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Speak it to heal it: New podcast ends silence on tough topics

LAPLACE — If you can speak it, you can heal it; that’s the motto of Keyvin Parker’s new podcast.

With each Facebook Live session, Parker seeks to end the silence of those who are hurting. By giving listeners a voice and a platform, she shares a message that they are worthy, they are valued, and they are never alone.

Parker is a 2013 graduate of East St. John High School who went on to double major in psychology and communications on a scholarship to Georgetown University in Kentucky. Some people look at her and assume she has it all figured out, but they can’t see from the surface all she has endured to get where she is today.

Only one year ago, she and her toddler son were sleeping in a rental car paid for with an unemployment check. A break up and a move home to Louisiana left her with few resources and many days where she felt like giving up.

Today, Parker has a job, her own car and a new house. When she started her podcast in May, she wanted to bring light to the hard-hitting topics most people are too scared to talk about it.

No topic is off limits, from suicidal thoughts to experiences with rape or molestation. Parker has personal experience with both. Podcasts thus far have also covered anxiety, post-partum depression and healthy relationships.

Individual podcasts have already garnered 6,000 views. Parker said it shows the need for these conversations and the impact they can have.

“Especially in the African American community, I felt like these things are swept under the rug. People are told to get over it,” Parker said. “I love talking to people. I love helping people. I like to dedicate my podcast to people who had to be silent.”

Family dynamics are a major part of the podcast. Parker has shared her own story about growing up with her grandmother as her guardian. Her mother, Shion Batiste, stepped in after her grandmother passed away. It took time for the mother-daughter duo to build the connection they have today.

Batiste recently appeared on a podcast to discuss their relationship. Audience members submitted questions for a Q&A where Batiste answered questions that people either could not or did not feel comfortable asking their mothers.

“I like the podcast because she (Parker) makes you feel comfortable when speaking,” Batiste said. “Everything about it is real. You can be yourself. You can tell your story. I opened up to a lot of things she didn’t know about, and it turned into more of a healing process.”

Batiste is proud of her daughter’s ambition. She noted that the podcast has life lessons meaningful to teenagers and adults of all ages. On the next podcast she does with her daughter, Batiste will discuss strategies for repairing credit.

One of Parker’s favorite podcasts was one that featured two boys and two girls as they discussed the challenges they’ve faced since coming out as gay to unaccepting families.

At 26 years old, Parker is able to relate to younger adults.

“I’m giving people hope and helping people heal themselves. The podcast has moms, parents and kids. All I do is share my testimony and give them a platform to talk about stuff,” Parker said.

“I don’t rehearse. Even when I have guests on there, I don’t tell them what the questions are going to be because I want them to allow themselves to feel and be real about it. Whenever you leave from my podcast, I want you to know you are enough. What you are going through does not make you crazy or weird.”

The podcast is broadcast live on Facebook on Keyvin Parker’s profile. The videos are also posted to YouTube and Instagram.

Anyone seeking advice can reach Parker on her Facebook profile for a listening ear.