Strategist Erica Payne Is No Shrinking Violet

“We truly, desperately need women’s voices and visions, as stewards in this country and the planet, to lend our visions and ideas to address the many problems that currently are facing our country and the world.”

About This Episode

Strategist and storyteller Erica Payne is a fearless advocate for economic justice. Known to “poke the bear,” as creator of some of the most powerful issue campaigns of the last decade, Erica has built a thought leadership platform that provides a trail of bread crumbs for how women can leverage their ideas and expertise to create meaningful change.

About Erica Payne

Erica is the President of the Patriotic Millionaires, founder of the Agenda Project and a member of the board of MAYDAY.US, an anti-corruption SuperPAC.

A fearless advocate for economic justice, Erica has appeared on dozens of media outlets, from NBC to Fox News. She is the author of The Practical Progressive: How to Build a 21st Century Political Movement, which Jonathan Alter of Newsweek called “a blueprint for a progressive conspiracy to help save the country.” She is the co-editor, with Dr. Rob Johnson, of ‘Make Markets Be Markets,’ a post-crisis analysis of financial regulation and the US banking system.

A political messaging expert, Erica’s creative portfolio includes Granny Off the Cliff, which has been compared to LBJ’s famous “Daisy and the Mushroom Cloud” ad; Romney Girl, which created an international incident with the Swiss government; and Republican Cuts Kill—a series of ads which blame GOP budget cuts for everything from Ebola to the lead poisoning crisis in Flint, MI.

Previously, Erica led a boutique consulting firm focused on developing the progressive intellectual and communications infrastructure and was instrumental in the founding of the Democracy Alliance.

Erica holds a MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (2000) and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1991).

In her words…

“One of the things that I hope that I can do as the founder of the Patriotic Millionaires, and as hopefully a political leader in some sense, is to encourage women to engage in issues of money and power.”

“There are so many women who are working full time who cannot afford their basic needs, much less the basic needs of their families. We’ve got to get that minimum wage up to a place where a person can work 40 hours a week and at least be able to afford a place to live, some food to eat and  their basic needs. It’s only if we’re able to do that, that we will have the freedom and ability to be able to raise our children to participate in our communities, to participate politically.”

“I try to stay focused on the fact that I truly, fundamentally believe that I am at least attempting to be a force for good in the world and if I can feel within my own moral construct that I am doing things that are intended to help people who are less fortunate than me, that are intended to bring some more equality, some more fairness, and some more decency to the world, I just have to stand by that.” 

“When you put yourself out there, you make yourself vulnerable, and we’ve seen that throughout social justice movements in the past. You challenge structures of power and money and you put yourself at risk.”

“I do think women are finding their power. That’s a wonderful thing to be a witness to. I think for us the goal is just to continue to encourage that in women who work for us and in women who we engage with. “

Questions Answered on this Episode

  • Patriotic Millionaires is focused on creating a more stable, prosperous and balanced nation. What do you see as the role of women?
  • As a woman, where do you think your voice is most needed and what’s the potential impact?
  • Where do you think your voice is most needed and what is the potential impact?
  • Why do you think women tend to shy away from conversations where they are wielding their influence?
  • What role does economics play in how a woman uses her voice in the social justice space? 
  • In thought leadership, vulnerability is important. When you’re introducing new ideas, you’re sharing a part of you, your unique perspective, and how you envision the possibilities for the world. Where do you find yourself most vulnerable in your work? 

Hey Ladies! 

In honor of the launch of our podcast, we are doing a contest! One lucky winner will be awarded registration to our She Roars Master Class. If you aren’t already familiar with She Roars, it’s our online thought leadership training program for women in nonprofits. For 8 weeks, you will spend time with Vanessa and other agents of change in the nonprofit community, working to build YOUR thought leadership platform.

All you have to do to win:

  1. Subscribe to the Social Change Diaries podcast on iTunes (link above)
  2. Leave a review on iTunes letting us know what you thought of episode 1, or suggestions for topics for future seasons
  3. Take a screenshot of the review
  4. Email the screenshot to [email protected]

The winner be announced November 15th and enrolled in our spring 2018 Master Class program. To learn more about She Roars, click here.