you know, life changing.

And she's been instrumental in helping me to step into kind of like where I'm at right now. So I would say her for sure.

Outside of her. I mean, James Baldwin is a favorite of mine, you know, looking at some of the grades looking at what my ancestors have accomplished, knowing that they have been on obviously a more strenuous, but similar challenge of looking for freedom.

Not exactly sure what that's going to look like looking for for liberation. Not exactly sure how that's going to come, but just taking each step. So, you know, looking to the past has been really helpful for me as well.

Brandon Stover: [00:16:07] You mentioned the clients that you worked with and the idea kind of sparked for you that you fell in love with this idea of educating when you were working with red plum, when did the idea for humbled teacher come about and why did you feel compelled to start it?

Andrea Malone: [00:16:22] So when I said I'm going to just do websites because that's what I know what I had to do. I just want to start there. I worked almost exclusively with not-for-profit or social and civic organizations, because I knew that that was kind of the direction I wanted to go. So making that determination opened me up for another opportunity to Britt Hawthorne. My sister was the client and Her, and I would have conversations all the time, you know, just about different things. And so, anyway, so I'm in her in her anti-biased anti-racist course for parents and parenting,

and I said, this is what I can do.

I can be a part of the conversation. I can be a part of moving things forward by uplifting and empowering other people who are the specialists in these areas. Right. And I think that was always a struggle is how do I be a part of a conversation? I don't even have the words for. And I think that's kind of a struggle that we all have, and maybe your audiences can have too is like, okay, I have this background.

I want to make an impact here. How do I even bridge the two? Right. And I think that's kind of like what we're talking about here. So There was a moment where that bridge came for me. And I said, okay, I can do websites which has virtually can have nothing to do with making the world better.

Right. But what I can do now is I can build a platform because, because I am about websites, I really do like things that I can in a lot of ways. Copy.

Brandon Stover: [00:17:49] sure. Yeah.

Andrea Malone: [00:17:49] And so I can build online. I can build an online platform where, you know, A lot of what I do is cookie cutter, but it's an opportunity for me to be a part of so many conversations and so many movements and empowering other folks.

So for humble teacher, like right now, and from when we started, I don't charge the instructors anything upfront. Right. I don't know, that may change in the future. We'll see. But like right now I just don't want funding to be prohibitive for anyone. And I believe in community values and profit sharing which is another issue, right.

It was corporate America, but so we run off of a profit sharing model. So we're all kind of like partners in. Journey together. Right? So we've got this ecosystem that is built hopefully, and as much as possible on anti white supremacy culture. And if you're not familiar with what those traits are, I encourage you to look them up.

It's perfectionism, you know, it's not maybe what you would think it is just by hearing the term. So I encourage you to look it up before you get any emotions about it. You know, built on community values, community decision-making, things like that. So anyway I took what I could do and what I was good at.

And I found a way to be a part of the conversation by helping other people with their message, getting it out there.

Brandon Stover: [00:19:08] Yeah. I think that's amazing. You know, there's a lot of people that we look at the issues that are happening in our world and we're like, I want to help make a change for that, but I have no clue how to solve this problem. I'm not an expert in, you know, if I looked at something like climate change, well, I'm not a climate scientist.

I don't know. But I can take a skill that I have, maybe it's building websites and I can help other people that are experts in this to get their message out there or bring community together. So I think that's an amazing way to take your skills and still make a huge impact in the space.

Andrea Malone: [00:19:39] I think to your point, for your listeners , it's going to be a journey is, and I would just say it's a marathon, right? Just know that you are going to have bench. If you're not there now you're going to find a place where you're like, this is it, but you won't, you won't be able to make it there until you go through all those other steps.

Brandon Stover: [00:20:03] Sure.

Andrea Malone: [00:20:04] So if you're like, I want to know about how can I use my skills to solve climate change.

Huge and so important. It's something else I've been thinking about. But your background is in, you know, technology or apps. Oh my gosh. There's so much that you can do. There is so much you do. There's so much. I want to do that. I wish I could do. I would love for someone to create a social media app where we can go and talk about these tough issues without being censored.

Right. LinkedIn is known for censoring people take talk is there's a strike going on right now because teen tap take talk is censoring people Facebook, it's such a challenge to be approved, to even advertise about social issues. It's kind of like you get lumped in with like, even though your goal is anti-oppression deliberation, you get lumped in with them.

