Rank #1: Battling Low Income with High Expectations and Meaningful Employment
Oct 26 2016
Rank #2: Psychological Change: Bringing Dignity to Poor Communities
How can we move poor communities from hopelessness to hopefulness? In this fascinating episode of
Add Passion and Stir, Pierre Ferrari, President and CEO of Heifer International, and Matt Bell, chef and
owner of South on Main restaurant in Little Rock, share insights about creating value in poor communities
with hosts Debbie and Billy Shore. Ferrari speaks about the success Heifer International has had in poor
agricultural communities throughout the world by driving social psychological change before anything
else. “We work with communities that could almost be described as clinically depressed...the despair is so
deep…they feel condemned to this situation,” he says. Heifer uses value-based training to demonstrate to
people their own ability and capacity to make change. “Without that psychological shift, nothing we do, no
animal, no training will actually catch,” he notes. Bell has first-hand knowledge of the success of this
model in Arkansas. He sources his chickens from Grassroots Farm Cooperative, a cooperative of 10
formerly struggling small farms in Little Rock that was formed with the help of Heifer International to meet
the demand of the growing market. “My understanding of Heifer at the time was you buy a cow and
someone somewhere gets a cow. I didn’t understand this small business component. I didn’t understand
it could happen in Arkansas,” says Bell.
Heifer International provides resources, capital, and knowledge to help enable small farmers to generate
sustainable income, which gets cycled back into their communities creating opportunities for building
schools, creating agricultural cooperatives, forming community savings and funding small businesses.
Ferrari describes a program with female farmers in Nepal which is creating a goat meat value-chain by
working with banks to fund this system. There are now 150,000 women organized into small self-help
groups, which organize into larger co-ops and then an even larger union. “They are now feeling the
dignity of being economically self-reliant,” he concludes. Heifer International measures success by giving
people a ‘living income,’ which is a carefully calculated value that is “very complicated…but basically lets
farmers live a life of dignity,” says Ferrari. Bell recalls his childhood when parents in his community
created an informal system to ensure one little boy growing up in poverty always had food. “A group of
moms would take turns packing and extra lunch for Daniel, and they would say, ‘Make sure you give this
to Daniel before you get to class, so there’s no stigma,’” he remembers. Growing up on a cattle ranch
also gave him a unique perspective on the food chain. “An understanding of that gives us more empathy
into how we tackle hunger issues worldwide and locally.” Bell’s values led him to become a passionate
supporter of the No Kid Hungry campaign.
Get inspired by this sincere discussion about ending hunger and poverty.
Nov 06 2018
Rank #3: Harnessing Food Waste to Solve Hunger: Lessons From the Next Generation
Can we match excess food with need to better help people escape poverty? American University college student Maria Rose Belding, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Matching Excess And Needs for Stability (MEANS), discusses food waste and hunger with celebrity chef David Guas on a special episode of Add Passion and Stir made possible by generous support from the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation. At age 12, Belding imagined a better system for getting excess food to emergency food providers and the people that need it. She founded her nonprofit a few years later. “Food is really the key that unlocks the door to all of these other social services that help people actually leave poverty, but until we deal with the food, we can’t deal with anything else,” she says. Long-time Share Our Strength supporter Guas has always understood the importance of donating leftover food from his restaurants to local organizations. “At Bayou Bakery, since the beginning we work closely with A-SPAN [a homeless services organization and shelter in Arlington, VA]…it’s been a great partnership,” he says. Belding wishes every chef and food organization thought about food waste the same way. “That’s money the shelter doesn’t have to spend on food… and that means they can funnel it into AA or mental health programs,” she notes. A volunteer in food pantries since age six, she recognized very young the instability of food resources at these establishments. Pantries are often in simultaneous feast or famine mode – with way too much of one item they cannot use and not enough of another item they really need. Today, MEANS addresses that problem by connecting thousands of food banks, shelters, soup kitchens and other providers with food donations in real time, and has recovered more than 1.65M pounds of food over the last five years.
