17 episodes

How To Citizen with Baratunde reimagines the word “citizen” as a verb and reminds us how to wield our collective power. So many of us want to do more in response to the problems we hear about constantly, but where and how to participate can leave us feeling overwhelmed and helpless. Voting, while critically important, simply isn’t enough. It takes more to make this experiment in self-governance work! Listen in to learn new perspectives and practices from people working to improve society for the many. Join writer, activist, and comedian Baratunde Thurston on a journey beyond politics as usual that will leave us all more hopeful, connected, and moved to act.

How To Citizen with Baratunde iHeartRadio

    • How To
    • 4.8 • 23 Ratings

How To Citizen with Baratunde reimagines the word “citizen” as a verb and reminds us how to wield our collective power. So many of us want to do more in response to the problems we hear about constantly, but where and how to participate can leave us feeling overwhelmed and helpless. Voting, while critically important, simply isn’t enough. It takes more to make this experiment in self-governance work! Listen in to learn new perspectives and practices from people working to improve society for the many. Join writer, activist, and comedian Baratunde Thurston on a journey beyond politics as usual that will leave us all more hopeful, connected, and moved to act.

    Baratunde ends Season One focused on the state of our relationships, a key pillar of how to citizen, and thus the health of our society after the most contentious election in modern history

    Baratunde ends Season One focused on the state of our relationships, a key pillar of how to citizen, and thus the health of our society after the most contentious election in modern history

    Baratunde ends Season One focused on the state of our relationships, a key pillar of how to citizen, and thus the health of our society after the most contentious election in modern history. In conversation with world-renowned relationship expert, Esther Perel, they discuss how to repair relationships in this moment, and how choosing to listen and humanize each other is not only how to citizen, but enlightened self-interest.  
    Show Notes + Links
    We are grateful to Esther Perel for joining us!
    Follow her @EstherPerelOfficial on IG or @estherperel on Twitter. or find more of her work at EstherPerel.com. 
    We will post this episode, a transcript, show notes and more at howtocitizen.com.
    Please show your support for the show in the form of a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!

     INTERNAL ACTIONS 
    What is your model of relationships?
    Were you raised to believe in self-reliance and autonomy or interdependence and loyalty? Do you conceive of yourself as an “I” trying to develop a “We” or the other way around?
     
    Take inventory of the relationships in your life. 
    Identify relationships in your life that are polarized over politics. Determine which make you truly unsafe that you must let go, then focus on those where you are still committed to some level of relationship and you can still see possibility. In those relationships, make the choice to humanize the person, listen, and find common ground, no matter how small. Reflect on your own behavior and language. Can you acknowledge any responsibility for the state of the relationship?
     
    Examine your own perspectives about people who vote differently than you. 
    What about your view or beliefs about “these people” makes you fearful? If these thoughts were reversed, would they sound fair or accurate to you? Can you imagine another dimension to one of them as to why they vote or behave the way they do? 
     
    EXTERNAL ACTIONS
    Choose to deepen one or two relationships with people who voted differently from you.
    Instead of ignoring how a loved one voted, practice engaging through questions, not arguments. Be curious. Remember the question from Eric Liu in Ep 2: “what are you afraid of?” and add “what do you hope for?” and “what do you care about?”

    Build and invest in relationships outside of politics.
    We need more excuses to connect with each other beyond politics. In our second episode, Eric Liu asked us to start a club, any club. Do it. If you’re already in one or more, good for you. Stay connected to others through the common interests you share. Invest in those relationships. 
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    If you take any of these actions, share that with us - action@howtocitizen.com. Mention Humanize in the subject line. And share about your citizening on social media using #howtocitizen. 
    SEASON BREAK NOTES
    Thrilled at the response. - example of quotes about the show, slack, inbox, or reviews in itunes. If you’ve enjoyed, the NUMBER ONE WAY PODCAST GROW are by word of mouth. Tell someone about the show or your favorite episode. 
    Thanks for riding with us this season. Here’s the news on the future of this show: There’s a future of this show! We will be making a second season and expect to release it in the first quarter of 2021. 
    We might drop some special episodes during this transition period for our country and our podcast, but here’s some ways to stay connected…

