Our Body Politic

40 Episodes

By: Diaspora Farms

Created and hosted by award-winning journalist Farai Chideya, Our Body Politic is unapologetically centered on reporting on not just how women of color experience the major political events of today, but how they're impacting those very issues. Weekly episodes feature in-depth conversations about the economy, health, politics, education, the environment, and the most prescient issues—because all issues are women's issues. Tune in every Friday everywhere you listen to podcasts, and on public radio stations around the country.

How We Value Black Women’s Health in the US and Abroad
Last Friday at 8:00 PM

This week, host Farai Chideya interviews longtime TV and film producer and now co-director of the Sundance award-winning documentary Aftershock, Tonya Lewis Lee and one of the film’s featured subjects, reproductive justice advocate Shawnee Benton-Gibson. Benton-Gibson’s daughter died in October 2019 after giving birth – one more fatality in a long epidemic of Black maternal mortality. Farai also speaks to Lewis Lee one-on-one about how her work in media and experience as a children’s author led to her work as a maternal health advocate. Then, in our weekly segment Sippin’ the Political Tea, Farai interviews legal analyst and NYU Law profes...

How Feminists in China Fight Authoritarianism, Facing Food Apartheid in the U.S., and Black Women Get Real about Preparing for Retirement

This week, Our Body Politic re-airs a timely episode from November 2021. Host Farai Chideya talks with author and China expert Leta Hong Fincher about how feminists face up to the country’s authoritarian regime and the similarities with gender-equality struggles in the U.S. Sixto Cancel, CEO of the non-profit Think of Us, shares his experience in the foster care system and what their organization is doing to reform it. Chef Kia Damon explains why she prefers the term “food apartheid.” On Sippin’ the Political Tea, Farai dives into the details of saving for retirement as Black women with Michelle Singleta...

How Building & Maintaining Community Makes a Healthier Society for All

Is friendship truly the greatest gift of life? This week, Our Body Politic guest host and acclaimed radio journalist Celeste Headlee interviews psychologist, educator and author of the forthcoming book Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make– and Keep– Friends, Dr. Marisa Franco, who shares insights on the mental and physical benefits of social interactions and community building and how in times of loneliness, people are prone to inadvertently sabotage these critical bonds. Then, Headlee speaks with award-winning journalist and TV critic Eric Deggans about how the legacy of racism and exclusion and its continuation in fantastical mega...

The Lessons We Learn from Lived Experiences

This week, Farai interviews New York Times bestselling author Julie Lythcott-Haims on what adulthood— or “adulting”— looks like for millennials and Gen Zers, and how generally we can all live with more authenticity in her new book, Your Turn: How to Be an Adult. Then in the weekly segment, Sippin’ the Political Tea, we revisit an enlightening conversation about abortion access for Black women and girls between Farai, Georgetown law professor and OBP legal contributor Tiffany Jeffers, and UC Irvine law professor, Michelle Goodwin.

Closing the Nature Gap and the Latest from the Jan 6 Committee

Who deserves and enjoys access to “America the Beautiful?” This week OBP guest host and veteran broadcast journalist Celeste Headlee interviews Baratunde Thurston, writer, activist and host of the new six-part PBS series, America Outdoors, about the new series and how we can collectively increase diversity in outdoor recreation and lean into more sustainable practices in nature. Then in the weekly segment, Sippin’ the Political Tea, Farai speaks to Washington Post opinions columnist and OBP contributor, Karen Attiah and public defender for Legal Aid Society of New York and political commentator, Olayemi Olurin about the latest news in the Jan 6 Commit...

Women of Color Leading the Charge Towards Workplace Equity

What does the movement for workplace equity and inclusion look like today? This week, Our Body Politic guest host and acclaimed radio journalist Celeste Headlee interviews Reshma Saujani, CEO of Girls Who Code on her new book PAY UP: The Future of Women and Work (and Why It’s Different Than You Think) and how equal pay for moms is the next frontier. Then, Headlee speaks to author and Franklin Covey inclusion and bias thought leader, Pamela Fuller, on how unconscious bias continues to plague workplaces and what might be done about it.

