Archive for August, 2019

Lilly Ledbetter, Equal Pay Activist – a closer look

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019

Happy Wednesday! This week we’re taking a closer look at equal pay activist Lilly Ledbetter!


The best explanation of what happened to Lilly at Goodyear comes from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s dissenting opinion in the case of Ledbetter v. Goodyear:


“Lilly Ledbetter was a supervisor at Goodyear Tire and Rubber’s plant in Gadsden, Alabama, from 1979 until her retirement in 1998. For most of those years, she worked as an area manager, a position largely occupied by men. Initially, Ledbetter’s salary was in line with the salaries of men performing substantially similar work. Over time, however, her pay slipped in comparison to the pay of male area managers with equal or less seniority. By the end of 1997, Ledbetter was the only woman working as an area manager and the pay discrepancy between Ledbetter and her 15 male counterparts was stark: Ledbetter was paid $3,727 per month; the lowest paid male area manager received $4,286 per month, the highest paid, $5,236”


Ginsberg went on to say that the appropriate remedy to this injustice was to re-write the laws governing fair pay … and in 2009, President Barack Obama’s first act was to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. This law gave women standing to sue employers for gender-based pay inequity, which helped all American women … except Lilly Ledbetter, whose case preceded the law.

Despite this (or perhaps because of it) Lilly has spent the last decade championing for women’s pay equity, and for gender equity in general. She has given scores of inspirational lectures at universities, conferences, and union conventions.


The University of Pennsylvania notes “Wow! Wow! Wow! Your commencement speech last week was one of the most moving, inspirational, and quite frankly the best speech I have heard in my entire tenure as dean. I am not alone in my sentiments. I have heard nothing but praise for you from faculty, students and staff.”


The Texas Civil Rights Project wrote “Lilly was absolutely fabulous and so kind and sociable.  Everyone LOVED her, and her speech was very inspiring and moving.  People were lining up after she spoke to buy her book and meet her. We couldn’t have asked for more– she was absolutely delightful.  It was truly an honor for all of us to meet her and talk with her.  She is a hero.”


Let us know if you’d like to have Lilly Ledbetter speak for your organization, conference, or university! Write us at


—And that is the story for this week! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest from all of our speakers, scientists and change makers!



21st Century Mayor Michael Tubbs – a closer look

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Happy Wednesday! This week, we’re going to take a closer look at Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs!


Mayor Michael Tubbs was elected in 2012 as the youngest city council member in Stockton’s history, earning more than 60 percent of the citywide vote; and in 2016 became the youngest mayor in city history, and the youngest mayor of a major American city!


 Mayor Tubbs most radical and far-reaching project has been to establish the first Universal Basic Income program in the US. You can read more about it here.  Funded entirely by foundation grant money (no tax money involved), 130 Stockton residents will receive $500 a month to cover their basic expenses.


He has spearheaded the creation of “Save Our Stockton “, a group for youth and by youth that lobbies and calls for change on pertinent youth issues in Stockton, CA, and has worked with the Children’s Defense Fund on their California Campaign to End the Cradle to Prison Pipeline.


A first-generation student at Stanford University, Mayor Tubbs was selected as the Founder’s Day Speaker, out of 6,000 undergraduate students – and the first freshman in the 117-year history of the university – to do so. During his time at Stanford he has also co-founded the task-force to end racial profiling in Palo Alto.


His awards and accolades include: Fortune Magazines “40 under 40” annual ranking of the most influential young people in business; “Top 4 Power Player Under 40” by Black Enterprise Magazine, “Top 25 under 25” by The Root, Reader Digest‘s50 Things to Love About America“, Martin Luther King Youth of the Year, California Youth Ambassador, captain of the inaugural NAACP National Great Debate Champions.


Finally, congratulations to the Tubbs family for their upcoming addition!



Let us know if you’d like to bring Mayor Tubbs to your organization, campus, or conference!



Daisy Hernandez – The early reviews for COLONIZE THIS 2nd Ed. are in!

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

Happy Wednesday! This week’s blog is focusing on the early praise we’re seeing for Daisy Hernandez’s new edition of her classic collection of feminist essays COLONIZE THIS!


One of “18 Books Every White Ally Should Read”



One of “19 Books on Intersectionality that Taylor Swift Should Read”


One of “13 books Every Mujerista and Womanist Should Read”


One of the “100 Best Non-Fiction Books of All Time”


“These contemporary ‘sistah outsiders’ don’t shy away from sticky issues when addressing the complexities of their lives. Refusing to simplify in order to fit into someone’s mold, these women dare you to dismiss them.”

“This is one of those books which should be required reading for every young sister out there.”
Asian Week


“These women express a more radical, racialized feminism that broadens the movement beyond its early incarnation.”


“These young women pick up where foremothers Audre Lorde and Gloria Anzaldúa left off.”
—Rebecca Walker

Daisy Hernandez, visiting Davidson University


And that is the story for this week! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest from all of our speakers, scientists and change makers!


Environmental/Community Leader Vien Truong – a closer look

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

Happy Wednesday! This week, we’re going to take a closer look at environmental/community leader Vien Truong

Vien Truong learned two things as a child: Climate change affects us all, and some people suffer more than others.


When her family arrived in the Bay Area as refugees from war-ravaged Vietnam, her parents didn’t speak English and had 11 kids to feed. Truong soon got a crash course in the ill-fated connection between poverty and environmental toxins. “I spent my childhood working in pesticide-filled strawberry fields in California,” says Truong. “Later, growing up in Oakland, I saw families like mine suffering terrible health conditions from pollution for generations.”


(hear Vien discuss her early life in this short video)


Now her life’s work is “to solve both poverty and pollution” nationwide. She pursued that goal as the CEO of the nonprofit social justice accelerator, The Dream Corps, and as the director of its environmental activism arm, Green For All.

Green For All is an initiative of Dream Corps to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Vien Truong serves as CEO of the Dream Corps. They advance solutions that inspire action, serve justice, and improve people’s lives. Their solutions honor life and amplify the voices of those left behind in the current system. By turning to each other, instead of on each other, they act in solidarity, create unlikely partnerships and open unexpected doors.


Their goal is to make sure people of color and working families have a place and a voice in the climate movement. That neighborhoods are strong, resilient, and healthy. That as the clean energy economy grows, it brings jobs and opportunity to communities of color.


More recently, her new company Truong & Associates advises lawmakers, universities, and organizations globally on developing an inclusive workforce, creating sustainable economies, and equitable environmental policies.

Vien has developed numerous energy, environmental, transportation, and economic policies and programs at the state, federal and local levels. She has advised on billions of dollars in public investments for energy and community development programs – including helping to create the biggest fund in history for low-income communities.


Please contact us for more information about having Vien Truong speak at your institution or conference!


—And that is the story for this week! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest from all of our speakers, scientists and change makers!