Public Allies Twin Cities 10th Anniversary (BZP020)

For this episode, Beth catches up with her longtime friends Antonio Cardona, LaCora Bradford Kesti, and Ernest Comer – three of the people who have been instrumental in the impact Public Allies Twin Cities has been making in the lives of young people and the broader community for the last ten years.

We dig into the history of the organization, the work they’ve done over the years, and about Beth’s involvement with the organization during key movement moments over the past decade.

We talk about the importance of leadership development, the pressure often felt by leaders to lead and rise to any given moment, how this pressure can sometimes by rooted in internalized oppression, and how penguins provide a great example for us in helping us shift our mindset around these concepts.

We also spend a few minutes chatting with the team about their plans and ambitions for the future, their current individual projects, and the way Public Allies has influenced the work they’re doing now and the work they plan to lead going forward.

Click the links to learn more about Ernest’s book, LaCora and Ernest’s work on Black Centered Design, more about the African American Leadership Forum and Antonio’s work at Pillsbury United Communities.


Revolutionary Love with Valarie Kaur (BZP019)


For this episode, via Zoom from California, Beth welcomes her old friend and colleague, civil rights attorney, writer, filmmaker, activist, and current world-changer, Valarie Kaur.

With her new book, See No Stranger (, hot off the press, and the Revolutionary Love Project ( she founded going viral online, we catch up with Valarie for a unique, intimate chat between friends about her work, her new book, and how it all came to be. Valerie shares with us, in a candid and effortlessly authentic way, about what first called her to activism, how her Sikh faith has shaped and influenced her work, and how the concept of Revolutionary Love has seen her through some of the darkest and most transitional moments of her life.

This episode will challenge you in ways that are perfectly timed for the movement moment we are currently working though. With Beth providing us the context as someone who has seen many movement cycles like the one we’re in now, whether you’re new to movement work, a lifelong activist, or transitioning from one form of movement work to another, Valarie offers us up her deepest wisdom, in a way that will speak directly to yours, no matter where you are in your journey.

Valarie’s book is available online now at Get a copy for yourself and buy a copy for that special highly-experienced or aspiring activist in your life.  Or… as a special gift from Beth, share your thoughts about this episode or Valerie’s work on Facebook (be sure to use the hashtags #BethZemskyPodcast and #SeeNoStranger), and email a copy of your post and your contact information to If you’re one of the first ten folks to do so, you’ll get a FREE copy of the book signed by Valarie, courtesy of the Beth Zemsky Podcast!

Intentionality in Crisis (BZP018)

In our first ever Zoom episode of the Beth Zemsky Podcast (and our second one featuring Beth’s dog, Bert), we focus in on how opportunities for introspection and systemic change are often brought about by crisis. We talk about how crisis can often reveal things about ourselves and our organizations that we’d maybe rather not see, and about the temptation to leverage whatever privilege we might have to simply look the other way. We talk about how crisis can disrupt entrenched power structures and about how taking inventory of our ideas about diversity and inclusion can be even more important during crisis than when we think things are going smoothly. We also talk briefly about Beth’s experience working in the early days of HIV, and about the impact it had on the work she does today. We talk about the importance of being intentional in identifying the opportunities presented to us by this or any other crisis, and how the movement work we’re called to in times of crisis can be some of the most important work there is.

For more on this topic from Beth, check out this recent blog she wrote for the Dodge Foundation at:

Miguel Ramos of the Minnesota Twins (TCP143)

On location with Miguel Ramos, Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for the Minnesota Twins. We talk with Miguel about the Twins’ 365 commitment to diversity and inclusion, the ways they’ve given back over the past year, and the work they’ll be doing this year to ensure everyone feels welcome in Twins Territory.

Restorative Justice with Cynthia Zwicky (BZP017)

In this episode of the podcast, we talk with Beth’s longtime friend and colleague Cynthia Zwicky about the ancient tradition and emerging movement work field of Restorative Justice. While we talk about Cynthia’s experience primarily within the context of the education system, we also reflect on how the practice of restorative justice can provide a vital foundation for much of the social justice work we do. We also discussed how institutionalized power and privilege in the pursuit of justice often results in prioritizing the peace and comfort of those in power rather then well being of the community as a whole. Finally, Cynthia shares her experience first bringing restorative methodologies to her North Minneapolis school, the challenges she faced in doing so, and the ultimate successes her school achieved as a result.

Beth also catches us up on what she’s been up to so far this decade, what she’s got coming up, how to get in on her upcoming “Facilitating Cultural Change” workshop, and gives us a sneak preview of our next few episodes.

For more on the topic of Restorative Justice, check out the links Cynthia provided us with below:

Minnesota Department of Education: Restorative Practices

Living Justice Press

Cynthia wrote a chapter in this book (Chapter 4) that talks about the journey of implementing restorative practices in two school districts.

This book has great stories of implementing the circle process in schools.{9A76A209-B9C0-4E94-886F-30918D80E3FB}

And here’s a link to register for Beth’s workshop, Facilitating Cultural Change: