Center for American Progress Action

Raquel Willis on Juneteenth, Pride, and Collective Liberation
Part of a Series

Raquel Willis joins the show to discuss intersectional activism; MAGA attacks on diversity, equity, and inclusion; and her journey as a Black transgender activist and journalist. Daniella and Colin also talk about how extreme heat is affecting workers and new Biden administration rules that will help fix the United States’ broken immigration system.


Daniella Gibbs Léger: Hey everyone, welcome back to “The Tent,” your place for politics, policy, and progress. I’m Daniella Gibbs Léger.

Colin Seeberger: And I’m Colin Seeberger. Daniella, we are in the thick of summer in [Washington,] D.C.

Gibbs Léger: We are, and it’s not even technically summer yet. So, like, I’m really not loving this June heat wave.

Seeberger: It’s true. It’s true. Well, we are beating the heat by recording from home this week, but nevertheless, I heard you had a great conversation.

Gibbs Léger: I did. I spoke with Raquel Willis about Juneteenth, Pride, and the fight to protect our rights and freedoms from those right-wing extremists that are hell-bent on ripping them away.

Seeberger: Certainly timely topics to be diving into. But before we get to them, of course, we’ve got to get to some news.

Gibbs Léger: We do. And speaking of the heat, I actually want to discuss this week’s record-breaking temperatures. Parts of the Midwest and Northeast U.S. have experienced heat domes that drove temperatures up significantly from their usual averages this time of year.

And it is scary, but unfortunately, it’s not unprecedented: Heat waves spurred by climate change are becoming more frequent, lasting longer, and they’re more intense. July 2023 was the hottest month ever recorded, and forecasters predictthat the next few months of summer will continue to bring above-average heat.

Extreme heat events can cause dire health consequences like heat cramps, exhaustion, and heat stroke. Last year, a Center for American Progress analysis showed that health care costs from these conditions could cost the U.S. $1 billion a year. That’s $1 billion with a B. But for American workers, these economic and health care costs could be felt even worse.

A new analysis from the Center for American Progress recently explored the added risks that extreme heat poses for workers, whether that’s occupational injuries—like burns or falls from dizziness—or exacerbation of preexisting conditions—like asthma, kidney disease, or heart disease. These complications also have economic impacts, including decreased productivity, increased health care costs, and threats to their financial stability.

Seeberger: Yeah, you’re totally right. This analysis really makes clear that, of course, while we need to continue to tackle the long-term progression of climate change in this country and around the globe, we also need to be taking steps to protect workers from those devastating climate impacts that we’re already experiencing.

Because while extreme heat can exacerbate other conditions, as you mentioned, it’s really hard to get an accurate count of just how many workers die each year as a direct result of working outdoors in these dangerous temperatures and because they are working in facilities without sufficient cooling. But some researchers estimate that annual number could be in the thousands.

And of course, the risks are greatest for those who are already facing inequities on the job. I’m talking, of course, about America’s lowest-paid workers, who have five times as many heat-related injuries as its highest-paid workers. From 2010 to 2011, Latinos comprised one-third of all worker heat fatalities. Hispanic, Black, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander workers, as well as noncitizen immigrants, also face increasing threats.

And even when extreme heat doesn’t kill, it’s massively damaging economically speaking. Of course, I’m talking about the productivity of workers and businesses. Heat-induced declines in labor productivity account for an average $100 billion annually in the United States. And experts project those losses could reach $200 billion by 2030 and $500 billion—that’s half a trillion dollars—by 2050.

We have urgent needs when it comes to protecting workers from extreme heat, to be sure. But unfortunately, we’re seeing that states under full MAGA rule—places like Texas and Florida—they’ve actually taken recent action to pass laws preempting local statutes that require employers whose workers work in the heat to be afforded shade breaks and cold water while on the job.

It’s not just cruel, Daniella, it’s deadly. It’s a health emergency. We need federal and state governments to accelerate and really expand their efforts to protect workers facing extreme heat, including quickly adopting a federal heat standard.

And while they’re rolling out heat mitigation efforts, they need to focus on the workers that need them most—namely, again, low-income workers, Latino, Black workers, immigrant workers in the most vulnerable occupations. And of course, we need to continue to implement long-term steps to fight climate change, like transitioning to clean energy, which will help reduce these risks in the long term.

Gibbs Léger: That’s right. You know, I’m complaining about how hot it is from my air-conditioned office. I know people who work outside in this weather, they need even more protections. Speaking of immigrant workers, though, let’s talk about some other big news this week, Colin.