And all of these other messages, right. That they try to like filter out. So we need a place where we can come together and have fun and, you know, do our, do our tick talks and our reels and stuff like that. And have fun and talk about these things without being censored. Right. We need to be able to talk about black supporting black businesses without being censored.

If you are an organizer, oh, we need to have some sort of like system of protesting and making change that isn't all over the place. You know, you've got protests here, protests there, and I don't know who to look at. I mean, could you, could you come together and help us figure out, okay. We need to have an organized protest here, here, and here and here in order to, you know create change.

There's just, there's just so much, and there's a place for everybody and there's so much work to be done. I just encourage your audience to think, just always go back to their why and just keep going. Right.

Brandon Stover: [00:21:53] I think those were so many great ideas and I'm glad you brought them up. Why did you. Education and creating these courses or providing a platform for these people to create courses. What's the best approach to dismantling oppression.

Andrea Malone: [00:22:05] So I don't think it's the best. And I don't think it's the only, I think that there's so many issues and there's so many problems and we need to be looking at a multi-pronged approach. Right. So it's, one option out of several. Education is a huge key to learning about what's happened to us as a society, how we got here, what's wrong so that we can dismantle oppression.

But then also learning from the past. So we can, we can establish that established what a liberate a society would look like. So anti-oppression is all about dismantling kind of like what's wrong, right? And liberation is all about re-imagining, what could be, and there are two sides of the same coin they both need to happen. But education is a great key to doing that. So after that you still have community building, you still need to learn, you still need to digest this information and community, you know Community is something that I wish humble teacher was stronger in.

We are definitely not the best platform for community building eventually, maybe one day. But right now, you know, getting together with your small groups at church, honestly, you know, talking to your neighbors, getting together and having and caucusing together action. Right? What are you going to do with this information?

How are you going to turn this information into policy infrastructure? Right. So there's, there's a number of ways to do it. Humble teacher is not the only way. And I don't know that it's even the best best way. I think that it's a great way and it's a great way to start, especially if you're trying to figure out what's going on, what's happened.

What are other people doing? What are other people talking about ideas and tools and tips that you can use in your daily life? Humble teacher is great for that.

Brandon Stover: [00:23:55] Hm. I really appreciate you being humble right now. And you know, saying that this is only one solution. It may not be the best, but it's the one that I'm putting forward right now. And it can be effective with the rest of these other solutions. I really appreciate that.

Can you briefly explain some of the courses that are currently offered right now on the platform?

Andrea Malone: [00:24:14] so we focus on policing and law, social work, education, healthcare, and workplace DEI. So in those areas we have so like education, for example, I'll talk about education because that's really big for us right now. And we're really trying to get the word out for teachers, educators, and school district staff, to know that these options are available to them.

There are certain amount of continuing education credits that teachers have to obtain each year. And we would love for these courses to be a part of their cutting education. And the reason is, is because a lot of other platforms focus on like tools and lesson planning and like technology and stuff like that.

And that's all great and everything. But one of the biggest holes we have is being able to see each child as a, as a person. I know that that seems like something. Yeah. Maybe we feel we all do, but I would challenge you to consider how can you see each child as a person, if you don't know anything or very little about that.

Child's life experiences, background you know ancestry. So being humble, join us here on humble teacher. We have classes called students centric classrooms. That's a great course. If you want to be able to implement feedback from your students in the design of your classroom. And I think that's because a lot of times we do forget that the student is the end user of our education, right.

Anti-racism tools for teachers. Incorporating multiculturalism in the classroom. Understanding critical race theory, like what that is, and understanding like critical, the critical race theory is visualizing what systemic racism is. We have one that is activism 1 0 1 for educators.

That's a really cool one. Because it's an opportunity to connect with your students and also inspire them in ways that, fit what's of interest to them. A lot of students are really interested in creating a better world for them, you know, that they're going to inherit, right? let's tap into that and activism one-on-one for educators helps educators to learn about.

There are activism, archetype, how to develop activism, but then also they're going to leave with tools in order to talk to their students about that. So if you're an English or in history, you're, you know, you're in math, all of those tools, going back to like what we were talking about before can be used to make the world a better place.

