Chime zine in partnership with the meteor

For a feminist future 22

Somewhere in the world, a person you don't know is taking a risk. Maybe she’s fighting for her fundamental human rights, or her country’s future, or their children’s dignity, or the freedom to love who they please. But everywhere you look these days, women, girls and non-binary people are deep in it, standing up to overwhelming times with overwhelming, electrifying courage.


Symone D. Sanders: Our first conversation is about telling our stories. Who gets to do it? And what happens when you tell the truth from your own point of view? We have two dynamic women in conversation on this topic. The first is award-winning writer and director Janicza Bravo. We are also proud to have with us a woman who has literally used personal stories to change the world: Tarana Burke. She is the author and founder and chief vision officer of the "me too." Movement. You know #metoo, right? The hashtag. It's been used more than 19 million times on Twitter alone. And last fall, she published her memoir, "Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement.”

Janicza Bravo: I'm really excited to be on stage with you tonight in front of all of you. I feel like I'm a fan. I've been watching you from the sidelines for quite some time. So this is a joy for me. And I know one of the themes of this evening is about owning your own story.

Tarana Burke: I mean, owning my own story is a big part of my life. I think as a survivor, as a Black woman, as a woman, as a mother, just as a person navigating the world—I never felt like I didn't own my story. I was raised in a household where I was actually brought up to know my story, know who I am as a Black person in this world, and what that meant and how it's situated. And to go into spaces carrying that story with me and to not allow people to alter that story.

Bravo: So if you've walked into a room, you've defined your story. And then when you hear it back, if, say, the language isn't not only not to your liking, but if the language is false to you, what is a tool we can use to take it back?


Symone D. Sanders: So we had a lot of activists and leaders sitting in our audience at Barnard the night of the live talks. And there was one I just had to single out. Friends around the world, please meet climate activist Ayisha Siddiqa.

Ayisha Siddiqa: You know, I promised myself if I had the opportunity to be on a stage like this, I would tell it like it is.

Sanders: Please do. It was a requirement to be here.

Siddiqa: Yeah, a lot of people think getting involved in climate work is about carbon emissions and like reducing plastic straws and saving the turtles. But it's far more complicated. Right now, over 70 percent of the emissions that are being released into our atmosphere come from 100 companies. Of those companies, a majority of them produce oil and gas. I became involved in climate work, not necessarily because I wanted to protect the environment, which I think is an absolutely necessary cause. I became involved because the fossil fuel industries have initiated wars in the country that I come from, and killed, looted, and completely destroyed environments for the reasons of gaining control over vital resources like oil.

Sanders: Talk to me a little bit about COP26. You and the rest of Polluters Out attended. What happened?


Symone D. Sanders: Our next conversation is a big one. It's about LGBTQ rights. And honestly, we have a ways to go. We passed marriage equality in the United States in 2015. Sure. But in a number of states, you can still be fired from your job for being a part of the LGBTQ community. And with this kind of "Don't Say Gay" legislation happening in Florida, it is an all-out assault on the LGBTQ community. We should all be standing up and using our voices. Luckily, we have brought two people together who are speaking out. Amandla Stenberg is an American actor and singer. You may have seen them in their acting debut with the film "Colombiana," or their breakthrough playing Rue in the film "The Hunger Games." Joining Amandla in this conversation is Raquel Willis. Raquel Willis is a globally recognized activist, writer, and editor who has been a national organizer for the Transgender Law Center. All right.

Amandla Stenberg: I'm so happy to be here. And I'm so happy to be here with you, girl, because I have been such a huge fan of your work for so long.

Raquel Willis: That means so much to me because you've been one of the most visible folks in our community. And, wow, you've always held your value so close to the sleeve. And so I appreciate that


Labor Movement

Symone D. Sanders: Here's something most people don't know about feminism. It's actually about labor. Did you know that International Women's Day started as a strike? Well, our next guest has been at the forefront of the labor movement for more than half a century. Sixty years ago, Dolores Huerta co-founded the United Farm Workers of America with Cesar Chavez. She also led the famous grape boycott and helped pass the first law allowing farm workers to bargain collectively.

Six decades after Dolores started the farmworkers union, a warehouse worker for Amazon began to organize his co-workers. Amazon fired him and spent millions of dollars trying to stop his efforts. But in April, Chris Smalls helped win a staff-wide vote to establish the first union ever at Amazon. The New York Times called it the biggest union victory in 25 years.

We were honored to be there when these two legendary leaders, separated by 60 years, met on stage for the first time with moderator Paola Mendoza.

Paola Mendoza: Dolores, I want to start with you. You helped launch the modern labor movement. And we're in a moment today, where we're seeing a resurgence of unions and their power, from Amazon to Starbucks to teachers standing in their power. And I want to talk to you just about how it feels 60 years later to be looking at this moment in time and seeing a lot of your work coming to a culmination. How are you feeling about today?


Our next piece is a conversation between Lachi and Brandon Kazen-Maddox, who performed together at the 22 For ‘22 live event in April (link here). For this issue of CHIME Zine, Lachi and Brandon speak about disability and accessibility—especially as it pertains to live performance.

CHIME: In your own words, could you just introduce yourselves and tell us about the work you do as you want to describe it?

Lachi: Sure. Hi, my name is Lachi, she/her, Black woman, cornrows. I am a recording artist, a songwriter, an actress, a host, a writer, all of the things. Whatever you want, I will do, but it all kind of boils down to my disability inclusion and advocacy, trying to uplift and amplify disability culture, accessibility, and inclusion, especially in the music and performance industries. So that's pretty much me in a nutshell. I'll toss it to you, Brandon.

Brandon: Thank you, Lachi. So my name is Brandon Kazen-Maddox. They/them, caramel skin, Black artist with shoulder-length locs and kind of sweet brown eyes.

Lachi: Okay!


Symone D. Sanders: This was a conversation you know we needed to have. In the United States, this is serious right now. But I'm about to tell you something that should make you hopeful, because it made me hopeful. While access to safe abortion is threatened in the US, the Green Wave movement has helped deliver groundbreaking victories in Latin America. For this next conversation, we're proud to highlight a leader of the Green Wave movement, Paula Avila-Guillen. Paula has led efforts to end the total abortion ban in El Salvador, and successfully legalized abortion in Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico. I need y'all to focus on this because it can be done.

And speaking with Paula is actress, author, and reproductive rights activist Busy Philipps. In 2019, Busy opened up about her own abortion on her talk show "Busy Tonight," and she sparked a national conversation using the hashtag #YouKnowMe. A month later, Busy testified before a House Judiciary Subcommittee on threats to reproductive rights in America.

Busy Philipps: There are 13 US states currently that have trigger ban laws, which means if Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion in the first and second trimesters would be immediately banned in those states. Abortion will be gone for the people who need to access that vital health care and for people who deserve bodily autonomy, including in my home state Arizona, where I had an abortion at age 15. Let's be real, baby Busy Philipps still gets the abortion. Because my parents would pay for it. They would take me where I needed to go. I'm white and I'm born privileged. What this decision in June is going to do to the most vulnerable in our country is unconscionable. We can learn from other countries. I know that many people in this country thought, “Oh, it's never going to get overturned”. And here we are. And so now, Paula, let's just talk about what the state of abortion in Latin America was five years ago.

Editor’s note: This conversation took place at the end of April 2022, a few days before the Dobbs v. Jackson draft Supreme Court opinion was leaked.


Symone D. Sanders: The war in Ukraine continues to create massive refugee populations. As of April 2022, when this conversation took place, an estimated 5 million people had been forced to flee from Ukraine, and they joined a vast population of displaced people from around the world, over 84 million in total from countries including Syria and South Sudan. To help us understand the human impact of this war and how the world is responding, I spoke to Olena Chianova. She's an attorney and mother of two who left Ukraine and arrived in New York in April. Olena, tell me where you're from and what did you used to do in Ukraine?

