July 9, 2020
The world knows her as Trayvon Martin's mother. And she embraces that. But Sybrina Fulton is more than her greatest moment of pain. Now, after 7 years of fearless advocacy for victims of gun violence and racial injustice, she's running for office in Miami! Let's help make that happen!
July 8, 2020
Over 130,000 Americans have already died from the coronavirus. Now, it is surging across the country. Today, more than anything else, I am begging you to take it seriously. I've seen the costs up close and personal. Trust me - you don't want this thing in your life.
July 7, 2020
Did you see the video of the white man LOSING it on an elderly woman working at Costco because he was asked to wear a mask? That rage and that fragility were familiar. We've seen it all before. Today, let's talk about the true costs of white rage, white fragility, and toxic masculinity. It's deadly.
July 6, 2020
30 years ago, a group of people in one American city decided that they could do a better job than police at handling mental health and homelessness. So they built the solution and hundreds of thousands of 911 calls are now routed to their team. Listen and learn more. We can do this nationwide.
July 3, 2020
On Wednesday we launched Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commissions in 3 of America's largest cities. Today you can hear from the DA's who will be helping to lead the process.
July 2, 2020
Today I want to teach you one simple fact. It is the foundation for most of the work that I do. And I need you to understand the size and scope of the problem we're facing. The United States is the single most incarcerated nation in the entire history of the world.
July 1, 2020
The thing we call the justice system in this country is not broken. It's firing on all cylinders. So we must build new systems and new pathways to justice. Today, we are beginning just that. Learn more and join us at
June 30, 2020
It costs hundreds of millions of dollars. They have not stopped a single school shooting. And the police are brutalizing Black, Brown, and Native American children from coast to coast. They are handcuffing and arresting them. We must interrupt the school to prison pipeline. Here's how.
June 29, 2020
Studies show that support for the Black Lives Matter Movement has doubled since 2016. Even a majority of white people now say that they support the movement and its goals - which is groundbreaking. But what are we going to do with this momentum? Let's talk about it.
June 26, 2020
Shaun wants to introduce us all to one of his favorite people currently running for office: Cori Bush. On today's episode, he interviews Cori so that we can hear for ourselves what makes her so special. And even though she is running for office in Missouri, you can volunteer for her campaign WHEREVER YOU ARE. Let's go! CoriBush.Org
June 25, 2020
For my own safety, and the safety of my family, I had to expose this today. Here I include their names, their death threats and plans, and more. Who are you supposed to turn to in a moment like this? Police? The NYPD? The FBI? We felt like exposing them publicly was our best tool today.
June 24, 2020
Last night breakthrough leaders won elections across the country in the Democratic primaries. That's great news! But why is the Democratic Party fighting against them tooth and nail? Let's talk about it!
June 23, 2020
Yesterday I started a firestorm by saying that statues of the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jesus-figure should be taken down just like the monuments of slaveholders. The problem is that for tens of millions of white people, it's necessary for that Jesus, that Savior, to be white. And it has been used as a tool of oppression for hundreds of years. It's a problem.
June 23, 2020
Yesterday I started a firestorm by saying that statues of the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jesus-figure should be taken down just like the monuments of slaveholders. The problem is that for tens of millions of white people, it's necessary for that Jesus, that Savior, to be white. And it has been used as a tool of oppression for hundreds of years. It's a problem.
June 22, 2020
Last night, I read a brand new study on American policing and it has one stat that I think is the single most important stat of the year in American policing. I need you to learn it. I think it's so big that it will become a household stat that all of us who want serious change will memorize and quote from this point forward.
June 18, 2020
Something is happening in San Francisco that is truly revolutionary. I honestly didn't think it was possible. It's never been done before. But now we must do it all over the country.
June 16, 2020
Today I want to share a life lesson. I use it the best I can. Sometimes I fail, but this lesson has helped to keep me and my family whole for at least 10 years. I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me.
June 15, 2020
In many states where we've fought for justice, every single person in power was a Republican. We had to work with them. And sometimes we got results. Other times, everybody in power was a Democrat, and we got nothing. We have to be willing to work with whoever is in power to fight for change. Period.
June 12, 2020
We need you to know Sean Monterrosa's name. You might be tired, but we still have to fight when we're faced with such blatant injustice. Sean was unarmed, non-violent, and on his knees with his hands up when Vallejo Police Officer Jarrett Tonn shot him five times through the windshield of his car. Join us as we fight for justice for Sean.
