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Change Everything

A podcast from The Leap

Change Everything is a podcast by people who are freaking out about climate, racism, and inequality… and thinking through solutions as big as the crises we face.

Each month, hosts Maya Menezes and Avi Lewis will dig into a theme related to the intersecting crises of climate, racism and inequality, with the help of guests from movements across Canada and around the world. They’ll discuss politics and policy, social movements and social change, and how they fit together. It’s time to change everything. So join us, subscribe to the podcast, and tell us what you think.

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Thank you to our Change Everything Patrons!

Alan Gerth, Pat Dohaney, Donald Cole, Heather Ashdown, Kevin Delaney, Lisa Baird, Susan Anderson,Chantal Denis, Stuart, and  Bill Reid, 

August 7 2020

Black Queer Life Across the Diaspora:Rubbing Up Against the Limits of Political Imagination

We’re thrilled that this episode is guest-hosted by Rinaldo Walcott, a professor of Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto (and a member of The Leap’s board). Rinaldo speaks with Nairobi-based scholar Keguro Macharia, author of the new book Frottage: Frictions of Intimacy across the Black Diaspora (2019), about diaspora, gender, Black feminism, intimacy, gardening, extreme weather, Afropessimism, and more.

We’re thrilled that this episode is guest-hosted by Rinaldo Walcott [@blacklikewho], a professor of Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto (and a member of The Leap’s board).

Rinaldo speaks with Nairobi-based scholar Keguro Macharia [@keguro_], author of the new book Frottage: Frictions of Intimacy across the Black Diaspora (2019). As Rinaldo explains in the opening, he “wanted to have this conversation at this time because Black queers and Black queer life is so central to our contemporary political moment in the Movement for Black Lives. But Black queer life remains still largely silent in Black studies and politics generally.” Macharia’s work, he adds, “has much to offer our contemporary understanding of the cross-national Black politics in the Movement for Black Lives right now.”

Rinaldo and Keguro talk about the African diaspora, gender, Black feminism, intimacy, gardening, extreme weather, Afropessimism, and more.

Check out Keguro’s book here, and his blog, Gukira With(out) Predicates, here.

Special thanks to Aluma Sound for our theme music. Please support this podcast by contributing to our Patreon account, and read more about The Leap.

May 8 2020:

Naomi Klein, Coronavirus Capitalism, and a People’s Bailout Now!

For our first podcast episode of the pandemic, we take a step back and examine the big picture — and who better to guide us than The Leap’s co-founder Naomi Klein. In a wide-ranging conversation, we explore the perils and possibilities of this political moment, from the unprecedented ways that Silicon Valley is benefiting from the pandemic, to the radicalizing power of “essential work.”

We need a People’s Bailout: a response to the pandemic that builds from emergency to transformation. For our first podcast episode in this new landscape, we take a step back and examine the big picture — and who better to guide us than The Leap’s co-founder Naomi Klein [@NaomiAKlein].

Naomi has been immersed in exciting new research and analysis on what disaster capitalism looks like in a time of pandemic, contagion, and surveillance, and how social movements and new labor organizing are pointing to ways out of the crisis. In this episode, she explores some of it publicly and in depth for the first time. From the unprecedented ways that Silicon Valley is benefiting from the pandemic, to the radicalizing power of “essential work,” it’s a wide-ranging conversation on the perils and opportunities of this political moment.

For more on what a People’s Bailout could look like, check out peoplesbailout.ca.

Special thanks to Aluma Sound for our theme music. Please support this podcast by contributing to our Patreon account, and read more about The Leap.

February 10 2020:

Homes for All and All for Our Home

What could be more fundamental than the right of every person to a safe and healthy home — whether the place where we sleep each night, or our collective home, our planet? In conversation with the brilliant Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and Daniel Aldana Cohen, we explore how a Green New Deal for Housing could protect us from climate chaos — and guarantee beautiful, affordable, and sustainable homes for all.

