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Better Life Lab
26 minutes | Dec 12, 2020
Crisis Conversations: Essential stories — and essential lessons — from a year in crisis
In this year-end edition of Crisis Conversations, Brigid and members of the Better Life Lab team reflect on the memorable stories, voices, and lessons learned from COVID-19. And we consider a bold new agenda for work-family justice and gender equity in 2021 and beyond.Host:Brigid Schulte, Director, Better Life Lab at New AmericaGuests:Vicki Shabo, Senior Fellow, Paid Leave Policy and Strategy at Better Life LabRoselyn Miller, Policy Analyst, Better Life LabJahdziah St. Julien, Research Associate, Better Life LabEmily Hallgren, PhD BLLx Intern, Better Life LabStavroula Pabst, PhD Intern, Better Life Lab
31 minutes | Nov 14, 2020
Crisis Conversations: Setting Working Moms Back a Generation?
Is the pandemic is setting women back a generation? Without reliable childcare and schools, an unprecedented number of working mothers have been forced to reduce their hours. Or have had to leave the workforce entirely. As Elizabeth Gedmark, vice president of A Better Balance said recently: “It’s not a question of whether women are set back in the workplace. It’s a question of how far back we will go: 10 years, 15 years, 20 years?”What needs to change NOW to staunch the hemorrhaging and help women and their families achieve economic stability? And how can we design systems to ensure equity in the future?Host: Brigid Schulte, Director, Better Life Lab at New AmericaGuests:Bryce Covert, Journalist and author, most recently of "The economy could lose a generation of working mothers"Jessica Calarco, Associate professor of sociology at Indiana University who studies inequalities in family life and education. Her pandemic-related research includes "My husband thinks I’m crazy" and "Let’s not pretend it’s fun"Kari McCracken, Mother of five who was recently pushed out of the workforce and a career she loved because of a lack of childcare
24 minutes | Oct 24, 2020
Crisis Conversations: A Parents' Movement?
The United States is an outlier among developed nations when it comes to supporting working families. Unlike other advanced economies, we offer no national public paid family leave, no publicly supported universal childcare, no requirements that employers offer flexible work and schedule control. Researchers and advocates have long lamented we don’t have these policies because the constituents who need them most – parents – are too stressed and busy to organize and demand them. Has COVID-19 changed that? Host: Brigid Schulte, Director, Better Life Lab at New AmericaGuests:Dasja Reed, Single parent and member of Strolling Thunder Alissa Quart, Executive Director of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project and author most recently of Daycare slots for babies are vanishing. Now their parents can’t workJustin Ruben, Parent and co-founder of ParentsTogetherTamara Mose, Sociology professor at Brooklyn College, director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the American Sociological Association and author of Raising Brooklyn: Nannies, Childcare and Caribbeans Creating Community Jennifer Beall Saxton, Parent, Founder and CEO of Tot Squad
29 minutes | Oct 8, 2020
Crisis Conversations: Will 2020 be the year care becomes a bipartisan issue?
What role will care and caregiving could play in the 2020 election. Pundits have long insisted that care issues like childcare, elder care and paid and unpaid caregiving are not “bread and butter” economic issues that move voters or swing elections. Will that change in this unprecedented time of COVID-19? Are voters beginning to see that care work is no longer just “women’s work,” but central to a functioning economy? And what difference could that make on Nov. 3?Host: Brigid Schulte, Director, Better Life Lab at New AmericaGuests:Abby McCloskey, Economist, fellow with the Bipartisan Policy Center, and founder of McCloskey Policy LLC. She has advised multiple presidential campaigns, including those of Howard Schultz, Jeb Bush and Rick Perry. She is a member of the AEI-Brookings Bipartisan working group on paid leave.Amanda Brown Lierman, Managing Director, Supermajority, a progressive, membership-based organization that trains women to become effective advocates to build an equitable future for all women, and former political and organizing director for the Democratic National Committee.Roselyn Miller, Better Life Lab policy analyst and author of The Bipartisan Case for Caregiving.
32 minutes | Aug 29, 2020
Crisis Conversations: Women and Leadership
Kamala Harris just made history as the first woman of color nominated for national office by a major party. So why, after so much time and money have been spent on diversity initiatives, and on women’s leadership conferences and the like, are there still so few women — particularly women of color — in leadership positions in politics, in academia, and in American business? Join us as women leaders and thinkers share what needs to change to create space for more diverse women leaders, and to enable them to thrive. And why — especially now — that matters so much, for all of us.Host:Brigid Schulte, Director, Better Life Lab at New AmericaGuests: Laura Morgan Roberts, Professor of Practice at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and author of Beating the Odds and Race and Leadership: The Black Experience in the WorkplaceIlana Fischer,CEO of Whisps, a growing snack company where 100 percent of the C-suite executives are womenAdrienne Penta. Managing Director at Brown Brothers Harriman and executive director of the Center for Women & WealthToni Irving, Professor of Practice at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and former executive director of Get IN Chicago, where she led a $45 million social impact fund to reduce gun violence
27 minutes | Aug 22, 2020
Crisis Conversations: Woke at Work?
After the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police sparked a racial justice reckoning, many American organizations put up Black Lives Matter signs. Many put out statements committing to tear down structural racism and build diverse, equitable and inclusive cultures at work. The trick is — how exactly do you do that? These business and organizational leaders have some ideas.Host:Brigid Schulte, Director, Better Life Lab at New AmericaGuests:Melonie Parker, Chief diversity officer at Google, whose team produced the 2020 Diversity Annual ReportAnselm Beach, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Equity and Inclusion, spearheading Project InclusionSarah Todd, Senior reporter, Quartz and Quartz at Work, author of What an anti-racist workplace looks likeTim Cynova and Lauren Ruffin, COO and Chief External Relations Officer for Fractured Atlas, a New York City-based nonprofit that helps artists access funding
29 minutes | Aug 15, 2020
Crisis Conversations: Will COVID Kill Work-Life Balance?
In the era of coronavirus, the notion of work-life balance can seem a dream for those who still have work. But the gut-it-out model is bad for workers, virtual and otherwise, and bad for employers.Host Brigid Schulte talks with behavioral science workers at ideas42 — a nonprofit that seeks to use behavioral science insights to improve lives and drive social change. We'll hear about efforts at ideas42 to research and re-design workplace culture in an innovative pilot project ideas42 is collaborating on with Accion, an international nonprofit working with microfinance programs, We'll explore what role the concept of “scarcity” plays in how we go about our pandemic workdays, and in how we design work in the first place. And we'll consider whether something called "the party principal" could make some of us better, happier virtual workers in the time of COVID-19.Guests include:Matthew Darling, Vice President at ideas42 and a teaching fellow at Harvard UniversityLynne Curran, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, at AccionAntonia Violante, a Senior Associate at ideas42Uyhun Ung,a Senior Associate at ideas42
28 minutes | Aug 8, 2020
Crisis Conversations: Family Caregiving
One American in five takes care of another family member or loved one. That's more than 53 million family caregivers in America. Members of this vast, largely invisible workforce were already under pressure prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Many were forced to choose between inflexible or unsupportive work environments, and caring for loved ones who need care. These caregivers are not supported by public policy – the emergency paid family leave law Congress passed last spring actually excluded those caring for aging or chronically ill loved ones. And many people, including those in the so-called sandwich generation, never get a break to take care of themselves. As the pandemic rages, and with a coming aging crisis, how do we begin to care for our family caregivers?Host:Brigid Schulte, Director, Better Life Lab at New AmericaGuests:Debbi Simmons Harris, A family caregiver in Minnesota who had to stop working to care for her son, who has required complex medical care for more than two decades.Jennifer Olsen, DrPH,Executive Director of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving.Jessica Mills, A family caregiver in Georgia who put off her college plans to care for her mother with dementia.Karen Lindsey Marshall, J.D. Director, Advocacy & Engagement, National Alliance for Caregiving.
