The Takeaway

The Takeaway


A fresh alternative in daily news featuring critical conversations, live reports from the field, and listener participation. The Takeaway provides a breadth and depth of world, national, and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.


Overincarcerating Women and Girls Can't Be What Healing Looks Like

Data from The Prison Policy Initiative shows a recent rise in the number of women and girls in confinement. "Fueled by more than five decades of a misguided and failing “war on drugs”, the US leads the world in the incarceration of women. Today, more than half of American states have legalized or decriminalized marijuana.  Even as it might seem that the war on drugs is drawing to a close, its brutal policies continue to create havoc in the lives of American women," said The Takeaway host Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry, author of Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, and the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair of Politics and International Affairs at Wake Forest University. "The intersection of gender, poverty and incarceration is not race neutral," and women’s pathways to confinement often exist at the intersection of mental illness, trauma, and gender-based violence. Black women make up about 29% of the women who are incarcerated in this country. Hispanic women make up about 14%. American Indian and Alaska Native make about up about 2.5%. These are dramatic overrepresentations of women of color in the criminal legal system in comparison to their make-up of the U.S. population.  80% of women in jail and 58% in prisons are parents.  More than half of the 76,000 locked away from families, children, work and home are awaiting trial, much less a conviction. Harsh sentencing for low level drug offenses and the inability to afford bail are primary causes of women's prolonged incarceration. $10,000 dollars is a typical bail, but the Prison Policy Initiative found that the median annual income for women awaiting trial in jails was about $11,071 dollars.  "The legal system is much more likely to be punitive towards people of color and poor people. I think that that's an important dimension to this as well, and poverty plays a critical role in this," said Mike Wessler, Communications Director for the Prison Policy Initiative.  "Whenever I'm talking about this, I often think about a tweet sent by law enforcement in New York City during the pandemic where they proudly boasted a photo of a bunch of diapers and formula, and they rightfully got pretty significant backlash for that," he told The Takeaway. Law enforcements were pictured with haul of diapers, formula, and other products worth $1800, closing 23 warrants; Parents on social media horrified by kids’ items. February 2022. Tweet was later deleted. (The Independent) For Mike, that defined a common factor of women's incarceration in the U.S.: women are often arrested and put in jail because they're trying to meet the daily needs of themselves and the people that they care for. "Women and girls are much more likely to be incarcerated for drug and property offenses. They're much less likely to be charged with more violent crimes, things like murder and manslaughter and kidnapping and the like. And I think there's a couple of explanations for this. Property and drug crimes are often crimes related to poverty and crimes related to addiction," Wessler told The Takeaway. "Ultimately, the enforcement of drug laws in this country as a criminal offense is a public policy choice. It could very easily be treated as a public health issue. We use things like treatment and counseling to help people who have substance use disorder get the care they need," said Mike Wessler. He added, "We saw poverty numbers drop during the pandemic and this is related to why we saw lower incarceration rates, particularly of women during the pandemic. Women had more resources at their disposal to meet those needs. They [mothers] were receiving assistance from the federal government for their children." Stay-at-home orders and a slowing down of the court system are also said to be factors. But as courts return to pre-pandemic operation, women and girls' incarceration rates have climbed at a pace faster than that of boys and men. Black women and girls are hit disproportionately, making up 29% of U.S. prisons while only making up about 13% of the U.S. population.   The National Black Women’s Justice Institute (NBWJI) researches, elevates, and educates the public on the overcriminalization of Black women and girls, and NBJWI is conducting research on Black women's policing, health, and incarceration. Sydney McKinney, Executive Director of NBWJI, joined the Takeaway to discuss the current data surrounding Black women and girls' incarceration and what healing-centered alternatives can look like.  See above for full transcript.  
23/03/23·16m 35s

A Look at America's First Ladies

We’re devoting today’s episode of The Takeaway to the task of taking First Ladies seriously as we seek to understand the unique ways these women have affected and continue to shape America. In this episode we explore the ways that Betty Ford's honesty and outspokenness changed the way we look at first ladies; we look at the roles of Martha Washington and Dolley Madison in relationship to chattel slavery in the United States; and how Edith Wilson may have been the country's first acting female president. Guests: Lauren Wright, is an associate research scholar and lecturer in Politics and Public Affairs at Princeton University. She is the author of “Star Power: American Democracy in the Age of the Celebrity Candidate” and “On Behalf of the President: Presidential Spouses and White House Communications Strategy Today.” Lisa McCubbin, New York Times best selling author of six books, including “Betty Ford: First Lady, Women’s Advocate, Survivor, Trailblazer.” Marie Jenkins Schwartz, professor emeritus University of Rhode Island, author "Ties that Bound: Founding First Ladies and Slaves." Professor Schwartz insists First Ladies must be part of our investigation into slavery and the American founding. Rebecca Boggs Roberts, educator, author, speaker, and leading historian of American women’s suffrage and civic participation. Her books include "The Suffragist Playbook"; "Suffragists in Washington, D.C."; and "Historic Congressional Cemetery." She is currently deputy director of events at the Library of Congress.
23/03/23·48m 58s

Joy Harjo on "Remember"

Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1951, and is a member of the Mvsoske Nation. She has authored 10 books of poetry, and served as the United States Poet Laureate from 2019 until 2022.  One of her most well known poems, "Remember" (1983) has been adapted and reanimated into a new children’s book, Remember, with illustrations by artist Michaela Goade. Joy Harjo joins us to discuss Remember, reflect on her time as the U.S. Poet Laureate, and share thoughts on how indigeneity informs the themes of her poetry.
22/03/23·19m 17s

The Ohio River Valley's Long History of Pollution

The recent derailment of a train carrying toxic and hazardous chemicals through East Palestine, Ohio, offers a window into the centuries-long history of industrial pollution in the Ohio River Valley region. This area, known for centuries as “coal country,” is transforming into a plastics production hub — with similarly devastating environmental consequences. We're joined by Eve Andrews, an environmental journalist from Pittsburgh. Andrews recently visited the region and spoke with residents about how this past impacts their futures. Read her story for Grist here.
22/03/23·14m 25s

Learning to Love Backyard Chickens

For most of us, chickens are ubiquitous, mainly as sources of food. Yet we rarely know much about chickens beyond that, or even interact with them. Those that do quickly find themselves obsessed with these fowl creatures — like today’s guest, journalist Tove Danovich. Inspired after adopting three chickens for her Portland, Oregon backyard, Danovich set out to report on the wide world of chicken-keeping, a journey that took her hatchery in Iowa, to a chicken show in Ohio, to a rooster rescue in Minnesota. We speak with Danovich about her discoveries and the surprising ways that chickens changed her life, and the lives of millions of Americans. Danovich's new book is "Under the Henfluence: Inside the World of Backyard Chickens and the People who Love Them."
21/03/23·20m 31s

23 MAYORS IN 2023: Michael Helfrich, York, Pennsylvania

York, Pennsylvania holds a significant place in American history. During the Revolutionary War, it served as the temporary capital for the Continental Congress, and in York, the Articles of Confederation were drafted.  But today the city of 44,000 residents suffers from a high rate of poverty, crime, and gun violence.  Host Melissa Harris-Perry recently spent time in York with Mayor Michael Helfrich and learned about the city’s efforts to interrupt violence through community based initiatives and to build economic strength through local, small business development.  Mayor Helfrich describes York as a city of second chances he shares his vision for how to make those second chances a reality. We also hear from Tiff Lowe, of York's Group Violence Intervention program on community based efforts to stem violence and support victims of violence.
21/03/23·24m 39s

