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Activist Brittany Packnett Cunningham On How To Promote Real Change In 2021

Taiia Smart Young
·1 min read

Go Off, Sis, the podcast from Refinery29’s Unbothered, is back for more unfiltered and unshakeable conversations. And this time, season 4 is devoted to celebrating how Black women have leveled up, hustled, and prospered despite 2020’s racial reckoning and this here “panorama” or “panini.”

In the first episode, Brittany Packnett Cunningham joins R29’s brand VP Chelsea Sanders and senior editors Stephanie Long and Kathleen Newman-Bremang in their safe space, ready to give Black women their flowers. An educator, writer, activist, and podcaster, Packnett Cunningham is as known for snatching edges on social media and IRL as she is for motivating people to meet her at the intersection of culture and social justice through call-to-action posts on Twitter and Instagram. But she wants to make something clear: She’s not after the limelight.

“I’m not an influencer,” Packnett Cunningham says. “I’m not somebody whose livelihood depends on how many people liked and shared my photo. I’m somebody who tries to help activate other people to participate in changemaking.”

Two of the ways she’s doing this is with her forthcoming book We Are Like Those Who Dream and her Undistracted podcast, which features “untrending news”: stories about Black Trans Power, napping as a form of protest, and “prison abolition.” The podcast, ultimately, is a way “for us to have disciplined-enough hope to get clear on the scale of the problem and remind ourselves of our collective power and ability to change it,” Packnett Cunningham says.

For more on how this activist is using her mic to amplify messages for the greater good, listen to the full episode, below.

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