Episode 22: Rakeen Mabud

Listen to Rakeen Mabud and Jhumpa Bhattacharya discuss mandatory arbitration and other features of the 21st century workplace that are decreasing worker power and driving negative economic outcomes for women and people of color.

What and who is an employee in the 21st century? How are fissured workplaces, credentialization, and forced arbitration policies changing the nature of work? And what are workers and advocates doing to push back?

Rakeen Mabud of the Roosevelt Institute joined Jhumpa Bhattacharya on the podcast to dig into these issues and more.

Rakeen is a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, where she works on labor market policies, the future of work, and the role that race and gender play in our economy and society. She is also a standing contributor to Forbes, where she writes about the 21st century economy, and she previously worked on domestic microeconomic policy at the Treasury Department under the Obama administration.

Rakeen joined Jhumpa to share her research on what has become a widespread feature of the labor market: mandatory arbitration, the practice of requiring employees to settle workplace disputes outside of the courts and behind closed doors. For employers, this practice effectively amounts to a “get out of jail free card” for resolving workplace disputes, preventing workers from pursuing justice in the courts or even sharing out about their experience.

Rakeen and Jhumpa discussed this and other troubling characteristics of today’s labor market, from monopsony to the explosive growth of contract workers, that contribute to decreased worker power and have an outsized impact on millennial women and people of color.

Reflecting on these challenges and the path ahead, Rakeen shared her optimism in being part of a growing array of young and diverse voices, from organizers to policy wonks, who are tackling these issues head on with an eye for deep-seated, structural change.

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

To learn more about Rakeen’s work, follow her at the Roosevelt Institute, Forbes, and on Twitter.

Episode 21: Surina Khan

Listen to Jhumpa Bhattacharya and Surina Khan discuss the power of women-led public policy advocacy while exploring the groundbreaking, intersectional work of the Women’s Foundation of California.

“When you put women—whether we’re cisgender women or trans women—in charge of our own resources, you really begin to see powerful accomplishments and gains,” says Surina Khan, the CEO of the Women’s Foundation of California.

A long-time social sector leader and advocate for women’s and LGBTQ rights, Surina joined Jhumpa Bhattacharya on the podcast to discuss the innovative work of the Women’s Foundation of California, including its transformative Women’s Policy Institute (WIP), which has trained more than 500 grassroots leaders in state and local policy advocacy—leading to 35 (and counting) policy wins for women and girls across the state.

Surina and Jhumpa discussed the history of the Women’s Foundation of California; the past and present philanthropic landscape for funding gender justice work; and powerful case studies of the impact of WPI leaders and alumni on women, girls, and LGBTQ communities in California and beyond.

They also discussed intersectionality as an important framework for advancing multi-issue advocacy and reform, and they highlighted opportunities for California grassroots leaders to get involved at the state and local advocacy levels through the Women’s Policy Institute.

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

To learn more about the Women’s Foundation of California, visit womensfoundca.org and follow the foundation on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The Women’s Policy Institute accepts applications for its respective state and local advocacy programs on an annual basis. Visit womensfoundca.org/policy/wpi/ to learn more.

Episode 20: Catherine Berman

Listen to Anne Price and Catherine Berman discuss the social investment platform CNote as an innovative model for expanding economic development and opportunity in historically underserved communities.

Catherine Berman is a three-time social entrepreneur, former Managing Director at Charles Schwab, and co-founder of CNote, a social investment platform.

Catherine joined Insight President Anne Price on the podcast to discuss the work of CNote to provide an innovative, accessible platform for investing in the public good by allowing individuals to invest directly in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs are Treasury Department-certified organizations whose goal is to invest in economic development and job creation in low-income communities.

Sharing her vision behind CNote, Catherine discussed how a social investment platform like CNote can foster economic development and opportunity in underserved communities – including expanded entrepreneurship among historically excluded groups – while providing solid, transparent, and socially responsible returns for investors.

Considering issues of race, gender, and wealth, Anne and Catherine discussed the need to bring greater diversity and accessibility to financial services; the power of embracing our own “otherness;” and the transformative potential of being mindful of the impact of each and every dollar we invest or spend.

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

Read stories of borrowers who have been funded through CNote’s social investment network.

Learn more about Community Development Financial Institutions and their impact in low-income communities.

Learn more about CNote by visiting mycnote.com and following CNote on Twitter and Facebook.


Episode 19: Anne Price + Jhumpa Bhattacharya

Listen to Anne and Jhumpa reflect on women’s leadership, truth telling, reframing economic security and more, as they share highs, lows, and the most promising ideas of 2018 in their annual year in review.

Jhumpa Bhattacharya (left) and Anne Price (right)

2018 was a tough, wild year…but from adversity comes strength to overturn the status quo and build power.

For their annual year in review, Anne Price and Jhumpa Bhattacharya took over the podcast to reflect on these extraordinary times and highlight a range of promising ideas, policies, and people who have risen above the tumult.

From Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and women’s leadership, to new understandings of economic security and criminal justice, Anne and Jhumpa discuss the power of truth telling, narrative change, and putting new perspectives into practice and the halls of power.

Looking back and ahead, the two Insight leaders reflected on groundbreaking policy wins around eliminating administrative criminal justice fees in California, and offered a sneak peek at upcoming Insight research on millennial women and wealth.

Anne and Jhumpa also discussed thinking big and sharing leadership as two women of color  – and the real, persistent dangers of pushing for change as people coming from traditionally silenced and/or excluded communities.

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

To learn more about the Insight Center, click here to visit the website. Be sure to follow both @AnnePriceICCED and @jhumpa_b on Twitter.


Episode 18: Shawn Fremstad

Listen to Anne Price and Shawn Fremstad discuss economic exclusion and recently proposed changes to “public charge” regulation that, if implemented, would block citizenship for immigrants drawing on public assistance programs.

Anne Price, President of the Insight Center, welcomed Shawn Fremstad on the podcast to discuss the history and continued harmful impacts of economic exclusion for immigrants in America.  

Shawn is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. He is also a senior research associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a Ford Foundation public voices fellow, and a consultant on policy issues to various national nonprofits. He is an expert on poverty, family, and economic security.

Under the Trump administration there has been a rise in anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy, and in recent days the American public has seen horrible images of migrants running from tear gas near the U.S.-Mexico border as a consequence of such actions. However, there is another issue that has not received as much attention in the public discourse — the administration’s proposed changes to “public charge” regulation, which would, in effect, block citizenship for poor immigrants and punish those who draw on public assistance programs.

In addition to spotlighting the impact this policy change could have on immigrant families, their communities, and our country at large, Shawn also provided updates on the latest developments regarding the Farm Bill, work requirements, and TANF reauthorization.

Before Trump’s “public charge” rule can be finalized, the administration is required by law to review and respond to every unique public comment they receive about the proposed regulation. Shawn encouraged listeners to submit their public comments by Monday, December 10. Click here to submit your comment to stop Trump’s cruel attack on immigrant families.

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


To learn more about Shawn’s work, please visiting the Center for American Progress website and follow him on Twitter @inclusionist.

Episode 17: Brandon Greene and Noe Gudiño

Listen to Jhumpa Bhattacharya, Brandon Greene and Noe Gudiño discuss the impacts of administrative criminal justice fees and fines on formerly incarcerated individuals as they try to move on with their lives after serving time.

Brandon Greene is a Staff Attorney and Clinical Supervisor of Clean Slate Practice at East Bay Community Legal Center. Noe Gudiño is the 2018 Elder Freeman Policy Fellow at Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and a junior transfer student at Cal State University East Bay where he started Level 5, a campus organization servicing formerly incarcerated students.

Brandon and Noe joined the podcast to discuss the impacts of administrative criminal justice fees and fines on formerly incarcerated individuals as they try to move on with their lives after serving time.

Ahead of the Alameda Board of Supervisors’ upcoming vote on whether to eliminate these fines and fees, Brandon shared highlights from the East Bay Community Legal Center’s recently released report, “Pay or Prey,” which details the social and economic harms caused by these administrative fees specifically for people of color in Alameda County.

Noe discussed his current work with Debt Free Justice California, a statewide coalition, and shared their recent survey results showing the staggering amounts of debt and far-reaching consequences stemming from these often exorbitant fees and fine. If you or someone you know would like to complete the Debt Free Justice California survey, please contact Noe here.

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


To learn about Brandon Greene, please visit ebclc.org and follow him on Twitter @brandonlgreene. And be sure to learn about Noe’s work at prisonerswithchildren.org.

Episode 16: Dr. David Pate Jr and Jacquelyn L Boggess

Listen to Anne Price, Dr. David Pate Jr and Jacquelyn L. Boggess discuss the harms of economic and social welfare policies on families, specifically the impact of child support debt.

Dr. David Pate Jr is the Chair and Associate Professor at the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin MilwaukeeJacquelyn L. Boggess is a policy analyst and the Executive Director of the Center for Family Policy and Practice (CFFPP).

Combined, the two have decades of research and a wealth of knowledge on low income African-American men, fatherhood and child support debt. Dr. Pate shared his research on how black men are affected by the social welfare system and the challenges that impede their ability to attain economic security. Jacquelyn explained her take on the current state of the social safety net and how her experiences in and out of the courtroom have shaped her work.

Stay tuned for a new groundbreaking tool, which will launch in a few weeks, to better evaluate fair child support rates for families in Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, and Wisconsin.

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


This Labor Day, We’re Investing in the Work of Black Women,” Aisha Nyandoro on Medium

A New Basic Income Pilot in Mississippi, feat. Aisha Nyandoro,” The New Basic Income Podcast

A basic income pilot in Mississippi will provide 15 black mothers with $1000 for free every month, and it could lead to a much bigger experiment,”  on Business Insider

To learn about Dr. David Pate Jr by visiting uwm.edu/socialwelfare and following him on Twitter @DavidJPate. And be sure to learn about Jacquie’s work at CFFPP.org and follow her at @Jacboggess.

