COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.

S1 Ep 22: REBECCA TRAMMEL

July 12, 2023 NICOA DUNNE CORNELIUS Season 1 Episode 22
S1 Ep 22: REBECCA TRAMMEL
COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.
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COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.
S1 Ep 22: REBECCA TRAMMEL
Jul 12, 2023 Season 1 Episode 22
NICOA DUNNE CORNELIUS

Let me know what you think of this episode by sending me a FAN MAIL message!

Y'all, It's an US thing! Let's celebrate the intense life and impactful work of the powerful REBECCA TRAMMEL who shares how she overcame adversity and reminds us we are human beings with a divine purpose! She passionately and intentionally has been Living The Dream - Martin Luther King's Dream - and role modeling a Life By Design based in Faith and Purpose for those underserved! Her constant sense of urgency, her soulful vulnerability is so beautiful and strong in this interview. Her efforts at changing our world  for the better continues to make a difference and SO CAN YOU. The next generation is worth it. Her motto: Justice I will pursue.  

Champions for Compassion:
Ruthie Trammel's Champions for Compassion www.championsforcompassion.com

Coming very soon, Rebecca will announce the name and release her new consultancy! Stay Tuned

CURRENT ADVOCACY FOCUS by "Auntie Becca": For twenty-nine long years, North Carolinians have contended successfully in the State of NC in the courts for the constitutional right of every child to have access to a “sound basic education” in our public schools. Despite “Leandro” repeatedly prevailing in the courts, the full $1.7B investment that the state was mandated to make in our public schools has yet to be released. North Carolina’s students have yet to “sit down at the table of brotherhood” and share equitable access to “great equalizer”: education. If we want to see improvements in our public schools, we will have to get "Leandro" out of the courts and into the classrooms.

Read more about the Leandro case and view a mini documentary by WRAL: bit.ly/Leandro411

Take Action!: https://communityconversationsilm.com/take-action

AND on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jd5-ei1HY4

And don't forget to Dance! https://communityconversationsilm.com/jerusalema2021 On MLK Day 2021, Community Conversations  of Wilmi

Buy your copy of YOUR LIFE BY DESIGN: A Coffee With Nicoa Self-Care Coaching Journal
on Amazon today! 

Support the Show.

Follow COFFEE WITH NICOA on Instagram @CoffeeWithNicoa for archived episodes & to see more of Nicoa's Life By Design! And now on TikTok @NicoaCoach


Want to have Coffee With Nicoa as a podcast guest? Or, do you know someone she'd love to have a caffeinated chat with? Or maybe a great ESPRESSO SHOT idea? Message her directly at Nicoa@CoffeeWithNicoa.com

Interested in coaching with Nicoa? Check out her coaching referral page here.
Interested in taking one of Nicoa's e-courses? Check them out here.

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Show Notes Transcript

Let me know what you think of this episode by sending me a FAN MAIL message!

Y'all, It's an US thing! Let's celebrate the intense life and impactful work of the powerful REBECCA TRAMMEL who shares how she overcame adversity and reminds us we are human beings with a divine purpose! She passionately and intentionally has been Living The Dream - Martin Luther King's Dream - and role modeling a Life By Design based in Faith and Purpose for those underserved! Her constant sense of urgency, her soulful vulnerability is so beautiful and strong in this interview. Her efforts at changing our world  for the better continues to make a difference and SO CAN YOU. The next generation is worth it. Her motto: Justice I will pursue.  

Champions for Compassion:
Ruthie Trammel's Champions for Compassion www.championsforcompassion.com

Coming very soon, Rebecca will announce the name and release her new consultancy! Stay Tuned

CURRENT ADVOCACY FOCUS by "Auntie Becca": For twenty-nine long years, North Carolinians have contended successfully in the State of NC in the courts for the constitutional right of every child to have access to a “sound basic education” in our public schools. Despite “Leandro” repeatedly prevailing in the courts, the full $1.7B investment that the state was mandated to make in our public schools has yet to be released. North Carolina’s students have yet to “sit down at the table of brotherhood” and share equitable access to “great equalizer”: education. If we want to see improvements in our public schools, we will have to get "Leandro" out of the courts and into the classrooms.

Read more about the Leandro case and view a mini documentary by WRAL: bit.ly/Leandro411

Take Action!: https://communityconversationsilm.com/take-action

AND on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jd5-ei1HY4

And don't forget to Dance! https://communityconversationsilm.com/jerusalema2021 On MLK Day 2021, Community Conversations  of Wilmi

Buy your copy of YOUR LIFE BY DESIGN: A Coffee With Nicoa Self-Care Coaching Journal
on Amazon today! 

Support the Show.

Follow COFFEE WITH NICOA on Instagram @CoffeeWithNicoa for archived episodes & to see more of Nicoa's Life By Design! And now on TikTok @NicoaCoach


Want to have Coffee With Nicoa as a podcast guest? Or, do you know someone she'd love to have a caffeinated chat with? Or maybe a great ESPRESSO SHOT idea? Message her directly at Nicoa@CoffeeWithNicoa.com

Interested in coaching with Nicoa? Check out her coaching referral page here.
Interested in taking one of Nicoa's e-courses? Check them out here.

***BUY NICOA A COFFEE
**COFFEE WITH NICOA MERCHANDISE SHOP
*SHOP NICOA'S COFFEE WITH NICOA AMAZON SHOP

|| Coffee With Nicoa Copyright 2023 ||

Nicoa Coach:

Grab your coffee and join me Nicoa For a caffeinated conversation about life. I'll be talking to people who have chosen to walk their own paths and just like me, are creating a life by design. I hope it will give you the inspiration you need to do exactly the same. Rebecca, thank you for joining me today.