34 minutes | Aug 1, 2020
Crisis Conversations: Childcare Reckoning
Schools, summer camps and childcare centers are closed — and many may not reopen until next year. How are parents supposed to manage work, childcare and homeschooling? The childcare crisis is about to become even more acute, as many parents who lost their jobs due to the pandemic have already exhausted the temporary 12-week paid leave Congress passed in early spring. What will it take to build a truly high-quality, universal system that benefits everyone? Host:Brigid Schulte, Director, Better Life Lab at New America Guests:Caitlyn CollinsSociology professor at Washington University in St. Louis and author of Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and CaregivingRenée Boynton-JarrettProfessor of pediatrics at Boston University, social epidemiologist and the founding director of the Vital Village Community Engagement Network who focuses on the role of early-life adversities as life course social determinants of health. Marla SchuchmanEntrepreneur, mother of two, struggling to launch a start-up with no child care.Alycia HardyPolicy Analyst on childcare and early education for the Center for Law and Social Policy who wrote about including parent voices in policy solutions and her struggles with remote work for her two children and caring for her nieces while her sister and husband risk their health as essential workersAdriana Y GarciaFurloughed salon and social justice worker, and mother of four, living in Portland, Oregon.Maria CancianDean, McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown who researches the dynamics between public policies and family wellbeing
28 minutes | Jul 25, 2020
Crisis Conversations: Working pregnant in the time of COVID.
Pregnant workers already face discrimination on the job, Before the pandemic struck, the United States was the only advanced nation without a national paid maternity or parental leave policy. Now, pregnant workers have to navigate workplaces that pose real infection risks — often without recourse. Delivering a child in the pandemic has become fraught and isolating. And for many new moms whose low-wage jobs are considered "essential," the emergency paid leave law Congress passed doesn’t even apply. So what can we learn from the pandemic about how to better protect pregnant workers? How can we ensure healthy outcomes for new mothers and children, and, in particular, for new African American mothers and children, whose rates of infant and maternal mortality are alarmingly high?Host: Brigid Schulte, Director, Better Life Lab at New AmericaGuests:Gabrielle Caverl-McNeal, Director of Workforce Development at New MomsDina Bakst, Co-founder and co-president of A Better BalanceKhushbu Shah, Interim Editor in Chief, Fuller ProjectRebecca Pontikes, Principal of Pontikes Law LLCDr. Ashley Deutsch, Director of Quality and Patient Safety for the Department of Emergency Medicine at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA
28 minutes | Jul 18, 2020
Crisis Conversations: Lifequake Now
Bruce Feiler, an eminent thinker on meaning, spirituality and contemporary life, shares what he’s learned about navigating life’s transitions with purpose and skill. His latest book is LIFE IS IN THE TRANSITIONS: Mastering Change at Any Age. Host: Brigid Schulte, Director, Better Life Lab at New AmericaGuest: Bruce Feiler is the author of six consecutive New York Times bestsellers; the presenter of two prime-time series on PBS; and the inspiration for the drama COUNCIL OF DADS on NBC. Bruce’s two TED Talks have been viewed more than two million times.
30 minutes | Jul 11, 2020
Crisis Conversations: Calling for a New Bailout — for Women of Color
On this edition of Crisis Conversations, we look at the arguments why the next Federal bailout package should focus on Black women and women of color. Before the pandemic, even with historically low unemployment, Black women and women of color were more likely to be clustered in undervalued jobs that don’t pay well. Now, even though they are likely to be key breadwinners for their families, women of color are disproportionately likely to have lost their jobs in the pandemic. And because of gender and racial pay gaps and the deep wealth gap, women of color are less likely to have the resources to weather the current storm. How can we change that?Host: Brigid Schulte, Director, Better Life Lab at New AmericaGuests:Jocelyn Frye, Senior fellow at the Center for American ProgressDominique Derbigny, Deputy Director of Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap (CWWG) initiativeLatrice Wilson, furloughed payroll supervisor and advocate for Unemployed ActionDr. Michelle Holder, Assistant professor of Economics at John Jay College, City University of New YorkJaime Gloshay, Project Manager at Roanhorse Consulting (RCLLC), Co-founder of Native Women Lead
27 minutes | Jun 27, 2020
Crisis Conversations: The (Virtual?) Future of Medicine
Telemedicine – virtual appointments with doctors and health professionals – has become the only way many people can get the care they need during the pandemic. But some see unexpected advantages to the telemedicine surge. Now more people can see a doctor without taking time off work. Or struggling to arrange childcare. Or finding a way to evade a controlling life partner. Is it possible that telemedicine could even help to close health disparities across race, class and age, and improve gender equity?Host: Brigid Schulte, Director, Better Life Lab at New America.Guests:Amanda Williams, Ob/gyn and Physician, and Maternity Director for Kaiser Permanente Oakland.Lucy McBride, Primary Care physician who writes a daily newsletter on Covid & physical and mental health.Minakshi Raj, Incoming Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, who researches family caregiving and health information technology.
