The CommonAlly Chronicles is a series about all the things that hold us together when forces try to tear us apart. From politics to pandemics, we explore how it all affects the issues surrounding our lives.
Policy Director at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI), Russell Wald, opens up about the world of AI and its impact on our society. Tune in as we chat about deepfakes, Waze, human bias, international implications and how all of it affects our democracy.
Stanford University Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence: https://hai.stanford.edu/
John Chiang is a Fellow at the USC Center for the Political Future was the former California State Treasurer and ran for Governor of California in 2018. But his humble beginnings and compassionate view on the world has set an example of how economics and empathy play a vital, collaborative role in our society. This interview goes deep on why.
Jennie Carreon is the Associate Vice President of Civic Engagement at AltaMed. She has worked for labor organizations, a California Governor, the Mayor of Los Angeles and currently AltaMed Health Services, one of the largest federally qualified community health centers in the nation, developing and implementing political strategies to support long term sustainability. Today we talk about the intersection of healthcare and voting as we dive in on AltaMed's strategy for longterm voter engagement.
My Vote. My Health
We know it’s hard AF to find love and respect in a world that is brimming with animosity, but it’s fair to say that we aren’t getting anywhere divided. So today we chat with Author & evangelical leader, Rev. Rob Schenck who had a late-in-life epiphany that changed his heart and mind on abortion, same-sex marriage, 2nd Amendment rights and the Republican Party.
Get the book:
Costly Grace: An Evangelical Minister's Rediscovery of Faith, Hope & Love
See the video version of this interview:
The CommonAlly Chronicles
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Not every CEO gets their start on a caddy scholarship, but for La Care Health Plan CEO, John Baackes, it's part of what helped him carve out a unique niche in the healthcare industry; one lead by compassion and common sense 😮 Who knew that was possible?? In our interview, John clarifies the ins and outs of alllllll the endless healthcare options and how LA Care might just have a model worth replicating.
LA Care: http://www.lacare.org/
With TikTok in the admin's crosshairs, we link up with @genzconnect's Julia Terpak--one of the platform's stars--to see what that fate looks like and how Gen-Z is leading the way in a content-driven revolution that just might save the planet.
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Follow GenZConnect on TikTok
At just 13-years-old, Astrid Melendez fled death threats, economic hardship and the only world she knew to reunite with her mother in the safe asylum of America. But without any connection or understanding of the language and culture, her struggles only continued. However, her story doesn’t end there. Astrid quickly learned the language, became a vocal advocate for undocumented immigrants and a major leader in her community before going on to become the Salutatorian of her high school in Los Angeles. Now, she’s telling her story to the world and we had the privilege of hearing that story first hand in our latest CommonAlly Chronicles interview.
KIND (Kids in Need of Defense) https://supportkind.org/
When live music events disappear and the crowds trade their amphitheater seats for headphones, it’s inevitable that the music industry must evolve. Giovanni Piacentini is at the forefront of that evolution. As an extremely talented orchestra/chamber ensemble composer and a Teaching Fellow at the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA, Gio has evolved right alongside the art form he loves. In this interview, he talks with us about the future of music, teaching through the uncertainties of a pandemic and how he’s finding optimism and creativity along the way.
Giovanni Piacentini: https://www.giovannipiacentini.com/
Sean Lee is a Youth Advisory Council Member, former intern for the California State Assembly and an active member of the Asian American community in Los Angeles. As a youth leader, Sean sees the importance of taking a specific stance so his voice is clearly heard. Today we’re hearing that voice out and seeing how his groundwork is inspiring young people to become leaders in their communities.
CommonAlly - https://www.commonally.com/
Center for Asian American United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE) - https://www.causeusa.org/
After 25+ years in the tech industry, Kristin Hansen made a sharp pivot into cross-partisan political and social reform work. Kristin hasn’t looked back since. Now, as she continues her quest to raise awareness of this reform space, we sat down to talk with the Civic Health Project Exec. Director about the causes of polarization and the potential solutions through her work with AllSides Connect, the Weaving Community campaign and her role at the Civic Health Project.
Civic Health Project: https://www.civichealthproject.org/
AllSides Connect: https://www.allsides.com/connect
Weaving Community: https://weaving.us/
When it comes to the affordable 🏠 housing industry, one man is helping clear the way for a long lasting solution that puts people first. Steve Pontell is the President & CEO of the National Community Renaissance and has dedicated his life to building an equitable future that addresses effective affordable housing and solutions to homelessness in our communities. Today we sit down to talk about what progress looks like.
National Community Renaissance: https://nationalcore.org/
The CommonAlly Chronicles: https://www.commonally.com/chronicles
When it comes to reaching across the aisle to fight for the environment, Gen-Z is leading the charge. One of the leaders in that fight is Forbes 30 Under 30, Benji Backer, the President and Founder of the American Conservation Coalition and a senior at the University of Washington. Benji sat down with us to talk about the common threads between liberal and conservative youth and what we can all do to play a role.
American Conservation Coalition: https://www.acc.eco/
As an author, speaker, storied blues musician and race relations expert, Daryl Davis has balanced a music career with cause-based work around ending racism. Daryl has helped hundreds of Ku Klux Klan members to renounce their ideology and relinquish their robes to him. He’s become an infamous bridge builder in a time when unity is needed more than ever. Today we’re learning how all of us can go from dialogue to action.
