25 episodes

Listen to first-hand accounts and experiences focused on exposing the root causes of economic exclusion and racial inequity to challenge current inequitable power structures so that everyone can fully participate in the economy, and have the freedom to bring their full selves to our diverse nation. Stay tuned as we’ll publish more stories of race, poverty, and segregation that expose hidden truths about economic exclusion and racial inequity in America.

Hidden Truths Hidden Truths

    • Politics
    • 5.0, 4 Ratings

Listen to first-hand accounts and experiences focused on exposing the root causes of economic exclusion and racial inequity to challenge current inequitable power structures so that everyone can fully participate in the economy, and have the freedom to bring their full selves to our diverse nation. Stay tuned as we’ll publish more stories of race, poverty, and segregation that expose hidden truths about economic exclusion and racial inequity in America.

    Episode 30: We Keep Us Safe with Zach Norris

    Episode 30: We Keep Us Safe with Zach Norris

    Listen to Zach Norris and Jhumpa Bhattacharya discuss systems reform and new visions of public safety as they explore takeaways from Zach’s new book, We Keep Us Safe: Building Secure, Just, and Inclusive Communities.



    Who “deserves” to be safe? And who gets to define safety—and how?

    Zach Norris joined Jhumpa Bhattacharya on the podcast to explore these questions and more through a discussion of his powerful new book, We Keep Us Safe: Building Secure, Just, and Inclusive Communities.

    Zach is the Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and co-founder of Restore Oakland, a community advocacy and training center that aims to empower Bay Area community members to transform local economic and justice systems and make a safe and secure future possible for themselves and for their families. Zach is also a co-founder of Justice for Families, a national alliance of family-driven organizations working to end our nation’s youth incarceration epidemic.

    Sharing detailed case studies and stories, We Keep Us Safe lays out a blueprint for reimagining our vision of public safety and reforming our justice systems in ways that prioritize constructive care and support over fear and punishment. 

    Digging in on the book’s themes and inspiration, Zach and Jhumpa discuss the need to move away from false “he keeps us safe” narratives rooted in white supremacy and patriarchy to a “we keep us safe” model that centers impacted communities and their solutions for change.

    “The leadership of this movement for genuine safety needs to come from people who have been hurt first and worst by mass incarceration,” says Zach. “[This movement] ultimately is for the liberation of everybody in this country.”

    To listen to the full discussion, use the audio player above or subscribe to the Hidden Truths podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or Android. And if you like what you hear, leave a review for Hidden Truths on your favorite podcast platform.

    Read the transcript here or download as a PDF.



    To learn more about Zach Norris and his work, visit ellabakercenter.org and follow Zach on Twitter at @ZachWNorris. Learn more about and purchase Zach’s book, We Keep Us Safe: Building Secure, Just, and Inclusive Communities, here. 

    • 21 min
    Episode 29: Centering Women – It’s More Than Lip Service

    Episode 29: Centering Women – It’s More Than Lip Service

    Listen to Anne Price and Jhumpa Bhattacharya discuss the work of lifting up women and centering Blackness as they reflect on recent trends and ponder new frontiers in racial and gender justice.



    “We still have a long way to go in terms of understanding what it truly means to support women and to support women of color.”

    What would it look like to truly commit to advancing racial and gender equity? Insight’s Anne Price and Jhumpa Bhattacharya joined the podcast to explore this theme while reflecting on recent trends in the field and the future of racial and gender justice work.

    Considering what it would look like to authentically center women, Anne and Jhumpa discussed ways to mine the untapped value of women’s roles and expertise in the economy, including investing them with not only the power to truly lead, but the freedom to fail, through ideation and innovation in the field.

    Highlighting recent and forthcoming work, Anne and Jhumpa also explored the idea of Centering Blackness as a critical lens to break new ground in exposing and countering the deep-seated racial inequities shaping our country’s economy and society.

    By Centering Blackness, we can not only challenge ourselves to reconsider the structures of our society and economy but recognize the ways that anti-Blackness affects us all:

    “I think that [centering and deconstructing anti-Blackness] helps us deal with race and racism in a way that actually doesn’t divide us but actually unifies us – actually helps us build multi-ethnic and racial solidarity,” says Anne, “because we can see how we’re connected through something that was constructed, through something that is threaded through systems and rules and policies and practice and culture.”

