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.
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that the earth’s temperature will rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2040 if we don’t curb our greenhouse gas emissions. But what if there was another way — what if we could simply shade the planet from the sun's hot rays? It sounds like something right out of a science fiction movie, but research into making it a reality has recently won some powerful financial backers. Solar geo-engineering, as the idea is called, doesn't just pose...more
Fungi under the soil plays an important role in forestry growth and capturing carbon, and it turns out understanding unknown territory of underground fungi networks could be critical for climate change mitigation efforts. We spoke with Colin Averill (AiVE-rall), lead scientist at the Crowther lab at ETH Zurich and Co founder of The Society for the Protection of Underground Networks to understand why we should adopt a “fungi first” approach to climate change.
Last week, the Biden administration declared a public health emergency over the spread of the monkeypox virus in the United States. There are currently more than 7,500 known cases in the country, with more than 90% occurring among men who reported recently having had sex or other intimate contact with other men. After the public health emergency declaration, Alondra Nelson, head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and several of her colleagues published a statement in par...more
Primaries were held last week in Arizona, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington. On the Republican side, many of the races were close, making it hard to say definitively whether former President Trump had a strong sway on these votes. But overall, a number of the candidates he endorsed won, meaning that in several prominent midterm races the GOP nominee will be a candidate who has backed Trump on his 2020 election lies. At the same time that the primary season is moving along, Congressional Democra...more
In July, Google put software engineer Blake Lemoine on administrative leave after he claimed that the Google’s chatbot system he was working with had become aware of its own existence. Google dismissed his claims and denied that the application called LaMDA, or Language Model for Dialogue Applications, was sentient. We speak with Dr. Karina Vold, assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology about the feasibility of sentient...more
90-year old Natalie Levant and 88-year old George Saltz are subjects of the new documentary Still Standing from The New Yorker and filmmaker Elizabeth Zephyrine McDonough. After losing their life partners, they each began stand-up comedy careers in their early 80's We talk with Natalie and George about the power of laughter as healing, and finding humor in the golden years. You can watch the documentary Still Standing from The New Yorker online here. You can see George Saltz perform at The Comic...more
The United States has a food waste problem. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, up to 40% of our food supply goes uneaten every year. That’s in a country where more than 38 million people face food insecurity. Unreliable food date labels are one of many reasons behind this. A 2019 survey found that 85% of people throw away their food based on those labels, but as it turns out, there isn't much science behind them. To learn more, we speak with Yvette Cabrera, Director of Food Wa...more
On Thursday, WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner appeared once again in front of a Russian court. She faced up to 10 years in prison for drug charges, as Russian authorities alleged that they found vape canisters containing hashish oil with trace amounts of cannabis oil in her luggage in February. Before a judge handed down her sentence, she pled for leniency, saying, "I made an honest mistake and I hope your ruling doesn’t end my life here." But she was sentenced to nin...more
For the second half of the 20th century, Ebony Magazine and Jet Magazine were the sources of news and entertainment for the African American community. It was in these magazines, put out by the Johnson Publishing Company, where you could find news and images of Black celebrities, writers, artists, and political activists, as well as snapshots of Black life in our own neighborhoods. The Johnson Publishing Company was founded in 1942 by John and Eunice Johnson. This week, ownership of the Ebony an...more
Ten years ago this week, a white supremacist gunman entered the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, in Oak Creek, and shot ten people. Six people were killed on August 5, 2012, and they were part of Wisconsin’s Indian immigrant community. This was no random act of violence. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, targeted acts of violence directed at Sikhs increased significantly. Still, the FBI did not begin to collect data on anti-Sikh hate crimes until 2015. That decade of heightened hostility went l...more
The Savannah Bananas are an unconventional baseball team that have amassed 3 million followers on TikTok – more than any *Major* League Baseball team. This wildly popular minor league baseball franchise has sold out every home game at their Historic Grayson Stadium in Savannah, Georgia since its founding in 2016. Fans come from miles away to watch the Bananas’ collegiate team in the summer, and the pro Bananas throughout the rest of the year. Those pros have become famous for their high energy, ...more
