How to Fight Like A Mother-Shannon Watts, Moms Demand Action

There have been over 200 mass shootings in this country since 2009. Shannon Watts, the author of a new book: Fight Like a Mother, is the founder of Moms Demand Action, a group that is using research, data, and a little bit of “nap-tivism” to throw their weight and money behind political candidates who are willing to put better gun control laws into action. The kicker? They’re winning. In the last election, they outspent even the NRA. Their goal: make our country safer.

Join us this week for a look at why our kids are subjected to violent and traumatizing active shooter drills, and what it takes to pass sensible gun legislation. We talk about the root cause of gun violence, who takes the brunt of the violence when background checks get lax, “losing forward” and the very real and positive change that is starting to take place as we come up to the 2020 elections.


Photo courtesy of Shannon Watts

Photo courtesy of Shannon Watts

Eve Ensler and the Radically Transformative Power of Apology

Stress warning: This episode contains conversation about sexual assault and violence.

This week on Inflection Point, I talk with Eve Ensler, award-winning playwright of The Vagina Monologues, about her new book “The Apology”, in which she writes in the voice of her father to apologize to herself--from him-- for the years of sexual and physical abuse he perpetrated upon her.

You will be blown away by Eve’s resilience, by her self-knowledge, by her strength of character, and by her deep well of compassion and empathy. Her ideas for political and social reform, as well as her profound insights into the human soul, make her a true radical, and radically empathetic.

This week, we discuss the anatomy of a true apology, and the transformative power that apologies hold for the apologists themselves and their recipients. We discuss why punishment never leads to rehabilitation. We discuss the roots of abuse, and how we can start shifting the paradigm.

A must-listen for anyone frustrated at the lack-luster apologies precipitated by the #MeToo movement. A must-listen for anyone infuriated by the Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford cases. A must-listen for anyone who needs to apologize for something. A must-listen for anyone who has ever needed an apology, but didn’t get one.

I also spoke with Eve in October of 2016, about a year before the #MeToo movement took off. Her words were prescient and I encourage you to listen to that conversation too.

If this conversation is important to you, please support our independent production with a tax deductible donation. Inflection Point is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization.

Photo courtesy of The Commonwealth Club of California. Photo by James Meinerth

Photo courtesy of The Commonwealth Club of California. Photo by James Meinerth

Photo courtesy of Eve Ensler

Photo courtesy of Eve Ensler

Paid Leave For All - Katie Bethell is Seizing the Moment to Fight for Radical Policy Change

America is one of only two countries in the world where you can be fired for taking a day off in order to give birth (let that sink in for a moment). As it stands, paid leave policy varies from company to company, state to state, but on a national level, there is no policy in place, no minimum requirements or baseline standard that applies to everyone.

And it’s not just about moms—this lack of policy also has greater repercussions for how we define a family, in a political sense, and the relationship between the family and the workplace--men included. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand are both bringing attention to these issues, running on platforms of universal childcare, and paid medical and family leave.

Katie Bethell, founder and executive director of Paid Leave for the US (PLUS), joins us this week to give us the alarming stats, talk nerdy government logistics, and offer some extremely practical advice on how we can use this particularly potent moment to push for political change.

Join us this week on Inflection Point for a look at radical change in action, one decision at a time.

Inflection Point is independently produced and we rely on support from listeners like you! Make a tax deductible donation to support our production today at inflectionpointradio.org/contribute. Thank you!

Photo courtesy of Paid Leave for the US

Photo courtesy of Paid Leave for the US

The End of Human Trafficking May Begin with Radical Empathy - Julia Flynn Siler

In 19th Century San Francisco's Chinatown only 1 in 10 people were women, and most of them were forced into prostitution, trafficked by criminal tongs. In today’s episode, meet the Scottish sewing instructor Donaldina Cameron and the women she collaborated with and helped escape from sex slavery between 1870 and 1930. This week on Inflection Point: Julia Flynn Siler talks about her new book The White Devil’s Daughters: The Women Who Fought Slavery in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Prepare yourself for bomb scares and bubonic plague quarantines, court cases and crowdfunding efforts. Join us in what is, ultimately, a conversation about standing up to a broken society, and how women can help women rise up.

Recorded at the Bay Area Book Festival in May 2019 as part of their Women Lit programming.

Photo courtesy of Julia Flynn Siler

Photo courtesy of Julia Flynn Siler

Universal Basic Income is a radical idea. In Stockton, CA they've started to experiment.

This week, we hear about a radical plan to end poverty: Universal Basic Income. Lauren talks to the team behind an experiment with Guaranteed Income taking place in Stockton, CA the one-time foreclosure capital of America where 1 in 4 people live below the poverty line. Featuring conversations with Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, Natalie Foster of the Economic Security Project, and the co-principal investigators on this experiment: Dr. Amy Castro Baker of the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Stacia Martin West of the University of Tennessee.

Guaranteed Income and Universal Basic Income—where money is given with no strings attached represents a radical shift in the way we think about the social contract. Could this be what a Feminist Economy looks like?

Special thanks to Mia Birdsong for providing voices of Stockton residents, from her “More Than Enough” Podcast.

Additional thanks to First Lady of Stockton, Anna Tubbs and Sukhi Samra, Executive Director of SEED.

Learn more about the Stockton Demonstration.

Learn more about the Magnolia Mother’s Trust, another project of the Economic Security Project.



Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs  Photo courtesy of Cassius M. Kim

Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs

Photo courtesy of Cassius M. Kim