30 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

    • Society & Culture
    • 3.7 • 2K 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.

    Comedians Who Read the Newspaper (with Hari Kondabolu)

    Comedians Who Read the Newspaper (with Hari Kondabolu)

    If we’ve learned anything in Season 2 of How To Citizen with Baratunde, it’s that it takes a village, and by that, I mean the entire global community. From leaders of nonprofits, to Wall Street entrepreneurs, we need everyone to come together to build the economy we all deserve. And that even includes comedians. In this episode, we speak with fellow podcaster and comedian Hari Kondabolu about comedy’s role in shaping our future. 
    Guest: Hari Kondabolu - comedian, writer & podcaster
    Twitter: @harikondabolu
    Bio: Hari Kondabolu is a comedian, writer & podcaster based in Brooklyn, NY. He has been described by The NY Times as “one of the most exciting political comics in stand-up today.” In 2018, his Netflix special “Warn Your Relatives” was released and he was named one of Variety’s Top 10 Comics To Watch. Regarding his special, The NY Times wrote ” it was an artistic breakthrough for him, an incisively funny and formally adventurous hour that reveals a comic in command of his powers.”

    SHOW NOTES + LINKS
    Go to howtocitizen.com to sign up for show news, AND (coming soon!) to start your How to Citizen Practice.
    Please show your support for the show in the form of a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!
    We are grateful to Hari Kondabolu for joining us! Follow him at @harikondabolu on Twitter, or find more of his work at harikondabolu.com.

    ACTIONS
    PERSONALLY REFLECT 
    When have you grown or helped others grow?
    Hari reminded us that just because we’ve done wrong doesn’t mean we must accept wrong and that we can grow from mistakes. When have you grown from a mistake, and did others help you? When have you helped others grow? 
     
    BECOME INFORMED
    Tune Into Hari
    Give Hari some love and support him by checking out The Problem with Apu streaming on HBO MAX, and his Netflix special Warn Your Relatives. 
     
    PUBLICLY PARTICIPATE
    Immigrant Rights
    Legal citizenship is something many of us take for granted and others struggle to achieve. Support the work of RAICES which helps refugees and immigrants navigate the confusing and often dangerous process of migration. https://www.raicestexas.org/take-action/ 
     
    If you take any of these actions, share that with us - action@howtocitizen.com. Mention Comedians Who Read the Newspaper in the subject line. And share about your citizening on social media using #howtocitizen. 
    Visit the show's homepage - www.howtocitizen.com - to sign up for news about the show, to learn about upcoming guests, live tapings, and more for your citizen journey.
    Also sign up for Baratunde's weekly Recommentunde Newsletter and follow him on Instagram or join his Patreon. You can even text him, like right now at 202-894-8844.

    CREDITS
    How To Citizen with Baratunde is a production of iHeartRadio Podcasts and Dustlight Productions. Our Executive Producers are Baratunde Thurston, Elizabeth Stewart and Misha Euceph. Stephanie Cohn is our Senior Producer and Alie Kilts is our Producer. Kelly Prime is our Editor. Original Music by Andrew Eapen. Valentino Rivera is our Engineer. Sam Paulson is our Apprentice. This episode was produced and sound designed by Alie Kilts. Special thanks to Joelle Smith from iHeartRadio.
    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    • 51 min
    Baratunde Reflects on Season Two

    Baratunde Reflects on Season Two

    “It’s hard to citizen when you can’t pay the bills.” This season’s theme has revealed the economic causes of our deep division and has opened our eyes to how our democracy and economic well-being are incredibly interconnected. This week, Baratunde weaves together lessons from across this season, discovers surprising takeaways, and revisits stories that have more in common than we expected when we set out to make this season. Listen to a virtual conversation among our guests that will reveal new insights. 

    Show Notes + Links
    Go to howtocitizen.com to sign up for show news, AND (coming soon!) to start your How to Citizen Practice. And become a paid subscriber to newsletter.baratunde.com for ad-free versions of the podcast.
    Please show your support for the show in the form of a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!

