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Youth Organizing X
50 minutes | Dec 10, 2020
Designing a More Just Built Environment
In the first of two conversations, Taylor, Kiki and Matt explore the practice of design justice in the built environment - and the sheer variety of forms design justice can take in reality. Taylor and Kiki share the origins of the Design as Protest Collective (DAP) as a group of anti-racist designers, its policy demands for a more just built environment, and how DAP is working to organize designers of all stripes from the grassroots to make the profession a more just one. Taylor and Kiki share what design justice means to them. They share their own journeys in the design profession, what brought them to DAP's work, and what excites them moving forward. They also share the range of initiatives DAP is supporting to reform the design profession from direct action to policy analysis and how aspiring designers are educated. Resources References: DAP Collective's Design Justice Demands DAP's Resource Page Bit.ly to join DAP DAP's Instagram DAP's Twitter Bios: Taylor Holloway is a designer, architect, and social impact strategist that uses design-driven processes to promote equity in the built environment. As a biracial woman, first generation college graduate, and individual who has experienced the U.S. foster care system, issues of creative voice, belonging, and healing are personal to Taylor. Her organization, Public Design Agency, works with schools, organizing, youth, and even regular people, to harness creativity and civic engagement in new and radical ways. Taylor is also an AIA Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholar, a 2019 Association for Community Design Fellow, 2020 NextCity Vanguard, and one of the co-founders of the Design As Protest Collective -- also known as DAP. Check out her work at yayforpda.com. Kiki Cooper earned a B.A. in Landscape Architecture from The Pennsylvania State University and currently works in Brookline, MA at Verdant Landscape Architecture. Kiki is an active member of the ASLA Emerging Professionals Committee and is a Design as Protest Core Organizer. During their undergrad and after entering the profession, they developed a myriad of passions that shaped their core design principles rooted in food security, equitable design, community building, and design justice.
56 minutes | Dec 3, 2020
Budgets and the Morality of Money
Shari, Jay, and Matt explore the role of budgets in organizing - and how to make budgetary processes of all sorts more accessible and equitable. Shari walks through the steps in the participatory budgeting process and how it can make budgets into the positive moral documents they should be in communities through democratizing decision making power. Jay shares his experience in the budgeting process at his school, what he calls a bit of a "black box." Shari and Jay unpack how budgets are moral - and historical - documents. They share their advice on how to break down barriers of inaccessibility for folks to engage in budget processes of all sorts by asking good-faith, deep questions. Resources Referenced: Shari's 2020 TED Talk Participatory Budgeting Project website Democracy Beyond Elections Law for Black Lives Transgender Law Center BYP 100 Student Voice Youth United for Action Facebook page Bios: Shari is the Executive Director of the Participatory Budgeting Project. She joined the Participatory Budgeting Project after working for 15 years in local government. When she was the executive director of the Department of Youth Engagement and Employment for the City of Boston, she launched the first youth-led participatory budgeting (PB) process in the United States, Youth Lead the Change. Davis initially got involved in city government as a student leader in high school, serving as the citywide neighborhood safety coordinator on the Boston Mayor’s Youth Council. In 2019, she was honored with an Obama Foundation Fellowship for her work on participatory budgeting and in summer 2020 she delivered a TED Talk on the power of PB. Jay Philbrick is a college freshman studying economics and public policy at Brown University. Originally from North Yarmouth, Maine, he graduated from the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, where he served as President of the Student Senate and a voting member of the school's Board of Trustees. Throughout high school, he served on the Board's Advancement, Program, and Student Welfare Committees, where he focused on strengthening the school's mental health and Title IX resources to better protect students. In his free time, he leads Maine's branch of TeleHealth Access for Seniors, a non-profit that connects seniors with used electronic devices to promote telemedicine adoption, and he is also one of the youngest members of the Electoral College in American History.