Nigeria's Elections Highlight The State of Democracy in Africa

With a population of around 220 million, and growing fast, Nigeria is the largest democracy in Africa. After decades of colonial and military rule, Nigeria’s democracy is still young and vulnerable. Last month, Nigeria held its Presidential elections and 70-year-old Bola Tinubu, a political veteran, was declared the winner with 37-percent of the vote. However, opposition parties, as well as international election observers, have criticized the election, citing logistical problems, violence, and the slow publishing of results as problematic.  We speak with Ope Adetayo, an independent journalist in Nigeria, and Ambassador Mark Green,  President, Director, and CEO of The Wilson Center, and former U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania, about Nigeria’s elections, the state of democracy in the country and in Africa, and the global significance of democracy in Nigeria.
20/03/23·20m 58s

Oklahoma is Invading the Privacy of Mental Health Patients

Last year, state lawmakers in Oklahoma passed SB 1369, the Oklahoma Healthcare Transparency Initiative Act. The legislation requires all healthcare providers to enter patient records into an online database. Set to go into effect on July 1st, the measure specifically requires providers to quote “submit health and dental claims data, unique identifiers, and geographic and demographic information for covered individuals to the Oklahoma Healthcare Transparency Initiative”. In advance of implementation, mental health care providers in Oklahoma are raising concerns about patient privacy and confidentiality. We spoke with  Sabrina  DeQuasie, a  therapist in Oklahoma. We reached out to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, Oklahoma’s Medicaid Agency. This is their statement below.    OHCA Invites Continued Feedback Regarding OKSHINE/HIE   Oklahoma City, OK – SB1369, passed in the 2022 legislative session, requires OHCA to set up a separate office, the Office of the State Coordinator for Health Information Exchange, with responsibility to oversee a statewide health information exchange with patient data from all healthcare providers. The proposed rules for the program were first introduced in September and have gone through two rounds of public comments, resulting in more than 300 comments. These comments, along with input from the public and dozens of stakeholder engagement meetings, are guiding and informing the implementation process. OHCA is grateful for the feedback of Oklahoma patients and providers.   The opportunity to utilize the HIE is significant, with potential to reduce adverse drug events, redundant testing, and promote a culture of improved collaboration among different healthcare providers, resulting in a more streamlined, holistic health care approach for Oklahomans. The agency understands the importance of privacy considerations in this effort and is working to ensure best practices and appropriate privacy safeguards, including all legal and licensure requirements under HIPAA and other applicable state and federal laws.   The proposed rules allow temporary exemptions based on size, technological capability or financial hardship. OHCA is actively engaging with providers to discuss exemption criteria for specific provider types regarding transmission of data restrictions, with a particular focus on behavioral health, and are expecting to revise the proposed rules to apply exemptions based on provider type.   After the passage of SB 1369, the rule proposal is the first step in a thorough process to develop regulations that will achieve the desired benefits for Oklahoma’s citizens, serving the needs of providers and patients alike. To ensure your concerns are addressed, OHCA invites you to be a part of the conversation. Please send your feedback through the new comments feature on This page will be updated with new information as it becomes available.
20/03/23·8m 57s

Deep Dive: Political Cruelty

Original Air Date: October 13, 2021 Professor Christina Beltrán introduced us to the concept of political cruelty in Cruelty as Citizenship: How Migrant Suffering Sustains White Democracy, which reveals how white supremacy manifest as white democracy—a participatory practice of "racial violence, domination, and exclusion" that lends white citizens the right to both wield and exceed the law. Progressive scholar, organizer, media personality, and co-president of Community Change Dorian Warren joined our host to discuss the ways we understand political cruelty. From Trump rallies to insurrectionist violence to the Haitian migrant situation at the border, our host and our guest make bold connections between power, civic engagement and domination. Jan. 6, 2021, file photo insurrections loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (Jose Luis Magana/The Takeaway)  
17/03/23·27m 7s

The Long History of Violence Against Asian Women

Original Air Date: May 5, 2022 On February 13th, Christina Yuna Lee was stabbed to death in her own apartment in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York City. A college graduate and creative, digital producer Christina was just 35-years-old when a man she did not know followed her to her home, pushed his way into her apartment, and took her life with stunning brutality.  This unthinkable violence against Christina came just weeks after the shocking killing of Michelle Go. Just 40 years old, Michelle was waiting on the platform in the Times Square subway station when a man pushed her in front of an oncoming train.  The deadly crimes against these two Asian-American women occurred in New York, but the reverberations were felt across the nation. After Michelle’s death, Russell Jeung, a co-founder of  STOP AAPI HATE, spoke with FOX 2 in San Francisco and said, "I think in our community a lot of people are one degree of separation from knowing someone who has been attacked or assaulted." From March 2020 to December 2021, the advocacy coalition Stop AAPI Hate received nearly 11,000 reports of hate incidents against Asian American and Pacific Islanders. It’s no wonder that many in Asian-American communities are feeling the grief and fear of living just “one degree of separation” from violence. In her Nation article, "Sex, Death, and Empire: The Roots of Violence Against Asian Women," Panthea Lee, an ethnographer, activist, and writer, interrogates a long history of sexualized and gendered violence against Asian women. She finds the roots of contemporary anti-Asian hate are far deeper than Covid-era rhetoric. And when Panthea found a 38-second video from the summer of 2020 in her own iPhone, she discovered she was less than one degree removed from Christina Yuna Lee, whose startling murder in February rocked New York’s Chinatown. 
16/03/23·22m 9s

Two Years Later, Georgia's AAPI Community is Still Healing

It’s been two years since eight people were killed when a man opened fire in three different Atlanta-area massage businesses. Six of the eight victims were Asian women. The discourse surrounding the mass shooting, from government officials to mainstream media outlets, claimed the motive of the shooting was unknown. But many people in the AAPI community scoffed. Pointing out that this hate crime didn’t happen in a vacuum– but within the context of a long and racist history. So, in the last two years, has anything changed? We spoke with Phi Nguyen, Executive Director for Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta, and Georgia House State Rep. Dr. Michelle Au, representing the Georgia House 50th district 
16/03/23·16m 13s

What's Next After Silicon Valley Bank’s Collapse?

Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse last week was the largest American bank failure since 2008, and sparked worldwide fear of broader economic impacts and drew comparisons to the 2008 financial crisis. We talk to Aaron Klein, Senior economic studies fellow at The Brookings Institution, about what caused this mess with SVB, what federal regulators are doing now, and what this means for other banks, and the economy as a whole.
15/03/23·13m 48s

The Takeaway Celebrates Girl Scout Week

This week marks the 111th anniversary of the founding of the Girl Scouts of America. Founded with the goal of building girls’ confidence, The Girl Scouts has introduced millions of girls to new friends and experiences they may not have otherwise had access to. While they might be best known for their cookies, the organization’s true legacy lies with its nearly 2.5 million girl and adult current members worldwide, many of whom are in leadership positions in businesses, politics, and their local communities. We explore the past, present and future of the Girl Scouts with Meridith Maskara, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York. And we hear from listeners about how the Girl Scouts changed their lives. For full transcript, see above.
15/03/23·15m 17s

Banning Trans Kids' Futures

Right now HB 359 is making its way through the Montana state  legislature.  The measure would ban drag performances  in schools, libraries, and some businesses. The ban defines drag in terms that are quite broad. It states, in part, that a person is performing drag if their presentation: “ different than the performer’s gender assigned at birth using clothing, makeup, or other physical markers and sings, lip syncs, dances, or otherwise performs for entertainment to appeal to a prurient interest.”  As the fate of HB 359 still hangs in the balance, earlier this month, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee recently signed into law a bill banning drag shows when children are around, along with a bill preventing trans kids from accessing medically sanctioned, and often life saving, gender affirming healthcare. We talk about the bills, what they mean for the community, and where advocates fear these bills might lead.
14/03/23·22m 31s