29 minutes | Jun 20, 2020
Crisis Conversations: Being a Dad in the Time of COVID-19
Before COVID-19 hit, women spent about twice as much time as men doing childcare and housework. That unequal gendered division of labor at home contributed to gender inequality in the workplace. — and to a persistent gender pay gap.But is the pandemic now changing that dynamic? And if so, will those changes last?Hosted by Brigid Schulte, Director, Better Life Lab at New America.Guests include:Dan Carlson, Assistant Professor of Family, Health and Policy at the University of Utah, and author of Men and Women agree: During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Men are Doing More at Home.Glen “Beleaf” Henry, an artist and rapper who documents life as a black father on his YouTube Channel, beleafinfatherhood and his TEDx Talk: What I’ve learned being a stay at home Dad.Dan Herman, a full-time dad in New York who prior to COVID-19 was a high-lying tech executive.Haley Swenson, Better Life Lab deputy director and author of the report, “Engaged Dads.”
25 minutes | Jun 13, 2020
Crisis Conversations: The Uncertain Future of Work
As states lift shelter-in-place orders meant to slow the spread of coronavirus, some office-based firms are allowing remote work to continue. Some workplaces are staggering schedules, shutting off communal spaces, and limiting the number of people in an office — and in elevators. That's in contrast to the situation faced by many returning restaurant workers, hair stylists and other people who work “non-essential” jobs. These workers may be eager for work, but they also face uncertainty about safety. How is the pandemic reshaping the way we work, and what will it mean for the future?Hosted by Brigid Schulte, Director, Better Life Lab at New AmericaGuests include:Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, author of Shorter: Work Better, Smarter and Less – Here’s How, and Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less.Richard Gegick, restaurant worker and organizer.Manar Morales, president & CEO • Diversity & Flexibility Alliance
34 minutes | Jun 6, 2020
Crisis Conversations: Anti-Blackness in America
Since May 25, tumultuous protests have engulfed the country — touched off by the murder of George Floyd, another black man who died at the hands of a white police officer. And as protests have transfixed the nation, data continues to show the coronavirus pandemic also is disproportionately affecting communities of color, On this essential episode of Crisis Conversations, host Brigid Schulte asks: What needs to change to end our country's entrenched structural racism,? And how do we create a better, fairer America?To take on these questions, Brigid is joined by:Angela Hanks, Deputy Executive Director of the Groundwork Collaborative, and author of Structural Racism is Exacerbating the Coronavirus Pandemic for Black People - Especially Black WomenAutumn McDonald, Senior fellow and head of New America California. She has been hosting COVID and the Black Community online conversationsDr. Nicole Mason, President and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy ResearchKemi Role, Director of Work Equity at the National Employment Law Project
24 minutes | May 30, 2020
Crisis Conversations: To Have and to Have Not — Family Leave in the Pandemic
The United States stands virtually alone in the world in failing to guarantee paid maternity leave. When the COVID-19 crisis hit, Congress made history by quickly passing temporary emergency paid family leave – but severely limited who could get it. We’ll hear stories from the field about how the new law continues to create a gulf between the Haves and the Have Nots. Host:Brigid Schulte, Director, Better Life Lab at New AmericaGuests include:Ondrea Patrick, Aldi’s worker, mother and United4Respect Leader who needs but isn’t eligible for paid family leaveRebecca Gale, Journalist and author of Emergency Paid Leave Helps Some Families, Leaves Others Adrift in the New York TimesMarissa Korbel, Lawyer and author of How leave provided by the coronavirus relief bill is saving my sanity while we shelter in place in the Washington PostTanya Goldman, Senior policy analyst & attorney at the Center for Law & Social Progress tracking emergency paid leave implementation