Actor, Model, Lupus advocate
After a very public announcement on America’s Top Model, Mercedes Yvette instantly added Lupus advocate to her resume. Now a working mom, model, actress, artist and advocate, she sits down with us to discuss what it’s like staring down a pandemic that is particularly dangerous for anyone with a compromised immune system.
Author of "Delirium: The Politics of Sex in America," and leading national expert on the intersection of gender and American politics, Nancy L. Cohen talks about the importance of women’s care work, the potential for positive post-pandemic shifts and the potential bad actors who are exploiting the pandemic to push through long standing reactionary goals.
Nancy L. Cohen: https://nancylcohen.com/
Political, Policy and Non-Profit Operative
Co-Founder of the Love And Freedom Project, former 2016 Deputy Campaign Manager to Bernie Sanders, Board member of Change the Ref and March for Science and Partner at WIN, (to name a few accolades!), Rania knows a thing or two about fighting on behalf of others.
In this interview we discuss the ongoing fight against equality, potential common ground on the gun violence issue, the dangers of quarantining with an abuser, the optimism of nonpartisan youth leadership and the myth of returning to normal.
** GET INVOLVED **
Love and Freedom: https://www.loveandfreedomproject.org/get-involved
Change The Ref: https://changetheref.org/
March For Science: https://marchforscience.org/
Arab American Institute: https://www.aaiusa.org/
New American Leaders: https://www.newamericanleaders.org/
High School Senior, Youth Advisory Council Member
After his mother experienced a debilitating car accident, Ahamed was determined to better understand the system his family was at the mercy of. That self-propelled research inspired a new-found interest in politics. Now a Youth Advisory Council Member, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute member and a newly accepted UC Davis freshman, Ahamed talks immigration, state and federal resources and what it’s like to be a part of the next generation of Latinx leaders.
Ahamed Bermudez: https://www.instagram.com/ahamedbermudez/
Freelance writer, Katie Macbride (Rolling Stone, Playboy, BuzzFeed, Vice, Daily Beast) chats with us about the potential triggers of addiction in a time of isolation. Tune in to hear Katie's expertise on the challenges of a virtual 12-step program, the emergence of video conference trolls and ways to both provide and seek help both during a global pandemic and beyond.
Katie Macbride: https://katiemacbride.com/
Executive Director of USC’s Center for the Political Future, former CEO of nonpartisan platform ProCon.org and expert on polarization, Kamy Akhavan is the perfect guest to talk about the future of politics post pandemic. We discuss ways to bridge the divide, explore potential campaign strategies for the run-up to November and scratch the surface on what life looks like for college-age students. Tune in!
Kamy Akhavan: https://dornsife-center-for-political-future.usc.edu/
Dr. Glena Cheng, MD
Pulmonary and Critical Care Physician
Thrust directly into the eye of this pandemic, Glena stares down the beast of COID-19 as a pulmonary ICU doctor. What she sees could save your life. We touch on critical virus protection, the current state of healthcare and what mental health implications come with such a deadly virus.
22 year old Matt Deitsch isn’t your typical youth organizer. He’s a NYT Bestseller, Co-Founder of March for our Lives, Headcount Board Member, Clio Award Winner, Cannes Lion Winner, International Peace Prize Winner and ran strategy for Sen. Bernie Sanders + Amnesty International. Yeah… so we talk about some stuff :) You might want to listen.
Matt Deitsch: https://twitter.com/mattxred
From helping mobilize March For Our Lives, a worldwide youth-led movement against gun violence to blazing a new path as founder of MODEMA Studios--a multilingual creative studio, Jammal Lemy knows a thing or two about putting something special into action. We chat with Jammal about how activism is being redefined, how the pandemic sees race and what it means to find commonalities in one another.
Jammal Lemy: https://www.jammallemy.com/
Climate Resolve's Jonathan Parfrey joins us to take the pulse of our planet in this thought-provoking interview. He shares his thoughts on what society's temporary pause means for the environment, the intersection of COVID-19 and climate change, how we can turn local action into global impact, and so much more! As founder and Executive Director of Climate Resolve, former Commissioner at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and founder of CicLAvia, Jonathan has spent a lifetime fighting for our planet and you won't want to miss this chat!
Climate Resolve: https://www.climateresolve.org/
Headspace Co-founder, Andy Puddicombe walks us through a special, short meditation you can do right in the comfort of your own home. Take it from me, I'm impossible to sedate and this did the trick ;) You gotta try it!!
- Aaron Lyles,
Long-time reporter and host for NPR and PBS, TED speaker and best-selling author of Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving, Celeste Headlee shares expert advice about ways we can reestablish the boundaries between work and home in a time when the two are more blurred than ever.
Celeste Headlee: https://www.celesteheadlee.com/
Headspace Co-founder, Andy Puddicombe sits down (remotely of course!) with CommonAlly Co-founder, Aaron Lyles to discuss mental health in a time of world-wide quarantine. This episode dives into the new world of remote work, instant home-schooling, mindfulness, how Headspace is making a difference in the current Coronavirus pandemic and so much more. ** Bonus meditation in this episode!