MetroFocus

FULL EPISODE

MetroFocus: June 29, 2020

In today’s polarized America, women of color are claiming power by running for political office and PBS is uplifting their voices in an important and timely two-part documentary series. ‘And She Could Be Next’ chronicles the story of a defiant movement of women of color who are transforming American politics from the ground up.

AIRED: June 29, 2020 | 0:28:18
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>>>.

>>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH

RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD AND

JENA FLANNIGAN.

"METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY

JAMES AND PER RYLL TISCH, SUE

AND EDWARD WACHENHEIM III AND

THE PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO

FIGHT ANTISEMITISM, BERNARD AND

IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P.

WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG

AND BY --

>>> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO

"METROFOCUS."

I'M JENA FLANNIGAN.

WOMEN OF COLOR HAVE LONG PLAYED

AN OUTSIDE ROLE IN THE WORLD OF

AMERICAN POLITICS AND COMMUNITY

ACTIVISM, BUT IT WASN'T UNTIL

RECENTLY THAT THEY'VE GONE FROM

BEING THE ONES MAKING IT HAPPEN

BEHIND THE SCENES TO THE ONES

WHO ARE RUNNING FOR OFFICE AND

WINNING.

ALL THAT CHANGED IN 2018 WHEN AN

UNPRECEDENTED NUMBER OF BLACK,

BROWN AND MUSLIM WOMEN FROM

ACROSS THE COUNTRY MADE THE LEAP

INTO ELECTORAL POLITICS

TRANSFORMING COUNTY BOARD, STATE

CAPITALS AND THE HOUSE OF

REPRESENTATIVES.

THE ENERGY OF THAT MOMENT AND

THE OBSTACLES IN THE WAY OF IT

BEING REPEATED IS THE SUBJECT OF

A NEW TWO-PART POV DOCUMENTARY

SERIES, "AND SHE COULD BE NEXT"

FOLLOWS GRASSROOTS ORGANIZERS

AND CANDIDATES SUCH AS STACY

ABRAMS, AND RASHIDA TALIB AS

THEY MAKE A RUN FOR HISTORY.

HERE IS A PREVIEW.

>> IN THE HISTORY OF THIS

COUNTRY, ANY GUESSES OUT OF

11,000 WHO SERVED IN THE UNITED

STATES OF CONGRESS.

HOW MANY OF WOMEN OF COLOR HAVE

SERVED?

>> THERE'S THIS ASSUMPTION THAT

BLACK PEOPLE DON'T VOTE, THAT

LATINOS AREN'T AMERICANS AND

THAT YOUNG PEOPLE ARE WHOLLY

UNRELIABLE.

>> I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND THAT

WHO I AM IS THE PRODUCT OF A

MOVEMENT.

>> THERE IS NO ONE ON THE INSIDE

THAT LOOKS LIKE ME.

>> PEOPLE ASPIRING TO BE LEADERS

IN THIS COUNTRY, THEY NEED TO GO

THROUGH WOMEN OF COLOR BECAUSE

WE'RE MAKING OUR VOICES KNOWN.

[ SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE ]

>> WHEN I SAY I'M A SOCIAL

JUSTICE SPEAKER, I'M A MAMA FOR

JUSTICE AND ALL THESE THINGS AND

THAT'S WHERE I'M SAYING I'M

AMERICAN.

I DON'T MEAN TO SAY IT.

I ACT LIKE AN AMERICAN.

?

CANDIDATES DO NOT NORMALLY TALK

TO PEOPLE IN THE ASIAN-AMERICAN

COMMUNITY BECAUSE HISTORICALLY

SPEAKING WE ARE THE COMMUNITY

THAT TURNS OUT TO VOTE AT THE

LOWEST RATE.

SO WE WANT TO CHANGE THAT HERE

TODAY.

.

[ SPEAKING FOR[ SPEAKING FOREIG]

>> WE'RE NOT ASKING FOR

PERMISSION TO DO WHAT WE NEED TO

DO, WE'RE JUST GOING TO DO IT.

>> THE TRADITIONAL NOTION OF

WHAT'S POSSIBLE IN AMERICAN

POLITICS ARE BEING CHALLENGED

EVERY DAY.

>> ELECTIONS ARE IMPORTANT.

OUR LIVES ARE ON THE LINE.

>> SISTERS AND BROTHER, IT'S

ABOUT BUILDING POWER IN OUR

COMMUNITY TO WIN WHAT IS RIGHT.