    ACTIONS
    PERSONALLY REFLECT 
    Reflect on the Season
    Ask yourself, how did this season make you feel? How has it challenged you and what have you learned? And if you're comfortable sharing, we’d love to hear from you! Send an email to comments@howtocitizen.com or leave a voice memo with feedback in general, how does citizen.com/voicemail
     
    BECOME INFORMED
    Keep Learning
    Understanding the economy and the structures behind it is essential to being able to participate as a citizen in our democracy. We hope we have made that case this season, but there’s always more to learn. Head over to www.bookshop.org/shop/howtocitizen for plenty of reading materials from the season including titles written and recommended by our guests. We particularly recommend Heather McGhee’s The Sum of Us and Jessica Gordon Nembhard’s Collective Courage. 
     
    PUBLICLY PARTICIPATE
    Choose your own 
    We’ve asked you to do a lot this season, from joining the fight for a $15 minimum wage to supporting various bills to investing in non-extractive real estate. And sometimes, it’s hard to know where to start. All of the actions from this season will be available at howtocitizen.com, plus we are designing a choose your own adventure to help you get started on, or further deepen, your citizen practice. Sign up for our email newsletter to stay connected as the digital arm of the show launches later in Summer 2021- visit www.howtocitizen.com to sign up!
    If you take any of these actions, share that with us - action@howtocitizen.com. Mention in the subject line. And share about your citizening on social media using #howtocitizen. 
    Also sign up for Baratunde's weekly Recommentunde Newsletter and follow him on Instagram. You can even text him, like right now at 202-894-8844.

    CREDITS
    How To Citizen with Baratunde is a production of iHeartRadio Podcasts and Dustlight Productions. Our Executive Producers are Baratunde Thurston, Elizabeth Stewart, and Misha Euceph. Stephanie Cohn is our Senior Producer and Alie Kilts is our Producer. Kelly Prime is our Editor. Original Music by Andrew Eapen. Valentino Rivera is our Engineer. Sam Paulson is our Apprentice. This episode was produced and sound designed by Stephanie Cohn. Special thanks to Joelle Smith from iHeartRadio.

    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    • 41 min
    In People We Trust (with Aisha Nyandoro)

    In People We Trust (with Aisha Nyandoro)

    This week, Baratunde digs into the world of Universal Basic Income and Guaranteed Income, in other words distributing money, much like we do when we subsidize farmers or oil companies, but instead to individual households. Where does this money come from? Who gets the money? Will people still work? What will people even spend it on? And how on earth does free cash help our economy? Baratunde sits down with Aisha Nyandoro to find out what exactly happens when you give people in extreme poverty a thousand dollars a month, no strings attached.  
    Guest: Aisha Nyandoro - CEO of Springboard To Opportunities
    Twitter: @aisha_nyandoro
    Bio: Aisha Nyandoro is the Chief Executive Officer of Springboard To Opportunities. Springboard provides strategic, direct support to residents of affordable housing. The organization’s service delivery model uses a “radically resident-driven” approach designed to improve quality of life and end the generational poverty trajectory.

    SHOW NOTES + LINKS
    Go to howtocitizen.com to sign up for show news, AND (coming soon!) to start your How to Citizen Practice.
    Please show your support for the show in the form of a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!
    We are grateful to Aisha Nyandoro for joining us! Follow Aisha at @aisha_nyandoro on Twitter and learn more about Springboard to Opportunities and Magnolia Mother’s Trust.

    ACTIONS
    PERSONALLY REFLECT 
    Change the story
    Consider the commonly told stories you’ve heard about poverty in America. Stories like “people are poor because of bad choices,” “poor folks are uneducated,” and “never give spare change to a homeless person because they’ll use it on drugs.” Now flip those stories. Think about the systems at play that keep people poor. Things like predatory payday lending, doctor-prescribed opioids, red-lining, social welfare programs with unrealistic thresholds, and drug-related incarceration rates for people of color. Who is benefiting from these misleading narratives, and keeping certain segments of society poor?
     
    BECOME INFORMED
    Look for other models
    Universal Basic Income and Guaranteed Income has been tested in a few different countries, regions, cities, and towns. So do some reading, and find out what the economists say about these programs. Check out this article from Vox listing out everywhere that has tried these programs and what learnings came out of each program. You can also check out the results from the most recent UBI experiment in Stockton, CA that spanned the course of two years. Learn about it here. 
     
