Apr 25, 2022 25 min read

Empowering Youth for Equity

"What many adults tend to overlook is our lived experience." --Denise Webb + Denise's photo

Episode 25, 35:03 min listen

Creating a more just, inclusive, and equitable community requires engaging the whole community. And that means everybody. In this episode, we explore what it means to engage and empower younger members of our community in this critical and urgent work of building a more inclusive community.


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Partnership for Southern Equity

Yes! for Equity


Denise Webb is a senior at North Clayton High School and a Youth Staff of Partnership for Southern Equity’s YES! for Equity. Her advocacy journey began in 8th grade when she joined a county youth council. Since then, Denise has worked with the Sunrise Movement, the Annie. E Casey Foundation, United Way, and with Our Turn. While actively changing the community, Denise has an interest in creating short films, writing articles, and organizing protests and actions to transform systems.

Rachel McBride is an 18-year-old senior youth staff of Partnership for Southern Equity’s YES! For Equity. She is a community organizer that works in multiple equity spaces, including PSE's racial equity space and the climate equity space. She's the co-founder of a Clayton County youth council, called the Brighter Future Youth Leadership council that focuses on housing inequities in the Clayton County area.  

Katie Spears Warner, MA, was the Director of YES! for Equity at the Partnership for Southern Equity. Investing in historically marginalized young people and supporting their leadership is the path forward. Katie, a co-founder of Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!) which was acquired by the Partnership for Southern Equity in 2020, worked for 13 years supporting the leadership of youth and advocacy efforts to address systemic injustices and advance health equity. Katie also is the founder of the KSW Collective, a consulting and training entity working with organizations such as NC Child, CADCA, Renewed Pathways LLC, and the NC Governor’s Institute, to change policies and practices to center racial equity and improve the lives of communities across the country. Katie holds a B.A. in physical education and health/community health from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and a M.A. in health education and promotion from East Carolina University.

Note:  Since this episode was recorded, Katie has left her role as Director, but the work of YES! for Equity continues.



Ame Sanders  00:11

This is the State of Inclusion podcast, where we explore topics at the intersection of equity, inclusion, and community. In each episode, we meet people who are changing their communities for the better, and we discover actions that each of us can take to improve our own communities. My name is Ame Sanders, welcome.

So, from our discussion so far, we know that creating a more just, inclusive, and equitable community requires engaging the whole community. And that means everybody. Today, we’re going to talk specifically about what it means to engage younger members of our community in this really critical and urgent work of building a more inclusive community.

So today, I’d like to welcome Katie Spears Warner and her colleagues, Rachel McBride and Denise Webb. Katie, Rachel, and Denise all work for the Partnership for Southern Equity. Specifically, they work with an initiative known as YES! for Equity. I’ve included their bios in our show notes, just so that our listeners can link your voices with your name since there’s going to be four of us on the interview. Can you each take a minute and introduce yourself?

Denise Webb  01:24

Hi, I’m Denise. I’m 18 years old and I’m a senior at North Clayton High School. I’m a youth staff here at YES! for Equity and I got involved last summer via an internship. The reason I do this work is because I was called to do it. It felt like one day I just woke up and all the youth councils I was a part of dropped me off at this big organization. And I went from doing small scale solutions to transforming systems.

Rachel McBride  01:46

Hi, I’m Rachel McBride. I am also 18 and here at YES! I’m a senior youth staff. And I’ve been involved with PSE for almost a year and a half now. Just like the Denise said, all of us kind of do this work because we’re called to it. It reminds me something my brother said about marching band: “You don’t choose band. Band chooses you.” Because we were all in there rundown, worn down, but we still want to do it. It’s not like any of us would quit, you know? It’s kind of the same for this work. It’s just, you do what you need to do. And it is also what you want to do, but you don’t really let anybody know that. Yeah, that’s me.

