Revolutionary Optimism: 1st Episode: A Conversation with Congresswoman Barbara Lee

Join us on this special Juneteenth 2023 episode, as we welcome Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a true champion for peace and justice. In this heart-to-heart conversation, Congresswoman Lee shares her remarkable journey and leadership legacy in the fight against global AIDS, reflecting on her impactful encounter with Dr. Paul Zeitz twenty-three years ago at the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, where they witnessed the power of unified advocacy and campaigning. They discuss the significance of wearing yellow T-shirts emblazoned with “I Am HIV Positive” and the importance of destigmatizing HIV/AIDS. They delve into a personal aspect of Congresswoman Lee’s life, where she candidly shares her struggles growing up feeling racist pressure to conform to white “straight hair” beauty standards, as a black girl. Her journey of self-acceptance and embracing her natural hair is an inspiring testament to the fight against discrimination based on cultural appearances. The conversation takes a poignant turn as they discuss the racial reckoning following the murder of George Floyd. Congresswoman Lee’s unwavering support for reparations and her introduction of the US National Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Commission highlights the urgent need for acknowledging and dismantling systemic racism in the United States. She passionately emphasizes the importance of reparations, truth-telling, understanding each other’s truths, and fostering healing in order to move forward as a nation.