Both guests understand that recovering food waste is only one piece of alleviating hunger and poverty. Host Billy Shore asks Belding how much of the hunger problem in the United States could be addressed by food waste? “Mathematically speaking, if you just look at this like a calculus problem, food waste can solve all of it. Hunger is not a calculus problem. Hunger is much more complicated than that,” says Belding. She explains the important role programs such as SNAP and WIC play in solving hunger. Guas recently took to Capitol Hill with two other celebrity chefs to champion these federal food programs. “We just banged down doors, chewed people’s ears and stressed the importance of protecting this [SNAP] program,” he relates.
Be inspired by this impactful conversation among these social activists with real-time solutions to hunger in America.
Feb 21 2018
Rank #4: Feeding 1 Million Kids for $1 per Day
Nov 01 2016
Rank #5: Living on $2 a Day: Poverty and Food Equity in America
To start the new year, we are revisiting one our most important episodes of Add Passion and Stir when we spoke with sociologist, poverty expert and author Kathy Edin ($2 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America) and Washington, DC area social entrepreneur Tom McDougall of 4P Foods have a powerful and timely discussion with Share Our Strength founders Billy and Debbie Shore about poverty in America. Kathy and Tom illustrate how our current systems - political, social, economic, geographic - keep poor people from succeeding. They argue for more equity in our social programs and a more dignified way of serving the poor. Kathy shares stunning statistics and touching anecdotes of the impoverished families with whom she has worked. When she asked one young girl what it was like to be hungry, her response was, "It feels like you want to be dead, because it’s peaceful when you’re dead." Tom believes, "We can't talk about fixing the food system unless we talk about money and politics... subsidies... institutional racism... the history of farming. … If we move the needle just a tad on food equity, it means we're moving a lot of other needles along the way." In Kathy’s work, she found that, "When it comes down to it, what people seem to want more than anything else is dignity. ... but a lot of our social policies deny people that.” Hear their recommendations on what we can do as individuals and as a nation to improve these dire circumstances for the poor in America.
Jan 03 2018
Rank #6: Driving Culture Change and Staying True to Your Beliefs
Where do the most effective social change agents focus their efforts? Soupergirl founder Sara Polon and Community Wealth Partners CEO Amy Celep join hosts Billy and Debbie Shore to discuss their motivations and strategies for changing the world. Celep works at the systems level helping other organizations accelerate the pace of social change. She cites KaBOOM!, the national nonprofit dedicated to children’s play, as an example. “We helped [them] say, ‘what we need to do is not just build playgrounds and the infrastructure for play, we need to shift the cultural norm in this country,’” she explains. Polon started Soupergirl to shift the cultural norm through individual decisions. By using only plant-based ingredients sourced largely from sustainable local farms, she is giving consumers better choices that could help fix our broken food system. “Our mantra is changing the world one bowl of soup at a time,” she says.
Both guests are story-tellers who changed careers in order to drive change. Formerly a stand-up comedian, Polon knew she wanted to shift to fixing the food system after reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. “We’re trying to be so careful about what we put in the soup. Knowing where the food comes from, who grew it, what’s the story of it… we work every day to make sure we stay true to those values,” she says. Celep was formerly a television news producer. “I wanted to tell stories, but the stories you tell on local news were not the stories I wanted to tell. I wanted to tell stories about people changing the world,” she says.
Listen to these two dynamic, purpose-driven women share their stories about why and how they are changing the world.
Jul 04 2018
Rank #7: Living Longer, Living Better and Rediscovering our Humanity
What did we lose when we became a generationally segregated society? Encore.org President and CEO Marc Freedman and celebrated chef Stephan Pyles join hosts Debbie and Billy Shore to talk about aging well and how to make a lasting impact in the world. “An important part of purpose in later life is connecting in ways that flow down the generational chain and that nurture the future that we won’t even see,” explains Freedman about why Encore.org bringing older and young people together to solve social problems is a rare approach in this time of ‘age apartheid’ in our society. Chef Pyles describes how a recent trip to India impacted his perspective on life as he ages. “It made me understand that I’m just a person living in the moment and have to be a part of all that’s around me… I’ve gotten closer to my humanity the older I get,” he reflects.
