elections

8: MANAR WAHEED | People, Power & People Power

MANAR WAHEED has spent her adult life fighting for the most vulnerable among us – survivors of violence, immigrants, Muslims, undocumented Americans, and now she’s fighting for ALL of us.

As Legislative & Advocacy Counsel of ACLU National, Manar is literally on the front lines of challenging Donald Trump’s ongoing destruction of our federal government, and Constitutional rights and protections. Her journey is one focused on protecting people, building power and harnessing people power to meet this moment.

In this conversation, Manar shares some incredible stories and powerful learnings from her time:

  • growing up in Texarkana, TX as the child of immigrants who came from humble beginnings in Pakistan
  • working with domestic violence survivors through undergrad, law school, and the beginning of her legal career
  • advocating with the government and in local communities for the rights of South Asians in America in the aftermath of 9/11
  • serving in the Obama White House Domestic Policy Council where she helped develop and implement President Obama’s executive actions on immigration and helped dismantle a national Muslim registry program created after 9/11
  • joining the de facto leader of the resistance to the Trump administration, the ACLU

Since election day, the ACLU has been mounting some of the most prominent legal challenges to the Trump administration. They’re fighting hard on more than 60 critical issues threatening fundamental rights, and they’ve scored a string of major victories.

For 98 years, the ACLU has defended our Constitution in the courts. Now, they’re coupling that legal power with People Power — and taking their fight to the streets with grassroots action to resist the Trump administration’s assault on our communities.

Links to stuff we mentioned in this episode:

7: REV. JEN BAILEY | Sacredness & Healing the Movement

REV. JENNIFER BAILEY is one of a growing number of millennial faith leaders at the forefront of helping strangers come together to explore their social and spiritual identities, and visible differences. Growing up in the small, mostly white town of Quincy, IL led Jen to find her sense of self in the black church, which led her to interfaith engagement and service work as a college student in Chicago and later to divinity school in Nashville. 

Rev. Jennifer Bailey speaking at poverty hearing in Brown Chapel in Selma, AL (2015).

She is the founding executive director of the Faith Matters Network, which is a collective of people of color who train, convene, and amplify voices of marginalized people of faith to chart a new moral horizon.

Named one of “15 Faith Leaders to Watch” by the Center for American Progress, Jen is an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, a public theologian, and an emerging national leader in the multi-faith movement for justice.

She is also an Ashoka and Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellow, and she’s currently working on her first book, tentatively titled Confessions of a #Millennial #Minister.

In this conversation, Jen shares:

  • her road to service and intersectional spirituality
  • why she pursued the clergy when so many millennials are leaving faith
  • and what she’s learning about identity, intersectionality and healing justice as a new kind of faith leader on the front lines of multiple movements today

Check out her incredible TEDx Talk Composting Religion.

Links to all the stuff Jen & Edina talk about in this episode:

5: AMANDA LITMAN | Run for Something, Do it Local

As the head of email marketing director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, AMANDA LITMAN had every right to shut down and unplug after her candidate’s shocking loss to Donald Trump. But instead, just three months later on Inauguration Day, she helped launch an organization called Run for Something, to encourage and support millennials to run for state and local office.

Since then, over 17,000 millennials have signed up. In 2017, Run for Something endorsed 72 first-time candidates in 14 states — and 35 won. In the first few rounds of primaries which have taken place so far, more than a dozen Run for Something candidates have advanced to the general election in November. Plus, their endorsed candidates are nearly half women and/or people of color, and are poised to change the face of public service as we know it.

In this conversation, Edina and Amanda talk about her journey, working for the Obama and Clinton campaigns, what she’s learning about the new candidates and new voters of America, and her predictions for the election season ahead.

Other stuff they mention in this episode: