Renegade for Peace and Justice: A Conversation with Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Play • 26 min

Join us on this special Juneteenth 2023 episode, as we welcome Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a true champion for peace and justice. In this heart-to-heart conversation, Congresswoman Lee shares her remarkable journey and leadership legacy in the fight against global AIDS, 

reflecting on her impactful encounter with Dr. Paul Zeitz twenty-three years ago at the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, where they witnessed the power of unified advocacy and campaigning. They discuss the significance of wearing yellow T-shirts emblazoned with "I Am HIV Positive" and the importance of destigmatizing HIV/AIDS.

They delve into a personal aspect of Congresswoman Lee's life, where she candidly shares her struggles growing up feeling racist pressure to conform to white “straight hair” beauty standards, as a black girl. Her journey of self-acceptance and embracing her natural hair is an inspiring testament to the fight against discrimination based on cultural appearances.

The conversation takes a poignant turn as they discuss the racial reckoning following the murder of George Floyd. Congresswoman Lee's unwavering support for reparations and her introduction of the US National Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Commission highlights the urgent need for acknowledging and dismantling systemic racism in the United States. She passionately emphasizes the importance of reparations, truth-telling, understanding each other's truths, and fostering healing in order to move forward as a nation.

Congresswoman Lee's optimism shines through as she discusses the ongoing grassroots movement and her determination to effect change.  Her spirit remains unbroken, as she declares her unwavering commitment to fight for a better future, driven by the resilience of black women throughout history.

Join us for this powerful conversation with Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a true renegade for peace and justice, as she is a Revolutionary Optimist who inspires us to rise above adversity and drive bold action transforming our country and our world into a more inclusive and just society.  

Are you ready to #unify? Learn more about the transformational movement at

Revolutionary Optimism is hosted by Dr. Paul Zeitz and produced by Earfluence.

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