    To listen to the full discussion, use the audio player above or subscribe to the Hidden Truths podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or Android. And if you like what you hear, leave a review for Hidden Truths on your favorite podcast platform.

    Read the transcript here or download as a PDF.



    Follow Anne and Jhumpa on Twitter at @AnnePriceICCED and @jhumpa_b and stay connected to learn more about Insight’s forthcoming work on Centering Blackness.

    • 21 min
    Episode 28: Crushing Rural Stereotypes with Kendra Bozarth

    Episode 28: Crushing Rural Stereotypes with Kendra Bozarth

    Listen to Kendra Bozarth and Jhumpa Bhattacharya discuss how disrupting false and reductive narratives about rural America can support more inclusive and responsive policy change. 



    “We have all these big ideas happening right now…but policy change cannot be real until we change the way we talk about policy and people.”

    Rural America is home to a vastly more diverse population – with varied perspectives, needs, and goals – than prevailing political narratives, as well as public policies, represent. Kendra Bozarth, communications manager for the Homecomers with Sarah Smarsh podcast, joined Jhumpa Bhattacharya to discuss the importance of breaking down reductive stereotypes that serve to erase and exclude rural voices and communities. 

    “We’ve really reduced entire communities, entire regions, to these really flawed and, I feel, offensive political headlines,” says Kendra. “In doing so, we’re blanketing over the real experiences of real people. When we paint Kansas, for example, with these broad strokes of red, we’re erasing tons of people, and now we can’t provide them with real solutions.”

    As a Black woman who considers Kansas her home, Kendra shares her story of drawing inspiration from her rural roots in her work for progressive policy change, and she highlights revealing takeaways from the Homecomers with Sarah Smarsh podcast, which tells untold stories of rural and working-class America through the voices of its residents and advocates.

    Kendra is the communications director and chief editor at the Roosevelt Institute, a New York-based think tank that promotes a progressive economic and political worldview. Previously, she worked on state budget and tax policy in Kansas, as part of the Center on Budget’s State Priorities Partnership. 

    To listen to the full discussion, use the audio player above or subscribe to the Hidden Truths podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or Android. And if you like what you hear, leave a review for Hidden Truths on your favorite podcast platform.

    Read the transcript here or download as a PDF.



    Learn more about the Homecomers with Sarah Smarsh podcast by visiting thehomecomers.org and listening to the full series on iTunes or Spotify.

    To learn more about Kendra Bozarth and her work, visit rooseveltinstitute.org and follow her on Twitter.

    • 21 min
    Episode 27: Dr. Lisa D. Cook and Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman

    Episode 27: Dr. Lisa D. Cook and Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman

    Listen to Dr. Lisa D. Cook, Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman, and Jhumpa Bhattacharya discuss the extreme underrepresentation of Black women in economics and why that matters for the field – and for public policy. 





    “If you don’t see yourself in the text, and you don’t see yourself in the classroom, where do you see yourself?”

    Among all recipients of doctoral degrees in economics, only 0.6% in the U.S. are Black women. Why? To explore this issue, Jhumpa Bhattacharya welcomed to the podcast Dr. Lisa D. Cook and Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman, co-authors of a New York Times op-ed spotlighting the severe underrepresentation of Black women in the field of economics. 

    Dr. Lisa D. Cook is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Economics and International Relations at Michigan State University. A former faculty member at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Dr. Cook served as a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Treasury Department and as a Senior Economist on the Obama Administration’s Council of Economic Advisors. She has also held positions or conducted postdoctoral research at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Philadelphia, the World Bank, and the Brookings Institution, among others.

    Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman is a research scholar in economics at Harvard University, as well as a visiting research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a predoctoral trainee of the Inaugural NYU/Schmidt Futures Program. She completed her B.A. in Mathematics, with a minor in Economics, at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, as a Meyerhoff/MARC*U*STAR Scholar. Anna is also co-founder and CEO of ​the Sadie Collective, an organization that seeks to advance the representation of Black women in quantitative fields such as economics, data science, and public policy. 

    Drawing on hard data and their own experiences, Dr. Cook and Ms. Opoku-Agyeman detail the intersecting barriers young Black women face in the field, from exclusionary practices going back to early education to racial and gender bias, stereotypes, and discrimination at the highest levels. Together, they explore the far-reaching consequences of the extreme lack of diversity in economics while discussing the impact of their op-ed in the field and sharing strategies for empowering Black women as scholars and leaders in economics. 

    To listen to the full discussion, use the audio player above or subscribe to the Hidden Truths podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or Android. And if you like what you hear, leave a review for Hidden Truths on your favorite podcast platform.

    Read the transcript here or download as a...

    • 54 min
    Episode 26: Angela Hanks and Janelle Jones

    Episode 26: Angela Hanks and Janelle Jones

    Listen to Angela Hanks, Janelle Jones, Anne Price, and Jhumpa Bhattacharya break down dominant economic myths and narratives while discussing pathways to a more equitable, inclusive economy.



    “We’ve been living through this lie and seeing how it has not delivered for the majority of people in this country.”

    Free markets. Meritocracy. Personal responsibility. These prevailing conservative economic narratives have influenced public policy and perceptions for decades, with profound outcomes for our economy—now marked by record income inequality—and society.

    How can we push back against dominant economic narratives and practices that leave so many people out? And how can we chart a path toward a more inclusive economy that works for everyone?

    Angela Hanks and Janelle Jones, both of the Groundwork Collaborative, joined Anne Price and Jhumpa Bhattacharya on the podcast to dig in on these questions and more.

    Angela Hanks is the Deputy Executive Director of the Groundwork Collaborative and a regular contributor to Forbes.com. She previously held roles at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the Center for American Progress (CAP), and she served as a counsel on Congressman Elijah E. Cummings’ (D-MD) legislative staff.

    Janelle Jones is the Managing Director for Policy and Research at the Groundwork Collaborative. Previously, Janelle was a researcher at the Economic Policy Institute, the Center for Economic Policy Research, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Her research has been cited in The New Yorker, The Economist, Harper’s, The Washington Post, The Review of Black Political Economy, and other publications.

    Angela and Janelle joined Anne and Jhumpa to discuss their efforts to advance a cross-cutting economic narrative for the progressive movement, centered around the idea that “We are the economy.”

    Breaking down the faults and falsehoods of mainstream economic narratives, Angela and Janelle discuss the work and value of seeding a new economic vision that puts people over profits, centers women of color and other historically marginalized groups, and integrates more diverse voices as experts, agents, and stakeholders.

    To listen to the full discussion, use the audio player above or subscribe to the Hidden Truths podcast on Apple Podcasts. 

    Read the transcript here or download as PDF. 



    To learn more about the work of Angela Hanks and Janelle Jones, visit groundworkcollaborative.org.

    • 28 min
    Episode 25: Darris Young

    Episode 25: Darris Young

    Listen to Aisa Villarosa and Darris Young discuss the roots of mass incarceration, pathways for systems change, and Darris’s life and work in becoming a strong advocate for Black and Brown boys, men, and communities.



    “When you believe in the humanity of all people, and you come together on that accord, then you’re able to get [the work] done.”

    Darris Young is the lead Program Associate for the Boys and Men of Color Alliance at the Urban Strategies Council. Born in Oakland, Darris is a national organizer and former counselor who has decades of experience working and partnering with Black and Latinx youth and young adults.

    Darris joined Insight’s Aisa Villarosa on the podcast to discuss his advocacy work through the Oakland-based Urban Strategies Council, where he collaborates through a number of coalitions to advance education reform, workforce development, violence prevention, and other community-based priorities.

    Recounting his journey to advocacy work, Darris discussed his background growing up in the East Bay amid the Black Panther movement, his experience as a police officer, and his transition from justice system involvement to counseling and community organizing.

    Tracing this path, Darris and Aisa examine the origins and impact of mass incarceration and other forms of systemic racism and oppression, and they dig in on the spirit of resistance, collaboration, and shared humanity that informs Darris’s tireless work for systems change.

    To listen to the full discussion, use the audio player above or subscribe to the Hidden Truths podcast on Apple Podcasts. 

    Read the transcript here or download as PDF. 



    To learn more about Darris’s work, visit the Urban Strategies Council at urbanstrategies.org. 

    RESOURCES:

    Amended Senate Bill No. 310 

    “Our Voice Matters: Support ACA 6: Restore Voting Rights to Californians on Parole.” 

    “Convicted Felons Closer to Serving on California Juries.” 

    • 32 min

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