An American Injustice: The Story of Darryl Hunt

Original Air Date: March 13, 2022 In the early morning of August 10, 1984, Deborah Sykes, a 25-year-old copy editor at a local newspaper in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was sexually assaulted and stabbed to death. Without any evidence, Darryl Hunt, a 19-year-old Black man, was implicated and convicted for Sykes murder. Although DNA evidence was found to exonerate him in 1994, he spent another 10 years in prison. The case is the subject of the 2007 HBO documentary "The Trials of Darryl Hunt."   After Hunt was finally exonerated in 2004, he started a nonprofit called the Darryl Hunt Project for Freedom and Justice which helped provide resources to individuals recently released from prison and advocated for criminal justice reform. On March 13, 2016, Hunt tragically killed himself. To commemorate his death six years ago, we take a long look at the grave injustices in his wrongful conviction with award-winning investigative journalist, narrative writer, and college professor Phoebe Zerwick. She wrote an eight-part series for the Winston-Salem Journal in 2003 that led in part to Hunt’s exoneration, and she is the author of Beyond Innocence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt, in which she spent years investigating and covering Hunt’s case.  Cover of "Beyond Innocence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt" (Amazon) We also speak with Suzy Salamy, the director of social work at the Innocence Project, about some of the mental health impacts of wrongful conviction and the trauma caused by racial discrimination and biases in the criminal justice system.  
14/03/23·23m 31s

New Biden Policy Limits Who and How People Can Claim Asylum at Southern Border

Congress has not passed meaningful immigration reform in more than two decades. So when  President Joe Biden took office in 2021, he promised to craft immigration policies far more humane than those of his predecessor and to “reassert America’s commitment to asylum-seekers and refugees.” But the realities of immigration during the Biden years have been far more mixed. In recent months, the administration put in place more restrictions on who and how people can claim asylum in the U.S. at the U.S./Mexico border. These rules are some of the administration's harshest asylum policies yet.  These tightened restrictions are coming just ahead of the end of the Trump-era border restriction, Title 42. Since 2020, Title 42 has allowed border security to turn away hundreds of thousands of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers attempting to enter the country through the southern border. Title 42 is set to expire when the Biden Administration lifts the COVID-19 national and public health order on May 11. And the White House has voiced concern with a possible “surge” in migration at the border. For more on this, we're joined now by Krish O'Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. And Isabela Dias a reporter at Mother Jones covering immigration.
13/03/23·20m 21s

On the Slopes While Black

The National Brotherhood of Skiers was founded in 1973 with a mission of expanding a love of skiing and other winter sports within the Black community, and supporting talented Black skiers chasing olympic dreams. The organization celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, and current NBS president Henri Rivers shares his love of skiing, the current status of the organization, and how to nurture a love of winter sports in children.
13/03/23·9m 33s

Previewing the 2023 Oscars

Original Air Date: March 8, 2023 The 95th Academy Awards will take place this Sunday. Feeling like you've missed out on all the buzz? Wanting to catch up on your Oscars movie bucket list? Or just interested in hearing some great predictions for the category winners? You're in luck!  Kristen Meinzer, a culture critic and host of the podcast "By The Book," and Rafer Guzman, a film critic for Newsday. Together Kristen and Rafer are the co-hosts of the podcast, Movie Therapy. They sit down with The Takeaway to give us all of their 2023 Oscar Awards predictions and analysis. 
12/03/23·16m 16s

Has the Southern Baptist Convention Kept its Promises on Reform?

It’s been ten months since the Southern Baptist Convention passed a number of reforms aimed at helping prevent abuse within its churches and caring for survivors of past abuse. But progress on implementing those reforms has been slow, and the Convention has continued to field debates within its churches about who is really accountable. We speak with Liam Adams, religion reporter at The Tenneseean. In June 2022, The Takeaway reported on the third-party investigation of the SBC's top governing body, which found that leaders systematically ignored, belittled and intimidated survivors of sexual abuse for the past two decades while protecting the legal interests of churches accused of harboring abusers. Listen to that piece here.
10/03/23·20m 12s

A Culture of Abuse and Cover-Ups in the Southern Baptist Convention

Original Air Date: June 06, 2022 A third-party investigation of the Southern Baptist Convention’s top governing body found that an influential group of leaders systematically ignored, belittled and intimidated survivors of sexual abuse for the past two decades while protecting the legal interests of churches accused of harboring abusers. Despite recent declines in membership, Southern Baptists are still the largest evangelical group in the United States, with more than 13 million members. How they respond to this moment is deeply consequential for America. We speak with Robert Downen, a reporter at The Houston Chronicle, and Dr. Kristin Kobes Du Mez, professor of history and gender studies at Calvin University and author of "Jesus and John Wayne," about the recent findings and the SBC's response. We also hear from two survivors of abuse in the SBC, Hannah-Kate Williams and Christa Brown, about their long fights for justice and accountability. 
10/03/23·39m 49s

Cop City: Week of Action

This week in Atlanta, supporters of an environmental movement to defend the Atlanta Forest are having a Week of Action against "cop city," following the January police killing of queer, Indigenous-Venezuelan Forest defender Manuel Teran aka Tortuguita. Over this past weekend, a group of protestors engaged in property damage of construction infrastructure around a security outpost adjacent to the RC field where a music festival was being hosted. The festival featured appearances from artists like Zack Fox and Faye Webster. 35 protesters were arrested during the festival and 23 accused of domestic terrorism, including a legal observer from the Southern Poverty Law Center who was representing the National Guild of Lawyers.  Our digital producer Zachary Bynum got the chance to speak with participants who’d been taking part in the week of action.  You can listen to our other segments on cop city below: Cop City Cop City: Forest Defender Killed Cop City: Welcome to RIOTSVILLE, USA Editor's Note: We reached out to the Atlanta Police Foundation for comment.  If we hear back from them, we will be sure to post their comments on our website.
09/03/23·13m 31s

What’s Behind the Rise of Sober Bars?

Non-alcoholic liquor and beer sales have exploded in recent years, and bars across the country now have non-alcoholic cocktail options on their menu along with alcoholic drinks. Takeaway producers Katerina Barton and Ryan Wilde talk to a few folks in the industry and and customers at a sober bar in New York City about this growing trend. They look at what makes a sober bar still a bar, and discover the deeper importance of folks being able to share physical space to come together and connect in environments that are alcohol free. Guests: Abby Ehmann, owner of Hekate, a sober bar in the East Village in NYC. Brianda Gonzalez, owner of The New Bar, a non-alcoholic bottle shop in Los Angeles. Chris Marshall, owner of Sans Bar, a space with all the fun and social life of a bar without the alcohol in Austin, Texas. Arielle Ashford, co-founder of Unity Recovery and co-owner of The Volstead, a vegan restaurant and zero-proof bar in Philadelphia. 
09/03/23·31m 58s

The "Big Con" of the Consulting Industry

Modern businesses and governments are entrenched in relationships with the consulting industry: a multibillion dollar industry that promises expertise and efficiency to cut through the stagnancy of bureaucracy. But according to our guest, it rarely delivers on those promises. Rosie Collington is a political economist at the University College London’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. She and Mariana Mazzucato are co-authors of "The Big Con: How The Consulting Industry Weakens Our Businesses, Infantilizes Our Governments, and Warps Our Economies."  Collington joined us to discuss the book. She and Mazzucato expose our economies’ reliance on consulting firms and how they have obfuscated corporate and political accountability, heightened the extraction of privatization, and capitalized on crises like climate change — to the world’s detriment. 
08/03/23·15m 25s

