LaToya Smith Podcast Takeover “Being Purposeful and Intentional for Growth in the Classroom” with Dr. LaShondra Manning | PoP 513

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LaToya Smith Podcast Takeover "Being Purposeful and Intentional for Growth in the Classroom" with Dr. LaShondra Manning | PoP 513

How do you create a classroom space that fosters sincere discussions around race? What does it mean to be intentional about your education? Can you start the discussions in your work environment, and if not, why should you start now?

In this podcast episode takeover, LaToya Smith speaks with Dr. LaShondra Manning about being purposeful and intentional for growth in the classroom.

Meet Dr. LaShondra Manning

Dr. LaShondra Manning has practiced as a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor for the past 14 years and has counseled children, adults, and families within educational, residential treatment, college, MHMR, and private practice settings. LaShondra is currently employed full-time as an Assistant Professor.

She received her PhD in Counseling at Texas A&M University-Commerce and both her Bachelor and Master degree in Psychology and Community Counseling from Stephen F. Austin State University.

Get in touch via email: [email protected]

In This Podcast


  • If you do not know the experience, go research
  • Professors and therapists: you don’t need to shy from the topic of race
  • Creating inclusive classrooms

If you do not know the experience, go research

If you are not black and do not know the black experience, go do some broad and expansive research. There is no one black experience, there are many, and the more you educate yourself, the more valuable an ally you will be, and the more you can take part in necessary conversations.

A lot of it has to be intentional, and I presented that in a way not to beat anybody up, you know, but if you know better you can do better. (Dr. LaShondra Manning)

Both professors and students should be intentional in their intentional learning and integration because there is no one class that can educate you on everything. There are a lot of resources available, all the knowledge is out there, you just need to start the process and start your own education.

Professors and therapists: you don’t need to shy from the topic of race

Dr. LaShondra discusses that everyone, including professionals, should address these topics with themselves first. Do they discuss these topics at home with their families and with their colleagues? If so, why are they more comfortable having these discussions at home instead of at work?

Some people feel fearful of discussing these topics due to the possibility of receiving backlash but then address that head-on. Start having these discussions with colleagues you know and trust first to get the conversation going.

What it comes down to is if you are silent, you agree with what is going on.

Creating inclusive classrooms

To start the class off by acknowledging that this space is a safe space for people of any background to share their thoughts and express themselves. This kind of environment is where people can debate where debating is healthy, not being defensive and arguing back and forth.

In such a space too, students can get to know each other and this helps to foster a more fruitful discussion that comes from a place of empathy and boundaries, instead of lashing out or feeling defensive.

Do not feel shy about a challenge, use it to grow and expand you.

Take action, use the knowledge you learn in the classroom, and explore how you can broaden your scope of understanding.

Useful Links:

Meet LaToya Smith

LaToya Smith

LaToya is a consultant with Practice of the Practice and the owner of LCS Counseling and Consulting Agency in Fortworth Texas. She firmly believes that people don’t have to remain stuck in their pain or the place they became wounded. She encourages her clients to be active in their treatment and work towards their desired outcome.

She has also launched Strong Witness which is a platform designed to connect, transform, and heal communities through the power of storytelling.

Visit LaToya’s website.

Connect with her on FacebookInstagramStrong Witness Instagram, and Twitter.

Thanks For Listening!

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