>> EXCEPT THE COMMUNITIES THAT

NEED TO BE BROUGHT IN REFLECT

THE NEW AMERICAN MAJORITY,

THEY'RE YOUNG, THEY'RE BROWN.

THEY MIGHT SPEAK ANOTHER

LANGUAGE AND THERE'S A LOT OF

US.

>> I'M EXCITED ABOUT THE FACT

THAT WOMEN OF COLOR ARE NOW

COMING INTO OUR OWN THAT ARE

STANDING UP AND TAKING OUR

RIGHTFUL PLACE IN THE PANTHEON

OF LEADERSHIP AND WE'RE CHANGING

WHAT THE FACE OF LEADERSHIP

LOOKS LIKE.

>> IT IS A NEW DAY, THERE'S A

NEW COALITION AND ULTIMATELY

WE'LL PUSH THIS COUNTRY FORWARD

BECAUSE THERE ARE MORE OF US

THAN THOSE THAT SEEK TO DO US

HARM.

>> AND JOINING ME NOW IS THE

CO-DIRECTOR AND CO-PRODUCER OF

"AND SHE COULD BE NEXT," MARJAN

SAFINIA AND UNISE UFA, THE

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NEW

GEORGIA PROJECT AND ONE OF THE

WOMEN FEATURED IN THE

DOCUMENTARY SERIES.

LADY, WELCOME TO "METROFOCUS".

>> THANK YOU, JENA.

>> THANK YOU.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

SO MARJAN, I WANT TO START WITH

YOU AND ASK WHAT WAS THE GENESIS

OF THIS DOCUMENTARY BECAUSE

WHILE SOME OF THESE WOMEN THAT

WE SEE ARE NOW HOUSEHOLD NAMES

IN POLITICS, AT THE TIME THAT WE

MEET THEM IN THIS FILM THAT ARE

BORDER LINE UNKNOWNS AT LEAST ON

THE NATIONAL STAGE?

>> YEAH.

I MEAN, IT WAS BORN OUT OF

WANTING TO MAKE AN EXPLORATION

OF THIS KIND OF INCREDIBLY

POLITICAL TIME IN WHICH WE FIND

OURSELVES IN THIS COUNTRY, WHERE

WE SEE THIS VERY RAPID

DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFT HAPPENING, AND

TRYING TO RECONCILE AN AMERICA

THAT LOOKS SO DIFFERENT WITH A

LEADERSHIP THAT LOOKS SO THE

SAME AS IT HAS BEEN FOREVER.

SO THAT WAS SORT OF THE GENESIS

OF WANTING TO UNDERSTAND AND

EXPLORE, YOU KNOW, THE POWER

PARADIGM AND HOW THAT -- A CALL

TO CHANGE THAT COMING FROM THE

GRASSROOTS IN A TIME WHEN

AMERICA'S NOT THE AMERICA OF THE

1950s, RIGHT?

SO THAT'S WHERE WE STARTED AND

THEN, YOU KNOW, WE -- WE'RE JUST

GOING TO PAT OURSELVES ON THE

BACK.

WE HAVE VERY GOOD PICKERS AND WE

HAVE EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN AND

NONE OF US KNEW THAT THEY WOULD

ALL DO SO WELL, BUT THEY DID AND

I THINK IT'S BECAUSE OF THE WAY

THAT THEY RAN THEIR CAMPAIGN AND

UNDERSTOOD THE POLITICAL MOMENT

AND LEANED INTO SPEAKING

DIRECTLY TO THE EXPERIENCE OF SO

MANY AMERICANS THAT ARE

COMPLETELY UNSEEN.

>> SORT OF BUILDING OFF OF THAT

NOTION OF PICKING REALLY GOOD

CANDIDATES, IT SEEMS AS IF

WATCHING THE FILM JUST SEEING

THE PASSION AND THE BREADTH AND

DEPTH OF KNOWLEDGE OF NOT ONLY

THE ISSUE, BUT THE COMMUNITIES

THEY'RE SERVING, AND I'M

WONDERING WHAT YOUR PERSPECTIVE,

WHAT MAKES WOMEN OF COLOR

PARTICULARLY GOOD CANDIDATES?

>> WHAT MAKES WOMEN OF COLOR

PARTICULARLY GOOD CANDIDATES?

ONE, I THINK THAT WHEN WE LOOK

BACK AT HOW OUR COMMUNITY IS

STRUCTURED AND HOW WE TAKE CARE

OF ONE ANOTHER, HOW OUR YOUNG

PEOPLE ARE EDUCATED AND HOW

RESOURCES GET DISTRIBUTED AND

HOW OUR FAITH COMMUNITIES ARE

STRUCTURED AND POWERED.