What could be more fundamental than the right of every person to a safe and healthy home — whether the place where we sleep each night, or our collective home, our planet? Today, far too many people are struggling to find or keep decent housing. Meanwhile, as climate chaos threatens our shared, planetary home, it turns out that the inefficient, fossil-fueled buildings we live in are a key source of the problem.

In our latest episode, we explore how a Green New Deal for Housing could protect us from the storms to come — and guarantee beautiful, affordable, and sustainable homes for all, by rescuing housing from the markets that have so dismally failed us. To figure out how this work, we chat with two of our foremost thinkers on housing: Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor [@KeeangaYamahtta] and Daniel Aldana Cohen [@aldatweets]. They’re both impressive experts with a gift for transforming the public debate, and whose work is helping movements connect the dots between housing, climate, and racial justice.

If you’re new to this subject, you can start by checking out our animated explainer video on the Green New Deal for Housing.

Special thanks to Aluma Sound for our theme music. Please support this podcast by contributing to our Patreon account, and read more about The Leap.

October 17 2019:

Election 2019: Racism with a Smile

In a special mini-episode, we discuss the federal election and all the special moments of racism that it surfaced.

In a special mini-episode, we discuss the federal election and all the special moments of racism that it surfaced. We dig into the political flashpoints that brought hateful politics into the mainstream – from a former immigration minister celebrating Blackface while claiming to speak for the Black community, to the secret conspiracy signals flashed by the leader of a fringe party welcomed into the spotlight.

This election has the highest possible stakes when it comes to climate action. But we can’t talk about a Green New Deal without talking about institutionalized racism in Canada – and how our system devalues and dehumanizes the people most at risk.

Special thanks to Aluma Sound for our theme music.
Please support this podcast by contributing to our Patreon account, and read more about The Leap.

September 19 2019:

Do the Greens have a New Deal? Discuss.


We ask federal leader Elizabeth May about the Green Party’s plan to mobilize Canadian society to fight climate change. And we follow up with Alex Tyrrell, the head of Quebec’s provincial (and openly eco-socialist) GP, one of May’s highest-profile internal critics. The Green Party of Canada has seen a sudden surge in popularity — but can they really lead on the Green New Deal?

In May 2019, the Pact for a Green New Deal laid down a new vision for Canadian politics — and the Green Party of Canada claims to be taking up the gauntlet. They’re trumpeting some of the most ambitious climate goals of any federal party, and they’ve also seen a sudden surge in popularity: ahead of the 2018 federal election, many Canadians who are deeply anguished about the climate crisis are giving the party a closer look. But are we clear on what the Green Party really stands for?

Continuing the theme of our last episode, we ask if the Green Party has what it takes to get the Green New Deal right — by taking on the corporations standing in the way, and making sure the transition leaves no one behind. We first ask federal leader Elizabeth May [@ElizabethMay] about her party’s plan to mobilize Canadian society to fight climate change. And we follow up with Alex Tyrrell [@AlexTyrrellPVQ], the head of Quebec’s provincial (and openly eco-socialist) GP, one of May’s highest-profile critics from within the party.

Special thanks to Aluma Sound for our theme music.
Please support this podcast by contributing to our Patreon account, and read more about The Leap.

May 29 2019:

The NDP vs. the GND

We talk to maverick NDP candidate Svend Robinson about how the party is doing on climate so far, and whether it’s capable of getting the Green New Deal right. We also touch on the NDP’s history and future of opening itself to the creativity and energy of social movements. Spoiler alert: it’s not always a pretty story.

As the Green New Deal continues to capture imaginations and open up new possibilities in the United States, a broad, grassroots coalition has just launched a Pact for a Green New Deal in Canada, with over 200 town halls taking place around the country. How can Canada’s politicians and parties genuinely take up the fight, and work with communities to translate this bold vision into policy?

