The Story We Tell Ourselves About Each Other, Election Day Bonus w/ Nselaa Ward, Juris Doctor

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

Adrienne MacIain 0:01

Hi, everyone. Welcome to the that's allowed podcast. I'm your hostess Dr. Adrienne MacIain. And today we're here with Nselaa Ward, please introduce yourself.

Nselaa Ward 0:11

Hi, my name is Nselaa Ward. Just to give you a little bit information about me, I'm a business architect out of Atlanta, Georgia. Before I was a business architect, I was an attorney, I did business, bankruptcy and criminal law. During that time, I was able to free over 300 years of black lives from the criminal industrial complex, I also worked for the National Organization for Women, the largest march, the largest women's organization in the world. Little bit information about me.

Adrienne MacIain 0:42

Fabulous. I'm so glad you joined us today. So, I'll start with my usual first question and we'll just see where that takes us, okay? What story is the world not getting?

Nselaa Ward 0:54

What story is the world not getting? I think, right now the world is not really understanding where all these protests are coming from. You know, people are trying to figure out what's going on. There's a lot of people that's angry, a lot of people that's confused about why everybody else is angry. And I think, you know, understanding really what is at the heart of protesting, or what type of impact it has, is the story that's not being told right now.

Adrienne MacIain 1:19

Absolutely. So let's dive into that. Why are people protesting right now?

Nselaa Ward 1:25

Well, on the surface level it's that people are upset because--at least in regard to the Black Lives Matter movement, because that's where I'm most visible--people are upset because people are dying, and we've been dying for forever. You know, and the best analogy I heard about it was when, you know, for years and years and years, you've been telling your mother: dad is hurting me, dad is abusing me, he's molesting me, he's doing all these bad things to you. And your mom never believed you. And then all of a sudden, when you're an adult, your mom finally says, 'You know what, I believe you. I see everything that your dad has been doing.' And it doesn't mean that you love your dad any less. And it doesn't mean that you're mad at your mom, you just feel like oh, thank God. Thank God you finally believe me, thank God you finally see me. You know, because there's been this long history of people feeling like what has been happening to black people are things that's made up. They feel like, well, what did you do to cause this? And, or maybe you're just seeing it in a bad light. so this is the time when America is finally like, 'Oh, I see what, what's been happening to you. And I believe you, what can I do to help?'

Adrienne MacIain 2:41

Yeah, that's a great analogy. And it's like, mom finally walked in on something. And that's kind of what I think what happened for a lot of at least, you know, white America, is that they see these videos, and they sort of go, 'Oh, my gosh, what's going on?' Well, we've been telling you, this has been going on for a long time. 'Okay, but now that I've seen it, now it's real to me.'

Nselaa Ward 3:06

Yes. And sometimes there's guilt, you know, as parents, when we see things that happen to our children. And we, you know, we started to even start to feel bad that we didn't do something about it before. And I think what's happening with a lot of people, a lot of white people in America, is all of a sudden they're feeling this guilt, but they're not sure exactly what they feel guilty about. And it makes it hard to have these conversations because nobody wants to feel bad. Nobody wants to feel guilty. And I think that the story has kind of been twisted to believe that white people have to feel guilty just for being white. And that's not the case. That's not the case. So I definitely think the story that we have to have is the conversation around it, you know, to say, 'Hey, Mom, thank you for seeing, I'm so glad you saw this now. Can we work on it? What can we do to stop this?'

Yeah. So how has that affected you personally?

Oh, my God, I grew up in this community, even though I was an attorney for going on a decade. That's not really my story started out, I started out as a child sex worker between the ages of 12 and 19. So this is something that I've been seeing in my community, all my life, it's almost been normalized to me, and a lot of times what happens with protesting is that when you've been normalized to abuse and disrespect and injustice, you start to believe that it's hopeless, you start to believe, okay, that's just the way the society is, we've just got to figure out a way around it. And you just become used to it and you stop fighting it or you stop trying to get this right. One of the benefits of protesting is that when people start to stand up in large numbers around the world, and say 'Hey, I want to be counted! This has happened to me too,' or 'I've seen this happen' or 'This is real,' it all of a sudden wakes you up to say, you know what, it is real. And it can change. When you've normalized it in your system. And previously, you may have thought, there's nothing we can do about it. All of a sudden you realize that, hey, we can do something about it! That's why it's so important for people to stand up and protest it, even if you don't see the change happen immediately. Because seeing it, even over time, lets people know, okay, you know what? We can do something about this. This doesn't have to be normalized anymore. And it doesn't have to be everyday life.