58 minutes | Nov 19, 2020
Navigating Imposter Syndrome
Matt, Rayshauna, and Maya dive deep into what imposter syndrome means for each of them. They work through the first half of Rayshauna's #theHeartWork Framework to help us explore imposter syndrome's societal roots and its complex individual and community-wide consequences - the lie within imposter syndrome, it's convenient messaging, the core wound underneath the messaging, and the consequences of socializing this messaging. They trace the effects of systemic racism, sexism, and toxic individualism in American culture in how imposter syndrome manifests for each of them. They explore their own relationships to their family and ancestors - and which root causes of imposter syndrome they've inherited. They wrap up by starting to imagine how we can chip away at the mentalities driving imposter syndrome by naming its complex dynamics and roots. Resources Referenced: #TheHeartwork Framework Pillars and Summary "A Change of Heart: How I Challenge Impostor Syndrome," by Rayshauna Gray Layla Saad's "Good Ancestor Podcast" Bios: Maya Green is a freshman at Stanford University and the Organizing Director for the student-led nonprofit Student Voice. In high school, in addition to attending an arts school for creative writing, she was a member of the interfaith organizing network Charleston Area Justice Ministry, where she engaged with public officials on issues of affordable housing, public transportation, and racial bias in policing. Rayshauna Gray is invigorated by her work with Harvard University, the Cambridge Historical Society, Boston Book Festival, and National Organization for Women’s Legislative Task Force. Gray’s #TheHeartWork framework and workshop series helps people interrogate how imposter syndrome impacts their lives and communities. Gray is from the south side of Chicago.
55 minutes | Nov 13, 2020
Matt, Nav, and Kyle dive into the realities of our inequitable healthcare system and the opportunities to reimagine our systems to be truly community-based. They explore the ins and outs of organizing for equity within healthcare institutions - and ultimately argue for an expanded, interconnected definition of "health" that invites everyone into the work of health equity and offers a more holistic view of healthcare. Kyle shares his work on global health equity that involve community members on a grassroots level. Nav shares lessons learned around organizing within the healthcare system from his innovative approach to behavioral healthcare and addiction treatment. Nav, Kyle, and Matt explore how COVID has highlighted parts of the current system that concentrate power within formal healthcare institutions to the detriment of many communities, particularly low-income communities and Black and brown communities. They then shift to thinking through how to democratize the healthcare system so that it can be driven by community members and address these inequities from the ground up. Note: Transcripts for every podcast episode can be found on the podcast's website under 'Transcripts.' Resources: Kyle Lambert's Instagram Med For All Global BrightView Health ShatterProof The Addiction Policy Forum Bios: Dr. Navdeep Kang is a psychologist and the Chief Clinical Officer for BrightView Health where he leads the development, implementation, and research on best-practices in addiction treatment. He has devoted his professional efforts to advancing healthcare access and quality, particularly as related to behavioral health. Dr. Kang was selected by President and Mrs. Obama for the Obama Foundation’s inaugural Fellowship class for his leadership in treating addiction collaboratively with partners across the healthcare system. His editorial pieces on addiction policy have been featured by the Huffington Post UK, London School of Economics, The Hill, local news outlets, and PBS Newshour. Kyle Lambert is a Jamaican-born community organizer and health equity activist. With diverse work in communities worldwide, his nonprofit, Med For All Global, has allowed him to effectuate meaningful change in the health of vulnerable populations. He recently joined the CDC’s Division of Global HIV and Tuberculosis Team, where he is expanding his reach in the fight for health equity in all realms. As recognized by Congressional Legislation and several other service awards, Kyle puts tireless effort into the betterment of all lives. He has been a huge amplifier of mutual aid initiatives across the United States as he defines his vision as one of community-driven care. Kyle is currently studying at Stanford University with a major in Neurobiology and a minor in Global Health.
57 minutes | Oct 29, 2020
Matt, Thomas, and Representative Welch pull back the curtain on what coalition building actually looks like in practice - the importance of coalitions in organizing work, how to deal with tensions and disagreements in coalitions, and how to think about coalition building around climate change, specifically. Thomas shares their story organizing in support of the #nodapl movement, how that work led to his involvement with the International Indigenous Youth Council, and the lessons he gleaned about coalition building from that experience. Rep. Welch shares his personal story and how it informs his approach to public life, what it's like to build coalitions with politicians and legislators, and his advice for listeners who want to build relationships with their local politicians. Thomas explores coalitions as a source of learning and intergenerational knowledge for organizers as well as resource allocation. Rep. Welch shares an example of how he helped shepherd immigration legislation to become law through coalition building across the state in partnership with community groups. The group wraps up by exploring coalition building around climate change. Resources Referenced: The Future Coalition Website and Instagram The International Indigenous Youth Council Bios: Thomas Lopez Jr. (they/them) was born and raised in Denver, CO, They are Otomi, Diné, Apache and Sicangu Lakota. Thomas is one of the founding members of the International Indigenous Youth Council and continues to sit on the Council’s Board of Directors. Thomas is a proud Two Spirit person and continues to advocate and defend the Two Spirit community. Thomas is also the Partnerships Coordinator for the Future Coalition’s Youth Climate Strikes. Representative Emanuel “Chris” Welch. Representative Welch has been a State Representative from the 7th District of Illinois since 2013. Welch serves on several key House Committees including Executive, Revenue, Cities and Villages, Counties and Townships, and Higher Education. Welch serves as Chair of the House Executive Committee. He previously served as Chair of the House Higher Education Committee where he lead efforts to pass historic legislation like the four year map grant award and the AIM High Scholarship. He also served as Co-Chair of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Educational Success Transition Committee.