    PUBLICLY PARTICIPATE
    Donate to Magnolia Mother’s Trust
    Got some capital you’re looking to liberate? This one is simple. Donate to Magnolia Mother’s Trust. Checkout springboardto.org/magnolia-mothers-trust/ to find out how. If you are sold on UBI as a part of the solution, get involved with others in the Income Movement and attend or sponsor a march near you planned for Sept 25th, 2021. 

    If you take any of these actions, share that with us - action@howtocitizen.com. Mention In People We Trust in the subject line. And share about your citizening on social media using #howtocitizen. 
    Visit the show's homepage - www.howtocitizen.com - to sign up for news about the show, to learn about upcoming guests, live tapings, and more for your citizen journey.
    Also sign up for Baratunde's weekly Recommentunde Newsletter and follow him on Instagram or join his Patreon. You can even text him, like right now at 202-894-8844.

    CREDITS
    How To Citizen with Baratunde is a production of iHeartRadio Podcasts and Dustlight Productions. Our Executive Producers are Baratunde Thurston, Elizabeth Stewart, and Misha Euceph. Stephanie Cohn is our Senior Producer and Alie Kilts is our Producer. Kelly Prime is our Editor. Original Music by Andrew Eapen. Valentino Rivera is our Engineer. Sam Paulson

    • 47 min
    Not Another Patchouli-Soaked Co-Op (with Jamila Medley)

    Not Another Patchouli-Soaked Co-Op (with Jamila Medley)

    Workers have long been excluded from financial gains when businesses become profitable, and wages are no longer a way to create stability and build wealth. Cooperatives were created to combat this very problem. This week features Jamila Medley, the former Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA), a co-op OF co-ops. PACA works to support this business model across industries, from food, to banking, to electricity!
    Guest: Jamila Medley - Former Executive Director of Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance
    Twitter: @PhillyCoops
    Bio: Jamila Medley is a passionate advocate and educator for the advancement and growth of the cooperative economy. In her work with existing and start-up co-ops, she provides support for leadership development, cooperative economics education, navigating group dynamics, and creating adaptive systems to support group process and learning. 

    SHOW NOTES + LINKS
    Go to howtocitizen.com to sign up for show news, AND (coming soon!) to start your How to Citizen Practice.
    Please show your support for the show in the form of a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!
    We are grateful to Jamila Medley for joining us! Follow PACA at @PhillyCoops on Twitter, or find more of PACAs work at philadelphia.coop.

    ACTIONS
    PERSONALLY REFLECT 
    How Do You Coop(erate)?
    Just like Jamila’s experience growing up, cooperatives don’t always have to be formal organizations. What are some informal ways you have participated in collective stewardship? Perhaps a community garden? Local park clean-up? Or in church? Think about the ways you cooperate with your community, local and global!
     
    BECOME INFORMED
    Collective Courage
    We’ve got some homework for you! Per Jamila’s suggestion, start with reading Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice by Jessica Gordon Nembhard. Collective Courage chronicles Black cooperative business ownership and its place in the civil rights movement. A history that’s often forgotten when discussing coops. Purchase it from our online bookstore, and support local bookshops in the process. https://bookshop.org/shop/howtocitizen 

    PUBLICLY PARTICIPATE
    Join or Support A Coop Near You
    You’d be surprised how many cooperatives are operating right around you. Look into either buying from a local farm or grocery coop, joining a local credit union which is a financial co-op, or even getting your power from an electric coop. The best way to find some is do an online search with the name of your city or state and the word cooperatives. We also encourage you to buy from cooperative businesses. Find a directory at the website USworker.coop/directory 

    If you take any of these actions, share that with us - action@howtocitizen.com. Mention Not Another Patchouli Soaked Co-Op in the subject line. And share about your citizening on social media using #howtocitizen. 
    Visit the show's homepage - www.howtocitizen.com - to sign up for news about the show, to learn about upcoming guests, live tapings, and more for your citizen journey.
    Also sign up for Baratunde's weekly Recommentunde Newsletter and follow him on Instagram or join his Patreon. You can even text him, like right now at 202-894-8844.

