Chatting with Casey 0008 — We Are the Sum of Our Experiences

It’s no secret that I’m busy. If I didn’t have Sarah and the kids to keep me grounded, I’d likely spend every waking moment thinking about content, always trying to find the best ways to tell the next story. But with all this thinking going on, people often wonder how I find time for it all. Where did I pick my skills up? How do I find guests for my podcast? How do I keep from falling apart?

The answer, my friends, is through Facebook Groups.

Facebook Groups are where I find my people. They’re where I learn. Many of the contacts I have and much of what I know today is because someone in the many groups I belong to pointed me in the right direction. And it’s through a group for podcasters who’re also Dads that I learned about Ricky Shetty‘s new book. 

Ricky Shetty — Author, World Traveller and One of Canada’s Original Dad Bloggers

Chatting with Casey 0008 — We Are the Sum of Our Experiences — Ricky Shetty Head Shot

Ricky and I have known each other at least peripherally for some years now—since branding himself as Canada’s premiere Daddy Blogger at the turn of the decade, it was tough to not enter the arena myself without knowing who he was. But it wasn’t until last year where we’d finally cross paths for his Digital Nomad Mastery channel to discuss Dad Blogging and everything that comes with it! (I’ll link it in the show notes, but I hope you’re ready for some crappy pre-Casey knowing what he’s doing headphone built-in microphone audio!) So we’d connected, but we didn’t speak a whole lot after that, because after all, Ricky’s travelling the world.

And that, my friends, is perhaps the most essential part of this entire story—Ricky, with his lovely wife Anne and their three young children, is aiming to become the first family to have visited everySingleCountry.

#Chronicle150 — 150 Truly Canadian Stories for its 150th Birthday — #35, Pauleanna Reid, Motivational Speaker, Millennial Mentor, Celebrity/CEO Ghostwriter, Author, Everything I Couldn’t Tell My Mother

Gotta say—I thought I’d struck Pauleanna’s nerve in my hunt for Tales contributors. She’d told me she was too busy when I pressed her with one of my emails, but one brief look at her résumé will tell you that’s exactly what she was!

Pauleanna’s ode to her country shows a lot of growth—many of us born here take this land for granted, not fully realising that life’s a lot harder in many countries around the world. My journeys have taken me many places—Maasai huts in Tanzania. Cockroach-ridden buses in Compton. From mountaintops to back-alley shops, I’ve witnessed huge swaths of the human condition, which is why I embrace home with open arms every time I come back!

It’s easy to forget how good you’ve got it when you stay inside your comfort zone for too long, and I think Pauleanna’s piece is a good reminder for us to take stock of these Canadian lives, seeing what we can do to better those who live their lives without.

Enjoy Pauleanna’s piece, and we’ll see you at the next #Chronicle150!

Until then,

–case p.


#Chronicle150 — 150 Truly Canadian Stories for its 150th Birthday — #35, Pauleanna Reid — Pauleanna Profile PicWho are you and what are you all about?

I’m a multi-passionate entrepreneur on a mission to help young women and girls see beyond the limits of their circumstances and create a life they love. I’m also a motivational speaker and nationally published journalist of the best-selling book Everything I Couldn’t Tell My Mother, the founder of New Girl on the Block Inc., a mentorship program that’s way sicker than your average. In the end, I manage a lot, but every passion project is well worth it!

What makes you so Canadian?

As a Canadian citizen, I was very fortunate to have access to many tools that may not be awarded in other countries. One of the biggest things that really served a purpose in my life was getting healthcare when it came to dealing with my mental health. I was grateful to overcome my depression and anxiety and have Canada to thank for it! Growing up in a Caribbean household has helped me get closer to my parents’ roots, but being born in Canada gave me a lifeline to many opportunities to help empower and change people’s lives.

Tales from the 2.9 — The Black Canadians Sharing their Stories in a Digital Age — Vol. 2 #20, Zetta Elliott, PhD, Author & Educator

Being part of the 2.9 can be stifling.

When you’re part of a minority this small, you can feel like you don’t have a voice. Like you’re lacking in community. Or that you’ll never find your place with the colour of your skin or the differences in your culture. And so, with so much stacked up against us, not everyone stays. Artists move away all the time in pursuit of success. My grandparents moved back to Jamaica. And Zetta Elliott, PhD, back for a second Tale from the 2.9, made the short trip to Brooklyn, New York more than 20 years ago, where an entry new world lay in wait!

