New Episode of Ms.’s On The Issues With Michele Goodwin Podcast: Messages to Mom: We Have Your Back


On the Issues with Michele Goodwin is a popular issues and policy-focused podcast featuring feminist analysis, insightful conversations and exciting guests. This is the first podcast from Ms. magazine, a legacy feminist publication. In each bi-weekly episode, host Dr. Michele Goodwin and special guests will tackle the most compelling issues of our times, centering feminist concerns about rebuilding our nation and advancing the promise of equality.

A new episode—Messages to Mom: We Have Your Back (with Rep. Katie Porter, Nicole Lynn Lewis, Dr. Aisha Nyandoro and Tamara Ware)—is available now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and

“Other countries have social safety nets. The U.S. has women.” —Professor Jessica Calarco

In this episode, we’re focusing on moms, childcare, single parenting and teen parenting. We know that women have been hit hard by COVID—causing Dr. C. Nicole Mason, President and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, to call this a “she-cession.” And as it stands, current U.S. laws and policies are woefully inadequate—leaving mothers, particularly mothers living with low incomes, behind. Luckily, women-led organizations are helping moms by filling in the gaps.

Dr. Goodwin is joined by Representative Katie Porter, who represents the 45th congressional district in Orange County, California; Nicole Lynn Lewis, founder of Generation Hope; Dr. Aisha Nyandoro, CEO of Springboard To Opportunities and director of Magnolia Mother’s Trust; and Tamara Ware, a caregiver and the mother of three beautiful girls.

Their conversation covered  the urgency of addressing teen parenting, single motherhood, and poverty; you can find a full transcript here, as well as a few excerpts below:

“You know I was a senior in high school when I discovered my pregnancy, and I was college-bound. I was an honor roll student. I had a stack of college acceptance letters on one side of my desk and a positive pregnancy test on the other, and it was really hard for me to see how those two things could ever coexist and kind of come together, and I didn’t have any role models in my neighborhood, my community, my school, in terms of young women who had gotten pregnant and had gone on to college.” —Nicole Lynn Lewis

“In 2017, I became concerned that in spite of all of the programs that we were providing, we’re not moving the needle on poverty, meaning that we were not seeing a positive transition out of the affordable housing communities that we work in, and since our organization is radically resident-driven, whenever we are trying to understand something or whenever we’re confused, we go to our residents and ask them what is it that we’re missing, what is it that you need?” —Dr. Aisha Nyandoro

“[O]ne of the things I immediately noticed was that children who are living in single-parent households are less likely to qualify for the child tax credit and are going to receive less money in many instances, and it’s a child tax credit. If the benefit is for the child, no kid should get less because their parents are divorced or widowed or married. There’s no discount on being a single parent. When I take my kids to summer camp or the grocery store, everything costs exactly the same, and so, if we want to support children, we shouldn’t be punishing them depending on their parents’ status.” —Rep. Katie Porter

“Childcare remains unaffordable virtually for anybody, and here’s a quick way to see why. When my daughter, Betsy, went to preschool, at the University of California Irvine, it’s a lovely preschool, it’s in an older building, was built kind of back when the university got started, her tuition as a 4-year-old was more than it would’ve been for her to be an undergraduate at UCI, studying chemistry or political science or math.” —Rep. Katie Porter

“It wasn’t just about the money. It was the motivational speakers, the different opportunities that was opened up for me. It made me a lot more social towards…other mothers who were in the same situation as me, because sometime when you’re going through something financial, it’s hard to talk to others about it, regardless if they’re going through it with you, but this program has, it was just a big eye-opener on everything.” —Tamara Ware

Meet the Host of On the Issues: Dr. Michele Goodwin is a frequent contributor to Ms. Magazine and on She is a Chancellor’s Professor at the University of California, Irvine and also serves on the executive committee and national board of the ACLU. Dr. Goodwin is a prolific author and an elected member of the American Law Institute, as well as an elected Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Hastings Center. Her most recent book, Policing The Womb: Invisible Women and The Criminalization of Motherhood , is described as a “must read.”

About Ms. Magazine: Co-founded by Gloria Steinem in 1972 and published by the Feminist Majority Foundation since 2001, Ms. magazine has been a trusted, popular source for feminist news and information in print and online for nearly 50 years. Ms .’s time-honored traditions of an emphasis on in-depth investigative reporting and feminist political analysis have never been more relevant, bringing a new generation of writers and readers together to share news, analysis, research and strategies for fighting back and moving forward, for shaping the future.


If you would like more information on the On the Issues with Michele Goodwin podcast, or to schedule an interview with Host and Executive Producer Michele Goodwin or Executive Producer & Ms. Executive Editor Katherine Spillar, please email

Launched in 1971, Ms. is the most trusted, popular source for feminist news and information in print and online with a tradition of in-depth investigative reporting and feminist political analysis. Ms. is wholly owned and published by the Feminist Majority Foundation.