Katie Spears Warner  02:32

Awesome. I’m Katie Warner. I am currently the director of YES! for Equity at the Partnership for Southern Equity. It is my pleasure, because every week and most days, I get to work with Denise and Rachel and our full team of 13 young people that are brilliant and expand the work and challenge myself and the organization as a whole. I’m really honored to be here with you all and to be in conversation with you all this morning.

-About YES! for Equity

Ame Sanders  03:04

So, Katie, let’s start with you. We have a lot of ground to cover this morning. Our listeners may never have heard of Partners for Southern Equity or YES! for Equity. So, can you tell us a little bit about the work you do and how YES! for Equity came to be?

Katie Spears Warner  03:19

Sure. So, the Partnership for Southern Equity was started by Nathaniel Smith, who is the Founder and Chief Equity Officer. Really the work of PSC is focused on really moving the needle on racial equity and shared prosperity for all in the Atlanta metro region and the American South. A lot of that work at PSC has really come out of relationships and building of relationships, and then really accelerating those relationships to really transform systems to ensure racial equity and shared prosperity. And YES! for Equity came along. It’s actually a year ago today, or a year ago this month that we officially launched YES! for Equity.

Prior to that, YES! for Equity was a 501(c)(3) called Youth Empowered Solutions based out of North Carolina. Youth Empowered Solutions closed its doors in 2020 for a multitude of reasons and at the time, Nathaniel Smith and then Dwayne Patterson, who was one of the other co-creators of PSE created a space and an opportunity to really rehome youth-empowered solutions and allowed that work to grow into what is now YES! for Equity.

Over the last year we have spent a lot of time looking at what does that mean, organizationally? What does that mean in terms of systems change within the organization? And then also, how does that pivot all of the portfolios of the Partnership for Southern Equity? The Partnership for Southern Equity has four main portfolios, which are just energy, just opportunity, just health, and just growth. So, YES! for Equity is the newest portfolio that has been added to PSE and we’re really a through line across the organization through each of the portfolios.

-Maybe This Kind of Work Isn't for Kids or Youth

Ame Sanders  05:11

So, when we think about lack of justice, equity, and inclusion, we all know those are serious issues in our communities and they have a lot of complexity. They’re difficult issues, maybe even dangerous issues to confront directly. There are probably a few people in the audience that are listening that are thinking to themselves, you know, maybe it isn’t something for kids to be doing or for young people to be doing. Maybe this is for the grownups in the room to be tackling such complex and difficult and politically charged subjects. So, what would you guys say to them?

Denise Webb  05:45

Hearing this question really activated my fight or flight. What many adults tend to overlook is our lived experience. When I first started my advocacy journey, I had no idea what transforming systems even meant. I had no idea how to write up a politically correct policy change form. And back then I was too afraid to ask my teacher to put in my correct grades. But what I did know was how horrible it was to not have dental health care. How draining housing instability and student mobility was. I knew how much my throat burned when adults would make rules for me without having to live with the policies they put in place. I knew how normalized it was for the majority of men in my family to be in jail at some point. I knew I didn’t have sidewalks or healthy stores around. I knew my school’s educational system was going into the toilet. I knew all of that.

What many youth lack is the ability to communicate and digest what’s happening on a level that adults respect. Regardless, if we are in the decision-making spaces or not, you still have to face the same issues that adults tend to skim over. That’s why we need to be in these spaces, because by having us there, it opens up a whole another island of perspectives. Because youth don’t gain consciousness once we reach a certain age. If the passion is there doesn’t matter how dangerous or challenging it is.

Ame Sanders  06:55

Does anybody else have anything they want to add to that?

Rachel McBride  06:58

I do. I think that like Denise said, we like to assume that we don’t develop consciousness or awareness of our surroundings or of self until a certain age. But especially in communities like this one, where we’re raised in precarious circumstances, we learned about race issues really early.