Let's bridge that together with, you know, with your students early on. So lots of great educational opportunities for all kinds of folks. Those are some of the highlights though.

Brandon Stover: [00:26:59] Yeah, amazing. Well, one of the values that's listed on the website is encouraging brave spaces instead of safe spaces. Can you explain the difference between the two,

Andrea Malone: [00:27:08] Yeah, yeah, absolutely. a lot of times safe spaces translates into a safe space for the status quo, right? Not helpful for change. And then you have to ask yourself also say for who, we all need safe spaces. We all need places where we can go and vent and just be, and not be judged.

I totally get that humble teachers, not that place though. We're a place where we want to encourage you to be courageous and brave. That takes humility. You know, it takes, it takes being able to kind of like take a step back and yield to some of other thoughts and perspectives that are going to help you to see how you can be a part of this journey with us.

Right. And that takes bravery. It takes courage. And though that's the space that we want to cultivate here at Humboldt.

Brandon Stover: [00:28:01] Well, how is a course generally structured? Like if I were to enroll in say like recognizing and confronting racism in the workplace, for example, what would be the experience for me as a student coming in.

Andrea Malone: [00:28:14] So recognizing and confronting racism in the workplace is one of the courses that we have. That's great for workplace DEI, healthcare, education, policing law, and social work. It's a great course all across the board, right. What you can expect. So Camille is a nationally is the instructor.

She's a nationally recognized instructor. She's worked with several companies, including Google. She has a deep history and experience with these topics personally and also professionally. So the first thing you can expect is someone who's well-versed. Recognizing and confronting racism in the workplace.

Right. The second thing that you can expect is to leave with some really solid foundation and understanding of what has happened, what racism is, what it looks like, so that you can see it, and then also leave with some solid tools on how to then confront it. you're going to leave with a huge glossary because terms and language is important.

So we're all can be on the same page, right? You're going to leave a glossary, but she also has put together a list of examples of how to push back against certain statements that people make common statements that people make common assumptions that people make. So if you're, if you're the type of person where you want to confront racism in the workplace, she's going to give you some very solid and concrete ways of.

How to address common forms of stereotypes and racism in the workplace. So, yeah, you're going to leave that course with the kids and Kaboodle. It comes with recorded videos that you can watch at your own time. Her course, like a few other ones is also gonna come with some live sessions as well.

Let's say you wanted to really dig into this topic and you are like, Hey, I want to have a discussion about this. There's a live Q and a session with Camille. I totally recommend for anyone. She's amazing. And then there's also going to be a live panel discussion with experts in the industry as well.

So. With her course with all of our courses, we really try to make sure that the person talking about the subject is knowledgeable, that they communicate very well.  It's laid out in a way that is easily digestible and that you leave with some solid tools on how to move forward.

Brandon Stover: [00:30:36] Excellent. Can you explain a little bit about how the business model works? You mentioned, you know, you're providing a platform and you're partnering with these teachers and there's some profit sharing going on. Give us a little bit of the breakdown of the business.

Andrea Malone: [00:30:47] I've been fortunate enough to go with a profit sharing model. So right now and since our inception, we do not charge instructors upfront. I have a complete process. Many of our instructors are new at the whole, like online course type of, of business model. Several folks are more used to like in-person workshops.

So I walk all of our instructors through the process of submitting their materials, creating the materials, all of that good stuff. They submit everything to me. I create the course. I create the products which are sold the modules and everything that the students take. There's also a group section.

So like, let's say you're a group, the great for organizations, school districts, workplaces, there's a group where you can see how everyone is doing. It shows you progress reports and all of that stuff. So the tons, tons of deep tools for the students.  Back to the instructors though. So. I create everything.

And then I co market with them and we profit share a percentage off of each sale. And we just kind of see, keep it kind of clean like that we do offer I have a, what's called a sheer commitment to equity with all of the instructors and we do offer either  discounted and free seats to folks who are financially marginalized or people of the global majority who have been historically excluded from opportunities as well.

So and that's pretty much it. I just try and keep it pretty simple.

Brandon Stover: [00:32:18] Yeah. Nice. How did you initially test out the idea for humble teacher and get your first customers?

