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Just Solutions

FSTV’s Just Solutions features inspiring conversations with activists, community leaders, and others working to make our world a better place. We discuss the many challenges we are facing, while exploring the solutions emerging from the grassroots. This weekly show connects FSTV viewers/listeners with grassroots activists leading frontline movements who inspire us to be effective change-makers.  Streamed weekly on Wednesdays at 12 noon ET on our Facebook.com/& our youtube channel.  Broadcast on #Freespeechtv Fridays at 9 pm ET. Can't watch the show, catch up on-demand or listen to the podcast version of the show anywhere you get your podcasts.  

Full Episodes

Energy Democracy

The World Bank says global energy prices will soar over 50% this year. Low-income households are hit the hardest as they spend three times more of their income on energy costs than non-low-income households. One movement that is working to tackle this energy burden and the climate crisis is energy democracy - taking energy generation and management out of the hands of corporations and putting it into the hands of communities. Democratizing energy is a central aspect of the just transition away from fossil fuels, and it's grounded in economic and social justice. Our guest is Crystal Huang, the national coordinator of the Energy Democracy Project.

What's the_Future_of_Democracy_in_Florida?

What’s the future for democracy in Florida? Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is rarely out of the national news. From signing bills that restrict discussions on gender, sexual orientation and race in public schools, to efforts to restrict abortion access. Now, a new congressional map, which was proposed by DeSantis himself will dilute the power of Black voters in the state. Our guest is Dwight Bullard, former state senator and senior advisor to Florida Rising, one of the groups that has filed a lawsuit challenging Florida’s new congressional map. So what’s happening in Florida, and why should the rest of the country be paying attention?

Earth Day 2022

Earth Day 2022 comes at a time of dire warnings for the future of our planet. The latest UN Climate report warns that carbon emissions need to shrink by 43% by the end of this decade or we risk being hit by "unprecedented heatwaves, terrifying storms, and widespread water shortages". But world leaders have failed to take the action needed. Earthday.org is mobilizing people and businesses in actions around the world, and they’re calling for real racial, economic, and environmental justice. Our guest today is Kathleen Rogers, president of the earthday network.

Racially Charged: America's Misdemeanor Problem

The US criminal justice system is rife with inequality but there is one area that critics say is particularly bad, that is the misdemeanor system. An estimated 13 million misdemeanors are filed each year in the US. People arrested for minor crimes often lack lawyers, have their cases processed in mere minutes and are punished long before they are convicted for crimes as lowly as jaywalking. This system traps the innocent and punishes the poor. Our guest Alexandra Natapoff, has written about this in her book Punishment without Crime”. The book serves as the inspiration for a new documentary from Brave New Films Racially Charged.

LGBTQ Rights Under Attack

A wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation is sweeping across the country. From Florida’s don’t say gay bill which bans ""classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity"" in early grades to numerous states attempting to outlaw gender-affirming care for transgender youth. Human Rights Campaign are tracking more than 200 anti-LGBTQ+ equality bills around the country and they say the number keeps growing. Our guest is Cathryn Oakley, HRC’s State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel. She focuses on passing non-discrimination laws at the state and local levels and combating anti-LGBTQ legislation in state legislatures.

The Intersection of War and the Climate Crisis

This week on Just Solutions, the intersection of war and the climate crisis. Ukraine’s leading climate scientist has said the human-induced climate crisis and the war against Ukraine have direct connections and the same roots: our dependance on fossil fuels. This of course is not the only conflict with connections to energy resources. Our guest today Michael Klare has examined this connection for many years. He is professor emeritus of peace and world-security studies at Hampshire College, defense correspondent for the Nation magazine, and author of numerous books including All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change, and Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum.

Oscars So White: Lack of Diversity in the Entertainment Industry

There have been increasing calls to diversify the creative and entertainment industries. In 2015 the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite went viral in response to the lack of diversity in the nominations and prompted industry wide discussions on the issue. But it’s not just on screen where a lack of diversity is problematic, behind the scenes there are still significant inequities. Free the Work is an organization that advocates for under-represented creatives. Daisy González is a content specialist with Free the Work, and Pamala Buzick Kim is the Executive Director of the nonprofit that is focused on equitable representation behind the lens.

