Welcome to Broken Office Chair, a new podcast produced by Alternatives. Broken Office Chair is hosted by Alternatives’ Executive Director, Bessie Alcantara, a Chicago native and a first-generation Salvadoran-Mexican American passionate about dismantling systemic racism. In each episode, Bessie will be joined by her friends and colleagues, who are ready to talk frankly about important topics such as issues in the nonprofit sector, racial equity, and DEI in practice. 


Episode 1: Ayoka Samuels (April 14th)

What it Means to be a Woman of Color in Leadership

In this episode, our host Bessie Alcantara sits down with Ayoka Knoell Mota Samuels to discuss their journeys of rising the ranks in nonprofits and the challenges that they faced as women of color in nonprofit leadership.

Episode 2: Ayoka Samuels (April 21st)

What it Means to be a Woman of Color in Leadership (pt. 2)

In this episode, our host, Bessie Alcantara, and Ayoka Knoell Mota Samuels continue their conversation about being women of color in nonprofit leadership. They discuss what it looks like to do work through an equitable lens and what it’s like to be role models for other women of color working in the nonprofit sector.

Episode 3: Hilesh Patel (April 28th)

What’s the Problem With Philanthropy?

In this episode, Hilesh Patel sits down with host Bessie Alcantara to discuss the Philanthropy sector, the nonprofit industrial complex, organizational DEI work, and creating a more equitable work culture.

Episode 4: Leslé Honoré (May 5th)

The Cost of Being Poor

In this episode of Broken Office Chair, Bessie Alcantara and Leslé Honoré chat about the cost of being poor, how their lived experiences influence their careers, and how society dehumanizes people facing poverty.

*Disclaimer: In this episode, Bessie and Leslé chat about their experiences facing poverty and how those experiences shaped their perceptions of what it’s like to fall below the poverty line. Since the recording of the podcast, we have learned that the use of the word “poor” further marginalizes and places blame on individuals. At Alternatives, we recognize poverty as a systemic issue and not the fault of any individual and want this opportunity to reflect our learning and how we are consistently working to be better.

Episode 5: Diana Castaneda (May 12th)

Anti-Blackness in the Latinx Community

In this episode of Broken Office Chair, Bessie Alcantara and Diana Castaneda share their experiences with anti-Blackness in the Latinx community. They cover everything from why they choose to say Latinx instead of Hispanic to their understanding and solutions to anti-Blackness in the latinx community.

Episode 6: Ozzie Godinez (May 19th)

Multicultural Marketing and Empowering Other People of Color in the Workforce

In this episode, our guest Ozzie Godinez and host, Bessie Alcantara, discuss performative activism in marketing, what genuine DEI looks like, how social change shifts marketing strategies, and much more.

Meet Our Host

Bessie Alcantara is executive director of Alternatives, Chicago’s leading provider of Restorative Justice and Behavioral Health services and capacity-building for schools and organizations. Bessie has over a decade of experience working with youth-serving organizations. As a bilingual, first-generation Salvadoran-Mexican American and Chicago native, Bessie is passionate about dismantling systemic racism and advocating for trauma-informed care and restorative justice programming for young Black and Brown Chicagoans.


Bessie Alcantara- Host

Catherine Best- Producer, Intro/Outro voice

Monica George- Producer 

Dave (Mixedmediaire)- Editor

Miguel Rodriguez- Artwork

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