IT IS OFTEN WOMEN AND WOMEN OF

COLOR WHO ARE AT THE CENTER OF

THAT AND THE TRUTH IS THAT WOMEN

OF COLOR HAVE BEEN LEADING AND

MOST OF OUR MOST IMPORTANT

INSTITUTIONS FOR QUITE SOME

TIME.

IT'S JUST THAT THEIR LEADERSHIP

IS NOT RECOGNIZED, THAT WE OFTEN

LEVERAGE THEIR LABOR IN ORDER TO

GET WIND, BUT RARELY DID THEY

GET THE SORT OF RECOGNITION

ABOUT HOW CRITICAL THEIR WORK IS

AND THEIR LEADERSHIP IS TO ALL

OF OUR INSTITUTIONS AND SO IF

YOU'VE BEEN DOING THE WORK

ANYWAY, AND AGAIN, OFTENTIMES IN

THE SHADOWS OR AS AN UNCREDITED

SUPPORTER OR UNCREDITED

CONTRIBUTOR.

YOU IN WE ARE JUST RUNNING AND

WINNING ELECTIONS AND TAKING OUR

SEAT AT DIFFERENT TABLES.

>> WELL, IT'S INTERESTING THAT

YOU SAY THAT WOMEN OF COLOR HAVE

BEEN PART OF INSTITUTIONS AND

THAT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SORT OF

BUILDING OFF OF THEIR LABOR, I

BELIEVE IS HOW YOU PHRASED IT.

I'M WONDERING WHY IT'S IMPORTANT

TO HAVE WOMEN OF COLOR IN AT

LEAST VISIBLE LEADERSHIP

POSITIONS.

LIKE BEING A CANDIDATE AND

ACTUALLY HOLDING POLITICAL

OFFICE.

>> I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO --

FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, ACTUALLY, TO

BE ABLE TO SEE OURSELVES IN

LEADERSHIP AND IN VARYIOUS

ROLES.

THE IDEA THAT WOMEN CAN'T DO

ANYTHING OR WOMEN OF COLOR CAN'T

DO ANYTHING, I THINK, IS OFTEN

SORT OF SUPPORTED BY THE IDEA

THAT YOU -- WE DON'T SEE THEM

DOING THOSE ROLES AND SO THERE

IS THIS BELIEF THAT IT'S NOT

POSSIBLE AND SO, YOU KNOW, WHILE

REPRESENTATION ISN'T EVERYTHING,

IT ABSOLUTELY MATTERS.

>> SPEAKING OF REPRESENTATION,

MARJAN, I WANT TO TURN SORT OF

TO THE CREATION OF THIS FILM

BECAUSE NOT ONLY DOES IT CENTER

ON CANDIDATES, THESE WOMEN OF

COLOR, BUT YOU ALSO SEE, OF

COURSE, A LOT OF THE TEAMS AND A

LOT OF VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE AND

PASSIONATE WOMEN OF COLOR, AS

WELL AND WHAT I THOUGHT WAS

INTERESTING IS THAT THIS FILM

HAS AN ENTIRELY ACCREDITING MADE

UP ENTIRELY OF WOMEN OF COLOR.

WHY WAS THAT IMPORTANT TO DO?

>> WELL, IN OUR BUSINESS, AS

WELL, I THINK THAT IN

STORYTELLING AND DOCUMENTARY AND

JOURNALISM, WE DEFINE AND WE

SORT OF INFORM AND DEFINE THINGS

FOR THE MASS PUBLIC AND

UNFORTUNATELY CERTAINLY IN THE

DOCUMENTARY FIELD FOR A LONG,

LONG TIME, FOREVER, WHEN FILMS

ARE SORT OF FOCUSED ON

COMMUNITIES OF COLOR THEY ARE

OFTEN CALLED FROM A WHITE MALE

PHASE, AND THEY ARE ALSO TOLD

FROM A VICTIM OR A SET OR

COMMUNIST PEOPLE THAT NEED

SAVING.

THAT'S NOT OUR EXPERIENCE, AND

THEY'RE WOMEN OF COLOR OF MANY

DIFFERENT KINDS AND THE PEOPLE

WHO ARE DEFINED AS OTHERS IN

MANY OTHER WAYS AND WE ARE THE

NEW AMERICAN MAJORITY.

WE ARE TELLING OUR OWN STORY,

RIGHT?

