Many of the Democratic candidates are going after school choice on the campaign trail. Why are school choice parent groups treated differently by the candidates and media than other advocacy groups, and what do Democratic voters really think about school choice?

Joining She Thinks pop-up episode to discuss these topics and more is Erika Sanzi, a mother of three and a former public school teacher in Massachusetts, California, and Rhode Island. Erika has served on her local school board is a senior visiting fellow at the Fordham Institute. She blogs about education at Good School Hunting and is the chief editor at Project Forever Free.

On this week’s episode of She Thinks, we cover the ongoing situation in Hong Kong. The current crisis began in June when throngs of Hong Kongers took to the streets to protest the extradition bill. Millions have marched, many while carrying the American flag, asking for the same rights that you and I have. And their fight continues today. Jillian Melchior joins the podcast to explain the situation. She’s not only written extensively on this situation, but has spent time in Hong Kong and experienced firsthand the fight for freedom.

Jillian Kay Melchior is Editorial page writer at The Wall Street Journal. She’s a former fellow at IWF and has previously reported for National Review, the Franklin Center, The Daily, Commentary, the Wall Street Journal Asia, with freelance writings appearing in Cosmopolitan, The Weekly Standard, the New York Post and other major publications. Her foreign correspondence has also taken her to China, Iraq, Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe and Asia.

On this first She Thinks episode of 2020, we do something a little different. Instead of focusing on one policy issue, Hadley Heath Manning joins the podcast to give an overview of Independent Women’s Forum’s policy priorities for the New Year. We talk about how IWF determines what issues deserve their focus and the plan of attack for each.

Hadley Heath Manning is director of policy at Independent Women’s Forum and Independent Women’s Voice. She frequently comments on health care, entitlements, and economic policy and manages the organizations’ policy projects and publications. Hadley is also a senior fellow at the Steamboat Institute in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Hadley appears frequently in radio and TV outlets across the country and is a regular guest on Fox Business Network. Her work has been featured in publications including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, POLITICO, Roll Call, Real Clear Policy, National Review Online, and Huffington Post.

On our last episode of the year, we close with the topic of private giving. Americans are very generous, donating $428 billion in 2018 alone, but policy changes may have a widespread impact in the coming months. Patrice Onwuka joins us to talk about the threat of government officials and activists who want to control how we give, what we give to, and how much is available to give. // Patrice Onwuka, is a senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Forum. She has worked in the advocacy and communications fields for more than a decade. Prior to joining IWF, Patrice served as national spokeswoman and communications director at Generation Opportunity, and worked at The Philanthropy Roundtable and the Fund for American Studies in policy and media roles. And you probably have seen her on TV because she’s a frequent commentator on Fox News and Fox business.

Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) believes all issues are women’s issues. IWF promotes policies that aren’t just well-intended, but actually enhance people’s freedoms, opportunities, and choices. IWF doesn’t just talk about problems. We identify solutions and take them straight to the playmakers and policy creators. And, as a 501(c)3, IWF educates the public about the most important topics of the day.

Senator Joni Ernst joins to talk about the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. Senator Ernst introduced this important piece of legislation which aims to embrace a more modern, strong, and proactive approach to the current threats faced by young women and girls. She also discusses why she won’t accept any “mansplaining” by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer regarding the ongoing Violence Against Women (VAWA) bill.

Senator Ernst is a mother, a solider and a leader. From the start, she has taken on Washington and delivered on her pledge to “Make ‘em Squeal.” She became the first woman elected to represent Iowa in federal office, and the first female combat veteran to serve in the Senate. She relentlessly tackles the most pressing issues facing our country including continuing to grow the economy, cutting reckless spending, and keeping our nation safe and secure.

Dr. Everett Piper joins the show to explain the state of free speech in America, including censorship in academia and the dangers of our cancel culture.

Dr. Piper is the Author of the national best-seller, Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth. He served as president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University for 17 years and presently serves as a contributing columnist for The Washington Times. His commentary on religion, education, leadership and politics is featured in local and national media outlets coast to coast. His viral op-ed, This Is Not a Day Care, it’s a University, which became his second book, was featured by NBC Today as one of its top ten news stories of 2015.

Matt Warner, president of the Atlas Network, joins the podcast this week to talk about the issue of foreign aid. With approximately $50 billion American tax payer dollars sent overseas each year to help people in need, the question is, “Does foreign aid really work?” Or is the traditional government-funded model flawed, leading to waste and negative, unintended consequences? Matt answers those questions and provides insight as to what is the best way to help lift people out of poverty.