Olena Chianova: I am from Ukraine, Odessa region. City of Izmail. It is in the south of Ukraine which is currently not under occupation. During the first days of the war, we did not have any food in the supermarkets, no medicine. My child is disabled and I could not buy the medication in the city and the whole of Ukraine because there were no shipments from Odessa or Kiev. My oldest son, he was going to a regular school, he was going to art school. Before the war everything was peaceful and quiet, and when the war began, peace vanished. People are having nervous breakdowns. My acquaintance from Kharviv, her neighbor committed suicide because of the blaring sirens and rockets exploding.

Sanders: Olena, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend and neighbor. I want to ask you, when was the moment that you knew you had to take your sons and leave?

Chianova: I knew when I heard the sirens and when I could not buy the medication or sanitary supplies for the child. I could not provide safety for my children, that’s when I made the call to leave, because with a disabled child it would be difficult to leave the occupied territory. With my disabled child in my arms, we crossed six countries, two continents. We were in transit for a month with a child in a wheelchair.


Symone D. Sanders: For the next conversation, we are going to take you across the world and back for another vision of a feminist future. Until last summer, Fatema Hosseini was reporting on many of the same political and social issues we are dealing with in the United States of America. Except she was 6,730 miles away as a journalist based in Kabul, Afghanistan. And when Kabul fell to the Taliban, she was at real risk. We'll hear about her escape in her conversation with Paola Ramos, who has herself witnessed the implications of dictatorial regimes worldwide in her role as host and correspondent for Vice News and contributor to Telemundo and MSNBC.

Paola Ramos: It's amazing to be here, and I think this is obviously a conversation between two journalists and it's a conversation about human rights. But I think more than anything, it's a conversation about the pain and the trauma that comes with exposing truths. You chose journalism, which in many ways was and is a death sentence in Afghanistan. What made you choose that path?

Fatema Hosseini: In 2018, when I graduated from Asian University for Women in Bangladesh, my major was politics, philosophy, economics. I always wanted to be a researcher focusing on women’s issues because women keep having these serious problems in Afghanistan. These issues have been going on for ages and they have never been solved. I am the daughter of a refugee family, so my parents fled the country during the 1990s, the first time the Taliban took over the country. Growing up in that society, under the Taliban, I have always had questions about women's rights. And when I came back to Afghanistan, I was searching for jobs. When I got offered the job, I could not say it to my mom. She was super worried about me because my father was already part of the army. And my mom seeing her husband's life in danger and seeing her daughter accepting a risky job was not acceptable for her. So I could not tell her. I hid it until a month before the fall of Kabul.




  • CINDI LEIVE Co-founder, The Meteor @cindi_leive
  • SYMONE D. SANDERS Host of MSNBC’s “Symone” @symonedsanders
  • JANICZA BRAVO Award-Winning Writer and Director @janicza
  • TARANA BURKE Author and Founder and Chief Vision Officer, ‘Me Too’ Movement @taranajaneen
  • AYISHA SIDDIQA Human Rights and Environmental Justice Advocate and Co-Founder, Polluters Out @ayisha_sid
  • AMANDLA STENBERG Actor and Artist @amandlastenberg
  • RAQUEL WILLIS Award-winning Writer and Activist @raquel_willis
  • DOLORES HUERTA President and Founder, Dolores Huerta Foundation @doloreshuerta
  • CHRIS SMALLS President, Amazon Labor Union (ALU) @chris.smalls_
  • PAOLA MENDOZA Filmmaker, Author, and Organizer @paolamendoza
  • LACHI Award-winning Recording Artist, Disability Advocate, President and Founder of Rampd, and Grammy Advocacy Co-chair (NY) @lachimusic
  • BRANDON KAZEN-MADDOX ASL Artist, Choreographer and Co-founder of the Up Until Now Collective @bkazenmaddox
  • PAULA AVILA-GUILLEN Colombian Human Rights Lawyer and Executive Director, Women’s Equality Center @pauvilg
  • BUSY PHILIPPS New York Times Best-Selling Author, Actor, Activist @busyphilipps
  • FATEMA HOSSEINI Afghan Journalist and Master’s Student of Investigative Journalism at The University of Maryland
  • PAOLA RAMOS Host, Vice News, Telemundo, MSNBC @paoramos