Adrienne MacIain 5:24

Yeah, I would say that happened for a lot of women during the metoo movement. Where there was suddenly this conversation where we could go, 'Hey, yeah, nobody was interested in my story before, but you wanna hear now? Because man, I got 'em.'

Nselaa Ward 5:39

Exactly. Exactly. You know, it becomes a safe, we create the safe space that we didn't have before to be tell the story and to create an action plan.

Adrienne MacIain 5:48

Absolutely. Yeah. And it's been really heartening. I think, for me, especially as someone who focuses on the power of storytelling and sharing our truth, to see all these people standing up and saying, 'Hey, this happened to me, or happened for me, however, you want to phrase things, but like, these experiences are real, and they affect our lives. And they affect the people around us as well. Yeah, so just to be listened to, like you said, I think that's the real key is just knowing that people are listening, and people are finally paying attention and going, 'Hey, we care!' We care.

Nselaa Ward 6:26

And that's amazing, to see that people care. That's, the next biggest thing that has created so much change is because I think there was this consensus that nobody cares about what happens to black people, you know. Nobody cares if you got beat up, nobody cares if you got arrested, nobody cares if you went to prison for something that you didn't do. You know, nobody cares if you're abused. And when we see all of these people stand up, it gives you hope, literally, it gives you hope, which is why we're seeing more and more people protesting, because that's a sign of hope, that's a sign that people are actually starting to believe again. And when we see a lot of people that don't look like us standing with us, that feels amazing. You know? That feels amazing.

Adrienne MacIain 7:08

So how does it feel to you when you say 'Black Lives Matter,' and someone says back to you, 'All lives matter.'

Nselaa Ward 7:15

You know, what's interesting is that I literally just had a circumstance with this same situation. So, I went to a campaign event for my Senator, a Senator that represents me, here in Georgia, and I literally didn't know about all the details of her, like what she was running her campaign on, before I started going to her events. I just thought she was my senator. And I just wanted to know how she was going to represent me while she was in office. And we went there, and she started talking about Black Lives Matter. And I was just I was really shocked, because, you know, a lot of times when we--especially in quarantine, everything is social media, everything is online by computer. So while we're in quarantine, we're in this echo chamber around us, where we only hear echoes of what we believe, so I had been surrounded by people that support other black people, people that support, black people's will to live and not to be murdered or beaten up. So when I went through this a bit, I was literally shocked that there are people that didn't agree with Black Lives Matter, I was like, there's really people that don't agree? Like people are opposing BLM? What does that mean? Does that mean they don't think black lives matter? I'm confused. I was really confused. So we went there. And she started talking about how black lives matter. People that support Black Lives Matter were Marxists. You know, that they were communists, that we were anti nuclear family, that we were terrorists. And I was like, 'Oh my god, I can't believe she's saying this out loud! But I was really going through shock in the beginning. So you know, and myself and my friend that came with me, we were the only black people that were there, which I was shocked about as well. So, you know, we stood up and asked her a question, like, 'What are you going to do to protect the black lives in this state that are being abused and that are being murdered?' And everybody in the room literally got angry. They started, you know, it was almost like as soon as they saw that we supported black lives I'm pretty sure they suspected it beforehand, but they weren't sure. Which is why they repsonded so quickly, like, 'She better not say somethin', but less than what she says,' You know, like they were already, I could tell they were already prepared, right? You know, so as soon as they saw that we supported black lives, it was just like, something triggered in them. And they got upset and then all they started surrounding us, like they were trying to lock us into the circle. They started screaming 'All lives matter!' at us. They started screaming Kelly Kelly Kelly, like they were saying her first name Kelly Loeffler. Like some people even tried to say, they were trying to say 'Black lives ain't shit,' you know, but they couldn't get enough people to agree with them about that. But what was happening is that, you know, Kelly Loeffler, she was actually kind of encouraging them to do it, because what she was doing when we asked her that question is that, you know, she was basically saying that, 'Hey, these people that support Black Lives Matter, they're trying to take your livelihood. They're trying to take what you've been working on, you know, all your life, or what your family has been trying to build, you know, they're trying to change the way things are. And if you don't want all of this stuff taken from you, if you don't want your rights taken from you, if you don't want your money taken from you, your legacy taken from you, then you have to oppose this.' So when we started standing up asking questions in support of Black Lives Matter, you know, they felt all of a sudden like this threat, like we were coming to take from them, you know, and you would hear that in even some of the things they were yelling at us at the time. So the only thing that we could do at the time was just kind of stand--it was only two of us--kind of stand our ground, because they were surrounding us, and just say, you know, what Black Lives Matter then, you know, like that was really like, all we could do is just kind of just to ground and create that foundation for ourselves. And they were yelling, 'All lives matter' at us, and I realized, because a lot of them, they were older, some of them will even on walkers and, you know, in wheelchairs or 80 years old, 90 years old, you know, they literally felt fear that we were trying to take something away from them. So when I hear that, I know that it's what--and even when they were saying it, I know that it was based on people creating fear in them about what Black Lives Matter meant, because all of the stuff that she was saying Black Lives Matter meant, she was like when they say Black Lives Matter, this is what they meant. And the first thing that happened in my head was like, that's not what we meant. No, no, we're not trying to take from you. We're not trying to, you know, take from your kids, we're not trying to take your money. We're not trying to take your legacy, we're not trying to do any of that. We're just saying Black Lives Matter. Like a lot of people say Black Lives Matter Also. You know, that's what they don't understand. And I knew that it just what they were saying was coming from a place of fear. And that if we were able to be in a room where we didn't have somebody that was using the fear mongering, we could have had a conversation about this is what I mean when I say Black Lives Matter. And then they could have had a conversation, well this is what I mean, when I say All Lives Matter. And we could have been like, we say Black Lives Matter Also, because all lives can't matter until black lives matter, you know, and we could kind of come to a better place. But we weren't able to do that with people creating that fear and encouraging that fear, and I think that's what's happening around the country right now. There's people creating fear, honestly, on both sides. And we have to really kind of tune out all of that fear mongering and have conversations with each other.

Adrienne MacIain 12:44

So how do we begin to do that? I mean, how do you defuse that fear? I think you're absolutely right, that the fear is, 'Oh, these people are coming to take away what's mine.' And, okay, if you're used to a certain level of unfair privilege, maybe that's a little bit true. Maybe some things are gonna get taken away. But you know what, that's okay, because they weren't really yours to begin with. And so if you can confront that, then you can kind of recognize, hey, maybe some equality would be a good thing for everybody. But how do we begin that conversation of here's what I mean when I say this, and how do we--I guess the question really is, how do we begin to listen to what the other side is saying, when all they're saying to us is like, 'You mean this, you're saying this,' and that's not at all what we're saying?