23 MAYORS IN 2023: Satya Rhodes-Conway, Madison, Wisconsin

Satya Rhodes-Conway is the mayor of Madison, Wisconsin, population 270,000. When she was first elected in 2019, Mayor Rhodes-Conway became the first out LGBTQ person to serve as Madison’s mayor. She is also the chair of the Climate Mayors, an appointed position from the EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee. Host Melissa Harris-Perry recently visited Madison, Wisconsin, and spoke with Mayor Rhodes-Conway in Madison.  They toured a Madison landmark, and had a conversation about what makes cities great, the specific challenges Madison faces, and more.    
08/03/23·13m 3s

Migrant Child Labor is on the Rise

Recent reporting by The New York Times investigative reporter Hannah Dreier highlighted the issues with migrant children who are forced to work in the U.S., but this wasn’t the first time someone reported on this problem. We’ll hear from Daffodil Altan, an investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker who produced the film Trafficked in America in 2018, and we'll hear from Margaret Wurth, Senior Researcher in the Children’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, about legal farm child labor.   
07/03/23·33m 11s

Origins and Futures of Conservatism in Asian America

While certain Asian American conservatives like Nikki Haley and Young Kim have gained prominence in recent years, they didn’t come out of nowhere. Conservative political traditions in Asian American communities have developed organically for decades, reflecting complex relationships between such communities, their heritage countries, and the U.S. itself.  The UCLA’s Amerasia Journal explores these understudied but multifaceted stories in a new special issue titled, “Conservatisms and Fascisms in Asian America.” We speak with the co-editors: Jane Hong, associate professor of history at Occidental College, and Adrian De Leon, assistant professor of American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California.
06/03/23·20m 40s

The Fight For The Survival of Black Farmers

At the beginning of the 20th century, Black people owned more than 16 million acres of farmland across the United States. Now, more than 90% of that land has been lost.    This land loss is, in part, due to the USDA's systemic racial discrimination of Black farmers. While advocates have struggled to preserve the tradition of Black farming across the United States through a concerted movement of both legal and policy measures, Black farmers have not seen real relief. And Black ownership of farmland continues to dwindle.  President of the National Black Farmers Association, Mr. John Boyd Jr., joins us to talk through updates in the fight against the extinction of Black farmers across the country. 
06/03/23·16m 30s

Anita Hill's Fight to End Gender-based Violence

Original Air Date: October 4th 2021 We talked to Professor Anita Hill about her fight for gender justice and her new book, Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence    
03/03/23·30m 24s

Sheryl Lee Ralph Talks Education, the Arts, and Abbott Elementary

Original Air Date: January 31,2022 ABC mockumentary Abbott Elementary takes us to a public school in Philadelphia, where the teachers do their best to educate their students in spite of a lack of resources and funding. Sheryl Lee Ralph plays a no-nonsense, veteran teacher and mentor to second-grade teacher Janine Teagues, played by the show’s creator Quinta Brunson. Ralph has won Emmy for best supporting actress, a SAG award, and a Critics Choice award all for her role in Abbott Elementary.  While the reality of the public school system is no joke, Abbott Elementary allows us to laugh at the absurdity of a dire situation and root for the unsung heroes of the public school system. We speak with Sheryl Lee Ralph about activism, education, and Abbott Elementary.  
03/03/23·14m 46s

The Kinetic Movements of Kinetic Light

Kinetic Light, a disability art collective, performed a duet called Under Momentum at Lincoln Center in February. The performance shows the joys of continuous motion, the allure of speed, and the beautiful futility of resisting gravity and is performed on a series of ramps, and the artists interchange between wheelchair and floor movement. We speak with Alice Sheppard, founder of Kinetic Light, who performed in Under Momentum, about the performance, the joys of moving the body, and access in the arts. In this audio story you'll also hear audio descriptions from Under Momentum that describe the visual experience of the performance for those who are blind or have low vision. These are not just an add-on to the show, but a full and complete way of experiencing the performance. Audimance, Kinetic Light's signature approach to audio description was created by artist/engineer Laurel Lawson.You'll also hear from Miranda Hoffner, the associate director of accessibility at Lincoln Center. Under Momentum is an experience curated by disabled performers for a disabled audience and Kinetic Light worked with Lincoln Center to provide several access points to the performance including deaf and hearing ASL interpreters, captioning for hard of hearing or deaf folks, haptic wires that people could touch to feel vibrations during the performance, and a quiet room for people who might become overstimulated. There was also a “choose what you pay model” for tickets, because cost is also a barrier to accessing art. Image Descriptions:Alice is a multiracial Black woman with short curly hair. Laurel is a white person with cropped teal hair. They both wear shimmery metallic costumes. In the photo Alice Sheppard kneels at the base of the ramp, with her back and wheels facing the camera. She reaches her arms high in a V. Laurel Lawson peers at her from behind the ramp.   
02/03/23·20m 2s

Last 32 States Let SNAP Aid Expire

For almost three years the amount of aid provided to low-income families increased. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, additional benefit allotments allowed SNAP households to receive more money in monthly benefits per person. But as of March 1st, those benefits are gone nationwide.  We look back at our conversation with Jamila Michener, associate professor in the department of Government at Cornell University, Co-Director of the Cornell Center for Health Equity, and Author of, Fragmented Democracy: Medicaid, Federalism, and Unequal Politics. 
02/03/23·12m 37s

A Fight For Survival: The "Salmon People" of the Columbia River

The Columbia River runs for over 1,200 miles through the Pacific Northwest, from the Canadian Rockies, through Idaho, then Washington, and through Oregon before finally emptying in the Pacific Ocean. For thousands of years, Native Tribes along the Columbia River have depended on the river, and its bountiful stocks of salmon for sustenance, and for their livelihood, and the salmon are engrained in their cultural identity, and their spiritual practices. So much so, that the Columbia River Basin tribes today proudly refer to themselves as "Salmon People." While there were once 10 million salmon that returned to the Columbia River's spawning grounds, extensive damming, overfishing, habitat loss, and now climate change, have decimated salmon populations.  Today, just around 1 million salmon make the return trip up the Columbia and through its tributaries. A new documentary from ProPublica and Oregon Public Broadcasting directed by Katie Campbell titled Salmon People: A Native Fishing Family’s Fight to Preserve a Way of Life, tells the story of Randy Settler and his family, who are from the Yakama Tribe, as they fight to preserve the depleting salmon populations, and preserve their way of life. We speak with Katie Campbell, documentary filmmaker with ProPublica and director of the film Salmon People, A Native Fishing Family's Fight to Preserve a Way of Life, and Randy Settler, Yakama Tribal fisherman, about the fight to protect the salmon of the Columbia River, and the fight to preserve the way of life of the "Salmon People." For more, check out ProPublica and Oregon Public Broadcasting's multi-part reporting series "Broken Promises," and watch the documentary online for free.     
01/03/23·16m 13s

SCOTUS To Decide Student Loan Forgiveness

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard two arguments over whether President Biden has the authority to forgive millions of dollars in federal student loan debt.  These legal challenges come after Biden announced a plan last year that would forgive up to $20,000 in debt for some borrowers. This could affect an estimated 40 million borrowers across the country, and wipe out more than 400 billion in federal student debt.  The Department of Education has said that 26 million people already applied for the debt relief last year after the plan was announced, but it was put on temporary hold by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in November. These legal challenges are asking whether the Biden Administration has the authority to forgive student loan debt under the 2003 law called the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students, also known as the HEROES Act. Supporters and advocates for student debt cancellation gathered outside of the Supreme Court building ahead of arguments, and one person there was Kat Welbeck, Director of Advocacy & Civil Rights Counsel at the Student Borrower Protection Center. She joined to discuss the arguments.
01/03/23·13m 32s

The FBI's White Christian Nationalist Roots

During J. Edgar Hoover’s nearly 50 years as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, he transformed the FBI from a small enterprise mainly investigating interstate crimes to one of the nation’s most formidable intelligence institutions. But during his tenure, Hoover became more than just the agency's leader — he became its spiritual general. "Hoover baptized the FBI in his own image," says Lerone Martin, the Martin Luther King Jr. Centennial professor and director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.  Martin uncovered thousands of internal FBI documents using the Freedom of Information Act, and these documents paint a picture of Hoover’s FBI as not just a force of the law, but a force of white Christian nationalism.  Martin's new book is "The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover: How the FBI Aided and Abetted the Rise of White Christian Nationalism."
28/02/23·16m 18s

Seattle Passes Ordinance Banning Caste Discrimination

Last week, Seattle became the first U.S. city to pass a ordinance banning caste discrimination. The caste system in India is a division and hierarchy of people which is determined by birth and descent, and originated from Brahmanism, a spiritual philosophy which is considered a predecessor of Hinduism.  Although caste discrimination was banned in India in 1948, in many ways the caste system still persists in India.  Here in America, activists say that as South Asians have emigrated to America, caste discrimination persists. Critics of the bill say that it will lead to more anti-Hinduism discrimination, and that it’s a painful reminder of the caste system which some believe to be obsolete in America. The Seattle ordinance gives legal recourse for those who have been discriminated against in the workplace, with housing, or in other circumstances. It passed by a 6-to-1 vote. We speak with Kshama Sawant, member of the Seattle City Council who proposed the ordinance, and Prachi Patankar, a community activist and writer who has been an advocate against caste based discrimination. Here are statements by two Hindu-American organizations critical of the bill, Coalition of Hindus in North America and the Hindu American Foundation.  The Takeaway also received a statement from Sara Nelson, the lone Seattle Councilmember who voted against the ordinance:  I voted against this legislation because it links caste discrimination with Hinduism and people of South Asian descent and we received hundreds of emails from opponents who argued that enshrining caste as a protected class here in Seattle will perpetuate racist and colonialist stereotypes and serve only to generate more anti-Hindu discrimination. This perspective was not represented in any of the materials provided to Councilmembers and I could not support creating a new protected class for a culturally and historically complex concept when the community the legislation is supposed to protect believes it will do more harm than good. 
28/02/23·13m 39s

George M. Johnson is Author of the 2nd Most Banned Book in the U.S.

BLACK.QUEER.RISING. is a special series where The Takeaway looks at Black, LGBTQ+ trailblazers and changemakers. We've gotten the chance to talk to artists like Big Freedia and Moore Kismet about their music, activist like #BlackLivesMatter founder Alicia Garza, and New York Congressman Richie Torres. George M. Johnson was a member of 2022's TIMES 100 Most Influential People list, and they are an author, journalist, and activist. Their New York Times bestselling young adult, nonfiction “memoir-manifesto” “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” centers on growing up Black and Queer in America, and it is the second most banned book in the U.S. right now, as book bans are on the rise all over the country. Recently, the book was banned in Escambia County, Florida at a time where the state's governor has taken drastic moves to ban the teaching of Black history; diversity, equity, and inclusion education; and critical race theory. To close out our Black History Month special series, we revisit our conversation with George M. Johnson who joined us back in October 2022 to discuss their banned-book and what Black.Queer.Rising means to them.
27/02/23·16m 8s

What Lies Ahead for Turkey and Syria?

Last Monday, parts of Syria and Turkey were once again struck by a fatal earthquake, of a 6.4 magnitude. More than 50,000 people in both Turkey and Syria have been killed by the impact of these now three quakes and their aftershocks.  We'll hear how the new quakes impacted ongoing rescue and recovery efforts; how international aid to Syria continues to face obstacles due to the war; and how Turkey's government is handling transparency and accountability in their responses. We're joined again by Shirin Jaafari, reporter covering the Middle East for The World. Jaafari has been speaking with survivors in Syria in the aftermath.  
27/02/23·12m 40s

Mississippi's House Bill 1020: Modern Day Jim Crow?

Earlier this month, the Mississippi House passed House Bill 1020. The bill would expand the police force as well as create a new court system within the CCID — or Capitol Complex Improvement District — of the capital city of Jackson, where judges and prosecutors would be appointed by state officials, instead of elected, as they are in every other county in Mississippi. 83-percent of residents in Jackson, Mississippi are Black, and those state officials who would be appointing Jackson’s judges and prosecutors are both white.  We speak with Rep. Ed Blackmon, Mississippi state representative representing the 57th District about the bill.
27/02/23·8m 11s

The Warrior Met Coal Mine Strike is Coming to an End, But The Fight Still Continues

On April 1st, 2021, 1,100 workers from the Warrior Met Coal Mine in Brookwood, Alabama went on strike for better working conditions. The miners represented by the United Mine Workers of America have been on strike for almost 23 months, nearly 700 days, and this is believed to be the longest strike in Alabama history. But UMWA and Warrior Met are still at a standstill on contract negotiations, all while the mines are still operating with replacement workers, and still earning a profit.  Last week, UMWA leadership informed the remaining members on strike that the union would be ​​entering a new phase to win a fair contract, and sent a letter to the CEO of Warrior Met announcing that the striking miners were willing to return to work on March 2. Now, those coal miners who choose to return to work will be working under their old contract, while the UMWA and Warrior Met continue to negotiate. We get updates from Kim Kelly, an independent labor journalist and author of the book, "FIGHT LIKE HELL: The Untold History of American Labor." Kim has been covering the Warrior Met Coal strike since April 2021. Here is our previous coverage of the Warrior Met Strike:Alabama Union Coal Mine Workers Enter Fifth Month of StrikeAlabama Miners Are Still on Strike Nearly Nine Months Later
24/02/23·20m 5s

13-Year-Old Yeva Skalietska, A Child Impacted By War

It has been a year since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the brutal invasion of Ukraine. A country on the border of NATO and the European Union. And while the future of geopolitics is still up in the air, one twelve-year-old girl took it upon herself to tell the stories of children caught in the war. Yeva’s diary began on her 12th birthday– only a handful of days before the invasion that displaced her and her grandmother. She is now 13. We spoke with Yeva Skalietska, author of You Don’t Know What War Is: The Diary of a Young Girl from Ukraine.
24/02/23·9m 13s

23 MAYORS IN 2023: Wilmot Collins, Helena, Montana

Wilmot Collins was born and raised in civil war-torn Liberia. Being witness to political violence and corruption in his own country, he became fascinated with America’s system of government in college. After losing two brothers in the war, he fled with his fiance, Maddie, to Ghana in 1990, finding work as a teacher. Still struggling, they then decided to go to America. Maddie, pregnant at the time, got a student visa to go to nursing school in Montana. Wilmot would join her, and meet his young daughter, almost two years later in Helena.  Today, Wilmot Collins is the first Black mayor of Helena, Montana's capital city with a population 33,000. Montana state has a less than 1-percent Black population.  We speak to Mayor Collins about his journey to America as a refugee, the hope and worry he sees in America's democracy, and leading a predominantly white city as a Black mayor.
23/02/23·13m 55s

Dr. Sammy Ramsey on What the Biodiversity of Insects Can Teach Us About Ourselves