Rebecca Trammel:

Thank you for having me.

Nicoa Coach:

You cheers, right. You've got your coffee. I've got my coffee mug it's I've already had my coffee. You know I have

Rebecca Trammel:

everybody. First cup.

Nicoa Coach:

Is it your first cup? At what time? Do you wake up this morning girl Do you sleep in?

Rebecca Trammel:

Might not be my first.

Nicoa Coach:

You and our both traveling last week, we probably need a little extra caffeine to keep us going. That's right. Well, thank you for joining me. Everybody. Please meet my friend. And a wise woman named Rebecca Trammell. She and I met about five years ago, we were working on something together, back. Probably 2017 2018 You came to the house. And we're wandering around the house catching up getting to know each other. And we noticed in my daughter's room, the NC State Flag. And I'll never forget this because she was like, oh, yeah, I said, Oh, are you a State fan? And I was picking on Rebecca. And she was like, oh, not only my State fan. My brother works at NC State. You want to tell that story? How you share? Do you remember the connection?

Rebecca Trammel:

Yeah, vaguely. So So yeah, I just saw that your daughter is at NC State. And both of my brothers are, you know, State graduates. And my brother Harrell is currently the head coach of NC State cheerleading. And so, you know, I'm always like, welcome to the pack, you know? Yeah.

Nicoa Coach:

I said the same thing. And then I went, Oh, my God. Do you remember that? I also cheered at NC State.

Rebecca Trammel:

Yes. Small world, small world, small world.

Nicoa Coach:

I couldn't believe it. It's a whole legacy. It is a legacy. You know, one pack one family. Right. And I saw that and I have been following your brother. I didn't even know I was following your brother at the time. Right. And I was just so thought it was such a neat small world and a neat connection. I love NC State. You know, we now have. Let's see PIPA just graduated from state that was her room you were in justice already graduated from state. And then we've got a rising junior there, a rising sophomore there, and our youngest Jane just to commit it to go into NC State in the fall. So we'll have

Rebecca Trammel:

three. I'm loving it. I'm loving it.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, I'm going to take a minute I just always like to share with people how I know my guests, or I'm either I've known him since the third grade, or I have a neat connection like yours or I stalked him on Facebook and or Instagram and got really confident and asked him to join my podcast. That's awesome. Let me tell everybody a little bit about you. And anything I miss. You know, you can jump in and tell me before this conversation is over because you are doing so many great things. Welcome Rebecca Tramel. She is known for her pursuit, injustice. She wants to make a change for people around her and she is known to pursue justice for those whose voices often go on her. She actually co founded the Ruthie trammels champions for compassion, which I hope you'll talk a little bit more about that two days after her own mother's passing to continue her legacy of removing obstacles to recovery and the stigma surrounding mental illness and restoring hope in the community through public health initiatives. She's the lead advocate at Community Conversations. She launched the night in 2019 to promote equity and excellence in the education of New Hanover County's black students. And during the summer of 2020, everybody's favorite year tramble served on the frontlines. She was on the frontlines of community efforts towards addressing structural racism, including dialogue on systemic issues, removal of Confederate statues, and policy reform. She's led community conversations in teaming with the cucalorus film festival here in Wilmington, North Carolina, to curate the 2020 Connect event, which centered around racism in America. And I'm so proud of you. She was appointed by Governor Cooper to the MLK commissioned in 2020 and continues to serve on behalf of North Carolina. She is the recipient as well. Not surprised of the Wilma women woman to watch a war Were in the nonprofit sector and 2020. You were you weren't baking bread in 2020, you are out there making a difference.

Rebecca Trammel:

Yes, as much as possible, as much

Nicoa Coach:

as possible. And she was recognized by the YWCA of the lower Cape Fear as a Woman of Achievement in 2021, which I don't know if you know this, but I too am a woman of achievement from 1996. I think it was 97 because I was pregnant, I remember with my first child. So another interesting connection. I love it. One more paragraph of beauty and power here, because you, I'm just telling you guys, you're gonna be so excited to talk with Rebecca today. She's known for launching also a very high impact short term set of initiatives when national disaster strikes, she sees that there's a significant injustice and causing distress to her neighbors. And so she dreams big, and launched the Dream Big program, a campaign to provide high quality air mattresses and bedding for school aged children in need, and instruction on healthy sleep habits in partnership with community organizations, and the New Hanover County School System. Rebecca has programs and consulting and public speaking, have all come together and help her really with her life by design passion to protect and empower marginalized communities and to be their advocate. Now, I want to ask you, Rebecca, and this is key. Do you know when in your life, so life by design, right, at what point in your history? Did you pick up this effort and say, This is my life's purpose? This is what I'm here to do. Can you share a little bit about that?