23 minutes | May 23, 2020
Crisis Conversations: for elder-care workers in the pandemic, one state (mostly) gets it right
The coronavirus pandemic has shown just how essential are the home health workers who care for our aging loved ones. Yet many of these care workers struggle with no benefits on the brink of poverty.Except in Washington state.We'll hear stories of how an innovative arrangement there could be a model for the rest of the country - now and after the pandemic.Host: Brigid Schulte, Director, Better Life Lab at New AmericaGuests include: Brittany Williams, a home health worker in Seattle and member SEIU 775; Peter Nazzal,Catholic Community Services of Western Washington director of Long Term Care: and Stephen Campbell,Data and Policy analyst with PHI and author of We Can Do Better: How our Broken Long-term Care System Undermines Care
21 minutes | May 16, 2020
Crisis Conversations: Doing Essential Work in one of the few Countries that Resists Paid Sick Leave. The USA.
The United States is one of just 11 countries around the world that don’t guarantee workers paid time off to stay home if they’re sick – one of the surest ways to slow the spread of infection. Jody Heymann, director of the World Policy Analysis Center at UCLA shares insights from a new report on paid sick leave policies around the world.We’ll hear stories of the harrowing choices faced by essential workers in Texas — where paid sick leave is especially hard to come by. We'll hear from Joleen Garcia, an organizer with the Texas Organizing Project, and from Marilyn Washington, a home health worker in San Antonio.And... we invite you to join us on Friday, May 22 at 1 pm Eastern time, for the live recording of our next Crisis Conversations episode. It'll be a 30-minute interactive conversation on elder care – a population hard hit by the virus. The pandemic has shown just how essential the home health workers are who care for our aging loved ones. Yet many of these care workers struggle with no benefits on the brink of poverty. Except in Washington state. We'll hear stories of how an innovative arrangement there could be a model for the rest of the country - now and after the pandemic.
28 minutes | May 9, 2020
Crisis Conversations: Parenting Alone in the Time of COVID-19
It's tough to be a single parent in the best of times. Now the coronavirus pandemic has made it even harder. One in five children in the United States live with a single mother, and 4 percent live with a single father. And while the number of children living with an unmarried parent has more than doubled since 1968, most work and care systems are still set up to support two-parent families. How are single-parent families managing the coronavirus pandemic? And what will they need to thrive once we’re out of the crisis?Host Brigid Schulte — author of the New York Times Bestseller "Overwhelmed" and director of New America's Better Life Lab — is joined by guests including:Nahsis Davis, nurse practitioner and single foster mother of three.Alison Griffin, senior vice president for Whiteboard Advisors and a single mother of two.Nicole Sussner Rodgers, founder and executive director, Family Story.And ... we invite you to join us on Friday, May 15 at 1 pm Eastern time, for the live recording os a 30-minute interactive conversation on how the emergency paid sick leave law is working – or not. The United States is one of just 11 countries around the world that don’t guarantee workers paid time off to stay home if they’re sick – one of the surest ways to slow the spread of infection. Jody Heymann, director of the World Policy Analysis Center at UCLA shares a new report on paid sick leave policies around the world that shows how all workers can be covered. We’ll have stories from the field on why they should be. Here's the link to join:https://newamerica.zoom.us/webinar/register/9715892325953/WN_IcNuQ93QQoKIv9GKV7hP5gHost:Brigid SchulteDirector, Better Life Lab at New AmericaGuest:Jody HeymannFounding Director, World Policy Analysis Center
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