S07 E01: Angelic Troublemakers: The Legacy of Bayard Rustin

Pod Squad

Clayola Brown Headshot Clayola Brown President A. Philip Randolph Institute, International Vice President of Workers United-SEIU
David Johns Headshot Dr. David Johns executive director National Black Justice Coalition
Michael G. Long Author editor of Bayard Rustin: A Legacy of Protest and Politics

Our Host

Kanya Bennett headshot Kanya Bennett managing director of Government Affairs The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Leadership Conference Education Fund

Contact the Team

For all inquiries related to Pod For The Cause, please contact Evan Hartung ([email protected]).

Episode Transcript

Kanya: Welcome to “Pod for The Cause, “the official podcast of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Leadership Conference Education Fund. Where we take on the critical, civil, and human rights issues of our day, as we work to save our democracy. I’m your host, Kanya Bennett, coming to you from Washington D.C.. Today on “Pod for The Cause,” we are kicking off season seven, seven. And we are joined by three exceptional and expert guests to do so. I really can’t imagine a better lineup for a discussion on the legacy of Bayard Rustin. I am thankful the stars aligned and we have with us today, President Clayola Brown, head of the A. Philip Randolph Institute. Clayola is also the International Vice President of Workers United-SEIU, and the Senior Advisor for Strategic Partnership and Racial Justice at the AFL-CIO.

Clayola: Thank you so much, Kanya.

Kanya: We also have Dr. David Johns, the Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition. David, happy to have you. Welcome.

David: Thank you so much. Happy to be here.

Kanya: And we also have author, Michael Long, most recently, the editor of “Bayard Rustin: A Legacy of Protest and Politics.” Mike, thank you for joining us today. Welcome.

Michael: Thanks. Great to be here.

Kanya: As I mentioned today, we are talking about Bayard Rustin, along with quite a few folks in society, actually. The recent release of the film, “Rustin,” has certainly made Bayard a trending topic. This movie shines a light on the pivotal role that Rustin played in the civil rights movement, especially as the chief architect and organizer of one of the defining events of the 20th century, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, in August 1963. So for the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, an organization that was intimately involved in the March, Bayard is family. As my colleague Corrine Yu put it, while not a founder of the Leadership Conference, Rustin is founder adjacent as a mentee and close ally of A. Philip Randolph. Rustin was also a former chair of the Leadership Conference. But while Bayard has long been revered and familial to those who worked alongside him in the pursuit for racial, social, and economic equality, until recently, Rustin was often a footnote in our civil rights history, perhaps because of his sexuality.

I want to turn to our guests now, who appreciate that Bayard is chapter worthy. In fact, in Mike’s case, whole book worthy, given his impact on past and present day activism, coalition building, and civil rights leadership. David, let’s start with you. You’re at the helm of the National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights organization founded in 2003, and dedicated to the empowerment of Black LGBTQ+ people. As Rustin was a black, openly gay man, whose life’s work was civil rights, certainly it is on his shoulders that NBJC stands. Talk to us about how your organization is channeling and continuing the legacy of Bayard Rustin.

David: I very much appreciate the question. I was twirling around in my office looking for Michael’s book, with the hope that he will soon sign it. And I’m always thankful to share space with the indomitable Ms. Clayola Brown. And I really appreciate and celebrate the legacy that she continues to embody in the spirit of our brother, A. Philip Randolph. A. Philip Randolph and I, I think I can speak on his behalf and say that we are proud to be “Rustinettes”. What I know and celebrate this month in particular, as we’re having this conversation, is that this December 2023, NBJC turned 20 years old. And we celebrated our 20th anniversary the same year as the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Justice, that was conceived of and organized by the brilliant Bayard Rustin.

And what I know is that that march was a reflection of so many of the ways in which he showed up to add value to our democracy and to our country. He is someone who is often not remembered for his brilliance as a strategist and a speech writer, for his beliefs as a quaker who understood the importance of honoring everyone’s humanity. I love learning about the fact that he played football, and would lay somebody out, and then would recite poetry to them. And it is my honor to lead an organization at NBJC, that works to do all of those things that he believed were important, and that he worked to actualize in ways that we still benefit from today. I’m so thankful for all that brother Bayard did, and the vestiges of his legacy, which show up if only in the spirit of nonviolent civil disobedience. That is to be credited to brother Bayard. And I look forward to so many more people learning his name and falling in love with his legacy.