In 2011, Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution sparked a wave of mass demonstrations throughout the region. Tunisia was the first democracy to emerge from what became known as the Arab Spring. Just over a decade later, after the adoption of a new constitution headed by President Kais Saied, it is poised to be the last to fall. The new constitution effectively grants President Saied a monopoly on power and bolsters Islam as a priority of the state. The constitution was approved by referendum on July 2...more
Brandon Ethridge is a classically trained pianist, music director and composer who has worked on Broadway and touring with a Queen cover band. During the pandemic, he took up a new hobby, writing what he calls “mini-musicals.” Listening carefully to people’s speech patterns, he sets viral videos, interviews and speeches to music, using rhythm and harmony in a way that makes it sound almost as though his subjects are singing. His mini-musicals run the gamut from the political to the profane,...more
In mid-July, the Southern Poverty Law Center and several immigrant advocacy groups released a letter detailing sexual assault allegations made by four migrant women formerly detained at the Stewart Detention Center in Georgia. All four women accused the same nurse of assault, and since the release of that letter, The Intercept reported on a fifth woman who accused the nurse of assault. CoreCivic, the private prison company that runs Stewart, claims that they investigated three reports of sexual...more
School's out, camp is on, and the parks are packed — it's summer! But summertime joy isn't just for kids. Adults can play too, so we're taking a week to highlight different ways to play. Dr. Laurie Santos, Professor of Psychology at Yale University and host of the "The Happiness Lab" podcast, joins us to highlight the many benefits of play and the importance of play for play's sake.
Steven Thrasher’s research explores the ways in which our social structures underscore the inequities of viruses: how they are transmitted, who they kill, and the impacts they have on communities. He joins us to discuss his new book The Viral Underclass: The Human Toll When Inequality and Disease Collide. “The Viral Underclass: The Human Toll When Inequality and Disease Collide,” explores how social determinants impact the health outcomes of different communities. (Celadon Books)
The 40+ Double Dutch Club is getting women all over the country into their local parks and playgrounds for jumping, dancing and playing. It all started with one group in Chicago and has turned into a full-fledged movement with chapters in over 30 states and three countries. We speak with the founder, Pamela Robinson, about how the nostalgic game of her childhood became an exercise in community-building and, well — exercise! We're joined by her mother and club board member, Pamela Powell Pelt, w...more
Due to a chain of court decisions, roughly 56,000 formerly incarcerated people on probation or parole are now eligible to vote in North Carolina’s midterm elections. A 2019 lawsuit filed by several non-profits challenged a 1973 state law disenfranchising people still serving out felony sentences through probation or parole. In the lawsuit, the non-profits point out that this 1973 law disproportionately targets Black people, particularly Black men, in North Carolina. Although it is still possib...more
According to the Republican National Committee, 160 Black candidates filed to run as Republicans in local, state and federal elections this year. But there are also 100 Republican candidates running for political office who have been labeled “far-right” by the Anti-Defamation League. Can the GOP be both the party of Lincoln and the party of Trump? We speak with Dr. Leah Wright Rigueur, Associate Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University and author of "The Loneliness of the Black Republic...more
Nearly a month after releasing her summer single “Break My Soul,” Beyoncé is back with ACT I of her 7th studio album “Renaissance.” It was officially released this past Friday, July 29th and the Beyhive has been raving ever since the rollout began. In a recent Rolling Stone article about 70 of Beyoncé’s greatest hits, music journalist Mankaprr Conteh describes Beyoncé as the “world’s greatest living entertainer,” and in her unique album "RENAISSANCE", the innovative sound of Ms. Beyoncé's Gis...more
A former high-school dropout from Washington D.C., Carlton McCoy found his calling after attending culinary school. After working at several of New York City’s top restaurants, McCoy discovered a love for wine. By 28, he became just the second ever Black Master Sommelier. Today McCoy is the Managing Partner of Lawrence Wine Estates, a collection of Napa Valley wineries, and co-founded The Roots Fund, which is working to diversify the wine world by providing pathways for Black and Indigenous pe...more
Last week, a dozen Black girls and women gathered at Melissa's home for the Black Land Use and Food Supply Summer, an immersive one week living and learning project organized by the New Jersey based Grassroots Community Foundation in collaboration with the Anna Julia Cooper Center. We hear from the participants: Amina Anekwe (17) from New Jersey Nyasah Simmons (11) from New Jersey Farida Odumosu (17) from New Jersey Ain Dantzler (14) from Philadelphia Diya Dantzler (20) from Philadelphia ...more