Attacks on Reproductive Rights

Access to abortion is declining in an increasing number of states. The Texas Supreme Court has now effectively shut down a federal challenge to the state’s ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. It’s the most restrictive abortion law in the country and other states are following suit. Florida’s legislature passed a bill that would ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, and in Kentucky, the state House has voted to pass new restrictions that could effectively shut down clinics in the state. Our guest is Amanda Allen, Senior Counsel and Director with the Lawyering Project, one of the organizations that has been challenging the Texas abortion ban in the courts.

Media Coverage of War

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, how is the media covering the war? The hypocrisy of coverage of this war compared to other wars is being laid bare. In contrast to the coverage of civilian casualties in Ukraine, there has been scant coverage of civilian death when it was the U.S. military launching the invasions. So how can the mainstream media do a better job in covering conflicts and giving much needed context? Our guest is author and media critic Jeff Cohen, the founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, founder of the media watch group FAIR. His recent article in Common Dreams examines how major American media outlets oppose military aggression... unless the United States is doing it.

Fulfilling a Promise: An Historic Nomination for the Supreme Court

President Joe Biden has nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. The historic announcement means judge Brown could be the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court. Civil rights groups have welcomed the nomination. Our guest this week is Holli Holliday, president of Sisters Lead Sisters Vote, an advocacy group that has pushed for a Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court. Holliday says “Representation on the Supreme Court matters. Justices have ruled on every aspect of our lives. Decisions have legalized school segregation and later school integration; same-sex marriage; and woman’s reproductive right to an abortion.

Fulfilling a Promise: An Historic Nomination for the Supreme Court

President Joe Biden has nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. The historic announcement means judge Brown could be the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court. Civil rights groups have welcomed the nomination. Our guest this week is Holli Holliday, president of Sisters Lead Sisters Vote, an advocacy group that has pushed for a Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court. Holliday says “Representation on the Supreme Court matters. Justices have ruled on every aspect of our lives. Decisions have legalized school segregation and later school integration; same-sex marriage; and woman’s reproductive right to an abortion."

The Black Agenda - Bold Solutions for a Broken System

Our guest is Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman, editor of the Black Agenda, Bold Solutions for a broken system, a new collection of essays written by Black scholars addressing a variety of issues from the climate crisis to education and more.

Fighting for Voting Rights in the South

The battle over voting rights continues across the country with many states grappling with redistricting that disenfranchises voters of color. The Supreme Court recently ruled that Alabama can reinstate a Congressional map that a lower court found to dilute the strength of Black voters. Gerrymandering is also an issue in North Carolina where the state’s supreme court ruled that partisan Republican efforts to redraw congressional and state legislative maps were unconstitutional. Our guest is Dr. Aimy Steele, founder and executive director of the New North Carolina Project, a non-partisan group that is working to make sure communities of color are not left out of the political process and have their votes count.

Erasing the Black Freedom Struggle: How State Standards Fail to Teach the Truth About Reconstruction

The non-profit Zinn Education Project has released a new report that shows that the teaching of Reconstruction in schools is inadequate or non-existent in 90 percent of states. Reconstruction is one of the most significant times in the history of this country. It offered incredible possibilities for economic equity and progress for multiracial democracy, but that promise was crushed by white supremacists. Our guest, this week, is Jesse Hagopian, a high school teacher in Seattle and co-editor of the books Black Lives Matter at School: An Uprising for Educational Justice, and Teaching for Black Lives. He says “ignorance about Reconstruction upholds white supremacy.”

What's Next for Voting Rights?

Congress has failed to pass federal voting rights legislation which would have strengthened access to the ballot for all Americans. Meanwhile, Donald Trump continues to push the Big Lie of a stolen election and numerous state legislatures are passing laws that undermine the right to vote. So what can be done, particularly with the mid term elections looming later this year? The Brennan Center for Justice is one of the national organizations working hard to defend voting rights. Sean Morales-Doyle is the Center’s Acting Director of Voting Rights & Elections. He joins us to discuss what’s next for voting rights.

