Community Leader and Philanthropy Powerhouse Chanda Smith Baker Relaunches  Conversations with Chanda Podcast 

New season releases with the leadership stories of authors, social justice advocates and public figures Isabel Wilkerson, Maya Moore Irons, Jonathan Irons and Keith Ellison

(MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA) Chanda Smith Baker is back with a fresh take on her award-winning Conversations with Chanda podcast. The first guests of the relaunched series will include the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist/author Isabel Wilkerson, four-time WNBA Champion, six-time WNBA All-Star and former Minnesota Lynx superstar Maya Moore Irons and her husband Jonathan Irons, and Minn. Attorney General Keith Ellison. The new season will begin on Friday, July 14, 2023, publishing on all major podcast platforms.

“The podcast will continue to tackle the issues communities wrestle with — race, social justice, philanthropy — but we’ll dive even deeper into our guests’ personal stories of leadership and community,” says Smith Baker, the host and co-producer of Conversations with Chanda. “We will explore what drives them to use their voice, leadership and resources to make a difference.” 

A nationally respected CEO, philanthropist, community leader and entrepreneur, Smith Baker began recording the Conversations with Chanda podcast in 2019 as the chief impact officer and senior vice president for The Minneapolis Foundation. The podcast was part of Smith Baker’s focus to bring the Foundation closer to the communities they serve and to listen to diverse points of view as a regular practice.  

Smith Baker brought both her executive leadership experience in philanthropy and the credibility of a life and career spent advancing equity to Conversations with Chanda. Her interview style, rooted in her natural curiosity and deep knowledge of community issues, struck a chord both locally and nationally. The podcast attracted entrepreneurs, philanthropists, business leaders, and notable national public figures such as former US Attorney General Eric Holder; scholar-activist, speaker and cultural consultant Dr. Yaba Blay; CNN host/contributor and New York Times bestselling author Van Jones; and academic, historian and author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America Richard Rothstein; and many others. In its inaugural year, Conversations with Chanda won the 2019 North American SABRE Award for Executive Leadership and grew a global audience. Smith Baker left the Foundation in June to launch an executive coaching and strategic consulting firm and to further cultivate Conversations with Chanda.

“What began as a communication tool evolved into a reflection of my own heart,” said Smith Baker. “Hearing how one person’s journey and decisions can make a difference is profoundly powerful. I’ve dedicated my life and career to driving impact in and for community, and I want to continue amplifying those stories by growing the reach and influence of Conversations with Chanda. I want to explore wider, dig deeper and celebrate what is important to our communities today and for our future.” 

In addition to being available on every major podcast platform, Conversations with Chanda also broadcasts on Twin Cities radio station KMOJ 89.9 every Sunday at 11 am and Thursday at 6 pm.

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