Uncommon Ground with Van Jones

Amazon Music | Van Jones

Are you concerned about the future? Tired of divisiveness? Join political commentator and changemaker Van Jones on a journey to find unifying solutions to our country’s biggest problems. Each week, Van and his guests explore topics that affect us all—from climate change to prison reform, from voting rights to political polarization. In Uncommon Ground with Van Jones, you’ll hear inspiring, hopeful and unique perspectives on what it takes to create meaningful change in a divided nation.

New episodes of Uncommon Ground with Van Jonesrelease weekly, every Wednesday.


How to Avoid Civil War in the US with William Ury
21-09-2022
How to Avoid Civil War in the US with William Ury
“I've seen situations, which are far worse than our situation, where the impossible became possible. I saw the Berlin wall come down. I was in South Africa in 1989 when Mandela was still in prison. And within six years there was an astonishing political transformation in South Africa. Even in the Middle East, Israel and Egypt forged a peace that endures to this day, 40 years later.”Tensions and polarization within the US are increasing. Many people are wondering: could we be heading toward a civil war? And more importantly, what can we do to avoid that outcome? This week, Van sits down with peacemaker and negotiation expert William Ury, who has spent his career trying to address hostility between parties in conflict-ridden areas. He knows exactly what it takes to address deep-rooted disputes in hopes of finding a positive way forward. In this episode, William teaches us how to identify an impending conflict, and what we can do about it. In a time of uncertainty and high stakes, William’s wisdom, expertise and cautious optimism are sorely needed. New episodes of Uncommon Ground with Van Jones release weekly, every Wednesday.What would an ideal America look like to you? How can you restore trust in the institutions and communities around you? Call 347-770-2785 and leave Van a voicemail. Your comment or question will be recorded, and may be played and answered on a future episode of Uncommon Ground!See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
How to Thrive in a Changing World with Arianna Huffington
14-09-2022
How to Thrive in a Changing World with Arianna Huffington
“Failure is not the opposite of success. It's a stepping stone to success. If we're lucky, we get 30,000 days to play the game of life. How we spend those 30,000 days depends on what we value. And if we are disconnected from our spiritual essence, it is so much easier to value things that will never really fulfill us.”This week, Van is joined by Arianna Huffington – renowned author, entrepreneur, media personality and one of Van’s most influential mentors. Arianna is no stranger to transformation. She was born in Greece, moved to England and eventually the United States. She's been a Republican and a Democrat. She founded the revolutionary media business The Huffington Post, and is now leading the behavior change tech startup Thrive. Arianna is a master of self discovery, reinvention, and doing work that has a real impact on our world. All of this makes Arianna the perfect person to answer the question: how can we change for the better, while staying true to ourselves? In this episode, Arianna speaks about the importance of spirituality in her work, and her views on the state of politics today. If you are trying to figure out how to take better care of yourself while also making a big difference in the world, there is no better mentor to guide you than Arianna Huffington. New episodes of Uncommon Ground with Van Jones release weekly, every Wednesday. How are you trying to transform? What role does spirituality play in your daily life? Call 347-770-2785 and leave Van a voicemail. Your comment or question will be recorded, and may be played and answered on a future episode of Uncommon Ground!See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
How to Combat Anti-Asian Hate with Lisa Ling
24-08-2022
How to Combat Anti-Asian Hate with Lisa Ling
“Because there were so few people who looked like me in my business throughout my career, I've been so cautious about drawing attention to my ethnicity, to my gender. To bring these issues to the fore has been very uncomfortable, but necessary. I hope that I've inspired people in my own community to no longer be content to sit on the sidelines. It's been an incredible experience to see this community come together.” Lisa Ling is a beloved and gifted journalist and TV star. Since the age of 18, she has traveled the world as a reporter. Lisa's reporting always gets to the human heart of the stories she uncovers. She is a bright star within the Asian American community. But in the wake of COVID-19 – as violent attacks and other racist activity against Asian-Americans skyrocketed – she stepped up into an even more powerful and visible role. This week, Van and Lisa talk about the impact of anti-Asian racism and how the Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) community has come together. They bond over the often overlooked but rich history of solidarity between Asian and African Americans in the United States. Tune in to hear what true solidarity sounds like, how we can come together in times of violence, and why it’s so important that we recognize our shared goals. #StopAsianHate New episodes of Uncommon Ground with Van Jones release weekly, every Wednesday. Is there a community outside of your own that you can support? How can you use your voice to uplift and protect those who don’t look like you? Call 347-770-2785 and leave Van a voicemail. Your comment or question will be recorded, and may be played and answered on a future episode of Uncommon Ground!See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