100 Seconds to Midnight: Humanity on the Verge of Catastrophe

The Doomsday Clock is at 100 seconds to midnight. A project of the bulletin of atomic scientists, the clock is a symbol of the threats facing humanity and the planet, from nuclear war to the climate crisis. This year the clock was set to 100 seconds to midnight, the same time that it has been since 2020, the closest to catastrophe than at any time in its 75 year history. This year’s time setting recognizes the additional threats of the ongoing COVID pandemic and the rise of disinformation. This week’s guest is Sharon Squassoni, co-chair of the Bulletin's Science and Security Board. The organization is calling for action and outlines practical steps to move the world away from catastrophe and toward a safer world.

Voting Rights on the Line

The fight to pass federal voting rights legislation is heating up. Activists are in Washington DC demanding that Congress pass federal voting rights legislation. Among those gathering at the nation’s capital are students who have been on a hunger strike in support of Freedom to Vote Act which aims to make voting easier by making election day a national holiday, allowing early voting and voting by mail, things that supporters of the bill say will make voting more accessible for everyone but especially marginalized voters. Today’s guests are from Un-PAC, a nonpartisan youth led organization that is working to get The Freedom to Vote Act passed. Brandon Ortega, a student at Arizona State University has participated in the national hunger strike, and Adrien Horton, is an Un-PAC organizer, they join us today from Washington DC.

Megafire: Wildfires and Climate Change

The recent fire in Colorado that burned more than 1000 homes and displaced tens of thousands of others is a stark reminder of the very real impact of the climate crisis. The most destructive fire in Colorado history was fueled by strong winds and dry vegetation, a result of severe drought. Our guest is environmental journalist Michael Kodas, author of the book Megafire, The Race To Extinguish A Deadly Epidemic Of Flame, says wildfires are now a year-round threat in the American west, and they’re becoming more intense. So just how do we deal with this “new normal?”

Movement Politics: Looking Ahead to the 2022 Midterms

There is a lot at stake in the 2022 mid-term elections. 34 senate seats and 435 House seats will be on the ballot, along with countless races for local and statewide positions, playing out all across the country. People’s Action is working to elect candidates that reflect the real-life experiences and identities of everyday voters. Their Rise Up 2022 strategy seeks to boost progressive power by organizing in competitive races to flip Republican-held swing seats. Brooke Adams, director of movement politics at People’s Action joins us to talk about the deep canvassing techniques they’re using to engage voters around progressive policies and to engage with voters who are typically shut out of politics and ignored by the Democratic establishment.

Environmental Justice in Coal Country

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has said he will not vote for the Build Back Better Bill a measure that includes $555 billion for climate projects and clean energy transition. Manchin has a history of opposing climate change legislation and continues to the support the coal industry, a dominant force in his state. But many of his constituents are pushing back saying West Virginia needs to transition away from coal. Our guest today is Angie Rosser, Executive Director of West Virginia Rivers Coalition, one of more than 2 dozen West Virginian organizations holding rallies in the state calling on Senator Manchin to support the Build Back Better Bill. We’ll discuss what’s at stake for West Virginia and the country and what it’s like to be an environmental activist in coal country.

The Day the World Stops Shopping

Consumer spending is on the rise, despite the coronavirus, despite inflation and despite supply chain problems. In fact, the National Retail Federation expects Americans to spend up to 10.5% more this holiday season, around $850 billion. But what is the impact of all this consumption, not just on our wallets, but on our society and on the planet? In his latest book The Day the World Stops Shopping, author JB Mackinnon investigates how living with less would change our planet, our society, and ourselves and he asks, what would a world beyond consumerism look like.

Vigilantes and Anti-Democratic Legislation Threaten Protesters

Kyle Rittenhouse was found not-guilty of all charges after he killed two protestors and shot another during anti-racism demonstrations in Kenosha, Wisconsin last summer. Many people are concerned that the verdict gives a green light for vigilantes to take up arms against civil and social justice protestors. In addition, 11 states have passed anti-protest legislation, and at least 231 bills have been introduced across 45 states. These include laws that protect drivers who strike and injure protesters. Color of Change has started a campaign to demand state governors stop anti-protest laws from passing. Our guest today, Scott Roberts, senior director of criminal justice campaigns at Color Of Change says there is a dangerous pattern of trying to silence protest against police violence.