A recent study from The New Republic which analyzed historical data from 1920 to 1997, found that the value of stolen Black farmland in that period equates to $326 Billion dollars today. But Black land has been, and remains a site of Black resistance. To learn more about the ways Black people and communities use land, farming, and food justice as tools of resistance against racial inequality, we speak with Monica White, professor of environmental justice at the University of Wisconsin-Madison ...more
In May, Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed in May while reporting on an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank. An investigation by CNN found that “Abu Akleh was shot dead in a targeted attack by Israeli forces,” but after reviewing investigations conducted by Israel and Palestinian authorities, the U.S. State Department claimed that a damaged bullet prevented the U.S. government from making any conclusions over whether Israeli forces were fully responsible for her deat...more
A new startup tournament, LIV Golf, backed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and financed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund, is dividing the professional golf world by promising players multi-million dollar prizes and attracting some of the best-known names in golf to play in their circuit. And rebranding the game as “GOLF, BUT LOUDER.” All this is upsetting already established tournaments like the PGA Tour – which is like the NFL of American Football, or the MLB of Baseball – and for nearly ...more
Republican state lawmakers have introduced a record number of laws this year intended to limits the rights of trans, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people. According to data compiled by the ACLU, they've proposed 162 bills in the first half of this year alone, outpacing the 151 laws considered throughout all of last year. These legislative campaigns are largely motivated by a small group of wealthy far-right actors with extreme religious beliefs. They might remain somewhat fringe if not for...more
With four months left until the midterms, we check in on Democratic strategy and what the White House is thinking with Basil Smikle, a Democratic strategist and director of the public policy program at Hunter College and Maria Teresa Kumar, Voto Latino’s founding president.
Multinational corporations from T-Mobile to Jimmy John's to Build-A-Bear have increasingly baited online engagement with "not safe for work" social media posts. Is tweeting about sliding into DMs, launching an OnlyFans, or how hot their "buns" are good for their brands? We talk with Nathan Allebach, Creative Director at Allebach Communications and freelance writer covering internet culture, who dove into the weird and cringy history of this trend for Vulture.
The Oak Fire in Mariposa County, California has scorched more than 18,000 acres since it started last Friday. It comes several weeks after the start of the Washburn fire, which is now more than 85 percent contained. But both fires have threatened Yosemite National Park and the communities that surround it. While the idea that fighting fire with fire might sound counterintuitive, it’s a practice with plenty of history and success in mitigating fire damage. Yosemite’s sequoia trees, for example, ...more
Officials in the city of Houston, Texas say 25,000 people have moved into permanent housing in the city since 2011, a decrease in the homeless population of 63 percent. The city implemented a "housing first" strategy, a model that moves vulnerable people straight from streets and shelters into apartments, without requiring them to enter other programs, like substance abuse treatment or job training, first. We speak with Mandy Chapman-Semple, the former Special Assistant to the Mayor for Homeles...more
According to the CDC, in 2020, 861 women died in the US as a result of maternal causes. That’s up from 754 women who perished during or shortly after giving birth the year before, and an increase compared to the 658 women who lost their lives due to pregnancy and birth complications a year earlier. In fact, the rate of maternal mortality in the United States has increased in the past three decades. During a time when most countries throughout the world have improved outcomes for people giving b...more
Whether you're interested in history, politics, memoirs, or light reads by the pool, our listeners have recommendations for you: "Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil" by Susan Neiman “In the wake of white nationalist attacks, the ongoing debate over reparations, and the controversy surrounding Confederate monuments and the contested memories they evoke, Susan Neiman’s Learning from the Germans delivers an urgently needed perspective on how a country can come to terms with its ...more
We talk with best selling author Michael Pollan about the paperback release of his book, “This is Your Mind on Plants,” in which he analyzes the complex relationship between humans, their brains, and the psychoactive molecules in plants, and how these plants are used to alter our consciousness. In the book, he uses a trio of psychoactive substances in plants (opium, caffeine, and mescaline) to look at these relationships, challenge what we characterize as a "drug," and look at why some drugs are...more
The iconic actor, writer, and singer Billy Porter makes his directorial debut with the new film called, “Anything’s Possible.” The movie is a sweet, queer rom-com that Porter has described as being in the mold of a John Hughes classic, but with a much more representational cast. We speak with Billy Porter about the film, his career, and living his truth after speaking publicly last year about being HIV positive.
