2020’s 10 Most Memorable Moments from the Ms. Podcast, “On the Issues With Michele Goodwin”

2020's 10 Most Memorable Moments from the Ms. Podcast, "On the Issues With Michele Goodwin"

Never was there a dull moment in 2020. On top of a global pandemic, the U.S. also saw a powerful racial justice movement and exacerbated inequity, as well as an (unnecessarily) controversial election season—which is still ongoing. It was overwhelming, to say the least.

But 2020 also brought the inaugural episode of the first-ever Ms. podcast, “On the Issues with Michele Goodwin,” which guided listeners through all the highs and lows of this year. Goodwin helped break down some of the most complex issues of 2020, reaffirming that knowledge is indeed power.

The podcast hosted several formidable guests throughout the year—like Rep. Katie Porter, who was the sole single parent in Congress until the November elections; Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun, the first Black woman in the Senate; Lizz Winstead, founder of Abortion Access Front; Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of Berkeley Law and renowned constitutional law scholar; Joan Biskupic, legendary journalist covering the Supreme Court; and other policymakers, scholars, lawyers, cultural commentators and feminist leaders.

Goodwin and her guests tackled America’s role abroad, the economy, this year’s historic election, LGBTQ rights, the courts, COVID19, immigration, toxic masculinity and more.

We picked out some of our favorite and most fiery words of wisdom from this year’s episodes to guide us as we enter 2021.

Here are our top ten quotes from “On the Issues with Michele Goodwin”:

2020's 10 Most Memorable Moments from the Ms. Podcast, "On the Issues With Michele Goodwin"

+ “The whole idea of a democracy is a government by the people— that the government functions, get legitimacy, from input from the people who are being governed. That’s so fundamental. And it’s something that this country has struggled with since its founding.”

— Ambassador and former Senator Carol Moseley Braun, on Episode 2: “Rebuilding America from the Ground Up.”


+ “I think we need a whole lot more from men across the board in terms of supporting, actively supporting women and feminist leadership, but also actively challenging and interrupting other men’s enactment of sexism.”

— Jackson Katz, scholar-activist, on Bonus Episode 4: “Toxic Masculinity.


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+ “This is the 100th year anniversary of women securing the right to vote in the United States—yet we know that road was fraught, as women of color were denied the opportunity to vote. Black women were kept from the vote, indigenous women were not considered citizens, and Asian women could not naturalize for citizenship. In fact, until the mid-1950s, laws enacted by Congress—including the Page Act—made it very difficult for Asian women who immigrated to the United States to become citizens.”

— Host Michele Goodwin, professor of law, on Episode 7: “19th Amendment: Suffrage and the Power of Women’s Votes.”


2020's 10 Most Memorable Moments from the Ms. Podcast, "On the Issues With Michele Goodwin"

+ “Everyone who’s listening to this show needs to know that they need to show up for the social movement work. We need to articulate our vision of American society that we want, which is a society that does treat everyone with equality and respect and that has policies that meet human need.”

— Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, on Episode 3: “June Medical and the Future of U.S. Abortion Rights.”


+ “It’s not an accident that child care workers, the vast majority of whom are Black and brown women, are paid so little in this country. And it also isn’t an accident that those same workers— who we now, yes, have the language of essential to describe what it is they do— that they’re struggling to deal with their own personal child care situation and afford their own personal child care.

“All of that is not a new issue. It is a long actual legacy of the way that we think about care in this country and the way that we devalue the work that women get. But what it means today and in this moment is that the families who actually are looking for child care, they are going to struggle to find it in this environment.”

— Fatima Goss Graves, CEO of National Women’s Law Center and co-founder of the TIME’s UP Legal Defense Fund, on Episode 9:“The Ms. Back to School Special.”


2020's 10 Most Memorable Moments from the Ms. Podcast, "On the Issues With Michele Goodwin"

+ “Our liberation is tied to each other… if there’s only one group of women that are free, then none of us are free. We all have to continue this fight for justice, equity, and opportunity, and we have to do it together.”

— Juliana Stratton, 48th lieutenant governor of Illinois, on Episode 12: “Equality is on the Ballot.”


+ “We have to scoot over at those tables and make room for other women, other young women and girls, to be at those tables and to make sure that those, especially from marginalized communities, recognize that they deserve to be at those tables, that they are a part of our democracy, and their voice is not diluted, and it is just as powerful.”

— Juliana Stratton, 48th lieutenant governor of Illinois, on Episode 12: “Equality is on the Ballot.”


+ “I think that we have to start the narrative as our movements are inherently aligned. There is no justice for LGBTQ people without racial justice, without economic justice, without challenging these systems of violence and discrimination.

And so I just would like to see our mainstream movements really go back to our roots, whether those roots are, you know, Stonewall, whether they’re in ACT UP, whether they’re, you know, earlier. That there’s such a rich history there, and there is no justice when we’re centering the legal system and centering white leadership.”

— Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice with the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, on Episode 13: “Beyond Marriage: The Fight for LGBTQ Rights.”


+ “A feminist approach to policymaking in government that goes beyond the politics of representation into true transformation.”

— Lyric Thompson, senior director of policy and advocacy at the International Center for Research on Women, on Episode 18: “How Does the U.S. Rebuild Global Relationships?”


2020's 10 Most Memorable Moments from the Ms. Podcast, "On the Issues With Michele Goodwin"

+ “Let’s build anew and let’s build from a woman’s perspective because it is more holistic and it is integrated. And if we do it right, it is intersectional. I think there’s a way to look at how we invest in our institutions and generate the economic opportunities of the future doing so from a place of fairness and equity and justice.”

— Rachel Payne, executive and entrepreneur, on Episode 17: “Rebuilding America: A Woman’s Economy.”


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About and

Sarah Montgomery is a senior at USC. She is passionate about using writing as a tool for social change. Her Starbucks beverage of choice is the iced skinny vanilla latte—personal cup and reusable straw, of course.
Sophie Dorf-Kamienny is a Ms. Fellow and former Editorial Intern. She recently graduated high school and is completing a gap year before attending Tufts University.