Teaching Black History to White People

"The teaching of race and history in public schools has become the latest culture war in the US. Republican-controlled state legislatures have led the charge, and 9 states have passed legislation banning the teaching of critical race theory. Nearly 20 additional states have introduced or plan to introduce similar bans. Leonard N. Moore, the George Littlefield Professor of American History at UT Austin, asks why is the teaching of Black history so controversial? In his latest book Teaching Black History to White People, Dr. Moore says every white person in America should be required to take a Black history class in either high school or college. He joins us today to talk about his own experience of 25 years teaching Black history."

How to Tackle Disinformation Around the Holiday Dinner Table

With the holidays approaching, many people are faced with the prospect of having difficult conversations with friends and family who may be spreading misinformation on everything from politics to COVID. The World Health Organization has called the spread of misinformation around the coronavirus an ""infodemic"" that costs lives. Challenging loved ones one this issue can be difficult, but there are ways to speak up. Hannah Waltz, U.S. Free Expression Programs coordinator at PEN America joins us to give us advice on how to have those difficult conversations. PEN America has led a series of virtual media literacy activities, part of its response to the ongoing threat of misinformation.

Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest

World leaders at the COP 26 climate summit have pledged to end and reverse deforestation by 2030 in recognition of the crucial role forests play in absorbing carbon dioxide and slowing the warming of the planet. Suzanne Simard, Professor of Forest Ecology at the University of British Columbia, has changed our understanding of forests and trees. Her research shows how trees are part of a large, interconnected community. They communicate and help each other. They warn each other about danger and share nutrients in critical times. In her latest book, "Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest," Suzanne Simard explores the communal nature of trees and their shared network of interdependency. Dr. Simard calls for bold reforms that recognize the link between our forests and the climate change and biodiversity crises facing the entire world.

The Great Resignation: What is the Future for Labor?

"The month of October saw wave after wave of strikes breaking out across the US as workers in multiple industries demand better pay, better benefits, and better working conditions. This comes at a time when millions of Americans are leaving the workforce in what is being dubbed ""The Great Resignation."" Corporate America is dubbing it a ""labor shortage,"" but labor rights activists say that instead, it's a shortage of good wages, affordable childcare, and adequate benefits, and they say workers have had enough. Our guest today is economist Dr. Grieve Chelwa, Director of Research at the Institute on Race and Political Economy at The New School."

COP 26 - What's at Stake?

Global leaders will be convening in Glasgow, Scotland, for the COP 26 climate conference. There is so much at stake with many observors saying this is the world's last best chance of averting climate catastrophe. The UN Secretary General has said 2021 is a make or break year to confront the global climate emergency. And yet, there is continual investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure around the world. Our guest today is Laurie van der Burg with Oil Change International, a group that is working to expose the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitate the ongoing transition to clean energy. Laurie van der Burg says "science tells us that we need to end new public finance for coal, oil and gas now in order to stay below 1.5C. This is a matter of life and death, particularly for those living in the Global South and already vulnerable communities.

Is the Future Fossil Fuels Free?

The World Health Organization has recently issued a report that warns ""The burning of fossil fuels is killing us,"" but still, governments worldwide are failing to take action to curb emissions. A year ago, on the campaign trail, Joe Biden promised to ban oil and gas permitting on federally owned land, but he has yet to fulfill that promise. Thousands of indigenous leaders and environmental activists descended on Washington DC last week to demand immediate action on the climate crisis and in the coming weeks, world leaders will gather in Glasgow Scotland for COP 26, an international climate summit where fossil fuels will be central to discussions. So what is the future of fossil fuels?

People vs. Fossil Fuels

Thousands of climate justice advocates and Indigenous leaders are mobilizing in Washington DC this week for the “People vs. Fossil Fuels’’ protests. They are demanding that President Biden declare a climate emergency, ban new fossil fuel leases on public lands, and end subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. Our guest today is Sharon Lavigne, winner of the 2021 Goldman Environmental Prize for North America for her grass roots work that successfully stopped the construction of a $1.25 billion plastics manufacturing plant alongside the Mississippi River in St. James Parish, Louisiana. Her work continues as she battles yet another proposed chemical plant in her community. Sharon Lavigne is in Washington DC this week to participate in the People vs. Fossil Fuel protests.