Khristi Lauren Adams joins us to discuss her new book, Unbossed: How Black Girls Are Leading the Way.
The residents of Gordon Plaza are fighting for a fully-funded relocation from the toxic land that their community was built on by the City of New Orleans. The subdivision was built on top of what was once the Agricultural Street Landfill – an area designated by the EPA as a hazardous waste site in 1994. Since 1993, residents have been fighting for financial compensation for emotional distress and property damage. They’ve also pushed for a fully-funded relocation, which after decades, may now be ...more
The 2022 Georgia Senate race is heating up as Republican Herschel Walker, a political newcomer, faces off against incumbent Senator Rev. Raphael Warnock. As was evident in the 2020 Georgia Senate races that saw Warnock and Democrat Jon Ossoff win election, the importance of Black voters in Georgia is expected to play a key role in determining the outcome of this election. We speak with Maya King, New York Times politics reporter covering the South, who has been covering the race, and Andra Gill...more
The 2022 Supreme Court ruling on Oklahoma vs. Castro-Huerta granted the state of Oklahoma the power to prosecute non-Indians who commit felony crimes against tribal citizens on reservation land. It comes just two years after a landmark decision in McGirt vs. Oklahoma, which resulted in 40% of eastern Oklahoma being affirmed as reservation land, thereby expanding tribal jurisdiction over criminal cases there. Tribes and tribal law experts see the Castro-Huerta ruling as an alarming turn in the Co...more
On Wednesday, President Biden visited Somerset, Massachusetts, and spoke at what used to be the largest fossil-fuel-burning power plant in New England. In front of the shuttered Brayton Point Power Station, Biden announced new executive orders to direct funding towards the impacts of climate change. "Today I'm making the largest investment ever. $2.3 billion to help communities across the country build infrastructure that's designed to withstand the full range of disasters we've been seeing up t...more
For his new book Rebel Speak: A Justice Movement Mixtape scholar and activist Bryonn Rolly Bain compiled conversations he’s had with movement and thought leaders from different generations with the goal of reframing how we think about justice. Many of the people featured in Bain’s book are formerly incarcerated or people whose family members are incarcerated. We speak with Bain about how he centered marginalized perspectives in his book to weave together a radical vision for the future. Bain is ...more
This past Sunday, Operation Save Abortion tackled the question: what can one person do after the Dobbs vs. Jackson decision took away the constitutional right to abortion? The Takeaway attended the day of learning, action and fundraising. We hear from five of the panelists and Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show and founder and Chief Creative Officer of Abortion Access Front, to discuss Operation Save Abortion, the movement for abortion access, and securing reproductive justice for all...more
Growing up, Keri Blakinger was a rising star in competitive figure skating. But an eating disorder and drug addictions sent her down a different path that eventually led her into a prison in New York state. She’s now a reporter for The Marshall Project covering prisons and jails, motivated by her time in the system. We speak with her about her memoir Corrections in Ink.