Nselaa Ward 13:43

Right, start from there. That's a really, really good question. One of the things that we've started recently is this, this series, this tour is called 'White women, can we talk,' right? And basically, we're having just small group conversations. Well, it started out small, and it's turning into this huge, big thing, right? Because now, we were like, 'Oh, we're just gonna have these small group conversations, with like, you know, five to 10 people at a time, so that we can just really talk out our issues and tell each other what we really mean, when we say certain things. And now like, you know, over 10,000 people have seen it, you know, and it's even expanding more, because we've been invited to Nigeria, to have these conversations, to Australia, and to London to have the conversation as well. So it's even more worldwide, because people are really, really eager to have these small group conversations. But one of the places that it rooted from was that I realized, even in my experiences, that there will be certain environments that I used to walk into and I would start to get this fear, and a lot of that would happen when I was around white men, you know? Like as soon as I went into a room of all white men, I started to feel anxiety, I started to feel like something bad was going to happen. And a lot of times that came from not being exposed to them that much. I didn't grow up a whole bunch of white men in my life, I didn't grow up going to these meetings or going to events and interacting and connecting with them. You know, I never had that experience with connection. And it wasn't until I actually went to law school. Working for the National Organization for Women actually exposed me to a lot of white women that I didn't have exposure to before, right, because that was the majority of the people in that organization, were white women. That was their large base. So all of a sudden, I start seeing a different perspective. And then when I went to law school is when I started getting exposed to more white men. And just interacting with them and having that exposure eased some of my fear and eased some of my anxiety and on both parts with white women and white men in both areas. And I felt like as a female, a lot of the fear that we have comes because we're creating these stories in our head about other people, because we haven't had that experience, we haven't had direct experiences with them. So we create stories based on stories we've heard, based on media, based on television, and based on something that a friend experienced and they told us about, we're creating all these stories about what's going to happen and what is happening because we don't have that exposure, we don't have the ability just to get to hang out and spend time with each other. So myself and my sister in the movement, Ms. Kliana Ano James, we decided to put together this tool where we just hang out together, where black women hang with white women, and we just talk and build experiences together. And the surface level is that we have the conversation online, but the deeper level is that we actually start to build experiences in person together so that we just get to know each other. And we don't have so much fear around each other. So I think the first step, now this is just the initial first step. There's other steps that we do as well around organizing and political equity and financial equity and things of that sort. But the very very very first step is to get exposure with each other and say, 'Hey, can we talk? You know, just like, white women, can we can we talk? Can we have this conversation? Can I can I hang out with you? Can I sit down with you a little bit? Can I come to your house, even if it's not coming to your house? Can we go to somewhere and have coffee, you know, get to know each other, so that we can take a little bit of that fear away and get to hear each other's stories?' Once we start to hear each other's stories, our perspective changes, right? So I think that's the very initial, the very initial thing that we have to do.

Adrienne MacIain 17:29

I love that. And I completely agree, I think it's so important to just have personal conversations and start to get to know each other as humans instead of these constructs that we have in our minds about each other. And I also love, you know, there's this thing that Brene Brown taught me that like, I use in everything now, which is 'The story I'm telling myself is...' It's a perfect way to start a conversation that's difficult. Because you're owning your own bias there. You're saying 'The story I'm telling myself about you is...'

Nselaa Ward 18:01

I like that.

Adrienne MacIain 18:02

Because you're owning like, 'Hey, I don't really know what's going on with you. But here's what I think is going on. Because this is the story I'm telling myself. It's like, if you think your friend is mad at you, when you start the conversation with 'the story I'm telling myself is: I said this to you, and then you didn't write back. So now I think that you're probably upset about what I said.' And it gives them a chance to go, 'Actually, no, I just put down the phone because I had to go eat. So...'

Nselaa Ward 18:32

Yeah, yeah. How many times does that happen? That, you know, that we create stories to fill in the blanks when we don't know. And that's what's happening on a national racial level as well is that we create these stories when we don't know.

Adrienne MacIain 18:47

Absolutely, and and these stories are being created for us.

Nselaa Ward 18:50

They are! They are.

Adrienne MacIain 18:51

Absolutely, they're being constructed to to create fear and division. That is absolutely happening.

Nselaa Ward 18:58

That's so true. For political gain, at this point. And sometimes even outside of the election, it's created for other gains. But the number one right now, people are using it for political gain.

Adrienne MacIain 19:09

Absolutely. Can you say more about that?