We begin by looking at the NDP, which has already started using the phrase “Green New Deal” to frame their new climate platform. We talk to maverick NDP candidate Svend Robinson [@Svend4MP], about how the party is doing on climate so far, and whether it’s capable of getting the Green New Deal right. We also touch on the NDP’s history and future of opening itself to the creativity and energy of social movements. Spoiler alert: it’s not always a pretty story. But the good news is, there’s a growing group of radical candidates across the country — and they’re putting transformational change on the table in Canada.

Special thanks to Aluma Sound for our theme music.
Please support this podcast by contributing to our Patreon account, and read more about The Leap.

March 25 2019:

BE MORE HUMAN

We examine the normalization of racism and xenophobia in political discourse, as we unpack one of the most pressing human rights and climate issues of our time: migration. Guests Harjeet Singh of Action Aid and Kara Manso of the Caregivers’ Action Center share stories and call on us all to be more human.

As millions of people are on the move, displaced by climate change and conflict, we share our own families’ stories of migration to Canada. Shaken by the act of terror perpetrated against Muslims by a white supremacist in Christchurch, New Zealand, we examine how racism, xenophobia and anti-migrant hate have been normalized in Canadian political discourse and abroad.

We speak with Harjeet Singh in Delhi India [@harjeet11], Global Lead on Climate Change for Action Aid, who explains what it means to be displaced by climate and makes the case that solidarity requires we all be more human. And we consider that wisdom back in Toronto, as former care-worker and current organizer Kara Manso [@karamanso_] of the Caregivers’ Action Center explains why giving people status on arrival is the best way to stop the exploitation and abuse of migrant workers.

February 12 2019:

The Green New Deal

We talk to Varshini Prakash, co-founder of the Sunrise Movement, about the bold idea sweeping the U.S. political landscape known as the Green New Deal. And we explore the opportunities and challenges of bringing the Green New Deal frame to Canada.

Why do personal emergencies feel more urgent than collective ones? How can we activate our collective emergency response systems to address the crises of climate, racism and inequality we face? For inspiration, we talk to Varshini Prakash (@VarshPrakash), co-founder and Executive Director of the Sunrise Movement about the bold idea known as the Green New Deal.  The GND is a vision for radically transforming the country’s systems–from energy to infrastructure, housing, food and transportation–in order to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions, avoid catastrophic global warming, and create millions of good jobs in the process. And if insurgent Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) and the Sunrise Movement have their way, it’s going to be a major campaign issue leading up to the U.S. election in 2020. But is there anything intrinsically American about a Green New Deal? As Canada heads into a federal election year, we explore the opportunities and challenges of bringing the GND frame here.

February 8 2019:

Change is Coming

It’s election year in Canada, and The Leap is launching a brand new podcast hosted by Avi Lewis and Maya Menezes. Get ready: The first episode of Change Everything drops February 12.

It’s election year in Canada, and The Leap is launching a brand new podcast hosted by Avi Lewis and Maya Menezes. Change Everything is a podcast for everyone who is freaking out about climate, racism, and inequality, and wants solutions as big as the crises we face.

In our first episode we’ll talk about the bold idea known as the Green New Deal with Varshini Prakash, one of the co-founders of the Sunrise Movement in the United States. And we’ll explore the opportunities and challenges of bringing the Green New Deal frame to Canada.

Get ready: The first episode drops February 12.

About Us

Avi Lewis

Avi Lewis lectures in Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University. His over 25-year journalism career spans award-winning documentary films to news shows broadcast worldwide. He is co-founder and Strategic Director of The Leap.

Maya Menezes

Maya Menezes is a migrant rights organizer and climate justice campaigner in the Dish with One Spoon, Tkaronto. She is also the Senior Manager of Programming and Development at The Leap.

What Escapes Production

What Escapes is a production company devoted to impassioned storytelling, challenging people and ideas, and working in complex environments around the globe. whatescapes.com