Kanya: So, Clay, let me ask the same question of you. And David rightfully acknowledged the way in which you are continuing the legacy of Bayard Rustin. From 1965 until 1979, Rustin served as president and later as co-chair of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, an organization of black trade unionists dedicated to racial equality and economic justice. You are now at the helm of this institute and the modern-day labor movement. How are you continuing the legacy of Bayard Rustin?

Clayola: First of all, let me say to Kanya, thank you so very much for the inclusion. We are so proud of our legacy that brother Rustin brought to the table. I’m excited because of the others who are on this podcast. Michael Long has a history that is not challenged anywhere, but revered. So Michael, it’s great to be on with you. And Dr. David Johns, I watch you youngin, with all the love in my heart, and the pride for all that you do. So I’m thrilled today to be a part of this. But as far as continuing the legacy, I have no choice, because one of Rustin’s favorite things to say is that we must have a lot of angelic troublemakers. And I’m from the country, so a part of it is making sure that we make the right kind of trouble as we continue to hold up to fight for the cause. Rustin said something, and I’m glad that covered it during the film. He said on the day that he was born, he was also born a homosexual. What he did not add at the end of it is what he normally would add to a lot of stuff which was, “Now, you deal with it.” I love that about his persona.

It’s also not just his persona, but it is also a challenge. Inside of the A. Philip Randolph Institute today, we have six chapters that are LGBTQ chapters, that are called Rustin chapters, in addition to the A. Philip Randolph Institute chapters that are traditional. And these are young people who were looking for a place that they knew they would be welcomed, and that their leadership would be appreciated. And that who they were was what we were looking for. And they came to us through our youth training program. All of them happened to be in the state of North Carolina, where we’ve got fantastic leadership there. A young sister, Denicia Montford, who is also from the LGBTQ community, never said a word, just was. And started to grow stuff left and right. So the philosophy of Rustin is alive and well and kicking, and kicking butt, too. And in that frame, it’s making sure that the real principle of organizing, strategizing, and coalition building is at the top of the list. So that’s the continuation of what he brought and continues to bring to the organization.

Kanya: Six Rustin chapters, that is amazing. I want to talk about coalition building. I want to go back to you, David, about sort of what coalition looks like right now, with respect to those who identify as queer in the movement. So, like many in the black queer community, Rustin faced discrimination as a black man in white America, and as a gay man within the civil rights movement. And because of the multiple layers of discrimination, we know that Rustin’s voice was marginalized. However, today, in 2023, we have, again, as Clay said, we have six Rustin chapters right there at the helm of the labor movement. We have Senator Laphonza Butler, who became the first openly black lesbian in Congress recently. What do you think is the current state of black LGBTQ+ visibility in the modern civil rights movement? And how can we work to elevate black LGBTQ+ activists and leaders?

David: First, I want to push on a part of the premise that you provided in framing this, which is that brother Bayard’s voice was marginalize. And what I know is that his voice reverberates so very clearly, if only in my physical experience. Hopefully folks can see that he is over my shoulder at my office as I’m having this conversation. For folks who might be visually impaired, there’s a beautiful picture on a wood frame of brother Bayard, surrounded by black and white images, popular in referencing the modern civil rights moments that he’s responsible for, otherwise contributing to. And while so many people have not yet met Bayard in name, they have benefited from and/or have been touched by his work and the legacy there in. What folks may know is that he organized the largest civil disobedience demonstration in the March on Washington for Jobs and Justice in ’63. Which prior to that moment, no one had conceived of. There had been clearly marches in the south, they were more isolated. But he said, let’s bring our people to the nation’s capitol to make demands of the people that we send to office. And that legacy existed and showed up when my sisters, Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour, produced the Women’s March decades later. And so I hope that that’s illustrative of the ways in which Bayard’s voice, and his touch, and his brilliance is so very palpable.

