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Sports in Society — Featured Episode

The costs to play

Economic inequality and the costs of playing sports are affecting low- and middle-income families.

In this episode 3 stories

Read 4 mins
Paying by the costly rules of youth sports

Growing economic inequality and dwindling school budgets are creating barriers for kids who want to participate in organized sports. A school in Houston is aiming to narrow the gap and give their kids a shot on the field.

Watch 9 mins
Golfer works to broaden her sport’s reach

Mackenzie Mack is bringing golf to a wider range of youth, particularly those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged.

Listen 11 mins
Free sports equipment helps low-income kids get in the game

A Maryland physical education teacher was struggling with a bare-bones equipment budget, and a college equipment manager based in New York saw extra gear collecting dust. Problem, meet solution.

Identity — Featured Episode

Redefining Asian representation in comedy

Asian comedians are finding their voices, attracting wide audiences, and breaking new ground.

In this episode 3 stories

Watch 8 mins
How one artist confronts racial slurs with humor

Kazua Melissa Vang talks about why community building is important to her as a filmmaker, photographer and artist and how she uses her alter ego to tackle Asian hate.

Read 6 mins
Unapologetic, brazen and funny: Esther Ku's path to comedy success

An emerging comedian thrives on pushing boundaries while addressing Asian stereotypes.

Listen 10 mins
Prioritizing joy, humor, laughter — and badassery

Members of the Twin Cities-based comedy group FAWK (Funny Asian Women Kollective) Saymoukda Vongsay and May Lee-Yang, along with Chicago-based comedian Elizabeth Gomez, share how they created a space for Asian women comedians free of censorship and reflect on the recent anti-Asian violence.

Frontiers of Enterprise — Featured Episode

Holidays revisited

Public support for more culturally and religiously inclusive holidays has been gaining ground in the workplace and beyond.

In this episode 3 stories

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Capturing American holidays

In her long-term project, documentary photographer Julia Gillard explores what American holidays tell us about ourselves as a country.

Read 7 mins
How inclusive holidays strengthen the workplace

A diversity, equity and inclusion expert weighs in on how learning and celebrating diverse holidays can bring us closer to our friends, family and colleagues.

Listen 11 mins
Annette Gordon-Reed on the meaning of Juneteenth

This summer, Juneteenth became a national holiday. Harvard professor Annette Gordon-Reed’s recent memoir ‘On Juneteenth’ explores the holiday’s significance and her own childhood memories celebrating Juneteenth in Texas.

Dimensions of Health — Featured Episode

Plenty of room for improvement

Diagnoses, whether determined by patients or medical practitioners, are subject to error.

In this episode 3 stories

Listen 15 mins
Woman suffers 13 years without a diagnosis, only to find out she’s a ‘textbook case’

Talia El-Zaatari was told her pain was ‘all in her head’ until surgery revealed a disease common for 1 in 10 women of reproductive age.

Read 1 mins
3 sites for self-diagnosing medical ills

Symptom checkers can arm people with information before a doctor’s visit, but experts point to a downside: a high probability for misdiagnosis. Here are the highest-ranked online tools for finding out what ails you.

Read 4 mins
Swipe, tap and diagnose. Simple as that, right?

Alone and afraid, an American college student studying abroad turned to the internet for answers about a host of increasingly painful and alarming symptoms. At first, she concluded it was Covid-19. More searches, and a doctor’s visit, revealed the truth.

Identity — Featured Episode

Reframing Black fatherhood

The complex journey of challenging assumptions and revealing the truth about Black fatherhood

In this episode 2 stories

Watch 11 mins
Fatherly life lessons

From time spent with offspring to using individual approaches to raising each child, four Black fathers discuss and reflect the lessons they received and have learned while raising their children.

Listen 13 mins
On listening: A father’s lesson in storytelling

iPondr contributor Courtney Scott honors her late father, William Barry Scott Sr., with an intergenerational story of deep listening.

Frontiers of Enterprise — Featured Episode

Places that play well with others

More communities are creating inclusive playgrounds — places where children of different abilities can interact on a level playing field.

In this episode 3 stories

Watch 4 mins
Advocating for inclusive playgrounds in Alabama

Even after the death in 2017 of her daughter, Braelynn, who had special needs, Veronica Thompson-Ware continues to advocate for inclusive park space in her Birmingham, Ala., community.

Read 9 mins
One mother’s quest to unite a community

When a playground divided her family, this mom designed one herself, with kindness and inclusion in mind. In the process, she addressed the real needs of kids and parents striving to create a society that wants to play together.

Listen 11 mins
A playground for Dorian - and everyone

In an isolated world, Dustin Willis’ family found connection, visibility, and belonging at an inclusive park in Los Angeles.

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.

View
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.

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.

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.

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.

Dimensions of Health — Featured Episode

Help for the helpers

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

In this episode 2 stories

Watch 6 mins
Stress, fear and uncertainty and the coronavirus

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

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.

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.

View
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.

View
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.

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.

View
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.

Latest Episodes

Currents

Listen 8 mins
The art of change and adaptability in a post-Covid world
Read 5 mins
Delays, disruptions, and shifts in public transit
Listen 12 mins
Finding inner strength and independence during isolation
Listen 8 mins
Electric vehicles usher in a new driving — and fueling — experience
Read 6 mins
Cooking with Covid Anosmia
Listen 7 mins
Powerful pennies: a small way to make a big change
Read 6 mins
How Indigenous Americans embraced vaccination efforts
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.