Expanding the Supreme Court

Progressive activists are building a movement to expand the Supreme Court and restore ideological balance. Currently, the country’s highest court has a 6-3 Republican majority. Groups like Demand Justice say this leads the court to consistently rule in favor of corporate and partisan interests. They’re working to reform the Supreme Court, expand circuit and district courts, and champion new judges with experience as public defenders. Our guest today is Tamara Brummer, an organizer and strategist with Demand Justice, who says our democracy demands that we add seats to the Supreme Court.

Occupy Wallstreet - 10th Anniversary

It’s been ten years since thousands of protesters took to the streets of downtown Manhattan to “Occupy Wall Street.” Some Occupy protestors set up camp in New York’s Zuccotti Park for nearly two months and the occupy movement spread around the world. In early October 2011, “The Occupied Wall Street Journal” began publication to document the protest and the underlying issues. One of the journal’s founders, Journalist Arun Gupta joins us to reflect on the ten year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, its influence on subsequent protests and the role of media in the movement.

Hunger in the USA

The latest figures from the US Department of Agriculture show that more than 38 million people in the United States experienced hunger in 2020. Households with children were even more at risk and now, as many as 1 in 6 kids are facing hunger this year. But federal intervention can help. Food assistance programs during the COVID pandemic stopped hunger from spiraling, even while people lost jobs. Now, a group of Democratic lawmakers is calling on President Biden to convene a national conference on food, nutrition, hunger, and health to design a roadmap to end hunger in America by 2030. Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, a National Call for Moral Revival, and author of the upcoming book We Cry Justice, joins us to talk about the reality of hunger in America and how it needs to be urgently addressed.

LGBTQ Seniors Face Unique Challenges

LGBTQ seniors face specific challenges. According to the AARP, three out of four adults age 45 and older who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender say they are concerned about having enough support from family and friends as they age. Many are also worried about how they will be treated in long-term care facilities and want specific LGBT services for older adults. Dr. Julie Bates, Interim Senior Advisor, LGBTQ Audience Strategy, at the AARP’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion says more needs to be done to help LGBTQ seniors.

Attica Revolt 50th Anniversary

50 years ago, inmates in Attica, a maximum-security prison in upstate NY, held an uprising to protest prison conditions. A crackdown by state police left 39 dead. Attica paved the way for the modern anti-prison movement. Today we are joined by Tyrone Larkins, one of the Attica survivors, Sarah Kunstler, daughter of civil rights attorney William Kunstler who negotiated in behalf of the protesting inmates at Attica, and Soffiyah Elijah, Executive Director of Alliance of Families for Justice, a group that is working to change the landscape of injustice in American courts and prisons.

Hurricane Maria 4th Anniversary: How Communities Respond to Natural Disasters

4 years ago Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and severely damaged critical infrastructure, including the power grid. In the aftermath mutual aid centers sprung up across the island as a bold grassroots relief effort emerge with the goal of restoring power to the people. But how is Puerto Rico doing now and is that grass roots movement still going strong? We speak with Juan C. Dávila and Tom Llewellyn, the film makers behind the award winning documentary “The Response: How Puerto Ricans Are Restoring Power to the People.”

The Rights of Nature

Rights of Nature is the recognition that nature has rights, and is not just property to be controlled and commodified by humans. Increasingly around the world we are seeing people enforcing these rights on behalf of ecosystems. Ecuador recognizes the rights of nature in its constitution. David Pettit, Senior Attorney with the NRDC joins us to discuss how more and more communities in the US are looking at creating and enforcing environmental protections through this legal framework.

Refugee Resettlement in the U.S.

Today on Just Solutions, refugee resettlement in the US. The Biden administration recently announced it would not increase the refugee cap for this fiscal year from an historic low of 15,000. This announcement has surprised and disappointed the many organizations that are working to help tens of thousands who seek refuge in the country every year. Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, joins us today to speak about what happens next, particularly with the growing numbers of refugees worldwide, many of whom are displaced by the climate crisis.

Addressing the Climate Crisis With CLIMATE POWER

Just Solutions features inspiring conversations with activists, community leaders, and others working to make our world a better place. We discuss the many challenges we are facing while exploring the solutions emerging from the grassroots.

