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Sports in Society — Featured Episode

Abandoning offensive mascots

Getting rid of Native-themed team names and promotional images in sports has been an uphill battle but decades of sustained efforts are paying off.

In this episode 3 stories

Read 8 mins
Efforts to halt Native-themed names, imagery gain traction

The use of Native American names and imagery is under national debate. Many educational institutions and some professional sports franchises have abandoned offensive mascots, while some colleges retain official partnerships with tribes.

Listen 9 mins
Ban opens door to education, conversation and healing

Washington state Rep. Debra Lekanoff talks about banning Native mascots in schools, the importance of bringing Native and American communities together, and educating others about Native American culture.

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Highlights of the progress to rid sports of hurtful images

Decades of protest against racist stereotypes have led to mascot changes in high school, college and professional sports. In 2020, the Washington Football Team finally succumbed to the pressure to drop its controversial team name, in use since 1933.

Identity — Featured Episode

Abiding Faith

More than a year after the start of the global pandemic, believers reflect on the power of prayer.

In this episode 3 stories

Read 5 mins
Religious invocations render aid and comfort amid crisis

With public worship curtailed, personal devotions strengthen believers’ faith in the power of prayer to help them through these anxious times. ‘I’ve seen people’s spiritual lives deepen’ during the pandemic, noted one high-profile Christian author.

Watch 6 mins
In this 'new normal,' these prayers encourage and uplift

During the pandemic, religious scholars and authors from myriad denominations provided words of prayer ranging from entreaties for overall well-being to specific themes, such as intercessions for nursing home residents and ‘the new normal to come.’

Listen 8 mins
Man’s faith sustained him through dad’s Covid-19 battle

When Faran Ahmad’s father was hospitalized with the coronavirus, he turned to prayer for comfort, finding peace in his connection to Allah, and ultimately, to extended family members living in Pakistan.

The Great Rural — Featured Episode

Activism in Rural America

When the fight for racial equality intensified, activists in small towns let their voices be heard.

In this episode 3 stories

Read 7 mins
The big impact of small-town activism

Activists in rural America take part in the movement for justice and equality.

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Protests aren’t an urban occurrence only

Rural areas were part of a year that saw widespread protests and demonstrations across the U.S.

Listen 8 mins
'We protest with love'

In the wake of George Floyd’s death, Bridgette Craighead of Rocky Mount, Virginia, started organizing protests in her small town.

With support from Unicorn

Points of View — Featured Episode

A portrait of George Floyd Square

Local photographers reflect on a year of George Floyd Square.

In this episode 4 stories

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Memorial becomes space for activism, healing and hope

In the past year, George Floyd Square has become the heart center of a movement, and a community. Local Black photographers have been documenting what the space has meant, and continues to mean.

Read 3 mins
'This isn’t a sprint. We’re in a marathon'

Irna Landrum, who lives near George Floyd Square, shares with photographer Nina Robinson how she is living through this historic moment.

Read 1 mins
Tender moment disrupts Black fatherhood narrative

Photographer Patience Zalanga describes what she saw in this quiet moment in George Floyd Square, and what it can teach us.

Read 1 mins
My son wonders if George Floyd memorial will live on

Photographer Kyndell Harkness reflects on bringing her son, William, to George Floyd Square in June 2020.

With support from EY + Meda

Frontiers of Enterprise — Featured Episode

The art of protest

Activism can take many forms, and especially in the past year, artists have voiced opinions through their particular medium. From murals to posters to spoken word, artists share their thoughts in public spaces.

In this episode 3 stories

Read 5 mins
Artists find their voices, power through creation

Black Lives Matter murals and other public art spark conversation and controversy — and maybe even change. Artists share how their work has empowered others and themselves.

Listen 11 mins
Poet-activist uses the power of words for change

Poet, actor and performance artist Staceyann Chin uses words as her art form to speak out against injustices. She says her work is one small step in the larger journey toward making the world better.

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A message, a movement, an opportunity to be heard

In Stamford, Conn., a community-supported protest mural maintains an indelible presence.

With support from Caring Bridge

Dimensions of Health — Featured Episode

Mental health disparities in Black communities

Historically, minorities have had less access to mental health services than white Americans. Some grassroots organizations are working to close the gap.

In this episode 4 stories

Watch 9 mins
Trauma of Floyd aftermath leads activist to new advocacy

Isak Douah had long felt the mental toll of the fight for social justice but he’d always rebuffed suggestions to seek counseling — until the tragic events of Juneteenth 2020. His experience with therapy led to a new calling: funding mental healthcare for Black youth.

Read 5 mins
Black barbers train to cut through mental health stigma

As more studies show the connection between racism and mental health, new approaches to help Blacks, especially men, find advocates and get care are springing up in traditional community hubs like barbershops.