Rebecca Trammel:

You No. Thank you for that question. I think that it was I think it was like all along like now that I look back. It was these little decisions, these little encounters. All along that were that I was saying yes to us just saying yes. Saying yes. And it led into kind of a climactic moment when my mom passed away. And I felt like I had to catch her torch. And, you know, my mother was a social worker. And I didn't know that I had a passion for social work as well. And it really wasn't, I think I learned more about myself and more about her after she was gone. You know, so when my mom was diagnosed with cancer, cancer in 2017, ovarian cancer 2017 2012. When she was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, you know, I went, you know, fall into being her caregiver. And, you know, when she passed away in January 2014, like two days afterwards, our brother, my brothers and I and my dad, we were sitting together, we were supposed to planning her funeral. But instead we planned Ruthie travels jayvees for compassion. And we decided that we were going to do these initiatives to carry on her legacy. And we wanted to remove obstacles to recovery and restore hope. And we wanted to talk about, you know, addiction recovery, which is what she did in a way that would be compelling. And let people know that, you know, that doesn't have to be sick stigmatized that these are not bad people, these families are not bad families. These are people who are responding to pain in a way that is actually causing more pain. And, but they're doing the best that they can and we need to like, get behind them and cheer them on so that they can can recover their lives, which is what mama Wow.

Nicoa Coach:

And she really left a legacy and your her legacy. So what was it like to be her daughter growing up?

Rebecca Trammel:

It was cool. Like, I felt like I always had somebody to talk to you. Right? Because, first of all, she's mom. And second of all, she's trained. You know, I think that that was like one of the things I really miss is like being able to get her advice and to get her listening ear, you know, and knowing that she she had just like this healing empathy. And we have different approaches, I guess to social work. She was more in the micro world where she wanted to be one on one with people and get into their lives. And then, you know, I ended up taking a more macro approach in wanting to make a difference in society that does matriculate into impacting people's lives. But you know, growing up as her daughter I mean, yeah, it was it was knowing that no matter what she was supporting me Hmm, I think I'm absolutely crazy. You know, like, shoo, I think that Rebecca could use your cell, like out there. Is she so reserved? You know, she's like, my child. But you know, um, yeah, I think we have like different approaches to things, but I always knew that she loved me. And she was her own advocate and she was her own brand of fire at work. She just was a different person at home. And I found out more about her advocacy after she died. Stein award twice, and the only person in the history of coastal horizons to have won that award twice in their career.

Nicoa Coach:

Oh, and what's the recognition of that award? What's that just as a highlight of of the work you do, or?

Rebecca Trammel:

Well, that was for me, like for my mom, that was, you know, just she was chosen by your peers and recognized by, you know, the board of coastal horizons for being an excellent professional and, and she's started the intensive outpatient program. And before it was cool, she would go to like, the hospital and advocate for her for her clients saying, you know, these mothers on methadone are actually saving their baby's lives, and they're doing the very best they can, and yes, their babies born addicted. But like we can work together to to salvage both of their lives, it's, you know, if they were to go into complete detox, then the baby would not make it. And if they will, to stay addicted to a street drug, we don't know what would happen. So actually, they were making the best choice that they had, and they have bad choices, you know, and so she was an advocate for them there. She was an advocate for her her clients in it with the police department to help them understand addiction as illness right? Before it was a CDC, she was

Nicoa Coach:

no surprise at all, then that you're an advocate. And I love that you're the outspoken extroverted version of your mom, because that's how the cycle, the familial cycles and the societal cycles break. We have to I feel like we all come together and community like, there's no coincidence that we have so many coincidences right with each other. And I think we choose our families. And it sounds like you chose a mom who was going to instill in you those values and belief systems that you could then go out and really, really shift and change the world. So did you feel that passion and sense of urgency as a young woman that you feel now?

Rebecca Trammel:

Yes, so um, I have a very unique family.

Nicoa Coach:

Oh, tell us more.

Rebecca Trammel:

So my mother is a Jewish girl from New York. And my dad is a black man from Texas.

Nicoa Coach:

Oh, melting pot. I

Rebecca Trammel:

love it. Yes. And so on his side of the family. My grandparents, were the pastors of an AME Church. And meanwhile, my mother's family. They were immigrants from Ukraine or refugees, you know, and my grandmother's family was Sephardic, and that her mind came through this Inquisition. So, you know, I have a long legacy of survivors, whether it was from the transatlantic slave trade, or the Trail of Tears on my dad's side, or from an inquisition or pogrom, like, that is what I that is the stuff I have made of. Yeah. I think that, you know, growing up in a multi ethnic health, family in the south, you know, in the 80s, and 90s, you know, you had to be strong person. Yeah. And you had to, I had to have a very strong sense of self, that wasn't necessarily tied to an identity that other people could readily assume. It wasn't attached to a race, it wasn't attached, it was attached to who I am as a individual, as a person that is bigger than all of those things. And I embraced all of my heritage, and you know, when I was, you know, seeing, you know, racism and hate here in Wilmington, and, you know, sensing these, like some some points, tensions. You know, I had to really be firm in living that dream, like my king's dream, that we should not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character. And that, you know, all men are in women. We are created equally in endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights of life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. And, you know, I felt that calling very young, and also just, you know, I was brought up in a very, you know, faith filled family. And we believe that, you know, we were all created in God's image, and we all have a purpose. And we all have beauty and talents and greatness. And so, that is, irrespective of all the isms and the all the things. And so that's something I understood very, very early in life. And, you know, it's not surprising that, you know, as I, you know, went into the nonprofit world, I began to see that a lot of the justices were tied to racial discrimination that, you know, like, who are the last people to be considered when there was a national natural disaster, and, you know, who are the most vulnerable to who had less barriers and cushion and light? Yeah. And it's like it without without fail was, it was generally black people and people who are on the lower end of the socio economic spectrum. And, you know, that's why I started community conversations, you know, for fighting for Equity and Excellence in Education. So after I got done with Florence, it pushed me straight forward into seeing like a lot of inequities in New Hanover County. And then getting on the heels of that, a friend of mine posted that her her child was the only child in her first grade class to not get and what she called a Christmas gift from her teacher. only black kid in the class,

Nicoa Coach:

oh my god.

