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22 minutes | Jul 22, 2021
Democratizing Patents: Vaccines For All
As Covid-19 continues to sweep the world and most countries, especially in the Global South, struggle to access vaccines, Radical Imagination takes a fresh look at how the US patent system keeps billions of people at home and abroad from obtaining life-saving medicines. Since our first episode on this topic, early in the pandemic, the situation has become more dire. In India, one of the world’s largest vaccine producers, almost nobody had access to the Covid vaccine last spring, when the virus began tearing through the country. The idea behind patents is to allow companies to protect the time and money they invest in developing drugs and vaccines. In reality, companies profit astronomically while people die because they can’t afford or obtain treatment. Host Angela Glover Blackwell speaks with lawyer and activist Priti Krishtel, a leader of a global movement to change the patent system and ensure access to medicine for all. We also hear from Leena Menghaney, South Asia head of the Doctors Without Borders Access Campaign.
28 minutes | Jun 25, 2021
Ethics in AI
Artificial intelligence and algorithms are increasingly used to make life-changing decisions in policing, lending, hiring, renting, health care, and many other realms. The technology has come under fire for encoding and intensifying racial bias. But what if AI could be transformed into a tool for fighting discrimination and inequality? Host Angela Glover Blackwell discusses this intriguing possibility with Black in AI co-founder, activist, and computer scientist Rediet Abebe. We also hear the story of Terrence Wilkerson, who was unjustly trapped in the criminal legal system by questionable AI technology.
27 minutes | May 14, 2021
The Radical Politics of Pleasure
Social justice activists tend to be so driven to fix tough systemic problems that we often overlook the obvious: We want to create a society filled with joy and satisfaction for all. In this episode of Radical Imagination, we celebrate pleasure and explore its importance in the work of societal transformation. Host Angela Glover Blackwell talks with adrienne maree brown, author Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good. Join us for a conversation about finding love, delight, and pleasure for ourselves, those closest to us, our communities, and the world we hope to build.
28 minutes | Apr 12, 2021
An economy that works for all depends on a robust system of caregiving. That has become all too clear during the pandemic, as 2.5 million women were pushed out of the workforce to care for family members. This episode of Radical Imagination looks at the growing movement to reimagine care across the lifespan, recognize it as essential infrastructure, invest in it, and improve wages and labor protections for the workers — mostly Black and immigrant women —we trust to care for the people we love. Host Angela Glover Blackwell talks with Chicago caregiver and community advocate Michelle Morton about the challenges of caring for her parents and children throughout the pandemic. We also hear from Ai-jen Poo, the visionary leader of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, about #CareCantWait, a campaign to make universal access to child care, paid family and medical leave, and home and community-based services a centerpiece of economic recovery.
29 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
Putting People First: Reimagining OUR Economy
What would our economy look like if it put people before profits? For one thing, nobody would have to accept the sub-minimum wage of $2.13, which many states allow for restaurant workers -- a legacy of slavery that marginalizes and impoverishes a wide swath of a workforce made up largely of people of color and immigrants. In this episode of Radical Imagination, host Angela Glover Blackwell speaks with Saru Jayaraman, president of One Fair Wage and director of the Food Labor Research Center at UC Berkeley, about the fight to raise the minimum wage for all workers and end subminimum wages. We also hear from USC Sociology Professor Manuel Pastor about solidarity economics, a radical but commonsense concept that challenges us to reimagine our economy and how it can prioritize the needs and interests of all people.
20 minutes | Feb 26, 2021
Reframing History: The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre
Radical Imagination opens with a deep dive into the 1921 massacre of hundreds of Black people in the thriving business district of Tulsa, Oklahoma. We examine how history books erased that atrocity and distorted so much of Black history. Host Angela Glover Blackwell talks with Hannibal B. Johnson, historian and Education Chair for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Commission, about the radical effort to make the story of Tulsa's Black Wall Street part of Oklahoma’s K-12 school curricula. Join us and probe the question: How can reframing history impact the future?