After a Supreme Court session that ended the right to an abortion and put other rights in jeopardy, some Democrats have proposed expanding the Supreme Court as a way to restore political balance. Some analysts have even called for the Court to be abolished. But these arguments hinge on the assumption that the Court has enormous power. We speak with Dr. Gerald Rosenberg, Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Lecturer of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. His foundational book, "T...more
Payments for federal student loans have been paused since March 2020, and after multiple extensions, they are currently scheduled to restart on September 1, 2022. President Biden has not said whether he plans to extend the pause again, or if he has made the decision to cancel up to $10,000 of student loans for borrowers. But there’s a federal program that has already promised loan forgiveness to an estimated 9 million public service workers with federal student loans. In 2007, Congress created t...more
What if you found out that everything you thought you knew about your family and your identity…was a lie? That’s what Carmen Rita Wong tackles in her new book, Why Didn’t You Tell Me: A Memoir, as she confronts the stories her mother told that kept her biological father’s identity a secret for decades.
Oakland’s 2018 Youth Poet Laureate Leila Mottley joins us to discuss her debut novel, Nightcrawling. The work, already an Oprah’s Book Club Pick, has been described as “dazzling” and Leila has been named a New York Times “writer to watch.”
Since Donald Trump lost the presidential election in 2020, prominent Republican figures have continued to fuel the “Big Lie” of voter fraud and election rigging. The coordinated efforts around pushing this false information have included widespread targeting and harassment of election officials and poll workers. Many of these workers now feel unsafe at their jobs overseeing and certifying elections, and some are quitting to avoid the threats. In a recent poll from the Brennan Center of nearly 60...more
After each census every 10 years, a fight for redistricting ensues. The process of redrawing congressional maps is supposed to ensure a representative democracy, yet partisan gerrymandering has meant that many states do not have fair representation. And the gerrymandering happens from both political parties. The Princeton Gerrymandering Project which assigns grades based on a set of fairness metrics gave F’s to several states this redistricting cycle: Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Ohio, New York...more
During the pandemic, a new wave of Americans have moved abroad in search of cheaper rent, better weather, and slower lifestyles. Many of these young workers are self-described digital nomads, with disposable incomes. In many cities, this influx of well-off migrants has led to gentrification and displacement of local residents. To zero in on how this issue is playing out in Mexico City, we speak with Tamara Velasquez, a doctoral student and researcher of gentrification in the Rutgers University ...more
Formed in the 1970s, the Puerto Rican boy band Menudo were a powerful cultural force across Latin America, and, eventually, for Spanish speaking audiences worldwide. The group’s founder, Edgardo Díaz, employed a strategy of phasing out older members once they entered their later teens, and replacing them with younger ones, so that the group could continue indefinitely. The new HBO Max documentary “Menudo: Forever Young,” co-directed by Kristofer Ríos and Angel Manuel Soto, traces the rise of th...more
On Sunday, 31-year old Elijah Muhammad, who was being held at New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex, was found dead in his cell. It is the 8th death of an inmate at Rikers Island just this year. Last year, 16 people died while in custody at Rikers. The city’s Department of Correction has released a plan for reforming Rikers, but a federal takeover of the facility is still possible later this year. We speak with WNYC and Gothamist reporter Matt Katz about the conditions at the jail complex....more
In 2020, friends Ashley Scott, Renee Walters and Laura Riley-Cooper pooled their money to buy 502 acres of in a rural area of Georgia. Their goal? To create a haven for Black people in the wake of the upheaval caused by the pandemic and police brutality. They've since recruited 19 families to work together to build a town from scratch. They’re calling it Freedom, Georgia. But before Freedom can become a town, it needs infrastructure, governance and an economy. We speak with Freedom co-founder As...more
Right now, the American West is facing its worst megadrought in 1200 years. And like much of the American West, Utah, and its fast-growing capital of Salt Lake City, is facing a looming water crisis, which is also impacting the state’s iconic body of water: the Great Salt Lake. And due to poor water management and a growing population, the Great Salt Lake is slowly drying up, which could hurt the local ecosystem, Salt Lake City's economy, and could have health impacts as dust with toxic metals i...more
