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EpisodesGuest InterviewSeason 3

Assumptions are the Mother of All Failures

Episode 61 | March 26, 2024

Tinokuda Bvunzawabaya, someone who wants to redefine what it means to be a man, joins us for a conversation on boundaries and allyship.

Listen in as we talk with Tino about dismantling stereotypes, disrupting toxic masculinity, and becoming an inclusive place for all genders and races.


Welcome to “That’s a Hard No”the podcast about learning to say no and set boundaries to live our best lives. 

Follow along with me as we learn from fellow strugglers and experts, so that you too can start saying no without feeling fear, guilt, or FOMO. 


Tino Bvunzawabaya, founder of Black and Raww, a black man on the quest to change race and gender norms, dismantle stereotypes and demonstrate, teach, and develop ways to become allies in ways that support minorities of every basis. He is trying to create a new and diverse definition of what it means to be a black man. Listen in as we discuss the search for equality and equity in today’s culture.
Key Takeaways
[00:03:06] Conversations on gender roles

  • Men are questioning who they should be – change in roles of women is causing confusion of who they should be
  • Masculinity is ever changing and evolving
  • Gap between generations leaves a void between teaching skills and then impart those skills on their children
    • Ways to contribute to the household other than just bringing home money

“Just because you aren’t the biggest earner in the house. That doesn’t mean you can’t clean the home. That doesn’t mean you can’t do childcare.”

[00:10:19] The new enlightened masculinity

  • Being a good person
    • Soft skills
      • Setting boundaries, being in touch with your feelings
      • Communicating your feelings
      • Being adaptable
    • Not degrading women, not a healthy discussion
      • Building each other up

“I don’t see any value in treating people with less respect at all, because it doesn’t lead to better relationships. It doesn’t lead to a better society either.”

[00:16:27] Imperfectly imperfect men

  • Realizing we inherit traits
  • We can let the facade of being stoic down
  • Men can be vulnerable, men can open up

“Yeah, that stoic facade and just being like now I’ve got everything in the bag, but I think where connection meets is that vulnerability.”

[00:20:57] Racialized trauma

  • In black communities, it is often expected to put up and shut up often
  • Sometimes it can feel hopeless
    • Lots of time media can be for entertainment rather than education
  • Parents may have fear with police and they do not process and it is often passed down to their children
  • Significant amount of pressure black people are living with and often times are not accepting/given opportunities for support
  • Be mindful of how much you are digesting and what is effecting you, it is easy to get extremely angry and exhausted

[00:27:00] Stereotypes and harmful impacts

  • Combat stereotypes by getting to know people individually
  • Trying to understand why people live differently
  • Not letting those who make stereotypical comments in places of power (within your control)

“Their differences make them great. Like all of our differences make us great and unique.”

  • Trying to unlearn stereotypes that have been passed down to you generationally

“Assumptions are the mother of all failures.”

[00:33:42] Cultural diversity and immigration

  • The “melting pot” is what makes countries special
  • It is up to ALL of us to learn about each other
  • There is space for everyone

“if you’ve got a dam and it’s starting to overflow, you don’t blame the water that’s come, do you? You blame that, oh, we didn’t make the dam big enough.”

[00:39:11] Prison reform and rehabilitation

  • Remembering that prison is actually for rehabilitation and they no longer actually provide any way for them to have a future
  • US highest rates of return after prison time
  • The systems are built with a complete lack of humanity
  • Give them no tools to go back into the world

“How can you expect someone who you have treated less than human to go out back into the world and treat everybody else humanely?”

[00:46:42] Boundaries in Conversations with Others

  • Listening to diverse groups of voices
  • Being able to be uncomfortable in places that you may feel like an outsider
  • Finding out about people are who aren’t like you
  • Just trying to be an ally
  • Speaking up against racism/sexism/etc
Where to Find Tino
Credits and Thanks
  • Many thanks to our friends and families (our “villagers”) for listening, and for your continued support.
  • That’s a Hard No is a production of Clever Girl Marketing
  • Marketing and Production Coordinator, Maura Del Rosario
  • Production Support, Evergreen Podcasts, Noah Foutz, Producer
  • New Rock Anthem Music: Written by Noah, and performed by his band, The Big Leagues
  • Videographer, Kae Holmberg