    Baratunde and show social @baratunde on socials. @howtocitizenwithbaratunde on IG 202-894-8844 “citizen”

    Send us email or voice memo! on what you’ve thought of season 1 and what you’d want to hear in season 2. comments@howtocitizen.com

    Listen back to season 1,


    Visit Baratunde's website to sign up for his newsletter to learn about upcoming guests, live tapings, and more. Follow him on Instagram or jo

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Unwavering Kindness as Our Pandemic Response (with Dr. Michael Osterholm)

    Unwavering Kindness as Our Pandemic Response (with Dr. Michael Osterholm)

    Baratunde reflects on Election Day and contemplates the record set this week for positive COVID cases recorded in a single day. He speaks to his trusted source for all things pandemic response, Dr. Michael Osterholm, and learns about the "pandemic of kindness" that Dr. Osterholm hopes will be more contagious than the virus in the coming weeks. Dr. Osterholm shares how he keeps moving forward despite the dire facts, and he wrestles with the injustice of people of color being disproportionately impacted by the disease. Listen to his weekly COVID podcast, The Osterholm Update, here.
    Show Notes + Links
    We are grateful to Dr. Michael Osterholm for joining us!
    Follow him on Twitter @mtosterholm and @CIDRAP. You can learn more about the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota here. 
    We will post this episode, a transcript, show notes and more at howtocitizen.com.
    Please show your support for the show in the form of a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!
    HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW. ACTIONS FOR THIS EPISODE. 
    This is another critical moment in the pandemic and we can't take our eyes off the ball of suppressing the disease and stopping its spread.  
    INTERNAL ACTIONS 
    Subscribe to the Osterholm Update podcast. 
    It’s weekly. It’s honest. It’s essential. https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/covid-19/podcasts-webinars
    Think about the worst and the best with this pandemic. 
    What’s the worst you’ve experienced? Job loss. Loss of a loved one? Make a little space to grieve and acknowledge that. What’s the best? Have you had quality time with friends? Did you finally clean your garage? Embrace those positives without guilt or shame. Embrace the good and the bad from this year and know that you are not alone. 
    Recommit to suppressing the virus. 
    We know it’s hard. We are tired and angry. Let’s remember why we are making sacrifices: to save lives; to keep our healthcare system from being overrun. Keep physical distance. Wear masks. Wash hands. Let’s dig deep and rediscover the spirit of shared sacrifice that has enabled us to rise to other occasions. 
    EXTERNAL ACTIONS
    If you can, support a local COVID relief fund.
    Search for “donate Covid relief fund” and the name of your city. There are so many people in need. If you have something to give to help folks through this please do. 
    Be kind. Spread a pandemic of kindness. 
    Do something nice and unexpected for someone today. Repeat tomorrow. And tell us about it. Even try to stretch beyond your comfort zone as we live in these unprecedented times.
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    If you take any of these actions, share that with us - action@howtocitizen.com. Mention Unwavering Kindness in the subject line. And share about your citizening on social media using #howtocitizen. 
    We love feedback from our listeners - comments@howtocitizen.com. 
    Visit Baratunde's website to sign up for his newsletter to learn about upcoming guests, live tapings, and more. Follow him on Instagram or join his Patreon. You can even text him, like right now at 202-894-8844.
    How To Citizen with Baratunde is a production of I iHeart Radio Podcasts. executive produced by Miles Gray, Nick Stumpf, Elizabeth Stewart, and Baratunde Thurston. Produced by Joelle Smith, edited by Justin Smith. Powered by you.
    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

    • 56 min
    Flexing Our Civil Resistance Muscle (with Jamila Raqib)

    Flexing Our Civil Resistance Muscle (with Jamila Raqib)

