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Vital Voices Podcast

Storytelling Podcasts

The Vital Voices Podcast highlights women leaders and change-makers from around the world. Hosted by Vital Voices President and CEO, Alyse Nelson, the Vital Voices Podcast provides a space for extraordinary women to be heard. To learn more about Vital Voices, visit Follow us on Twitter (@VitalVoices), Instagram (@VitalVoices) and like us on Facebook (! You can also donate to Vital Voices by texting VITAL to 41444.

The Vital Voices Podcast highlights women leaders and change-makers from around the world. Hosted by Vital Voices President and CEO, Alyse Nelson, the Vital Voices Podcast provides a space for extraordinary women to be heard. To learn more about Vital Voices, visit Follow us on Twitter (@VitalVoices), Instagram (@VitalVoices) and like us on Facebook (! You can also donate to Vital Voices by texting VITAL to 41444.


United States


The Vital Voices Podcast highlights women leaders and change-makers from around the world. Hosted by Vital Voices President and CEO, Alyse Nelson, the Vital Voices Podcast provides a space for extraordinary women to be heard. To learn more about Vital Voices, visit Follow us on Twitter (@VitalVoices), Instagram (@VitalVoices) and like us on Facebook (! You can also donate to Vital Voices by texting VITAL to 41444.







Episodes President Jacquelline Fuller on the Impact Challenge for Women and Girls

President of, Jacquelline Fuller, joins Alyse Nelson on the heels of the announcement of the 34 selected organizations for's $25M Impact Challenge for Women and Girls. They discussed the importance of private sector collaborations with organizations like Vital Voices, a partner on the Challenge, how we can realistically create a path to achieving SDG 5; Gender Equality, and why women's representation is critical to progress. In the global philanthropic community, less...


Power to Empower: A Special International Youth Day Episode with Activist Melissa Shang

Melissa Shang, disability rights activist, joined host, Alyse Nelson, for a special International Youth Day discussion on advocacy and the power of young voices. Born with a form of muscular dystrophy called Charcot-Marie-Tooth, Melissa has worked throughout her young-adult life to incorporate anti-ableist conversation into popular discourse. In this enlightening conversation, Melissa and Alyse discuss the path to activism and importance of representation in youth popular culture, the impact...


HRH Intisar AlSabah on Rebuilding Strength in the Face of Adversity

Her Royal Highness, Intisar AlSabah, Kuwaiti social entrepreneur, philanthropist, and princess of the House of Al Sabah, joined host, Alyse Nelson, for a discussion on how we can use lessons learned from overcoming adversity to empower others. A survivor of domestic abuse and military occupation, Her Royal Highness explores how traumatic events in her own life impacted her mental health, how she escaped from this dark place, and how she relies on skills gained from these experiences to...


Power to Empower – Mary Robinson on the Importance of Feminist Leadership

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Chair and founding member of the Council of Women World Leaders, and current President of the Mary Robinson Foundation Climate Change joined host, Alyse Nelson for a discussion on her experience as a woman leader in Irish politics and global organizations, mental health, and the intersection between gender and the climate crisis. Based on her years of experience, President Robinson shares why she believes that...


Power to Empower – A Special Juneteenth Episode with Cici Battle

Cici Battle, social impact strategist, organizer, and facilitator, joined host, Alyse Nelson, for a discussion on Juneteenth and how the United States must move beyond performative solidarity in order to address its deep-rooted issues with race and equality. By reflecting on the events of the past year, including the murder of George Floyd, the global Pandemic, and the transition in federal administration, Cici explored the positive changes that have emerged in nation-wide discourse about...


Power to Empower: Sadiqa Basiri on the US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan and what that means for Girls Education in the country.

Sadiqa Basiri , Founder of the Oruj Learning Center, joined host, Alyse Nelson, for a discussion on women’s rights in Afghanistan and how strong educational institutions will be crucial mechanisms to grow the next generation of Afghan leaders. Sadiqa shared how her experience of being denied the opportunity to attend medical school and living under Taliban occupation inspired her life’s work in advocating for girls’ education. And as the United States prepares to remove troops from Afghan...


Power to Empower: Adriana Hinojosa Céspedes on Mexico’s Femicide Crisis

TW || Former Mexican congresswomen and life-long advocate against gender-based violence in Mexico, Adriana Hinojosa Céspedes, joined the Vital Voices Podcast with host Alyse Nelson, to discuss Mexico’s ongoing femicide crisis, the strength of women in this time of uncertainty, and the hope that is generated from small steps of progress in the fight for gender equality. Through her eloquent and sensitive words, Adriana shares horrific details of the violence women and children in Mexico...


Power to Empower: Adi Tafuna'i on the Power & Importance of Rural Economic Systems in Building a Sustainable Future

Visionary Entrepreneur and Co-founder of Women in Business Development Inc in Samoa, Adi Tafuna’i joined host Alyse Nelson to discuss her pioneering work revitalizing the local economy in Samoa by building female entrepreneurship using locally-sources resources and tapping into external markets. Adi and Alyse discuss the impact climate change has had on the local Samoan and Pacific Island communities, and she shares how she gives back to her local community by prioritizing the women within...


Sandra Pepera on Building Systems to Sustain Inclusive Democracy

Career diplomat and NDI Director for Women, Gender and Democracy Sandra Pepera joined host Alyse Nelson on the podcast to discuss her career building inclusive, resilient democracy. Sandra reflected on the need to focus on creating systems that push for culture change to really secure lasting impact when it comes to greater gender equity and representation in politics around the world. She and Alyse discussed the ways that we need to support not only women leaders as individuals, but also...