Listen 18 mins
To be a woman, Black, and in need of some healing

iPondr’s Stephanie Moore, an advocate for mental health, and Crystal Smith discuss their personal journeys to find answers and the proper care for their own mental health issues, and some of the challenges they faced along the way.

Read 3 mins
Mental healthcare and advocacy training resources

Finding mental healthcare that works for you can be daunting, especially in Black communities, where barriers to access are deeply entrenched. iPondr has curated a number of resources to get you started.

Sports in Society — Featured Episode

Diversifying the great outdoors

Nature is available to all. Why, then, is there such a lack of diversity in outside activities? Running, fishing and hiking are the top three outdoor pursuits, yet fewer than 30% of participants are people of color.

In this episode 3 stories

Listen 6 mins
Why representation matters in outdoor spaces

Nature is often seen as an equalizer because it’s available for all. However, people of color have long been underrepresented in the outdoors industry. Photographer/filmmaker Samantha Isom shares how she tries to break the narrative with her online journal and travel show, Brown Passport.

Read 6 mins
Black to nature: Various groups reclaim the outdoors

Racist attitudes and laws, including segregation, kept Black people and other people of color away from national and regional parks for generations. Now they’re teaching themselves the joys of savoring nature.

Watch 8 mins
Choosing the path of adventure and exploration

Minnesotan Kiri Langseth-Schmidt, her husband, Dan Yuan, and their young son, Kai, are choosing a life of outdoor adventure, claiming space for their Asian American family in the beauty of nature.

With support from Caring Bridge

Dimensions of Health — Featured Episode

Help for the helpers

For medical professionals, stress related to the pandemic is unparalleled.

In this episode 3 stories

Watch 6 mins
Stress, fear and uncertainty and the coronavirus

Emergency medicine doctor finds respite from stress in running during the pandemic.

Read 4 mins
Pandemic stress daunting for health professionals

Turmoil and upheaval raise levels of anxiety, fear and isolation. Doctors heed their advice to patients: Meditate, rest, exercise and remember: ‘We will get through this.’

Listen 8 mins
Helping health workers take better care of each other

Dr. Mark Greenawald turned his experience with trauma in medicine into a new online service where healthcare workers use a buddy system to take stock of their peers’ mental health.

Sports in Society — Featured Episode

Lifting the ‘white’ label from sports

More initiatives continue to pop up with the goal of creating greater diversity in traditionally ‘white’ sports. Athletes of color in tennis, ice hockey and lacrosse — among others — are paving the way to lift racial labels and restore the diverse history in some of these sports.

In this episode 3 stories

Read 7 mins
Ice hockey looks and sounds different in these N.J. communities

Non-profit Hockey in New Jersey is making the sport accessible to kids from all backgrounds. The diversity and impact of this program in urban communities is a picture of what the NHL dreams of as it seeks to expand its audience.

Listen 7 mins
The only Black kid on the team learns to thrive

Jaylen Wheeler, once a student at University Prep in north Seattle, was the only Black player on his baseball team. This led him to interview friends about being the odd man out and pushing boundaries.

Read 6 mins
Creating opportunities for the 'creator's game'

Through an internationally recognized lacrosse program, the Haudenosaunee are reclaiming their own place in the sport they created.

With support from EY + Meda

Frontiers of Enterprise — Featured Episode

The must-have cover-up

Face coverings evolved from necessity to fashion statement, creating business opportunities and spurring innovative research on ways to repurpose disposable masks.

In this episode 3 stories

Read 5 mins
Retailers uncover a $2B industry with face masks

From Gap to Louis Vuitton, merchants turn reusable cloth masks meant to protect wearers against the coronavirus into fashion fare, with prices ranging from modest to blingy.

Listen 4 mins
Scientists construct new uses for billions of discarded masks

Littered face masks and other PPE are an emerging environmental crisis. Some researchers have found a way to repurpose masks in road-building materials but now they need industry to take note and use the technology.

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Duo turns mask-making hobby into thriving business

Lisa Bays and her daughter Katie Bays began making and donating masks at the start of the pandemic to help their neighbors in Zionsville, Ind. A year later, they reflect on how their sewing hobby grew into a successful business.

Identity — Featured Episode

It's not all crowns and gowns

Pageants celebrate all manner of diversity that goes beyond beauty with competitions that spotlight an eclectic collection of contestants.

In this episode 3 stories

Read 5 mins
Glitz and glamour, plus fire skills and push-ups

At niche pageants, women – and men – get their moment in the spotlight, and not just because of their looks. The underlying idea, some pageant experts say, is to offer contestants something more than a crown.

Listen 14 mins
Transgender beauty chooses to ‘be visible,’ enters pageant

In 2016, Angel Qinan competed in the 15th annual Queen USA national trans beauty pageant, the largest in the country. It not only helped her form tight bonds with other women in the trans community, but she also found herself and her voice along the way.