I had a complex understanding of race relations in America and like age seven or eight. And that’s because my father’s a 66-year-old Black man from a segregated south. He’s from LaGrange, Georgia. He was doing this when he was my age. He was out in the streets marching with the Civil Rights icons of his era, because he grew up in the actual Civil Rights Movement when it was in its peak. In its purest peak. He’ll be the one to tell you, he was the young person leading the charge. He was around other young people leading the charge. If you look back at footage from the Civil Rights Movement, the young people are the ones forming the blockade. They’re the ones at the front lines, they’re the ones who have the passion, who have the energy. And now that he’s as old as he is now, he says, “That ain’t for me. That’s for you young people.”

Anybody who’s ever been involved in advocacy or movement building will tell you–for anybody who is genuinely a part of it, and genuinely has a desire to move it forward will tell you–that’s work for the young people. And so, when young people themselves don’t feel like it’s work for them, it comes from some kind of inner feeling of helplessness. We’ve been manipulated into feeling like it’s not our work by people who don’t have hands in the work at all–people who are opposition to the work. They tell us, it’s not work for young people, it’s not for us, and then we believe it and we take steps back from a role that is ours to rightfully fill.

So, I think we need as young people need to start listening to the right people, and start talking to the right people, adult allies who have a genuine want for us to be in these spaces, and will help cultivate us in kind of the same ways that Denise mentioned. Like giving us the training resources, and the ability and the capacity to name these things, and to be able to articulate them to others and the trainings and all of these things that YES! for Equity does for other young people with the help of adult allies like Katie. We do this work in tandem in order to be able to up the youth voice so that we know that this is our work and that we have the power to carry it out.

Katie Spears Warner  09:41

So often, the lived experiences that they just shared, many young people don’t have the tools to be able to identify what is happening to them and to name what is happening to them. In order for us to actually start to think about how we transform community, we have to equip people, not just young people, but all people to be able to identify what’s happening to be able to name it, to be able to disrupt it, to be able to dismantle it, to then build something new.

Something we talk about a lot in our trainings and in our work is it’s not always about really the baseline where someone has started but it’s about building the skills and the critical awareness necessary to step into your own power and your own agency to then to really create change whether it’s in your community or regionally or statewide or whatever the work may be that you’re doing.

-What Does It Mean to Share Power?

Ame Sanders  10:37

So, let’s stick with that for a minute. I’ve heard Katie describe this as sharing power. So, what does it mean for an organization to share power with their youth or for a community to do that? What does it look like?

Katie Spears Warner  10:50

In terms of sharing power, and what that looks like? This is what it looks like. Being in spaces together just like this where Rachel and Denise’s voices is just as powerful as mine, if not more powerful. It also looks like paying young people for their time, compensating young people for their intellectual knowledge, their lived experiences, not continuing to operate from a poverty mentality where we don’t pay folks a living wage or above a living wage, right? I think that seems to still be somewhat subjective of what constitutes a living wage.

Other things that looks like is organizations and adults in general, being able to risk something for the benefit of young people. When we talk a lot about power, when we talk about power imbalance, we talk about in order to achieve equity, you have to be willing to give something up, right? You have to be willing to sit something down so someone else can hold something. It looks different across the board, but from an adult perspective, I have to be willing to take a step back, right? Lead from behind, not operate as if I know all of the answers because I don’t. This is a collective.

We are working on building something that we’ve never seen in this country. I will look to Denise and Rachel to share a bit more to them, because I could talk all day about organizations and institutions and adults, and what does it mean to share power. But for me, it’s really about adults being able to give up something to work towards something larger, and allowing young people to step into their power and agency.

Rachel McBride  12:30

I will add to that. You said something we’ve never seen before in this country–more like this world, because it’s better here than it is in a lot of other places. And those are facts.

Katie Spears Warner  12:43

Those are facts, because as soon as it came out of my mouth, I was like, really the world, but I knew I knew you’d take care of that for me. Thank you.

-It's Structural, Not Just an Initiative

Rachel McBride  12:50

We live in this country. But yeah, I think that a lot of times that we wear equity as some kind of label and as some kind of badge of pride without actually carrying out what it means to be equitable. And by “we” I don’t mean this space. This space is great. But I’m saying we on a broader, more general level. You mentioned in the question is that creating youth diversity initiatives? Is it implementing this program or that program or that program? YES! didn’t have to implement a program to just be about it, you know? YES! just said, “Let’s hire young people.” That is a part of our framework.