Andrea Malone: [00:32:23] well, when I did that course with Britt Hawthorne One, I could see how it all worked. I was like, oh, this is could work. This could work, work, not just be something that I enjoy. Right. It could be something that is sustainable And What, what we decided to do early on was kind of tested out. So we launched a marketing campaign. Brit was also on our platform early on. That was really great for us, for exposure and everything. And so we've had several school districts sign on to courses with us.

And after that, like in any business, you need to see if it's viable. So after we were able to you know, sell several seats, several licenses to districts and individuals, it was solidifying for me that this is a viable business as well.

Brandon Stover: [00:33:15] Yeah. And being that you have, you know, a ton of experience in marketing and designing marketing campaigns, what strategies have you used to grow? Humble teachers so far?

Andrea Malone: [00:33:24] oh, that's a big, that's a big question. off the top, generally speaking, social media ads and all that stuff is really great for like acquiring new members, So that's great for growth.

Email is great for, you know, facilitating relationship. Social media can be too, but that is super difficult. You know, that's where really kind of like influencer marketing comes into play, and then you've got to have time for it to be a content creator and all that stuff. So what I like to do is I like to use social media, social media ads, and Google ads to acquire new eyeballs, bring them into the fold, so to speak, bring them into our newsletter and their facilitate relationship and conversation.

About very specific topics. You know, what? We have new instructors, new courses you know, things that are happening perhaps in the news. And then the final step is if it makes sense for you, as you know, to reach out personally to individuals who have really interacted with your newsletter. So you have those assistants, so you can see like who's viewing stuff.

And if it, depending on the analytics that you have set up, you can see who's doing what on your website. So now when you have an idea then of like, who's really engaged, reaching out to them one-on-one and seeing what you can do to close that sale. I think that also trying to make sure that you retain customers, that you once folks have purchased, that's a good indication that they could purchase again.

So what do you need to do to really develop that relationship, to continue those purchases? So super high level, that is a general strategy that I go with.

Brandon Stover: [00:35:01] Okay. And you mentioned earlier, like having struggle with platforms like Facebook, being able to discuss some of these issues and getting lumped in with hate. And so not being able to, you know, run an ad or something, how have you navigated those walls?

Andrea Malone: [00:35:15] It took a long time, maybe like a month for me to be approved by Facebook, to run ads on social issues. Things of quote unquote national importance which, I mean, it is of national importance. Just, I don't think in the way there, they mean it. But

I think having the mindset that nothing is going to be easy. was probably just going to set you up for a less stressful time at life. So to answer your question, I just kept at it and I just kept at it and just kept at it and kept giving them what they wanted. It took a month, but humble teacher is approved now to advertise on Facebook and Instagram on social issues.

But I mean, it's a game playing around with hashtags being super vague sometimes about what it is that you're talking about and ads or something like that. Like I have an ad that says you know, online courses for educators who want to I forget exactly, but like tackle the challenges of today.

Brandon Stover: [00:36:16] Hm,

Andrea Malone: [00:36:17] So that's just like general. And then when they come to our site, then they can see a little bit more of what I mean. And that's really not new, having to kind of tweak things and figure out what's gonna work for you email or social media or whatever. The challenges will, I guess, change specifically, but generally you just got to keep at it and figure out what recipes is gonna work for you.

Brandon Stover: [00:36:38] Yeah. Awesome. Well, thank you. You launched humble teacher, you know, during the fall of 2020, after our nation had previously been at the height of things like black lives matter, we had the Georgia Floyd protests going on. How did these events affect the adoption of humble teacher?

Andrea Malone: [00:36:54] I don't know. No, because whole teacher wasn't around prior to this kind of like national mobilization. I'll say that So, I, I don't know, but in speaking with a lot of folks who have been in the fight, hands-on prior to what tends to happen is kind of like a bell curve. You have folks who sign on they're like they get on the patriarchs and they support financially and they buy the books and all that stuff.

But then as like national interest dies down. So does the commitment,

Brandon Stover: [00:37:33] Sure.

Andrea Malone: [00:37:35] I will, I don't know to answer your question, but I could assume humble teacher will follow that similar pattern until folks of the larger, popular, like the majority of folks who get into this work, get into it for consistency.

Brandon Stover: [00:37:54] Hmm. And what challenges have you seen? So far in the adoption of humble teacher, as you continue to get it out there?