THIS IS OUR MOMENT, TOO AND IT

IS INTERNAL POLITICAL ACTS OF

DEFIANCE OF OUR OWN TO PUSH BACK

AGAINST THE INDUSTRY THAT IS

FUNDED BY WHITE MEN TO SAY, YOU

KNOW, WE NEED TO BE DOING

BETTER.

SO THAT'S ONE REASON, THE OTHER

REASON IS BECAUSE OF WHO WE ARE

AND BECAUSE WE HAVE SHARED THIS

EXPERIENCE WITH THE PARTICULAR

STORIES THEY'RE TELLING WE'RE

ABLE TO GET MORE QUICKLY TO THE

KIND OF INTIMACY AND

AUTHENTICITY THAT YOU NEED THAT

A GOOD DOCUMENTARY RELIES ON.

SO WE MADE REALLY SURE THAT WE

WORKED WITH AN INCREDIBLE TEAM

OF FIELD DIRECTORS BECAUSE THERE

WAS NO WAY TO COVER THE STORY IN

ALL OF THE PLACES AT ONE TIME

AND ALL OF THE FIELD DIRECTORS

WERE ALSO FROM THE STORY IT

WILLERS AND WE WERE CLOSELY

MATCHED WITH THE STORIES THAT

THEY WERE GOING IN TO TELL, AND

I THINK YOU SEE IT IN THE

RESULTS.

YOU KNOW, FROM THE FIRST FRAME

LITERALLY TO THE LAST YOU SEE

WOMEN OF COLOR IN POWER AND

BRILLIANT, STRATEGIC AND YOU SEE

THEIR JOY.

YOU SEE THEIR LABOR AND YOU

LEARN THEIR NAMES.

I JUST WANT TO SAY, WE HAVE HER

HERE, AND FOR US IT WAS

IMPORTANT TO HAVE THE CANDIDATE

ASKS THAT'S HOW POLITICS

ACTUALLY WORKS, RIGHT?

WITHOUT THE ARMIES OF ENSES OF

THE WORLD IT SIMPLY COULDN'T

HAPPEN.

FOR US, WHO ARE ALL THESE

ORGANIZERS AND WHO WHERE DO WE

ALL FIT IN TO A MOVEMENT OF

CLAIMING POWER?

>> AND I HAVE A BIT OF A --

MAYBE A SUPER COMPLICATED,

TYPICAL QUESTION, BUT DO I HAVE

TO ASK.

THIS FILM, OF COURSE, WOULD HAVE

BEEN FILMED LEADING UP TO THAT

INFO

INFAMOUS, 2018 ELECTION AND IT'S

PREMIERING IN THE SUMMER OF 2020

AND I'M WONDERING IF SEEING THIS

FILL AM THROUGH THE LENS OF WHAT

WE'VE BEEN THROUGH OVER THE THE

PAST FIVE, SIX MONTHS OF THIS

YEAR, WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES

THIS FILM RESONATE NOW IN A WAY

THAT MIGHT BE MORE IMPACTFUL

THAN IT WOULD HAVE HAD THIS JUST

BEEN A REGULAR ELECTION CYCLE?

>> I THINK THAT ONE OF THE

IMPORTANT STORIES THAT MARJAN

CREATES AND IS TELLING IS HOW WE

WIN, RIGHT?

AND NOT DEALING WITH LOSSES AND

TRYING TO REFRAME THEM AS

VICTORIES, BUT WHAT IT TAKES TO

ACTUALLY WIN.

THAT IN THE SPACE OF WHAT SEEM

RIGHT, IMPOSSIBLE ODDS AND

DIRECT ATTACKS LIKE PERSONALLY

AND PROFESSIONALLY, WITNESSING

ENEMIES OF DEMOCRACY TRIED TO

DISMANTLE OUR ELECTION'S

INFRASTRUCTURE, POLICE VIOLENCE

AND OTHER FORMS OF STATE

VIOLENCE THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE,

THERE ARE WOMEN IN COMMUNITIES

ALL ACROSS THIS COUNTRY WHO ARE

WORKING TO BUILD THE

ORGANIZATION AND BUILD THE

INSTITUTIONS THAT ARE NECESSARY

FOR US TO WIN, ONE.

TWO, I THINK THAT DEBUNKING THE

MYTH THAT WE NEED SOME MESONIC

POLITICAL CANDIDATE IN ORDER TO

SAVE US, THAT THERE WILL BE NO

MESSIAH AND THAT WE ARE

LITERALLY THE ONES THAT ARE

SAVING OURSELVES.