Nselaa Ward 19:13

Ah, when I say for political gain, for example, Kelly Loeffler, you know, she, one of the major issues is that you know, she received, her seat was a gift, you know, in Georgia. She was appointed because somebody else was unable to do the job. So, you know, she felt like the best way to secure her political seat was to create this fear, this division to make people feel like if they didn't want this taken away from them, because a lot of times, if you can't get people to respond out of love, you can get people to respond out of fear. Everything is either based on love or fear. And most people don't really know how to control love, but they know how to control fear. So they use fear to get their outcome. So she's using that, for example, the fear of what happens if black people are saying, you know, if they get their agenda met, they use that politically, she's been using that politically. I see Trump doing the same thing a lot of times, he's using it politically, he's creating this fear on both sides, one of the biggest things that I get afraid of though, is you know, what happens after November 3rd, and you know, if Trump doesn't win? Like, I'm a little afraid that, you know, there's going to be some type of civil war, that people are going to try to create, simply because the politicians and the media have created so much fear. And when people are in a position of fear, they fight or flight, they either fight or flight, you know, so people are preparing to fight, and it's going to create this internal, you know, Civil War around this country, simply because, you know, they're afraid. I think the key is that we really, instead of digging into that emotion of fear, because that's the only, that's the easy reaction to get, really deep-diving into how we can get a handle on or manage to love. That's, that's the hardest thing is that they don't know how to manage love. So they just use fear by default. But if we learn how to manage love, then we'll be doing something really powerful.

Adrienne MacIain 21:31

Absolutely. I mean, I'm more than a little afraid about that. Because you're right, when people are scared, and you know, in this country, there's a lot of people with guns, and when people with guns are scared, very bad things happen.

Nselaa Ward 21:45

Yes, and especially when you've got a quarantine.

Adrienne MacIain 21:47

Yes. So I was in Cote d'Ivoire in 1999, when there was a military coup, and suddenly there's people in the street with guns, and it's a civil war. And it happened *snap* like that. It was a very stable country. No one ever, you know, no one saw this coming. No one suspected a thing. And it was just, poof, like that. And so I've seen this happen. I know how quickly things can turn when there's that powder keg of people who are really scared, and there's a lot of division and misinformation going around. So yeah, I'm worried.

Nselaa Ward 22:24

What was really an eye opener for me is that when we first went into quarantine, and everybody was running to the grocery store for like, resources and things of that sort, we actually had a Bass Pro Shop very close to us. And I saw lines and lines and lines, people waiting at Bass Pro trying to get guns. And I was like, why are they trying to get guns?? Everybody's trying to get toilet paper and, and rice and canned goods. Like, I was confused, like, what's going on here? Why are we getting guns, and the people that were going to the store and getting guns? They didn't look like me. You know, and I was like, what's happening here??? That's when I start realizing, you know, that fear was starting to really, really take over people's lives. And I have people I have friends on both sides, you know, conservative liberals and independents everywhere. So like, a lot of my friends are, you know, they're Trump supporters, and I don't really, I'm not the type of person that I stop being friends with somebody because they have a different political perspective, and even they have been contacting me and they said, you know, they're like Nselaa, you really need to make--because I've always been anti-guns, like, I don't like guns in my house, I don't like guns anywhere, I don't like guns. Right? You know, and they like, you've gonna get a gun, because, you know, we don't know what's going to happen after November. Why I gotta get a gun? They was like, make sure you have some type of weapon, you need a gun in your house and you need to stock up, you know, on your defensive supplies. And I'm like, are y'all serious? And then I saw where they tried to, they were planning to kidnap the governor you know, and try her for treason. And I thought, oh, this is, you know, they really are planning something after the election. So yeah, it's definitely serious.

Adrienne MacIain 24:17

Yeah, here in Seattle, I have a lot of friends who were in the CHAZ or the CHOP, whatever you want to call it, and it was peaceful, it was lovely. I visited a couple of times there, my took my kids, there was nothing to fear there. And then some white supremacists started coming in with guns and so it became a very scary place to be. And now of course then they can come in and say oh, well, there's this lawless zone where all this horrible stuff is happening. And it's all because of the Black Lives Matter movement and I'm going 'Okay, guys: no. Wrong. And anyone who was there could tell you that that's completely wrong. But now they have this ammunition to use and to say: you should be scared of these people, this is a scary thing. These are scary people. And again, it's just that cognitive bias that you see what you wanted to see in the first place.