And I feel like a lot of times–this is for all types of diversity–companies and organizations will create initiatives, in order to be able to have something to tell other people, “Oh, we’re doing this. We’re letting more Black people into our organization. We’re letting more people without college degrees into our organization. We’re letting more young people into our organization.” And they do that for an outward image, but the framework within the organization does not truly exist for young people or these other “diverse” groups to be able to thrive in the way that they need to on an organizational level. It’s very, very important to not just talk the talk, but to walk the walk.

I honestly don’t even feel like having explicit initiatives is necessary. It could be at the start, if an organization is having a major shift of culture, maybe it’s necessary to give things an explicit name, but long-term, having young people shouldn’t be an initiative, you know? It should be an intrinsic, structural part of how an organization is run, because young people are valuable. This shouldn’t be a separate entity from the rest of the working group. It should be integrative, and it should be whole. We should be parts of a whole, but if you have something that’s whole already, you don’t feel the need to pick it apart in detail. Like I got a car, right? It’s my car. I don’t feel the need to say, “Oh, these are my this, that and the third” when I describe it. It is my car and the whole thing is needed for me to get rolling and get from point A to point B. If one of those pieces is broken or missing, I can’t drive which is why I can’t drive right now. My car is in the shop. But yeah, that’s kind of my take on it.

Equity should just kind of be intrinsic. And honestly, it should be our human nature to want to share it with other people and to want other people to be well and looked after. And I feel like we shouldn’t have to exercise equity, we should just be able to un-exercise these learn practices of discrimination, and hatred and not feeling like everybody has intrinsic value.

-What Does Shared Power Look Like?

Ame Sanders  15:42

So, Rachel, thank you for that because I want to ask you guys kind of a spin-off question from that, which is, let’s challenge some of our listeners. Let’s say that you were brought in to sort of do an audit of their organization or their work and their efforts in their community. What would you look for to see if they were really including youth and sharing power with youth in the way that she described?

Denise Webb  16:07

So, the first thing that comes to mind when I hear this is something that Rachel says often, which is like vibes–seeing how the youth and adult allies interact with each other can determine everything to know. If the youth aren’t comfortable enough to see the adults as actual people and they only view them as authority figures, that’s a red flag. And if the adults view the youth as someone they’re mentoring, or even worse, their own child, it will never inclusive and it will never be fully youth-integrated. The ability to connect, laugh, and joke with the people you work with is something magical that a lot of people take for granted.

During a PSE work retreat, I was put into a group with someone who was in their 80s. I’ve never interacted with someone who’s in their 80s. Not even my grandparents lived that long. And I remember when I realized his age, I was like sweating. I was like, “Do I say ‘Yes, sir? ‘No sir?”” He was very casual and he made it known that we were on the same level and it made me comfortable enough to actually just talk how I usually talk. Another sign is when adults answer everything and they only let the youth handle social media content. Although it’s good to have youth handle that, but it’s absurd to just designate them to that one thing.

Katie Spears Warner  17:14

I love that Denise that makes my face hurt from smiling, like just the default that like, “Oh yeah, we have young people they do they do our social media.” You know who does most of our social media at YES! for Equity? Me! Because y’all are too busy doing your own thing, right? Like, it’s a necessity, right. But no, not the social media.

To answer the question to thinking about from kind of an organizational standpoint and the work that YES! for Equity does is we do this in terms of offering an internal assessment for organizations and institutions on racial equity and youth power building. We do this assessment work that looks at five categories to assess where organizations are kind of on a red, yellow, green scale in terms of racial equity and youth power building.

