OBP: Rep. Val Demings on combatting domestic terrorism, an entrepreneur & a policymaker on social equity in cannabis industry, and why #OscarsSoWhite still applies today.

This week I spoke with Congresswoman Val Demings (pictured above) about Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, the continued threat of domestic terrorism, and her thoughts on George Floyd’s murder as a former officer of the law. Cannabis entrepreneur Khadijah Adams talked about what it would take to give people of color an equal opportunity in the industry they helped create. And Dianna Houenou of New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission shared what it means to work for social equity in the state’s new cannabis marketplace. Plus, on our weekly roundtable, Sippin’ the Political Tea, Farai welcomed business of entertainment contributor Casey Mendoza and #OscarsSoWhite founder April Reign to talk about what the latest awards nominations say about inclusion in Hollywood.

OBP: A Congresswoman addresses Black maternal death; A study shows why Black women die from Covid-19 more; A seasoned immigration reporter joins roundtable.

This week I spoke with Representative Lauren Underwood (pictured above) about how the federal government can tackle the Black maternal health crisis. Dr. Rachel Hardeman of the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity explained why she focuses on the impact of racism on health. Farai shared the latest findings that Black women are over three times more likely to die of Covid-19 than white men or Asian men in two U.S. states. And we learned about Dr. Justina Ford, a Black doctor in the 1900s who served patients of color in Denver. On Sippin’ the Political Tea, Farai and Errin Haines of the 19th welcomed journalist Fernanda Santos to talk about the state of things at the U.S.-Mexico border, and the possibilities of immigration reform under the Biden-Harris administration.

Our Body Politic: Georgia’s voting restrictions threaten Constitution, Rep. James Clyburn on inevitability of insurrections, Jemele Hill says athletes won’t ever ‘shut up and dribble.’

This week I talked to Nse Ufot (pictured above), CEO of the New Georgia Project, and Tiffany Jeffers, Our Body Politic legal analyst, about the ramifications of Georgia’s restrictive new voting law. House Majority Whip James Clyburn spoke on the need to still work across the aisle. Farai asked EunSook Lee, director of the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund, about the growing political power of Asian-American women. And Farai and Errin Haines of the 19th welcomed writer Jemele Hill to Sippin’ the Political Tea, our weekly roundtable, to talk about voting rights, politics in sports, and the gender pay gap.

OBP: Rep. Ayanna Pressley on “equity, healing, and justice.” Plus, treating gun violence as a public health issue, and why patriarchy threatens all women.

This week I spoke with Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley about her legislative priorities, holding fellow members of Congress accountable for the insurrection, and what keeps her going in the fight for justice. Georgia State Senator Dr. Michelle Au decried anti-Asian American hate and wants fellow politicians to treat gun violence as a public health issue. TransLash Media founder and journalist Imara Jones reflected on her experience of patriarchy and Trump’s weaponization of government against trans people. And our weekly roundtable, Sippin’ the Political Tea, welcomed sociologist Nancy Wang Yuen and podcast host Merk Nguyen to talk with Errin Haines about how Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are experiencing the racial animus of the past year.

And this week, I’ve got a new question for the Our Body Politic community: If you are planning to get or have already been vaccinated, what is the most important thing you want to do once you’ve gotten the vaccine? To respond, click here, or call us at 929-353-7006 and leave a voicemail.

Our Body Politic: WNBA star Layshia Clarendon on personal & political; Washington Post editor examines anti-Asian violence; stories from powerful mothers of civil rights leaders.

This week I talked with WNBA star Layshia Clarendon (pictured above) about their role in pushing the league to engage with politics, and why it’s important for them to proudly share their identity as a Black, trans and nonbinary, Christian person. Marian Liu of the Washington Post examined the shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, that left six Asian women dead, and how race, gender, and immigration underscore what happened. Author Anna Malaika Tubbs shared highlights from her new book about Louise Little, Berdis Baldwin, and Alberta King, the mothers of three important civil rights leaders. And our weekly political roundtable, Sippin’ the Political Tea, welcomed Our Body Politic Executive Producer Juleyka Lantigua-Williams in conversation with Farai and Jess Morales Rocketto, Civic Engagement Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. They discussed the workers who were murdered in Atlanta, the role of Trumpism in rising violence, and what Interior Secretary Deb Haaland intends to focus on.