Nselaa Ward 25:18

Whether you think it will or you think it won't, you're right. You're right. That's the truth is like, you know, they believe they will or they believe they won't, they're right. It's based on our personal bias. And until we start having these conversations, everybody's gonna keep moving forward with their personal bias.

Adrienne MacIain 25:40

Yeah. And the thing is, what you resist persists. And so the more you focus on the thing that you don't want, the more real it becomes. So what we really need to be focusing on, I think, you know, instead of like 'Defund the police,' let's focus on 'Fund the things that actually need to be funded to make this a society worth living in.' You know, really work together to figure out: what do we want policing to look like? What do we want our society to look like? And start pooling our resources and just making that happen.

Nselaa Ward 26:11

I agree, we definitely need to focus on the things that we we do want to fund. One of the reasons that I think that, you know, people are talking about defending the police is, is because of the history of where policing came from, you know, understanding its basis in maintaining slavery, you know, and the slave trade, and plantations. That has a very deep impact, and when you understand that the whole purpose of them originally was just to keep people of color, or people like me, or black people, African Americans in slavery and enchained, and to watch how it's progressed over the centuries. It's scary, and it's sad, and it's frustrating. I think, you know, that's another story that isn't being told is what people mean, and what is to be understood about defunding the police, I think a lot of people think it means that there won't be any police in the neighborhoods, there'd be no police anymore. We won't have any safety, we won't have, you know, anybody to protect us. And really defunding the police doesn't mean that. Police will still have the jobs. It means that we stop equipping them with all of this heavy machinery and military equipment and things that are really militia-oriented, you know, in preparing for war, when you're dealing with citizens, like police should not be prepared to go to war with citizens, because that encourages citizens to go to war with each other. Right? Which is why we have this civil scare, that's really pretending to come from all these black lives matter movements, which it's not. So I do think that we have to get people out of the mind of war, we need to get rid of all this war equipment. And I think that, when we talk about defunding the police, that's what we're really focusing on is getting rid of all of this equipment, and forcing police officers to build relationships and connections with the people that they are serving. I think that's important. But I think there's different ways that we could potentially reframe it, because it's not about taking police jobs, it's not really about the police. It's about building relationships and connections. And sometimes when we have all this military equipment in the way, it's hard to deliver the message of the person that is supposed to be protecting.

Adrienne MacIain 28:39

Yeah. So, let's do a visualization exercise, which is what I like to end on. And usually this is for someone's personal story, but I would love for you to kind of imagine for us what policing could be like, what a society that is actually equal could look like. So let's close our eyes for a moment, and I'm going to kind of wave my magic wand. And so now, everything is as it should be. We have actual equality. We have a police force, or whatever we want to call it, that actually protects and serves all people, and is actually here to to help us. And so I want you to just tell me, what you see, what you hear, what you feel, in this new state where things are as they should be.

Nselaa Ward 29:37

Whoo. That's powerful. I think when when the negativity disappears, because it will, we'll be able to focus on abundance, right? So instead of having the police do things in our midst like, you know, bringing militia to protest and you know, all the other things that have been happening, our police will be a part of the community and they'll help us build a community. It's the same equipment and the money that we're giving to use all this heavy militia equipment, we can use to help police to be able to build new fences and build new buildings, and build community projects, working more with mediation, than trying to attack the community. Working together, having more conversations, being in communities where they have a connection to, which sometimes it may mean that police are only policing the communities that they grew up in, or have some type of connection to what they live in. I do know that sometimes police feel a little uncomfortable about that. But if we're talking about a utopia, you know, people will be more comfortable with policing their own communities. I think that that would be what my utopia looks like, as far as policing.

Adrienne MacIain 31:04

Yeah. So imagine for a moment that in this utopia, you get pulled over. And instead of getting a ticket, they explain to you that there's a taillight out, and they're gonna fix it for you. So just hold tight. And they've got the equipment in their truck, and they come out and they fix your taillight for you. And they say, have a great day. How do you feel when I say that?

