As a young girl growing up in the South, I learned that remarkable conversations with interesting people can happen in the simplest of places – whether it’s a balcony, deck, patio or stoop. For me, it was the front porch, a place where my family, friends and local leaders regularly met to discuss important issues impacting our communities. Throughout my career in journalism and today, as the Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer Officer of Verizon, I have carried this spirit of meaningful dialogue forward into my work. When we were building Citizen Verizon, our responsible business plan, we had many weighty conversations that led us to create a social impact strategy integrated across our enterprise and focused on several of today’s most challenging social issues — such as digital inclusion, workforce development and climate justice. I’m thrilled to share that the conversations on the porch from my youth also inspired a new podcast – “On the Porch with Rose Stuckey Kirk” – that my team at Verizon and I have created, launching today on a variety of platforms including Apple, Spotify, iHeart, Google and Audacy. My first guest is Ruby Bridges, the historical and civil rights icon, author and speaker and someone I’ve admired throughout my life. Her courage as the first child to walk up the steps of the all-white William Frantz Elementary School, starting the desegregation movement in New Orleans, has stayed with me. And now, 61 years later, I had the chance to invite Ruby to my porch. Take a listen and hear how this historic moment shaped and fueled her passionate activism and advocacy for education equality. Join me, won’t you?