June 11, 2020
For today, we are revisiting a throwback episode from June of 2019 where Shaun breaks down a Buzzfeed and Injustice Watch study called "Good Day for a Chokehold". The report gives us quantifiable proof that many American police are closet bigots by diving into the social media posts of thousands of officers. Shaun draws historical lines between past, present and future to break down exactly what we're up against.
June 10, 2020
Thousands of you asked Shaun to break down what it means to defund the police, so today, in simple terms, Shaun wants to unpack and explain it for you. Shaun supports it and thinks you should too.
June 9, 2020
Sick Empire is a brand new podcast that showcases the experiences of New Yorkers who operate daily within the epicenter of the COVID-19 health crisis. On today's episode of The Breakdown, Shaun formally introduces you to Sick Empire, and invites you to listen to the first episode. This is the most timely, important podcast out today -- join the conversation.
June 8, 2020
In our current uprising around the world, people are tearing down monuments to racism, bigotry, white supremacy, and slavery. They should all be torn down - including those of Washington and Jefferson in the United States.
June 6, 2020
Over the past 2 weeks, I have tried my best to ignore the constant lies about me, my work, my teams, our fundraising, and more. Today I will respond, with receipts and details, one last time. After that, you can lie about me, but that's on you.
June 3, 2020
The men who murdered Breonna Taylor must be held responsible. But we must change the laws and policies that caused her death in the first place. One way to start right now, is banning no-knock warrants. Let me break it down and give you action steps for today
June 2, 2020
Today, civil rights attorney Lee Merritt and I are launching The Grassroots Law Project and we need all hands on deck. Join us now @ and let's take our first action steps together
June 1, 2020
Ninety-nine years ago today, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, one of the most beautiful, prosperous, wealthy Black communities in the world was destroyed by terrorists. Today, with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, protestors across the globe, and the 1921 destruction of Black Wall Street in mind, Shaun teaches a lesson on how and why history repeats itself.
May 29, 2020
It's not enough to do good here and there. What do you believe about the world? What is your philosophy? Because that's what drives your actions - or lack thereof. Let's talk about it.
May 28, 2020
The systems and structures we are fighting against aren't a little corrupt, they were fully built to oppress us. They should be completely abolished. Let me tell you what that means for us in 2020 and beyond.
May 27, 2020
Today Shaun wants to teach you what may be his most important lesson on how we can actually abolish the systems and structures of mass incarceration and police brutality. We often fail in these attempts, because we don't actually know what we're tearing down. It's not one system. And we are choosing to believe that's good news. It's 30,000 microsystems. Let us explain.
May 25, 2020
Listen to today's episode on what Shaun thinks is the single most underrated civil rights issue of our time. It's the local budget of your city and county and how much of it is going to law enforcement. Did you know that the LAPD takes up over 50% of the whole Los Angeles General Fund? It's outrageous. And we have to fight back to make these budgets actually reflect what we need.
May 22, 2020
On today's episode of The Breakdown I want to take a minute to thank all of you for your hard work and support as we fought for justice for Ahmaud Arbery. We must celebrate the small victories, but keep on pushing.
May 21, 2020
Today we are beginning to learn how so many people knew Ahmaud was in their neighborhood. We also have new info on the shooter, Travis McMichael.
May 20, 2020
Today is a special check-in episode of The Breakdown. I'll tell you how I'm doing, and what I'm trying to do to manage the stress of the time we are in, but I also want to hear from you.
May 19, 2020
Today would've been the 95th birthday of our dear Brother Malcolm X. I want to play four of the most powerful clips of his speeches and interviews. They are also painful, because they shouldn't even be relevant anymore, but he literally could've said these things yesterday. Listen and learn.
May 18, 2020
Georgia should've already arrested William Roddie Bryan. But what we know is that we only get the justice we fight for. On today's episode, Shaun reveals new information about the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and gives us new action steps to take.
May 15, 2020
On today's episode of The Breakdown Live, Shaun walks through the extended details of Breonna's case and gives on update on Kenny's story as well. He then interviews Senate candidate Charles Booker, and does a very special segment with essential workers who are on America's frontlines. The Breakdown Live is an extended video version of The Breakdown Podcast. To see the video that accompanies this audio, you can go to
May 14, 2020
Kenny Walker was Breonna's boyfriend, and he is a hero. On the night police broke into his home, in plain clothes, unannounced, when he and Breonna did nothing wrong, he used his legally owned firearm to protect his family. Now he's foolishly being charged with attempted murder. This cannot stand.
May 13, 2020
Today is a day of action. On this special action steps episode of The Breakdown, Shaun gives us clear action steps and marching orders for how we stand with Breonna Taylor and her dear family. Let's go!