I heard a part of your question being around representation, and then another part of it being around coalition building. What I know and celebrate and is so embedded in the work of NBJC is that, one of the strengths of African people is celebrated community. One of my favorite authors, Sobonfu Somé, writes in “The Spirit of Intimacy,” in chapter 13 of their book, which is titled, “Homosexuality: The Gatekeepers.” What they write is, “In my village in West Africa, the words lesbian and gay didn’t exist. But the word gatekeeper did. And gatekeepers hold the space between community and our ancestors.” And what I know is that, black people, by the ontological definition of the word queer, because we’re not in positions of pejorative privilege, or power, rather, are queer. And black people who have core identities because of our marginalization around sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, have superpowers that enable us to be gatekeepers. And it is our reliance on community that allows us to resist, and rest, and experience the kind of joy that’s required for us to continue to get our beautifully diverse community closer to freedom. What I celebrate in the nuance is, it is too often the case that it is not safe for those of us with multiple marginalized identities that might not be hyper visible, to publicly disclose or otherwise invite people into those identities. And as a result of that, people don’t see us or they feel like we don’t exist.

The reality is that we have always been here. And so at the same time as there has been a proliferation of bills, political bullies offering legislation, more than 600 anti-LGBTQ bills across every state in our country, more than 100 anti-black, primarily anti-CRT bills. The vast majority of these bills target children who didn’t ask to be born. But at the same time is this very pronounced visible desire to use ignorance and hate to stoke fear, so that people turn out, they hope, to vote for a anti-Democratic Party and leaders. There’s also a growing number of black LGBTQIA+, or queer, trans, and gender expansive elected leaders. I’ll end this by saying that I celebrate NBJC is home to a good trouble network, a network of angelic troublemakers to use rather by its term. And these are leaders who are on the front lines in states like Florida, where state senator Shevrin Jones, and state representative Michele Rayner, are working in an environment where all of the political odds are stacked against them. Where there’s a supermajority, a failed history teacher, and a tyrant committed to destroying democracy, who is empowered. And they stand in the gap to ensure that our democracy is defended, that our country remains strong as a result of the diversity that has always existed here, and that the legacy of the contributions that black, queer, trans, and gender expansive folks, whether they be publicly identified or disclosed or not, like brother Bayard, are taught to our children, even when organizations like the College Board choose profit over telling all parts of our history.

Kanya: Thank you, David.

David: Let me say one other thing, which is to acknowledge that I’m moving around a lot because when I talk about our brother Bayard, I get passionate, and my body has a visceral response. And it is this, we would not know Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. III, as we do, if it were not for brother Bayard. Beyond being the architect of the march, where he gave…he being King, the seminal speech that he is still remembered for, and that personifies so much of his life and legacy. Brother Bayard was his speech writer, King’s, and so many others. He was a strategist to so many leaders of the modern Civil rights movement. He was a friend and confidant who showed up in so many ways, both big and small, both in public and private, in spite of the attacks that he endured to no fault of his own, for things that he could not have changed, and that I don’t think he would change if he had the ability to. And I want that to be appreciated and celebrated, especially as we continue to give flowers to our leaders like Dr. King and others who very much deserve them. Brother Bayard deserves his flowers too.

Kanya: Let me bring you into this conversation, Mike. And I want to go back to something that David was saying about sort of how we view Rustin’s role in the movement. Certainly, we know he had tremendous influence on our civil rights leaders, the ones who have received sort of the recognition, the acclaim, the ones who are well represented in our history books, the brand names of the civil rights movement, if you will. But talk to me about this marginalization. Is it accurate to say that, to a certain extent, Bayard was pushed to the side, though, obviously, his brilliance, his efforts lived through so many, when we think about how he was treated by the Civil Rights Movement.

Michael: I think it’s accurate to say the Rustin was marginalized for the better part of his adult life. He was marginalized because of his sexuality. And the film does a really nice job of showing that, I believe in 1960, Adam Clayton Powell, the Democratic Congressman of Harlem, decided that he didn’t want Dr. King and A. Philip Randolph to march on the Democratic National Convention. And so he called Dr. King and he threatened Dr. King by saying this, “If you don’t call off the march on the Democrats, I will go to the media and tell them that you’re having a sexual affair with Rustin.” And Dr. King, the great civil rights leader, panicked at that point, and it’s understandable why. This is a homophobic society. If you’re gay, you could be thrown in jail, you could be thrown in psychiatric hospital, or you were condemned by religious leaders virtually everywhere. And so he panics, given the homophobic society. He fears being tainted, and he cuts Rustin out of his inner circle. And that contributed to the marginalization of Rustin. That was a clear sign of permission, I believe, to continue to marginalize Rustin because of his sexuality. I also believe though that he was marginalized because of his radical politics. Rustin was thrown in jail because he was a conscientious objector during World War Two, and then refused to appear for military service. Refused to do anything for the military, and was thrown in jail because of that.