THAT WE ARE TAKING CARE OF

OURSELVES AND WE'RE BUILDING

POWER IN OUR COMMUNITIES, AND I

THINK THAT THAT'S SUCH AN

IMPORTANT LESSON FOR NOW, RIGHT?

THERE'S A DEMAND FOR WHO IS THE

LEADER AND WHO IS THE

SPOKESPERSON FOR YOUR MOVEMENT

AND THE RECOGNITION THAT WE ARE

LEADER FULL AND THAT THERE ARE

TONS OF LEADERS IN OUR

COMMUNITIES AND IT'S SUPPORTING

ONE ANOTHER.

IT'S ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO TAP

INTO THEIR OWN LEADERSHIPS AND

IT'S HOW WE'RE GOING TO WIN AND

GET ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS.

>> I'M SPEAKING WITH INSE UFA,

THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE

NEW GEORGIA PROJECT AND ONE OF

THE WOMEN FEATURED IN THE POV

DOCUMENTARY SERIES "AND SHE

COULD BE NEXT Q."

I AM ALSO JOINED BY THE

CO-DIRECTOR AND CO-PRODUCER OF

"AND SHE COULD BE NEXT" MARJAN

SAFINIA.

I WANT TO STAY WITH WHAT YOU

WERE TALKING ABOUT FOR A MOMENT

AND JUST ASK WITH ALL OF THE

ISSUES THAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW

AND HOW THIS FILM SORT OF FITS

INTO THIS POLITICAL AND CULTURAL

MOMENT THAT WE'RE LIVING

THROUGH, WE DO GET A CHANCE TO

SEE NOT ONLY THE LEAD-UP TO THE

ELECTIONS, BUT WHAT HAPPENS

AFTER WARD FOR SOME OF THE

CANDIDATES AND ONE OF THOSE

ISSUE, OF COURSE, IS VOTER

SUPPRESSION WHICH SEEMS, AT

LEAST IN THE FILM TO BE VERY

PREVALENT IN COMMUNITIES OF

COLOR AND I'M WONDERING WHAT ARE

YOUR CONCERNS AROUND THAT

SUBJECT GOING IN TO THIS VERY

CONTENTIOUS, NATIONAL ELECTION.

>> I THINK ONE OF MY CONCERNS IS

THAT WE HAVE NOT LEARNED THE

RIGHT LESSONS FROM THE PAST AND

LAST ELECTION.

ONE, YOU CANNOT FIX WHAT YOU

HAVE NOT FACED AND I THINK THAT

THERE ARE PEOPLE WATCHING WHAT

HAPPENED IN THE GEORGIA JUNE

PRIMARIES, WHO ARE WATCHING WHAT

HAPPENED IN THE KENTUCKY

PRIMARIES AND HAVE BEEN STUNNED,

STUNNED INTO INACTION AND WHAT I

THINK IS REALLY IMPORTANT IS

THAT WE NEED TO SHAKE OUT OF IT

AND ACKNOWLEDGE THIS IS

HAPPENING, THAT THE DEMOGRAPHIC

SHIFT THAT IS HAPPENING IN OUR

COUNTRY AND THAT ARE IN THE

MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC AND HAVING

LOST 100,000 AMERICANS IN THE

PAST HUNDRED DAYS THAT IT FEELS

LIKE A LOT, RIGHT?

AND I THINK THAT ONE OF THE

THINGS THAT WILL BECOME CLEAR

AFTER HAVING WATCHED THE

DOCUMENTARY IS THAT EVERYONE

NEEDS A POLITICAL HOME, THAT

ONCE YOU HAVE IDENTIFIED WHAT

THE ISSUES ARE THAT MATTER TO

YOU, THAT YOU NEED TO LINK UP

WITH YOUR PEOPLE SO THAT IN THE

SOUTH AND IN THE BLACK CHURCH

THEY SAY THAT YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE

YOUR TIME, YOUR TALENT, OR YOUR

TREASURE IN SERVICE OF THE

MISSION, IN SERVICE OF

LIBERATION, AND SO ONE OF THE

BIGGEST THINGS THAT WE ARE GOING

TO HAVE TO FACE AND THAT WE ARE

GOING TO HAVE TO OVERCOME IS

VOTER SUPPRESSION AND THAT FOR,

IF YOU ARE, YOU KNOW, AN

IMMIGRATION VOTER.