Dr. Samuel Ramsey believes entomology is the study of diversity since insects are the most diverse species on the planet. In 2022, he was featured on Hulu's Black History Month special Your Attention Please which shines a light on Black innovators in art, science, culture, and more. And he has used social media to help the world better understand insects and their importance.   Dr. Sammy is also the founder and director of the Ramsey Research Foundation, which is closely studying communicable diseases in bees and plans to make all of this research openly accessible to the public, an unprecedented move in the scientific community. Through his work in entomology, Dr. Sammy has found some interesting connections between humans and insects, and he joined The Takeaway for the next edition of Black.Queer.Rising. to discuss all of this and more. 
23/02/23·21m 3s

Move Over 'Bro-grammers,' Black Girls CODE

Technology is touted as the future but one thing the industry has not been able to solve is its lack of gender and racial diversity within the field. Black Girls CODE was founded in 2011 to improve the pipeline of Black girls in tech. To change the landscape of what technology looks like and to build a new generation of computer programmers. Today, Black Girls CODE aims to deepen their impact by showing the world that Black girls can code, lead, innovate, and engineer their own futures.  We spoke to Sofia Mohammed, Interim Executive Director of Black Girls CODE
22/02/23·8m 43s

Attacks on Abortion are Evolving

The anti-abortion movement continues to gain momentum, and its strategies against reproductive rights are evolving. We check in on attacks on abortion rights, from federal court in Texas, to Kentucky’s Supreme Court, to state legislatures across the country.   We're joined by Caroline Kitchener, national political reporter covering abortion at the Washington Post.
22/02/23·20m 6s

Missing Migrants in the Mediterranean

Conflict, repression, economic circumstances, drought, and famine have driven the migration of nearly 2 million people from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East to Southern Europe in the last decade. Migrants all over the world have died and gone missing at alarming rates. In the past decade, this endless tragedy has plagued the Mediterranean Sea in particular. Since 2014, over 25,000 migrants have gone missing and presumably died while taking the perilous journey asea. Aid groups like who have been giving life-saving assistance to migrants who cross are now being criminalized. Twenty-four aid workers in Greece stand trial for helping migrants who were crossing through the Mediterranean. We speak with New Yorker staff writer Alexis Okeowo who covers conflict, culture, and human rights across Africa, Mexico, and the American South to better understand the scale and impact of this crisis and what can be done to improve migration conditions.
21/02/23·11m 11s

Rural Hospitals Are Still Struggling

For well over a decade, rural hospitals have been in crisis. Since 2010, 141 hospitals in rural communities have closed. And although they’ve been struggling financially for years, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed them to the brink with a record 19 closures in 2020 alone.  And while pandemic-era federal aid stopped some of these rapid closures, much of that aid expired at the end of last year. The Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform estimates that more than 600 rural hospitals – or nearly 30% of all rural hospitals in the country – are at risk of closing in the near future. The federal government tried to address this crisis with a plan called the Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) designation, but the plan comes with hard choices for many of these hospitals and would have a huge impact on the rural communities they serve. For more on the crisis at rural hospitals, we spoke with Harold Miller, President and CEO of the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform. 
21/02/23·11m 11s

Belly of the Beast with Da'Shaun Harrison

Da’Shaun L. Harrison is an organizer, trans theorist, Editor-at-Large at Scalawag Magazine and winner of the 2022 Lambda Literary Award in transgender nonfiction for their book Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness. For our series Black.Queer.Rising, they share their understanding of the connection between anti-fatness and anti-Blackness, why and how they’re able to show up as their full unapologetic self, and what they view as the limitations of liberation while existing within an oppressive system.  To read the full transcript, see above.
17/02/23·11m 43s

Almost A Year After the Russian Invasion, What’s Next for Ukraine?

On February 24th, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an unprovoked, full scale military attack on Ukraine. Russia’s attacks on Ukraine are ongoing, and with the first anniversary of war approaching, we check-in with journalists we’ve spoken to throughout the conflict to reflect on the past year and look at the current state of the war.  We spoke with Christopher Miller, Ukraine correspondent for the Financial Times and author of the forthcoming book about Ukraine, “The War Came To Us,” and Anton Troianovski, the Moscow bureau chief for The New York Times. We also spoke with Ukrainians we’ve talked to throughout the conflict: Last April, we spoke with Olena Shevchenko, Head of Insight Ukraine, an LGBTQ advocacy group based in Ukraine. Olena was in the Kyiv at the start of Russia’s invasion. She stayed for 14 days, partially sheltering in a basement, and then decided to move the Kyiv-based part of her organization to the western city of Lviv. They went back to Kyiv in June, and have hubs all around the country. Throughout the war, the organization continued advocacy work around LGBTQ issues, but they also helped tens of thousands of people who were fleeing the country or who were internally displaced, by offering legal consultations, distributing humanitarian aid, and finding temporary shelter. Last March, we spoke with Mariia Sirychenko, just a couple of weeks after the Russian Invasion. She was in Kyiv when the city was attacked and she left two days later, also to the safety of Lviv. Nearly a year later, she’s back in Kyiv. Mariia is from Mariupol, a city that was under siege for more than 80 days. And it's estimated that thousands of civilians were killed in the attacks, but exact numbers are difficult to verify. The city is currently under Russian control. When we last spoke to Mariia, she hadn’t been able to contact her grandmother in Mariupol for 10 days, but thankfully they found a way to rescue her. We check-in with these voices on the ground in Ukraine about how life has changed for them and how they’re reflecting on this one-year mark of the war.
17/02/23·36m 59s

Nikki Haley Launches GOP Presidential Bid

Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, and U.N. ambassador has officially entered the 2024 presidential race. She is the first major Republican challenge to Former President Donald Trump… only two years after she said she wouldn’t.  Katon Dawson, former chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party joins us to find out if Haley's bid is not just for president but for "the soul" of the Republican party. 
16/02/23·13m 44s

"Murder in Big Horn" Shows the Epidemic facing Indigenous Women

The new docuseries "Murder in Big Horn" which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and premiered on Showtime this Month looks into a disturbing trend: “the disappearances and possible murders of a group of Native American women in rural Montana.”   We hear from directors Razelle Benally (Oglala Lakota/Diné) and Matthew Galkin about the epidemic of MMIW or Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women.
16/02/23·18m 21s

Barrier Breaker: Colorado Representative Leslie Herod

Democratic Colorado Representative Leslie Herod joins us for our series Black Queer Rising. Herod has held down the 8 district in Colorado since her victory in the 2016 – and is the first openly queer Black woman in the Colorado House of Representatives elected in the state’s history.  Herod has made a name for herself by tackling and securing sweeping changes with a police reform bill signed into Colorado law in June 2020. Her efforts have de-felonized drug possession and introduced bail reform. As a representative she supported and guided the passage of a voter supported tax to fund mental health and drug rehabilitation centers in the city of Denver. She turns to the city with her eyes on the coveted prize of Mayor. The Mayoral election is set to take place in early April of this year.  Representative Herod joins us to explain the reasoning behind her focus on criminal justice reform, and her plans for the future of Colorado. For full transcript, see above.
15/02/23·15m 15s

Could Ohio's Toxic Train Disaster Have Been Prevented?