    Baratunde wrestles with how to handle rising political violence in the U.S. by learning from a leading steward of strategic nonviolent action. Jamila Raqib, executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution, shares lessons on the superiority of nonviolent approaches to change, options for defending democracy against authoritarianism, and tips on what to do if a certain head of state refuses to leave office. Hypothetically. 
    Show Notes + Links
    We are grateful to Jamila Rahib for joining us!
    Follow her on Twitter @jamilaraqib. You can learn more about The Albert Einstein Institute at https://www.aeinstein.org/. 
    We will post this episode, a transcript, show notes and more at howtocitizen.com.
    Please show your support for the show in the form of a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!
    HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW. ACTIONS FOR THIS EPISODE. 
    INTERNAL ACTIONS (Actions that help you reflect and explore your emotions and experiences related to these topics or personal actions that don’t involve others)

    Give energy and attention to what you WANT for our country 
    If you journal, pray, meditate or do yoga, use your practice between now and the election to center yourself on what you want to happen. Developing that clear picture first will help you emotionally and psychologically prepare to respond if it doesn’t go the way you want. Walk that fine line with me!! 

    For a powerful visioning example, see this proposed 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution organized by the Brooklyn Public Library. https://www.bklynlibrary.org/28th-amendment 

    Look through the 198 methods at the Albert Einstein Institution https://www.aeinstein.org/nonviolentaction/198-methods-of-nonviolent-action/ 
    Identify any you’ve already employed. Congrats! You’re a strategic nonviolent activist already!


    EXTERNAL ACTIONS (Public actions that require relationships and interaction with others) 
    Contribute to building our collective civil resistance muscle through the actions below.

    Share this site that Jamila mentioned with examples and stories about nonviolent action https://wagingnonviolence.org/ 

    Attend a Choose Democracy workshop on “How To Defeat An Election-Related Power Grab”
    Find trainings at https://choosedemocracy.us/, take the pledge on the home page, and check out the action center. 

    Engage in action recommended by “Hold The Line” and tell others about it
    https://holdthelineguide.com/
    Volunteers created this 55-page guide for the situation we’re in. It includes methods to set up election protection efforts in your community, attend workshops for non-violent resistance, and get your elected officials, police, and military to commit to upholding democracy. 

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    If you take any of these actions, share that with us - action@howtocitizen.com. Mention Returning Citizens in the subject line. And share about your citizening on social media using #howtocitizen. 
    We love feedback from our listeners - comments@howtocitizen.com. 
    Visit Baratunde's website to sign up for his newsletter to learn about upcoming guests, live tapings, and more. Follow him on Instagram or join his Patreon. You can even text him, like right now at 202-894-8844.
    How To Citizen with Baratunde is a production of I iHeart Radio Podcasts. executive produced by Miles Gray, Nick Stumpf, Elizabeth Stewart, and Baratunde Thurston. Produced by Joelle Smith, edited by Justin Smith. Powered by you.
    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

    • 57 min
    Making Our Returning Citizens Whole (with Desmond Meade)

    Making Our Returning Citizens Whole (with Desmond Meade)

    Baratunde learns to think about sacrifice and having skin in the game in terms of a ham, egg, and cheese sandwich analogy. Desmond Meade, founder of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), reminds us that to error is human and the need for second chances, and how that reminder mobilized a grassroots citizen’s movement that transcended racial and political lines to restore voting rights to 1.4 million Floridians with past felony convictions. 

    Show Notes + Links
    We are grateful to Desmond Meade for joining us. 
    Follow on Twitter. You can learn more about the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition at https://floridarrc.com/.
    Find Desmond on Twitter @DesmondMeade or on instagram @DesmondMeade44
    We will post this episode, a transcript, show notes and more at howtocitizen.com.
    Please show your support for the show in the form of a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!
    HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW. ACTIONS FOR THIS EPISODE. 
    INTERNAL ACTIONS (Actions that help you reflect and explore your emotions and experiences related to these topics or personal actions that don’t involve others)
    Do you know anyone that you love that’s ever made a mistake?
    This is the question Desmond used to erase the lines that separate us, and create a circle of humanity around voting rights restoration. Think about it for yourself. 

    Are you the chicken, the cow, or the pig? 
    According to Desmond, in a ham and cheese omelet, the cow makes a contribution; the chicken makes a contribution; the pig makes a commitment. We need all three. Put another way, what role are you going to play?