Rebecca Trammel:

It was so horrendous and outrageous.

Nicoa Coach:

That happened in the last few years. What 2018 Holy crap. So let's back this up, because I'm excited to have this conversation. Because, you know, you know, I've probably done I don't know how many interviews shipped since March. In my memory, um, all of a sudden, I'm like, Emma, is this an accurate statement? I don't think I've interviewed someone that is a person of color yet, unless I missed it. I've forgotten. But hey, in that good if I did forget, but I'd like to one of my favorite questions to ask in my coaching work is, what does it feel like to be you? And I think you are giving us a an opportunity here to ask that question as a person of, of diverse background, right? And what does or maybe you could even share what it felt like to be you in your younger life? And then what does it feel like to be you now or any, any moments of stories that might can help our listener understand what it feels like to be Rebecca Trammell?

Rebecca Trammel:

Well, I will say that I wish that I had enough time, and human capacity to be able to affect change in all the areas that I see where there's room for improvement in society. And it's not like I'm right, everyone's wrong. It's more like, you know, how do we love our neighbor as ourselves better? And how does that feel? It feels like constantly reminding myself that I am human with a divine purpose. Yeah. You know, I still have to eat, I still have to sleep. I still have to take care of myself. But I have a desire and a passion that's so much greater than myself. And it's something that I need to share. Because sometimes there are people who like have a vision great enough to share with other people to pull people in. And so like it feels right now like, it can feel like exhaustion it can feel like you know but I can also feel very exhilarating, like, like when I see opportunities, and I have Have an ad when I see that. Yeah, potential for change. And then when people are really hearing what I'm saying, or we're seeing what I'm seeing, yeah, it's like, okay, it's not just a Rebecca thing. It's a tough thing. And yeah, when people say like, it's not an it's not okay, that, you know, black children are almost eight times more likely to be suspended in the white child in school. And like, let's do something about it. And let's admit a problem with practice, which new New Hanover County schools did in 2019? And, you know, yeah, it's, it's, uh, how does it feel to me in my skin, it's like it sometimes it feels like, heavy because it's like, I really want to see more, and I want to see better for society, and more justice and more peace in our society. And then sometimes it feels like excitement.

Nicoa Coach:

Yeah, I mean, each of us is having a very unique experience. But I think you said it, when you say it's an us thing. It's still an us thing, I think we're all connected, energetically, that we're, we're breathing the same air, we come from the same sources, whatever your belief is around that. And, you know, it. I think, part of the challenge over the last, however many 66 years, since that beautiful young girl segregated into the classroom, right, I saw her or she's 66 this year or something, you know, I think about how, you know, the differences are as great as the commonalities. And people are trying to wake up and make sure your, your, your understanding and your, you're not falling into a blind, you know, wearing blinders and not dealing with the fact that these, the differences can be overcome by the commonalities is my point.

Rebecca Trammel:

Yeah, because like, we all want good schools for our kids. Sure. We all want, you know, the next generation to fulfill their potential, you know, no matter what color they are, no matter what background they come from, every individual should be able to know who they are, and find out what they're good at, and do that thing. Because whatever that thing is, society needs it, otherwise we wouldn't be here. You know,

Nicoa Coach:

well, what have you learned, I mean, what's beautiful about the way you describe all of that, and your experience of being you, which I can imagine can be very exhausting as well. Because when we over give you you have what in, we have a tool we use in our coaching called energy leadership. And there's a level of energy that's called the caregiver. And that caregiver wants to make change and give, give, give and do, do do and create, create, create. But oftentimes, that strength can become an opportunity, though, that if it's overused, it can burn that person out. And they can also fall into that victimhood or martyrdom space when they get stressed out. And yet, the way you describe it, you also balanced it with excitement. So what keeps you hopeful? When so much of your focus and energy is on what's not going well?

Rebecca Trammel:

Well, there's like, there are a few things that that I use to try to keep me balanced. And I will tell you, I have made a ton of mistakes. And there is still opportunity for me to row in this. But you know,

Nicoa Coach:

assume that's just being human. Yeah.

Rebecca Trammel:

Yeah. I mean, you can't have strength without joy. And I, I was told, like the protesters in 2020 that this energy that we're expending right now is so not sustainable. And the next leg of this race is going to look like unhindered hope, and unbridled joy. And we need to this it looks like art. It looks like dancing. And so I started doing the Jerusalem a challenge all over town.

Nicoa Coach:

What is that? What does that tell us? Tell us.

Rebecca Trammel:

This is super fun line dance that came out of South Africa in 2020 when everybody was in lockdown, and it's like this infectious song like if you will not get it out of your head.

Nicoa Coach:

I did see those two guys dancin, right did they do it was a tick tock. Okay, tell me. I don't know what I'm gay because

Rebecca Trammel:

all over the world made it their own. And did it and uploaded their their dances to YouTube and say, I mean, there are people from, like Germany, from Austria, from India to Africa to Iran, I think somewhere in the middle east like, and then Israel, like the United States, everybody is doing this dance South America, everybody all over the world is doing this dance. And so bad

Nicoa Coach:

now like I missed it.

Rebecca Trammel:

No, no, because I brought that thing to Wilmington, I was like you guys, we need to dance. Because after all this tension, we have to dance, yes. And get this energy out in a sense, but also bring people in. And what I've noticed in every conversation that I've had, I host like these community conversations to talk about hard things, but in a guided way. And bringing like a multicultural community together to have these conversations, whether it's that or whether it's bringing people together to dance, strangers become friends, in like an hour, it's almost like we are we really do have like this affinity towards each other, like we are meant to be together and the people don't want to leave. Like I actually recorded this, you could see it on my website, the recording of Jerusalem affirm 2021. And, I mean, we were at the MLK center, it is like nine o'clock, I'm like, Y'all, we gotta go home. But it was like, people just love that energy of of dancing together and doing something together, and bringing so much joy and movement and community, its community. And I think that that's what people miss the most during the pandemic. And I think that that is secure, I think connection is secure. And so how does this work? It is connection is secure. And when I am deprived the connection, I kind of nosedive and I spiral and, you know, it takes me reaching out and saying, hey, you know, I need I need connection. You know, I? Can you listen to what I'm like, listen to me for a second, you know, I need I need to be heard, you know, like, this is hard. And this is painful. And you know, something happened like I got I ran into a brick wall at 100,000 miles an hour. And you know, somebody who in the political world made a promise they didn't keep and have to get back up and have to keep going. Because Because the next generation is worth that those kids are worth it. Absolutely. Should have two lobbyists. That's mom and dad. Yes. And they have a third one. It's auntie Becca,

Nicoa Coach:

Auntie Becca, you are their advocate. Oh my god, I love that so much. And we're definitely going to go to your website and check it out. And everybody you know, we're going to do a little, we're going to do a little dance break. And when we come back, I'm going to have Rebecca talk or an auntie Becca, talk a little bit more about what she's working on and any advice she wants to give to us. So we will be right back.

Unknown:

We hope you're enjoying listening to this episode of Coffee with Nicola. Make sure to subscribe so that you never miss an episode and follow Coffee with Nicoa on Instagram to find inspiring content that will help you begin creating your life by design.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, we kind of forgot today is okay, let's dance. Yeah, we're back. Alright, so darling. So I love your story. And I love your personality. So I want you to tell us a little bit about what your advice giving would be because we can see your extraversion and feel that energy and we know you've already got a million things you know how to actually move forward and do and in a life by design. That's really it the doing like get up off your ass and go make something happen if you have an opinion. You know, go vote, go waka whatever. And even if you're just sitting in meditation, right, you're still doing something to help the universe in the world and those in need. What's your set of tips, advice, guidance, wisdom?

Rebecca Trammel:

Um I think that to know that you're loved

Nicoa Coach:

how do we do that? How do we do that though? I have so many people that don't feel very lovable that I work with

Rebecca Trammel:

below like see that it's like you have to understand the whole world is I set up to make you feel small. And to not the whole world but like a lot of like life experiences want to diminish that light, that and that spark inside of you that I believe that I created in you know, you are made for, for wonder you're made for joy you're made to experience beauty you're made to, to be beautiful in this world. And I think that the more we open ourselves and avail ourselves to, to loving and being loved, the closer we get to our purpose. And I think that without that, I don't think that we can possibly actually actualize our purpose. Because, you know, what is the purpose? You know, my my purpose is to love be loved. And yeah to in love is justice as love and public as Cornel West says. And when I received the well mo award, they asked me what my motto was, and it was justice I will pursue and why do I care about justice? I care about justice, because I love people. And, you know, so my anchor is in, is in love. And so to know that we've been created by love and for love and to appreciate beauty and to give beauty and to receive joy and give joy and experienced joy with other people. You know, I think that that that is the fuel of life. And yeah, that's,

Nicoa Coach:

that's beautiful. And I could not agree more. I mean, ultimately, that concept of self love is that knowing and I think people have to remember their wholeness. Like, remember, you were born enough, you know, societal marketing, capitalism, messaging, fear, uncertainty, and doubt is going to try to tell you otherwise, that you're not enough, and you're not lovable. But you are, no matter what you do. You know, I often say the guy on the street, begging is just as powerful and worthy, as you know, the leader of of a nation, right. So it doesn't matter the role. You are lovable, and enough and connection. It's interesting that you bring that up, too, because especially with your mother's history of work that she did, when I think about addiction, and I think about people who get off a path that serves them, it usually does come back to that lack of connection. And if somebody's feeling alone, how would you encourage them to go find that connection? If they're not feeling lovable, or they're feeling disconnected? What advice would you give?

Rebecca Trammel:

Well, first of all, I believe that you were created, like with a special fingerprint, and why but like, a unique design, and the fact that you're not like anyone else, is not something that's meant to alienate you, but, but it's indicative that, that you were made special. And yeah, I want to, I encourage people to, to pray to meditate. You know, and, sure, I mean, you know, I have a certain set of beliefs that, you know, I was, like born into, like, a Judeo Christian background, but like, you know, seek it, seek it out, speak, seek, seek and you will find, yes, go on your journey, to, not to not and if you if you feel like you were born into a religion, I challenge you to challenge everything that you've ever heard, deconstruct it, and make it your own. But, you know, I think that step one note come from me comes from knowing that I was created by love, for love. And I am fearfully and wonderfully made. And even when I have questioned it, and I have absolutely questioned it, I have absolutely been self destructive in my past. I have walked through an eating disorder through the other side of that, I am neurodivergent I have ADHD, and like the whole world screams at me, you are wrong, and you are different. But know that yeah, I'm different, but I'm also exactly who I need to be to be on the path that I'm on. And there are going to be people who have Um, who don't understand me there are going to be people who don't you know, want to support me as a person or what I'm doing. But that's okay. Because they didn't make me and they add, I'm not asking their opinion

Nicoa Coach:

for you, and you, do you? Well, thank you for sharing that. I mean, you know, one of the things that we keep uncovering in a lot of these conversations is that people have had have gone through some really challenging experiences, and then being diagnosed, or at least being given insight into others with similar, you know, experiences. And I also had an eating disorder, you know, I interviewed at least two other people who've had eating disorders. And that comes back to that lack of connection with self and trying to control something that we can control when we feel out of control, at least in my experience. When did you did you? Because you sounds like it hasn't been this. Oh, I'm off. I'm happy. Here we go. I'm doing it. Since you just shared that information. When did you have these aha moments that wait, this path isn't serving me? Like, how do you know when to really be more intentional about your life by design, when the path you're on is not serving you?