Power to Empower: Obiageli Ezekwesili on Values-Driven Leadership

Democratic activist and economist Obiageli (Oby) Ezekwesili joined host Alyse Nelson to discuss how her leadership style has been shaped by a staunch commitment to her values and deep community engagement. Leading by example, Oby explains how she uses her power to empower community voices around her, coaching a new generation of leaders who are driven by values to disrupt the culture of putting the self in front of the common good. Over her decades-long career, Oby has demonstrated the...


Power to Empower: Working Toward Equity with Sage Ke'alohilani Quiamno

Future for Us Founder and Leadership Incubator Fellow Sage Ke'alohilani Quiamno sat down with host Alyse Nelson to discuss her passion for equity and her fight to get more women of color in leadership within the modern workplace. Sage shared how dealing with her own experiences of discrimination in the workplace motivated her to put her passion for equity into action. In this dynamic conversation, Sage makes it clear the importance of rooting advocacy and workplaces alike in an...


Power to Empower: Chouchou Namegabe on Changing Culture by Catalyzing Conversations

Outspoken Congolese radio journalist and co-founder of the South Kivu Women’s Media Association Chouchou Namegabe sat down with host Alyse Nelson to discuss Chouchou’s efforts enacting cultural change surrounding sexual assault and gender-based violence. Throughout her career, she has focused on bringing the stories of survivors to light by leveraging the radio industry, breaking down the culture of devaluing and silencing women’s voices. Listen in to learn more about Chouchou’s journey to...


Power to Empower: Amar Singh on Male Allyship and Using Art to Spark Change

Owner of the Amar Singh Art Gallery, Human Rights Activist and Solidarity Council Member Amar Singh, sat down with Host Alyse Nelson to discuss men’s critical role in the fight for gender equality and his work in bridging the gender gap and championing women within the art space. As an art gallerist, Amar saw the blatant lack of representation of women in the arts and continues to pioneer a culture change by uplifting and showcasing women artists. Tune in to hear how Amar embraces his...


Power to Empower: Amanda Nguyen on Anti-Asian Racism and the Blueprint for Social Change

Civil rights activist and the CEO and founder of Rise, Amanda Nguyen sat down with host Alyse Nelson to discuss the recent rise in hate crimes against the AAPI community and how she uses her activism to advocate for more informed and collaborative change. Amanda reflects on how she got involved in activism, her work with Rise Justice Labs and the impact of social media in democratizing the voices of the voiceless. A strong believer in collective action, Amanda has constantly worked to use...


Power to Empower: Sara Minkara on Redefining Inclusivity for Empowerment

Advocate and disability and inclusion expert Sara Minkara sat down with host Alyse Nelson to discuss her approach to framing inclusivity as a value-based proposition and how we can all lead with empathy and without assumption. Sara, the founder of the non-profit Empowerment Through Integration (ETI), draws from her experience as a blind, Lebanese-American woman who, despite barriers intent on blocking her way to success, has refuted the need for societal validation and instead created her...


Power to Empower: Chelsea Miller on Black Activism & the Mobilizing the Youth for Change

Activist, Social Impact Strategist, co-founder of Freedom March NYC and all-round icon Chelsea Miller joined Host Alyse Nelson for a special Black History Month episode of the Vital Voices Podcast series: Power to Empower. Tune in to hear Chelsea share her thoughts on everything from mobilizing youth last summer following the murder of George Floyd to what’s happening on the frontlines of change, to her priorities to cement change and more. Listen to share in Chelsea’s share passion for...


Making an Unexpected Impact with Jessica Hubley and Leah Lizarondo

‘Leap and the net will appear.’ Vital Voices network women Jessica Hubley, CEO of AnnieCannons, and Leah Lizarondo, co-founder of Food Rescue Hero, sat down with Alyse Nelson to discuss the power of pivoting. In both of their careers, Jessica and Leah each took leaps of faith, changing their trajectories to make an impact in their communities. Despite uncertainty and barriers, they were able to transform fears of failure into positive learning experiences that helped them create new and...


Power to Empower: Saskia Nino de Rivera and Priti Patkar on Breaking the Cycle

President of the non-profit Reinserta, Saskia Niño de Rivera, and social worker and co-founder of the non-profit Prerana, Priti Patkar, sat down with Vital Voices Podcast host Alyse Nelson to discuss current barriers to achieving human rights for children around the world. Saskia and Priti explain their efforts to break the cycle of intergenerational violence by working directly with the children and parents involved, striving to ensure the balance of human rights is kept in line with the...


Power to Empower: Faith Florez on Building Legacy and Leadership

Young women will lead the way. That much is clear when speaking with women like Faith Florez, founder of the Latina Legacy Foundation and creator of the Calor App. Faith reconnected with podcast host Alyse Nelson to discuss the way that Faith’s family inspired her work protecting farm workers and informing them of their rights through technology. Faith explains how, through mentoring, seizing opportunities and passionate dedication, she’s grown her initial efforts into a platform educating...


Power to Empower: Donna Langley on Making Big & Bold decisions to create change

Donna Langley, Chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, joined Vital Voices Podcast host Alyse Nelson to talk about her journey from intern to Chairman, and how she forged her way through challenges by making a plan and pushing herself to the next level. Donna shares stories from her childhood, catalyzing moments from her career and how she uses compassion and empathy to lead others through crisis. Listen in to hear more about the intentional choices she’s made to keep the...