    CREDITS
    How To Citizen with Baratunde is a production of iHeartRadio Podcasts and Dustlight Productions. Our Executive Producers are Baratunde Thurston, Elizabeth Stewart and Misha Euceph. Stephanie Cohn is our Senior Producer and Alie Kilts is our Producer. Kelly Prime is our Editor. Original Music by Andrew Eapen. Valentino Rivera is our Engineer. Sam Paulson is our Apprentice. This episode was produced and sound designed by Alie Kilts. Special thanks to Joelle Smith from iHeartRadio.
    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    • 51 min
    Working 5 to 9 (with Ai-jen Poo)

    Working 5 to 9 (with Ai-jen Poo)

    Racism, exclusion, and unchecked corporate growth have trapped an entire class of people in poverty, no matter how hard they work. We call them the “working poor.” This week, workers’ rights advocate Ai-jen Poo shows Baratunde how it’s possible to work several jobs and still struggle to make ends meet — and how domestic workers are fighting for a future where all workers receive the dignity and fairness they deserve.
    Guest: Ai-jen Poo - Co-Founder and Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance
    Twitter: @aijenpoo
    Bio: Ai-jen Poo is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, a non-profit organization working to bring quality work, dignity, and fairness to the growing numbers of workers who care and clean in our homes, the majority of whom are immigrants and women of color.

    SHOW NOTES + LINKS
    Go to howtocitizen.com to sign up for show news, AND (coming soon!) to start your How to Citizen Practice.
    Please show your support for the show in the form of a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!
    We are grateful to Ai-jen Poo for joining us! Follow her at @aijenpoo on Twitter, or find more of her work at domesticworkers.org.

    ACTIONS
    PERSONALLY REFLECT 
    Who’s cared for you?
    Think about someone in your life who's cared for you. Think about the value of that relationship. It could be a family member, a neighbor, a childcare provider, or some other caregiver in your life. What role did they play in your life? Bonus points: Give them a shout out, call them, and just let them know that you appreciate them.
     
    BECOME INFORMED
    Be an Ethical Employer, even at home.
    The National Domestic Workers Alliance’s sister organization, Hand in Hand, offers support to employers of domestic workers (housekeepers, nannies, care givers). Also, their new app Alia allows you to provide insurance and time-off for people you employ in your home. Check out the resources on their website, domesticemployers.org, to learn how you can ethically employ someone in your home.
     
    PUBLICLY PARTICIPATE
    Benefits for all, no matter the job.
    New platforms are working to address the need for portable benefits. Two that we found promising are: Opolis, a new membership-owned digital employment platform, and the Portable Benefit Network, another new platform focused on attaching healthcare to the worker no matter their job. Share these options with others in your network, so many more people can vote with their dollars and push for portable benefits as a part of a more equitable working future. 
     
    Support the National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. 
    After winning Domestic Workers Bills of Rights in nine states and two cities, the National Domestic Workers Alliance is leading an effort to pass a National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. Follow the link below to add your name in support!
    https://actionnetwork.org/forms/domestic-workers-make-all-other-work-possible

    If you take any of these actions, share that with us - action@howtocitizen.com. Mention Working 5 to 9 in the subject line. And share about your citizening on social media using #howtocitizen. 
    Visit the show's homepage - www.howtocitizen.com - to sign up for news about the show, to learn about upcoming guests, live tapings, and more for your citizen journey.
    Also sign up for Baratunde's weekly Recommentunde Newsletter and follow him on Instagram or join his Patreon. You can even text him, like right now at 202-894-8844.

    CREDITS
    How To Citizen with Baratunde is a production of iHeartRadio Podcasts and Dustlight Productions. Our Executive Producers are Baratunde Thurston, Elizabeth Stewart and Misha Euceph. Stephanie Cohn is our Senior Producer and Alie Kilts is our Producer. Kelly Prime is our Editor. Original Music by Andrew Eapen. Valentino Rivera is our Engineer. Sam Paulson is our Apprentice. This ep

    • 50 min
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Broadband (with Bruce Patterson)

    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Broadband (with Bruce Patterson)

