Episode 40: Feminist Maven Dr. John Erickson, Ph.D.


Episode 40 of the Mavens Do It Better Podcast features Director of Public Affairs, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, Dr. John Erickson, Ph.D.  John also serves as a commissioner on the California Commission on the Status of Women, having been appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2017. In addition to the commission, John serves as the President of the Hollywood Chapter for the National Organization for Women (NOW), a Planning Commissioner for the City of West Hollywood, a Board member for the ACLU of Southern California, a Board member for the National Organization for Women (NOW), and the Legislative Action Chair for Stonewall Democratic Club. 

John and Heather caught up virtually from West Hollywood, CA and Marina del Rey, CA.  

Listen in as John and Heather talk about: 

  • His involvement in helping start the Women’s March Los Angeles, with 800,000 people meeting and protesting in Pershing Square in 2017 and with 1.5 million people attending over the past 3 years – the most massive marches held in California. 

  • John’s work as the Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles and how the organization fights for reproductive healthcare and rights by making policy, connecting groups, people and organizations, and providing access to healthcare (low-cost, affordable care including education programs, advocacy, and health services). 

  • How men can and should be involved with women’s rights, health, and issues and what it means to him to be a feminist in the world. John shares his thoughts on how we get to true gender equality by looking at our privilege, using that privilege to make change, and understanding how patriarchy affects all of us no matter what gender.  

  • What a 501(c)(4) organization is and how non-profits work talking 501(c)(3) vs. 501(c)(4) - and how 501(c)(4)s are involved in political work and advocacy.   

  • A look into getting his Ph.D. from The Claremont Colleges in American Religious History focusing on the separation between sexuality and spiritually within the LGBTQ community from Stonewall to the fight for Marriage Equality. 

To follow John: LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram 

Organizations Mentioned: Planned Parenthood Los Angeles | ACLU of Southern California | Hollywood NOW | Stonewall Democratic Club 

Spare Time Activities: The Engaged Gaze | Pop! Culture Theologians Podcast 

John Erickson has a Ph.D. in American Religious History and holds two MA’s from Claremont Graduate University. He co-founded the digital publication the Engaged Gaze and the podcast Pop! Culture Theologians and regularly contributes to several online publications on the topics of LGBTQ history, feminism, masculinity studies, and American religious history. In addition to his academic work, John serves as the Co-Chair for the American Academy of Religion Western Region’s Queer Studies in Religion section and is on the steering committee for the American Academy of Religion’s Lesbian-Feminist Issues in Religion section.  

John was one of the main organizers of the Women’s March Los Angeles in 2017, 2018, and 2019 that brought together 1.5 million people to Downtown Los Angeles. He was also a coordinator for the #ResistMarch on June 11, 2017, that brought together 100,000 people to the City of West Hollywood. 

John is dedicated to being of service to his community and the causes he cares passionately about. 

Heather, Dr. John, and Zoe Nicholson at Women’s March LA 2019

Heather, Dr. John, and Zoe Nicholson at Women’s March LA 2019

Heather and Dr. John at Women’s March LA

Heather and Dr. John at Women’s March LA

Heather Newman

Heather Newman is an award-winning marketing maven, technology entrepreneur and an epic connector that brings many worlds together. She has extensive experience marketing products and services for Enterprise businesses, startups and emerging markets. Heather builds plans and processes that are nimble, human and different. She is an adept storyteller and is passionate about growth for both employees and the corporate bottom-line. Heather hails from the arts and the bulk of her career has been working with the largest technology companies in the world (Microsoft, Google, Amazon, NetApp, Hewlett Packard, and Dell). Her nineteen years of experience working at technology companies and building global high-tech marketing strategy has driven millions of dollars of revenue and multiple award-winning campaigns. She has led global marketing teams for many technology companies including AvePoint, IT Unity & KnowledgeLake. Heather was a part of the original Microsoft SharePoint Marketing team. During her tenure, she helped launch multiple versions of the product, build the SharePoint Partner Ecosystem and conceived of and produced the first three Microsoft SharePoint Conferences. Creative Maven has produced thousands of global marketing campaigns and events. Currently CM is focusing on go to market strategies for Microsoft and its partners as well as a new site sister site launching in 2015 called Marketingfixer.com. Heather also serves as Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Content Panda, an innovative technology startup looking to actively disrupt how content is delivered inside software.