He was a hardcore pacifist who protested against nuclear war. He was somebody who had been arrested numerous times because of his civil rights work. Yes, he was openly gay. He was also a former communist. And so Rustin had this real radical dimension about him. And I believe that his radical past and radical politics also contributed to his marginalization. And we saw this especially when Roy Wilkins opposed Bayard becoming the main organizer for the march. Wilkins stated as much in a meeting where the big six were deciding who would be the director of the march. And Wilkins opposed Rustin not only because he had been arrested in 1953 on charges of loot vagrancy, but also because of his radical politics in the past. And so Wilkins too, contributed to the marginalization of Rustin, though I’m happy to say that didn’t work, and Rustin became the main organizer of the 1963 march. Following that, I believe he continued to be marginalized in some ways. But yeah, it’s accurate to say that he was marginalized.

Kanya: I really appreciate you identifying in this response, the various causes Bayard showed up for. And certainly, I think it was evident that Bayard was someone who was going to call out all injustice, anyone it impacted, wherever injustice was being advanced, Bayard was there. He was vocal. He was responsive. He was active. As you said, he took on everything. He was a pacifist. He pushed against Japanese internment, you name it. The issue of the day was on Bayard’s radar. So, Clay, let me go back to you. And let’s talk about sort of labor unions in the modern civil rights movement. Certainly, Bayard was there, the unions were there at that March on Washington. How do you think unions today can strengthen the efforts, the collective efforts of civil rights advocates and leaders?

Clayola: Let me back up on your question just a little bit, because sometimes the inaccurate assumption that labor unions were there from the very beginning, they were not. It took some convincing to have the labor movement be included in the march because of the same kinds of bias that was there. And I’ve got to give UAW its props. They stood up and supported the march from the very beginning. Walter Reuther was not scared of much. And he certainly was not afraid of the negative attitudes and voices that were being lifted around Rustin being in the forefront. Randolph himself had a hard time when being considered for the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO. So, racism was not anything brand new to the labor movement, but it took leaders to step forward to make all of these wonderful things that did happen eventually, happen. And it took the courage of people like A. Philip Randolph to speak up and call them out. It also took the powerhouse of the UAW to say, “I support what’s going on.” Here was a white guy, who didn’t have any skin in the game, did not have to step up, but provided all of the necessities to help make this march successful. No one wanted to even put the money in for the sound system of the march. Reuther said, “You know what, we got this.” I’m paraphrasing, of course. But his union made sure that they would not be speaking just to each other from the stage.

There were 200,000 plus people on that mall. And the goal was to make sure that everyone heard that message as it was being delivered. UAW made that happen. Randolph’s tenacity, and strength, and speaking back to some of the leadership from the NAACP, that was dancing around not having Randolph there, was absolutely important, and made sure that even when they would zig, he would zag and bring him back in, even if at not one title, but another. They could not push Rustin out, because Randolph wasn’t having it. And Dr. King, even though he was placed in a position of difficulty, when the threat was made that he was going to be tied to a homosexual relationship which did not exist, Dr. King came forward at a time when his courage was absolutely necessary to speak out about the skill, the ability of Bayard Rustin, and the necessity that he brought to the table for making this march that was not even able to be visualized in the heads of some of those leaders that you hear the name of and gloriously lifted up all the time. They couldn’t envision that there would be that many people that came together on a mall for freedom and justice, as long as a gay man was involved. Well, they were proven wrong, because it was Rustin who organized the young people for that march, who were quick, who didn’t wait for proper paperwork and all the rest. They just did it.

There were people from all of the communities… He was the personification of coalition building. Churches, community leaders, recognizing people with respect, brought this stuff together. And the labor movement today is still living by those principles. The kind of foundation that Rustin provided in what was necessary to develop growth and new leadership, is very much a part of this new labor movement. We have a woman as president of the AFL-CIO for the very first time. And Liz Shuleris kicking butt and taking names. We have a black man as secretary treasurer for the AFL-CIO. Fred Redmond is doing a yeoman’s job. Fred Redmond serves as the chair for the A. Philip Randolph Institute, and a huge fan of Rustin. So that legacy, and lessons, and the foundations are right there. We have those six chapters that I’ve mentioned in the state of North Carolina, but we’ve got 129 more of the A. Philip Randolph Institute chapters around this country, and in states where you would never expect that there would be that kind of open welcome, with a lot of legislators understanding exactly what the institute is. Is it conducive to where civil rights and human rights should be headed right now to have the memory and the legacy of Rustin lifted as responsible for it? You doggone skippy it is. And to make sure that that partnership between Randolph and Rustin gets recognized, absolutely, absolutely.