50 minutes | Oct 22, 2020
Matt, Gari, and Lam explore the practice of ethical storytelling as an essential set of skills in community organizing. Lam explores how his innovative "community activism lawyering" model for legal aid aims to shift the paradigm around who gets to tell the stories in the legal aid profession. Gari shares how her work with Our Climate Voices uses their seven principles of ethical storytelling to amplify the human stories behind climate organizing and activism. They explore the different types of storytelling and the range of purposes it can serve in organizing. Lam offers his thoughts on the relatability, vulnerability, humility, and authenticity necessary for effective storytelling. Then, Lam, Gari, and Matt drill down beneath the tactical considerations of storytelling like narrative construction and intended audience to examine the power dynamics undergirding who actually gets to tell their stories vulnerably, humbly, and authentically, and how they are expected to share them. They unpack popular expectations around stories of success and prestige in organizing, ultimately offering a model for how to talk about our failures. Finally, Gari lays out OCV's seven principles of ethical storytelling to help listeners think about not only how they can better share their own stories, but also how they can be better listeners and solicitors of other folks' stories in order to democratize the practice of storytelling in organizing. Note: Transcripts for every podcast episode can be found on the podcast's website under 'Transcripts.' Resources: Marshall Ganz's Public Narrative Storytelling Framework Professor Drew Westen's "The Political Brain" Beyond Legal Aid Our Climate Voices 7 Principles of Ethical Storytelling Our Climate Voices Instagram Our Climate Voices Twitter Bios: Gari De Ramos (she/her) is the Digital Content Director for Our Climate Voices. She is an immigrant dedicated to communicating the climate crisis. Born in the Philippines, raised in Hong Kong and New York, she now studies political science at Clark University. Her international upbringing showed her the borderlessness of climate change and its inequities. In Worcester, Gari worked with the Climate Action Circle to write and pass a Climate Emergency Declaration, where she realized the importance of clear, public communication of climate issues. Outside of Our Climate Voices, Gari is a communications intern at MoveOn and fellow for the Ed Markey for Senate campaign. Lam Nguyen Ho is the Executive Director of Beyond Legal Aid (Beyond). Its model, “community activism lawyering,” shifts the power of the law into the hands of impacted communities by partnering with them to create community-located, community- operated, and community-directed “activism-law programs.” Beyond’s radical network of community programs unites lawyers and activists to brings free legal services to over 4000 people annually, including undocumented immigrants, sex workers, day laborers, and activists, while impacting thousands more through its support of grassroots organizing, advocacy, and activism. Lam graduated from Harvard Law School and holds additional graduate degrees from Brown University and Oxford University. He was previously Chairperson of the Illinois HIV/AIDS Response Review Panel and served on the boards of the Community Law Project and Vietnamese Association of Illinois.