ARE, IF YOU ARE AN EDUCATION

VOTER AND IF YOU ARE A

HEALTHCARE VOTER, AND IF YOU ARE

A PUBLIC SAFETY VOTER AND THESE

ARE THE ISSUES THAT ARE SUPER

IMPORTANT TO YOU, THESE ARE THE

THINGS THAT KEEP YOU UP AT NIGHT

OR THEY FORM THE SORT OF HOPE

THAT YOU HAVE FOR YOURSELF AND

YOUR FAMILY THAT WE CAN'T MAKE

PROGRESS ON ANY OF THOSE ISSUES

UNLESS WE ADDRESS VOTER

SUPPRESSION AND NOT ONLY DO WE

KNOW THAT, BUT THE ENEMIES OF

PROGRESS KNOW THAT, AS WELL,

WHICH IS WHY THEY'RE WORKING

VERY HARD TO DISMANTLE AND

DESTROY THE VERY INFRASTRUCTURE

THAT HOLDS UP OUR DEMOCRACY.

>> MARJAN, SHE MAKES AN

EXCELLENT POINT OF YOU'VE GOT TO

FIND YOUR PEOPLE, AND I'M

WONDERING IF YOU AS A PRODUCER

FOR THIS FILM CONSIDER IT TO BE

SOMETHING THAT MIGHT ENERGIZE

MORE PEOPLE TO FIND THEIR PEOPLE

IN THE FORM OF MORE GRASSROOTS

ORGANIZING.

>> YEAH.

LIKE THAT'S LITERALLY THE REASON

FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS.

IT'S INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT AND

I'LL JUST TELL YOU A SMALL

PERSONAL STORY.

I'M FROM IRAN.

I'VE BE

I'VE BEEN AN IMMIGRANT MY WHOLE

LIFE, FIRST IN THE UNITED

KINGDOM AND NOW HERE AND THE

ONLY THING I COULDN'T DO WAS

VOTE AND DO JURY SERVICE.

IN 2016 THAT WASN'T AN OPTION

FOR ME ANYMORE IN ANY WAY AND I

BECAME A CITIZEN.

THE MORNING AFTER CANDIDATE

TRUMP HAD THE BAN ON ENTERING

THE COUNTRY BECAUSE IT

BROUGHT -- THE POLICY BECAME

PERSONAL FOR ME.

EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING THAT

REALLY MATTERS TO THEM, RIGHT?

SINCE HAVING BECOME A CITIZEN,

I'VE RUN A MILE A MOMENT INTO

FULL-BLOWN POLITICAL BEHAVIOR

BECAUSE I LEARNED TO UNDERSTAND

THE TOOLS OF HOW DEMOCRACY

WORKS.

VOTING IS SUPER IMPORTANT.

WE UNDERSTAND IT IS SUPER

IMPORTANT AND IT'S THE BASELINE

AND THE VALUE OF FINDING A

POLITICAL HOME LIKE NEW GEORGIA

POLITICS AND IT IS CONSIDERED

LITERALLY IN EVERY STATE THAT

TOGETHER YOU CAN DECIPHER THE

WHAT IS OFTEN A COMPLICATED PATH

WAY OF ENGAGEMENT AND YOU CAN

LITERALLY FIGURE OUT WHAT'S ON

THE AGENDA AND THEY'RE QUITE

DULL, THESE IDEAS AND THAT'S

WHERE THE DECISIONS HAPPEN.

THEY HAPPEN IN THOSE DULL ROOMS,

RIGHT?

AND WHEN WE DON'T PARTICIPATE IN

THAT THEN WE JUST TAKE THE

SIDELINE SEAT AND THEN WE HAVE

TO PAY FOR THE CONSEQUENCE OF

DECISIONS THAT ARE MADE WITHOUT

OUR VOICE, AND SO, YOU KNOW,

WHAT WE REALLY HOPE PEOPLE WILL

DO BECAUSE OF THE SERIES AIRS

NEXT WEEK.

WE HAVE FOUR OR FIVE MONTHS LEFT

IN THE ELECTION GIVEN IF THE

ELECTION STAYS ON TRACK AND IT'S

AN INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY FOR

PEOPLE TO PLUG INTO THE

POLITICAL HOMES AND TO

UNDERSTAND THE GRAVITY OF THIS

MOMENT THAT WE'RE FACING.

EVERYTHING THAT'S HAPPENED SO

FAR IN 2020 HAS CRANKED IT UP TO

A 12.