The new federally mandated crisis hotline, 988, is launching on July 16. The hotline will serve as an alternative to 911 and is meant to specifically target people in need of mental health and suicide prevention assistance. 988 callers will be routed to local and state funded crisis centers, or connected with the National Suicide prevention hotline. We hear from Hannah Wesolowski, National Alliance on Mental Illness Chief Advocacy Officer, and Tonja Myles, community activist and peer counselor...more
Since 2019, "A Black Lady Sketch Show" has served as a testament to just how wonderfully weird and insightful things get when some of the best Black women comedians gather. Its success is due in large part to the vision of creator and star Robin Thede. On Tuesday, June 12, it was announced that Thede's timely and iconic sketch comedy show was nominated for a third year in a row. This year the show is nominatd for 5 Emmy nominations including: Outstanding Variety Sketch Series; Outstanding Writi...more
Across the country, hospitalizations for COVID-19 have risen to their highest levels since March. This rise in cases is being driven by the new BA.5 variant, which now accounts for around 65 percent of all COVID infections in the U.S. To help us understand this stage of the pandemic, we speak with Dr. Celine Gounder, Senior Fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine and a former m...more
This summer has been a turbulent one, and this is probably the understatement of the decade but it’s been ”eventful” in the US, with a series of high-profile mass shootings, the January 6th investigations, SCOTUS overturning of Roe v. Wade, continuing incidents of police violence, tensions on the Mexican border–all amidst the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. For many of us here in the U.S., it has felt like an overwhelming onslaught of events. But how is the rest of the world thinking about our cou...more
Humans live meaningful lives with the knowledge they will eventually die, but an increasing amount of money and resources are being put into researching whether we can significantly prolong the aging process. There’s a growing field of scientific research dedicated to staving off both the physical and mental changes that tend to accompany older age. According to The New Statesman, this anti-aging industry, also referred to as the “immortality industry” will be worth 610 billion dollars by 2025. ...more
India has long been considered the largest democracy in the world. But India’s constitution is struggling against the test of time. Prime Minister Narendra Modi leads the BJP, a right-wing, Hindu-majority government, and today, there are growing concerns about the direction of India’s democracy. Recently, two BJP party leaders made anti-Islamic comments, sparking protests, and clashes between Muslims and Hindus. Hundreds of Muslims were arrested and the homes of Muslim activists and protestors ...more
This week, NASA released the first photos taken by the James Webb Space Telescope, which reveal galaxies as they appeared up to 13 billion years in the past. This is the most powerful space telescope of all time, with a 270-square foot mirror that can collect infrared light from some of the most far-flung stars and galaxies in the universe. Dr. Ezinne Uzo-Okoro, Assistant Director for Space Policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, speaks with us about what these photos ...more
The Russian government recently declared an "operational pause" in its war on Ukraine, in the face of difficulties recruiting troops and continued international aid to Ukraine. Christopher Miller, world and national security reporter with POLITICO, covering Russia's war on Ukraine, explains what this means and where the war will go from here.
More movie fans are back in theaters this year than last, but the 2022 box office is still below pre-pandemic levels. So if you’re on the fence: which releases are actually worth checking out in theaters this summer? Marvel’s latest, "Thor: Love and Thunder," topped the box office this weekend, but did it live up to expectations? And what’s still to come? The Takeaway turns to Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, and Alison Willmore, film critic for New York Magazine and Vulture, for their rec...more
Last week, WNBA star Brittney Griner appeared in Russian court and pled guilty to drug trafficking charges. Griner has been wrongfully-detained in Russian for over 140 days, and she recently wrote to President Biden, saying "I’m terrified I might be here forever." A few days later, We speak with Dr. Danielle Gilbert, Fellow at the Joan Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College, about what to expect next in Griner’s case and what legal strategies might be at play.
