Tag Archives: Podcast

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.

Update on the Future of Immigration Reform

Update on the Future of Immigration Reform

SPEAKERS ON THE NATIONAL BRIEFING 

Sameera Hafiz is the ILRC’s Senior Policy Strategist based in Washington, DC.  Sameera, who began working at the ILRC in 2017, leads ILRC’s advocacy and engagement on federal immigration policy.  Sameera brings nearly two decades of experience supporting campaigns and coalitions focused on racial justice, fighting harsh immigration enforcement policies and ending violence against women.  Prior to joining the ILRC, Sameera was the Advocacy Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance where she led the organization’s anti-trafficking and immigration policy work, as well as the legal team.  Previously Sameera served as the Director of Policy and Campaigns at Rights Working Group, a national coalition addressing racial profiling and other human rights violations affecting communities of color in the US.  Sameera was also a Senior Staff Attorney with the Legal Momentum Immigrant Women Program, where she advocated with legislators and executive agencies for policies supporting the needs of immigrant survivors of gender-based violence.   Prior to that, Sameera represented individuals before Citizenship and Immigration Services, immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals with the Legal Aid Society of New York and she began her legal career at Safe Horizon, representing survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence in family and immigration matters.

Angelica Salas, Since becoming CHIRLA’s executive director in 1999, she has spearheaded several ambitious campaigns locally, state-wide, and nationally. She helped win in-state tuition for undocumented immigrant students and established day laborer job centers that have served as a model for the rest of the nation. She led efforts to allow all California drivers to obtain a driver license and is a leading spokesperson on federal immigration policy as an active member of FIRM and RIFA. Under Angelica’s leadership, CHIRLA and its partners across the country have built the foundation for the recent upsurge in immigrant rights activism.  As part of a national coordinating committee, Angelica helped convene a coalition of organizations in California which have successfully mobilized millions of immigrants to demand comprehensive immigration reform including legalization with a path to citizenship, family reunification, and the protection of civil and labor rights.

One of Angelica’s greatest accomplishments at CHIRLA has been the transformation of a coalition of social service providers into an organization that empowers immigrants to engage in advocacy on their own behalf. In this respect, she has blazed a pioneering trail among immigrant coalitions around the country and has propelled other immigrant rights groups to follow her lead.  In March she walked along thousands in the annual Selma to Montgomery March. She comes by her understanding of the immigrant experience firsthand. As a five year old, Angelica came to the U.S. from Mexico to rejoin her parents who had come to the U.S. to find work and better provide for their family.

Zahra Billoo is a civil rights attorney and the executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). At the onset of 2017, Zahra joined the speaker lineup at the Women’s March on Washington and sued Donald Trump to challenge his “Muslim Ban” Executive Orders. In the course of her work at CAIR, Zahra is frequently seen at mosques and universities facilitating trainings and workshops as a part of CAIR’s grassroots efforts to empower the American Muslim community and build bridges with allies on civil rights issues. She also provides direct legal services for victims of law enforcement targeting and Islamophobia. Her work has been highlighted in local and national media outlets including the Christian Science Monitor, KTVU, MSNBC, NPR, and the San Jose Mercury News.

Among her awards and recognitions, Zahra has received the 2017 Human Rights Award from the Society of American Law Teachers, the 2014 Unsung Hero Award from the Nationals Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, and the 2013 Trailblazer Award from the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California.

A proud graduate of California’s public universities, Zahra graduated Cum Laude from California State University, Long Beach with degrees in Human Resources Management and Political Science. While in college, she held various leadership roles both at campus and state-wide advocacy efforts for college affordability and social justice. She also worked with the California Faculty Association. She earned her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and is licensed to practice law in California. Outside of her work with CAIR, Zahra bakes birthday cakes for foster children through Cake4Kids and is a coordinator for Project Feed, a monthly homeless feeding effort in downtown San Francisco.

Adoubou Traore is a native of the Ivory Coast and the former Executive Director of African Immigrant and Refugee Resource Center (AIRRC) in San Francisco, CA.  Adoubou is a former recipient of the British Council Scholarship in 1990 and the Fulbright Scholarship in 2000-2002. He speaks French, English, Spanish, Senufo, and Bambara. He obtained a Masters of Arts in English from San Francisco State University (SFSU) in 2002. Adoubou supervises AAN program staff by providing direction, input and feedback, communicates with clients and other stakeholders to gain community support for the program and to solicit input to improve the program, liaises with other managers to ensure the effective and efficient program delivery, and coordinates the delivery of services among different program activities to increase effectiveness and efficiency. In addition to his management duties, Adoubou assist clients with legal consultation, legal counseling and legal processing. Adoubou also does document translation and interpretation in asylum office.