America the Broken: Speaking with Ardre Orie

Updated: Jul 24

by Kayla McCullough

Image Courtesy of ARDRE ORIE

Over the past few weeks, we have witnessed communities across the United States – and other countries around the world – stand up for racial justice and demand an end to police brutality and the ongoing systemic racism that flows throughout the veins of this planet. The protests have been met with more brutality, arrests, and deadly force against citizens from all over the world. With the current events and ongoing issues that face this world, one thing is certain – silence kills; To stay silent is to endorse the years of violence, trauma, and power. Social activist, entrepreneur, publisher, philanthropist and author, Ardre Orie, is on a mission to give marginalized voices back their freedom to speak. She has helped thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs and young creatives succeed in sharing their stories through her publishing agency 13 & Joan Media and 100 Seeds of Promise. It is well past time for racial justice in America and this entrepreneur offers a kaleidoscope of ways that can help you show up for racial justice and reduce some of the internal biases that pledge America.

The U.S. has a very long and deep history of racism – which can be reflected in the ongoing anemic tendencies that power without love has. The inequalities that the black and brown communities have faced throughout the years have promoted the trauma that has unwillingly been placed upon them from birth. Orie has spoken on this subject throughout her life. At a young age she knew that she wanted to help change the face of racism in America. She uses her creative outlets as a way to address the trauma that’s webbed throughout history and provides insight and actionable advice for people of all races on how to heal from the trauma that has resulted from being a marginalized voice. “Ever since I was ten, I knew that I wanted to be a role model for black women everywhere. I wanted to advocate for voices that needed to be heard,” she states and advises - “…we cannot ignore the trauma that riddles most of our lives. We must learn to understand it because it has a way of manifesting in our lives. I think we need to allow ourselves to find safe places that we can release the things we are feeling – places of which we don’t feel judged.”

Systemic racism is built into the fabric of our country. It makes the road to self-love and acceptability that much harder to navigate. It was racism that led Breonna Taylor to be shot and killed in her home, two white men to kill Ahmaud Arbery while he was out for his run, a white woman to call the police on Chris Cooper for bird-watching, and a police officer to murder George Floyd. This is trauma and this is racism - racism is trauma. The best way to navigate through the trauma and racism that faces the world today is to spark conversations that bring light to daily prejudices and biases. “The number one thing that we need to do is to not apologize for the reality – specifically for the black and brown communities. We mustn't dance around the traumatic experiences that come with being black in America. At this time, it is not about making sure that others feel comfortable with the topic - it is about dealing with what is right in front of us. And that could lead to difficult discussions, but that’s okay.”


The time has come to create a new normal and a new way of thinking. This is an incredibly challenging time for us all. For those who are feeling significantly impacted by the current traumatic experiences in our world right now, it is important to document and let out those frustrations to help foster emotional and mental healing. You can do this by allowing your grief and anger to release itself and to witness your emotions ebb and flow. Grief and anger are natural reactions, and while you do not want to be consumed by them, you also don’t want to hold them in. You must give yourself the time and space to process your emotions. With this wisdom, we can begin to repair ourselves and the broken systems that envelope America.

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