Episode 15: Dr. Lori Pfingst

Listen to Anne Price and Dr. Lori Pfingst discuss how the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services is addressing poverty through an equity lens, using the power of data, storytelling and building authentic community relationships.

Dr. Lori Pfingst is a skilled writer, speaker, and storyteller who uses the power of data paired with community voice to foster systems-level change for children and families throughout the state of Washington. She currently serves as the Chief of Programs and Policy for the Economic Services Administration in the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).

Anne Price, President of Insight, welcomed Lori on the podcast to discuss her work in addressing poverty through the social safety net. Over the course of her career, Lori has focused on the issues of poverty reduction, income inequality, and tax policy through a racial and gender lens. Lori notes that there is growing momentum and commitment to equity in tackling poverty. She finds that, “once you see how structural inequities undermine people of color, women and low income families, you can’t unsee it. When we reach critical mass of people that have that understanding, structural change is possible.”

More recently, she has conducted several listening sessions around the state to build authentic relationships with underserved groups. She has heard first-hand the challenges people face and how the current economic system is rooted in racial and gendered narratives that ultimately hold back families from getting the resources they deserve. She noted that for Native communities for example, historical trauma, healing, and resilience were identified as major tenets of repairing the tremendous harms inflicted on Native families.

“These sessions really show the hunger of the people of Washington who want to share their stories and want to be heard to improve not just their lives, but all of the lives of the people we serve,” said Lori.

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

To learn about the poverty reduction work Lori describes in the podcast, please click here.

Juneteenth: A Vision for Black Economic Liberation

    President of the Insight Center
    Senior Fellow at the Economic Security Project
    Executive Director of the Justice Teams Network, Co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project, and Oakland Mayoral Candidate
    Restorative Economics Practitioner and Principal & Founder of Nwamaka Agbo Consulting


For many, Juneteenth is a day of celebration, reflection, and reckoning.

Commemorating June 19th, 1865, when a reluctant Texas state government finally emancipated a quarter of a million people enslaved in the state two years after the official Emancipation Proclamation, Juneteenth serves as a reminder of how the road to freedom and liberation for Black people in America is complex, laden with naysayers and barriers, yet achievable.

It is in this spirit that we bring you our latest Insight Conversation, Juneteenth: A Vision for Black Economic Liberation. Please join Anne Price, Mia Birdsong, Cat Brooks, and Nwamaka Agbo on June 19th for a lively discussion on why we need to be talking about Black economic liberation, what it looks and feels like, and the challenges and opportunities we face in achieving economic justice and self-determination.

Hosted at the Insight Center in downtown Oakland, this event is open to a limited number of in-person attendees, and will also be live-streamed for the general public.

The in-house event will run from 10am-12pm and include light refreshments and an informal reception. To join us in person, please click here or on the “Attend in Person” button below.


Can’t join us in-house? We’ll livestream the discussion beginning at 10:30am. To register for the livestream, click here or on the button below.


Follow and add to this conversation on Twitter with #BlackEconomicLiberation & #Juneteenth.

Have questions for the panel? Submit them in advance to questions@insightcced.org. Panelists will also address questions from the in-person and online audiences.

Unable to attend? All registrants will receive an invitation to access the recorded video and podcast.



Episode 14: Alan Aja

Listen to Anne Price and Alan Aja discuss potential solutions to the crisis in Puerto Rico, racism among the Latinx community, and a sneak peek at a new collaboration coming this fall.

Alan A. Aja is an associate professor and deputy chairperson for the Department of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at Brooklyn College. He is the author of numerous publications focused on inter-group disparities, economic stratification, public policy, collective action, and sustainability. Alan has focused much of his work on the exclusionary practices affecting Latinx communities (in specific Afro-Latinxs in relation to white/white-passing Latinxs) to better understand the nuances of this very diverse population.

Anne Price, President of Insight, welcomed Alan on the podcast to discuss his book Miami’s Forgotten Cubans, the current state of Puerto Rico, and the history of racialized treatment of the Latinx community in the United States.

Alan described the current crisis in Puerto Rico as a moral fail by design. He pointed to evidence that shows poorer neighborhoods made up of Black and Latinx residents are most often neglected in natural disasters. He shared this truth, and more historical examples, demonstrating that these populations continue to face open racialized treatment in our country.

Alan stressed that the U.S. has consistently exploited Puerto Rico through resource extraction, military interests, environmental contamination, and other actions. Considering the ongoing crisis, he proposed a recovery plan tied to a Job Guarantee as a solution for transitioning the territory to sustainable energy and economic development and to strengthen the overall health and well-being of the Puerto Rican population.

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

To learn more about Alan’s work,  explore his faculty profile at Brooklyn College or follow him on Twitter, @AlanAAja1.

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