Guilty on All Charges: The Path to Justice After Chauvin Verdict

Jody Armour, the Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at the University of Southern California, joins guest host, Sonali Kolhatkar, for this special episode of Just Solutions on Free Speech TV. They'll discuss the verdict finding Derek Chauvin guilty on all charges in the killing of George Floyd, and the implications it has on policing the US, and racial justice.

Mobilizing Global Action With Kathleen Rodgers, President of Earth Day Network

The first earth day happened 51 years ago. Where are we now more than 5 decades later? Kathleen Rogers, President of the Earth Day Network, called for President Biden to enact bold environmental policies in his first 100 days in office, as we approach that mark, what has been achieved?

Wilmington on Fire Part I: A Conversation with the Filmmaker and Cast Member

The Wilmington Massacre of 1898 was a bloody attack on the African-American community by a heavily armed white mob with the support of the North Carolina Democratic Party on November 10, 1898 in the port city of Wilmington, North Carolina. It is considered one of the only successful examples of a violent overthrow of an existing government and left countless numbers of African-Americans dead and exiled from the city. This event was the spring board for the White Supremacy movement and Jim Crow segregation throughout the state of North Carolina and the American South. This incident has been barely mentioned and has been omitted from most history books. It was not until 2006, after the North Carolina General Assembly published a report on it, that the tragedy became known to the general public. Chris Everett, film maker behind the documentary Wilmington on Fire, and historian LeRae Umfleet join us to talk about the massacre and its legacy.

From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century.

Housing and employment discrimination as well as massive wealth and opportunity gaps show that racism and discrimination continue to choke economic opportunity for African Americans at nearly every turn. Folklorist, writer and lecturer Kirsten Mullen tackles these issues head on and makes the case for economic reparations for U.S. descendants of slavery in a new book she has co-authored - From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century.

Wilmington on Fire Part II: The Legacy of White Supremacy

The legacy of the Wilmington massacre and coup of 1898 continues to resonate. Reggie Shuford and Greg Lindquist, both from Wilmington, NC, are trying to educate their community on the history that is not being taught so we can understand the present.

When We Free the World (Kevin Powell)

Kevin Powell is an activist, poet, and author of numerous books, including his latest When We Free the World, a collection of essays that examine racism, sexism, fear, and division while offering a hopeful road to healing. He joins us today to talk about what’s next after the guilty verdict in the Chauvin trial.

A Call for a Moral Revival

Income Inequality is on the rise and is pervasive between Black and white Americans. Right now the wealth of a typical Black family is around one-tenth that of a white family. The Souls of Poor Folk audit by the Poor People’s Campaign highlights the relationships between systemic racism, persistent poverty, the war economy and ecological devastation. “The Poor People’s Campaign: is calling for a “Third Reconstruction” measure to set poverty eradication as a top U.S. goal.

The Effort to Suppress the Vote in 2022 & Beyond

A concerted effort is happening to restrict voting rights around the country with at least 14 states passing more than 20 laws that block access to the ballot. These bills range from limiting mail-in voting to restrictive voter-id laws. This Republican-led effort is built on the Big Lie of voter fraud. Lisa Graves of True North Research and BOLD ReThink joins us to talk about how voter suppression impacts all of us, and with the mid-term elections coming up in 2022, so much is at stake.

LGBTQ+ Rights Are Under Attack!

This week on Just Solutions, this year President Biden officially proclaimed June 2021 as Pride month and vowed not to rest until full equality for LGBTQ Americans is finally achieved and codified into law. This is while multiple states have introduced and enacted laws that limit protections for the LGTBQ community and particularly target transgender youth. One such state is Tennessee where opponents of the new laws say Transgender people in the state now fear being themselves in public. ACLU of Tennessee Executive Director Hedy Weinberg says embedding discrimination against transgender youth into state law is shameful. Her organization is pushing back against these laws saying they’re unconstitutional. What’s behind this wave of anti-trans legislation sweeping through state legislatures and what can be done? From Free Speech TV, Just Solutions.