    Read Desmond’s Book
    Let My People Vote: My battle to restore the civil rights of returning citizens. Find it in our online bookstore at bookshop.org/shop/howtocitizen. 

    EXTERNAL ACTIONS (Public actions that require relationships and interaction with others) 
    Support the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
    https://floridarrc.com/volunteer/ Donate or volunteer.

    Find other people to take to the polls
    We’ve said this before, but talk about voting. All the time. On your Zooms. On the bus! While waving to your neighbors. Make sure people you are interacting with have voted or have a plan to vote and then follow up. 

    Spread good news
    Even if the victory is small, tell others. We are drowning in depressing information and uninspiring narratives. Be a part of changing that. Find some good news related to this election or our democracy, and tell everyone! Here’s a great resource: https://www.solutionsjournalism.org/hub 

    ------------------------------------------------------
    If you take any of these actions, share that with us - action@howtocitizen.com. Mention Returning Citizens in the subject line. And share about your citizening on social media using #howtocitizen. 
    We love feedback from our listeners - comments@howtocitizen.com. 
    Visit Baratunde's website to sign up for his newsletter to learn about upcoming guests, live tapings, and more. Follow him on Instagram or join his Patreon. You can even text him, like right now at 202-894-8844
    How To Citizen with Baratunde is a production of I iHeart Radio Podcasts. executive produced by Miles Gray, Nick Stumpf, Elizabeth Stewart, and Baratunde Thurston. Produced by Joelle Smith, edited by Justin Smith. Powered by you.
    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

    • 40 min
    Making Our Presence Felt (with Angela Lang and Quentin Palfrey)

    Making Our Presence Felt (with Angela Lang and Quentin Palfrey)

    Baratunde digs into the feeling of disconnect and neglect felt by the black community in Milwaukee during the 2016 election and learns from Angela Lang, Executive Director of Black Leaders Organizing Communities (BLOC MKE). They are changing what it means to get people politically engaged in their community, and it doesn’t start with knocking on doors, begging for votes two months before an election! Quentin Palfrey also weighs in on how data scientists and lawyers are uniting on the ground to stop voter suppression, especially targeting communities of color. 

    Show Notes + Links
    We are grateful to Angela Lang and Quentin Palfrey for joining us. 
    Follow @angela_lang and @blocbyblocMKE on Twitter. You can learn more about the BLOC MKE at https://www.blocbybloc.org/ and in this press piece here. 
    Follow @qpalfrey and @protectthevote on Twitter. You can learn more about Voter Protection Corp at https://www.voter-protection.org/.
    We will post this episode, a transcript, show notes and more at howtocitizen.com.
    Please show your support for the show in the form of a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!

    HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW. ACTIONS FOR THIS EPISODE. 

    INTERNAL ACTIONS (Actions that help you reflect and explore your emotions and experiences related to these topics or personal actions that don’t involve others)
    What does it mean for your community to thrive?
    This is the question BLOC asks the people of Milwaukee, and we want you to answer it for yourself. Yes, it could be speedbumps. It is probably more. Think about it. Write it down. 
    Real change starts by doing the hard internal work. Let’s keep it up!
    In June, many of us participated in Black Lives Matter protests, posted BLM messages on our instagrams and bought all the books on how to be anti-racist. Have you read the books, continued to share content from organizations, activists, artists, and business owners within the Black community since then? Time to revisit and re-engage. 

