Be sure to tune in to Ria Rai Harris every Monday in February for the "Straight No Chaser" internet radio show at 6:00 p.m. CST. tonight, February 3 - "For the Love of the Written Word: Authors with a Message" with authors Linda Griffith, Marcus Jones & Tabitha Fefee. February 10 - "Are You Marriage Material?" with Kelley Porter Turner and Maurice Harris. February 17 -"Can the 7th Ward be fixed?" with Aldermanic Candidate Vincent Rose. And on February 24 -"What happened to the American Dream: Re-gentrification and real estate" with Talib Muhammad (Todd Hill).
View these segments live on IntellectualRadio.com (or watch via the archive later), listen to the segments live by calling 708-223-8953; call/text 773-576-2595 or email Ria Rai Harris via LinkedIn with your questions and comments. Host Ria Rai is someone is a Chicago woman who is making a difference. Here is an introduction.
Ria Rai, how would you define yourself?
I define myself as an entrepreneur and a social activist.
Tell me your story. How did it all begin, what do you hope to do with this show?
Last summer I was asked to speak briefly about one of my events on a show on IntellectualRadio.com and that's where the seeds of hosting my own show were planted. I started hosting the "Straight No Chaser" internet radio talk show by believing I could do a great job because I had a calling to do it and, instead of procrastinating, I contacted the station's producer, Earl Winfrey, and got started the next month.
Why a radio show?
My goal is to educate people about a variety of issues, that affect us individually or as a community in an uplifting manner. I chose this medium because it was new to me and has the ability to be seen and heard in a large variety of forums.
What kind of programming can we expect? Why should we listen?
My programming ranges from relationship discussions to health, to justice (or lack thereof) to entrepreneurship. The sky's the limit. People should listen and call in because you may hear a point of view about a topic you've never considered, learn something you didn't know and, if you call in to the show, teach someone else something new by sharing your expertise and information.
What would you like your contribution to be to the Chicago community?
I'd like my contribution to the Chicagoland community to be the knowledge that every one of us can make a positive difference in the topic about which we're passionate. Everyone isn't passionate about everything but I believe most of us are passionate about something. Hopefully something that's heard on my show will cause people to recognize where they want to make a difference and motivate them to do so.
My future plans for the radio show are to start a website and blog so I can have more feedback as well as allow those connected via the site to be a large cyber-support system. I also plan to produce a stage production in 2015.
What is the best part of doing what you do?
The best part of hosting the show is the comments I receive from my in-studio guests and viewers/listeners who tell me what they learned from the shows to improve or change something in their lives or in their communities.
What is the most challenging part of what you do?
The most challenging part of what I do is contending with my health. I have asthma plus some other health concerns which can be exhausting physically but, unless I'm literally hospitalized, I don't let that stop me.
As an entrepreneur in Chicago, how would people describe you?
People would describe my entrepreneurial style as professional, organized and direct (hence the title "Straight No Chaser". I've also been known to go above and beyond what's called for because I want the best for my clients, my guests, my viewers/listeners and the other entrepreneurs with whom I collaborate. My parents taught me that all you have sometimes is your name so when someone says they know/saw/worked with Ria Rai Harris, I want that report to be the best.