Remembering George Floyd and Reimagining Abortion and Community Care

This week, Farai is joined by Washington Post investigative journalists and co-authors, Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa to talk about their new biography His Name is George Floyd and why they chose to document George Floyd’s life, legacy, aspirations and the systematic marginalization that derailed him from the American dream. Then Farai interviews writer and visual artist, K. Ibura about her debut youth novel, When the World Turned Upside Down, that explores overcoming adversity with the help of community during racial reckonings and COVID. And on the weekly segment Sippin’ the Political Tea, Breya Johnson of the Black Women’s Heal...

Breaking Down the Jan 6 Hearings with Jill Wine-Banks

This week, Our Body Politic presents a special episode where Farai exclusively speaks to former Watergate prosecutor, legal expert and MSNBC analyst Jill Wine-Banks about the House Select Committee’s investigation into the January 6, 2021 insurrection. Wine-Banks offers insight into the shocking evidence that is coming out of the ongoing public hearings, the real life harm election officials are facing across the country due to disinformation, and answers OBP listeners questions surrounding the proceedings and what the outcome could mean for the future of U.S. democracy.

Remembering Urvashi Vaid and Creating Liberation

This week, Our Body Politic honors politics and pride, featuring a past interview between Farai and the late intersectional activist, lawyer, educator and author Urvashi Vaid who led movements for a range of progressive issues, including AIDS advocacy, LGBT rights and prison reform. The pair discuss Vaid’s legacy as a leading figure in social change and what it truly takes to change the lived experience of everyone— to achieve lived equality. Then in our series, “Our Body Politics Presents…” we feature the podcast Truth Be Told with host Tonya Mosley who interviews minister and writer Danté Stewart about how to cultivat...

Repairing A Nation And Fighting Online Disinformation

This week, Farai speaks to the filmmakers of a new documentary The Big Payback Erika Alexander and Whitney Dow along with a key voice from the film founder and executive director of FirstRepair, Robin Rue Simmons. The film follows the growing movement for reparations for centuries of government policies blocking Black wealth. Then in the “Our Body Politics Presents…” series, we feature a conversation between “This Day in Esoteric Political History” podcast hosts Jody Avirgan, Nicole “Niki” Hemmer, and Kellie Carter Jackson with special guest Jelani Cobb, New Yorker writer, about the evolving language used to describe Black Americans. Plus, in our weekly...

Finding Joy in Stories, Service, and the Great Outdoors

This week, we are revisiting some of OBP’s most joyous interviews starting with Farai’s conversation with two publishers of color, Elizabeth Méndez Berry, vice president and executive editor at One World, an imprint at Penguin Random House, and Lisa Lucas, senior vice president and publisher at Pantheon and Schocken Books on celebrating the work of BIPOC authors and critics. Then public health professionals and sisters Nilufar Kayhani and Nazineen Kandahari share the inspiration and beauty behind starting the Afghan Clinic, an online space that serves the health needs of fellow Afghans. Farai then speaks with Rue Mapp, found...

Spotlighting Black Women & Femmes in Pop Culture and Seeking Wellness in the Face of Tragedy

At Our Body Politic, the impact and experiences of Black women and other women of color takes center stage. This week, Farai interviews award-winning journalist, producer and author Danyel Smith, whose latest book, Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop offers insight into Danyel’s career in music journalism and highlights Black women’s seismic - and sometimes unsung - influence on the world of pop music. Then Our Body Politic presents a conversation between TransLash podcast creator and host Imara Jones and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, producer and actor Janelle Monae. Janelle opens up about the challenges of e...