Two weeks ago, a train carrying toxic chemicals through a small town in eastern Ohio derailed in a fiery crash and flames and black smoke filled the sky. Federal investigators have said the derailment was caused by a mechanical issue with a rail car axle. But rail companies have used their influence to lobby against federal regulations that could have made an event like this less possible — including mechanical safety upgrades for trains carrying hazardous chemicals and what chemicals are even classified as hazardous. With such trains criss-crossing thousands of miles across the U.S., the event in Ohio is a warning for the country. The Lever, a national reader-supported investigative journalism outlet, recently investigated the rail industry's lobbying against proposed federal regulations. We speak with reporter Matthew Cunningham-Cook.  
15/02/23·15m 51s

New Book: "Gray Love"

Gray Love: Stories About Dating and New Relationships After 60 is an ambitious effort that includes forty-two essays covering a range of topics. From dating while mourning the loss of a partner, to what to write on an online dating profile. Some stories are sad and tragic while others are funny and joyful. We talk to the Co-Editors of the book Nan Bauer-Maglin and Daniel E. Hood. 
14/02/23·15m 4s

New Parents Should Have the Choice of Whether or Not They Want to "Werk, Werk, Werk"

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act, sometimes called the FMLA, which President Clinton signed into law in 1993. The legislation allows up to 12 weeks of “unpaid” leave for qualifying employees to recover from major illness, or childbirth, or to take care of sick family members.  It was a groundbreaking achievement for its time, but also limited. According to a Labor Department survey, about 44% of workers are not eligible for FMLA-leave because they work for small employers who are exempt from the law, or they don’t work enough hours to qualify, or they haven’t worked there long enough.And some people just can’t afford to take the unpaid leave from work.  Now Democratic lawmakers are renewing their push to make paid family leave federal policy. On February 1st, Representative Rosa DeLauro and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand reintroduced the FAMILY Act. And a day later, President Biden announced his recommitment to expanding the federal law to include paid family leave. We speak with Natasha Pearlman, Glamour’s executive editor about the efforts to expand the Family and Medical Leave Act.
14/02/23·13m 22s

Spy in the Sky: What to Make of China's Balloon Surveillance

Late last week a Chinese surveillance balloon flew over the continental United States until it was shot down by a U.S. military jet at the order of President Joe Biden.  U.S. officials say the balloon was part of an extensive surveillance program from China that spanned 5 continents.  In recent days, U.S. forces have shot down 3 more unidentified flying objects across the continent over a 3 day period: over Alaska, over Lake Huron, and over the Yukon in Canada. We speak with Gordon Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China and The Great U.S.-China Tech War about what it all means for U.S.-China relations.
13/02/23·14m 35s

Keyla Monterroso Mejia is Taking the Lead

Keyla Monterroso Mejia landed her breakout role as Maria Sofia on "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Keyla’s performance as a bad actor blackmailing Larry David made a splash. She is now the star of Netflix’s "Freeridge," a spin-off of "On My Block."  We talk to Keyla about the new show, Latine representation in Hollywood, and gratitude. 
13/02/23·15m 26s

The “Rih-turn” of Rihanna... and the Super Bowl

Super Bowl 57 kicks off on Sunday, and sure, we’re all a little excited about the game – the Philadelphia Eagles vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.  But a lot of people will be tuning in just for the halftime show, and the highly-anticipated “Rih-turn” of Rihanna! This is RiRi’s first public performance since the 2018 Grammys, and she had previously rejected doing the Super Bowl halftime show in 2019 in solidarity for Colin Kaepernick. So we spoke to a member of Rihanna’s Navy, Stephanie Holland, staff writer for The Root, to get some insights into the show, and hype us up for the big game.
12/02/23·11m 12s

Award Winning Poet Danez Smith Rises to the Top

National Book Award finalist and Lambda Award winning author and poet, Danez Smith creates poetry that viscerally examines the intricacies of gender, the recognition of Black family and kinship, rebirth and growing to know and learn themselves anew every day. They are the author of three books: [Insert] Boy, Don't Call Us Dead, and Homie. They join us to discuss their craft, how poetry saved their life, and their dreams of a Black Queer future.
11/02/23·11m 40s

Earthquake Devastates Turkey and Syria

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake shocked Turkey and Syria near their shared border on February 6th. As of Friday morning, it is estimated that over 21,000 people have died. Less than 12 hours later, a second quake hit that was nearly as strong as the first. In the days since, at least 100 smaller earthquakes have also hit as aftershocks.  Near the epicenter, in Turkey’s Gaziantep Province, entire districts of cities and towns have been leveled. Thousands of buildings have collapsed in Turkey and Syria, including hospitals, schools and apartments — many with people still inside. Aid workers and civilians alike have been working nonstop over the past few days to rescue survivors from the rubble. But it has been too slow for many, and supplies like food and warm shelter have been limited.  We speak with Shirin Jaafari, reporter covering the Middle East for The World. Jaafari has previously reported from Gaziantep, the epicenter of the quake, and has been speaking with survivors in Syria in the aftermath.  
10/02/23·12m 57s

Cop City: Welcome to RIOTSVILLE, USA

Last Tuesday, Atlanta mayor Andre Dickens announced plans to move forward with the proposal to build Cop City despite ongoing opposition from the local community and after police killed environmental activist Manuel Terán AKA Tortuguita.  Environmentalists, local activists, college students, and parks advocates have pointed to their worries of the environmental impact on clearing this forest. And they’ve cited growing fears of police violence as issues of police brutality and police accountability plague our day-to-day lives. And while pursuing cop city may seem like an unprecedented endeavor, it is actually not the first time the U.S. government has taken such measures. The documentary film Riotsville USA on Hulu illuminates this history, and it explores the decades-long project to militarize U.S. law enforcement and train police to crush protests.    Before the idea of cop city came to be, following the Civil Rights Movement and rebellion in the late 60s, the U.S. government helped create “mock cities” where they were trained to use the same crowd control tactics police use on protests today. Sierra Pettengill, director and filmmaker of the documentary joins us to discuss how Riotsville, USA set the stage for an endeavor like cop city.  The State of Georgia has charged 19 protestors with domestic terrorism- at least 9 are accused of nothing more than trespassing. We also speak with Lauren Regan, executive director of the Civil Liberties Defense Center, who will represent some of the protestors charged with "domestic terrorism." To keep up with our coverage of cop city, check out some of our other segments.
09/02/23·16m 43s

The Embellishments of George Santos

Over the past few months, news organizations continue to uncover lies and embellishments about Representative George Santos’ past, resume, and campaign finances. The Republican Representative of New York’s 3rd Congressional District, which covers parts of Long Island and Queens, is now facing several investigations into those lies. The Freshman lawmaker was only sworn in a month ago, and is also facing calls from some lawmakers in his own party to step down. Many of his constituents are calling for his resignation. A recent Newsday/Siena College poll found that 78% of those surveyed in his district want Santos to resign. And on Tuesday, a busload of Santos’s constituents rode down to D.C., protested on Capitol Hill, and handed his staff members a petition for his resignation. We look at what repercussions Santos could face in Congress and what rules are in place to prevent other lawmakers from lying to constituents with David Cruz, WNYC’s People & Power politics editor.
09/02/23·12m 40s

Recap: State of the Union 2023

Last night, President Biden delivered the State of the Union address. It came at a moment when his approval rating is about 41-percent, close to the lowest of his entire presidency.  On the Republican side, Arkansas Governor and former Trump White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, delivered the GOP’s response. We hear analysis from Joel Payne, CBS News political contributor and Chief Communications officer for Move On, and Mitch Kokai, senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation.    
09/02/23·16m 47s

Electric Literature Editor-in-Chief Denne Michele Norris Makes History and Makes Space

Denne (den) Michele Norris was born with an “artist’s heart”. And a desire to create space for other storytellers who share lives that exist at the intersection of Blackness, queerness and transness. Her “artist’s heart” allows her to breathe life into characters whose flaws glare up from the page. And her words crack open the hearts of readers, pulling them into scenes dressed in the tension of the unspoken. Denne is Black, queer and long since been on the rise. She’s the “first Black, openly trans woman to helm a major literary publication,” Electric Literature. As the guiding voice of the publication, she is actively creating space for voices shut out of the predominantly white, straight and cisgender publishing industry. Denne is also the author of the forthcoming novel, When the Harvest Comes. They joined us for the next edition of Black.Queer.Rising.
09/02/23·14m 33s

What Makes a Cervix... Incompetent?