57 minutes | Oct 15, 2020
The 2020 Census and Civic Engagement
Matt, Rocio Ortega, and Dr. Kathleen Yang-Clayton discuss organizing around the census as a lens through which we can better interrogate the role of organizing communities to engage in civic institutions of all forms - including registering and turning out to vote. Kathleen shares her journey in advocacy and organizing for racial equity, her role in administering the 2020 census in Illinois, and why the census is so important. Rocio shares her work in the nonprofit sector, her journey grappling with the label "organizer," and the challenges and lessons learned from her grassroots work to engage "hard to count" communities in Chicago ranging from the homeless population to immigrant communities around the 2020 census. Matt, Kathleen, and Rocio dive into how the Trump Administration and COVID-19 have exacerbated preexisting inequities along racial lines in the census process - and how they've created new ones. They describe the historical distrust in government in many marginalized communities that contribute to low engagement with the census. But they also explore grassroots organizers' role in rebuilding that trust. Then, they explore civic engagement generally in the U.S., the range of cultural attitudes in immigrant communities, for example, concerning civic engagement, and how civic education in K-12 is essential to building engagement in the census and other civic processes over the long-term. Note: Transcripts for every podcast episode can be found on the podcast's website under 'Transcripts.' Resources to learn more about Census + Voter Engagement work: Sincerely Chicago Literacy Works Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community Chicago Votes Bios: Dr. Kathleen Yang-Clayton is a Clinical Assistant professor in the Department of Public Administration, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois-Chicago. She is Director of Undergraduate Studies and Civic Partnerships for the Department, ensuring that the growth and expansion of the bachelor’s degree program in public policy engages the top government, nonprofit and philanthropic leaders in the city and state. Her experience in social justice and racial equity campaigns includes immigrant and voting rights issues, with a current focus on expanding the use of racial equity policy analysis across a range of sectors and issue areas. Her cross-movement work on voting rights resulted in the passage of landmark legislation in Illinois that expanded access to underserved communities through Same Day Registration. She is a co-founder of a racial equity leadership development organization, sits on several boards and associations, is the faculty adviser for UIC’s chapter of the Roosevelt Institute and recipient of a civic engagement research award for UIC faculty by the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement at UIC for spring 2018. Rocio Ortega currently serves at the Chicago Literacy Alliance, a collective of more than 100 organizations helping to meet literacy needs for people of all ages and backgrounds. Her lived experience as a South Side Chicago native cultivated a conviction for civic engagement, youth empowerment, and community development. Her previous experiences include working to transform the industry of cultural exchange, joining the GirlForward family to mentor girls who have been displaced by conflict and persecution, and more recently being selected as a fellow of the Obama Foundation Community Leadership Corps.
46 minutes | Oct 10, 2020
Building Equitable Relationships in Organizing
Matt, Oscar Sanchez, and Tania Anaissie discuss how to build authentic, equitable relationships in our organizing - and how relationships are the fundamental building blocks of our work. They explore the power of building relationships as both invitation into the work and accountability to the work. Oscar shares his personal experience organizing with youth through the Southeast Youth Alliance (SYA). He explores how the jargon of organizing can be barriers to entry for young folks who want to get involved, and how the relationships he's built with young folks have overcome these barriers. From the organizational side, Tania shares her experience working with non-profit leaders to redesign their organizations so that they can build more authentic, equitable relationships with the communities they serve. Oscar, Tania, and Matt explore how organizers can ultimately be bridgebuilders between marginalized communities and inaccessible policy systems through relationship building - and how these relationships can help each of us determine how we can contribute to collective liberation. Note: Transcripts for every podcast episode can be found on the podcast's website under 'Episodes.' Resources: Summary of Liberatory Design from the National Equity Project Beytna Design Liberatory Design Studio Program Southeast Youth Alliance IG Southeast Youth Alliance Facebook Southeast Youth Alliance Twitter Bios: Oscar Sanchez is a local Chicago resident from the southside of Chicago. He has a passion for technological innovation and social development. He’s committed himself to advocate for civil rights at state and local levels for the past several years, having served as a member of the Illinois community college board as well as a member of the Governor of Illinois’ Youth Commission. As well as being highlighted for his work with the Census at the Obama Foundation Summit in 2019. He is now one of the co-Founders of the Southeast Youth Alliance, whose mission is to amplify opportunities for local youth on Chicago's Southeast Side & develop the next generation of community leaders. Tania Anaissie is the Founder and CEO of Beytna Design, an equity-design firm that supports social sector leaders to actualize their commitment to equity. She is a Founding Creator of Liberatory Design, a new practice of human-centered design that incorporates complexity theory and equity practice to drive innovation for equity by addressing root causes. Tania is a Founding Member of the Equity Design Collaborative, a group of leaders building the emerging Equity Design field. Tania is Faculty at The National Equity Project and a Lecturer at the Stanford University d.school. Tania is an expert workshop designer and facilitator with over 9 years of experience leading workshops and classes in 12 countries for over 30 different clients and over 1000 learners. Tania is a graduate of Stanford University's Product Design program and a StartingBloc fellow.