Prices are high and they're going higher. In June, the Labor Department reported that a key inflation measure, the Consumer Price Index, had increased by 8.6 percent year-over-year – the largest 12-month increase in 40 years. New numbers will be out this week – and they are expected to stay high. In response to this inflation, and in order to stabilize it, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate by three quarters of a percentage point in mid-June – the biggest hike since 1994. And...more
In this Deep Dive, Melissa and Dorian take an in-depth look at water insecurity, access and cleanliness. They start off with Sera Young, associate professor anthropology and global health at northwestern University. Then Josina Morita, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District in Cook County about how the infrastructure bill will aid in improving water systems. Jonathan Nez, president of the Navajo Nation and Bidtah Becker, Associate attorney with the Navajo tribal utility aut...more
Joining our hosts to discuss the racial and class inequalities infecting application of the Death Penalty is Samuel Spital, Director of Litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. They speak with Sabrina Butler Smith, the first woman exonerated from death row, about her experience of being wrongly convicted of murdering her infant and sent to death row in Mississippi. We also get a look from a victim’s perspective through a conversation with Jennifer Pinckney, Widow of Rev. Clement...more
On today's Deep Dive, Melissa and Dorian take an in-depth look at sex work and how it's been criminalized in the United States, starting off with journalist and former sex worker Melissa Gira Grant, who discusses the history of criminalizing sex work in the U.S. Then Cecilia Gentili, principal consultant and founder of Trans Equity Consulting, and LaLa B. Holston-Zannell, trans justice campaign manager in the National Advocacy Department at the ACLU, explain the idea of sex work as work and why ...more
Joining our hosts to discuss the history of U.S. Health Insurance and how it compares to other countries is Julia Lynch, Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, and Jamila Michener, associate professor in the department of Government at Cornell University about the connections between health inequities and our insurance system. We also take a look at the creation of the Affordable Care Act with one of its architects Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel who currently serves as Vice Provo...more
After the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act and even Loving v. Virginia, one major issue around the racial justice movement remained unaddressed: fair housing. On April 11, 1968 President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Fair Housing Act into law. Because of this, April is National Fair Housing Month. All month, advocates, organizers, and communities commemorate this landmark piece of Civil Rights legislation which outlawed discrimination in housing. On this episode of The Tak...more
“We live in the United States, the richest country in the history of the world. And we have 140 million people who are poor or one health care crisis, one job loss, one storm, one tornado away from economic ruin.” - Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Co-Chair of the Poor People's Campaign Even before the excruciating weight of the COVID-19 pandemic, poverty rates rose for the first time in five years. In 2020, there were 3.3 million more people living in poverty than in 2019. Poverty rates rose among whit...more
Conservatives have long invoked the specter of the 1857 Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott vs. Sandford in their fight against abortion rights, likening embryos and fetuses to slaves with no due process. Progressives now, too, are drawing parallels between the stripping of rights from people who may get pregnant and the infamous majority opinion penned by then-Chief Justice Roger Taney, who wrote, "a Black man has no rights which the white man was bound to respect." Missing from this historic...more
Alok Vaid-Menon is a gender non-conforming writer and performer who grew up in Texas to Indian immigrant parents. They use their creativity and platform to explore themes of gender, race, trauma and belonging, advocating and bringing visibility to the trans community. We speak with Alok about their work and advocacy, and what they learned from their aunt, Urvashi Vaid, the beloved LGBTQ rights activist who spent more than a decade working for equality at the National LGBTQ Task Force.
We speak with comedian Jenny Slate about bringing back her viral character “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” for a feature length film.
On Monday, an abandoned truck on the outskirts of San Antonio, Texas, was found on the side of a desolate road. Responders discovered a tragedy: dozens of migrants, trapped in the back of the truck in deadly heat. The death toll is now over 50 people, with several survivors still in hospitals fighting for their lives. We speak with Jason De León, professor of anthropology at UCLA and director of the Undocumented Migration Project, who studies clandestine border crossings, about how and why tr...more
During his first days in office, President Biden suspended the Migrant Protection Protocols, or the ‘remain in Mexico’ program, which required migrants to wait in Mexico instead of crossing the border into the United States while the United States government adjudicated their cases. Republicans in Texas and Missouri sued the Biden administration, and a federal judge in Texas ruled that MPP be reinstated with approval from Mexico. Now, SCOTUS will decide whether the Biden Department of Homeland S...more