    EXTERNAL ACTIONS (Public actions that require relationships and interaction with others) 
    Support BLOC MKE
    As a grassroots organization, they need our support to be able to go deep in engaging their community in and out of election cycles. You can give to their non-partisan or partisan arm at https://www.blocbybloc.org/donations. 
    Volunteer to be a Voter Guardian in Milwaukee. 
    BLOC MKE is training people to monitor the polls for intimidation and are trained to de-escalate situations in lieu of calling the police. You can message them if you’d like to be trained and help ensure people feel free and safe to cast their ballots. Contact them at https://www.blocbybloc.org/contact/ and mention Voter Guardian and How to Citizen in the subject line. 
    Volunteer to be a poll worker. 
    Sign up to be a poll worker through Voter Protection Corp at https://www.voter-protection.org/be-a-pollworker. The more poll workers the better to help reduce long lines. 
    ------------------------------------------------------
    If you take any of these actions, share that with us - action@howtocitizen.com. Mention Making Our Presence Felt in the subject line. And brag online about your citizening on social media using #howtocitizen. 
    We love feedback from our listeners - comments@howtocitizen.com. 
    Visit Baratunde's website to sign up for his newsletter to learn about upcoming guests, live tapings, and more. Follow him on Instagram or join his Patreon. You can even text him, like right now at 202-894-8844.
    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

    • 57 min
    Making Our Votes Count (with Sherrilyn Ifill)

    Making Our Votes Count (with Sherrilyn Ifill)

    Baratunde speaks with Sherrilyn Ifill, the President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund about the very long history of voter suppression, why it still exists (hint: white supremacy and racism), and the current tactics being deployed for the 2020 election.

    Show Notes + Links
    We are grateful to Sherrilyn Ifill for joining us. 
    Follow her at @Sifill_LDF and @NAACP_LDF on Twitter. You can learn more about the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund at https://www.naacpldf.org/.
    We will post this episode, a transcript, show notes and more at howtocitizen.com.
    Please show your support for the show in the form of a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!
    HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW. ACTIONS FOR THIS EPISODE. 

    INTERNAL ACTIONS
    Become educated on the systems of oppression so you know the roots and how to fight back.
    Two good books to start with for a comprehensive take. 

    Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X Kendi

    Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B Wells

    You can buy these books and support local bookstores using our show’s bookshop.org link https://bookshop.org/shop/howtocitizen 
    Understand the Voting Rights Act and how the Shelby decision changed everything. 
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/07/how-shelby-county-broke-america/564707/
    Make your voting plan.
    Visit www.morethanavote.org to make your voting plan. This is the organization that LeBron James helped start, and they’ve partnered with a number of groups including Sherrilyn and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. 
    Also visit https://votesaveamerica.com/plan/ the newly released tool from Vote Save America to get ready with a sample ballot for your area to plan your voting so you can be EFFICIENT at the voting booth. 

    EXTERNAL ACTIONS
    Find out the EXACT requirements of mail-in or absentee ballots in your state and share them so every vote is counted.
    The requirements and directions for voting by mail differ by state. Some require signatures by a witness on the outside of the envelope along with the witness’s address and your signature. Some require using two envelopes when mailing them back. Get the details from a trusted source or from the ballot itself and remind people to triple check these details!
    Be a democracy team captain.
    Take the lead in making sure at least three people you know vote. Follow up with them often until they have voted. Ask each one to do the same!
    Compile key information about voting and vote by mail for your state. Then simplify the directions for those you are taking responsibility for, and share resources with them. Here are two comprehensive and easy to understand sites summarizing the steps for each state: 


    https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/how-to-vote-2020/  


    https://votesaveamerica.com/states/ 


    Finally, offer to provide a witness signature for the mail-in ballot envelope if that’s required, or offer to deliver their ballot to the drop-off location if they are unable to do so themselves.
    Support the polls.
    Bring water, masks, gloves, umbrellas, and other supplies to share with people waiting in long lines to support the polls. If you’re an artist, consider bringing your talents to the public as people wait in line. They will love you for it. 
    ------------------------------------------------------
    If you take any of these actions, share that with us - action@howtocitizen.com. Mention Making Our Vote Count in the subject line. Also share your citizening on social media using #howtocitizen. 
    We love feedback from our listeners - comments@howtocitizen.com. 
    Visit Baratunde's website to sign up for his newsletter to learn about upcoming guests, live tapings, and more. Follow him on Instagram or join his Patreon. You can even text him, like right now at 202-894-8844.
    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

Ladita ,

Necessary listening!

These conversations are so needed! Thank you Baratunde.

EllasTravels ,

Brilliant

Loved the episode with Eric Liu so much - I’m going back to listen again and make some notes!
A really empowering show

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