This past weekend marked the 12th anniversary of President [Barack] Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA. Because of DACA, more than 800,000 immigrants who have called the U.S. home for years have the opportunity to live and work without fear of deportation. DACA recipients pay federal, state, and local taxes and contribute nearly $2.1 billion to Social Security and Medicare each year, a fact that I think people don’t remember.

On Tuesday, President Biden and Vice President Harris announced executive actions to build on the successes of DACA, keep American families together, and help fix our badly broken immigration system. These new affirmative measures will protect the spouses of U.S. citizens who’ve been living and working in the U.S. for at least 10 years from deportation. It’s the most significant step taken to expand legal status protections since DACA was passed, and it’s estimated that 500,000 spouses and 50,000 children will benefit.

It’s also supported by a majority of Americans, because of course, why wouldn’t you support that? The executive actions will also help DACA holders—Americans who arrived in the U.S. as children—pursue other routes to citizenship as the DACA program ends. It’ll speed up the process for Dreamers transitioning to other types of visas and make it easier for them to apply.

And once again, Americans overwhelmingly support these types of steps for immigrants who have been living, working, paying taxes, and contributing to communities in the U.S. for much of their lives. After years of uncertainty and being forced to navigate the United States’ broken and outdated immigration system, hundreds of thousands of families are waking up today being able to exhale because of the Biden administration’s commitment to keep families together. And that is something we should all celebrate.

Seeberger: That’s absolutely right, Daniella. And of course, it’s even more welcome as it comes after years of former President Trump’s cruel immigration policies dead set on ripping families apart. During his time in office, former President Trump actually tried to end the DACA program. The [U.S.] Supreme Court eventually struck down his attempts to dismantle it.

He also instituted policies that saw children ripped away from their parents’ arms after crossing the border. The president of the American Academy of Pediatrics testified that he personally witnessed this policy in action and said it was government-sanctioned child abuse. Hundreds of families were separated years after the policy officially ended, and President Biden’s administration has had to take countless steps to try to reunite these families, and we have seen some success in that regard.

And who can forget how President Trump began his presidency after launching his campaign at Trump Tower and spewing atrocious falsehoods about immigrants? One of his first actions in the White House was instituting a Muslim travel ban that limited travel to this country from seven largely Muslim nations, blocking immigrant families from being reunited with their American relatives.

But he’s not done. While the Biden administration is working hard to keep families together and fix our broken immigration system, Trump is now parroting Adolf Hitler, saying immigrants “poison the blood of our country,” and that if he’s elected to a second term, he wants to deny entry to legal migrants based on their ideological beliefs. He’s called for ending birthright citizenship, despite lacking the authority to do this unilaterally—it’s only circumscribed in the Constitution. He also wants to end the ability of U.S. citizens to sponsor their parents in obtaining lawful permanent residence in the country, despite his own mother-in-law having benefited from such a process. And he wants to halt refugee admissions from the Middle East and reimpose an even more extreme version of his Muslim travel ban.

Despite claiming to stand for strong border security, it was Trump who was the one who pushed congressional Republicans to oppose one of the toughest deals to enhance border security in decades. And he did so for political reasons, all to bolster his own reelection chances.

He and his MAGA lackeys want chaos at the border. They’re fine with a dysfunction Biden is working hard to try to prevent. So it’s really encouraging to see this week’s executive actions being taken, and it’s a really staunch reminder that public policy changes lives. President Biden and Vice President Harris are doing so for the better. Their predecessor did so to rip families apart from one another. This is a critical step that’s going to make our country, American families, our communities, the economy—it’s going to make them stronger. And as we celebrate, we need to keep in mind what’s really at stake in these discussions.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, we really do, Colin. I’m just thinking about all the families who will get relief from these executive actions. Especially so soon after we just celebrated Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, I hope this allows those families to breathe easier and to stay together without fear.

Seeberger: Absolutely, absolutely. Well, that’s all the time we have for today. If there’s anything you’d like us to cover on the pod, hit us up on Twitter @TheTentPod. That’s @TheTentPod.

Gibbs Léger: And stick around for my interview with Raquel Willis in just a beat.

[Musical transition]

Gibbs Léger: Raquel Willis is an award-winning activist, journalist, and media strategist. She currently serves as executive producer of iHeartMedia’s LGBTQ+ podcast network, Outspoken, where she hosts two series: “Afterlives” and “Queer Chronicles.” She is also the author of The Risk It Takes to Bloom: On Life and Liberation. She previously held leadership roles at the Ms. Foundation for Women, Out Magazine, and Transgender Law Center. She co-founded Transgender Week of Visibility and Action with civil rights attorney Chase Strangio.

Raquel Willis, thank you so much for joining us on “The Tent.”

Raquel Willis: Thanks for having me on.

Gibbs Léger: So this week, we are at the intersection of both Pride and Juneteenth, which feels like a great opportunity to recognize intersectionality and the fight for, as you put in your own work, collective liberation.

So what does that mean to you, and what links do you see between the ongoing fights for racial justice and for LGBTQI+ rights?

Willis: Yes. Well, that’s a good question. I think some of us have been jokingly saying this is Pride team week to nod to that intersection.

For me, as a Black trans woman, it’s important to contextualize my story. I think oftentimes being trans is the experience that takes precedence when people know of my work and of my journey. But I’m also someone who is a descendant of enslaved Africans in the U.S. And I’m from Augusta, Georgia. My people have been in the Georgia-South Carolina area for 200 years at least, and so I have strong ties there.

And for me, it’s always important that we talk about the way that marginalization for one group is connected to marginalization for all groups. So, I can’t talk about the history of being Black in this country without talking about how we have been restricted and criminalized in so many ways, told that we shouldn’t exist.

And similarly, as a queer and trans person, there is a strong and long history of criminalization within our community. You don’t have Pride Month without discussing the Stonewall Riots of 1969, which was a queer militant uprising against the New York Police Department because people were being criminalized around not wearing enough articles of clothing that corresponded with the gender that they were assigned at birth. Right?

And so, even when we’re talking about what cisgender gay, and lesbian, and queer people are experiencing in terms of homophobia, you can’t talk about that without talking about how gender expectations continue to reign supreme in our society.

Gibbs Léger: An issue that touches both of these fights is the recent swell of book bans and curriculum bans throughout the country. But it seems like the tide might be turning. We saw voters reject book-banning candidates in key school board elections in 2023. And we even saw the Oklahoma Supreme Court strike down that state’s book ban recently.

So, what is the status of these book and curriculum bans, and how can we try to reverse the damage that’s been done by attempts to rewrite history and erase Black, LGBTQI+, and other marginalized narratives from schools?

Willis: Well, much of my work is focused on the cultural changes that need to happen. And I think oftentimes we forget that just because things have been happening legislatively, that doesn’t mean that culturally our people are there. And when I say “our people,” I believe in this kind of larger collection of folks who believe in collective liberation.

With the book bans and the curriculum bans, I think that we need to have more of a discussion around the connection between how the history, for instance, of Black people and Indigenous folks within this country is trying to be wiped away, just like the history of LGBTQ+ folks.

And let’s be clear: Our educational systems writ large have not been great on making sure that our young people and our students are getting a nuanced understanding of U.S. history. There’s still a lot of hegemony, there’s still a lot of white supremacy and patriarchy in how these stories are told. I think overwhelmingly, though, the American public wants richer dialogues around history. And I think what happens is there’s a lot of misinformation and disinformation from conservatives, from the alt-right, around what the sharing of that history actually looks like.

And I think voters overall are waking up to those ploys to use incorrect information to pit groups on the margins against each other. But I do think that, in a year when we are facing a presidential election, folks have to remember that these down-ballot races matter, right? Just as much as you care about who gets into the Oval Office, you need to be caring about who is in leadership on your school boards, and if you are a person of conscience, you need to be putting your hat in the ring for leadership as well. Because I think a lot of times people feel disempowered around that, too.

Gibbs Léger: That is 100 percent right. At the same time that all this is going on, we’re seeing extreme right-wing courts really trying to gut racial equity work—from the Supreme Court’s ruling last year on affirmative action, to the recent case in your home state of Georgia, where the 11th Circuit ruled that a grant program called the Fearless Fund which supported small businesses owned by Black women was, in their view, illegal.

Can you talk about the impacts of rulings like these and what they have on racial inequities, and why we need more, not fewer, policies and programs that level the playing field in our education system and economy?

Willis: Well, this is a central argument, I think, of conservatives in this country, is that there are other groups that are taking away the rights of who they consider to be “true Americans,” right? Or people who are more deserving of humanity than others.

Oftentimes, conservatives are speaking to what they consider to be white, working-class folks. And they are using this rehashed notion throughout the history of this country of “the other”—of these other folks coming in and taking opportunities from you.

If it’s not immigrants—and Black and brown immigrants, let’s be very clear—then it’s the Black and brown folks who are already here and have been here for generations. And so we see that in these attacks on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). And they’ve collapsed anything that speaks to a marginalized experience under that label.

And so we’re seeing that with the Fearless Fund—this idea of a sort of reverse discrimination, that if Black women can have this fund that supports Black women or Black folks have this fund that supports Black creators and prioritizes Black creators, then that means something must be taken from the white working class.

And I think that that is such a disgusting thing, because we know overwhelmingly it’s the folks pushing this rhetoric that are actually taking opportunities away from the working class of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, right? So I want the general public to have more of a lens of understanding that we need to be moving from a place of abundance and understanding that there’s actually more than enough resources to take care of housing inequities, to take care of food insecurity and economic instability across the masses. It’s just that those resources are being hoarded by the folks who have the most power and privilege. And go figure, it’s not actually Black and brown folks and general working-class folks who have that, right?

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, they push this narrative of scarcity, right? There’s only one pie, and if somebody takes a piece of it, somehow they’re taking a piece of your pie. When in reality, we can make more pie. But that doesn’t work for what they’re trying to do.

You mentioned the war on DEI that many conservatives have leaned into, actually calling candidates “DEI candidates”—ridiculous. Why are certain politicians feeling more comfortable opening up about their opposition to DEI? It seems like we really went a 180 [degrees] from where we were after the summer of 2020. How, if at all, are they trying to disguise the bias and hate behind those stances, and why is this all so dangerous?

Willis: Well, I think, of course, we can’t talk about this kind of uptick in hateful, discriminatory rhetoric without talking about the rise of Donald Trump over the last almost decade. It’s been almost a decade now, if folks aren’t keeping count.

Gibbs Léger: Oh my gosh.

Willis: But I think in many ways, he opened the door for folks to see a lane of using hateful rhetoric to accrue power, to accrue a platform, right?

Someone was joking the other day because there was this young white girl on TikTok who made this video where she was basically proving that she wasn’t afraid to use the N-word. And then some other folks noticed that there’s this pipeline for access and power, for even everyday folks on a platform like that to say, “Oh, well, I don’t have a problem saying the disgusting thing out loud.” And we know that that’s something right out of the Trump rhetoric playbook.

But it’s not really just about Trump. I think, again, this kind of mindset of scarcity—that folks on the margins are coming after you, and coming after what you want in life—it’s at the heart of this. And we have folks with power who are exploiting that continuously. I think what we also can’t ignore is that more and more folks of color, more and more women, more and more LGBTQ+ folks, and on and on, have a voice now.

So we see this continued long tail of backlash from the Obama era. We see it from even what we saw as Hillary Clinton vying for the Oval Office. We see more and more queer and trans people being outspoken, actually saying, “No, you actually can’t talk to me any kind of way, and I’m not going to deal with that, and this is actually discrimination, and I am going to try and hold you accountable.”

So, I think there are all of these connections happening in this era. And folks who have traditionally had the most power and privilege are feeling like they’re on shaky ground. They’re afraid of that accountability that hopefully is coming more and more.

So I think that’s the era that we’re in, and I just wish that we had more of an open dialogue about what people are actually afraid of and what the source of that fear is. The fear isn’t actually that Black and brown folks or queer and trans folks are taking your place. The fear is that you will have less access to pursue the life that you feel you deserve. And everyone feels that, right? Even the people you think are taking that from you.

Gibbs Léger: Right. Exactly. There’s more that binds us together than tears us apart. I like to try and end all my interviews on a positive note. Like you said, this is an era we’re in, and it’s definitely the time to lift up voices of Black and trans activists like yourself. You released a memoir last year called The Risk It Takes to Bloom. So tell our listeners about the book, what inspired you to tell your story, as well as some of the reception you’ve gotten and what it’s all meant to you.

Willis: Wow, The Risk It Takes to Bloom. It felt very important for me for years to share my story growing up in the South, in a very traditional Black, Catholic family. There were layers of expectations, and how I was trying to make sense of my place in the world, knowing that I was different. And this was before I had the language of being queer, or before I later had the language of my trans identity and trans womanhood in college at the University of Georgia.

So, it felt very important to share that story because I think there’s something remarkable about being a person from the South—this region that’s seen as a lost cause or left on the cutting room floor of progress in this country—as a place that actually is a site of beautiful resistance and resilience. And yes, that my queer and trans self could come into fruition and into a fuller existence there.