Voices of Buffalo, Rep. Ruben Gallego on Racial Terror, and CRT

This week, U.S. Representative Ruben Gallego of Arizona speaks with Farai about how his past experience as a Marine combat veteran helped him keep himself and fellow congresspeople safe during the insurrection on January 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol building. The pair also discuss the mass shooting in Buffalo and how replacement theory is a driving force for racial discrimination. 'Our Body Politic Presents' features Pushkin Industries’ podcast, “Getting Even With Anita Hill", with Anita Hill's interview of legal scholar and civil rights activist Kimberlé Crenshaw on Critical Race theory, a term Crenshaw helped coin in the late 1980s, that...

Preparing for and Fighting Against a Post-Roe Future

Given the recent leaked draft of a Supreme Court decision which could overturn Roe v. Wade, we do a special episode with a focus on abortion access, law and lived experience. Farai starts with best-selling author of Nomadland, investigative journalist Jessica Bruder. Her Atlantic Magazine cover story, “The Abortion Underground” details the covert network that is preparing for the possible end of legal abortion on the national level. Farai invites Jessica to answer questions provided by OBP listeners as well as share additional insight she has on what preparing for a post-Roe future could look like. Then, Farai speaks with Madi...

Aging with Purpose and Redefining Strength for Black Women

What does it mean to age with purpose? In this week’s show, we are invited to hear a past conversation between Farai and author of Sign My Name to Freedom Betty Reid Soskin, who recently retired at age 100 from her work as a National Park Ranger and community historian. Then in “Our Body Politics Presents,” we hear more from Tonya Mosley’s podcast “Truth Be Told” where she speaks to Ayanna Brown, a mother who graciously details her cycle of loving, losing, grieving, and persevering. On the weekly segment, “Sippin’ the Political Tea” Farai speaks with professor and Vice Chair of preventiv...

In Depth -- The Investigation into January 6th, plus the Roots of the Insurrection

This week Boston Globe senior op-ed writer Kimberly Atkins Stohr joins Farai to discuss the latest findings - and potential government involvement - in the January 6 insurrection investigation. Our host then speaks candidly with OBP senior producer Bianca Martin about Farai’s 30 year journey as a field reporter who focuses on the challenges to democracy and society, and who predicted the 2021 political violence. Their conversation leads us back 12 years to Farai’s radio documentary “Pop and Politics Radio.” Traveling hundreds of miles through Arizona during the 2010 midterm election, Farai and the documentary producers saw how many of today’s political battles be...

Leveraging Financial Power to Build Equity; A Brief History of Black Education in America; PLUS Restorative Economics Creating Pathways to Prosperity

How do you harness the power of money for the greater good? This week, Farai speaks to philanthropist Mona Sinha, founder and CEO of the Insight Circle Fund, about what it means to make an impact as a woman of color in the worlds of finance and of giving. In the series “Our Body Politic Presents…” Aimée Eubanks Davis, host and creator of the podcast After 1954 speaks to author of Black Teachers on Teaching, researcher and professor Michele Foster about the rich past of Black education in the United States, specifically the effects of school desegregation on Black students followi...

Black Women Fighting Against Disinformation and Reshaping Tech; PLUS Inflation & Reproductive Rights Shaping the Midterms

This week, Farai speaks with Bridget Todd, technology guru and creator and host of the podcast, “There Are No Girls on the Internet.” In addition to spotlighting Bridget’s fascinating career as a digital creator and futurist, in our series, “Our Body Politic Presents…” we share a conversation between Bridget and freelancer and activist Shafiqah Hudson about how she and other Black women tried to help Twitter block disinformation. In our weekly segment, Sippin’ the Political Tea, Farai speaks to senior adviser at The Lincoln Project and former GOP congressional communications director Tara Setmayer and op-ed columnist for the Washington Pos...

