Many know Bianca Banks from her appearance on the Bravo reality show, Invite Only Cabo. These days, she is taking her outspoken and colorful personality and leveraging it to give a voice to African-American women and champion their stories. Ms. Banks explores domestic violence, homelessness, addiction, and more through her podcast called The MND Show. She hosts the show with her daughter, Jasmine Shannon, a professional dancer and choreographer who has danced for the NBA.
Ms. Banks and I discussed their podcast, the overall objective in creating this platform for women of color, and the lessons she hopes to impart as a single mother during a particularly tumultuous time.
A Podcast That Offers A Platform
“I’ve wanted to launch this platform to inspire single mothers dedicated to parenthood and success, like myself,” the actress, public figure, CEO, and philanthropist shared. “We hope that our podcast encourages more open conversation, not just amongst each other in society but between parents and their children.”
Their podcast unpacks current events, trending issues, and delves into often taboo topics. Their mission is not just to educate, but invite listeners to join in the conversation. “An intimate partner has physically assaulted approximately 1 in 3 women in their lifetime,” Ms. Banks said. “We need to voice these issues. We are discussing current events and topics like abuse, underserved children, and other subjects going on in our society not explored nearly enough!”
Recent topics have included “The Black Movement,” the coronavirus pandemic, and Kamala Harris’s run for Vice-President. According to Ms. Banks, the response has been overwhelmingly supportive. “People have reached out to us for guest appearances or advice requests, which is exciting.”
Tackling Current Issues
As a single mother, Ms. Banks is particularly hopeful that The MND Show encourages mothers like her and their daughters to talk openly and honestly about difficult matters. “Having Jasmine at such an early age changed my life in so many positive ways,” she said. “I want to create my footprint for her, and our future family generations to leave a family legacy. I hope they can learn through my example and carry those examples with them.”
When it comes to exploring current hot topics such as Black Lives Matter and how the pandemic has no doubt created a setback to address the gender gap for women, Ms. Banks feels one of the most potent tool to advocate is to use your voice. “When you have a platform to be able to reach and engage, you should! Many celebrities that can do this don’t, which is a wasted ability.” Ms. Banks added that while specific issues are currently taking center stage, she also wants to highlight being a black woman in general and the daily struggles that can encompass.
“Allow your voice to be heard, demonstrate through action (town halls, friends, children), and TEACH,” Ms. Banks advises. “So much of these difficult times we’re living in have been taught. We have a responsibility to re-educate. Education enables world change, and with a willingness to move towards GOOD, we can shape the future.”
You can listen to The MND Show through Dash Radio.