>> IT WAS IMPORTANT BEFORE, AND

IT COULD NOT BE IMPORTANT IN

THIS MOMENT, SO WE HOPE THAT

EVERYBODY SEES THE ROLE --

THERE'S AN ORGANIZER IN ALL OF

US AND IT HAS A NETWORK AND SOME

INFLUENCE AND HAS A GROUP OF

PEOPLE THAT WE ARE ALREADY IN

COMMUNITY WITH AND COLLECTIVELY

WE HAVE TO HELP EACH OTHER TO

FIGHT THIS MOMENT BECAUSE I

CAN'T BE FREE AND I'M NOT

LIBERATED UNTIL EVERYONE IS

LIBERATED, AND I THINK THAT'S

THE VISION FOR THE AMERICA THAT

WE ALL WANT TO LIVE IN, AND WE

HAVE TO TAKE IT BACK.

BEE HAVE TO CLAIM THAT POWER

BACK.

>> WELL, BUILDING ON THE IDEA OF

TAKING POWER BACK, SORT OF A

TWOFOLD QUESTION, ONE IS THAT,

IT'S NOT REALLY A SECRET AND THE

CANDIDATES THAT YOU FOLLOW TEND

TO BE NOT ONLY DEMOCRAT, BUT

PROGRESSIVE, AND YOU COULD ASK

THE QUESTION THAT IS THIS FILM

ALSO PROPAGANDA, IF YOU WILL FOR

A PARTICULAR POLITICAL PARTY,

BUT ALSO ANOTHER QUESTION IS WE

ALSO SEE FOR EXAMPLE, THAT SHE

WAS -- BECAUSE SHE WAS ABLE TO

COMMUNICATE TO THE MUSLIM

COMMUNITY IN A WAY THAT OTHER

PEOPLE HADN'T AND OF COURSE,

THAT MADE HER STAND OUT, BUT

SOME PEOPLE MIGHT ARGUE AND SAY

OH, BUT, OF COURSE, THE MUSLIM

COMMUNITY WAS GOING TO SUPPORT

HER, SHE'S ONE OF THEIR OWN, BUT

HOW DO YOU BALANCE A CANDIDATE

WHO IS A WOMAN OF COLOR, ET

CETERA, FROM NOT JUST GETTING

INTO WHAT IS CONSIDERED TO BE

IDENTITY POLITICS AND SECOND OF

ALL, HOW DO YOU BALANCE A FILM

IN SHOWING HOW TO GET INVOLVED

IN POLITICS BECAUSE THERE ARE

PEOPLE OF COLOR WHO ARE

GRASSROOTS ORGANIZING AND

RUNNING FOR OFFICE AS

REPUBLICANS.

>> THAT'S ABSOLUTELY TRUE AND

THERE ARE FAR FEWER OF THEM.

AT THE HEAD WHAT WE WANTED TO

EXPLORE WAS THIS MOMENT OF

CHANGE WHEN DEMOGRAPHICS ARE

MEETING KIND OF A CALL FOR A

MORE REFLECTIVE AND INCLUSIVE

AND JUST LEADERSHIP.

WE DIDN'T KNOW THIS WHEN WE

STARTED, BUT WHEN WE LOOK AT THE

RESULTS OF THE 2018 ELECTION AND

DEMOCRATS SHRUNK THE PERCENTAGE

OF WHITE MEN IN LEADERSHIP AND

CONGRESS AND REPUBLICANS

ACTUALLY GREW THE NUMBER OF

WHITE MEN IN CONGRESS IN 2018,

RIGHT?

THE STORY WE WANTED TO EXPLORE,

WE SET OUT TO EXPLORE WAS

HAPPENING MORE ON ONE SIDE THAN

THE OTHER.

I REJECT ANYONE WHO SAYS IT'S A

PIECE OF PROPAGANDA BECAUSE I

GUARANTEE YOU THAT THE

DEMOCRATIC PARTY DIDN'T WRITE ME

A CHECK AND I WORKED VERY HARD

FOR EVERY PENNY OF THIS FILM.

RASHIDA IS A MUSLIM AND SHE IS

ONE OF THE FIRST FEW MUSLIM

WOMEN ELECTED TO OUR CONGRESS

AND THE DISTRICT THAT SHE'S

ELECTED TO REPRESENT IS MAJORITY

AFRICAN-AMERICAN AND SHE HAS A

VERY SMALL SLIVER OF MUSLIMS WHO

LIVE IN HER COMMUNITY.

SO WE DON'T JUST ASK FOR

OURSELVES, RIGHT?