Nselaa Ward 31:30

Blessed, grateful, eager to continue this journey. I actually had a situation like that similar previously, and it was then just fixing anything for me. I remember I was having a really, really bad day, this is actually when I was still practicing law, like I was on my way to court. And I knew that day that I was going to have, like some heavy topics that I was talking about in court, and I just really didn't want to go. So I prepared myself in advance, I was like, I'm going to wear all white, because I want to create light energy, and I want to create a positive experience. And while I was on the way to court, and like, the whole time, I was saying my affirmations before going in, and trying to create this experience that I wanted, even though I somewhat felt like a negative experience gonna happen. And I ended up getting stopped by a police officer. And I was like, Oh, my God, I'm trying to create this, and this was before he came to the crosswalk, I'm trying to create this positive experience, and it's already starting to be negative. Oh my God, you know, like, ugh I'm so upset. And so he walked up to the car and he was like, you know, you switched lanes there at a place that you weren't supposed to switch lanes, and you were about to term, which could have resulted in an accident. And I was really pissed off in my head, but I had to breathe for a minute. And I was like, you know what? The reason that he's here is so that he can make us all safer. And I said, 'You know, what? I'm grateful that you told me that. You know, I was not aware that I wasn't supposed to do that. I'm grateful to hear it, thank you. And he was like, 'You know what?' He said, 'You're so pleasant. I was gonna give you a ticket, but I'm just gonna tell you because I know you're not gonna do it again. I hope you have a good day.' And I was like, I'm so blessed. You know, because I could have took it a whole different way. And I could have created the energy that I was expecting. And it didn't happen that way because, like I said, whether you think you will or you think you won't, you're right. And if I would have went into that situation super negative about the interaction with police? I would have been like, you know? In that situation, even when I'm dealing with police officers, especially because, you know, I was an officer of the court as well as an attorney, you know, and I still feel like they're my kinfolk, no matter what. And I feel like the people on this Earth on my kinfolk as well, but I still feel even a connection to them, and I try to understand that perspective. But when I'm interacting, and I'm stopped or I see them, I'm grateful. And I say thank you, even before they've helped me or served me or, you know, provided some type of benefit. So it's gratitude, and thankfulness.

Adrienne MacIain 34:30

Yeah. That's wonderful. So what do you think is the main message or takeaway for the folks at home?

Nselaa Ward 34:40

Start creating conversations in your community with people that don't look like you. It starts with you. Have those conversations, and encourage the people that look like you to have those conversations as well. Because coming from you, you have a lot more power than I would have, telling them to have those conversations. So just start creating those conversations.

Adrienne MacIain 35:03

Absolutely. So where can the folks at home find you?

Nselaa Ward 35:06

Yes. So you can find me on social media. My name is Nselaa Ward. The N is silent. So you can find me on Instagram at Nselaa Ward, you can find me on Twitter at Nselaa Ward, I'm not as active on Twitter though, Instagram and Facebook are my babies. My Facebook page is Nselaa Ward fan page, so you can go through there. Also the website of my firm, I'm a business architect, so I help people take their hustle to an enterprise level. In addition, with the people, the clients that I work with, I also help them to build their authority, so I put them on stages around the country. Because my clients generally don't want to just be an attorney, they want to be the Johnnie Cochran of the industry, or the Suzy Orman of financial literacy. So I put them on stages, so that they can get in front of audiences so that they could create that authority, and help them to maximize and create a digital stream of revenue also. So my website for the firm is You can reach me on any of those aspects. I'm going to give you also a bonus: I have a texting number. My number is 404-410-0200. One thing that I created was the seven steps to overcome misplaced fear. And it basically has seven steps that you can use when you feel like you want to call the police on somebody that doesn't look like you, things that you can do as an alternative. So if you text me on that number 404-410-0200, I will send you that seven step guide so that you can use it in your communities.

Adrienne MacIain 37:04

Fantastic. Thank you so much for being here.

Nselaa Ward 37:07

Thank you for having me. I really loved this conversation. It was from my heart.

Adrienne MacIain 37:12

Excellent. Me too.

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