Matt is president of Atlas Network, a nonprofit organization connecting a global network of more than 475 free-market organizations in over 90 countries. Matt writes, speaks, and consults internationally on the topics of economics and institution building. His work has appeared in Forbes, Harvard’s Education Next, Real Clear Politics, Washington Times, among others. Matt is also the author of a new book called Poverty and Freedom: Case Studies on Global Economic Development.

IWF president Carrie Lukas joins to talk about our policy focus on paid—leave. While most employers offer paid leave to full-time employees, many lack sufficient paid time off. The main question we’ll explore is whether policymakers can help employees earn more and save for time off without growing government or discouraging employers from offering their own benefits.

Carrie L. Lukas is president of Independent Women’s Forum and Vice President for Policy and Economics at Independent Women’s Voice. She is the author of Checking Progressive Privilege and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism. Carrie’s writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The New York Post. She contributes to the National Review and

Gold star mom Karen Vaughn join us to share her story, her son’s story, and why she’s dedicated to bridging the gap between civilians and the military.

Karen Vaughn is the mother of fallen US Navy SEAL, Aaron Carson Vaughn (SEAL Team VI) who was killed in action in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011. Over the past eight years, Karen has emerged on the national scene as a powerful spokeswoman for not only our defenders still fighting on foreign soil and securing peace across the globe, but also as an advocate for a better, stronger, more resilient America. Karen is the bestselling author of World Changer: A Mother’s Story, she works with the non-profit her family began in honor and memory of her son, Operation 300, and a regular guest on news programs, interviewing with well over 100 national and local radio shows.

With public trust in the media at an all-time low, Carrie Sheffield joins the podcast to talk about media bias. We break down the causes and implications of “fake news,” the blurring of news reporting and opinion journalism, and name a few outlets that still present an unbiased view.

Carrie is a visiting fellow at IWF and serves as National Editor for Accuracy In Media, a citizens’ media watchdog whose mission is to promote accuracy, fairness and balance in news reporting. Carrie covered Congress for The Hill and served as a founding reporter at POLITICO. She won a Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship and has published in The Wall Street Journal, TIME, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, HuffPost, Bustle, American Spectator and Daily Caller.

Isaiah Washington is an actor, producer, and activist. You may know him from Spike Lee classics like Get On The Bus and Crooklyn or the TV show, The 100, but Washington is best known for his role as Dr. Preston Burke on the ABC medical drama television series, Grey’s Anatomy. Washington is also passionate about people thinking for themselves, and fighting back against the cancel culture. He joined the #WalkAway movement from the Democratic party and is a supporter of President Donald Trump, even attending a White House celebration this year of bipartisan criminal justice.

On this week’s episode, the director of Save Our States Trent England joins to discuss the Electoral College. With November 2020 only a little over a year away, there’s a national debate heating up over whether the Electoral College is still relevant. Trent joins to defend the Electoral College and explain why switching to a popular vote to determine our leadership would cause great harm to America’s rural communities.

Trent England is the director of Save Our States, is an expert on the Electoral College, and regularly testifies against the National Popular Vote as bills come up in various state legislatures around the country. From NBC News to NPR affiliates to BuzzFeed News, Trent is a sought after commentator on presidential elections. He has written for the Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, Daily Wire, and other publications, and is a contributor to two books—”The Heritage Guide to the Constitution” and “One Nation Under Arrest.” He previously hosted The Trent England Show and has guest hosted for Ben Shapiro.

Inez Feltscher Stepman joins the podcast this week to talk about the issue of free speech on college campuses.

With rising tuition costs and the increasing politicization of classroom space, public confidence in institutions of higher ed are at an all-time low. Inez breaks down where we are and why the free-speech victories in the courts are being ignored by many colleges and universities across the country.

Senator Marsha Blackburn joins the podcast this week to discuss the tough issue of Female Genital Mutilation, or what’s known as FGM. She and her colleagues in the Senate have made strides to protect young girls and women from FGM in the U.S., making it clear that Americans will not tolerate the abuse. Senator Blackburn gives an update on her legislation and recommends what else can be done to fully eradicate the practice. We also discuss her tenure in the Senate as well as her work as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Task Force where she’s tackling issues related to big tech.

Marsha Blackburn was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018, and is currently serving her first term representing the state of Tennessee. Before her election to the Senate, Senator Blackburn represented Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District. Her public service is dedicated to promoting opportunities for women and making America a more prosperous place to live. Marsha’s leadership philosophy is based on her experiences in the private sector as a small business woman and author, as well as being a mother and grandmother.