Freedman cites research about how older people who connect with younger generations are much more likely to be happy as those who fail to do so. “This idea of connecting the generations is about so much more than efficiency, it’s about humanity and something fundamental in the human experience,” he says.
Chef Pyles has found this in his own career, fondly remembering the influence Julia Child had on him as a young chef. “I remember how important it was when she took an interest and told a story…I learned so much from her and I’ve tried to return that gift to the people that I’ve mentored,” he says.
Get inspired by this conversation that offers keen insights into how we can leave a lasting legacy for future generations.
Dec 12 2018
Rank #8: OUR TOUGHEST PROBLEMS REQUIRE OUR TOUGHEST TALENT
Cardinali, a champion for the social sector (nonprofit and philanthropic institutions), reveals its vastness: 1.5 million institutions that employ 1 in 10 Americans and serve or engage 1 in 4. However, that impact is often overlooked and there is a misperception that the sector is weaker and less effective than the private sector. “Nonprofit and philanthropic institutions are critically important to America because they often are working on those issues that neither government nor market strategies are able to address,” says Cardinali. “In many regards, they are much more effective than either government or business can be, yet they are often looked at as being subpar to those two institutions.”
This perceived second-class standing of social sector organizations also affects the individuals who choose to work there who are, according to Cardinali, “extraordinarily heroic folks willing to suppress their own desires for wealth and praise in service of bettering the community.” Based on her own transformational path from law to life coaching, Herrera agrees. “Our purpose in life is not to make money… it’s to do the best that we can to make our global community a better place,” she believes. However, she also poses the question of how to attract bright young people into the sector. Shore feels it is critical for young people to know the social sector is a viable option. Speaking about Share Our Strength, he says, “Having the best people in the country feel like, ‘this is a place I want to be,’ becomes very important to our ability to succeed.” Cardinali reinforces this point. “Many social sector institutions take on the most difficult and intractable problems in the world – and you want the… best talent addressing the most difficult challenges.”
All three participants agree that food can play an important role in improving our society. Herrera shares stories of how food can heal and connect people from her chef experience and world travels. Cardinali describes how Independent Sector is using dinners to bring people with disparate views together to bridge differences and find common ground. Shore comments that food sits in the intersection of so many social issues.
Jun 21 2017
Rank #9: Come Together: Uniting People Through Food And Opportunity
How do we unite different cultures in the midst of a polarizing political climate? In this episode of Add Passion and Stir, George Washington University professor of leadership Louis Caldera and Rose Previte, owner of Compass Rose and Maydān in Washington DC, talk about culture, leadership and the potential for diversity to drive positive change in the US. Both guests believe diversity is our greatest strength. “As long as we’re true to our principles of equality, and people can develop their talents through education and contribute something, then that’s what we need to do,” says Caldera, the son of Mexican immigrants who became Secretary of the Army. He emphasizes how our country benefits when the brightest people in the world want to come here to be educated. “The growing diversity of this country will become more politically active and they’re going to say, ‘I don’t fear people who come from places like where I come from because I’m a contributing American,’” he predicts. Previte’s restaurants are a celebration of diversity inspired by her upbringing with a Lebanese mother and Sicilian father and her own extensive travels. “The street food [at Compass Rose] is the great equalizer, it’s where everyone whether rich or poor…come together over food,” she says.
Both guests come from families where food and hospitality were focal points. Previte remembers how her diverse family educated others about they were through food. Caldera, who grew up poor in Southern California at a time when the Latino community was still small, believes shared meals are important for building strong families and communities. However, shared meals can be difficult with the work schedules in low-income families, so he advocates for supports like minimum wage, family assistance and opportunities for education.
Listen to this conversation between two leaders who understand diversity as a strength that builds positive social change.
Apr 25 2018
Rank #10: Moving the Mountain: Marketing Social Change and Making It Last
What is the key to creating sustainable social impact? Social change pioneer Bill Novelli and Washington DC restaurateur and chef Erik Bruner-Yang (Maketto, Brothers and Sisters, Spoken English) sit down with Debbie and Billy Shore to discuss cultural identity, community engagement and lasting social impact. As the former architect of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Novelli built a social marketing program that successfully challenged big tobacco’s overwhelming political and cultural influence. “One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my life is that we can move the mountain… but we’ve got to start by saying, ‘we can do it,’” says Novelli. “We need to change social norms and expectations,” he continues. Bruner-Yang thinks the solutions to intractable social issues like gun violence require long-term inter-generational thinking. “If you’re 40-plus, your mind is made up. America can be and has been at the forefront of social change. Some of these big issues you have to just skip a generation,” he observes.
As a professor in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, Novelli sees the promise of the next generation of leaders. “I go home every night with a song in my heart because they understand that there’s more than one bottom line. They want purpose. They want to work in an organization that doesn’t just have a profit, but also cares about people and the planet,” he says. Long-time No Kid Hungry supporter Bruner-Yang describes how his former passion for music translated into owning restaurants. “It’s a lot of the same tangibles. You get to be creative, you’re entertaining people, you’re using a lot of the same thought processes,” he notes.
Listen in as these two guests discuss talk about how their values have motivated them to lead purpose-driven lives.
Mar 13 2019
Rank #11: Genius Knows No Boundaries
What is causing the failure of leadership in our government and society? Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and famed restaurateur Danny Meyer (Union Square Hospitality Group, Shake Shack) join host Billy Shore to discuss a variety of issues ranging from immigration, urban renewal, educational opportunity and the reasons for the current crisis in our political culture. “All of us in life constantly face divided loyalties. Where are your obligations? The problem with many political leaders is they lose sight of the proper hierarchy of obligations and loyalties,” says Mitchell. “[It’s the] confluence among self-interest, the interests of our guests and the interests of the city. Investing in people and places and organizations that can lift the whole,” explains Meyer about his own hierarchy of obligations when he applies his signature approach of opening new restaurants in transitional neighborhoods.
When the conversation turns to immigration, Mitchell discusses the history and the opportunities it presents for the United States. “You have to think about how much our country has benefited from immigration; how immigrants have brought new life, new energy, new views. Genius knows no language, no race, no religion… but it tends to flourish where there is freedom and opportunity,” he says. Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group understands that immigrants are the backbone of the restaurant industry and its commitment to help them succeed. “I think what our industry needs to work on quite a bit is how do we elevate [immigrant workers beyond entry level], how do we give you the tools,” says Meyer, noting that they offer English as a Second Language programs to their employees to help them increase their economic potential.
Listen to three of the most accomplished leaders in their respective fields deliver a master class on the critical issues facing our nation.
Sep 18 2018
Rank #12: The Next Generation: Changing Culture and Changing the World
How can the next generation change our culture to solve social problems? In this special episode of Add Passion and Stir made possible by generous support from the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, Gerri Mason Hall, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Sodexo and Chair of the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, and Derek Brown, owner of Columbia Room in Washington DC, have a lively discussion about diversity and inclusion, young leaders, culture change, and classic cocktails. Mason Hall, Brown and hosts Share Our Strength co-founders Debbie and Billy Shore believe that the fresh, uncynical passion of our youth can solve major social problems. The recent activity around gun control is a prime example. “One of the most exciting things is the fresh eyes to an approach at problem solving,” says Mason Hall, who focuses on enabling young people through Sodexo’s work and the No Kid Hungry Youth Ambassador Program. Brown is proud that he empowers his employees to protect others, working closely with Collective Action for Safe Spaces to train employees about recognizing and intervening when they see sexual harassment or violence. Billy Shore shares their hopefulness about youth changing the future. “Sometimes there’s an advantage to ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’…you don’t get discouraged, you don’t get disappointed, you think everything can change,” he says.