THE

THERE'S A LINE IN THE BEGINNING

OF THE FILM, WHEN YOU FATEIGHT

BLACK WOMEN YOU FIGHT FOR

EVERYBODY'S ISSUES AND THE

INTERSECTION OF RACE AND GENDER

EQUATES REALLY POOR OUTCOMES

WHEN YOU LOOK AT EDUCATION AND

WHEN YOU LOOK AT HEALTH CARE.

SO WE DON'T BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN

HAVE AN INTELLIGENT CONVERSATION

ABOUT THIS POLITICAL MOMENT

WITHOUT THAT INTERSECTION OF

RACE AND GENDER AND RASHID A IN

FACT, IS A POSTER PERSON FOR

IDENTITY POLITICS AND THERE'S NO

WAY SHE COULD HAVE WANTED

ARAB-AMERICANS TO VOTE FOR HER.

THOUSANDS OF BLACK FOLKS IN HER

DISTRICT WHICH IS THE THIRD

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT IN THE

COUNTRY VOTED FOR HER BECAUSE

SHE'S BEEN FIGHTING FOR THEM AND

SHE'S BEEN FIGHTING FOR THEM

SINCE BEFORE SHE WAS IN PUBLIC

LIFE AND ENTERED CONGRESS.

SHE HAS IDENTITY POLITICS AND

THIS IS A TALKING POINT FROM THE

RIGHT THAT WE'VE ALL INGESTED

AND NOW WE CONSTANTLY

REGURGITATE THAT AND I REJECT IT

OUTRIGHT.

MY IDENTITY IS WHO I AM AND I AM

POLITICAL.

SO IF THOSE TWO THINGS GET

MUDDLED TOGETHER, FAIR ENOUGH,

BUT IT'S NOT IDENTITY POLITICS.

IT'S ABOUT LIVING AS OUR

AUTHENTIC SELF.

>> WOULD YOU ADD ON TO THAT?

>> I WAS GOING TO SAY WE

CONSTANTLY ENGAGE IN IDENTITY

POLITICS, AND SO I AM ALWAYS

ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO

INTERROGATE THAT STATEMENT.

A, WE KNOW THAT IT'S A

RIGHT-WING TALKING POINT, BUT

ALSO, B, WHITE AND MALE ARE ALSO

IDENTITIES AND THEY REPRESENT,

THEY HAVE AN OUTSIDE INFLUENCE

ON OUR POLITICS AND THE

DEVELOPMENT OF OUR POLICY.

SO WHEN YOU THINK OF THE PALE

MALE STALE MINORITY AND HOW

THEIR VOICE AND THEIR VOTE HAVE

BEEN COUNTED AND AGAIN, THEY'RE

GIVEN MORE WEIGHT THAN THEIR

ACTUAL APPROPRIATE

REPRESENTATION IN OUR SOCIETY,

TO QUOTE, I'M GOING TO LEAN TO

AN AFRICAN PROVERB AND PEOPLE

WILL LEAN ON ME, BUT IT'S WHAT I

DO, UNTIL THE LION LEARNS TO

WRITE, THE HUNTER WILL BE THE

VICTOR IN EVERY STORY, RIGHT?

AND SO MAKING SURE THAT THOSE

WHO ARE DEEPLY IMPACTED BY OUR

CURRENT SET OF LAWS AND OUR

CURRENT SET OF POLICIES ARE

REPRESENTED AT EVERY LEVEL OF

GOVERNMENT SO THAT WE CAN HAVE A

DEMOCRACY, WE CAN HAVE A COUNTRY

AND A STATE THAT WORK FOR ALL OF

US SO THAT FAMILIES CAN MOVE

FROM JUST BARELY SURVIVING TO

THRIVING IS KEY.

IT'S CRITICAL, AND IT IS AT THE

CENTER OF THIS BEAUTIFUL STORY

THAT MARJAN AND GRACE ARE

TELLING.

>> LADIES, UNFORTUNATELY, WE'LL

HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE, BUT I

WANT TO THANK YOU BOTH SO MUCH

FOR JOINING ME ON THE SHOW.

WE REALLY APPRECIATE IT AND OF

COURSE, "AND SHE COULD BE NEXT,"

A POV TWO-PART DOCUMENTARY

SERIES.

PLEASE CHECK IT OUT.

>> THANK YOU, JENA.

>> THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU.

>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE

BY JAMES AND PERMERRILL TISCH,

FIGHT ANTISEMITISM, BERNARD AND

IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P.

WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG

AND BY --