Francesca’s Substack
Writer's Voice with Francesca Rheannon
Steve Babson, THE FORGOTTEN POPULISTS & Lesléa Newman, ALWAYS MATT: A Tribute to Matthew Shepard

Steve Babson, THE FORGOTTEN POPULISTS & Lesléa Newman, ALWAYS MATT: A Tribute to Matthew Shepard

We learn about the first major US movement for economic democracy. Also, the enduring legacy of Matthew Shepard with Lesléa Newman.

Champions of Democracy: The Populist Movement of the 1890s

Join us as we explore the transformative impact of the Populist movement during the 1890s.

In this episode, we delve into the story of hard-pressed farmers and workers who sparked a movement that reshaped the nation's political landscape. In his book The Forgotten Populists:When Farmers Turned Left to Save Democracy, author Steve Babson reveals the historical roots of progressive change and the relevance of this movement to contemporary struggles against corporate profiteering and right-wing authoritarians.

About The Author

Steve Babson is a labor educator and union activist. He’s published seven books, including Working Detroit: The Making of a Union Town; Lean Work: Empowerment and Exploitation in the Global Auto Industry; and The Color of Law: Ernie Goodman and the Struggle for Labor and Civil Rights in Detroit.

The Enduring Legacy of Matthew Shepard

Heather Has Two Mommies author Lesléa Newman reflects on the 25th anniversary of Matt Shepard's murder as a pivotal moment for LGBTQ rights. Despite significant progress over the past quarter century, she notes the frightening backlash from rightwing hate groups threatening these gains.

Newman commemorates Shepard's legacy in her new book, Always Matt, emphasizing his aspiration to, as he said, “create a better, kinder, and more peaceful world for everyone.”

In this episode, we discover who Matthew Shepard was as a person, not just a victim, and why advocating for LGBTQ rights remains so important for all of us.

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Francesca’s Substack
Writer's Voice with Francesca Rheannon
Writer's Voice features author interviews and readings, as well as news, commentary and tips related to writing and publishing. We also talk with editors, agents, publicists and others about issues of interest to writers. Francesca Rheannon is producer and host of Writer's Voice. She is a writer, an independent radio producer and a broadcast journalist.