Science journalist Rachel E. Gross explores how the evolution of medical terminology seems to have stalled when it comes to pregnancy. Patients are encountering terms like “geriatric pregnancy” and “incompetent cervix” that not only add an element of blame to a pregnancy, but also lack the specificity needed for medical care.  Read her recent piece in The Atlantic, "Don't Call My Cervix Incompetent." Listen to Gross's interview with The Takeaway about her book, "Vagina Obscura: An Anatomical Voyage."
08/02/23·12m 33s

How Private Equity Shaped the Abortion Pill

Medication abortions are the most common method in the U.S. for terminating a pregnancy, and the FDA recently moved to allow retail pharmacies to sell the abortion pill. So despite continuing attacks on abortion rights and access, the abortion pill has been an incredibly lucrative gamble for a secretive group of private equity investors — who are now battling each other for control of its future. We speak with Mother Jones reporter, Hannah Levintova. Her new story is "The Abortion Pill’s Secret Money Men."   
08/02/23·13m 9s

Written Out: The Silencing of Regina Gelana Twala

Regina Twala was one of southern Africa’s most important intellectuals: a pioneering writer, academic, political activist and feminist. Why, then, has she been all but forgotten? That’s the question Written Out: The silencing of Regina Gelana Twala by Joel Cabrita looks to answer. Dr. Joel Cabrita, Associate Professor of History at Stanford University argues that editors, white academics, apartheid officials, and politicians whose politics were at odds with Regina’s – conspired to erase her literary legacy.  
07/02/23·16m 36s

Florida Attacks Black Studies

In January, Florida's Department of Education rejected an Advanced Placement course in African American studies. Governor Ron Desantis called the course curricula "indoctrination." This move is in line with the state’s Stop Woke Act of 2022, which assumes that Critical Race Theory is running rampant throughout politics and education, that programs focused on race and diversity are discriminatory, and that strictly limits how topics like racism in American history can be discussed in Florida classrooms.  We speak with John Diamond, Professor of Sociology and Education Policy at Brown University and author of “Despite the Best Intentions: How Inequality Thrives in Good Schools," about the importance of Black studies.
06/02/23·13m 13s

Brittney Johnson is Spellbinding

Brittney Johnson is an accomplished actor, artist, and the first Black woman to play the title role of “Glinda” in the Broadway musical Wicked. She brings an exhilarating and sincere performance to any character she portrays. Brittney made Broadway History by being the first Black Woman to play the title role of “Glinda”, in Wicked on Broadway. You can watch this spellbinding performance for yourself, live, through February 12, 2023 at The Gershwin Theatre in New York City. Johnson, who has also appeared on Broadway in Les Misérables, Motown, Sunset Boulevard, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and Kristin Chenoweth: For the Girls, will succeed Ginna Claire Mason. 
06/02/23·8m 51s

Replay: Understanding An Intersectional Framework of Economic Justice for People Living With Disabilities

As many as 23 million people in the United States are struggling with long Covid. The sometimes debilitating symptoms include brain fog, fatigue, difficulty breathing, and depression or anxiety.  But almost a year after the Biden administration released guidance stating that people with long Covid can be included under the Americans with Disabilities Act, receiving benefits has been a struggle. Even before the pandemic, roughly one in four Americans were living with a disability. And while people with disabilities are more likely overall to experience financial difficulties…that is particularly true for people of color with disabilities. According to The Century Foundation, one in four Black disabled people were living in poverty as of 2020. That’s compared to one in seven white disabled people.At the end of May, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion held a hearing on financial inequities for people with disabilities, including those with long Covid. Disability rights advocate and Century Foundation fellow, Vilissa Thompson testified at the hearing, and spoke with us more about the economic barriers that people with a disability face and gave us an intersectional framework for understanding economic justice for people living with a disability.
03/02/23·20m 11s

Preparing for War: The Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism and What Comes Next

Brad Onishi is a professor of religion and a former evangelical Christian. As he watched the January 6, 2021 insurrection in progress, he wondered: “would I have been there?” That experience is the lens through which he explores history and the future in his new book: “Preparing for War: The Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism — and What Comes Next.” 
02/02/23·15m 41s

Replay: Debunking Gender Roles in the Animal Kingdom

According to zoologist Lucy Cooke, scientists have traditionally defined females in the animal kingdom with Victorian, sexist stereotypes. In her new book, “Bitch: On the Female of the Species,” Cooke debunks these outdated notions using examples throughout the animal kingdom of females breaking out of their passive roles and displaying aggression, competitiveness, and promiscuity. We spoke with Lucy Cooke about looking at female animals with a new lens, one that shows that males and females are not as different as previously thought.
02/02/23·21m 21s

Davante Lewis is Louisiana's First Openly LGBTQ+ Public Commissioner

This Black History Month, Black.Queer.Rising. is back! We are profiling Black and Queer politicians/changemakers, artists, influencers, and more in this month-long series where we honor the impact of Black Queer legacies on today’s society and culture while we forge Black Queer futures. For our first edition, we speak to Davante Lewis, Public Commissioner for Lousiana’s Third District. Lewis is the first Black, openly LGBTQ+ person elected to Louisiana's state government. We spoke with him about holding political office, representation, and what Black.Queer.Rising means to him.
01/02/23·12m 15s

Child Poverty Was Cut In Half-- Why Stop Now?

SNAP or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is one of the most critical policy tools we have to address hunger and poverty in the U-S. And during the pandemic, it was a literal lifeline.  Congress temporarily increased SNAP benefits giving a boost of 15 percent to everyone who needed it and allowing all families to max out their eligibility based on the size of the family.  This month, the nearly three-year boost to a benefit used by more than 41 million Americans will end.  And now that a carton of eggs costs about as much as college tuition, millions of families will have to stretch their food dollars even further. It’s a tough blow, especially given Child Tax Credit, expanded for the pandemic, was also allowed to expire.   Data from the Brookings Institute show that those monthly checks of up to $300 dollars per child lifted more than 3 and a half million children out of poverty. Something the Biden Administration was very proud of.  We speak with Jamila Michener, associate professor of Government at Cornell University. Co-Director of the Cornell Center for Health Equity, and Author of Fragmented Democracy: Medicaid, Federalism and Unequal Politics.  
01/02/23·13m 32s

The Wellness to Qanon Pipeline

This past month, millions of Americans will have taken up new fitness, health and wellness pursuits. There is typically no shortage of influencers and so-called gurus ready to capitalize on this reliably-annual influx of customers, but that’s taken a more sinister turn in these recent, turbulent years. We discuss the increasing convergence of right-wing conspiracies with wellness circles, how authoritarianism became embedded in the modern history of yoga, and how to practice wellness with awareness. We're joined by Matthew Remski, a yoga practitioner, co-host of the Conspirituality podcast and co-author of the upcoming book, "Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat," with Julian Walker and Derek Beres.
31/01/23·17m 36s

The Future of Police Abolition

On January 7, Memphis Police officers pepper sprayed and brutally beat photographer and avid skateboarder Tyre Nichols. Nichols complained of shortness of breath, and waited 22 minutes before an ambulance arrived to transport him – in critical condition – to a local hospital. He died on January 10. Memphis police chief Ceralyn Davis called the beating of Nichols a “failure of basic humanity.”  This brutal killing has renewed public discussions of police abolition. We talk with Professor Christian Davenport, professor of political science at The University of Michigan and author of State Repression and the Promise of Democratic Peace.
31/01/23·20m 21s
Heart UK