The Next Gen TikTok Star Reinventing the News with A.B. Burns-Tucker
17-08-2022
The Next Gen TikTok Star Reinventing the News with A.B. Burns-Tucker
“You have a bold generation now that you can tap into. Younger people. They are ready to go toe-to-toe with whomever on an idea that they feel passionate about. And a lot of the ideas could help us be the America that we claim to be.” TikTok is becoming the social media home of a new generation of activists, while older folks debate politics on Facebook and Twitter. The rules and expectations are totally different on this newer platform. Nobody has found their political voice or footing more powerfully than A.B. Burns-Tucker.A.B. was a law student when she exploded onto the scene thanks to her ingenious TikTok videos. She explains current events and big news stories, but does so using Ebonics or AAVE (African American Vernacular English). To some this sounds like a gimmick, but A.B. is reaching an audience that has traditionally been ignored by the mainstream media. In this week’s episode you’ll hear what inspired A.B.’s journey to law school and her path to becoming a TikTok star, and in the process learn a lot about the next generation.You can find A.B.’s TikTok videos @iamlegallyhype. New episodes of Uncommon Ground with Van Jones release weekly, every Wednesday. What does your community need to hear more of? How can you be a translator across communities? Call 347-770-2785 and leave Van a voicemail. Your comment or question will be recorded, and may be played and answered on a future episode of Uncommon Ground!See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Unapologetic Joy with Billy Porter
03-08-2022
Unapologetic Joy with Billy Porter
“To be queer and come out in 1985 when I'm 16 years-old, and be thrust into the AIDS crisis and fighting for our lives on the front lines…Silence does equal death...I don't know anything else, but to fight. I do understand that as a queer Black man in this space who has been unapologetic from the beginning, there is a responsibility for me to continue to speak my truth.” The incomparable Billy Porter does it all! He’s an Emmy, Tony, and Grammy award-winning actor, singer, producer, director, composer, and playwright. Billy is a cultural icon and a trailblazer on issues of race, sexuality, and gender. On top of all that - he’s an activist. For most of his life, Billy has been spreading awareness about the HIV/AIDS epidemic and demanding action. And he’s done all of this while daring to live his truth.In this episode, Van and Billy sit down to talk about Billy’s impact on the culture and the way his career has been intertwined with activism. This is a conversation filled with wisdom and laughter. It is proof of the fact that despite the pain he has endured, Billy infuses his life and work with joy.New episodes of Uncommon Ground with Van Jones release weekly, every Wednesday.How do you infuse joy into your work? What activist traditions do you pull from? Call 347-770-2785 and leave Van a voicemail. Your comment or question will be recorded, and may be played and answered on a future episode of Uncommon Ground!See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
A Christian and an Atheist Search for Common Ground with Sam Harris
27-07-2022
A Christian and an Atheist Search for Common Ground with Sam Harris
“While people are occasionally motivated to do wonderful things on the basis of their faith, faith generally speaking provides bad reasons to do good things when good reasons are actually available.” Can a Christian and an Atheist have a civil and constructive dialogue about the future? For the past 20 years, neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris has been one of the leading thinkers of the New Atheism Movement. Van Jones, on the other hand, is a man of deep Christian faith. Despite this seemingly stark divide, Sam and Van both share an interest in life’s big questions: How can people come together to create positive change? What does it mean to live a good life? How do people achieve a sense of belonging, especially during times of crisis? In this episode, Van and Sam confront their differences as they discuss the pitfalls of dogma in religion and atheism. They both affirm the importance of some form of spiritual practice - whether through religious worship or through meditation and mindfulness. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of belief, there is something for you in this episode.. New episodes of Uncommon Ground with Van Jones release weekly, every Wednesday.What are your views on religion? How much of a role does rationality play in your day-to-day life? Call 347-770-2785 and leave Van a voicemail. Your comment or question will be recorded, and may be played and answered on a future episode of Uncommon Ground!See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Abortion: What Can the Left & Right Agree On? with S.E. Cupp
29-06-2022
Abortion: What Can the Left & Right Agree On? with S.E. Cupp