25 minutes | Nov 28, 2020
Radical Reform: A Prosecutor's Story
San Francisco’s District Attorney Chesa Boudin was elected on the promise of bringing justice to the criminal "justice" system. He's part of a new wave of reform-minded prosecutors who are trying to change the system, eliminate the most harmful practices, and bring accountability to policing. Host Angela Glover Blackwell talks with Boudin about his efforts to bring fairness and compassion to a system that is oppressive by design. Too often, reform from the inside simply perpetuates the status quo. Can Boudin do something different? Can reform, coupled with radical imagination, change mindsets, open new possibilities, and be a step on the path to transformation?
28 minutes | Oct 10, 2020
Police Abolition, Pt. 2
In this episode of Radical Imagination we follow up on our coverage of police abolition. Host Angela Glover Blackwell speaks with human rights lawyer and organizer Derecka Purnell, whose advocacy has led to the dismissal of thousands of cases based on unconstitutional policing practices. We first explored the abolition movement a year ago — before the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Black people, spurred nationwide protests. Now we look at the changing political and cultural landscape that has transformed what seemed like an impossible idea — defunding and dismantling police — into a feasible solution now being considered by state and local officials.
36 minutes | Sep 5, 2020
From Patients to Patents: A Focus on Health Equity
Well before Covid-19, Black Americans struggled to access healthcare and had disproportionately high rates of chronic illness and death. Nowhere is this more glaring than in the Mississippi Delta, where Black people with diabetes are commonly treated by amputation and are three times more likely to die of the disease than their White counterparts. Host Angela Glover Blackwell speaks with Dr. Foluso Fakorede, who moved to the region to improve patient care and stop the unnecessary the loss of limbs. We also meet lawyer and activist Priti Krishtel. She's leading a movement to make sure lifesaving medicines are available and affordable for all by dismantling a patent system designed to enrich Big Pharma and keep drug prices high.
30 minutes | Aug 1, 2020
Hawaii's Feminist Recovery Plan
A group of women in Hawaii are showing the nation that post-pandemic economic recovery can be visionary, just, and transformative. They have crafted a plan that centers women, insists on gender equality, and advances deep cultural change. In this episode of Radical Imagination, host Angela Glover Blackwell speaks with Khara Jabola-Carolus, the executive director of Hawaii’s Commission on the Status of Women, which released the plan, titled “Building Bridges, Not Walking on Backs: A Feminist Recovery Plan for Covid-19.” And we hear from activist and midwife Tanya Smith-Johnson, who co-authored the plan and works to improve maternal and neonatal care in Hawaii’s rural areas.
23 minutes | Jun 2, 2020
Water as a Human Right
More than two million Americans live without access to clean, running water or a working toilette at home. Millions more predominantly in places like Flint, Michigan, the Navajo Nation, and migrant farmworker communities in California’s Central Valley have been disproportionately affected by high levels of led and arsenic in the water. In this episode of Radical Imagination, host Angela Glover Blackwell speaks with US Water Alliance CEO Radhika Fox about solutions to this national water crisis. We also hear from Susana De Anda, Co-executive Director of the Community Water Center, about the fight for clean water in California’s Central Valley.
27 minutes | May 1, 2020
Host Angela Glover Blackwell talks with writer, journalist and activist Tiq Milan about the the limiting and often toxic ways our society thinks about gender, and how we can do better. While the nation has come far in its inclusion of the LGBTQ community in recent decades, we have a long way to go. At least 25 transgender or gender-non-conforming people were reported murdered in 2019, and that’s an undercount, because most attacks go unreported. Join us as Milan describes his personal journey and the intersection of gender and race.
26 minutes | Apr 9, 2020
As Covid-19 sweeps the world, life feels too much like science fiction. On this episode of Radical Imagination, we explore an idea that’s tailor-made for this distressing moment. It’s called visionary fiction, and it uses sci-fi and fantasy to imagine not a dystopian future, but a better world — without poverty, prisons and inequality. It’s more than a literary genre; it’s a movement of people of color working to create the change they write about. Host Angela Glover Blackwell speaks with writer, artist, educator and organizer Walidah Imarisha about the idea and the organizing it has inspired.
