Tag Archives: advocates

A Podcast Creates A Growth Space for Youth

Current Problem

Gen Z’ers are motivated activists and advocates working on social justice. However, after starting, they lack the network and know-how to accelerate their changes into meaningful community impact. The burden of running an organization dilutes their efforts to spread awareness, while the financial burden of paying for their cause out of pocket can severely hinder their work. 

The Solution: What Cause Inspires You podcast

What Cause Inspires You is a podcast I launched and host, in which students from across the nation share the service they are doing in their communities, be it designing an app and donating blood to sending e-cards to elderly homes or creating an anti-bullying campaign. The podcast is currently booked through March 2021, broadcasting the passionate voices of the next generation’s change-makers. 

After experiencing cyberbullying, I initiated the podcast with the goal of bringing awareness to the issue. I thought, “What better way to educate my peers about a topic close to home than hearing it from a student like themselves?” My episode on cyberbullying was a hit and from there, I had youth from around the nation reach out to me to use my What Cause Inspires You podcast series as a platform to gain traction for their own movements. 

In addition to raising awareness, our scholarship division host challenges to provide monetary awards to students who are making an impact. Students in our most recent scholarship challenge created a one minute video about a cause that inspires them and why. The winner was the youth founder of the organization, Me2U Foundation, who won $1000 to help donate food and hygiene supplies to underdeveloped countries. The winner of our ongoing Flyer Challenge will receive $100 and the opportunity to interview one of our experts on Professional Perspective podcast and gain a lifelong connection. 

The Impact 

Through What Cause Inspires You, I have already helped 35 students from 12 states across the US to build awareness for their causes on a global scale, reaching students, parents, and experts alike on Spotify and Youtube. With a goal to unify our communities, the podcast series helps our audience connect with our speakers to encourage them to be invested in the student organization’s cause, all while educating on important and often under-represented issues. In addition, speakers join an exclusive group of youth leaders where they are given the opportunity to connect and collaborate with one another. 

To further enhance their networks, I have also initiated Professional Perspectives, a sub-series that features interviews with CEOs and experts regarding their insight on social justice, social entrepreneurship, and how to accelerate change. These episodes allow students to connect with inspirational professionals and in return, we have seen real change – student-organizations partnering with CEOs and presenting innovative solutions to long-standing problems. 

My impact with Humanity Rising extends far past the WCIY podcast. I am also the marketing and social media head for the organization, combining my expertise in business strategy and social justice. I lead a team of 20 student volunteers in marketing, analytics, interview operations, and outreach. My interns receive exposure to the hundreds of causes that need our society’s help and gain experience in the social entrepreneurship sector. They incite change in their communities and have already reached 100,000 students globally. 

What the Future Holds

Using What Cause Inspires You podcast, I hope to leverage my personal experience and leadership to empower student organizations with awareness, connections, and financial resources. In the future, the team and I are looking forward to bridging CEO involvement and What Cause Inspires You by providing corporate sponsorships for impactful organizations. To get involved, sign up for our email newsletter, and join the movement towards unity and progress.


Alisha Gupta is the founder and host of the What Cause Inspires You podcast series as well as the Head of Marketing Communications and Outreach for Humanity Rising Ambassador. Contact Alisha at alishagupta2020@gmail.com and @whatcauseinspiresyou.

We Are as Strong as Our Weakest Link

Coronavirus has overtaken how people are living their lives and is now controlling their psyche – as it should.

Reaction has ranged from indifference to paranoia. On one end of the spectrum, reckless students from University of Austin chartered a plane and flew to Mexico for spring break. 44 of them contracted coronavirus. On the other, fake news circulates, conspiracy theories go viral on WhatsApp, and people self-medicate with chloroquine, leading to paranoia.

What is fact and what is fiction?

Ethnic Media Services video briefing on Coronavirus

Ethnic Media Services held a video briefing last Friday, March 27th, with a panel of medical health professionals and advocates who are on the forefront of coronavirus research, work, and policy. The panelists addressed current information about the virus, safety measures, and effects on marginalized communities.

