“For The Win” Podcast

There are a lot of political podcasts, but For The Win is very different. The new podcast — powered by Raben and hosted by Yochi Dreazen, Elliot Williams, and Abigail Omojola — doesn’t just focus on the latest news or scandal. Instead, it talks about how to fight back — and how to win.

New episodes post every other Tuesday. You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

EPISODES

AMERICA’S KIDS ARE DECIDEDLY NOT ALRIGHT

School is right around the corner, but America’s kids – battered by COVID and the seemingly endless number of school shootings – are decidedly not alright. On the latest episode of For The Win, Elliot and Yochi spoke with Alison Malmon, executive director of Active Minds, about the mental health crisis facing our kids and how the suicide of her only brother led her to devote her life to persuading those who need help that its okay to not be okay.

IS CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM A THREAT TO DEMOCRACY?

Christian nationalists are defending Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — and openly embrace the use of violence against political opponents here at home. In our newest episode, Yochi and Abby talk to Rev. Pamela Cooper-White, the author of a new book on Christian nationalism, about why the movement is getting stronger, how it fueled the January 6th insurrection, and why its true agenda is white supremacy.

ABORTION’S NEW GEOGRAPHY

With a leaked decision showing that the Supreme Court will soon gut abortion rights, Abby spoke with Jennifer Welch, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois, about the mechanics of getting an abortion in a post-Roe world, how abortion providers in Illinois are already preparing for a surge of pregnant people from other states, and the constitutional rights SCOTUS might come after next.

THE WAR ON LGBTQ

With an array of states considering their own versions of Florida’s controversial “don’t say gay” bill, Raben Group Founder Robert Raben sits down with Elliot to discuss the true dangers of the new legislation, why conservatives are weaponizing the LGBTQ issue, and why sexuality may again be a major front in the nation’s culture wars.

CONFIRMATION BIAS?

With Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings just days away, judicial expert Lena Zwarensteyn of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights joins Abby, Yochi, and Jeremy Paris to discuss how some senators will try to block Jackson’s nomination, how progressives will defend it, and why this fight will set the stage for the bigger Supreme Court battles still to come.

SCOTUS, MEET KBJ

With President Biden formally nominating Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, Abby and guest host Jeremy Paris spoke with Fatima Goss Graves, president of National Women’s Law Center, about what we need to know about the potential first Black woman justice in SCOTUS history, what progressives can do to support her during the confirmation fight ahead, and how her voice will shape our country for decades to come.

THE SCOTUS WITH THE MOSTEST.

Being involved in one Supreme Court nomination fight is impressive. Our guest, Jeremy Paris, has been involved in eight of them. In the first of a three-part series, Paris — the executive director of the Committee for a Fair Judiciary — joins Abby and Yochi to talk about the impact of Biden’s historic choice to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court, how conservatives have weaponized the judicial system, and how to keep Trump-appointed judges from shaping American life for decades to come.

EDUCATION IN THE TIME OF COVID

Yochi, Elliot, and Abby were set to discuss the debate over when to send kids home from school because of COVID … and then Elliot’s daughter was sent home from school because of COVID. On the newest episode of For the Win, Yochi and Abby talk about the strains school closures are putting on working parents, why some progressives are souring on teachers’ unions, Abby’s recent bout with COVID, and how primal screaming is becoming the stress reliever of choice for many overworked and overtired parents.

A SECOND CIVIL WAR?

Is the U.S. headed towards a second Civil War? On the newest episode of For the Win, Abby, Elliot, and Yochi talk about the politicization of January 6, why so many Americans are now openly endorsing violence against the U.S. government, and whether our deeply-divided country will actually break apart — or go to war with itself.

FIGHTING FOR VOTING RIGHTS & RISKING HER HEALTH: UN-PAC’S JOSELINE GARCIA

Do you care about voting rights enough to risk your health to protect them? On a special episode of For the Win, Yochi talks with Joseline Garcia, a young activist who has been on a two-week hunger strike designed to persuade senators to pass a federal voting rights bill. Garcia, co-founder & national organizing director of Un-PAC, describes using a wheelchair as her body begins to break down, what happened when she met with Sen. Sinema (D-AZ), and why the future of our democracy hangs in the balance.

EDUCATION AS A POLITICAL WEAPON?

How have Republicans managed to turn public education into a powerful political weapon, and can Democrats do anything about it? On the latest episode of For The Win, Yochi spoke with Sharhonda Bossier, CEO of Education Leaders of Color, about the weaponization of critical race theory, why public schools need to change how they teach about race, how HBO taught more Americans about the Tulsa Race Massacre than any textbook, and the glories of Chaka Khan.

DR. LEANA WEN ON THE COVID VACCINE AND MANDATE BACKLASH

Parents will soon have the chance to get younger kids vaccinated against COVID. The question is how many will. On a new episode of For The Win, Yochi speaks with Dr. Leana Wen — a Washington Post contributing columnist, CNN analyst, and former Baltimore health commissioner — about how the COVID fight is being slowed by a “pandemic of misinformation,” how the backlash to mandates could lead parents to reject other vaccinations, and the cold reality that the pandemic may be with us well into the future.

STUDENT-ATHLETES & PROFITS with Edgar Burch, former director of government affairs for the NCAA

In the latest episode of For The Win, Abby and Elliot spoke with Edgar Burch, the former director of government affairs for the NCAA and a Raben Group principal, about the new era of student-athletes being able to profit from marketing their own name, image, and likeness — and what that all means for race, gender, and sexual orientation in college sports.

SPECIAL EPISODE: YOCHI REFLECTS ON HIS TIME IN AFGHANISTAN AS WAR CORRESPONDENT FOR WSJ

On a special episode of For the Win, Elliot and Yochi talk about Yochi’s extensive time on the ground in Afghanistan as a war correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, what it was like to live alongside troops fighting America’s longest war, and tries to make sense of what Trump and Biden got right about Afghanistan — and what they got wrong.

THE WORK AHEAD FOR THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION: A CONVERSATION WITH JULIE RODRIGUEZ

On the latest episode of For The Win, Abby & guest host Estuardo Rodriguez spoke with Julie Rodriguez, the director of the White House’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, about how the Biden administration hopes to beat back the flood of misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines, the path forward for its massive but controversial infrastructure deal, and the complex set of challenges facing the Latino community, which has been disproportionately hard-hit by the pandemic.

IS BIG BUSINESS SHIFTING THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE?

Republicans used to be the party of big business. Now, not so much. From threatening to break up social media giants to promising to revoke business-friendly tax breaks, the GOP is talking tough like never before. But how much is just talk? On a new episode of For the Win, Abby, Elliot, and Yochi talk about why big biz is weighing in on issues like voting rights, whether the long alliance between the GOP and corporate America may actually be splintering, and how that could reshape the political landscape.

“DIRT ROAD DEMOCRAT” WITH JAIME HARRISON

In a special episode of For The Win, Elliot talks with Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison about what it means to be a “Dirt Road Democrat,” why his party needs to do more for rural voters, and how a long-ago promise to his grandfather is fueling Harrison’s fight for voting rights today.

JOSH LEACH

On the latest episode of For the Win, Yochi and Abby sit down with Josh Leach of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee to talk about the situation at the southern border, why the Biden administration is struggling to undo Trump’s damage to our immigration system, and why the phrase “Title 42” sounds benign but is actually threatening thousands of lives.

EXPLORING “CANCEL CULTURE”

On the latest episode of For the Win, Abby, Yochi, and Elliot dive into the political fight over “cancel culture,” look at its surprising origins in the Black community, and tackle the tough question of whether a canceled individual can (or should) ever be given a second chance. Plus, Abby considers if she should spearhead the movement to cancel both Elliot and Yochi …

WADE HENDERSON ON “JIM CROW, ESQ.‪”

In the latest episode of For The Win, Yochi speaks with Wade Henderson, the head of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, about how the growing conservative crackdown on voting rights is bringing back the worst of the Jim Crow era, why lies about voter fraud pose an existential threat to our democracy, and how Congress is facing a moment of truth about whether to make it easier to cast a ballot — or whether to disenfranchise millions of voters.

DAHLIA LITHWICK

In the latest episode of For the Win, recorded shortly before Neera Tanden’s nomination to lead the OMB was withdrawn, Elliot spoke with Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick on how President Biden’s nominees who have faced the biggest headwinds in their paths to confirmation — Tanden, Vanita Gupta & Kristen Clarke — are all women of color. Elliot & Dahlia speak on how double-standards, deceptive ad buys & media failures helped get us here, and how it’s a myth that more civility will cure what ails U.S. politics.

AMERICA’S STUDENT LOAN DEBT CRISIS

On the latest episode of For The Win, Yochi, Abby, and Elliot discuss the growing political debate over America’s student loan debt crisis, whether it should matter if someone went to an expensive private university or a cheaper public one, and how a system created to help students afford college has instead left millions of graduates saddled with debts they can’t afford to pay back.

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS

In the latest episode of For The Win, Elliot and Yochi speak with Kathleen Sebelius, the former secretary of Health and Human Services during the Obama administration, about what she learned from fighting the H1N1 pandemic, what the Trump administration got wrong about its COVID-19 response (hint: a lot), the importance of leveling with the American public about the new vaccines, and how to talk to anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers without losing your cool. There’s also some good political trivia!

CHARLES KAMASAKI

On the latest episode of For The Win, Elliot and guest host Audrey López speak with Charles Kamasaki, author of “Immigration Reform: The Corpse That Will Not Die,” about reforming immigration after the Trump years — an issue that is even more pressing after the results in the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff election on January 5.

SYSTEM CHECK with Melissa Harris-Perry & Dorian Warren

In the latest episode of For The Win, Abby, Yochi and Elliot speak with “System Check” podcast hosts Melissa Harris-Perry & Dorian Warren about the coup attempt at the Capitol, the country’s legacy of institutionalized racism and white supremacist violence, and how to move America forward — with or without Republicans.

MARGARET HUANG

In the latest episode of For The Win, Elliot Williams spoke with Margaret Huang, CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center, about whether there’s a correlation between Trump’s presidency and the rise in hate crimes, whether to expect political violence around the Georgia U.S. Senate special election, and why kids are much more at risk of being exposed to all types of hate.

LUIS DAVILA

In the latest episode of For the Win, Abby & guest host Eduardo Soto spoke with Luis Davila, former deputy director and general counsel for the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, about D.C. & Puerto Rico Statehood, why it would be a long process, why Democrats believe it would help them gain seats, and how economic factors have impacted the vote.

ROBERT RABEN

On a special pre-election episode of For The Win, Yochi, Abby, and Elliot spoke with Robert Raben, a former Assistant Attorney General and the founder and president of The Raben Group, about how far Republicans may go to steal the presidency, the challenges of making sure every vote counts, and why the fight for the future of the courts won’t end on Election Day.

DR. LEANA WEN

Washington Post contributing columnist and public health expert Dr. Leana Wen joins Elliot and Yochi to talk about why the Trump administration has given up on containing the pandemic, why distributing a vaccine will be harder than you think, and why truly showing your loved ones how much you care this holiday season may mean staying far away.

DR. SERENE JONES

In the latest episode of For The Win, Yochi Dreazen spoke with Dr. Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary, about why the long alliance between Christian conservatives and the Republican Party is beginning to fray, why some progressives continue to look down at people of faith, and how to finally create a strong and lasting Religious Left.

AARON BELKIN

In the latest episode of For the Win, Abby & Yochi spoke with Aaron Belkin, the director of Take Back the Court, about why a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court would put a Biden presidency in “handcuffs from day one” and how Democrats can add enough new justices to prevent the high court from simply becoming another arm of the Republican Party.

DERRICK JOHNSON

From the toppling of confederate landmarks to the revolutionary push to defund the police, it’s safe to say that we are experiencing one of the most pivotal and transformational moments in America’s history. But what happens next and where do we, as a country, go from here? In the newest episode, Yochi and NAACP President Derrick Johnson discuss the current moment and the future he and other movement leaders are envisioning.