Rebecca Trammel:

Well, I mean, I 24 I was like, Rebecca, you cannot live off of SlimFast forever. There's like, there's a cut off point all that, like, you know, there's an expiration date. And yours is, is is right around the corner if you don't stop this, and I think I wanted to I wanted to live, I wanted to see what life could be because I 24 Like, what do I know? What have I experienced at 24? You know, and I was like, what if, like, all of these things that I'm thinking, you know, that I'm, you know, just all the negative things that come into your mind. And I'm not going to say, when you have an eating disorder, like, you know, what if life isn't that what if life is is bigger? And what if you could experience something you haven't experienced yet? And you're cutting yourself short? What if you're like a flower that you that, that didn't get water. And so I was like, I'm gonna give my life a chance. And I am going to start from ground zero. I sweat it out for 16 months in a rehab center, and fought for my life. And it was an entire faith journey and saying, I cannot do this one more day, God helped me and he did. And I'm here and I want to, I knew that if I can make it, anybody else can make it because yeah, I was in bad shape. And so that was like, the first time that I was like, okay, Rebecca, get it together. This ain't it. And I think that, you know, I've had a lot of like, life shattering moments like, I got exposed to black mold in Kansas City got super sick and was bedridden at 31 years old. Couldn't could not walk and had to be taken care of. And I was sick for three years. Wow. You know, all of those things. It's just like your Soviet wilderness. And like, how is this happening? But knowing that there is still a plan, and one day I was I was praying, and I was like, I'm like, What do I need to do? What am I gotta do on? I'm like, I'm so screwed. I'm like, I can't even I can't remember anything. I've got short term memory loss. I've got fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, I can't get off the couch. And I felt like yeah, guy was saying to me, you want to blueprint and I'm the architect. Let me help. Hmm. And so I, I was like, Alright, let's do this. And so I had to trust that all I had to do is what I could do in this day. And in this moment in time, even if it didn't seem like enough. And eventually, it would get me somewhere. So I think that my message would be trust the process. You might not know where you might not know exactly where this road is headed. But you have to believe that there is a purpose and it will manifest itself in time that it that that we're all a work in progress. You can't judge a masterpiece in You know, while in the middle of it, you know, being created, and we have a part to play in that. And I think the biggest part that we have to play in is not giving up on ourselves, give ourselves

Nicoa Coach:

and the fact that you said, you know, I want to blueprint and letting go, and your words, letting God right be that architect, I mean, that is designed. Some people do get confused in the concept because they think well, don't I own all of it. And then I feel like I'm failing, if I'm not getting what I want, or my deepest heart's desires. But when I have found the more faith I have, however you want to label it, the more relaxed I am, the less that I try to force or strive or make things happen, the easier it unfolds. And the blueprint shows itself to me, the past shows itself to me, and you know what, I think when you feel good, and you feel joy, and it feels okay. I mean, it doesn't mean it's not necessarily hard. But when it feels good, then that's the right path. You know, only drinking the SlimFast everyday does not feel good, actually, in the long run while you're watching everybody else eat a burger.

Rebecca Trammel:

Yeah, and even if at that moment, you would never want to eat that burger, the whole idea of knowing that, like, you're cutting yourself off from like your

Nicoa Coach:

Yeah, your

Rebecca Trammel:

heart and

Nicoa Coach:

you're sacrificing your you're restricting in some way. And, and the way in which you live now, which I'd love for you to describe how you wake up every day, like what are the things you say to yourself? I mean, it feels like expansion to me compared to the history you just shared? And what do you say to yourself in the mornings when you wake up?

Rebecca Trammel:

Let's go. Let's do this. Let's do this. Like I have a reason to be here. And, you know, yeah, thank God for giving me another day. And there was a point where I would wake up and say, God, just don't let me I don't want to see this day. And now I'm like, you know, I am grateful for this time that I have. And I have a purpose for being here. And I know what it is. And it is to do justice, love mercy walk humbly

Nicoa Coach:

will tell us what you're working on. I know, you've got so much on your plate most of the time. Why don't you share with us? What's at the forefront of your mind right now?