And so I’m trying to also elevate the fact that we wouldn’t have a lot of our progressive strategies, organizing strategies and modalities without the fight that has happened historically in the Southern U.S. Whether we’re talking about the Civil Rights era, Reconstruction, and on and on. So that felt very important.

But it also felt important to share my story coming into a sense of commitment to social justice. When I was doing the bulk of the writing of this in 2020, I found that actually there are a lot of folks who are hungry and thirsty for what a better world could look like that works for all of us. And I wanted to share humbly that even though I’ve been labeled an activist and an organizer and all of these different things, that it has been a journey. And there’s continuous work around that commitment.

So, that felt so fun to do. It wasn’t easy sharing the stories of my life, sharing what it felt like to be a failure to Black masculinity in my father’s eyes, and then reconciling with that and what my trans womanhood would look like in the world. But people have been really in love with the stories around family, how my family has evolved alongside me, my amazing mom and sister and brother. Actually, my mom and sister will be visiting me in New York, as I’m a grand marshal for NYC Pride this year, which is also a mind-blowing thing.

Gibbs Léger: That’s awesome!

Willis: People have been interested in that, and it’s been such a privilege to share my story on this level.

Gibbs Léger: Well, that’s fantastic. New York City Pride is the best celebration, parade ever that I have been to. I used to live in New York, and that is such a great honor. So, congratulations to you.

Willis: Thank you.

Gibbs Léger: And Raquel, I want to thank you so much for joining us on “The Tent,” and thank you for all of your work and your activism and for showing folks that there is a way to move forward through all of the bad stuff that’s happening out there. I think it’s really important to lift up the positive stories and lift up that there are people who are making it through. So, thank you so much.

Willis: Of course. Thank you so much. And if folks want to know more stories, those podcasts you discussed in the intro—“Afterlives,” focuses on the life and legacy of a 27-year-old Afro trans Latina named Layleen Polanco. She actually died in Rikers’ custody five years ago. And so we tell the story of her life, but also the movements she inspired in the wake of her death.

And then “Queer Chronicles,” which focuses on the stories of queer and trans youth in political battleground states in the U.S. So you can get a smattering of different stories there if you’re curious to know more.

Gibbs Léger: And I assume we can get them wherever you get your podcasts?

Willis: Wherever you get your podcasts.

Gibbs Léger: All right, awesome. Raquel, thank you so much.

Willis: Thank you.

[Musical transition]

Gibbs Léger: That’s going to do it for us today. As usual, please go back and check out previous episodes. But before we go—Colin, want to talk about the Tony Awards?

Seeberger: We have to talk about the Tony Awards. Daniella, I was so thrilled to see Jonathan Groff win best actor in a musical for his performance in “Merrily We Roll Along.” I’m not sure whether you’ve seen it?

Gibbs Léger: I haven’t.

Seeberger: I have not seen it either, but I’m obsessed with the album. Listen to it all the time. I so regret having not made it up to Broadway and taking it in yet. But he, Lindsay Mendez, Daniel Radcliffe are just incredible. I’m not sure whether you caught his speech, but it just struck such a chord with me. I think particularly being a parent now, in speaking to how his parents really harbored his passions and really embraced that part of him—I thought that was such a beautiful message and really inspiring to so many young people who are trying to find themselves in the tumultuous times that we live in.

Gibbs Léger: I agree. I agree. I love Jonathan Groff. I think he’s so amazing, and he’s so talented, and he’s so adorable.

Seeberger: He’s so adorable.

Gibbs Léger: He’s so cute. He was the best King George in “Hamilton.” But I always love the Tonys.And usually I haven’t seen the plays, because I don’t get up to Broadway that often. But even when I’ve seen none of them or I know nothing about them, there is something about that production, that award show, that just feels so energetic and authentic.

Seeberger: Yeah.

Gibbs Léger: And the artistry, right? You’re really celebrating the craft, and they are so supportive of each other. There’s just nothing like theater community, and I love it. I think it’s so wonderful and great.

Seeberger: Speaking of energetic, lively members of the theater community, I’m not sure whether you caught former Secretary Hillary Clinton was there, having produced a show on Broadway this year.

So the room rightly gave her the standing ovation that she so was deserving of. And it was fun to see her taking in and applauding the achievements of the Broadway community that she as a senator was a longtime supporter of. So I’m sure it was like a little homecoming and reunion for her being with that community. I also have to say, I am obsessed with Sarah Paulson. I love Sarah Paulson.

