About the Podcast:

Asia Bijan Thompson's journey of perseverance is a lesson for everyone. In this episode, Clancy and Asia speak about finding empowerment in the shame that can come from needing food help and other social supports, debunk the stigma around anti-poverty safety-net programs, and a talk about using your story to educate and uplift similarly situated people!

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Name:

Asia Bijan Thompson

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Supplemental Material:

Episode 11 of the Food Dignity Podcast, “What is it like being a Single Mom in America?

Follow on Social:

Her #1 tip to improve access to healthy food:

Your stories make you beautiful.

About Asia Bijan Thompson: 

From homeless to lawyer, Asia empowers people to achieve their dreams, regardless of the obstacles. Asia Bijan Thompson is an award-winning social justice activist, motivational speaker, and author. Asia is the shining example of spectacular triumph.

As a single mother of two and survivor of domestic violence and hunger, Asia’s persistence empowered her to graduate with honors from New York Law School by the age of 27. Even at a young age, Asia demonstrates and teaches her incredible skills of self-determination, strength, and positive attitude.

Persistence, mindset, grit, and confidence are her gifts. Asia uses her life-changing story to motivate other people to make a difference in their own lives and reach for a greater purpose for all. A passionate anti-poverty, anti-hunger activist and speaker, Asia captivates audiences through storytelling and messages of hope. At the core of her inspirational messages is the importance of perseverance.

Asia shared her message as a nationally recognized speaker with Congress, Huffington Post, and Bustle. At the age of 21, Asia spoke at one of the largest healthcare conferences in the United States, The National Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (FNCE) and the RESULTS’ International Conference for anti-poverty advocacy and lobbying.

Currently, Asia is a public defender working to advocate for children within the child welfare system, and a member of the Food Dignity® Project’s Board of Directors.

Discussion Takeaways:

  • It is ok to get help when you need help.
  • Asia would not have been able to go to school full time as a single mother without the help of government assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), childcare assistance, and subsidized housing. All these programs made the impossible, possible.
  • Typically, it takes a single mother 11 years to finish their undergrad degree. Most moms drop out after their sixth year.
  • Asia knows that if she stayed in the position she was in prior to going to college, she wouldn’t be here anymore.
  • When kids wake up and wonder if they could eat that day, they don’t have room to dream about what they could do in life. Fortunately, Asia’s kids don’t remember and are not traumatized by the times that they went hungry regularly.
  • Asia’s kids dream now that they have their basic needs met. They wonder about their future and have huge plans for their life.
  • Never be afraid to share your story or where you have been. You are not alone.
  • Remember that food and other support programs can allow for someone to go to law school or even change the world.
  • People need to know they are not alone in their current circumstance. Share your story. Raise your voice. Let people know you’ve made it through hard stuff too.

Also, remember that sharing is caring