Empowering People in Disaster; Creating a Stronger Democracy; and All Things SCOTUS

This week, Farai speaks to Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, former mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico about what it took to guide her people through the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, as well as to create a compass for women leaders to understand their own power. In "Our Body Politic Presents..." A’shanti Gholar, host of the podcast “The Brown Girls Guide to Politics” interviews Dr. Sadaf F. Jaffer, the first Asian-American woman and first Muslim American woman sworn into the New Jersey General Assembly, about what it means for someone with her intersecting identities to have a voice in legisla...

"Long COVID”; Decolonizing Parenting; COVID and Mental Health

This week, Farai speaks to Dr. Raven Baxter about the effects of “long COVID” and the power she discovered from her own personal journey with the illness. In "Our Body Politic Presents..." Tonya Mosley of the podcast “Truth Be Told” interviews her mother and parenting coach Yolanda Williams about the joys and challenges of raising free and healthy Black children in today’s world. On our weekly segment Sippin' the Political Tea, Farai talks with former Obama White House Health Policy Director Dr. Kavita Patel and psychiatrist and activist Dr. Kali Cyrus about mental health and equity in healthcare when it comes t...

SCOTUS Confirmation Hearing; A Well-Read Black Girl; Oscar Predictions

This week, Farai speaks to Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee who shares a firsthand take on the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings at Capitol Hill for SCOTUS nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. In ‘Our Body Politic Presents…’ we hear from actor and author Gabrielle Union who spoke to the podcast, “Well-Read Black Girl” about writing her truth. And in Sippin’ the Political Tea, Farai talks with pop culture gurus Casey Mendoza of Newsy and Candice Frederick of the Huffington Post about all things Oscars.

Finding Joy, Nikki Giovanni’s Wisdom, and High Gas Prices

And a big thank you to Tonya Mosley, host and creator of the podcast Truth Be Told and her team: Ayanna Angel, Aisha Brown, James T. Green and Enrico Benjamin. Truth be Told is a production of TMI Productions in association with Fearless Media.

Revisiting Pipeline Protests, A Sacred Family Heirloom, and Discrimination During War

This week on Our Body Politic, Farai looks back on the 2016-2017 Dakota Access Pipeline protests with investigative journalist Jenni Monet to discuss activism among indegeonous peoples in America and across the globe. Farai also talks with MacArthur Grant Award winner, Harvard professor and author Tiya Miles about one family heirloom from the enslavement period that remarkably stood the test of time. Then in our weekly segment "Sippin' the Political Tea" Farai is joined by Christina Greer, political scientist and Associate Professor at Fordham University and Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon, a Ph.D. student in History at the University of Pennsylvania...

Judge Jackson's Nomination, Translating Global News, and the State of the Union

This week, Farai talks with Georgetown law professor and OBP legal contributor, Tiffany Jeffers about the upcoming SCOTUS hearings for nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson. Farai also speaks with Marcus Mabry, Senior VP of Content Strategy and Global Pogramming at CNN, about the tools we need to digest important global news coverage (like the ongoing war in Ukraine). On Sippin the Political tea, she reviews the State of the Union and GOP politics with Errin Haines, Editor of the 19th and GOP strategist Tara Setmayer.

Remembering Sandy Hook; Coping With Inflation; and War in Ukraine

This week on Our Body Politic, Farai interviews Nelba Márquez-Greene, parent of one of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy that occurred ten years ago, and founder of The Ana Grace Project and This Grieving Life. Then, she talks money strategies with personal finance guru Michelle Singletary, who shares tips on what we can do as inflation hits record highs. And finally, in our weekly segment ‘Sippin’ the Political Tea’, Farai speaks with Major General Linda Singh and Moscow Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, Ann Simmons on how Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine has drastical...