Kanya: And maybe part of it is just you want to assume, right, that labor was there all along, NAACP, right, was a partner. We were all in a very sort of kumbaya moment with all of our organizations. And certainly as the film, “Rustin,” depicts, that was not the case. So really appreciate the history there, even though it may mean, right, sort of airing some of our laundry. But it’s good, it’s good to know that history, and it’s good to understand sort of how we are able to identify opportunities for shared agenda, figure out how we should have the solidarity we need to reach our goals in this fight for equality. So, Michael, let me go back to you. Maybe we do not know about Bayard Rustin in this moment. Certainly, there’s lots of attention being paid to this great civil rights leader in this moment. We know that later in life, he’s sort of focused on politics. He moved from protest to politics. So can you talk about some of the later years of Bayard’s contributions to the civil rights movement and agenda?

Michael: Sure. Let me go back to the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, first, if I may, and then segue into the later years. I think what we forget sometimes about the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom is that it was for jobs, right? Rustin was a Democratic socialist. This is an important point that we have to remember about Rustin. He, like A. Philip Randolph, really wanted the march initially to focus on jobs. Later when they brought in Dr. King, the freedom emphasis came. But he and Randolph really wanted to focus on jobs initially. And it was a radical focus, partly because they were calling for the raising of national minimum wage to $2. And if we account for today’s inflation and so forth, that $2 figure equates to $19 per hour, $19 per hour. That’s $2 more than what Senator Sanders was calling for. That’s $4 more than the fight for $15 campaign. That gives you some indication of how radical Randolph and Rustin were in their democratic socialism. And they presented their democratic socialism during the march. I know that my favorite speech that day was A. Philip Randolph’s speech, where he presents his socialist vision for the United States. He calls for restructuring of the economy. He calls for the government’s role in restructuring the economy. He calls for placing people over profits. He calls for the creation of the national minimum wage. It is an astounding speech that we forget.

And I raise Randolph speech to let us know that that’s also Rustin’s speech. Those two guys were on the same page when it came to pursuing economic justice. And really in his later years, this is what Rustin pursues. He pursues economic justice. He does it in part through Clay’s awesome organization, A. Philip Randolph Institute. And he develops this Freedom Budget for all Americans. And the Freedom Budget for all Americans demands economic justice for all. And it presents this blueprint for restructuring the economy in a Democratic socialist way. And Rustin pursues this, sometimes his friends say, at the expense of the peace movement, fighting the Vietnam War, or sometimes at the expense of standing against the Johnson administration, when civil rights activists really needed to. Some of them thought that Rustin had compromised his position too much by pursuing economic justice through political channels. But yeah, in 1964, he writes this awesome essay with Tom Kahn, his assistant, called, “From Protest to Politics.” And they’re calling for civil rights activists to move from the streets into the corridors of power, so that they can realign the Democratic Party, throw out the Dixiecrats, and build this progressive coalition, so that they can advance economic justice for all Americans. And really, in many ways, that’s what Rustin devoted his life to, following the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It wasn’t the only thing, but it was a big part of it.

Kanya: Thank you, Mike, so much, for sharing with the audience sort of where Bayard’s work was focused, focused on jobs, sort of where he started, maybe in a different capacity, a different contribution, like you said, trying to change the Democratic Party, shift efforts in that way. But very much sort of true to really a core part of the agenda upon which, you know, he stood. So we like to equip our audience with action items, with calls to do something, right? And I think very much as we’re having a conversation about Bayard Rustin, it’s right, that we should give people a task to do after they have listened to this episode. So whether it’s joining one of those Rustin chapters there with the A. Philip Randolph Institute, or engaging in some other way. Clay, what is your charge for this audience as we bring a close to this conversation?