Andrea Malone: [00:38:00] I mean really? I haven't, I don't think I've seen any issues with adoption. I'm a one woman show right now.  I think that my biggest challenge is keeping up with the content and the marketing and everything like that. We are hoping that things go really well.

This next wave of continuing education for educators so that we can hire on some additional help and expand our offerings. So this is going to be kind of an important push for us. And even if things don't all the way we want to, we're going to keep pushing. But my biggest struggle is going to having enough capacity to get to the next level.

Brandon Stover: [00:38:45] Sure. Yeah. And in terms of the impact that some of these trainings have had, how effective have you seen these be in terms of shifting other's mindsets? You know, the students that go through it and then them taking it back to their organization or their community groups and shifting their mindsets about it.

Andrea Malone: [00:39:02] So what we have to go off of in our kind of like early stage is the feedback that we've collected. We collect feedback after every course from every attendee participant. And what I hear the common theme is this was really eyeopening.

Brandon Stover: [00:39:21] Hmm,

Andrea Malone: [00:39:22] This was really appreciated. This information is something that I can't find.

Often elsewhere this information is needed. And so a lot of our, it tells me is a lot of our participants are in the beginning stage of this journey.

Brandon Stover: [00:39:37] for sure.

Andrea Malone: [00:39:38] and that's okay. That's good. Welcome. Come on in, you know,

Brandon Stover: [00:39:43] Water's fine.

Andrea Malone: [00:39:44] yeah, so but that also tells me that there's, I have to be some additional education and some additional steps in place before we start to see maybe some concrete change in systems.

Right. And that's okay. As long as we're moving forward. So hopefully to answer, we'll be able to answer your question specifically next year and the year after to see what some of our school districts have done. I think that's going to be a great, great accountability question is what have you done with this information?

You know, to improve the lives of your students. So I look forward to being able to answer that in the next year or so.

Brandon Stover: [00:40:24] Nice. Do you see an opportunity for humble teacher in the business to offer those additional next steps? You know, The great eyeopening awareness at the beginning of their journey, but helping them with the rest of their journey to implement and start to be active and taking action on these stories.

Some things.

Andrea Malone: [00:40:41] Yeah, man, I really liked that. The answer right now is I don't know, but I would like to I think right now I'm at such capacity with getting the education out there. As we grow and develop, I think that that is something I, and my other partners would have to meditate on is how do we which is really the point of humble teachers.

How do we go deeper? How do we go deeper, deeper, deeper, deeper You know, because education, again, isn't the only answer. Right? So even if humble teacher, isn't a part of a huge part of action, per se, how do we lead into that action though? What organizations can we partner with? You know, shout out, give me a shout out, reach out to me.

You know, how do we partner with folks who can create accountability, maintain it, maintain action. I think that will be in the future for them.

Brandon Stover: [00:41:37] Do you think will be ever a point in our society where we reach that we are like race or gender blind, where we see each other as humans. And it doesn't really necessarily matter the differences. I asked that. Like growing up personally. My mom's Mexican American, my best friends that I grew up with that were around me.

You know, one was black, one was Asian American one was a Spanish Mexican. And, and to us, it, it wasn't even a thing. Like we didn't even think, oh, we're different. We were just completely blind to that. We saw each other as humans and we treated each other, all his family. And so I'm wondering if there's ever a point that we get to that as a society.

Andrea Malone: [00:42:22] So what you're talking about right there is interpersonal racism, right? And. I think that as a society, we could do a whole lot better to eradicate interpersonal racism. Do I think it will all a hundred percent go away? No. You know, there's always going to be folks who are trying to streamline their thought process and by doing so rely on unreliable stereotypes.

So I don't think that interpersonally, like it'll ever be completely eradicated. I think that we could totally do like a way better than we're doing now. But structurally policy law procedures, I think we could get pretty close to creating a world that isn't so hard pressed on certain folks versus others.

And what's important about that is that because then if you have a, if you have a system and a place procedures and policies in place that are for equity and fairness interpersonal issues, racism biases won't matter as much. Right. And I think that's why there's an important to have that kind of like distinction.

And that's why a lot of folks fight for systemic change is because we asked, we would love for everyone's hearts to be fixed. Right. That would, that would be great. But regardless of that, regardless of whether or not you as an individual take on that responsibility to fix your heart, we can create a world where even if you don't it's okay.

