"I am powerful by just living" - Sarah McBride, author of "Tomorrow Will Be Different"

In 2016, Sarah McBride made history--and a childhood dream come true when she stood on the stage at the the Democratic National Convention as the first transgender person to speak at a national political convention. As of 2018, more than half of LGBTQ people live in states that don’t protect them from discrimination or are even actively hostile towards them. Some states have enacted laws that allow businesses, healthcare providers and government officials to actually deny services to LGBTQ people.

In the most challenging moments--the 2016 election results, everyday sexism and misogyny and the death of her young husband-- even then she fights to update our laws to protect and include LGBTQ people.

Sarah is now the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBTQ civil rights organization. And she’s the author of the new book, “Tomorrow Will Be Different. Love, Loss and the Fight for Trans Equality.”

RESOURCES referred to on this episode:

Human Rights Campaign

Transgender Law Center

 Sarah McBride (photo by B Proud)

Sarah McBride (photo by B Proud)

Will Girls Ever Feel Like They’re Enough As They Are? Rachel Simmons, Co-Founder of Girls Leadership

For many girls today, the relentless pursuit of accomplishment is fueled by harsh self-criticism and an acute fear of failure. Rachel Simmons has been researching young women for two decades, and her research plainly shows that girl competence does not equal girl confidence—nor does it equal happiness, resilience, or self-worth. As an educator and the author of Enough As She Is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Healthy, Happy and Fulfilling Lives, Rachel teaches girls and women skills to build their resilience, amplify their voices, and own their courage so that they—and their relationships—live with integrity and health.

Want to read more about Rachel? Check out my piece in Salon and on Medium.

 Rachel Simmons (Credit: Phoebe Jones)

Rachel Simmons (Credit: Phoebe Jones)

Why Rosie the Riveter is "not my icon" - Betty Reid Soskin, National Park Service

For the past decade, 96-year-old Betty Reid Soskin has served as the nation’s oldest Park Ranger, where she gives talks at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historic Park. But the triumphant story of the now ubiquitous feminist icon, Rosie the Riveter, is not Betty’s story. While Rosie was breaking barriers for twentieth century white women in the workforce, Black women like Betty and her slave ancestors had been serving as laborers for centuries. In our live talk at INFORUM at the Commonwealth Club, Betty offers a clear-eyed perspective on the untold stories of the American narrative and the ever-rising spiral our country is making toward equality.

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My Privilege Wake Up Call With Ijeoma Oluo, Author of So You Want To Talk About Race

An awkward conversation with her white mother about “good white people” inspired Ijeoma Oluo to take on the unenviable task of writing one of the most user-friendly books on race of our time: So You Want To Talk About Race. In plain language, Ijeoma has confronted deeply uncomfortable questions surrounding racial injustice from the school-to-prison pipeline to the Black Lives Matter movement to white feminism and intersectionality.

In our conversation, Ijeoma helps me to understand the insidious nature of white supremacy in our world. She also wakes me up to the fact that solidarity between all women cannot happen until white cis women hold themselves accountable to the ways they have benefitted from systems of oppression. Most importantly, Ijeoma offers practical, everyday actions that you can do today to help dismantle the system of racism.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The Implicit Bias Test: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/index.jsp 
Take this test to see how unconscious bias may be influencing how you interact with the world. When you see where your biases lie, you can begin the work of examining where they come from and how to overcome them.

Meet Your DA: https://meetyourda.org/
District Attorneys have the power to determine who gets charges filed against them, the severity of charges, and if the charges get filed at all. These elected officials have the power to send people to prison for life. DAs can funnel people into the prison system, trapping them in the revolving door of mass incarceration. OR they can give them a 2nd chance. They’re supposed to represent our voice but often their actions don’t represent what they believe. Get to know who your district attorney is and how they’re carrying out the wishes of your community. And if they’re actions reflect the wishes of for-profit prisons over those of your community, get in touch. This website will tell you how.

