The cast of the fierce Crown Conversations sits down with Kontrol Magazine, sharing how diversity in millennial spaces brings awareness to sensitive, often avoided topics.
Talking to the Crown Conversations crew is a lot like listening to them on their podcast, unconventionally fun. Started by two Florida A&M University (FAMU) millennials, this crew of four diverse, young professionals are shedding light on issues that often get swept under the rug. Their raw and unfiltered approach lends to conversations that are unfiltered and unpredictable. Before I dive into the conversation, let me introduce you to the kings and queens of Crown Conversations.
AJ and Jenna are the dynamic duo who started this the podcast. AJ is a 2013 FAMU MBA graduate who exudes unapologetic confidence and authenticity. While Jenna is the quick-witted 2015 FAMU graduate whose feisty approach is fuel for her charisma and charm. After deciding to expand their team, both Keila and Malcolm were added. The social diva and poster boy for black masculinity, respectively, created a team that feels more like a family.
ME: Thanks for agreeing to an interview. After listening to a few episodes, I can say I’m sold. What makes that magic happen when you all get together.
AJ: Thank you for having us. We work well together because we are a family. We all went to college together at FAMU and have known each other for almost ten years.
JENN: Yeah. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We pray for each other and talk throughout the day. We things happen, we address them straightforward and come back together like a family.
ME: What are your favorite things to discuss when you talk to each other?
AJ: I always want to talk about our goals and objectives. It’s part of why I wanted to start this podcast. I believed it would give us a platform for our dreams and goals.
JENN: I like to do daily check-ins. Since we are a family, I believe it’s important to be there for each other and make sure we know what’s going on in our lives.
MALCOLM: I’m big on current events. I love to talk about societal norms and what is and isn’t working for our community.
KEILA: I look for ideas about life and opportunities. I have a gift to connect to people and use that help those I love to get ahead.
ME: You seem to have varying focuses. Do your energies and opinions every clash?
AJ: We fight all the time, but we overcome arguments through our love for one another.
JENN: We take a few moments to be in our feelings, but I ended up calling one of them an hour later like nothing happened.
MALCOLM: Part of being different means we will have disagreements. By expecting them we are able to better manage them.
ME: What do you like most about being a team that represents so much black diversity?
AJ: Our diversity forced us to get to know each other. We couldn’t make any assumptions about what each of us would do or how we would think. Taking that time created deeper bonds that removed many of our ingrained hidden agendas and allowed us to complement each of our strengths and weaknesses.
JENN: It’s one word for me: Respect. I didn’t realize how much I needed to learn more respect for other people’s unique upbringings and opinions until I was around a diverse group of people. It is one of the best parts of what makes us unique.
MALCOLM: I feel like diversity is just a bridge to crossed. We had to open up the lines of communication to cross that bridge. Sometimes the conversations were simple and other times they were more intense, but we took the time to explain the difference of views.
KEILA: Our diversity helped me develop more empathy. In listening and learning from their perspectives, I saw how much their experiences mattered to them. Then they mattered more to me.
ME: What are your favorite podcast conversations?
AJ: I loved “Aye Bruh, Wipe Your Nose” because it was a FAMU recap that really exposed us to a larger audience and helped people know about our personalities.
JENN: My favorite is “Aye, Your Uber’s Outside” where we talk about booty calls. This conversation had me laughing.
MALCOLM: I appreciated our talk during “Aye Bruh, Wipe Your Nose”. I got to talk about some real things during that one.
KEILA: “I’m Triggered as F**k” was my favorite conversation about being a creative person versus working a 9 to 5 job.
ME: As the podcast gains more traction, what do you want to achieve?
AJ: I want this podcast to catapult each of us into success beyond our wildest imaginations, helping us take care of our families.
JENN: I expect each of us to boss up as this podcast levels up.
MALCOLM: I see a greater platform for us to discuss real-life issues.
KEILA: I would love to live a completely creative life outside of my current job.
ME: I’ve been enjoying this conversation and learning about each of you. Let’s wrap up with the one word that best describes you to other people.
AJ: Boss. I am a boss in everything I do, and I am working to be an active leader for those around me.
JENN: Indescribable. I feel like I am too many things to say one thing.
MALCOLM: Prolific. I’m an educated black man with goals I will achieve.
KEILA: Innovative. I am creative enough to make things happen.