Both guests also value culture change. Mason Hall has spent decades building a culture of diversity and inclusion at Sodexo. “In the early 2000s, the emphasis was on representation - especially women and minorities - in the workplace… Now we’re not just focused on numbers coming in, but how inclusive is the culture,” she explains. She relishes playing the role of mentor for a younger generation and helping them turn their vision into change. “It is this diversity of thought that together will help us innovate and solve these problems,” she says. Brown is noted for creating change in how the next DC generation feels about alcohol through his emphasis on well-made culinary cocktails. “We’re really turning drinking more into a ritual…you’re not focusing on quantity, you’re focusing on quality,” he says. A historian of alcohol, he describes its place in American culture. “Our culture has a particular relationship with alcohol… and we have changed it through creating these cocktail bars that are a little different,” he believes.
Share in this informative and fun conversation between two leaders mentoring the next generation in their respective fields.
Apr 11 2018
Rank #13: Obama’s Longest-Serving Cabinet Member on the Fight to Save Our Democracy
What is the backbone of our strength as a nation? In this episode from Washington DC, former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and The Salt Line chef Kyle Bailey sit down with host Billy Shore to discuss the economic vitality of our country. “We’re in a [global] competition for which system of government works best in a time of change. We always thought that once we won the Cold War… democracy was the best way to do it and everyone was going to see that,” says Vilsack. Bailey’s focus on sustainable seafood sourcing cooperatives aims to democratize food and support people whose livelihoods rely on fishing. “The idea was to cut a couple steps out of the supply chain to get the freshest and best fish, and it gets money back into the pockets of the actual fisherman,” says Bailey.
The guests discuss the impact of the current political disagreements around immigration, which affects the restaurant industry and many others. “Immigrant populations have historically done the jobs that are really hard. When we’re fearful, the whole American experience gets interrupted,” notes Vilsack. “Yeah, [democracy] is a little messy but eventually it gets the job done in a way doesn’t limit people’s freedoms and abilities.”
Get informed and inspired as these two guests share their thoughts about politics, sustainable food and agriculture.
Resources and Mentions:
· No Kid Hungry (nokidhungry.org): Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.
· Tom Vilsack served eight years as the nation’s 30th Secretary of Agriculture under President Obama where he worked diligently to strengthen the American agricultural economy, build vibrant rural communities and create new markets for the tremendous innovation of rural America. Currently President and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), he provides strategic leadership and oversight of USDEC's global promotional and research activities, regulatory affairs and trade policy initiatives. He is on the Board of Directors of Feeding America, the nation’s largest anti-hunger organization. He also served two terms as the Governor of Iowa.
· Feeding America’s mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger. For more than 35 years, Feeding America has responded to the hunger crisis in America by providing food to people in need through a nationwide network of food banks. The national organization for food banks was established in 1979 as Second Harvest, which was later called America’s Second Harvest the Nation’s Food Bank Network. In 2008, the network changed its name to Feeding America to better reflect the mission of the organization. Today, Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization—a powerful and efficient network of 200 food banks across the country. The Feeding America network of food banks feeds 46 million people at risk of hunger, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors.
· The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) is a non-profit, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders. Dairy Management Inc. founded USDEC in 1995 and, through the dairy checkoff program, is the organization’s primary funder. USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service provides export activity support, and membership dues fund the Council’s trade policy and lobbying activities. USDEC’s mission is to enhance demand for U.S. dairy products and ingredients by securing access and assisting suppliers to meet market needs that facilitate sales.