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Pageant history: From May Day to Miss USA

From centuries-old May Day festivals in Europe to modern-day pageants around the world, contemporary controversies take center stage along with the ceremonial pomp and splendor.

With support from Caring Bridge

Dimensions of Health — Featured Episode

Allergic, ostracized and afraid

For some children who suffer from food allergies, isolation and teasing are not uncommon experiences.

In this episode 3 stories

Read 6 mins
Beating the stigma of the ‘peanut-free table’

Children can be cruel. Just ask anyone with a life-threatening food allergy who’s ever been teased, taunted – or worse – by their peers.

Read 1 mins
Food allergies in U.S. children

More than 40% of children who have food allergies have needed treatment in the emergency room. This graphic provides comprehensive data at at glance.

Listen 13 mins
Mom creates a support system for food-allergic families

When Lisa Rutter’s son Evan was diagnosed with a peanut and tree nut allergy, she and her family faced bullying and loneliness. That’s when she decided to do something about it.

The Great Rural — Featured Episode

Pioneer living, in the present

Homesteading in modern times takes many forms, from extreme off-the-grid solo lifestyles to rural communities that support and model self-sufficiency.

In this episode 3 stories

Watch 5 mins
Living off-grid in a tiny house in the Wyoming mountains

Ariel McGlothin says the small space complements her outdoors lifestyle, including gardening, hiking and wildlife photography. She shares how she deals with challenges of living in a cold climate, 6,000 feet above sea level.

Listen 11 mins
Living for a living: Labor of love can be lonely sometimes

Brynn Paul is in the early stages of his life as a homesteader in West Woodbury, Vermont. Building his home surrounded by land and livestock he depends on, Paul reflects on the double-edged sword of his isolated lifestyle.

Read 5 mins
A commitment to living much closer to the earth

They’re off the grid – and proud of it. And some modern homesteaders are on a mission to teach others about the need for self-sufficiency and stewardship of the land.

Sports in Society — Featured Episode

Fueled by fans

Sports fans and athletes need one another for the ultimate experience. After a year of mostly empty stadiums, both parties are longing to be reunited.

In this episode 3 stories

Read 7 mins
Covid-19 restrictions have changed the fan experience

From father-daughter duos to die-hard New York sports fans, Americans are mourning the loss of the in-person game-day moments they grew up with and treasure. And it may be a while until it’s back to ‘normal.’

Listen 8 mins
It's not rugby without 'energy bursting from the sidelines’

Fans are essential to the sports experience. Across the country, courts, rinks, and fields fell silent as Covid-19 restrictions heightened. Athletes have found ways to cope but are eager to return to the game and to their most loyal supporters: the fans.

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March Madness, after year without game audiences

Most fans haven’t attended a basketball game in over a year. They made up for lost games with passion and energy at the 2021 NCAA men’s tournament games in Indianapolis.

With support from EY + Meda

Frontiers of Enterprise — Featured Episode

Linked in

With technology and online training, senior citizens discover ways to remain independent and stay connected to family, friends and community support groups.

In this episode 3 stories

Watch 4 mins
Keeping LGBTQ elders of color connected in Brooklyn

GRIOT Circle in New York City, the only organization dedicated to serving the needs of elder LGBTQ people of color, has shifted many of its programs online during the pandemic to keep its community members connected.

Read 6 mins
Empowering senior citizens with technology skills

Older adults in the U.S. are looking to stay independent and in their homes. Technology can help them connect with loved ones, continue learning, and take care of basic needs, from telehealth visits to grocery deliveries.

Listen 7 mins
A new virtual friendship bridges the generation gap

Big & Mini, a nonprofit organization that fosters intergenerational relationships through virtual communication, helped Elva Roy, 75, and Daniel Formella, 20, form a special friendship. Elva and Daniel check in with one another and reflect on how they felt at the start of the pandemic.

Women at Work — Featured Episode

Stepping up to the mic

Women are making significant inroads into the voice-over and voice-acting industry, long dominated by white men.

In this episode 3 stories

Watch 7 mins
From an opera stage to a mountaintop recording booth

Natalie Naudus says her success as an audiobook narrator has been, in part, due to her operatic voice training. Naudus, who has narrated over 250 titles, shares what it’s like to bring characters to life from her home studio.

Read 4 mins
Want your message heard? Hire a female announcer

Voice acting, an industry long dominated by white men, gets a shot of diversity with more opportunities for women and people of color. Consumer preferences, new technology and shifts in training are driving the change.

Listen 12 mins
A performing artist finds her true passion off camera

Taj Ruler found her calling in voice-over work when she returned home to Minnesota after college. With a background in improvisation, she talks about her successes and the challenges faced as a scripted voice actor specializing in animation, narration and commercial projects.

