Eric Liu is an evangelist for citizen participation. A former advisor and speechwriter to President Bill Clinton, Liu is a lawyer, author, speaker and CEO of Citizen University. His latest book is ‘Become America: Civic Sermons on Love, Responsibility and Democracy,’ a work drawn from his Civic Saturday gatherings, in which people meet and discuss the values of contributing to civic life.
While leading the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano created the legal framework for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and invested heavily in border and airport security technology. In 2013, she left DHS to become the president of the University of California. She is the author of “How Safe Are We?,” a critique of American security measures in the age of cyberwarfare.
In 2016, Washington sent Pramila Jayapal to Congress, making her the first Indian-American woman to serve in the House of Representatives. In just her second term, she is the co-chair of the House’s newly emboldened progressive caucus and a member of the house judiciary committee. Jayapal is also a leading voice on immigration and health care reform, LGBT equality and presidential accountability.
A.C. Thompson, a staff reporter for Pro Publica, covers civil rights and criminal justice issues. Recently, he has been reporting on the rise of white supremacy among young American males, and in 2018 collaborated on a new Frontline called ‘Documenting Hate: New American Nazis.’ He was in Charlottesville when Neo-Nazis and counter-protesters met in a bloody, deadly clash.
Ten years ago, Samantha Allen was a suit-wearing Mormon missionary. Now she is a trans woman and an award-winning journalist. Her recent book, “Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from the Red States,” is a chronicle of LGBT communities in conservative states that are hostile to gay rights. Allen reports that queer life in rural and southern America defies stereotypes, is vibrant and close-knit.
Emily Bazelon is a journalist, lawyer and one of America’s most incisive analysts of the criminal justice system. As a New York Times staff writer she has covered a variety of legal affairs, but has focused recently on the power of prosecutors. That is the subject of her new book ‘Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration.’
When Chicago lawyer and businesswoman Valerie Jarrett tried to hire a young lawyer named Michelle Robinson to work with her in Chicago’s Mayor’s office, a life-long friendship began, one that would take her to the White House with Barack and Michelle Obama. Jarrett talks about her journey, from a childhood in Iran to her role as senior advisor to the most powerful couple in the world.
Christine Todd Whitman has become a dissident in today’s Republican party. The former New Jersey governor and EPA Administrator under President George W. Bush has been urging Republicans to believe the science of climate change, and has recently called President Donald Trump “unfit for office” for his approach to Russia. Whitman talks about those stances and why she remains dedicated to her party.