Category: Civic Engagement (56)
Bipartisan Civil Discourse: Michael Baranowski
January 3, 2020
“I still believe in the collective wisdom of the American people.”
Michael Baranowski is the founder and one of the hosts on the popular podcast The Politics Guys. The podcast is a place for bipartisan, rational, and civil debate on American politics and policy. We discuss why civil dialogue is critical in a democracy, the value of keeping an open mind, and the relative strength of our institutions and electoral system.
Protecting Free Speech: Suzanne Nossel
December 27, 2019
“There’s this kind of overt hostility toward the press that has been unleashed.”
Suzanne Nossel is the CEO of PEN America, the world’s foremost human rights and free expression non-profit organization. We discuss the importance of the First Amendment for American democracy, Trump’s unprecedented attacks on the press, and the state of free expression around the world.
Practical Equality: Robert L. Tsai
December 20, 2019
“It’s important to be practical and hard-nosed about equality and justice.”
Robert L. Tsai is a law professor at American University and an expert in constitutional law. His latest book, Practical Equality, is a call to arms for equality and social progress. We discuss why equality is essential for citizens in a democracy and how the law can often serve as the primary mechanism to ensure justice.
Deliberative Democracy: Jane Suiter and David Farrell of the Irish Citizens’ Assembly
December 13, 2019
"Citizens who were in there came to sensible policy decisions."
Jane Suiter and David Farrell helped co-found the Irish Citizens’ Assembly, a deliberative forum that puts citizens at the heart of the considerations for constitutional and political reforms. We discuss how regular citizens can be trusted to weigh the evidence, make nuanced policy decisions, and become deep stakeholders in civic life.
Responsible Statecraft: Stephen Wertheim
December 6, 2019
“We want peace to be the norm, and war the exception.”
Stephen Wertheim is the Deputy Director of Research and Policy at the Quincy Institute, an organization that promotes responsible statecraft. We discuss the history of our foreign policy, and why it is in the public interest of all Americans to move away from endless war and reinvigorate diplomacy for a peaceful world.
Powering American Democracy: Seth Flaxman
November 22, 2019
“The real tradition in the U.S. is make voting convenient.”
Seth Flaxman is the co-founder of Democracy Works, a non-profit and non-partisan organization that aims to make voting simple and seamless. They provide tools for voters, such as TurboVote, as well as critical data infrastructure for elections. We talk about voting in the 21st century, creating partnerships for a stronger democracy, and increasing voter turnout.
Protecting our Elections: Marcia Johnson-Blanco
November 15, 2019
“The right to vote is preservative of all other rights.”
Marcia Johnson-Blanco is the Co-Director of the Voting Rights Project, an initiative of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The program works to ensure voters have an equal opportunity to vote, to have that vote count, and to keep elections free and fair. We talk about the challenges, threats, and solutions facing our democracy and elections.
Podcasting for Democracy: Civics 101
November 8, 2019
“If you don't understand the system you're in, you can't change it.”
Hannah McCarthy and Nick Capodice host Civics 101, the podcast refresher course about the basics of how American democracy works. We discuss the importance of empowering citizens and understanding the rules of our complex system, as well as the enduring repercussions of slavery in the United States.
Achieving Tolerable Climate: Jonathan Lamontagne
August 30, 2019
“Not taking action guarantees failure.”
Jonathan Lamontagne is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Tufts University School of Engineering. In his recent study, he finds that immediate global action is required for robust climate abatement. We discuss the narrow window that still remains for both a tolerable climate future and tolerable economic conditions.
The Economics of Health: James Knickman
August 16, 2019
“You want to make people healthy? Give them some money.”
James Knickman is a health economist and the Director of the Health Evaluation and Analytics Lab, a joint initiative on health policy and population health at NYU. We discuss the necessary components that contribute to better health outcomes in populations and how we can achieve them going forward.
Gender Parity: Melissa Mark-Viverito
July 26, 2019
“We have a responsibility to create more equity and justice in the world.”
Melissa Mark-Viverito is the former Speaker of the New York City Council and co-founder of the 21 in ’21 Initiative. She argues that electing women into government is critical for our society and democracy because their perspectives and experiences need to be represented in budgets, public policy, and legislation.
Dave Archambault II
June 21, 2019
“When there's a movement, it is a catalyst for something to change in the future.”
Dave Archambault II is a global leader for Indigenous Peoples’ rights and the former Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota, where he led the movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline. We discuss his advocacy for indigenous rights, constructive dialogue between stakeholders, and the fundamental importance of a healthy environment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.