56 episodes

Are you concerned about the future? Tired of divisiveness? Join political commentator and changemaker Van Jones on a journey to find unifying solutions to our country’s biggest problems. Each week, Van and his guests explore topics that affect us all—from climate change to prison reform, from voting rights to political polarization. In Uncommon Ground with Van Jones, you’ll hear inspiring, hopeful and unique perspectives on what it takes to create meaningful change and foster productive dialogue in a divided nation.

Uncommon Ground with Van Jones Wondery

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.3 • 242 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

Are you concerned about the future? Tired of divisiveness? Join political commentator and changemaker Van Jones on a journey to find unifying solutions to our country’s biggest problems. Each week, Van and his guests explore topics that affect us all—from climate change to prison reform, from voting rights to political polarization. In Uncommon Ground with Van Jones, you’ll hear inspiring, hopeful and unique perspectives on what it takes to create meaningful change and foster productive dialogue in a divided nation.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    A Thank You from Van

    A Thank You from Van

    In this final installment of the podcast, Van thanks the Uncommon Ground community for joining him on this journey. 

    Some doubted that anyone could do a successful podcast based solely on finding positive solutions, deepening understanding and bringing people together across lines of difference. But we're happy to report: measured by downloads, Uncommon Ground wound up in the top 2 percent of all podcasts! Our success with this podcast over fifty episodes has shown that people do respond to intelligent, uplifting content when it’s offered. The reception from our listeners showed that people yearn for more depth and nuance. We hope this podcast satiated some of that yearning. 

    Van must take his leave to prepare himself to cover the upcoming presidential season and contest. But he encourages everyone to stay involved in building unlikely communities. One way to do that is to support Dream.Org — which carries on the work of fostering deep conversations and finding solutions even across large divides. We hope folks will listen (and relisten) to the episodes we aired this season. There is enough love, hope, wisdom and insight in these episodes to get us through the coming storms—and beyond.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 3 min
    Hope for the Democratic Party with Rep. Ritchie Torres

    Hope for the Democratic Party with Rep. Ritchie Torres

    “Yes, the system is broken. But the solution lies not in dismantling it or burning it down, but in finding solutions that have been shown to work. We should focus on the bread-and-butter issues. Most rank-and-file Democrats are practical and not ideological. Most of them have no Twitter accounts. They worry about the cost of housing, healthcare, and higher education.” 




    Congressman Ritchie Torres is a pragmatic progressive who stands out among a new generation of leaders. He is often compared to a young Barack Obama, and in this interview you’ll see why. At the age of 25, Ritchie became the youngest elected official and the first openly LGBTQ+ person elected to office in the Bronx. Now age 34, Ritchie is still too young to be president. That said, he is making major legislative strides and his future is bright. 




    In this episode, Ritchie shares stories about growing up in the South Bronx and how his working-class upbringing has influenced the way he thinks about the Democratic Party. He shares his views on the two camps inside the his party, and discusses the issues he thinks Americans are focused on as we near the midterm elections. Tune in to hear a fresh and nuanced political perspective. This may be the first time you’re hearing of Ritchie Torres. It most certainly will not be the last! 




    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 47 min
    Bonus Episode: The Future of Climate Leadership

    Bonus Episode: The Future of Climate Leadership

    In this season’s final bonus episode, we wanted to make sure you got a chance to hear from some incredible young people who are trying to save the Earth.




    Last year, Van went to COP26 (the UN Climate Change Conference) held in Glasgow, Scotland. There he met with Jerome Foster, Kevin Patel, Chante Harris, Alexandria Villaseñor, Kevin Mtai, and others. These young people are doing extraordinary work advocating for progress on climate solutions — to ensure they inherit a livable planet. Since that historic gathering, we have made some progress, including billions for clean energy in Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. But with so much farther to go, we could not close the season without letting you hear from the leaders of the next generation.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 36 min
    Bonus Episode: The Future of Climate Leadership

    Bonus Episode: The Future of Climate Leadership

    In this season’s final bonus episode, we wanted to make sure you got a chance to hear from some incredible young people who are trying to save the Earth.

