Building Equitable Pathways Podcast

About Building Equitable Pathways

Building Equitable Pathways is a coalition of 14 innovative intermediary organizations working to improve equity in postsecondary and career pathways. In the Building Equitable Pathways Podcast by Jobs for the Future (JFF), host Kyle Hartung speaks with leaders from across the country working at the intersection of education, training and workforce development. Together, they discuss the work their organizations are doing to create equitable pathways systems so that more Black and Latinx youth and young people experiencing poverty succeed in college and their future careers. We hope you will learn with us as we seek to increase our individual and collective capacity to transform and center racial equity in our education and workforce development systems.

Season 2

Season 2 Trailer

The Building Equitable Pathways Podcast by Jobs for the Future (JFF) is back! In Season Two, host Kyle Hartung from JFF and his guests explore the necessary conditions for transformative change and the stories of those working to create them. Together, they will interrogate the role of intermediary organizations in advancing equitable outcomes, identify opportunities to change the rules of engagement in our current systems, and sketch out a road map for establishing and upholding the conditions for change. Tune in this April as we advance a vision and practice for racial equity in education to career pathways.

Season 2, Episode 1

To kick of Season 2 of the Building Equitable Pathways podcast, host Kyle Hartung and his guests unpack how racism is baked into our current education and workforce systems and discuss tangible examples of what it looks like to push for change. They explore ways of strengthening racial equity practices through meaningful co-creation, challenging power dynamics, and building community. This episode features Joshua Johnson, director of Jobs for the Future’s National Innovation Hub for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Registered Apprenticeship and Natasha Harrison, Founder, President and CEO of Community Build Ventures.

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Season 2, Episode 2

In this episode of the Building Equitable Pathways podcast, host Kyle Hartung and guests explore the purpose of their work and the role of employers in addressing systemic inequity. They examine the positionality of employers in pathways systems, highlight possibilities for deeper engagement, and share examples of how building trust and learning together changes outcomes for young people and communities. This episode features Stephanie Peete, director of workforce development at Say Yes Buffalo, and Rukiya Curvey Johnson, executive director of the Rush Education and Career Hub (REACH) and vice president of community health equity at Rush University Medical Center.

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Season 2, Episode 3

Title: Partnerships That Challenge and Change Mindsets

Description: In this episode of the Building Equitable Pathways podcast, host Kyle Hartung and guests confront the challenge of trying something new—and the vulnerability needed to do explorative work in inequitable education and workforce systems. This episode features Obinna Onyeali, Director of K-12 Partnerships at CareerWise Colorado; Mark Tapy, Senior Talent Management Manager at Pinnacol Assurance; and Emily Takimoto, Manager of Launch Internships and Youth Apprenticeships at Denver Public Schools. Zooming in on their collaboration scaling modern youth apprenticeship in Denver, Colorado, together these leaders offer a multisector perspective of their journey introducing and championing a model that was outside the norms of their local ecosystem.

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Season 2, Episode 4

Title: Bringing Forward the Champions We Need

Description: In this episode of the Building Equitable Pathways podcast, host Kyle Hartung and guests explore the champions we need in pathways systems—who they are, how we find them, and what it means to champion something or someone in pathways work. This episode features Maud Daudon, executive leader at Career Connect Washington, and Sarah Bell, chief of industry exposure and experience at Youthforce NOLA, who discuss the importance of tapping into the passions—and elevating the voices of youth, community members, policymakers, and industry leaders to support change at scale.

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Season 2, Episode 5

Title: Learning Through and Toward Change

Description: In this episode of the Building Equitable Pathways podcast, host Kyle Hartung and guests reflect on how their practices in the education to career pathways space, individually and organizationally, have evolved over time in response to durable inequities in educational and career outcomes for youth. They share what they’ve learned along the way, what keeps them accountable to their learning, and their commitment to continued growth. This episode features Jennie Niles, President & CEO of CityWorks DC and Marie Mackintosh, President & CEO of EmployIndy.

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Season 2, Episode 6

Title: Five Years On: Lessons Learned and Vision-Casting for the Future

Description: In the season finale of the Building Equitable Pathways podcast, host Kyle Hartung and guests look back at the learning arc of the Building Equitable Pathways initiative to date, consider the evolution of intermediary positioning across the nation, and take stock of the work ahead to centering equity in education to career pathways at scale. The episode features Isa Ellis, Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Amy Loyd, Assistant Secretary, Office of Career Technical and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education.