Rebecca Trammel:

Right now, it's public education. You know, our governor just released a an announcement that public education is in a state of emergency, and I'm not very political. It to me. We're not this isn't about politics. This is about people. And it's about issues. And it is about children. And I really could not care less. I mean, for the record, I'm unaffiliated. Sure, same. I mean, loyalty is to people injustice. That's right. You know, right now, we have, there's a there's a bill out there, that would increase the amount of money that could go towards what they call opportunity vouchers. And I'm sorry, I'm forgetting the name of the bill right now. But I'll

Nicoa Coach:

you sent it to me. And I can put the information in the the notes, but I'll just look, it's the Leann do your stuff is called Lee. And

Rebecca Trammel:

so like, there's like this opportunity bill, the that would actually take millions of dollars out of public education, and allow people to get vouchers for private school and that money, even though they might say we're gonna give like everybody's gonna get the same amount of money that they got before. When a child enrolls in a school, that school gets a certain amount of money per pupil. Okay. There are going to allow people to take that money and put it into private schools and charter schools, which takes it out of public schools effectively. And I went to a public, I went to private school, my brothers and I, we started off in private school. And my mother refused. Even if she was offered, she said she would refuse a voucher, because she would not take that money out of public schools, because there are children who don't have choice. And those kids deserve just as good of an education as we do. But we know that that's not going to happen, which is why we go to private school. But we're not going to take more away from public school. And my mom was very clear as to why that was important. And it comes back to loving your neighbor as yourself. You don't do that. And plus, like what does society have to gain by by a large number of children, not being able to read well, not being able to like to have an uneducated populace like what gain from that? What kind of workforce are we cultivating by doing that? Where's the Leninist? I don't see it. I really don't.

Nicoa Coach:

I agree. So

Rebecca Trammel:

we have that going on. And so that is a big problem. That is why the Governor announced the the, the problem with our the crisis with education, but there's also Leandro plan, which is not being talked about, the Leandra plan would pour $1.7 billion dollars into our public education system immediately. And that is really what needs to happen. Because the people of North Carolina started suing North Carolina in 1994. Since 1997, the people have been winning. And there were five rural counties that came together for this lawsuit. And they were saying, our kids are not getting a sound basic education. And we need your help, because we don't have the tax base, as say, like a Wayne Wayne County or New Hanover County. But even in those counties, there are children who don't have the same chances, like kind of the things that we were alluding to before. And, you know, over the last almost 30 years of litigation, the courts really have made progress. And they finally decided that they were going to the state was going to hire consultants called West Ed. And they studied the school system, and they made recommendations. And then from that came the Leandro plan. And they decided that these corrective actions would cost $1.7 billion. And that's not to make excellent schools. That's just to make sound basic education. And here's the thing, this is a collection, this is what I do not understand. North Carolina has a very strong and stable economy and a growing economy. Number one in the nation. We are number one in the nation for business. And that was a bipartisan effort from the governor and from the legislative branch, to create this culture. Number one a nation we are dead last for effort in education spending, how we have the opportunity to create, create cradle to career and to cultivate our talents so that we can have an even more robust economy. Our kids can be ready to go into our public educate our public colleges and universities. But a lot of times they're not ready and we're getting kids from outside know, our kids can have those opportunities. So not to the exclusion of others, but like, but why aren't our kids ready to participate in this economy and to benefit from our colleges and universities? That is patently unfair and unjust. And that can be remedied, I believe, with the Leandra plan. And right now, there's only one person standing in the way of that happening. And that is the comptroller who filed a motion after the courts ordered him to write the check. And, and he's like, I'm not doing it, because I can get sued. But who's going to sue him? Like, is the state of sue the state? No. Like, and how do you get to defy a court order? Like the people one like, yeah, we would they want you last write the check. You know, we have the money, we have $6 billion sitting in the North Carolina Treasury right now. And growing, it's like, we have money. And that is that's what's going on right now.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, how can people help you? How can we help get the message across that that needs to be brought over the finish line?

Rebecca Trammel:

Well, I think that we need to be talking to our governor, column, the governor's office and saying, we really want to see a sound basic education available to every child, we want cradle to career here, then it can happen. We want every child to have the opportunity to succeed. Nobody benefits from leaving a large number of people behind nobody. And so ask him to do everything that he can within his power to enforce the court decision. I think, you know, reaching out to Nov and let him Let him know that we support him in in in helping us cross the finish line, because really, he's the only one who can right now. Okay. Now, we'll

Nicoa Coach:

make sure and put his contact information for those in the state of North Carolina, whether you're in the state of North Carolina, and you can still communicate our governor in support of this effort, and maybe even look for best practices from the site you have is is it leandro.org? Or what's the website?

Rebecca Trammel:

I created a bitly for my for my website. So community conversations ilm.com Or you can just Bitly backslash, Leandro, 411 and Leandro is capital like capital L. So that will take you straight in Straight on my website to that page. So Bitly backslash Leandro 411.

Nicoa Coach:

Okay, perfect, perfect. Because I want people to recognize that when we share these types of stories, and we share efforts that that are, that people that I'm talking with are involved in, you know, you may not be able to influence it directly, but you might be able to pick up a best practice and go apply it to something that you're also working on. So, obviously, you rallied around this act, how did you find out about it? Like, did you pull people in to help you? Because again, I see your work and your decision making every day as being very intentional. And that's the takeaway, I really am grabbing from your life by design, you're very intentional, you know, what matters most to you, you know, what your standards are your values, and then you take action towards it. So how did you take action towards this endeavor?

Rebecca Trammel:

So, um, for a while people are calling, you know, like, Rebecca is an advocate or Becca's activist. And I was like, No, I don't want to be an activist, I want to be activator. I don't want to be, you know, a voice, I want to create an echo. And so I have put it on my website are ways that people can get involved and talking points so that they can carry this message and become ambassadors. I am almost completing complete, I've always completed a slide deck, where in which I can actually come and speak to a group and give a presentation based on you know, your group, if it's, you know, if it's a business, I will go more cradle to career, if it's a faith based community, I will talk about the injustice of depriving children of education, if it's, you know, a parent teacher group in Orissa, or students, it would be better as possible you so just whatever the thing is policymakers, its Justice delayed is justice denied, do something because you can. So tailoring this message, so I'm working on that right now should be completed by the end of this week. And then that, that message those those slide decks, I want to decentralize a message and allow people to be able to access those slide decks to be able to create to have this conversation in their own community. So, so yeah, community empowerment and creating that echo.