Rural Wisconsin Communities Battle Industrial Scale Hog Farms

Rural communities in Wisconsin are battling two proposed concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in their areas. These giant industrial scale hog farms pose grave threats to residents’ properties, local economies as well as surrounding air, land, and waterways. What’s happening in Crawford County and Polk/Burnett counties is the subject of a new series by Real News Network and In These Times. Max Alvarez with Real News Network, Hannah Faris with In These Times and community activist Forest Jahnke who is the Project Coordinator at the Crawford Stewardship Project join us to talk about what’s at stake.

The Intersection of Disability Rights and Reproductive Rights

The #FreeBritney movement has brought much needed attention to the conservatorship system, but many people say this is a disability rights issue that has long needed closer scrutiny. An estimated 1.5 million Americans are under some form of a conservatorship, where a court appoints a third party to make personal, financial and medical decisions for them. Many of these people are disabled adults who advocates say have been stripped of their rights. Journalist Sara Luterman has written in The Nation about the intersection of disability and reproductive rights and how many women in conservatorships are forced to take birth control.

Latinx Communities and the Climate Crisis

The climate crisis is playing out across the country with record heat, drought and wildfires raging across much of the American west. While everybody is impacted, People of Color are disproportionately bearing the brunt. During Oregon’s recent triple digit temperatures, health officials reported that about two-thirds of heat wave deaths were people of color. The Natural Resources Defense Council says more than half of Latinxs in the U.S. live in the country’s three most climate-vulnerable states and a new report shows that Latinx people are twice as likely to live in the areas most exposed to wildfires as the rest of the population. Today’s guest is Felipe Benítez, the executive director of Corazón Latino, a national non-profit organization that seeks to generate social, environmental, and conservation initiatives that foster natural resource stewardship.

The Filibuster

There is increasing attention being paid to the filibuster, the Senate rule requiring a threshold of 60 votes for legislation to pass instead of a simple majority. The filibuster has a history of impeding civil rights legislation and was recently used to block the introduction of the For the People Act. Critics say the rule has a racist history and concentrates power in the hands of the few. Today’s guest is Stephen Spaulding, Senior Counsel for Public Policy and Government Affairs at Common Cause, one of the voting rights groups calling on the Senate to reform its rules. Common Cause says the filibuster is undemocratic because it means a minority can stop any legislation in its tracks.

When Justice Isn't Just

"The US has the largest criminal justice system in the world, but it is rife with inequality. A 2018 report by the Sentencing Project shows racial disparity permeates every stage of the system. Black Americans are more likely than white Americans to be arrested; then more likely to be convicted. Black Americans are nearly 6 times as likely to be incarcerated than whites. Countless unarmed Black people have been targeted and killed by police officers. The documentary When Justice Isn’t Just examines the many ways our criminal justice system is failing so many Americans and how it could be mended. Taking us from the protests in the streets to courtrooms and prisons and to classrooms, it brings us the voices of people demanding justice. The producers of When Justice Isn’t Just, David Massey and Dawn Alexander, join us today to talk about the film, its impact, and what needs to change."

Looking to a Progressive Future : New Leadership at Demos

Taifa Smith Butler is the new president of Demos, a progressive think tank aimed at creating a just, inclusive multiracial democracy and economy. Butler, a long-time advocate for racial equity and economic justice, takes the leadership at Demos at a time of rising income inequality and ongoing systemic racism.

From the Ashes: California Wildfires

In 2018 the Camp Fire leveled the entire town of Paradise. The Poor People's Campaign and the CA Homeless Union together supported the newly homeless residents. We see where they are 3 years later, in the midst of yet another devastating wildfire.

Podcast Episodes

The Future for Democracy in Florida

The Future for Democracy in Florida


Earth Day

Earth Day


Racially Charged

Racially Charged


LGBTQ Rights Under Attack

LGBTQ Rights Under Attack


War and the Climate Crisis

War and the Climate Crisis


: Oscars So White, Lack of Diversity in Entertainment Industry

: Oscars So White, Lack of Diversity in Entertainment Industry


Abortion Rights Under Attack

Abortion Rights Under Attack


How the Corporate Media Covers War

How the Corporate Media Covers War


Fulfilling a Promise: An Historic Nomination for the Supreme Court

Fulfilling a Promise: An Historic Nomination for the Supreme Court


The Black Agenda, Bold Solutions for a Broken System

The Black Agenda, Bold Solutions for a Broken System


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