Black Media Mavens, Revisting Malcolm X’s Murder, and Sippin’ Tea with Karen Attiah

This week, Farai speaks to co-founders Akoto Ofori-Atta and Lauren Williams of the new media initiative, Capital B– aimed at providing what’s lacking in Black communities across the country – reliable and trusted journalism. Also, she meets with Stephanie Wash a producer of “X/onerated,” a documentary about the men accused, and after decades, exonerated in the killing of Malcolm X. Lastly, Karen Attiah of the Washington Post and Farai discuss her upcoming book and opinion column, which in recent weeks has tackled the controversies surrounding Joe Rogan and Whoopi Goldberg.

Being Muslim in America, Electing Black Women, and Global Affairs

This week, Farai talks with Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali about the trials he and his family have faced in America as muslims with Pakistani roots. She then speaks with Glynda Carr of Higher Heights for America, and Carol Jenkins of the ERA Coalition to discuss how Black women and women of color fare in the upcoming midterm elections. On the weekly segment, ‘Sippin’ the Political Tea’ Farai was joined by CNN’s Eliza Anyangwe and podcaster Hagar Chemali to talk about the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Vice-President Kamala Harris’ role as world leaders attempt to interve

Florida’s Latino Vote and Biden’s SCOTUS Pick

On this week's show, Host Farai Chideya talks with Politico’s Sabrina Rodriguez and pollster Fernand Amandi about how the Latino vote in Florida could shape this year’s elections. Award-winning journalist and author Celeste Headlee explores structural change around race in public media, and how everyone can have conversations about race that matter. Executive Coach Caroline Kim Oh talks about coaching BIPOC and women leaders, and the power of intentional time. And Farai sips the Political Tea about President Biden’s pending SCOTUS nomination with professors Christina Greer and Tiffany Jeffers.

Anti-Trans Legislation and Trans Women in Sports featuring TransLash Media, Plus Bodily Autonomy, the Culture Wars, and the Legacy of Shirley Chisholm

© 2022, TransLash Media, Provided under license.

Our Body Politic Presents: the Podcast "Into America" on Banned Books and the Trauma of Witnessing George Floyd’s Death, Plus a Special Roundtable on Covid

Recordings provided courtesy of the podcast Into America, from MSNBC and NBC News. https://link.chtbl.com/obvkRMCh?sid=obp

Georgia’s Lead Role in the Voting Rights Battle; and the Podcast "As She Rises" on the Climate Crisis and Women of Color

© 2022 Wonder Media Network, LLC, Provided under license.

America Faces the Legacy of the January 6th Insurrection, featuring Sounds Like Hate's "Red Flags Everywhere"

© 2022 Southern Poverty Law Center, Provided under license

Workers in the U.S. Feel the Squeeze of Inflation, the Booming Business of Astrology, and the First Year of Vice President Kamala Harris

Host Farai Chideya talks to OBP’s economics analyst Jamila Michener of Cornell University about the real impact of inflation on low-wage workers, and why they are upsetting power dynamics in the labor market. Farah Stockman discusses her new book on the fates of workers at a factory in Indiana: “American Made: What Happens to People When Work Disappears.” Alina Brown explains why she shares her passion for astrology on YouTube. On the final Sippin’ the Political Tea of the year, Errin Haines of the 19th and Chrissy Greer of Fordham University examine the trajectories of women of color in leade...

Best Of 2021: Addressing Maternal Physical and Mental Health, the Ongoing Crisis over What to Teach Kids, and How One Activist Disrupts from Within Institutions

In this holiday rerun, Farai Chideya brings back some of the best interviews of the year. First, Representative Lauren Underwood of Illinois on her personal and professional connection to the maternal health crisis, and what she thinks politicians can and should do about it. Author Carmen Maria Machado shares how her gay memoir found itself at the center of a controversy in a Texas school district over what to teach students. Educator Lydia X.Z. Brown explains their perspective working within and without institutions as an activist in the disability justice movement. On Sippin’ the Political Tea, Farai discusses ho...