Our Body Politic: The actual cost of racism in the U.S., One woman’s battle with Covid-19, and Evaluating the Capitol’s Security

This week I dove into the consequences of zero-sum thinking around race with Heather McGhee (pictured above), author of “The Sum of Us.” Marissa Tirona recounted her harrowing experience with Covid-19, one year after her hospitalization in New York City. Our Covid Update examined vaccination rates among people of color. Our Body Politic national security contributor Holli Draines broke down what we need to know about threats to Capitol Hill. And Errin Haines of the 19th and Jess Morales Rocketto of the National Domestic Workers Alliance dissected the Covid relief package, the White House’s latest move on gender policy, and voter suppression in Sippin’ the Political Tea, our weekly political roundtable.

Our Body Politic: How Covid-19 Pandemic raises issues of Ableism, Investment opportunities in WOC entrepreneurs, & Black maternal health disparities in the U.S.

This week we’re recharging and planning ahead. So we’ve curated some of the most interesting conversations Farai Chideya has had with our guests in the last few months. Senator Tammy Duckworth talked about how her service in the military inspired her political leadership, including her advocacy for veterans and people with disabilities. Investor Nathalie Molina Niño explained why it makes business sense to see entrepreneurship by women of color as an investment opportunity. Professor Steven Thrasher explained the ableism that seeps into talk of Covid-19’s disproportionate impact on communities of color, and the creation of what he calls a “viral underclass.” Journalist Leezel Tanglao discussed the platform Tayo Help which disseminates useful information to Filipinos, a population heavily impacted by Covid-19 due to the large number of Filpino healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic. MacArthur Fellow Tressie McMillan Cottom shared her personal story of pregnancy and loss to “reanimate” the worrisome statistics about Black maternal mortality. And futurists Sharon Chang and Kamal Sinclair discussed better ways our country could plan for retirement and work-life balance.

Our Body Politic: Sen. Elizabeth Warren on what economies should do, how Covid-19 Vax protects others, and confronting the stigma of intimate partner violence.

This week, I spoke with Senator Elizabeth Warren (pictured above) about why she still pushes for student debt relief and an increased minimum wage, and why she believes these are racial-justice issues. Epidemiologist and Our Body Politic contributor Dr. Kavita Trivedi responded to our most pressing questions about Covid-19 vaccinations. Film producer and author Tanya Selvaratnam discussed her new book “Assume Nothing: A Story of Intimate Violence.” Plus, our political roundtable with Errin Haines and special guest Brittany Packnett Cunningham, unpacked the racial resentment behind the aftermath of the January 6th insurrection, CPAC, and Senators’ grilling of the Biden-Harris Cabinet picks.

Our Body Politic: Examining a novel way to build Black voting power, Covid-19 vaccination as a global effort, and the limits of inclusion at Golden Globes.

This week, I talked to Charles Blow (pictured above), New York Times opinion columnist and author of “The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto,” about his proposal for building Black political power in the South. Dr. Ashish Jha of Brown University explained why vaccinating against Covid-19 must be a global effort, and Dr. Debra Furr-Holden of Michigan State University said getting Black Americans vaccinated is a key part of that effort. Our business of entertainment contributor Casey Mendoza broke down who was nominated, who was snubbed, and who might be miscategorized at the Golden Globes. And political roundtable regulars Errin Haines and Jess Morales Rocketto explained why it’s important to keep trying to hold former President Trump accountable for his actions, despite his acquittal by the Senate.

Our Body Politic: Tackling racism & sexism in tech, Ecofascism, aftermath of Trump’s 2nd impeachment trial.

This week, my guests and I talked about whistleblowing in the tech industry, how ecofascism happens, and the second Trump impeachment trial. Ifeoma Ozoma (pictured above), founder of Earthseed, talked about the discrimination she says she experienced as a Black woman working at Pinterest, and what she’s doing to protect more whistleblowers through a new California amendment. Technology contributor Mutale Nkonde broke down why the way tech companies treat their employees impacts our everyday lives. And climate writer Mary Annaïse Heglar explained why how white supremacists engage with the climate crisis matters. Plus, Errin Haines of the 19th and Jess Morales Rocketto of the National Domestic Workers Alliance discussed the repercussions of former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, pandemic relief from the Biden-Harris administration, and Stacey Abrams’ plan to strengthen our democracy.

And this week, I’m asking the Our Body Politic community: What is one thing you learned about yourself in the pandemic that makes you happy? To let us know what you think, click here, or call us at 929-353-7006 and leave a voicemail.

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