Sally Kohn: CNN COLUMNIST + POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, POLITICAL ESSAYIST, SOCIAL JUSTICE POINEER + OUR HEROINE
ORIGIN: What sets your soul on fire?
Sally Kohn: People fighting for justice. I’m so moved when I see everyday Americans standing together, against all odds, to make their lives and communities better—whether it’s organizing against big factories polluting their air or against big banks corrupting our economy and political system. The fire in the bellies of the good people who work for a more fair and just world for all of us—that spark never fails to inspire me and warm my heart.
ORIGIN: What labels have been used to describe you and how do you use them for good?
SK: What haven’t I been called? Every antigay, misogynist, anti-Semitic, anti-liberal smear you can think of. I don’t think I can transform those smears; I can’t even repeat them! But I proudly embrace the identities beneath them. Hell yeah, I’m a woman and a lesbian and a feminist and a Jew and so many other things, and those identities are a source of pride and strength for me.
What haven’t I been called? Every antigay, misogynist, anti-Semitic, anti-liberal smear you can think of. I don’t think I can transform those smears; I can’t even repeat them!
ORIGIN: Any relating to your body or appearance? How did you transform them?
SK: I have never, not once, gone on television and not received some email or tweet or comment about my hair. Without fail. Isn’t that absurd? All it does is make me want to shape my bangs into a sort of middle finger-like sculpture.
ORIGIN: Why is it so important that we empower women + girls right now?
SK: That’s like asking why it’s important we breathe. Women are more than half of our globe, more than half of our promise and potential. And we have been not only underusing that resource but suppressing it. We are worse off—all of us, including men and boys—if our society is not developing and empowering 100% of the resources of humanity, including women and girls.
ORIGIN: What causes are you passionate about?
SK: There’s too many to list, but I would say that I think racial justice—and addressing the sick and enduring legacy of structural racism—remains one of the greatest challenges of our time, and one that’s particularly important for more and more white people to speak up about.