August 4, 2020

EP. 173 — Am I A Self-Karen? with Ashlee Marie Preston

Do you know where your donor dollars and time are actually going? Activist, thought leader, and founder of the social impact campaign YouAreEssential Ashlee Marie Preston joins Jonathan to discuss the trillion-dollar industry that is the US non-profit sector, the ways in which non-profit organizations can undercut to the aims of grassroots political movements, and how we can work to dismantle a system that doesn’t always serve the communities it claims to protect.

Follow Ashlee Marie Preston on Instagram @ashleemariepreston and Twitter @AshleeMPreston. Learn more about YouAreEssential at, or on Instagram and Twitter @YAEOrg.

Find out what today’s guest and former guests are up to by following us on Instagram and Twitter @CuriousWithJVN.

Transcripts for each episode are available at

Check out Getting Curious merch at

Listen to more music from Quiñ by heading over to

Jonathan is on Instagram and Twitter @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.


JVN [00:00:00] Welcome to “Getting Curious.” I’m Jonathan Van Ness and every week, I sit down for a 40 minute conversation with a brilliant expert to learn all about something that makes me curious. On today’s episode, I’m joined by the activist and founder of YouAreEssential Ashlee Marie Preston, where I ask her: “Am I A Self-Karen?” Welcome to “Getting Curious.” I’m so excited to officially welcome Ashlee Marie Preston for our first like, like, I’ll hold up air quotes and say “official” “Getting Curious” episode.    ASHLEE MARIE PRESTON [00:00:29] Yes is happening. It’s happening.    JVN [00:00:32] We, I got to meet you for, initially from doing the New York City Pride event that you had so graciously invited me to be a part of. And that was when we first got to kind of really connect in real life. And since then, I’ve just been continually blown away by your brilliance and your activism. And you kn

Recent Episodes

See All

March 22, 2023

Ninety-five years ago, the world’s first television station launched in upstate New York. And this week, we’re celebrating the small screen with a TV legend: World of Wonder’s Fenton Bailey!

March 16, 2023

We’re back with the second half of our special two-part episode about algorithms and artificial intelligence, featuring returning guest Meredith Broussard.

March 15, 2023

Every time you interact with a targeted advertisement, use a drop-down menu, or scroll through TikTok, you’re engaging with an algorithm. And these algorithms are anything but objective.