· Kyle Bailey is chef and partner of Long Shot Hospitality. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Kyle Bailey has helmed kitchens from luxury resorts in the Caribbean to great restaurants in New York and DC, including Birch & Barley and Churchkey. He’s learned from great chefs, including Shea Gallante and Dan Barber, and mentored dozens of others, sharing his interest in and knowledge of sustainability in local food systems. Kyle was named “The People’s Best New Chef” Mid-Atlantic region in 2011 by Food & Wine.
· The Salt Line is part of Long Shot Hospitality (LSH), a Washington DC-based restaurant group led by Kyle Bailey, Jeremy Carman, Gavin Coleman & Paul Holder. The partners and their other properties (Sixth Engine, Town Hall, The Dubliner) are known for great atmosphere, reliable service, excellent food and an enjoyable vibe—the kinds of places you meet up with friends again and again. The Salt Line, creates a lively and welcoming experience of classic New England dishes influenced by the bounty of the Chesapeake.
· Dock to Dish is an international network of small-scale fishermen, marine biologists and sustainable seafood advocates working in teams from ports and harbors across North and Central America. They are collectively committed to making local, traceable, low-impact wild seafood accessible to organized groups of cooperative members through unique community and restaurant supported fishery programs. In June of 2017, The United Nations Foundation designated the Dock to Dish community and restaurant supported fishery model as one of the top breakthrough innovations that can scale to solve the ocean’s grand challenges.
Feb 13 2019
Rank #14: Cultivating Authenticity and Scaling Excellence
How does authenticity drive success? Philz Coffee CEO Jacob Jaber and Neighborhood Restaurant Group Beverage Director Greg Engert join Debbie and Billy Shore to discuss good coffee, craft beer and how to build businesses that are part of the fabric of their communities. Both guests cite authenticity - in the people they hire, the products they serve, and the experiences they provide for guests - as the basis for the success of their organizations. “The best service is when it’s done from the heart and authentic,” Jaber believes. Engert thinks that just having craft beer on the menu is not enough. “The hard part is echoing the passion of the producer through service and product knowledge,” he says. “The flavors become more vibrant when you wed the intellectual to the more visceral pleasures of drink.”
Both guests built their businesses with community in mind. Jaber’s father started Philz out of his grocery store in San Francisco and now they have 48 stores and growing. “If you want to do it right, you have to not worry about scalability and just focus on excellence,” says Jaber. Engert agrees. “[They] are places for people who live near each other to get together, share food and drink and get to know each other and learn from each other,” says Engert of Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s 19 establishments.
Tune in to this conversation and hear the passion that these two guests bring to their crafts, their customers and their communities.
Sep 12 2018
Rank #15: Racism in America and the Road Ahead
The third installment in our series of curated episodes revolves around our painful legacy of racism in America and how we can overcome it. Guests that include MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Dr. Joe Marshall; Chef Tanya Holland; social justice champion Reverend Jim Wallis; thought leader and businessman Robert Lewis, Jr.; Chief of Staff to former Boston Mayor Kevin White, Ira Jackson; and Grantmakers In Health (GIH) President and CEO Faith Mitchell speak powerfully and thoughtfully about our shameful past, our difficult present, and a more hopeful and just future.
Check out the original episodes by following the links below.