May 12, 2020
Nearly one month ago today, Breonna Taylor was brutally shot and killed by police in her own home as they executed a drug raid at the wrong address for a person they had already arrested earlier that day. Our fight for justice for her begins today.
May 11, 2020
Thanks to millions of you, we’ve achieved so many of our Action Steps for Ahmaud Arbery, but we can’t let up. Not at all. One man is still on the loose and we have more things worth fighting for. Let me tell you what’s next.
May 8, 2020
Today was the second episode of The North Star's new weekly video livestream - The Breakdown Live. It is an extended video version of this podcast which will feature interviews and more. On this episode, Shaun did a deep dive into Ahmaud's case and ends with Action Steps.
May 7, 2020
Today I am just checking on you. We are overwhelmed and I want you to lean in and grieve. It's OK to cry. It's ok to be angry. Let me talk you through it then let's walk or run together this weekend. Love you all.
May 6, 2020
After a shocking video of Ahmaud Arbery lynching was leaked, Shaun updates us on the grave injustice that occured in Brunswick, Ga and gives updated action steps. We need EVERYONE on deck!
May 5, 2020
Mega businesses are using the coronavirus crisis to take public money and then demolish vulnerable small and medium sized businesses. New legislation that we should all support halts all mega-mergers during the crisis. Today I unpack why we should all care.
May 4, 2020
This weekend was one of THOSE weekends where police were so brutal, in so many places, for no good reason, almost exclusively against Black folk, that it's clear to me that we are crossing a line where people are not going to take it much longer.
May 1, 2020
Across the country, millions of Americans are not going to be able to pay their rent today. We knew this day was coming. Just agreeing not to evict them this month is too little. Rent needs to be forgiven and covered by the government. Today I share a way to pay for it as well.
April 30, 2020
Please go to that website and call that number right now. We need ALL HANDS ON DECK as we begin the fight for justice for Ahmaud Arbery.
April 29, 2020
Yesterday in an interview w/ Naomi Campbell, Diddy spoke on how presidential candidates needed to have a strong agenda for Black people. I agree. We'll talk about that, a new bill being proposed in Congress, and I'll give an update on the Ahmaud Arbery case.
April 28, 2020
2 months ago two white supremacists murdered an innocent Black jogger in Brunswick, Georgia in broad daylight on a Sunday afternoon. We're demanding justice.
April 27, 2020
During this pandemic, I've struggled to figure out how to best help everyday people. One way that I am trying to help is by speaking at funerals across the country. Another, is by speaking at high school and college graduations. I've agreed to nearly 50 so far. Today I spoke at the graduation of the Fashion Institute of Technology. Here's my short address to the students.
April 27, 2020
During this pandemic, I've struggled to figure out how to best help everyday people. One way that I am trying to help is by speaking at funerals across the country. Another, is by speaking at high school and college graduations. I've agreed to nearly 50 so far. Today I spoke at the graduation of the Fashion Institute of Technology. Here's my short address to the students.
April 24, 2020
We are in a global pandemic and the President of the United States literally suggested that we should inject ourselves with disinfectant to kill the coronavirus. It may be the single dumbest, most dangerous moment of his presidency. Also, today is a dubious anniversary for the KKK. Shaun unpacks and explains both stories.
April 23, 2020
Now that we are in the middle of a global pandemic, this classic episode - which was first released on the day Dr. Ibram Kendi's book "How to be an Anti-Racist" came out - is more relevant than ever. The global pandemic that we're living in has crystallized who has privilege. Asian-Americans have become the target of countless acts of hate as bigots blame the coronavirus outbreak on them. Take time, as you're sitting at home, to ask yourself to what extent you are currently benefiting from racist structures & systems.
April 22, 2020
Leonard Carter had been granted parole after serving 30 years in prison. Advocates begged for him to be released. Cuomo ignored the calls. Leonard, with just weeks left on his sentence, died from the coronavirus.
April 21, 2020
A few weeks ago, as thousands of people began dying across the country from the coronavirus, Shaun noticed the despair as people posted that they could not even have a traditional funeral to grieve. Since Shaun had been a pastor for many years, he offered to perform eulogies or prayers for any families who needed it. Today was the first - for a great woman - Lucille Marie Scott.
April 20, 2020
This weekend, 33 year old Steve Taylor, a beloved father and son, was murdered by police at a Walmart in San Leandro, California. When Shaun hears about these horrible cases of police brutality, he runs the situation through, what he calls, the Taylor Swift test. Listen in as he breaks down what the Taylor Swift test for police brutality is.