Then, we can work to make recommendations on do we need to shift policies? Do we need to shore up programs? Do we need to look at the board? Do we need to look at executive leadership? Like what is happening that’s creating barriers and then also where are the successes? Where were things really working well in terms of sharing power with young people? Then, where are the opportunities to do better to be more intentional with that effort? So, to me that is some of the best part of the work is when an organization says, we’re trying to do this, but we know we’re not doing it great. How can you help us kind of move the needle? When an organization says, “I’m all in,” we can do a lot of transformative work together.

Ame Sanders  18:53

So, one of the things that that kind of brings to mind for me is–and you guys have hinted at it a bit, but maybe we could be a bit more explicit for the listeners–what does this look like when it’s working well?

Denise Webb  19:07

So, with our team, Katie does this funny thing where she says one really helpful sentence and then she immediately goes, “Okay, I’m gonna be quiet. Go ahead and talk. I’m just not here.” And it’s funny, because she’s never taken up too much space to the point where we feel like our safe space has been corrupted. It’s always nice to hear her input and I love when she’s aware of her time, and she knows when to step up and step back. If other adults in these spaces knew that they didn’t have to add in their own feedback every two seconds, it helps the youth know that their voices actually being listened, and not just heard. This alone makes our organization like a well-oiled machine. It builds up that trust that many organizations lack. That trust is basically that we’ll always be heard and will never have to filter or change our vocabulary. This is something that Katie didn’t have to learn, she just knew, because she’s just that good of a person.

Katie Spears Warner  19:55

Denise, I love that reflection. That really made me laugh, because I do do that. But I think that’s part of the learning, right? So, I appreciate Denise’s kindness and saying that it’s just who I am, but I would say that it is a learned skill. It’s how we think about how we are in relationship and in working relationships with people and embracing people’s full humanity and who they are and what they bring to the table and how they want to show up and how they want to contribute.

Every working situation and organization is a little bit different and is nuanced in its own way. But at the end of the day, youth power building as a process and an outcome for racial equity and shared prosperity is about young people cultivating their own skills, journeying through their own self-identity, and who they want to be in the world. So, thinking about how we, as adults in organizations and in systems, support that journey. Because it is a learning journey, and it’s a learning journey for adults to of like, how do we do this well?

One of the other things that I think often about is, how this work is a process and an outcome. When we’re thinking about racial equity and how we are in relationship with one another and how our organizational practices work or how our systems work or our larger institutions work, we are focused on racial equity. Then when we also think about like our goal, it is also creating these racially equitable spaces where everyone has the opportunity to thrive as their best self. Each of those pathways in that are also nuanced and are unique in their own way and I think the youth power building piece just amplifies and elevates that work, because it too is a process and an outcome.

I’ve been in this space for about 16 years now and I have been in many conversations where folks have said, “Where do you get your young people?” We always laugh like there’s this magical tree where they just bloom. They are their own selves. We just provide some training and support and to Rachel’s point, we see them as full humans. We build relationships and respect and allow them to step into spaces that work for them, that they want to be in and that they want to thrive.

The last thing I’ll say is, all of this work is a collective learning together. I’m learning every day from Denise and Rachel and the rest of the team. They teach me way more than I probably have ever said. We’re hopeful, as the adults in this space, that we are lending some experience and some expertise back to them as they navigate their journey. I think that organizations and institutions, if they’re doing this work well, it is a collective space for learning.

Ame Sanders  23:04

So, Denise and Rachel, you guys have anything to add to that?

Rachel McBride  23:08

I think evidence that it’s working is (1) retention, and (2) lack of burnout in these spaces. We all no matter like what age we are, what our racial background is, we acknowledge each other as people first with human needs and who make human mistakes.

A lot of times when you get in workspaces, especially when the work is as serious as it is, you expect people to show up 1,000% all the time. We know that’s just not realistic. We have a space for people to work based on what their capacity is. All of our projects kind of go on a touch and go basis where it’s like, who has the capacity to work on this project before we get started? These are the dates. This is the timeframe. Who knows that they can commit to this? We have weekly meetings that everybody commits to being a part of. It’s kind of like one of those things that because I know that if I genuinely need to take a step back and re-gather that I can, I’m able to show up when I do show up 100 times better than I show up in most other spaces that I’m in.