Dr. Daniel Turner-Lloveras, Harbor UCLA Medical Center, and Dr. Rishi Manchanda, Health Begins, spoke about overlooked populations and how their health will actually determine the efficacy of COVID-19. Turner-Lloveras pressed that we need to ensure access to public health for those that are undocumented or without health insurance. 43% of undocumented immigrants are without health insurance and are high risk populations if they contract the virus. 

Additionally, the pandemic has the potential “to disproportionately affect communities of color and immigrants,” Dr. Manchanda confirmed. He expanded that the reason for this is that these populations are at a “greater risk for exposure, have limited access to testing, and have severe complications.”

Dr. Rishi Manchanda briefing community media outlets

Many frontline staff for essential services belong to such communities and are at a higher risk of exposure because of their contact with the public. People on the frontline are unable to take time off due to the nature of their job and their dependency on the income; many continue to work while sick. Infection can spread from work to home and into these communities due to the density of housing.

Once exposed, vulnerable populations have limited access to testing for a multitude of reasons – fear of the healthcare system, lack of health insurance, inability to communicate their needs, and underlying racism. 

Infection from this virus can cause complications leading to chronic illness. The risk of developing chronic illness is higher for communities of color. Research shows that African American, Latinx, and Asian Americans have an increased probability of having chronic illness, over white populations; “Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders are at twice the risk of developing diabetes than the population overall.”

The nascence of a pandemic brings with it a pressing need to address the gaps within the structural framework of the public health system in America. If we are unable to effectively help disenfranchised communities, then we are ineffective in controlling the spread of the virus. 

“By caring for others, you’re caring for yourself,” Dr. Turner-Lloveras urges. 

Public health is not an economic drain or a privilege, it is a right. Dialogue around healthcare has long forgotten the systemic racism embedded in it; the wealth gap limits the accessibility to health care or good health care. NAACP studies have found connections between coronavirus and negative impacts on communities of color. 

But racism has moved beyond just health…

Asians and Asian Americans are experiencing racism at higher rates. Manju Kulkarni, Executive Director of Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, recounted a story of a child experiencing verbal and physical assault for being of Asian descent at a school in LA. Since then there have been around 100 reported cases a day of hate towards AAPIs on public transit, grocery stores, pharmacies. Kulkarni and her team at A3PCON are doing everything in their power to legislate and educate.

That said, it is our social responsibility to stay informed and updated. “Bad information is deadly,” states Dr. Tung Nguyen, University of California, San Francisco, as he gives quick rundown of what is known about COVID-19 thus far:

  • Currently there is no known vaccine or immunity from COVID-19. 
  • Vaccines are 12-18 months out, if the vaccine was approved for phase 1 testing today.
  • COVID-19 has exponential spread; if there are 200,000 cases this week, there will be 400,00 cases next week, 1 million cases the next week, and 4 million cases by the end of the month.
  • COVID-19 is an infection that leads to sepsis and those with sepsis require ventilators; this has led to a national shortage of ventilators.
  • There is a 1.5% – 4.5% death rate from COVID-19.

Information to keep you safe:

  • Have the healthiest person leave the house to get essentials.
  • Have a room to disinfect in before entering primary areas of the house.
  • COVID-19 is in the air for 3-6 hours, lasts 24 hours on cardboard, and on steel and metal for 72 hours.
  • Clean commonly touched objects – faucets, handles – with disinfectant.

If you are sick, call your hospital or provider in advance. Hospital resources are currently limited and telehealth measures have been put in place to assess patients from a distance. You can find more on the CDC website

Dr. Tung Nguyen and Dr. Daniel Turner-Lloveras, both gave one big takeaway – the best thing one can do during this pandemic is STAY AT HOME

Abide by the shelter in place regulations and continue to keep the dialogue about the pandemic open. The coronavirus pandemic has reminded us of the need for awareness, the importance of early containment, and the accessibility of health care to colored communities/immigrants. 

Srishti Prabha is the current Assistant Editor at India Currents and has worked in low income/affordable housing as an advocate for children, women and people of color. She is passionate about diversifying spaces, preserving culture, and removing barriers to equity.