    In 2021 it’s non-negotiable: quality home internet is something we all need. Our entire economy, along with almost all other aspects of our lives, relies on access to the internet. This reality is why many argue that it should be treated as a public good and operated like a public utility instead of run by a handful of corporations that leave many people underserved. This week, Baratunde sits down with technologist Bruce Patterson to learn how the small city of Ammon, Idaho gives its residents access to high speed internet through its own state-of-the-art, public broadband infrastructure. 
    Guest: Bruce Patterson - Technology Director for the City of Ammon, Idaho
    Bio: Bruce Patterson is the mastermind behind the ‘Ammon Model,’ which focuses on the separation of broadband infrastructure from broadband service, both technically and economically. During his tenure at the City of Ammon, Bruce was responsible for the creation and management of the Ammon Fiber Network. He managed everything from strategy and implementation including legal, public process, financial, construction, and technical aspects.

    SHOW NOTES + LINKS
    Go to howtocitizen.com to sign up for show news, AND (coming soon!) to start your How to Citizen Practice.
    Please show your support for the show in the form of a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!
    We are grateful to Bruce Patterson for joining us! Learn more about his work at ammonfiber.com.

    ACTIONS
    PERSONALLY REFLECT 
    What’s publicly or municipally run in your community?
    Post office, water, library, etc. How do you use these services and what would change about them if they were owned exclusively by private companies? Or if they are, do you feel your community is being well-served? If you were in charge, how would you improve these services for the public? What else could you imagine working better if it was run by the people and served more of us?
     
    BECOME INFORMED
    Other Public Options
    Basically our participation in society and our lives now rely on the internet. Bruce helped meet that essential need by having the local government operate a network, but it’s not the only way, and internet access isn’t the only service. Find out more about community efforts to own services from broadband to banking through the links below:
    Community broadband 
    Community Broadband: The Fast, Affordable Internet Option That's Flying Under the Radar
    Postal Banking Ted Talk by Mehrsa Baradaran or read the white paper here
     
    PUBLICLY PARTICIPATE
    Municipal Broadband in YOUR Community
    If this topic excites you on your citizen journey, consider joining a community broadband effort near you or learning from one in order to lead an effort in your town or city. Join one of the efforts being tracked by The Institute for Local Self Reliance on their community map. (Stacy Mitchell, the Co-Director of the Institute, was our guest in Ep 5!)

    If you take any of these actions, share that with us - action@howtocitizen.com. Mention Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Broadband in the subject line. And share about your citizening on social media using #howtocitizen. 
    Visit the show's homepage - www.howtocitizen.com - to sign up for news about the show, to learn about upcoming guests, live tapings, and more for your citizen journey.
    Also sign up for Baratunde's weekly Recommentunde Newsletter and follow him on Instagram or join his Patreon. You can even text him, like right now at 202-894-8844.

    CREDITS
    How To Citizen with Baratunde is a production of iHeartRadio Podcasts and Dustlight Productions. Our Executive Producers are Baratunde Thurston, Elizabeth Stewart and Misha Euceph. Stephanie Cohn is our Senior Producer and Alie Kilts is our Producer. Kelly Prime is our Editor. Original Music by Andrew Eapen. Valentino Rivera is our Engineer. Sam Paulson is our Apprentice. This episode was pro

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5
2K Ratings

2K Ratings

Lotloxa ,

Second Season blows the first out of the water

Title says it all. If you’re coming into the show, start with the second season and if you like the message and you want to “citizen” then listen to the first season.

The second season has more focused episodes. I suppose the difference is that the first season is like an interview show that meandered as he picked their brain. I really loved the live audience asking questions, but the second season is way more meaningful as big bites of dense knowledge. Ultimately, my biggest criticism for the first season is when the host gives the recap/calls for action at the ed of each episode, I can barely remember what was said over the last hour.

If I could rate seasons individually, I would give the first season 2 stars and the second season 5.

TMT-DC ,

@SamPolk was a really interesting interview

Very nice job.

SBSchu ,

Wonderfully Uplifting

I so enjoy this podcast! I started listening to it after hearing about the host from another podcast. His message and that of his guests is uplifting and active. Instead of just pointing out all of the wrongs, he and his guests inform us of how they are tackling them. They also give the listeners ways to get involved. I am so happy to be listening to this podcast ( I started in season one because that is the way my brain likes it!) as it is a positive way to see through all of the darkness that is surrounding us these days! Thanks!!💞

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