Category: Civic Engagement
May 10, 2019
“Sometimes you protest because it’s the right thing to do.”
L.A. Kauffman is a movement journalist and a grassroots organizer for more than thirty-five years. We discuss her book, “How to Read a Protest, The Art of Organizing and Resistance”, the history of mass protests in America, the role of women organizing them, and the many effective forms that protest can take.
March 29, 2019
“Poverty is, in fact, insecurity.”
Stephen Pimpare is a nationally recognized expert on poverty,homelessness, and U.S. Social policy, as well as a Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. We discuss the history and deep indignities of poverty, the stubborn misconceptions, as well as successful public policies that can guide our future.
March 22, 2019
“Parents can’t afford to pay and teachers can’t afford to stay.”
Gail Joseph is the Founding Executive Director of Cultivate Learning at the University of Washington and the Bezos Family Foundation Distinguished Professor in Early Learning. We discuss the critical importance of high-quality programs, the costs to society of not investing in this space, and the necessity of a well-educated early learning workforce.
March 15, 2019
“Insurance companies say they’re lowering prices, but they’re not.”
Dan Weissmann is the host of a podcast on the cost of health care called “An Arm and A Leg” as well as a veteran reporter for outlets such as “Marketplace” and “Planet Money”. We discuss the complexities of picking a health insurance plan, the extreme vigilance we need to practice as health care consumers, and how to navigate getting good care and good coverage.
March 2, 2019
“Education is not a process of checking a box along the course of someone's life but a deep investment in the future.”
Max Kenner is the founder and executive director of the Bard Prison Initiative, a college that is spread across six interconnected prisons in New York State. We discuss the enduring value of the liberal arts, the immense power of an education on reducing recidivism, and the critical importance of deep investments in human beings.
February 22, 2019
"All the people on death row are poor."
Stephen Bright served as the director of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, and is currently a lecturer at Yale Law School, as well as professor of practice at Georgia State College of Law. We discuss the death penalty in the United States and its relationship to poverty, race, and disadvantage.
Ross Morales Rocketto
February 15, 2019
“People are running because they have issues that they want to solve in their communities.”
Ross Morales Rocketto is co-founder of Run For Something, an organization that supports diverse, young progressives running for state and local office. We discuss which candidates win, why building a bench of local and state politicians is important, and how an increase of candidates leads to better voter turnout.
Robert P. Jones, Ph.D.
November 2, 2018
"The ballot box today acts like a time machine that takes us back about 10 years, demographically speaking.”
Robert P. Jones, Ph.D., is the CEO of PRRI, a leading scholar, and the author of “The End of White Christian America”. PRRI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that conducts independent research at the intersection of religion, culture, and public policy. We discuss how partisanship, demographic changes, and low voter turnout affect American society.
Phillip Polakoff, MD
October 12, 2018
"Is healthcare a right or a privilege? In my belief it's a basic right for all."
Phil Polakoff, MD, is a physician with a distinguished career in public health and clinical medicine, the CEO of A Healthier We, and a consulting professor at Stanford University of Medicine. We discuss how an emphasis on prevention coupled with innovations in healthcare access and delivery can help us share greater health and equity for all Americans.
October 5, 2018
“I would tell people to encourage them to participate in the census because when they are counted, they are seen, and resources can come to your community.”
Ashley Allison is the Executive Vice President of Campaigns and Programs at The Leadership Conference, the nation’s premier civil and human rights coalition. We discuss how the census is a cornerstone of our democracy. The data it provides is vital for delivering the resources and services that are necessary to sustain thriving communities.
Esther de Rothschild and Aicha Cherif
September 28, 2018
“Your vote does matter to someone you love, and that’s enough reason to just get up early on a Tuesday or mail in a ballot.”
Esther de Rothschild is the founder of The Love Vote, a platform where people who cannot vote, mobilize those who can. Together with Outreach Director Aicha Cherif, we discuss how love can be a strong motivator for voting. Eligible voters are moved to vote on behalf of their loved ones and give collective action a powerful boost.
September 21, 2018
“Our democracy simply works better when more citizens show up and participate.”
Brian Miller is the Executive Director of Nonprofit VOTE, an organization that partners with other nonprofits to integrate voter engagement into their ongoing activities. We discuss the importance of promoting voter registration in excluded communities to achieve full representation, and the benefits of a non-partisan, in person approach to do so.
August 17, 2018
“There's a lot of money in the system that can move towards cash, and be used to end extreme poverty.”
Michael Faye is the president and co-founder of GiveDirectly, an organization that sends cash directly to people living in extreme poverty. We discuss why we should use cash as a new benchmark for international aid, unpack false assumptions about decision-making, and examine the benefits of universal basic income.
August 11, 2018
“See if the people that you just elected are actually doing their jobs and are actually representing you.”
Maria Yuan is the founder of Issue Voter, an organization whose mission is to make civic engagement accessible, efficient, and impactful. We talk about the importance of being informed on the bills before Congress, communicating your priorities and opinions to your representative, and understanding whether your rep is truly representing you.
Rachel Leyland and Dr. Kendra Abel
August 3, 2018
“We have to stand up for what is right and it's not just about us. It's about the future of our children and their children.”
Rachel Leyland and Kendra Abel are public school teachers in Oklahoma City who participated in the walkout in April of 2018. We discuss how the walkout shed light on the problems caused by chronic underfunding of public education, the power of standing together to demand change, and the importance of supporting pro-education candidates for office.
July 27, 2018
“Our democracy can be something that's vibrant, something that's living and breathing.”
Scott Warren is the CEO and co-founder of Generation Citizen, an organization that works to ensure students in the United States receive an effective civics education. We talk about the unique power of political action to bring about change and the need to teach our youngest generations how to be active participants in our democracy.