“I remember we were angry and my mom was like, ‘You win with love. If you're locked up or arrested, you can't do anything in life.’ … So I made a commitment in my life that I was going to be part of shifting this narrative of folks who are poorer and black and brown communities in a different way.” – Robert Lewis, Jr. (March 6, 2019) http://addpassionandstir.com/flipping-the-script-rewriting-the-story-of-urban-youth/
“I would accompany 37 yellow school buses along with the police commissioner every morning [in 1972] from Bayside up to a Dorchester Heights and South Boston High School, where those black kids would be greeted by an angry mob that was yelling the ‘n’ word at them and throwing bananas and occasionally bricks at the windows. That's how violent and ugly it was.” – Ira Jackson (December 12, 2018) http://addpassionandstir.com/leading-a-city-back-from-despair-the-community-leaders-who-rebuilt-boston/
“It's just, ‘you can't do it, you can't do it, you can't do it.’ And even when you show you can, the real believers are the ones of us who were actually doing it. So we're always fighting that… I always say being black in America is like you start in this hole and you're continually climbing out of this hole.” – Dr. Joe Marshall (October 18, 2016) http://addpassionandstir.com/gang-violence-prevention-and-cure/
“For me, what I notice about racism – what I find most painful - is when people have low expectations of you and they don't expect you to be intelligent or ambitious or resourceful. And that's hard. You know, that judgement is a big hurdle. What can you do about that?” – Chef Tanya Holland (October 18, 2016) http://addpassionandstir.com/gang-violence-prevention-and-cure/
“My questions took me to the city [Detroit] - a white kid going to black churches for the first time and taking jobs alongside young men just like me, but they were black and I was white. I realized that we were all born in Detroit but had been raised in different countries… My worldview, as they say, has been changed by being places I was never supposed to be.” – Reverend Jim Wallis (May 17, 2019) http://addpassionandstir.com/racial-injustice-the-soul-of-america-is-at-stake-part-1/
“There are many Americans who not only don't know about disparities, but in general think that we have the best medical care in the world because that's what we've been told. In fact, among developed countries, we're near the bottom… One of the reasons we're near the bottom is that we have big differences in things like mortality and morbidity once you get past the surface and look at the details of the American population.” – Faith Mitchell (May 16, 2018) http://addpassionandstir.com/bringing-the-love-equity-in-healthcare/
Aug 28 2019
Rank #16: The Social Entrepreneur: Business That Builds Community
How can business and entrepreneurial principles be used to solve social problems? In this episode, Pace University Lubin School of Business Dean Neil Braun sits down with SALIDO founder and CEO Shu Chowdhury to talk about business, technology and social entrepreneurship. “[There is] emotional satisfaction in helping people at the most interesting stage of life,” says Braun, a long-time Share Our Strength board member. Serial entrepreneur Chowdhury wants community building to be part of the DNA of his company. One of SALIDO’s values is community service. “If someone can’t care about someone they don’t know because it’s the right thing to do, it often happens that they can’t connect with what you’re actually trying to do,” he explains.
After a distinguished career as an entertainment executive that included stints as Chairman and CEO of Viacom Entertainment and President of the NBC Television Network, Braun uses his vast experience in business to help a diverse student body including many from underserved communities. “They’ve overcome more adversity just to get to college than I have in my entire life and I am so inspired by them. They have found the inner strength to deserve a chance,” he says. No Kid Hungry supporter Chowdhury credits his parents for instilling a philanthropic and entrepreneurial spirit in him. They emigrated from Calcutta, built successful businesses and started a family foundation. His latest venture is improving restaurant technology systems to be more functional for restaurant workers at all levels. “When you make someone’s life easier and you help them do a better job… that can have a pretty awesome net impact on not just society but the individual,” he says.
Listen to this important conversation that mixes insights from the business world with the desire to create social impact.
Jul 18 2018
Rank #17: Arianna Huffington: Sound Asleep and Still Changing The World
Why is sleep the best remedy for just about everything? Billy Shore sits down with Thrive Global Founder and CEO Arianna Huffington and pastry chef and North Fork Table & Inn owner Claudia Fleming to talk about the effects of stress and exhaustion on creativity, productivity and health. “90% of the health care problems we deal with are stress-related and preventable,” says Huffington. “If your life is just about productivity and there is no joy, there is something wrong,” she explains, talking about how her Thrive Global platform helps people improve their well-being and performance. Fleming is aware of her own tendency to overwork. “You can literally never stop. You can stay all night, but if you don’t say ‘I’m leaving’, you can hang out all the time and not be very productive,” she says.