If anything, I think that Zetta’s perspective from the outside looking in is one sorely needed in Canadian conversation, where our polite undertones hold us back from honestly approaching ideas that make us uncomfortable. It’s that objectivity and separation from everything going on in our nation that lets us see our issues for what they are, with the hope that one day the issues that’ve plagued us entirely too long will be part of our past, where they belong.

Enjoy Zetta’s submission (I know I always do), and I’ll see you tomorrow for another Tale from the 2.9!

Until then,

–case p.


What does being Black Canadian mean to you?

I’m proud to be Canadian. I’ve been critical of the country and the limited opportunities available to Black Canadians, but I start every author presentation here in the US by telling kids that I’m an immigrant from Canada. The Black Canadian identity is all about hybridity for me—I participate in multiple cultures and I’m the product of multiple histories, and that confounds many White Canadians who don’t understand intersectionality and like to imagine all Black people stepping off a boat or plane yesterday. Being a Black Canadian means never forgetting the sacrifices made by my Caribbean ancestors who gave up their status and professions in the 1950s to start from scratch in such a cold (and often hostile) place. Being a Black Canadian also means honouring my African American ancestors who came north hoping for a better life in the 1830s. The racism they encountered was so severe that it pushed them across the color line; my job as a Black Canadian writer living on the other side of that color line and the other side of the border is not to judge my ancestors but to tell the truth (as I see it) about “the promised land.”

Tales from the 2.9 — The Black Canadians Sharing their Stories in a Digital Age — Vol. 2 #18, Sherika Powell, Speaker, Author, Podcaster, Rogers TV Host, “Women on the Rise”

If there’s one thing I know I could improve on as a Black Canadian, it’s my involvement in politics and keeping abreast of the issues affecting my larger community.

It’s one thing to vote—the bare minimum we can do as our civic duty—but we often take this right for granted, usually choosing an incumbent to continue doing their job, regardless of whether they reflect what we want from our elected officials or not.

That is—if we choose to vote at all.

If we want to see the changes we know are so direly needed in the environment around us, we can’t sit idly by and wait for someone to solve things for us—we need to get involved today and put people in power who are keenly aware of Black issues if we ever want to progress in the right direction. Remember—though Prime Minister Trudeau’s Cabinet’s praised as the most diverse in Canadian history, intentional or not, at first 2.9% wasn’t even large enough proportionally to see any Black faces on it1.

Sherika touches on this need and so much more in the post below—I hope you enjoy it!

Until tomorrow,

–case p.


What does being Black Canadian mean to you?

Being Black in Canada to me means many things. Number one for me, I am proud to not only be a black Canadian but also that my parents chose Canada to migrate to from Jamaica. The decision they made has allowed me to have privileges that many around the world often do not get to experience. Being a black Canadian means I am present and aware of my culture and the contributions that others have made before me, to make this country what it is today. I am excited to be a part of this generation and seeing all the accomplishments that we are making and how we continue to excel and make amazing contributions to Canadian culture.

Tales from the 2.9 — The Black Canadians Sharing their Stories in a Digital Age — Vol. 2 #14, Jael Richardson, Author & Founder, Artistic Director, Festival of Literary Diversity

As a Black Canadian man now living life in his 30s, I’m still very much piecing my story together.

Black History Month or no, I didn’t learn much about the Black Canadians who came before me growing up. Sure, we finally designated February as our own in 1995, but what good is that when there’re no Black kids in your classes to study it with? And if Black history means just the history of Black people once they’ve entered the country, do we then just ignore the rich multinational tale of all the Blacks who came here by choice? There’s no one answer to any of this, and Jael put it quite well—it’s a narrative we constantly need to shape and own for ourselves, lest the national thirst for a homogeneous Canadian identity erase everything that’s defined our community.

As Founder and Artistic Director for the Festival of Literary Diversity, I’m sure that Jael Richardson sometimes feels pigeonholed by this endless pursuit, but as marred as our ongoing narrative is by trauma, colonialism and societal pressures, take a reminder from her—we are more than just our skin colour.