    Last year, Van went to COP26 (the UN Climate Change Conference) held in Glasgow, Scotland. There he met with Jerome Foster, Kevin Patel, Chante Harris, Alexandria Villaseñor, Kevin Mtai, and others. These young people are doing extraordinary work advocating for progress on climate solutions — to ensure they inherit a livable planet. Since that historic gathering, we have made some progress, including billions for clean energy in Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. But with so much farther to go, we could not close the season without letting you hear from the leaders of the next generation.

    How Do Conservatives Really Feel? with Matt Schlapp

    How Do Conservatives Really Feel? with Matt Schlapp

    It is exceedingly rare these days for two national voices on opposite sides of the political spectrum to come together and have an honest, respectful exchange of views. Many on the right believe that progressives want to abuse government power to punish them for their views. Many on the left feel under constant assault from the right. It is increasingly easy for each side to dismiss the concerns of the other. But in a democracy, we need to try to understand those who think differently than we do. Even when we fundamentally disagree.




    Matt Schlapp is a giant on the right, both in the United States and abroad. As chairman of the American Conservative Union, Matt has his finger on the pulse of the Republican Party. He represents what many conservatives think today, and how they view the future. Matt and Van often don’t agree with each other, but they respect each other enough to listen. And when they do agree, they work together. Tune in to hear a deep discussion about how today’s political discourse is tearing us apart, and how we might repair this damage and come together.




    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 52 min
    Bonus Episode: Van’s Take on Race and Privilege with Chelsea Handler

    Bonus Episode: Van’s Take on Race and Privilege with Chelsea Handler

    In this special bonus episode, Van moves into the guest seat for an interview with comedian and author Chelsea Handler. The conversation took place in 2018 while Chelsea was filming her Netflix documentary: Hello, Privilege. It's Me, Chelsea.




    Chelsea’s goal was to explore the impacts of ‘white privilege’ on American culture. In the intervening years, the U.S. has gone through a racial justice awakening. But with so much progress still needed, this never-before-heard conversation is as relevant as ever. 




    Get ready for an honest and raw conversation between two friends. They talk openly about race and privilege. And Van offers valuable perspective and actionable lessons. You don’t want to miss this one!

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
242 Ratings

242 Ratings

SophiacSmile ,

Thank You

Sad to hear this is the final episode! Your conversations gave such hope and insight in a growing divide. The humanity was beautiful to listen to and absorb. Thank you.

Caarrina ,

Good premise but…

Letting someone like Matt Schlapp come on and spout nonsense with absolutely zero fact checking or pushback is just furthering his agenda. There’s no way to find understanding with these people if they’re blatantly lying, and proud of their hypocrisy and pretend religious conviction. Every accusation out of Schlapp’s mouth is an admission of something the right is currently doing or has already done and should be called out.

DEVAN N NANA ,

Divide in this country

The people like this man point fingers at the right for the same things they do then they talk to us like we’re idiots. I ask everyone to please do research after people say the things they say to divide us please just do research…. and just like I found out there’s a lot of lies that are thrown at us as I said before like were idiots. 80% of the things that they have said has been lies and to divide us if you’re white and not Democrat you’re a racist.
BUT IF UR ANY OTHER COLOR ITS OK TO SAY racist things about white people. There is no color in my eyes. God did not make us with color in mind. We all are products of our environment…..WELL IAM SURE PEOPLE WILL HAVE THERE BAD THINGS TOO SAY ABOUT MY COMENT
AND THATS FINE WITH ME, WE ALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO OUR OWN Opinions all I asked is for the people that have something to say about what I say is to do the research not the hundred or 200 years ago that I or anybody else in this country has anything to do with what happened back then just not fair for me to be a certain color and had to pay for some of that stupid people did hundreds of years ago doesn’t make no sense now does it.well every one enjoy his or anyone else’s opinion, good night all

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