Nicoa Coach:

I love what you just said. I mean, and and I also think you just gave a really great piece of advice for communications and approach is that you're adapting to your audience. And you're still with the same standard of education for all creating those primary needs to be met in our education system, so that they can get to that, you know, top of the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs of self actualization. And we can't get to cradle to career without getting all their needs met. And if they're, if it's inconsistent in our school system to begin with, and they can't catch up unless we help them. That's really beautiful. When you when you reflect back, and Matt, would you mind if I asked you your age? I don't know how old you are. I'm 47. She's 47. I'm 54. So I like I like continuing to age, it's better than the alternative. 47 When you look back on your beautiful 47 years, what are you most proud of?

Rebecca Trammel:

I mean, I think it's a, it was a pretty big feat to be alive, you know, I'd say is the most deadly mental illness. And I survived. And I think I'm quite proud of, I just feel I feel grateful to be here. I mean, I've, you know, through many dangerous toils and snares, you know, survive bold, I have gone through a lot. And I think that you know, I'm grateful to be on this side with the perspective that I have, and the passion that I have to better humanity. And, you know, like the awards, they're nice, like, that's great. That's really just, sometimes awards come in sometimes they don't, sometimes. Yeah, it just, I think the biggest thing is I'm most proud that that I found my purpose and that I'm living it every single day. And I hope I lived it better every single day in a more sustainable ways. You know, that I am more supported as a human in ways that I'm even more connected as a human, and because by that I become more healthy in my pursuit of justice. And I also help others, like engage in way in something that can bring their life meaning as well.

Nicoa Coach:

Yeah, I mean, you're the one that's, that's the echo you're talking about. To me, their words are nice, great, but that's the Echo, you're creating this ripple effect. And the more joy and fulfillment you find you are then role modeling, for others. And these conversations are about doing just that, I find you to be a beautiful role model. And I know that you're very resilient. And you you continue to persevere, and it feels like you're thriving now deep. Do you feel yourself coming into your own now? Or do you still feel like as you look towards the future? Do you feel settled? Where you are? Do you feel kind of a gap still, with a sense of urgency? I tried to dig deep into how it feels to be us. Right. So I'm just curious, as you look forward,

Rebecca Trammel:

I think there's more. I think there's more that I haven't experienced, I feel like so far. You know, yeah, I feel like I am only at the not necessarily a step one or first base, but I'm still at the beginning of, of what it looks like for me to be the me. And I think that you know, a lot of the work that I've done has been not financially support, I've supported my own work, it which has been super, super hard. And it hasn't given me enough time to rest. And I know that I want that, and I deserve that. And I have to change the way I am doing this in order to be better compensated for the work that I give, and do and the value that I bring to society. And, you know, like I There are challenges like, what does it feel like to be me like, at the end of the day, I am a petite woman of color, and minority on so many levels, like, it's sometimes not easy for me to, to command the respect that I deserve, and I have to fight for it. So what do I feel like I've arrived? No, I believe that I am arriving. I feel like I am becoming. And I believe that. That, you know, I believe that the best is yet to come for me in this work. And I feel like I believe that satisfy satisfaction, the satisfaction of the fight is there. And in knowing that I'm doing what is right, and I'm standing on the right side of history. I am looking for satisfaction to resolve and success when we get the $1.7 billion our children deserve.

Nicoa Coach:

Absolutely. And, you know, I think you probably will always feel like you're still arriving even when you're in your 50s and 60s and 70s. Because there could we're continuing to expand. And you really do command that respect, I think you should celebrate those awards and those recognitions. And trust in your own knowing that I do deserve to be here, I do deserve this feedback in this validation. And I am worthy of compensation when it comes to speaking engagements and or consultation and or supporting a committee or a group that needs to hire me for short term or long term. You deserve it. And that's the first step as a coach, my only advice to you is to trust that I just because historically the work you're doing hasn't been compensated or doesn't typically get compensated doesn't mean that it won't get compensated in the future. Just go ahead and believe that it does. And that that's deserve it. You are deserving of that. Thank you. You're welcome.

Rebecca Trammel:

I received that.

Nicoa Coach:

High five. Well, I want to honor your time and just for those listening in we are recording this at the beginning of June of 2023. So some of the things that we're talking about may have been resolved by the time you hear this it may be a few months but please I will put the information in the in the show notes. Is there anything else Rebecca that you want to share anything else that you want to send our listeners to go off and and check out anything at all?

Rebecca Trammel:

Thank you so much for listening. Thank you for listening to my story and I hope that David encourages you because there's certainly divine greatness in you.

Nicoa Coach:

And there's divine greatness in you. It's an honor and a privilege to have this conversation and I look forward to talking to you again in the future. Maybe we can have this conversation again in a year. How does that sound?

Rebecca Trammel:

I would love that. Me too.

Nicoa Coach:

All right. I love you, my friend. Love you too. Thank you.

Unknown:

Thanks for joining us for a caffeinated conversation. Subscribe to Coffee with Nicoa for more stories from people living a life by design. You can also find inspiration on Instagram. Just follow Coffee with Nicoa and check out our website Coffee with nicoa.com and that's Nicoa N I CoA. We look forward to talking with you soon. And enjoy your coffee between now and then. Way