That’s essential because it’s such demanding work itself, without the organization, without the framework, without all of this stuff, just racial equity and movement building, it’s tiring. It’s a slow process. If you have that on top of an unhealthy work environment where too much is being demanded of you, especially when life itself is becoming much more demanding–inflation, global warming–there’s just a lot of daily stressors.

When last minute stuff comes up, of course, I feel guilty all the time. Because I’m like, “Oh no, shoot, how did I let that happen?” But Katie’s just like, “Okay, cool. Don’t be sloppy.” And then it’s over and then and then I can just redirect myself you know? There’s not a lot of Katie or the adult allies redirecting you. They let you know what needs to be done, and when it needs to be done and how it needs to be done. If there’s an error made, they give you the space to be able to redirect yourself. They also create the tools in order to help guide you if you need it. We’re constantly changing and evolving and doing things differently in order to accommodate our growing and changing needs. I appreciate that.

Ame Sanders  25:46

So, what I’ve heard you say is that the work you do at YES! for Equity, and in youth empowerment is both practices and processes or systems. It’s both of those things and that you can tell whether it’s going well or going poorly based on the relationships and the vibes of how individuals relate to one another.

So first, the youth have to be there, they have to be present and visible and active. So, you want to see them there. And you want to see them at the table, making decisions and taking actions as peers as mentees, but maybe also as mentors, of some of the older folks. So, I heard Katie say she was in fact mentored sometimes and learned from you guys as well. So, I think that that’s an important part of it.

I also heard you guys say that when you have staff, they should be paid staff so that we recognize the value of everybody who is contributing and we acknowledge that people need to have the opportunity to earn a living wage, or better than a living wage.

Also, I heard you guys say that, when we go back to this notion of practice, that in practice, the adults in the room should be making sure that their voice is not over-loud, over-heard, taking up too much space. They should open the space for everyone at the table to contribute and to bring themselves in their own way, so not to be filtered as well. So those were some of the things I heard from you guys. Is there something that you’d like to add to that, or something I missed that you think we need to bring out?

-Creating Opportunities to Lead Differently

Katie Spears Warner  27:25

I think that was a really strong synopsis of all the different kinds of experiences and anecdotes and information that we have shared to this point. The last thing you said about adults in the space and how to be in the space, I think about the video that our youth staff made this time last year for our launch. I’m happy to provide the link to that. It’s such a great piece and I think it’s Rachel that says it in the video that adults have to be okay not being at the head of the table.

That sticks with me so often because I think that is at the crux of the work that we do. It also speaks back to the question you asked about different historically marginalized and disinvested groups of people about what’s similar and what’s different in terms of youth power building and other groups–because we like to group in this society–is that you’re able to create opportunities for everyone to lead in a different way and that we don’t have to be wedded to this hierarchical framework that is oppressive in nature. Yet, you can still have boundaries and stops, because we have to get some stuff done.

So, Rachel said, sometimes things come up, or there are mistakes or opportunities to learn or do different and I make jokes like, “Don’t be sloppy” because that’s the relationship we have, right? But I also know that Rachel’s always going to come through. So, I don’t ever feel like I have to operate in a way where I’m having to call Rachel and be the boss. That is not the way in which this space is created and not a way in which this space works.

-Respect Breeds Power and Trust

Respect breeds power and trust and in that comes transformative work.

So, for creating environments where people are fully supported as their whole selves, no matter if they’re young people or adults, no matter if they have have different abilities, or different backgrounds, or different lived experiences or speak different languages, we can all show up and respect each other and have empathy for each other’s experiences in a way that builds towards the collective and really moves the needle on the work forward.