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Season 1

Season 1 Trailer

Centering racial equity in our education and career systems requires changing the way we do our work, the way we make decisions, the way we talk about those we serve and support, and the way we name and frame challenges faced by youth. In this podcast series, host Kyle Hartung from JFF speaks with leaders from across the country working at the intersection of education, training, and workforce development. Together, they discuss the work their organizations are doing to reimagine and transform our systems in a way that advances a vision and practice for racial equity. We hope you will join us in this work of Building Equitable Pathways.

Season 1, Episode 1

The Fruit and the Root of Racial Inequity in Pathway Systems


In this episode, Kyle and his guests discuss the distinction between the fruit and roots of racial inequity in the U.S., and how they manifest in our education to career systems. They also explore what tackling these complex problems looks like in action and ideas for how to center racial equity in both process and outcome. Special guests in this episode include Clair Minson from Sandra Grace Consulting, and Josh Poyer from HERE to HERE in NYC, who are both members of the Building Equitable Pathways Community of Practice.

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Season 1, Episode 2

Supporting Equitable Change in the Education-to-Career Ecosystem

In this episode, host Kyle Hartung and his guests continue to explore the themes presented in episode one in a discussion about the imperative to enter the work of racial equity and systems building with both intentionality and patience. To make progress, our education and work systems need to reorient themselves to better engage in the collaborative design of strategies, and to also seek and listen to the voices of youth who live and work in our communities about what they need. The episode features Jon Furr, the Founder and Executive Director of Education Systems Center, and Michele Jacobs, the Senior Director of Youth Development at the United Way of Greater Atlanta who are both focusing on the racial equity work of Building Equitable Pathways.

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Season 1, Episode 3

The Power of Data: Advancing Equity-Centered Narratives

When it comes to racial equity work, it’s important that we continue to unpack the narratives that have influenced our systems today so we can craft a better story for tomorrow. In this episode, host Kyle Hartung and his guests explore the theme of storytelling, how it informs the work of Building Equitable Pathways and how data contributes to these narratives overall. As thoughtful leaders who have spent their careers thinking critically about these issues, Kyle’s guests Derek Niño, Associate Director at JFF, and Cate Swinburn, Co-Founder and President of YouthForce NOLA, share several key insights about the relationship between data and storytelling, centering people in our data practices, and shaping better equity solutions.

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Season 1, Episode 4

Moving the Needle: Change at the Nexus of Metrics and Process

In this episode, host Kyle Hartung sits down with guests Angela Freeman, Impact Analyst at the Rush Education and Career Hub (REACH), and Jenee Myers Twitchell, Chief Impact Officer at Washington STEM in partnership with Career Connect Washington, who are both focusing on innovations in data work and practice in Building Equitable Pathways. They discuss key metrics they focus on in their work, how they engage partners in the process of measuring, sharing, and acting on data, and how qualitative data in particular sheds light not only on what is happening in our pathways programs, but how they can be improved so that youth have a clearer path to educational and economic advancement.

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Season 1, Episode 5

Moving Together: Centering People and Justice in Equitable Policy

In this episode, host Kyle Hartung is joined by two policy experts and members of the JFF community of practice to discuss how equitable and data-informed practices become codified in our system’s policies to drive economic advancement, close equity gaps, integrate systems, and catalyze innovation. He sits down with Erica Cuevas, Associate Director at Jobs for the Future, and Luke Rhine, Associate Secretary, Workforce Support at the Delaware Department of Education, to hear about the work of developing equitable policies that are practical, aspirational, and imperative in this moment.

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Season 1, Episode 6

The Roads We Make by Walking: The Healthy Tension of a Changing Narrative

In the final episode of Building Equitable Pathways, Season One, host Kyle Hartung sits down with Amanda MacTaggart, the Director of Strategic National Partnerships, Network Engagement and Innovation for the Student Success Center at CSCU, Elizabeth Lindsey, CEO of Urban Alliance, and Dr. Kenyatta Lovett, the Managing Director of Higher Education, Educate Texas. They reflect on what experiences called them to this work, the commitments they hold about what needs to change, and how together we can collaborate differently to advance a vision for and of equity.

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