Episode for July 22, 2022
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Marisa Renee Lee is a called-upon advocate, writer, and speaker on coping with grief. In 2008, she lost her mother to breast cancer, in 2019 Marisa and her husband lost a much-wanted pregnancy, and most recently, she lost a young cousin to the COVID-19 pandemic. These losses transformed her life and led her to question what grief really is and what healing truly requires.
As a leading grief advocate, Marisa offers incisive and compassionate advice on managing life after loss with unique insights for women and African American communities. She recently partnered with Ritual’s well-being app as a writer and narrator alongside other leaders in science, faith, and culture. Her first book, Grief Is Love: Living with Loss, was published in April 2022 under Hachette’s new imprint, Legacy Lit, and is already a national bestseller.
As a former appointee in the Obama White House, Marisa previously served as the Deputy Director of Private Sector Engagement, a Senior Advisor on the Domestic Policy Council, and as the Managing Director of the MBK Alliance, the nonprofit born out of President Obama’s call to action to address the barriers to success that boys and young men of color disproportionately face in their lives. She is a rabble-rouser of social healing and currently serves as CEO of the social impact consulting firm Beacon Advisors, co-founder of the digital platform Supportal, and founder of The Pink Agenda, a national organization dedicated to raising money for breast cancer care, research, and awareness.
Lee is a public speaker and regular contributor to Glamour, Vogue, MSNBC, and The Atlantic. She is a graduate of Harvard College and lives in the DC area with her husband Matt, son Bennett, and dog Sadie.
Christian Finnegan is an American stand-up comedian, writer and actor based in New York City.
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Finnegan is perhaps best known as one of the original panelists on VH1‘s Best Week Ever and as Chad, the only white roommate in the “Mad Real World” sketch on Comedy Central‘s Chappelle’s Show. Additional television appearances as himself or performing stand up have included “Conan”, “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”, “Would You Rather…with Graham Norton”, “Good Afternoon America” and multiple times on The Today Show and Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and on History‘s I Love the 1880s. He hosted TV Land’s game show “Game Time”. As an actor, Finnegan portrayed the supporting role of “Carl” in the film Eden Court, a ticket agent in “Knight and Day” and several guest roles including a talk show host on “The Good Wife“. In October 2006, Finnegan’s debut stand up comedy CD titled Two For Flinching was released by Comedy Central Records, with a follow-up national tour of college campuses from January to April 2007. “Au Contraire!” was released by Warner Bros. Records in 2009. His third special “The Fun Part” was filmed at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston on April 4, 2013 and debuted on Netflix on April 15, 2014.