37 minutes | Oct 3, 2020
Activism in 2020
Matt, Rayshauna Gray, and Maya Green discuss the realities of activism and organizing in 2020, from the importance of our own stories to deciding how to get involved and the importance of self-care. They focus on the power of starting with your own story of lived experience. Maya speaks from personal experience around how her story drives her work and was a unique asset that she brought to the table as a young organizer, even if she wasn't familiar with the specific terminology for the systems she was organizing to change in her hometown of Charleston, SC. Rayshauna shares with us how her story drives how she chooses to organize in a time when there are so many ways to get involved and so many issues to tackle. Rayshauna and Maya share how they relate their work and personal stories to the stories of the ancestors, organizers, and activists who've come before them. Matt, Rayshauna, and Maya close out by discussing how relating individual stories to larger histories is fundamentally different for white organizers in this moment who want to support movements like Black Lives Matter, and how this individual understanding and reckoning is necessary to contributing effectively to movements led by black and indigenous people of color. Maya Green is a freshman at Stanford University and an Organizing Coordinator with the student-led nonprofit Student Voice. In high school, in addition to attending an arts school for creative writing, she was a member of the interfaith organizing network Charleston Area Justice Ministry, where she engaged with public officials on issues of affordable housing, public transportation, and racial bias in policing. Rayshauna Gray is invigorated by her work with Harvard University, the Cambridge Historical Society, Boston Book Festival, and National Organization for Women’s Legislative Task Force. Gray's #TheHeartWork framework and workshop series helps people interrogate how imposter syndrome impacts their lives and communities. Gray is from the south side of Chicago.
69 minutes | Oct 3, 2020
Alice and Alex explore their journeys in the disability community, what they've learned from their disability justice work, and what we can all learn from applying a disability justice lens to organizing. They focus on the power of finding community and the importance of interrogating the popular culture of activism and organizing. Alice shares her journey in activism - her grappling with the label itself, its implications, and what activism as a disabled person looks like for her given her work with the Disability Visibility Project and #CripTheVote. Alex shares how her work as an activist grew from her current role in leading work at ADA25 Advancing leadership and her lessons about the true range of forms that organizing and activism can take. She also reflects on her family, being a first generation American, and the intersections of racism, white supremacy, and ableism in current organizing culture. Together, Alex and Alice explore the realities of intersectional organizing as two disabled women of color, the ableism ingrained in organizing culture traditional mindsets and practices, and how we can all learn from disabled activists and organizers to imagine new forms of organizing toward liberation. Note: Transcripts for every podcast episode can be found on the podcast's website under 'Episodes.' Resources Referenced: The Disability Visibility Project "Disability Visibility: First-person Stories for the 21st Century" edited by Alice Wong #CripTheVote Blog post, Alice Wong ADA25 Advancing Leadership ADA25 A.L. Fellow Keidra Chaney's The Learned Fangirl ADA25 A.L. Fellow Whitney Hill's Spork! ADA25 A.L. Fellow Michelle Johnson's "Fighting Fiercely" Bios: Alex Perez-Garcia is a social impact leader who believes in the power of personal narrative, civic engagement, and working together to build capacity and infuse equity in our systems. As Associate Director of Development and Communications at ADA25 Advancing Leadership, she is growing this startup nonprofit organization through strategic high-quality fundraising, community outreach, and internal and external content management. Alice Wong (she/her) is a disabled activist, media maker, and consultant. She is the Founder and Director of the Disability Visibility Project® (DVP), an online community dedicated to creating, sharing and amplifying disability media and culture created in 2014. Currently, Alice is the Editor of "Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-first Century," an anthology of essays by disabled people, available now by Vintage Books (2020).
2 minutes | Sep 26, 2020
Welcome to Youth Organizing X
What does youth organizing look like in practice? How can young people become organizers? How can older organizers support them - and learn from them along the way? Youth Organizing X dives into these questions - and more. Every episode, Matt brings together a younger organizer and an older organizer to explore the practice of youth community organizing. Listen to the trailer for the podcast and hit subscribe for a new episode every Saturday morning.
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