“I am pro-life. But Roe is a 40-year-old legal precedent. Respecting the rule of law, means I accept the decision. I don't want to celebrate abortion, but I don't want to demonize it, either. I'm the majority. It has never felt so lonely to be in a majority.”S.E. Cupp is back – this time to discuss abortion. Van is a pro-choice progressive. S.E. is a pro-life conservative. One might expect fireworks!But in this episode, S.E. lays out a nuanced, sophisticated and emotionally intelligent perspective on the topic. She challenges people on every side of the issue – while showing empathy for all sides. She may be the one pro-life conservative that every progressive needs to hear from.The discussion also reveals surprising areas of common ground. For example, Van and S.E. both are concerned about the SCOTUS draft decision, which would overturn Roe v Wade. Together, they examine what it means when the will of the majority is ignored by the government, and what could happen next.NOTE: Van and S.E. had this conversation after the Supreme Court draft decision was leaked, but before the official ruling came down. But their discussion could not be more relevant, timely or penetrating.New episodes of Uncommon Ground with Van Jones release weekly, every Wednesday.What does the Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade mean for you? What do your conversations around abortion sound like? Call 347-770-2785 and leave Van a voicemail. Your comment or question will be recorded, and may be played and answered on a future episode of Uncommon Ground!See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Should We Give Land Back to Native Americans? with Xiuhtezcatl Martinez
15-06-2022
Should We Give Land Back to Native Americans? with Xiuhtezcatl Martinez
“If we want to address the climate crisis, we have to heal our relationship with the land. And part of that looks like returning lands to indigenous people.”Within the movement to solve the climate crisis, there is a generational divide. Established leaders are doggedly working within the system. But younger activists want FASTER progress — and deeper changes.After all, young people will have to face the greatest effects of climate change. They feel the URGENCY — and thus often have some of the boldest, most innovative solutions.For example: Van’s guest this week, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, believes that we need to return land back to indigenous stewardship. Xiuhtezcatl is 22 years-old, and he has been an environmentalist and climate activist since he was a child. Xiuhtezcatl shares how his indigenous roots have shaped his activism. A rising star (a term he hates), he is popularizing ideas that may help redefine how we think of the climate crisis.Get ready to go deep! This isn’t a surface debate about the Left versus Right. It’s a passionate discussion about the land itself — and what a new generation believes it will take for humanity to survive.New episodes of Uncommon Ground with Van Jones release weekly, every Wednesday.What assumptions are you challenging? What do you wish officials knew about your own community? Call 347-770-2785 and leave Van a voicemail. Your comment or question will be recorded, and may be played and answered on a future episode of Uncommon Ground!See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Black Activist from a White Trump Family Drops Gems! with Shaun King
08-06-2022
Black Activist from a White Trump Family Drops Gems! with Shaun King
“People asked me hard questions. They asked, if Trump wants to do a press conference with you about Rodney Reed’s case, would you appear with him – if it meant stopping the execution of Rodney Reed?”If you know Shaun King, you know him as one of America’s staunchest advocates for racial justice in the digital age. One of the most controversial as well. After all, his viral videos have transformed the global conversation about police misconduct and racial violence.But you may not know that Shaun has white family members who supported Donald Trump. You may not know that he is from rural Kentucky, not urban America. And you may not know that, to save a man’s life, he once joined forces with the ultimate Republican — Ted Cruz.In other words, Shaun is way more complex and nuanced than any 2-dimensional media image — and so are his strategies for making real change.In this episode, Shaun shares with Van how he balances and leverages ALL the aspects of his life to make a difference. And he reveals the brutal, tragic origin of his unending passion for justice. Join these two leaders for a conversation about what it really takes to win the fight for change. New episodes of Uncommon Ground with Van Jones release weekly, every Wednesday.What assumptions are you challenging? What do you wish officials knew about your own community? Call 347-770-2785 and leave Van a voicemail. Your comment or question will be recorded, and may be played and answered on a future episode of Uncommon Ground!See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Crime & Police Abuse Are BOTH Out of Control: Now What? with Bill Bratton
18-05-2022
Crime & Police Abuse Are BOTH Out of Control: Now What? with Bill Bratton
Violent crime is on the rise across the country; relationships between community members and police remain strained and fractured. While we can all agree that something needs to be done about this, the question is - WHAT? Should we defund the police – or give them more money? Should we abolish the police – or increase police presence? Are there other solutions that too few people are talking about?This week, Van Jones tackles these questions and more with Bill Bratton, the former police commissioner of New York City, Los Angeles, and Boston. Bratton was associated with the controversial “Broken Windows” and “Stop & Frisk” approaches. Later in his career, he experimented with more community-based approaches to policing. He talks about his decades of law enforcement experience with surprising candor and self-reflection. Van (a criminal justice advocate) and Bratton (a former Top Cop) discuss what it takes to build trust in police, while making our communities safer.No matter where you sit in the national debate over policing, Bratton’s observations and proposals may surprise you.New episodes of Uncommon Ground with Van Jones release weekly, every Wednesday.What assumptions are you challenging? What do you wish officials knew about your own community? Call 347-770-2785 and leave Van a voicemail. Your comment or question will be recorded, and may be played and answered on a future episode of Uncommon Ground!See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at