Choosing To Be Our Own Authority In Our Lives with Regina Louise

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As a young Black woman, Regina Louise was born poor, supposedly unwanted, neglected, marginalized, stigmatized, disenfranchised, and labeled crazy. What led her to not accept these factors in her life and reject that they were going to define all her life? As a child she had to navigate 30 foster homes and more than a year in a level 14 residential treatment center (which is the most restrictive out-of-home placement in the current California foster home system.) She received antipsychotic drugs and was thrown into solitary confinement. Yet, with all these extreme adversities she rose above to become a very successful woman in all ways, emotionally, financially, and a blessing to our collective community. Learn of her amazing story of moving from being a victim of circumstances and low self-worth to self-determination. She shares insights and wisdom for us in her hard-fought climb to becoming the authority of her own life. She gives a real-life example of being triggered by a colleague and how she avoided the old pattern of her 15-year old self of vindictiveness. I could see the inequalities that were given to me as a result of my mother not being a mother… Now I'm able to give that to my own innocence. Give that to my own inner child.” Be uplifted by her story as she moves with fierce determination from shame to dignity. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms) 


Regina Louise is a teacher and coach on advocacy work. Her memoir was featured in a Lifetime movie, I Am Somebody’s Child. She’s a Hoffman Process teacher. 

Regina Louise is the author of : 

  • Somebody’s Someone: A Memoir (Agate Bolden 2008)
  • Someone Has Led This Child To Believe: A Memoir (Agate Bolden 2018)
  • Permission Granted: Kick-Ass Strategies to Bootstrap Your Way to Unconditional Self-Love (New World Library 2021)

To learn more about the work of Regina Louise go to

And on instagram @therealreginalouise

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • What is Louise’s context for climbing out of poverty
  • What made her decide to close the gap on her own disadvantage
  • What drove Louise to seek independence beyond her feelings of a broken heart at not being worthy
  • What sparks her willingness to be both the swimmer and the lifeguard to save herself
  • How she was a speaker at a conference sandwiched between the former governor of Texas, Ann Richards, and Marlee Matlin, a deaf actress
  • How Louise is an autodidactic and life-long learner choosing to remain curious
  • How Louise handled being triggered by a colleague and subsequently gave witness to her younger self who never had permission to express her frustrations
  • What was the skillful means she employed when she was triggered
  • What is the double consciousness of African Americans that includes shame
  • What is the importance of connecting with our inner child
  • Why Louise is a Hoffmann Process teacher and coach and chose not to be robbed of her dignity
  • Why she encourages us to actually write out our own permission slips to go big with our lives 

Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 7/19/2021   Program Number: 3737

Music Playlist  

From Album:  Adventures In Afropea
Artist: Zap Mama

Opening Essay: Track 01 Mupepe
Music Break 1: Track 03 Brrrlak!
Music Break 2: Track 04 Abadou
Music Break 3: Track 11 Guzophela