Reproductive justice advocate, aspiring lawyer, and recent graduate Hannah LeBaron has been an active member of Corporate Accountability for several years. We were excited to sit down with Hannah and talk about the roots of her passion for challenging corporate abuse, how she has stayed connected with organizing through the pandemic, and her vision for the future. The interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Where does Corporate Accountability fit into your movement work?
I first became involved with student activism while studying at Dartmouth College. I was mostly organizing around issues relating to reproductive justice, but I eventually branched out and started organizing more directly in the community, focusing my activism on abortion access and prevention of sexual violence on campus.
Like a lot of people, COVID-19 cut me off from the communities I was organizing in and with. This was happening at the same time as the widespread protests in defense of Black lives, and in the context of so much isolation, I felt extremely emotional and was itching to get back into any kind of productive space to continue the movement work I was already involved in – and that’s how I became introduced to Corporate Accountability.
What led you to support Corporate Accountability?
It all started with my involvement with the Giving Circle, which is a group of young people who meet regularly over the course of several months to learn about corporate campaigning and how to mobilize resources for Corporate Accountability’s and our allies’ campaigns. I was inducted into this group in early 2021. As a Cognitive Studies and Gender Studies double major, I focused a lot of my academic work on the intersectionality of different issues. I generally knew about the broad themes of Corporate Accountability’s different campaigns, but through the Giving Circle, I learnt more about the deep and insidious impacts of corporate abuse and manipulation in different industries, and how that affects people everywhere.
What has been the most meaningful part of your involvement with the Giving Circle?
It’s fueled my belief in a multi-pronged approach to activism. Working directly with affected communities is important, but so many of our movement counterparts also need the financial support to continue organizing, especially at the local levels. Becoming involved with the Giving Circle has led me to think about how I can commit to philanthropy in strategic ways, and it’s given me confidence to connect with other young folks in my position and discuss how we can all make this commitment together.
What does it look like when we win?
One thing I’ve learned from doing this work is that we’ll always be fighting an uphill battle – and we’ll always keep going. No matter how many losses we take, we’re not going to care any less about what we’re fighting for. In fact, we’ll care even more. And the act of organizing is making our vision for a more equitable world a tangible reality.
At the end of all this, I want all of us to have equitable access to the privilege of possibility. We have the power to be so radical in our imagination of the future, and together, we’re taking risks to bring this vision to life. So for me, winning is experiencing things we’ve never had the opportunity to conceptualize before. It’s tackling projects together that people have cast aside, taken for granted, or dismissed as unrealistic. It’s full of creativity and courage, and joy and openness – and a world where we are all in a position to dream and achieve those dreams with the means and opportunities that are made equal and available to all.
Learn how members of the Corporate Accountability Giving Circle have channeled resources and mobilized friends and family toward powering the corporate accountability movement: Zak, Jessie, Kay, and Sam.