Pod for the Cause

Welcome to the official podcast of The Leadership Conference

We’ve joined the airwaves to help spark conversation and activism on some of the most critical issues of today.

From the courts to immigration, we’re seeing unprecedented attacks on the values we hold near and dear. At Pod for the Cause, we’re going to tackle these issues and more. Our friends in the movement will be stopping by to have these conversations, and they promise to be real, straightforward and honest.

This podcast was created for those of you wanting to effect change, who understand the importance of restoring our democracy and want to engage in deep conversation around the issues. So check out the first episode of Pod for the Cause, and subscribe below!


S05 E08: Vote For Justice
April 6, 2022

Our host Vanessa Gonzalez is joined by Sakira Cook, Senior Director of the Justice Program at The Leadership Conference and the The Education Fund,...

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S05 E07: Local Organizing & the Legacy of Black-led Civil Rights Movements
March 23, 2022

Our host Vanessa Gonzalez is joined by Arekia Bennett-Scott, executive director of Mississippi Votes, and Jordan Johnson, executive director of Geo...

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S05 E06: Trans Rights are Civil Rights
March 16, 2022

Our host Vanessa Gonzalez is joined by Diego Sanchez, Director of Advocacy, Policy & Partnerships at PFLAG and Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, Executive...

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S05 E05: Winning the Narrative
March 16, 2022

What is narrative and why should it matter to activists? Vanessa is joined by Ellen Buchman, President at The Opportunity Agenda, Dr. Jiggy Geronim...

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S05 E04: What are our Civil Rights on the Internet?
November 29, 2021

Our host Vanessa Gonzalez is joined by Sofia Ongele, Founder of ReDawn and Creative Advisor Intern at Kode with Klossy, and Laura Murphy, President...

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S05 E03: Immigration and Race in America
November 15, 2021

Our host Vanessa Gonzalez is joined by Lia Parada, Director of Legislative Advocacy at The Immigration Hub, and Abraham Paulos, Deputy Director at ...

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S05 E02: The Biden Scorecard Episode
October 28, 2021

Our host Vanessa Gonzalez is joined by Lena Zwarensteyn, Senior Director of the Fair Courts Campaign at The Leadership Conference and The Education...

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S05 E01: The Intersections of Abortion Bans
September 20, 2021

Our host Vanessa Gonzalez is joined by Aimee Arrambide, Executive Director at Avow Texas; Leila Abolfazli, Director for Federal Reproductive Rights...

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Vision For Justice: Reimagining Public Safety
August 5, 2021

On the finale of the Vision for Justice miniseries, our guest host, Monifa Bandele, Movement for Black Lives Leadership Team, reimagines public saf...

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Meet the Host

Vanessa N. Gonzalez is the executive vice president of field and member services at The Leadership Conference — a coalition of more than 220 organizations serving as a strategic hub of the civil rights movement. For more than a decade, Vanessa has been a leader in outreach, community engagement, and building political and advocacy movements. Vanessa loves living in “should be a state” D.C. and is a proud mama to a very opinionated eight-year-old and a 16-year-old rescue senior pup, who is usually snoring by her side. She is constantly inspired by teachers, care providers, and the bravery of immigrants who continue to build this country.

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