P.S. Want to connect with other everyday activists who seek to make extraordinary change? Come join The Inflection Point Society, our new Facebook Group, and take part in daily conversations about rising up together.

 Ijeoma Oluo

Ijeoma Oluo

How Girls Are Changing The World - Paola Gianturco and Alex Sangster

When we work so hard to preserve what we see as the innocence of childhood, are we actually holding our kids back from the courageous work they can be doing in this world? Twelve-year-old Alex Sangster and her grandmother, accomplished photojournalist Paola Gianturco partnered to interview and photograph over 102 girls aged 10 through 18 who aren’t waiting for a new day to begin their activism: they are rolling up their sleeves and ushering in that new day right now. 

Listen to my conversation with Paola Gianturco and Alex Sangster, co-authors of Wonder Girls: Changing Our World, about what it looks like when we let girls lead. 

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How To Take Your Reproductive Destiny In Your Own Hands - Author Rachel Lehmann-Haupt

Author and founder of The ART and Science of Family, Rachel Lehmann-Haupt spent years writing about reproductive technology, but always assumed she’d have a child the old-fashioned way. Then her path led her to taking her reproductive destiny into her own hands. Hear our conversation about her adventures in procreation that led her to writing her book, In Her Own Sweet Time: Egg Freezing and the New Frontiers of Family--and what reproductive tech means for the feminist movement

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How To Welcome A Refugee- Christina Psarra of Doctors Without Borders

Refugees literally sacrifice everything to keep their families safe and to start a new life. Christina Psarra of Doctors Without Borders gives up everything to help them. The only thing she knows for months at a time is the arrival of refugee after refugee after refugee.

So what’s left over for her? The other side of the refugee story is the stress for the aid workers and their 24/7 schedule. And with Christina putting so much of herself into her work, what does it take not to burn out and what keeps her coming back? Listen to our conversation.

Learn more life as a refugee at ForcedFromHome.com


How To Find Joy In The Resistance - Paola Mendoza and Sarah Sophie Flicker, Women's March Organizers

As national organizers for The Women’s March and leaders of The Resistance Revival Chorus, artist activists Paola Mendoza and Sarah Sophie Flicker see their purpose as connecting fellow members of The Resistance to the moments of joy and transcendence that come with being a part of history in the making. They walk in the footsteps of the Nina Simone’s and Joan Baez’s and Aretha Franklin’s of the world--the artists who helped to fuel the Civil Rights movement by nourishing the souls of the people who marched for freedom.

And if there was ever a time when we need to consistently keep our souls replenished for the fight against injustice, it would be now.

Hear how Paola Mendoza and Sarah Sophie Flicker use the power of art and culture in activism, what they learned in documenting The Women’s March for the newly released book, Together We Rise, and how you can participate in the 2018 Women's March.

And tell us how you found your voice in 2017 and what you are going to do with it in 2018, on our Facebook page!

Want more of the convo? hear the one-hour version here:

 Paola Mendoza and Sarah Sophie Flicker, photo by Guy Murrow

Paola Mendoza and Sarah Sophie Flicker, photo by Guy Murrow

Why A College Degree Won't Close The Gender Gap - Nancy Niemi, Yale

As more and more women graduate from college and even surpass their male peers in levels of education, men are finding other means for achieving career success. Nancy Niemi, Director of Faculty Teaching Initiatives at Yale questions the conventional wisdom that college is a path to gender equality. Women now need more degrees than ever just to compete because in spite of all this education, institutional sexism is still prevalent. Her new book is Degrees of Difference.

How to turn your dreams into a reality- Bonny Simi, JetBlue Ventures

Do you need to be superhuman to accomplish everything you wanted to do in life when you were a teenager? According to Bonny Simi, Olympian, sports reporter, airline pilot and JetBlue Technology Ventures' President, you don’t need to have superpowers--you just have to make friends with failure. Hear how one woman has turned a list she made when she was 14 into a lifetime of barrier-breaking achievements.

 Bonny Simi

Bonny Simi