April 17, 2020
Listen, I know during this pandemic you are fighting for your own survival. We all are. But I need you to understand that policies are being passed (and ignored) all over the country and what we do and do not fight for will inform what our government does during this time. Also, 5 years ago this week, Freddie Gray was murdered by the Baltimore Police. I speak some on his case.
April 16, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed that if the United States wants to spend trillions of dollars on something, it can at the drop of a dime. This proves that the US Government has always had money for reparations. Today, Shaun breaks down what this means about marginalized folx in this country and talks about the importance of Universal Basic Income.
April 16, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed that if the United States wants to spend trillions of dollars on something, it can at the drop of a dime. This proves that the US Government has always had money for reparations. Today, Shaun breaks down what this means about marginalized folx in this country and talks about the importance of Universal Basic Income.
April 15, 2020
Michael Thompson has served 26 years of a life sentence for selling some weed to a friend. Once. Michael is a senior citizen and has several underlying health conditions that put him at grave risk with the coronavirus sweeping across America’s jails and prisons. There is one person who can set him free: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. On today's episode, Shaun unpacks why, as she has risen to stardom in the Democratic party, Governor Whitmer has frozen out our pleas to free Michael.
April 14, 2020
A heartfelt thank you message to Bernie Sanders.
April 13, 2020
For a moment, it looked like police brutality was going to really slow down during the pandemic, but America is a police state. Today, let me unpack the Supreme Court case that really helps police get away with so much of their brutality.
April 10, 2020
Today Nancy Pelosi is suggesting that she may extend the congressional recess - which is outrageous. They need to find a way to get back to work. Shaun also has an important update on California's jails and prisons.
April 9, 2020
Right now, jails & prisons in the United States have the highest documented infection rates of covid-19 in the world. On today's episode, Shaun explains the concept of jail churn and breaks down how it shows up in our prison system, and contributes to the spread of coronavirus.
April 8, 2020
Once white conservatives in Wisconsin learned that the coronavirus was mainly impacting Black communities, they had no problem forcing the elections there today. Virtually every public health official and every mayor in Wisconsin begged the state to postpone their elections. When the Governor issued an emergency executive order to reschedule the election, the conservative state legislature and state Supreme Court each voted to overturn those decisions — forcing the elections to happen today anyway. This is so dangerous, and we can't look away. Our democracy is at stake.
April 7, 2020
As we learn that Black people and communities are being hit the hardest from the coronavirus, watch as white conservatives check out and stop caring. It's happening now in Wisconsin.
April 6, 2020
This episode is the first in a three-part-series on the Supreme Court cases that make police brutality functionally legal in the United States. Unfortunately, this episode is as relevant now as it was when it originally aired one year ago. This is essential education for yourself, your kids, your students. We must know the names of these Supreme Court cases so that we know what we're up against.
April 3, 2020
On today's episode Shaun will have an homage to the legendary Bill Withers, but first, will discuss disturbing new demographic data on who is dying from the coronavirus and talk about the crisis at our immigration detention centers.
April 2, 2020
On today's episode of The Breakdown Shaun tells us the story of the life, death, and courageous words of Scott Ryan - a bus driver outside of Seattle who told us in February what we were going to be facing. And Shaun gives action steps on what we need to be fighting for on behalf of essential workers nationwide.
April 1, 2020
Yesterday Shaun spoke with a man incarcerated at Rikers. Today he not only shares what he learned from that conversation, but describes the willful neglect at jails nationwide as a form of genocide. On the second half of today's episode, Shaun details how some cities are smartly using hotels to house the unhoused to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
March 31, 2020
Tomorrow, tens of millions of Americans will be kicked off of their health insurance and be unable to pay their rent. And the nation has done virtually nothing about it. Shaun breaks down what makes this moment so devastating and ends with an action step.
March 30, 2020
Today is no doubt a special day in American history, but does the 15th Amendment really do all we so often say it does? Shaun doesn't think so, actually. Listen and learn.
March 27, 2020
Today Shaun gives us clear action steps to stop the conviction of an innocent man BEFORE he is convicted. Then he gives us some commentary on the horrible bailout package that was passed and says what our country really should've done instead.
March 26, 2020
For months, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio have been ignoring the professional advice of virtually every civil rights, human rights and public health organization in the city in regard to the hellhole of a jail known as Rikers. On today's episode, Shaun breaks down how they have directly caused a completely avoidable catastrophe in Rikers and gives us some action steps.
March 25, 2020
Experts believe that within the next 10 days, the United States -- not China, Italy, or Spain -- will have the most cases of Covid-19 worldwide. On today's episode, Shaun breaks down seven reasons why African Americans are actually at a much higher risk of contracting the coronavirus as it spreads across the country.
