“Voice is a humanizing channel in which we can communicate”
- K-Lee Marks
In the quote above, K-Lee Marks, founder of the “Amplify What You Love” Podcast and Podcast Consultant/Coach, reminds us that there is power in our voice, and it should not be taken for granted. We can use our voices to help amplify our passions and connect with others.
On February 27th 2022, K-Lee Marks gave an inspirational talk to the Roots & Routes’ Youth Visionary Collective (YVC) in which he pointed out to us that the most essential step in amplifying what you love is tapping into your heart to (re)connect with your passions.
To “amplify”, simply put, means to “increase the volume of something”. That’s what Roots & Routes IC and at K-Lee’s Amplify What You Love Podcast/Podcast Farm educational platform share in common: we like to work with people to amplify their bliss and take their lives to the next level!
K-Lee spoke with the YVC about how each individual has the power to amplify what they love, and in doing so, we share knowledge and compassion between diverse cultures. There is no doubt that there is power in using our voices and having our voices heard.
K-Lee and Roots & Routes, however, concur that it is important to acknowledge inequities, systematic obstacles, and differential access to social media. Many marginalized sectors of society — including but not limited to Indigenous and Black communities — have long had their voices silenced. With greater use of social media platforms and podcasts, Indigenous and other ancestral land-based peoples have been increasingly amplifying their concerns about the health of Mother Earth.
They are taking the frontlines of environmental movements as Earth defenders and water protectors — roles that they have served since time immemorial. Yet, now the whole world is listening and becoming more aware as their voices grow louder and stronger in all spheres and through social media.
K-Lee first reached out to Roots & Routes because of our dedication to walk with Earth defenders and water protectors as these societal transformations take place. He offered to help us to amplify the struggles of the Indigenous and Black ancestral communities that are at the forefront of R&R to new and bigger audiences. R&R gladly accepted, as, uniting with others, we can create even more ripples of change and inspire collective action!
K-Lee showed us that everyone has the potential to amplify our own voices. No matter who we are and our cultural backgrounds, in not holding back, we can amplify one another’s voices that need to be heard, share ideas, and encourage each other to act upon our passions. Now, with courage to put ourselves out there, we learned, we can all amplify what we are passionate about and make change!
K-Lee leads by example. He has had the courage to launch his own podcast, Amplify What You Love, in which he speaks with his storytellers, teachers of wisdom traditions, professional coaches, and leaders in relation to how they use their voice to impact the world. In doing so, he also weaves in his own journey and vulnerabilities, creating a welcoming space for (re)learning.
He also teaches about the steps one needs to take to launch their own podcasts on his Podcast Farm educational platform. In an online program called “Amplify What You Love,” K-Lee walks people through step-by-step instructions about organizing their launch process, equipment to use, handy apps, and an inventory of what needs to be in place to attract increasingly more listeners. He creates a learning space in which various podcast launchers in different phases of the process can problem-solve with one another to amplify their voices. Roots & Routes podcast team, including Executive Director, Juli Hazlewood is grateful to have participated in this awesome learning experience. As such “Re-storying the World” is to be released soon! Thanks K-Lee!
During K-Lee’s visit to converse with the Youth Visionary Collective, K-Lee underscored to us the importance of using all the tools in our toolbox. Podcasts together with Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and whatever preferred social media platforms can all help us to amplify the message that we each want to share with the world. By doing so, K-Lee highlighted, we can all have a bigger impact and reach more people as we work towards social and environmental justice.
What we gathered from conversing with K-Lee is that amplifying what we love is inextricable to both making a difference and creating community. The more each of us learns to use our voice, the more we can interconnect with one another and come together. We can then start to stand up for respecting one another and all life on Earth.
Great communication is the key for social change. Language holds a particular vibration, and when we speak, our words carry our cultural lineages. They have the potential to bridge past stories and novel pathways forward.
Keyra Espinoza, YVC intern with our Rights of Nature team for two seasons, serves as an example of someone who has done just that. She has used social media to amplify the interconnections between racial justice and climate justice. She values amplifying both her own voice and the voices of others in the Black and Indigenous movements across the Americas. You can read more of her story here.
You can also learn directly from K-Lee about how you can amplify your voice to change the world by listening to this reel that our R&R’s social media team made. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Both K-Lee and R&R share the goal of propagating seeds of ancestral wisdom and decolonizing outdated institutions that stifle them. K-Lee thus serves on Roots & Routes’ Council of Advisors. Not only has K-Lee been teaching us about how to create our podcast “Re-storying the World”, but also he has been helping us to improve our social media strategies and coaching us about how to be more self-sustaining as an organization to better amplify Indigenous and ancestral communities’ struggles for sovereignty. At Podcast Farm, K-Lee and the community of podcasters that he brings together work towards a distinct scale of self-determination: autonomous self-liberation and expression of all people.
As a mentor to Roots & Routes and the YVC, he spoke to us youth about why it is important to find mentors in your communities to help you peel back the layers and get to the heart of what really speaks to you. To find a mentor, he suggested, start with people who you admire and who you look up to, such as a teacher or a peer, and ask them questions about how they got to where they are.
Forming these connections and support networks is important as they help us through our journey in life. Most likely, he told us, one day we too will be mentors and have the opportunity to inspire and share our knowledge and experiences. It is exciting to think that we all have the power to change one another’s lives. In this video, K-Lee talks about one of the mentors who inspired him in his life, Jaime Ocampo, an agro-ecological farmer.
As part of a self-designed BA program at Prescott College, K-Lee did an internship with CEDESA, an organization in a town called Dolores Hidalgo,in the Guanajuato state in Mexico. Together with the original people of the land, the Otomi Indigenous people, his mentor, Jaime, formed part of a sustainability network there.
In a life-changing workshop, Jaime taught K-Lee about the intricacies, techniques, and magic of taking care of plants. He also learned what it feels like to be part of a humans and more-than-humans continuity. K-Lee learned lessons about how if we take care of Nature, she takes care of us. These lessons influence K-Lee to cultivate a new set of values that inform his teaching approach in his Podcast Farm courses. His experiences being educated by the Otami people and the Dolores Hidalgo sustainability network led him to connect with R&R and teach us about podcasting and social media. What do your most influential mentors teach you?
Admittedly, there is a great deal of suffering in our world, like Covid-19, war, and injustices for the environment and marginalized people. Both K-Lee and Roots & Routes’ Youth Visionary Collective create spaces for listening and nourishing greater understanding and compassion between people of diverse cultures. We believe that such learning experiences, whether in person or online, can create a sense of belonging, unity, and hope — what the world needs right now.
Within his work in the Podcast Farm and as an entrepreneur and consultant, K-Lee has dedicated his passions to conversing and creating with others, to make a community in which everyone is interested in amplifying what they love. He shares his experiences and knowledge, and advocates for reflecting on what each of us as human beings is inspired to give to one another. With these reflections, we are able to embrace and put into action an overall potential positive change that could emerge for all humanity.
K-Lee Marks emphasizes how we can each use our voices to create great change and inspire collective action throughout communities! We are grateful that K-Lee took the time to meet with Roots & Routes’ Youth Visionary Collective to remind us to amplify what we love. Our overall takeaway: Our voices can make a difference!
In the meantime, we’ll leave you with some of the questions that K-Lee poses to us: How do you cultivate hope? How are you using YOUR voice? What do YOU think it means to be human?