July 20, 2018
“To win on the immigration front, we've got to have success on the civic engagement and voter turnout.”
Brent Wilkes is the former CEO of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and a lifelong advocate for Latino rights. We discuss what fair and comprehensive immigration could be, the positive contribution by immigrant labor to the US economy, and how we can demand sound immigration policy at the ballot box.
July 13, 2018
“Our history shows that we are a nation of immigrants and refugees, and that we have benefited from that.”
Mark Hetfield is the President and CEO of HIAS, the oldest refugee assistance organization in operation. We discuss our humanitarian obligations to refugees, the tremendous benefits that they bring to American society, and bust the misconceptions about the current refugee situation in the US.
July 6, 2018
“Fighting corruption is not an end in and of itself, it's an effort toward improving society at large.”
Paul Lagunes is a Columbia University political scientist whose scholarship focuses on corruption in the Americas. His current book project is “Corruption and Oversight: Insights from Field Experiments”. We define corruption, discuss how it relates to democracy, and learn that voting is a tool to fight against it.
May 26, 2018
“The purpose of the government is to make sure that the game is fair and that people have equality of opportunity.”
Ian Bremmer is a prolific thought leader and author, the president and founder of Eurasia Group, as well as foreign affairs columnist and editor-at-large at TIME. His most recent bestseller is Us vs. Them: The Failure of Globalism. We discuss how globalism, the ideology, has been rejected, and what we can do to write a new, more equitable social contract.
May 19, 2018
“There's so much more information there than we know. Take a moment to think about what permissions you're giving."
Shafi Goldwasser is an award-winning mathematician and computer scientist and the Director of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at UC Berkeley. Her most notable work is in cryptography and zero knowledge proof. We discuss the promise of cryptography to make our society more secure.
May 12, 2018
“Citizen engagement is a fundamental way to make change in the city in which we live.”
Jennifer March is the Executive Director of the Citizen’s Committee for Children of New York. This non-profit and nonpartisan child advocacy organization combines public policy research and data analysis with citizen action. We discuss family homelessness, juvenile justice, and the power of effective advocacy.
May 5, 2018
"I want to be with, and work with, and work for everyone."
Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke represents his hometown, El Paso, TX. Currently a Candidate for US Senate, he is running a people-powered campaign, visiting every single county in Texas and listening to the needs and concerns of the state’s constituents. We talk about how to rebuild our democracy, the necessity of bipartisanship, and how big money corrodes our political process.
April 28, 2018
"The purpose of unions is to give workers a collective voice in relation to their employers."
Ruth Milkman is a sociologist of labor and labor movements, and Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies. We examine the role of unions for workers, the main factors of de-unionization, and the potential leadership by millennials in this space.
April 21, 2018
"We need to keep reinventing our city."
Robert Hammond is the executive director and co-founder of Friends of the High Line, which was the driving force behind turning an abandoned elevated railroad in New York City into a public park. We discuss the essential role of a city’s public open spaces and how exhilarating it is to pursue your dreams.
April 14, 2018
"Being eligible for enrollment is so different than being ready to persist and complete degrees."
Nick Ehrmann is the founder and president of Blue Engine, which was borne from the discovery that the strongest predictor of college completion is sustained academic rigor in high school coursework. The organization re-imagines the classroom in order to teach students how to master core academic skills and be truly ready for college.
April 7, 2018
"The best person to fight for the issues that are important to young people is young people themselves."
Tyler Ruzich is a 17-year old Republican candidate for governor of Kansas, one of eight teens in the race this year. We discuss what it means to be a Republican of the next generation, why it’s important to get involved now, and what young people can do to become more engaged.
Trailer: Tyler Ruzich
March 31, 2018
A sneak peek of our next episode: civic engagement requires no minimum age. Tyler Ruzich, 17-year old Kansan, shows us how.
March 10, 2018
"When voters demand a solution, that’s when you start to see action."
Ai-Jen Poo is an award-winning activist and a leading advocate for domestic workers’ rights. We discuss the elder boom, the increasing importance of domestic work in our society, and how we can engage to demand a new Caring infrastructure.
Andrea Miller (Part 2)
March 6, 2018
"Start having a conversation about this issue regardless of political party."
Andrea Miller is the president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health. We talk about the broad support among men for Roe vs. Wade, the Hyde Amendment, and the two most damaging misconceptions about abortions.
Andrea Miller (Part 1)
March 3, 2018
"When women are able to make decisions about their reproductive lives it makes their families more stable."
Andrea Miller is the president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health. We talk about the impact that reproductive legislation has in society and how it’s historically been affected by safety and public health concerns.
February 24, 2018
"The cheapest way to learn is from somebody else’s mistakes."
Joe Hartigan has cracked the code on how to effect change. He is a retired NYC Fire Department lieutenant and community activist since 1995. His passion, dedication, and consistency over many years brought about ferry service for the residents of Rockaway, Queens. Every community would benefit from a fervent advocate like Joe. We can become advocates for our communities by focusing on specific issues, joining forces, and staying persistent.
February 17, 2018
"Consistent, rigorous advocacy can effect change in a positive way in terms of social justice."
Roland Augustine is an art dealer, tireless activist, and active member at the Bard College Prison Initiative. We discuss the necessity of finding new ways of activism for social justice in our daily lives.
January 20, 2018
"People should be civically engaged because otherwise they’re ceding the ground to others."
Bernard Harcourt is an author, lawyer, and critical theorist. In our conversation, we discover that civic engagement is a learned skill, the power of collective action, and the importance of remembering our truths and values.