Local People

Published on November 30th, 2020 | by TLV News


Mississippi School Teachers Featured on “Rebel Girls” Podcast

Rebel GirlsGood Night Stories for Rebel Girls podcast, which typically tells the stories of remarkable immigrant women from all over the world, will break format tomorrow in celebration of Giving Tuesday

The December 1, 2020 episode features Mississippi teachers JaBreann Evans and Katie Mullins from the First Book community, on the literacy front lines in underfunded Title 1 schools during a global pandemic. 

Rebel Girls, the preeminent girl-driven edutainment brand, has partnered with First Book, a female-led nonprofit that provides free and inexpensive books and learning materials to children in need. As part of the partnership, when you purchase any Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls book from RebelGirls.com, Rebel Girls will donate a book directly to First Book. 

In the episode, JaBreann Evans (Crystal Springs, Mississippi) tells her story and reads the Rebel Girls story of Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o. Katie Mullins (Oxford, Mississippi) also tells her story and reads Rebel Girls‘ tale of German psychoanalyst Karen Horney. Some interview highlights below:

JaBreann Evans:

  • Her life and career: JaBreann is a first grade teacher, teaching reading, language and math
    • After graduating college, JaBreann decided to go back home and teach at her old elementary school – when people asked her why and she said, “Home is where it started… I want to get back to it and help build up the children in my community.” 
  • On the importance of reading: JaBreann believes it’s important for kids to have access to good books to inspire and build them up.
  • Her connection to Lupita Nyong’o’s story: 
    • JaBreann values representation in the media – she remembers seeing Black Panther and seeing an African American woman commanding the screen. It inspired her and many others to say, “Maybe I can be a powerful actress one day, or a lawyer, or even today–Vice President Elect…. Seeing female empowerment is so strong and so needed in our youth.” 
Katie Lee Mullins

Katie Lee Mullins:

  • Her career: Katie is a kindergarten teacher in Oxford, Mississippi.
  • On the importance of reading: Katie believes in the power of books and reading. She has seen storybooks take kids to different places to let them be their authentic and genuine selves. She loves to see their imagination take off at such a young age.
  • Her connection to psychoanalyst Karen Horney:
    • “[Karen] is a bold and fearless woman who fought for her education, which is so important now.”
    • Karen was exposed to a lot of trauma in her young life. Katie commends Karen’s decision to seek counseling which then peaked her interest in psychoanalysis – making it her mission to help those struggling with mental health. 
  • Her battle with mental health: Katie believes today that mental health is still stigmatized. “When I was young, 13, I was diagnosed with a severe eating disorder, depression, and anxiety. I was often looked at as defective or [that there was] just something terribly wrong with me. I wish someone as strong as Karen Horney had told me that I wasn’t defective – that I was normal but that I was struggling with mental health.”

In honor of Giving Tuesday, the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls podcast will also release an additional conversation between Rebel Girls CEO Jes Wolfe and First Book CEO Kyle Zimmer

About Rebel Girls

Rebel Girls is the girl-driven edutainment company on a mission to inspire and instill confidence in 50M girls. Rebel Girls bring the stories of phenomenal women from all over the world to life by way of bestselling books, an award-winning podcast, toys, digital media, and more. The Rebel Girls community spans over 85 countries, with 6M books sold in 49 languages and 8M podcast downloads, reaching 10M girls.

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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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