To dig even deeper into the mind and tactics of modern activists, Bill talks with economic equality advocates Rachel LaForest, executive director of Right to the City, and Madeline Janis, co-founder and national policy director of Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy They discuss how social action can change both policy and lives. Janis led the fight for a living wage in Los Angeles; LaForest fights for fair and affordable housing across the country.

In particular, LaForest and Janis talk about the strength of human stories to power a movement, as part of a multifaceted approach that includes research, communication, and political involvement. “You have a struggling housekeeper in a hotel who cleans 25 rooms in a day and barely puts food on the table. The idea of her being able to fight for better working conditions — a union in her hotel, a living wage — that’s going to move her a lot more than just the theory of being able to have a voice in her democracy,” explains Janis. “Although, when she finds her voice, it’s just the most incredible, empowering thing. And it’s overpowering when she stands up before a city council, or she stands up before press and tells her story.”