Ame Sanders  29:48

So, thank you for sharing that because I think you just put out two words that are super important to think about. One is respect and the other is trust. When I listen to you guys talk about this, those words are underpinning pretty much everything that I hear you say. We haven’t really talked much about YES! for Equity and the work that you do and where you’re headed. So maybe just take a few minutes before we close to tell us what’s next for YES! for Equity. You said that you’ve been at it for a year now as this particular entity even though you guys have been at it longer than that. Tell me where you’re headed with YES! for Equity and what’s on the horizon?

-What's On the Horizon for YES! for Equity?

Katie Spears Warner  30:27

I’ll start and then I’ll let Denise and Rachel add on. YES! for Equity is really at its infancy and figuring out its role and at space at the Partnership for Southern Equity. I think there’s phenomenal work that’s happening on the ground in each of the portfolios that’s really going to start to move the needle, whether it’s in just health or just growth, or just opportunity or just energy.

Some of the bigger pieces of some of the work that’s happening, we just received funding from the NBA Foundation to start some work around the green economy looking at how do we position train and employ Black and brown youth ages 14 to 24 and get them prepared for the green economy and the jobs that we know are coming as a result of that investment from the Biden administration, and kind of some of the trends and understanding that we’re seeing across the board, and really having young people kind of drive that work.

From a consulting standpoint, we’re going to continue to be supporting other adults in organizations as they journey through what does it mean to do racial equity and youth power building? I think the future is bright and there is a lot of opportunity. But I’ll hold space for Denise and Rachel to kind of name where you all think YES! for Equity is headed.

Rachel McBride  31:51

I think that YES! for Equity, we have finally gotten past the point of building structural things that needed to be paid attention to. We’ve recently on boarded a ton more young people in the Atlanta, Georgia and North Carolina regions. So, now we can begin to create this large coalition of young people that’s able to pour into a substantially larger amount of people. I’m very, very excited to see that our capacity is widening, because a lot of the work that we’ve done, YES! did before PSE even acquired it. YES! has been doing it for a long time.

So. the work itself has not changed in spirit, but it’s changing form and it’s changing in capacity. So, it’s always exciting to see how new people, new ideas can affect the space and affect the work and continue to push it forward. So kind of just excited for that. We’ve just reached that blossoming stage of getting fully acclimated to the Partnership for Southern Equity–their missions, their goals, and kind of onboarding our new people. So now that we feel a little bit more at home and we’ve gotten those housekeeping things done, we can flourish in the actual work and we’ve been cracking down. I’ll tell you. Just this last weekend I was in my computer and my eyes were fried from staring at his computer all weekend. I just got done editing some of our videos for marketing for the NBA and things like that. So we are getting into the nitty gritty and I’m excited.

Ame Sanders  33:37

Thank you. Denise, what about you?

Denise Webb  33:39

YES! for Equity is very much in the blossoming state. There’s a lot of new fresh ideas coming with the great youth that we have onboarded. Sugary drinks and healthy hydration is something that I’m really looking forward to doing, because especially in Atlanta, we have the Coca Cola factory, we have a lot of advertising about like sugar and soda. I can’t wait to dive deep and see how that massive problem is just going to be slowly disintegrating.


Ame Sanders  34:07

So, ladies, Rachel, Denise, Katie, thank you for joining us today. I just want to first thank you for the work that you are doing and the spirit with which you’re doing the work. And then I want to thank you for sharing your wisdom with our audience so that they can be sure to think about how their organizations can be stronger and more powerful by sharing power with the youth and their community.

Katie Spears Warner  34:31

Thank you so much for having us was a pleasure.

Ame Sanders  34:38

This has been the State of Inclusion podcast. Join us again next time. And if you enjoyed this episode, the best compliment for our work is your willingness to share these ideas with others leave us a review. We’d love your comments. Thanks so much for listening.


Guests: Rachel McBride, Katie Spears Warner, Denise Webb

Host: Ame Sanders

Social Media and Marketing Coordinator: Kayla Nelson

Podcast Coordinator: Emma Winiski

Sound: FAROUT Media

Ame Sanders
Founder of State of Inclusion. A seasoned leader & change-maker, she is focused on positive change within communities.
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