How Confronting the Myth of American Innocence Can Stop Our Slide into Authoritarianism, and a Look Ahead at the Political Lessons We Carry into 2022

Host Farai Chideya talks with Pulitzer-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones about why people need to speak out against bans on teaching U.S. history, which we’d likely condemn if they were happening in any other country. Two publishers—Elizabeth Méndez Berry of One World and Lisa Lucas of Pantheon and Schocken—discuss the role of books and cultural criticism in the wider political discourse. Merlyne Jean-Louis shares her legal expertise making sure creative entrepreneurs protect their rights to intellectual property. On Sippin’ the Political Tea, Errin Haines of the 19th and Karen Attiah of the Washington Post discuss the legac...

Voting Rights Activism from Fannie Lou Hamer to Today, Tackling High Maternal Mortality Rates in the U.S., and How to Reframe Abortion as a Liberty Issue for All

Host Farai Chideya talks with LaTosha Brown, cofounder of the Black Voters Matter Fund, about where she thinks constituents like herself belong in the country’s two-party politics. Then Farai looks back at another voting rights and civil rights activist from decades past: Fannie Lou Hamer, as revisited by historian Keisha Blain in her new book: “Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America.” Adriana Lozada, a doula with years of experience helping birthing people, explains what needs to be done to address the maternal health crisis in the U.S. On Sippin’ the Political Tea, Errin...

Why Voters Lose When Democrats Fight Each Other, Back to Basics with Covid-19 Prevention, and a Call to Action for Women of Color

Host Farai Chideya talks with former Ohio state Senator Nina Turner about the pros and cons of being a progressive within the Democratic Party. Doctors Uché and Oni Blackstock share their family’s history with healthcare, and what we know and don’t know about the new Covid-19 variant. Dana Coester of 100 Days in Appalachia explains why she was not surprised by the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict after years studying rising, armed extremism among white youth. On Sippin’ the Political Tea, Farai and two fellow journalists and media trailblazers—S. Mitra Kalita of URL Media and Jenni Monet of Indigenously—examine wha...

How Feminists in China Fight Authoritarianism, Facing Food Apartheid in the U.S., and Black Women Get Real about Preparing for Retirement

Host Farai Chideya talks with author and China expert Leta Hong Fincher about how feminists face up to the country’s authoritarian regime, and the similarities with gender-equality struggles in the U.S. Sixto Cancel of the non-profit Think of Us shares his experience in the foster care system, and what the organization is doing to reform it. Chef Kia Damon explains why she prefers the term “food apartheid.”  On Sippin’ the Political Tea, Farai and two guests dive into the details of saving for retirement as Black women—that’s with Michelle Singletary of the Washington Post, and Gwen McKinney...

Honoring the Emanuel Nine, What We Can Do about Information Disorder, and Critical Race Theory as a Political Football

Host Farai Chideya talks about the power of forgiveness with Sharon Risher, whose relatives were among the Mother Emanuel shooting victims. Michael Arad, the architect behind the new memorial to the Emanuel Nine, discusses the collaborative process of designing an homage to the congregation. Civil rights leader Rashad Robinson talks about the final report from the Aspen Institute’s Commission on Information Disorder. On Sippin’ the Political Tea, Karen Attiah of the Washington Post and Khiara Bridges of UC Berkeley examine the way politicians use Critical Race Theory to win elections.


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The Challenge to Define Accountability in the Criminal Justice System, Anti-racism in Media, and What’s Really Going On with Facebook

Host Farai Chideya talks with MacArthur Fellow, poet Reginald Dwayne Betts, about why we struggle to articulate exactly how we want to change the prison system in the U.S. OB-GYN Dr. Jamila Perritt explains why she dreams of exercising her medical practice without the interference of politics. Gwen Ifill Award winner Sisi Wei of OpenNews examines the transition from focusing on diversity in newsrooms, to doing impactful anti-racist work in the media industry. And on Sippin’ the Political Tea, Mutale Nkonde of AI for the People and Nicol Turner-Lee of the Brookings Institution help Farai examine the latest te...