31 minutes | Mar 13, 2020
Freedom U: Higher Ed for True Liberation
For many years, undocumented students who came to the US as minors have been excluded from getting federal funding like grants or loans for college. While 23 states grant undocumented students in-state tuition, three states - Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina - have a form of admissions ban against undocumented students. In 2010, the state banned undocumented students from applying to its top public universities and required them to pay out-of-state at the other public colleges. In response, a group of Georgia professors and undocumented students created an underground freedom school named Freedom University. It offers free college-level courses to the banned students, college application support and human rights leadership training. Many of the students have gone on to earn degrees at colleges and universities across the country. Radical Imagination host Angela Glover Blackwell talks with Freedom University Executive Director and Professor of Human Rights, Dr. Laura Emiko Soltis. We also hear from Freedom University alumnus Rafael Aragon, who is a full scholarship recipient at Oglethorpe University and now serves as a part-time staff member at Freedom University.
34 minutes | Feb 28, 2020
Housing as a Human Right
We kick off season two of the Radical Imagination podcast with the story of two mothers who were experiencing homelessness. They moved into a house owned by an investment firm but sitting vacant for nearly two years. That courageous act, in Oakland, California, brought national attention to the housing crisis. Host Angela Glover Blackwell talks with Dominique Walker about why she occupied the house and about the collective she co-founded, Moms4Housing. The group is demanding the human right to housing and taking on investors who treat housing as a commodity they can buy and flip for profit, while a half-million Americans experience homelessness and millions more struggle with skyrocketing rents. We also hear from Tara Raghuveer, the Housing Campaign Director for People’s Action, about the Homes Guarantee, an ambitious proposal to rebuild and reimagine housing.
1 minutes | Feb 18, 2020
The Bold, Inspiring & Radical: Upcoming in Season 2
Radical Imagination returns with host Angela Glover Blackwell in conversation with thinkers and changemakers on issues ranging from reimagining gender and visionary fiction, to housing as a human right and changing the criminal-legal system. Get ready to be enlightened, inspired, and moved to think in radically new ways.
32 minutes | Dec 15, 2019
Imagine an America free of urban gun violence. Host Angela Glover Blackwell speaks with Devone Boggan, CEO of Advance Peace in Richmond, California, a visionary program that offers young men with a history of gun offenses life-changing opportunities to work as community peacemakers. In this episode, the season one finale, we also hear from James Houston, who served 18 years in prison for shooting and killing a man. Houston is now a change agent in Richmond — and proof that investment in people, not in more police, can end the devastating cycle of neighborhood violence.
21 minutes | Dec 3, 2019
Federal Job Guarantee
A federal job guarantee is an old idea making its way back this election cycle. It’s controversial and considered radical—but what makes more sense than making sure that everyone who needs a job can get one? A job guarantee would bring financial stability to millions of families. And it would put people to work doing things the nation needs, such as building affordable housing and caring for children. In this episode, Angela Glover Blackwell explores the tantalizing possibilities—and the feasibility—of a federal job guarantee with one of its leading advocates, Darrick Hamilton, Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University.
30 minutes | Nov 17, 2019
Climate change will displace more than 180 million people around the world by the end of this century. Along the Gulf Coast of the United States, rising seas are already threatening historic Black and indigenous communities. In Louisiana, for example, a piece of land the size of a football disappears into the water every hour-and-a-half. In this episode, Radical Imagination host Angela Glover Blackwell talks with Colette Pichon Battle, executive director at the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, about what’s being done to address the crisis in some of the most vulnerable communities in America. We also hear from Houma Nation Chief August Creppel, who is racing against time to figure out solutions for his people.
29 minutes | Nov 3, 2019
No major institution in America has wrestled more deeply with the question of reparations for African Americans than Georgetown University. Five years ago, a student discovered that Maryland Jesuits sold 272 slaves in 1838 to save the school from financial ruin. That forgotten history sparked an anguished conversation about Georgetown’s complicity in slavery and the school’s responsibility to the descendants of the 272 enslaved people. In this episode of Radical Imagination, Angela Glover Blackwell speaks with one of the descendants, Melisande Short-Colomb, who is now a a student at Georgetown. We also hear from Howard University history professor Ana Lucia Araujo about what it will take for our nation to finally reckon with and atone for slavery and its legacy.
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