The Great Rural — Featured Episode

Fighting to reclaim stolen land

With millions of acres at stake, Black families and Indigenous tribes are fighting to regain and maintain generational and traditional land ownership.

In this episode 3 stories

Read 5 mins
Black heirs share their stories of land theft

When you are robbed of your land and legacy, what’s next?

Listen 12 mins
Taos Pueblo won back its sacred lake after long battle

It’s rare for Indigenous tribes to have their land returned, but it is possible. The story of one Pueblo in New Mexico shows how difficult and how meaningful it is for Native communities to get back their land.

Watch 4 mins
‘Every community has its own Standing Rock’

A-dae Romero-Briones, a member of the Cochiti Pueblo, explains the connection of land and food, how her community lived through the creation of the faulty Cochiti Dam, and how the current pandemic has brought full-circle the necessity of living off the land.

— Featured Episode

Teaching in the ‘new normal’

A year after schools transitioned to online classes during the pandemic, teachers are adjusting to the return of students in the classroom.

In this episode 3 stories

Read 6 mins
Back to in-person teaching: New protocols, more stress

Educators must balance teaching online and in-person; keep their classrooms disinfected and their students engaged; and find ways to ease anxiety about their own health risks.

Listen 5 mins
High school teacher’s first year is quite the balancing act

In Vanessa Fisher’s first year as a special education teacher, she has faced the challenges of remote and hybrid instruction while adapting to the demands of students, parents, the community and the union.

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The challenges of returning students to classrooms, safely

After a year of remote instruction and everything in between, classroom teachers are adopting new protocols and adapting to teaching in the era of Covid-19.

Identity — Featured Episode

Metamorphosis for the club scene

Gay bars lost business as well as community with the shutdown. As spring approaches, hope is on the rebound.

In this episode 3 stories

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Keeping the lights on at the local gay bar

Across the country, gay bars have been impacted by the pandemic in different ways, some fully shutting down, others going on hiatus, still others contributing to their community’s welfare by arranging food drives. As spring arrives, so does renewed hope.

Read 6 mins
A year later, nightlife is almost unrecognizable

LGBTQ communities across the U.S. had lost many of their gathering places already. Now, there are even fewer venues, but some community veterans are maintaining, if not reinventing, themselves in unsettling times.

Listen 12 mins
Nights of community, nights of resilience

Spaces where validation, loyalty, and a sense of solidarity are critical for any marginalized sector. The lesbian community is no exception. The glue of nightlife spaces is the DJ—adjusting, sensing, and transforming the atmosphere with music.

With support from EY + Meda

Frontiers of Enterprise — Featured Episode

Design of the times?

After more than a year of working from home, many employees had to adopt new ways of working. Will employers reimagine the role of offices in creating a safe, productive and enjoyable space for their employees?

In this episode 3 stories

Read 6 mins
Office spaces get a revamp — including some throwbacks

From bathrooms to boardrooms, the pandemic is reshaping workspaces. Architects and planners tell us what to expect, as business owners eye everything from increased outdoor space to more private offices.

Listen 8 mins
Telework or back to office? Some hope for mix of both

A Purdue University professor and social scientist says the Covid-19 lockdown exacerbated the work-life imbalance; a working mother shares her experiences. They hope the lessons of working from home will result in more freedom for employees in a post-Covid world.

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Rethinking office space

The pandemic has created a seismic shift in how people work and how the spaces they work out of should be adapted to keep workers safe. Will the office ever be the same?

Latest Episodes

Currents

Listen 11 mins
Virtual visits: a good change for incarcerated families?
View
Memorial becomes space for activism, healing and hope
Read 3 mins
'This isn’t a sprint. We’re in a marathon'
Read 1 mins
Tender moment disrupts Black fatherhood narrative
Read 1 mins
My son wonders if George Floyd memorial will live on
Watch 5 mins
Cool ‘healing waters’ wash away pandemic anxieties
Listen 13 mins
Gaelynn Lea's pandemic year of music and activism
Listen 9 mins
The poet who took his idea from suitcase to shelf space
Read 9 mins
At this moment in US judicial history, Black life matters
Listen 13 mins
For this nurse, his vocation is an extension of his culture
Read 8 mins
This time, the mass shooting was in my hometown
Read 7 mins
Quest for justice resumes as courtrooms open doors
Listen 7 mins
Reflections from doctor who treated patient one in U.S.
Read 12 mins
A view from the front lines in the battle against Covid-19
Listen 9 mins
Senior workers man the front lines despite coronavirus risk
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How Rosita — and her creator — got to Sesame Street
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Spring break 2021: Students balance risks, rewards
Listen 15 mins
CCNY students fight for flexible grading during Covid
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How one man learned to truly listen instead of mansplaining
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Remote-learning issues and pragmatic problem-solving