Clayola: Well, I tell you, the list is certainly not a short one, because what’s happening on the Hill is scary. And where democracy sits today, I can only imagine what Rustin would be saying and doing, what Randolph would be preaching, even though he was not a preacher, his father was. But what he would be putting out there about how is it that we fight for this democracy of ours, and taking a look at something that they were both criticized for. At the march, there were no women that were speakers. Mahalia sang, of course, but it was also the encouragement of women like his wife, Lucille, who was the breadwinner, Randolph’s wife, and allowed him, through her economic push, to pursue what it was that he was after. And it was Rustin’s grandmother who encouraged him to just be him. But for today, the idea and the principle of accepting people for who they are, is still something that continues to call for the fight. The part for economic justice today is just as it was then. The separation between where the money is, how it gets there, and what is the human’s worth. The idea for women’s rights today is still the same struggle as it was then. Although there have been many changes, many accomplishments, that fight is not over.

And we must continue to do all of those things that bring about the quality that democracy is laid out on top of, all right, for lack of a better way of describing it. To make sure that it’s not justice for some folks, and depression for just us. That we must be that voice, those angelic troublemakers that continue the struggle that is still ever present in everything that we do. There are disparities galore, and a whole bunch of crazy folks that think that they can run this country, and we’ve got to call them out, just like Rustin continued to do. So the challenge is, get involved, make that noise, make the commitment. And there are documents that you can pull up from the past that are just as relevant today for how to structure that. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel, we just have to be a cog in the wheel that is still rolling on the principles of justice for all of us.

Kanya: Thank you so much, Clay, for that very powerful charge, that we all see the humanity in one another, stand up, show up for cause, any cause. Like you said, there is no shortage. That we all be angelic troublemakers. And Mike, as someone who has really chronicled, documented the life and legacy of Bayard Rustin, Clay spoke about picking up some of those historical documents, learning the history, right, reading, reflecting on the contributions that Rustin made to our society. We’re going to ask our audience, right, to pick up one of your books, give it a read. Mike has authored not only adult literature, but children’s literature as well. So that at a young age, we can start to get our children acclimated with those leaders who are not sort of those brand names civil rights leaders. Mike, what is your charge, your ask of the audience to ensure that Bayard’s legacy lives on?

Michael: I guess two things. One is just to make sure that you don’t freeze Rustin at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. We tend to freeze our heroes in particular moments in history. So we freeze Jackie Robinson in 1947, when he breaks the color barrier in Major League Baseball. We freeze Rosa Parks when she refuses to surrender her seat. We freeze Dr. King at the March on Washington when he gives the great I Have a Dream speech. And my fear is that we’re going to freeze Bayard Rustin at the march as the main organizer. It’s a beautiful, great moment in Bayard’s life and in the life of the United States. It’s transformative, right? But Rustin was also more than Mr. March on Washington. And so I hope we’ll go backwards in his life, and look that he grounded his work in the March on Washington, and what his grandmother taught him. She was reared in a quaker household, and she passed on to Bayard the police in equality, and human dignity, to unity of the family, and nonviolence, and pacifism. And he took those principles from Quakerism, what they called quaker flavors, and then spread them out through U.S. society, through his work. So I hope we’ll remember that.

And as we go forward and look at Rustin’s life post march, I hope we’ll remember the importance of political action. Not just protesting on the streets, that’s so important as well. And Rustin never lost sight of that, but he did see the importance of building coalitions in the corridors of power, and trying to change policy for jobs and for freedom. So I hope we’ll remember both of those things as we look at Rustin’s life and recall that he was Mr. March on Washington, but also much more than Mr. March on Washington at the same time.

Kanya: Absolutely. This has been such a great conversation. I want to give a special thanks to my guests, Clayola Brown, David Johns, and Mike Long, for joining us today. We truly appreciate you sharing your time and adding your voice to “Pod for The Cause.”

Clayola: Thank you so much for having me.

David: I appreciate each of you. Thank you, sincerely.

Michael: Onward from here. Right? Let’s march on.

Kanya: Listeners, thank you for joining us today on “Pod for The Cause,” the official podcast of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Leadership Conference Education Fund. To stay connected with us, please visit civilrights.org and hit us up on Instagram and Twitter, @civilrightsorg. You can also text us, text “CIVIL RIGHTS,” that’s two words, “CIVIL RIGHTS,” to 52199, to keep up with our latest updates. And be sure to subscribe to our show on your favorite podcast app, and leave a five-star review. And special thanks to our production team for today’s episode. Evan Hartung, Taylor Nicholas, Dena Craig, Shalonda Hunter, Rafaela Valderrama, and Ebony Barber. That’s it from me, your host, Kanya Bennett. Until next time, together, let’s keep fighting for an America as good as its ideals.

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