Many of the faces in politics and Government seem to be that of an older generation. While what is most important is the root of policy and integrity of elected officials, the importance of engaging youth is imperative. Activating fresh talent within the world of public service ensures generational involvement today and in the future.
This week's guest, Octavia Abell, talks to Xander about outreach work that recruits, trains, and mobilizes recent graduates into the fields of civil engagement. Abell is the CEO and Co-Founder of Govern For American (GFA).
The 1963 March On Washington for Jobs and Freedom is historic for its 250,000 gathered in alliance for civil rights and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's famous I Have A Dream speech. The civil rights movement remains one of the most influential movements in American history. MLK's legacy of protests and nonviolent marches towards justice remains a blueprint for activists today, and who better to speak on its inspiration than this week's guest, Martin Luther King III.
Behind the various grassroots organizations that have made great strides, notably this past year, lies driven organizers with a passion for advocacy and the skills to intersect cultural work with rallying the masses.
Xander sits down with one such organizer, Vanessa Wruble, to discuss the Youth Climate Strikes, campaigns, and the importance marches have on building coalitions. Wruble is a journalist, activist, and co-founder of the first Women's March held in Washington in 2017. As the Executive Director of March On, Vanessa works to engage leaders and organizers in building political power.
President Biden made a historic announcement with his American Jobs Plan, which focuses on investing in job-creating and building up infrastructures from the electric grid to highway repair. This level of funding is just what this week's guest, Jess Morales Rocketto, joins Xander to discuss. Rocketto is the Civic Engagement Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the Executive Director of Care in Action. She breaks down not only the importance of investing in jobs but in caretaking, caretakers, and voters in what she calls "collective responsibility."
There is a steadily increasing push towards criminal justice reform throughout the country. We are still recovering from the "tough on crime" era of the 80s that led us to our current incarceration rate of 500%. Today, we've seen some policy changes in areas such as bail, but what of the tactics in court? This week's guest, defense attorney, Scott Hechinger, tells Xander about his work with the Brooklyn Defenders and how defenders can be pivotal in reversing the unfavorable narrative surrounding arrests and sentencing. He founded Zealous to teach defenders how to show up in court as well as how to become "natural allies."
Henry David Thoreau once said, "Wealth is the ability to fully experience life." But is the rate of income how we should measure the quality of the human experience, or should it be about having agency over one's own life? This week's guest, venture capitalist, author, and nonprofit CEO Jacqueline Novogratz, sits down with Xander to explain, "The opposite of poverty is not income. The opposite of poverty is dignity." Novogratz breaks down the misconceptions that many have regarding global poverty. She shares her initiatives in creating a "Moral Revolution" to change perceptions, move away from the systems that put profit over people, and move towards alternative actions through her nonprofit Acumen.
In America, the pandemic shined a light on homelessness, our healthcare infrastructure's shortcomings as well as food insecurities. The rise of childhood poverty and hunger became more glaring, and this week's guest, teacher, advocate, and attorney, Nick Melvoin, explains how this happens, and he offers some practical solutions. Melvoin is an LA Unified School Board member of District 4 and helped start the nation's largest food bank. He joins Xander to discuss ways to end hunger and poverty for children and their families.
Among the many flaws of our justice system, the unfair sentencing of prisoners is often overlooked. It's a question of, “Does the punishment fit the crime?” and often, it doesn’t. Instead, the punishment results in extreme sentencing. Our guest this week, Adnan Khan, explains how extreme sentencing happened to him. Khan joins Xander to discuss his experiences as a troubled youth serving time and how a new California Felony Murder Bill set him free in 2019 after 16 years.
When people become unemployed due to changes in our economy, they can feel like they’re in a hopeless situation. This can significantly impact people who can't afford to learn new skills needed to keep up within a changing market, which is why our guest, Nat Ware, has created proven models to assist these exact types of people.
Throughout our many episodes, we've had the privilege to go behind the scenes with activists on the front line of criminal justice reform. We know that there are multiple factors to address like ending mass incarceration, cash bail, and calls to exonerate wrongful convictions. Still, this week's guest is the Fellowship Advisor at Columbia Law and former Equal Justice Works Fellow, Bianca Tylek, shares with Xander the incentives fueling this $80 billion prison industry and how she's dismantling what she referred to as "an extension of slavery."