Gibbs Léger: Yes.

Seeberger: And the fact that she got a Tony Award for her performance in “Appropriate” was really exciting and another one that I definitely have on my “go to, attend” list.

Gibbs Léger: My list is very, very long.

Seeberger: Same. Same.

Gibbs Léger: I was trying to think of a clever transition from “list” to talking about Taylor Swift, but I can’t think of one. So let’s just talk about the fact that she announced that her tour is coming to an end at the end of this year, Colin.

Seeberger: I don’t think I’m ready to, Daniella. It is just heartbreaking—

Gibbs Léger: That woman needs a break!

Seeberger: —for those of us who are Swifties, who have been to the Eras Tour, and who desperately want to give her more of our monies. I’m so excited for her, because this has really been her life’s passion project for the last two years, and everybody deserves to catch a break every now and then. And you never know, she may have some other things that she needs to attend to next year, like some nuptials or something.

Gibbs Léger: Perhaps.

Seeberger: So we will see what 2025 brings our dear Miss Taylor Alison Swift.

Gibbs Léger: I think she is so talented, and I think the fact that she added on a whole nother era in the middle of her tour? Like, that’s a lot! And I don’t think people are speaking about how incredible that is and how much hard work goes into preparing for that in the middle of your tour. That’s bonkers.

Seeberger: Daniella said, “Speak now.”

Gibbs Léger: I, for one, can’t wait to see more of her and Travis together, because I like how mad the two of them as a couple make a lot of people. So that’ll be exciting for me.

Seeberger: Well, to that end, we’re only about two and a half, three months away from football season. So, I’m sure that is right around the corner.

Gibbs Léger: Well, can’t wait for that. Though I don’t want to wish the summer away. So let’s not get too excited about football season yet.

Seeberger: OK, fair.

Gibbs Léger: OK.

Seeberger: We do have the Olympics coming up first.

Gibbs Léger: Yes.

Seeberger: I’m a huge Olympics fan. So I will be—

Gibbs Léger: Me, too.

Seeberger: The swimming trials are happening right now.

Gibbs Léger: So good.

Seeberger: I am just living my best life. I’m not sure whether you caught it—they actually built a pool in Lucas [Oil] Stadium in Indianapolis. So, they are doing it in a football-size stadium that can usually hold 80,000 to 100,000 people, right? They have built a pool, an Olympic-sized pool, where the athletes are competing, and it is so cool. I actually have a former CAP colleague who’s there right now, and she is absolutely living for every second of it.

Gibbs Léger: It is so amazing that they did that. People are just brilliant with engineering and things that I don’t understand.

But yeah, I’ve been catching some of the swimming trials. An aside, my child has finally mastered the backstroke. And he realized that when mommy and daddy said, “It’s easier because you could breathe,” it clicked with him. And so we were watching the backstroke the other night, and I was like, “Do you think you could do that?” And he was like, “Yeah, I could be a swimmer.” I was like, all right.

Seeberger: Yeah. You can breathe.

Gibbs Léger: Exactly. So we’ll see. Maybe in 20 years, he’ll be in the Olympics.

Seeberger: I’m sure I’ll be watching, so I’ll keep an eye out.

Gibbs Léger: Indeed. All right, folks. That’s it for us. Take care of yourselves. Hydrate, because it is—

Seeberger: Stay cool.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, this heat is no joke. It is dangerous. So please take care of yourselves, and we’ll talk to you next week.

[Musical transition]

Gibbs Léger: “The Tent” is a podcast from the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It’s hosted by me, Daniella Gibbs Léger, and co-hosted by Colin Seeberger. Erin Phillips is our lead producer, Kelly McCoy is our supervising producer, Mishka Espey is our booking producer, and Muggs Leone is our digital producer. Hai Phan, Matthew Gossage, Olivia Mowry, and Toni Pandolfo are our video team. You can find us on YouTube, Apple, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Daniella Gibbs Léger

Executive Vice President, Communications and Strategy


Colin Seeberger

Senior Adviser, Communications

Kelly McCoy

Senior Director of Broadcast Communications

Erin Phillips

Broadcast Media Manager

Mishka Espey

Senior Manager, Media Relations

Muggs Leone

Executive Assistant

Video Producers

Hai-Lam Phan

Senior Director, Creative

Matthew Gossage

Events Video Producer

Olivia Mowry

Video Producer

Toni Pandolfo

Video Producer, Production



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