TAKING ON COVID-19: COWORKER

In the latest episode of For the Win’s series, Taking on Covid-19, Elliot speaks with Michelle Miller and Laila N. of coworker.org, about the social costs of reopening the economy — what reopening means for workers, and how workers are mobilizing to protect themselves and their communities.

MAYOR BILL PEDUTO

On the newest episode of For the Win, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto talks with Yochi about how police unions are slowing his efforts to reform the city’s police force in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder and Pittsburgh’s reasons for signing onto the 8 Can’t Wait campaign.

TAKING ON COVID-19: DR. JOIA CREAR PERRY AND DANIEL DAWES

Black communities have been ravaged by police violence. Now those communities are being ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic — and both problems are getting worse. Amid the fallout from George Floyd’s murder, Yochi spoke to Dr. Joia Crear Perry, President of the National Birth Equity Collaborative, and Daniel Dawes, a health policy expert at the Morehouse School of Medicine, about why police violence is exacerbating the impact of COVID-19 and how to keep the situation from spiraling even further out of control.

TAKING ON COVID-19: SHANNON WATTS

On a special COVID-19 episode of For the Win, Yochi talks with Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, about how the coronavirus crisis is making America’s gun violence crisis even worse, why the fights that matter most are happening at the state level, and why the NRA is finally on the ropes.

TAKING ON COVID-19: RESOURCE GENERATION

In the latest episode of For the Win’s series, Taking on Covid-19, Abby speaks with Iimay Ho and Yahya Alazrak of Resource Generation about how young people in the richest top 10% of the US are demonstrating solidarity during the pandemic by redistributing their wealth and demanding a people’s bailout.

TAKING ON COVID-19: VILISSA THOMPSON

In the latest episode of For the Win’s series, Taking on Covid-19, Abby speaks with Vilissa Thompson, the founder & CEO of Ramp Your Voice!, about how people with disabilities, many of whom are most endangered by the public health crisis, must be centered in any conversation about relief and the reopening of America.

TAKING ON COVID-19: LATA REDDY

In the latest episode of For the Win’s series, Taking on COVID-19, Abby speaks with Lata Reddy, senior vice president of Diversity, Inclusion & Impact at Prudential Financial and chair of The Prudential Foundation, about how the company is providing economic relief and maintaining its commitment to diversity and inclusion during the crisis.

TAKING ON COVID-19: Ally Coll

In the latest episode of For the Win’s series, Taking on Covid-19, Abby spoke with Ally Coll, president and co-founder of The Purple Campaign, about the increasingly online nature of sexual harassment and the workplace policies and tools needed to combat it.

TAKING ON COVID-19: Katie Paris

In the latest episode of For the Win’s series, Taking on COVID-19, Abby spoke with Katie Paris, founder of Ohio’s Red Wine & Blue, about virtual voter engagement and changing the minds of suburban women, a key voting bloc in the 2020 presidential election

TAKING ON COVID-19: Alejandra Castillo

In the latest episode of For the Win’s series, Taking on COVID-19, Elliot spoke with Alejandra Castillo, CEO of the YWCA, about the nationwide rise in domestic violence cases since COVID-19 began to spread — and the YWCA’s critical role in addressing it.

TAKING ON COVID-19: Cecilia Muñoz

In our latest episode of the For The Win’s series, Taking On COVID-19, Abby spoke with Cecilia Muñoz, Obama’s former Director of the Domestic Policy Council, about her role in the administration’s 2009 H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic response and the importance of collaboration between federal and state government when addressing public health crises. Cecilia also previews her newly released book, “More than Ready: Be Strong and Be You….and Other Lessons for Women of Color on the Rise.”

TAKING ON COVID-19: Innocence Project

In our latest episode of FTW’s series, Taking on COVID-19, Elliot spoke with Nina Morrison and Rebecca Brown from the Innocence Project about the profound risk to public health if COVID-19 were to spread in prisons, and what they are doing about it at the state and federal level.

