Host, commentator, and our nation’s go-to expert, Areva Martin is many things in life besides her multiple ventures. She’s outspoken, passionte, and we know she’s always going to keep it realw ith us. As one of our nation’s leading voices in media, it’s no surprise as to why this award-winning attorney and advocate is adored by so many, including us! We recently had the chance to sit down with Martin to discuss everything from her show, Special Report to why being a voice for our community is so important.
How do you juggle all the roles in your life including producer, host, legal commentator, author, and attorney?
A strong team! I strongly believing in building, maintaining, and surrounding yourself with strong, smart members of your team. It has always been primary in my role. You can’t do it all, but you can make it all happen by having people around you that have a shared vision. For me, it’s always about the people that are on the journey with me, who have a similar work ethic or a similar value system.
Can you tell us about your new book releasing in September?
I wrote the book to address what I saw and continue to see [the issues that hold women back in our society]. During COVID, we saw women voice the economic downfall from COVID. Women were forced to homeschool their kids, maintain jobs outside the home, come home after a long day, and cook dinner. So much of the COVID burden fell down on women. Women had to drop out of the work force and more people came into poverty. It just struck me seeing the movement after George Floyd and the call for reimagining the justice system. I started thinking about all the lies that women have been told throughout history, more recently by influential, powerful women [who like in the case of Black folks] were told that we’re held back because of our own decision and the mistakes we make. They said we weren’t working hard enough or ambitious enough. Women have been told something similar, that we drop out of the work force because we choose our kids. They believe we are not putting ourselves in the right position for advancement. I thought about the lies of systemic racism in this country. It’s not our lack of anything, it’s the system, the patriotic system that was built in this country. We need to look at, dismantle, and reimagine. That’s what the book does, it identifies five of the biggest lies that women have been told.
Why is it so important for you to serve as an influential voice in our country?
I grew up poor in a housing project where I didn’t have a voice. I was supposed to be a statistic. I know the power of women in communities like the one I grew up in. I know how the voices of those women are all muffled in silence. I recently got a message from a woman I grew up with. When they see me, someone who looks like them, someone who identifies heavily with them – that’s powerful for them. They know that when I speak, I highlight the history of women who have been locked out of society for centuries – Black women, women of color, and those in poor communities. I consider it an honor to be able to speak out whether its George Floyd, Bill Cosby, even Britney Spears. As a woman and as a woman of color, its critically important that we have a voice. Our voices are often not heard in these conversations. When any network has these conversations that impact all of America [particularly women and people of color], it is important that they have someone that looks like me and the experiences weigh in on these conversations.
What inspired your YouTube series created in the midst of COVID-19?
I am super proud of Special Report. I just started one day in March when I got the notice in Los Angeles County. I knew that I had a big following on Facebook and people wanted to get a better understanding. They were nervous, we’ve never been through something like this. One day I began talking to people because I had some inside information because I do a lot of political fundraising and I have a lot of friends in politics. I was talking to them and giving inside information to help people feel more comfortable and less anxious about what was happening. The response is just tremendous. It dawned on me that because of the work I’ve done in media over the last decades, I had all these friends on networks, and I wanted these top experts to come and share information about this pandemic. This virus is ravishing Black communities. I began inviting them to come talk about health, the vaccine, predisposition to illness and why its impacting the Black community so much. It just grew. I expected my friends to say yes but I didn’t know so many of them would say yes and yes so quickly. Here I am now, over 200+ shows I’ve done over the last year. I’ve interviewed close to a thousand people. It is a source of trusted information. It’s unapologetic in terms of the topics and the opinions that I state. It is for a lot of people where they get their information. They know that I’m going to bring on the best and give it to them straight. I’m honored to have the chance to do this and for it to be so accessible to people.
What are you currently working on and what can we expect to see from you in the rest of 2021?
I am excited about my book Awakening. It launches September 21st, so I am going to be going around the world to speak with groups of women at conferences and book clubs to talk about the power that women have and help women understand that it’s never that we’re doing anything wrong, it’s just that the system we’re expected to work on is broken. We can still navigate this and be successful, despite the broken system. I have a couple media projects. I have been in conversations with production companies and networks about making Special Report into bigger media projects. So, fingers crossed that some of those will get brought to life. I’m going to keep having these incredibly interesting and informative conversations with some of the nation’s leading experts.
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