Huffington also discusses how technology and our acrimonious political climate are creating additional stress that can be crippling. “There is absolutely no benefit in living in a perpetual state of outrage. We need to be very protective of our energy and use it wisely, use it to bring about change rather than simply venting,” she advises. Fleming sees her role as a chef as innately political. “Food is politics. You can’t get away from the fact that agribusiness runs a good portion of our government,” she explains.
Listen to this thoughtful discussion on the dangers of exhaustion and burnout and recalibrate your understanding of creativity, productivity and performance.
Apr 10 2019
Rank #18: A Very Special Message from Jeff Bridges
Jeff Bridges, the award-winning actor and national spokesperson for Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign has recorded a very special message for you.
Jeff is helping us celebrate the anniversary of our new passion project, Add Passion and Stir, a weekly podcast I host with my sister Debbie about making a difference in the world through an examination of the central role food plays in all of the issues we care about. Every week, we talk with dedicated and compassionate culinary leaders and inspirational change-makers in a lively and thoughtful exchange unlike any other.
Nov 03 2017
Rank #19: Get Dirty and Get Involved!
Is sustainable farming the key to restoring our planet? On this episode of Add Passion and Stir, American Farmland Trust President and CEO John Piotti and Chef John Mooney (Bell Book & Candle, NYC; Bidwell, DC) talk with host Billy Shore and producer Paul Woodhull about the far-reaching impact of building a more sustainable food system. “If we don’t get farming right, we can’t have a sustainable future,” says Piotti. Chef Mooney’s restaurants use aeroponic rooftop gardens, which combine hydroponics with vertical growing techniques to grow fresh, pesticide-free produce. “It really suits us well to be able to do what I want to do as a chef and have it on location. [Staff] also get to learn and maintain, which gives them a little better sense of where our food comes from, which translates into the guest experience,” he notes.
Preserving farmland is one of the most important functions of American Farmland Trust. “Farmland itself plays a huge role in environmental protection,” explains Piotti. “But you can’t think about only the farm. You have to think about the farming practices that occur on that land and you have to think about the farmers who are stewards of that land,” he says. Well-known for his commitment to sustainability, Chef Mooney also owns Kakele House, an organic farm and event space on the North Shore of Oahu. “For me it’s a lifestyle and not a job,” he says. Piotti touts the benefits that small, diversified farms like Kakele House have on communities.
Listen in as these two guests discuss the meaning of sustainability and its impact on environmental, social and economic vitality.
Jun 06 2018
Rank #20: From Kitchen to Courtroom: Dealing With Race in America
How do we achieve lasting social and racial justice in America? Children’s advocate and social justice icon Hubie Jones and Sweet Home Café (at the National Museum of African American History and Culture) executive chef Jerome Grant talk with Billy Shore about their perspectives on race in America and commitment to living purpose-driven lives. “On to the stage came Dr. King and he went into this oratory that absolutely blew me away... By the time I left Jordan Hall, I felt that I was levitating,” Jones recalls about the night in 1956 that helped set the course of his life. Grant shares a similar experience about opening Sweet Home Café. “Walking in that cafeteria the day before opening and seeing these murals on our walls, seeing these awesome quotes, the picture of the Woolworth dine-in boycott… You see the resiliency of us as African Americans and what we contributed to American society. There’s no feeling like that at all,” describes Grant.
Both guests share their perspectives on our increasingly divisive culture and finding a path forward. “We have a lot more work to go with the [racial] divide that’s going on now. Mostly we need to learn more about each other and not be afraid of each other,” says Grant. At age 85, Jones is well-known for mentoring thousands of young social justice advocates throughout the years. “Leaders have to be available, leaders have to be accessible - what are we doing for these young leaders to take over, stand on our shoulders and make a difference?,” he challenges.
Listen to this engaging conversation between someone who works for one of the most important museums in America and another who has lived the history it represents.
Jun 12 2019