March 24, 2020
In 3 straight polls, the majority of Americans now say they believe Donald Trump is doing a good job of handling the Covid-19 pandemic. The near complete absence of Joe Biden during this time created a vacuum for this to happen.
March 23, 2020
On today's special episode of The Breakdown we celebrate everyone who has come this far with us and hear from our listeners on what they love most about the podcast.
March 20, 2020
In the next few days, government leaders on every level are going to be making long term decisions on how to fight back against the coronavirus. We need to make sure we tell them what that agenda need to be.
March 19, 2020
We've entered into a phase of this pandemic where politicians and corporations are thinking on how they can use this crisis for their financial and political gain. Trump and conservatives are doing something that could prove perilous for Democrats.
March 18, 2020
Today is Shaun's daughter, Kendi, turns 18 years old, but is stuck in the house, with school canceled, and everything else canceled as well. Today, Shaun talks about how the coronavirus is going to impact not just his family, but America's children.
March 17, 2020
All over the country we need cities and states to immediately stop evictions and the shutting off of utilities. Smart cities are already doing this. Is yours?
March 16, 2020
Colleges and schools are closed. Thousands of businesses have shut down. People are afraid and they are out of work. We're forming our own mutual aid society to help one another. Listen and join us today.
March 13, 2020
The coronavirus is going to impact the most vulnerable people and communities among us. Today Shaun starts to unpack what that's going to mean for America's jails and prisons.
March 12, 2020
The NBA season was just suspended. Tom Hanks has the coronavirus. The NCAA tournament is going to be played without fans. And the President is still a complete idiot. Today will go down in history as the first day the entire nation fully understood the impact of the Coronavirus.
March 11, 2020
Today Shaun unpacks and explains the impact of colleges and universities shutting down for the coronavirus across the country. Also, he shares some thoughts on the elections yesterday and closes with painful audio of the aftermath of a police shooting in Raleigh. Plus, our first woman crush Wednesday segment.
March 10, 2020
On this special episode of The Breakdown Shaun unpacks and explains why The United States is in a particularly dangerous position with the coronavirus and what we can do about it.
March 9, 2020
Working with the family of Nate Woods this weekend, Shaun noticed one big difference between an execution and a case of police violence. Today he unpacks it for us.
March 6, 2020
Yesterday, the state of Alabama murdered an innocent man. On today's episode, Shaun unpacks this painful ordeal. We are devastated, but unfortunately we are not surprised.
March 5, 2020
In hours, the State of Alabama is set to execute a man they fully know never killed a single soul in his life. It's a legal lynching. Listen, then go to to fight back to stop this. We can't give up!!
March 4, 2020
Shaun unpacks and explains his thoughts on Super Tuesday, Bloomberg dropping out, and our fight to save Nate Woods
March 3, 2020
Today is Super Tuesday, but the biggest thing on my mind is saving the life of Nate Woods, who’s scheduled to be executed in this Thursday. We have new action steps for you to take at
February 28, 2020
Nathaniel Woods. Say his name. He is scheduled to be executed on Thursday, but he didn't even pull the trigger. Nobody says he did. And the shooter says he had nothing to do with the crime.
February 27, 2020
Months we learned that the Orlando Police arrested a 6 year old girl. You helped us get the officer fired. Today we see the video. Here’s what we do to prevent this from ever happening again.
February 26, 2020
The debate last night was a mess. Period. But today Shaun breaks down a high moment, a low moment, and says why the whole thing was bad for the Democratic Party.
February 25, 2020
Today Shaun reflects on the conviction of Harvey Weinstein for sex crimes, but offers what may be a surprising critique of the celebrations. Also, Shaun reflects on the words of Michael Jordan at the Kobe & Gigi Bryant Memorial.
February 21, 2020
Today we begin making phone calls for Myon Burrell. Don't worry, I'll talk you through all of it.
February 20, 2020
It’s up to us to free Myon Burrell! 17 years ago, Myon was charged and convicted of a murder that he did not commit. He is completely innocent, and has been in prison since 2002. We can't just stand by. Today Shaun lays the framework for how we will free him. Listen for two action steps that should leave us looking within. Visit right now for more details.
February 18, 2020
In 2002 a teenage boy named Myon Burrell was arrested for a murder he had absolutely nothing to do with. Today we will begin our efforts to educate you on his case and then building a campaign to set him free.
February 17, 2020
Today Shaun not only breaks down a very transparent after-show moment Trevor Noah had discussing the brutality of Mike Bloomberg, he plays the key audio clips of Bloomberg that Trevor is addressing.
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