TAKING ON COVID-19: Joyce Vance

COVID-19 continues to touch just about every aspect of American life. In the first episode of FTW’s series on coronavirus, Elliot spoke with former U.S. Attorney and MSNBC Legal Analyst Joyce Vance to talk about where criminal justice policy overlaps with public health policy, and how the public can do its part to stay engaged on both and how, at the nexus, we are all affected.

SPECIAL EPISODE: Patty First

As coronavirus spreads, Patty First, executive and life coach and founding principal at The Raben Group, discusses how to stay in the fight when you’re stuck at home, how to cope with stress and anxiety in this unprecedented moment, and how to avoid burnout in the days ahead.

Chief Shirell Parfait-Dardar

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time, and indigenous communities in the U.S. and around the world are being hit the fastest and hardest. Chief Shirell Parfait-Dardar, a tribal chief in central Louisiana, joins Abby and Yochi to talk about the rapidly disappearing landscape and the unprecedented steps tribes in Louisiana and Alaska have taken to preserve their traditional way of life — including the filing of a formal human rights complaint with the United Nations.

LIVE RECORDING: THE 2020 CENSUS

The 2020 U.S. Census will be the first “digital-first” count for most households. In For the Win’s first live recording, Rep. Steven Horsford and YWCA Chief Executive Officer Alejandra Castillo sit down with Rafael Bernal of The Hill to talk about the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to hobble the census and how a lack of Internet access might affect the political power of America’s minority communities.

Mark Holden

Clichés about strange bedfellows are occasionally true. And nowhere are they truer than in the world of criminal justice reform — where conservatives and progressives have joined forces to make it a reality. Mark Holden, a senior vice president of Koch Industries, talked to Yochi and Abby about teaming up with the ACLU, winning over jittery Republicans, and why seeing the prison system first-hand made him want to change it.

Yamani Hernández

Media coverage of the abortion debate focuses on what’s happening in Washington, D.C., but Yamani Hernández of the National Network of Abortion Funds joins Abigail and Yochi to talk about why the real fights for the future of reproductive justice are being fought at the state level, why people of color are disproportionately harmed by abortion restrictions, and how to help the networks of volunteers across the country working to shelter and help the most vulnerable.

Susan Bro

Two years after her daughter was murdered by a white supremacist in Charlottesville, Heather Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, joins Yochi and guest host Maunica to talk about the spread of online bigotry, why President Trump is making it even worse, and how to prevent hate crimes from becoming the grim new normal.

Vanita Gupta

JAN 23, 2020: Conservatives of all stripes work together to advance a far-right agenda. Vanita Gupta, the head of the country’s largest coalition of civil rights groups, tells Elliot and Yochi that progressives need to get serious about building alliances of their own.

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Alphonso David

JAN 7, 2020: Alphonso David, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, joins Elliot and Yochi to talk about why he believes President Trump is the most anti-LGBTQ president in American history, why transgender rights are the newest civil rights battleground, and the importance of progressive coalition-building in an age of conservative political dominance.

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Senator Chris Murphy

Sen. Chris Murphy’s life changed after the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012 devastated his home state of Connecticut and made him a national leader of the gun control movement. In a special episode of For The Win, Yochi heads to Capitol Hill to talk to Sen. Murphy about how Democrats can beat the NRA and why guns will be a key issue in the 2020 race.

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Ezra Levin and Leah Greenberg

DEC 3, 2019: The founders of Indivisible talk about reverse-engineering the Tea Party playbook, reminding progressives that all politics is truly local, and pushing Democrats to get serious about eliminating the filibuster, revamping the Electoral College, expanding the Supreme Court, and making Washington, D.C., a state.

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Deval Patrick

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick joined Elliot and Yochi days before announcing his candidacy for the presidency to talk about why voters from both parties are right to feel like the system is broken, why progressives should consider a new Constitutional amendment, and the dangers of political absolutism.

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Eric Holder

On the premiere of #ForTheWin, former Attorney General Eric Holder joins Yochi, Elliot and Maunica to talk about his fight to reverse decades of Republican gerrymandering and voter suppression, why Democrats were slow to recognize the threat, and how his party could win the popular vote again in 2020 but still lose to Donald Trump.

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