Brandon Stover: [00:44:03] you talked a little bit in the beginning, you know, at a young age, having to learn to. Deal with these issues you had to learn to deserve to belong. As I've heard you put it in another talk and feeling like you were othered, how would you help somebody that is currently feeling that they don't belong or they're feeling, feeling those same feelings now?

Andrea Malone: [00:44:21] I mean, every teenager, right.

Brandon Stover: [00:44:23] Sure.

Andrea Malone: [00:44:24] what I can say is

you do belong, right? but no matter how much I say that, or anyone else says that you have to do the work to get to the place where you believe it. And I wish there was an easy fix for that, but there's not. And that goes along with living an authentic life, though, when you can live an authentic life, it's because you accept yourself, right.

And you accept yourself regardless of what's happening externally. That takes practice. It takes struggle. It takes lessons lessons learned. So I would say it's not always going to be easy. You're going to have some really tough days. You're going to have some days that are very hurtful. But just know that that's not how your story is going to ultimately be written.

You have to hang in there, reflect, digest, you know, say your affirmations until you believe them. And just know that God has a place for you here. And I believe that it's a place you're not going to want to miss out on.

Brandon Stover: [00:45:41] Is there any best practices that have really helped you with this journey?

Andrea Malone: [00:45:45] Oh. Of accepting myself or and No, I wish I could say I haven't really, I haven't, I haven't thought about it that way. And everyone's different. Right? So whatever's gonna work for me. May not necessarily work for other people. I very much am a fighter. I'm very much a warrior. And so is in my nature to find a way to fight back, even if I get knocked down.

So I wish I, I wish so for me, it was just, I'm going to eventually win. I'm going to keep practicing until I get that knockout punch.

Brandon Stover: [00:46:23] Sure.

Andrea Malone: [00:46:24] Right. I wish I could say what would work for, for everyone.

Brandon Stover: [00:46:29] Yeah. Earlier we talked about, you know, the two sides of the coin in that half, that second half of the coin being liberation, what does the future look like? What can we build? What would a better world look like to you? What does that future look like?

Andrea Malone: [00:46:42] for me that looks like a place honestly, pretty close to how I probably would envision heaven a place without borders. A place where we can think about instead of saying, okay, we're going to hoard these jobs. We have here for certain people and not other people. Whether that. Based on class or how they look or because they're from, you know, because they've migrated from somewhere else.

How do we create jobs? How do we create we can, if God put a person here, I believe that we can be a part of helping them to find a place their place, right. Rather than being so focused on the place we currently have. I think we could have so much more it looks like a place that is environmentally, just for the planet and for ourselves.

And for the future, it looks like a place where there's no money in politics. You know, where the, the lobbyists, for example, oil, isn't a factor. It looks like a place where we value humans over Money over fear, really. So it looks like a place where education is about developing the student rather than matriculate them into a machine.

You know? I just think that we as humans, this place could just be really, really beautiful if we focus on what we could have instead of what we don't have. And instead of fear.

Brandon Stover: [00:48:22] Well, before we get to my last question today, is there a call to action you would like to leave our listeners with?

Andrea Malone: [00:48:28] do the work, whether that's with humble teacher or someone else or someplace else To have a liberated future to have a better future. I have a more beautiful future. We've all got to do the work for ourselves and also figure out do the work so that we can figure out how we can be a part of solutions.

Brandon Stover: [00:48:46] Well, I think that will follow some of the lines here to answer this question, but how can we push the world to evolve?

Andrea Malone: [00:48:52] Yeah. Yeah. You're right. Do the work, do the work push past fear, push towards authenticity, freedom, love. I think that there's something there for us at the end of the rainbow. If we can get.

Brandon Stover: [00:49:08] Wonderful. Well, Andrea, thank you so much for coming on the show today, sharing your story, sharing about humbled teacher and sharing about these issues.

Andrea Malone: [00:49:15] Thank you so much. I really, really appreciate you having me on I'm honored Brandon, that you wanted to hear about humble teacher. You give me an opportunity to talk about what we have going on. I also appreciate the platform that you have in, helping entrepreneurs to be a part of the solution. So honestly, thank you.

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