As we continue exploring the vastness that is Canadian Black culture, we need to remember diversity’s more than just our countries of origin or the languages we speak. It’s our sexual orientations. Our gender identifications. Our lifestyles, our environments—28 days isn’t nearly enough to peel back every layer of Black Canadian identity… but it’s a start.

Enjoy Jael’s entry and see you tomorrow,

–case p.


What does being Black Canadian mean to you?

Being black means being a part of a complex history – it means being the descendant of incredibly brave and resilient people. It means constantly working to re-craft history by creating a present and a future that reinserts our stories into a national identity that threatens to erase us and shape us in ways that reduce, restrict, and limit us. Being Canadian means being a part of a country that has created an opportunity for my family that we would not have anywhere else. It’s a place where I’ve been able to thrive, and it is the place that will always be the first and only place I call home. Being a Black Canadian means carrying both of these truths– accepting and embracing the way they live inside me.

Tales from the 2.9 — The Black Canadians Sharing their Stories in a Digital Age — Vol. 2 #8, Makini Smith, Entrepreneur, Speaker, Mentor and Author of the “A Walk in My Stilettos” Series

If you heard any of the interviews I did for Tales from the 2.9, you’ll know there’s one word that comes to mind when I think of my fellow Black Canadians—

RESILIENCE.

It’s rare that anything worthwhile happens overnight. In an age where overnight successes come and go daily, we rarely see the years of grind needed to get people there.

People clown on Drake all the time for his quasi-anthem “Started from the Bottom”, but that title’s all too real for so many Black folk, and we’ve culturally learned that we’ll need to work twice as hard to get half as far.

But when those efforts start bearing fruit and you can finally see what it was all for, you don’t give that success up for anything.

It’s this narrative that comes to mind when I read Makini Smith’s contribution, seeing just what she’s overcome to become the international phenom she is today. People take pity on teen Moms. They downplay how hard it is to be a housewife. But Makini doesn’t want your pity, nor should she ever be underestimated—it’s clear from her brand and her accomplishments that she’s taken her life into her hands through hustle and through faith, and if that isn’t the utter embodiment of the Black Canadian Experience, I don’t know what is.

Check out Makini Smith’s post below. I promise—it’s a good one!

Until tomorrow,

–case p.


What does being Black Canadian mean to you?

Being a Black Canadian to me means multiple things.  The question is a little difficult for me to answer one way. I travel internationally and can give a response based on how we are treated elsewhere vs how I view things living here. Having spent much time traveling to the United States my entire life I’m grateful my parents chose to migrate to Canada. Being Black Canadian is something I am proud of. I use that as a tool when I travel to other parts of the world. Others greet me with hugs and smiles. I’m treated with much respect. Canadians have a good reputation in other countries. When I am home here in Canada I can appreciate the diversity of cultural backgrounds but also feel extremely limited for success. We are a minority being Black in North America as it is but Black successful Canadians are an even smaller number.

The 2017 100 — It’s Not WHAT You Do, It’s How You DO It.

Unless my life sees some major changes this year, 2017 may mark the last list of 100!

It’s January 13th—I’ve spent nearly two weeks of my new year agonising over 100 items that matter enough to hit a list of goals and aspirations for the year ahead. And that’s a key difference from the lists that came before it.

Before it was a task list—I’d look around at everything that needed doing and jot it down, because my life would obviously be better with them out of the way.

But task lists aren’t inspiring. They’re not motivational. As a creative, that’s like dropping a pile of 100 things I dread on my lap and nagging myself to get ’em done by the year’s end.

Once I realised what I was doing to myself, so much so that I just went through my least successful year yet for my list, I knew I needed to make a change for 2017.

The 2017 100 — It's Not WHAT You Do, It's How You DO It. — New Year, New Perspective

I’m particularly proud of the list I’ve put together for The 2017 100. I didn’t take any shortcuts—I wrote out 100 things that’d help me live the life I’d like to lead and prove instrumental along the path there. Rather than hurriedly scrawl out a list I’d likely ignore ’til December, I wrote one that I’d happily check off, knowing that each accomplishment would take me a step closer to a far better 2018. I feel like I’m finally getting it right this time, and I hope that shines through as you give it a look for yourself!

But that’s enough of my chatter—I’ve already made you wait long enough. Here for your consideration is The 2017 100—because it’s not what you do… it’s how you do it!