Anita Rao

Managing Editor, "The State of Things"

Anita Rao is the Managing Editor for The State of Things, WUNC's daily, live talk show that features the issues, personalities and places of North Carolina. 

She fell in love with interviewing and storytelling as a Women's Studies and International Studies major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and began her radio career at WUNC as an intern for the nationally distributed public radio program The Story. From 2011 - 2014, she worked for the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps Production department, where she pitched, edited and produced conversations from across the nation--from Chicago, IL to Pineville, North Carolina.  

Anita was born in a small coal-mining town in Northeast England but spent most of her life growing up in Iowa and has a fond affection for the Midwest. In her spare time she also co-hosts and produces a podcast and radio show about millennial feminism called "She and Her." 

Ways to Connect

Graphic for The Murphey School Radio Show
The Murphey School Radio Show

The Murphey School Radio Show takes place at the formerly abandoned but now renovated 1920s-era Murphey School in Orange County. The School serves as a community performance space and an incubator for small nonprofits. The semiannual show features skits, jingles, and musical acts to bring the community together to benefit local non-profits Student U and EmPOWERment, Inc. 

Thom Tillis and Kay Hagan
NC General Assembly/US Senate

    

As the midterm elections get closer, education is a prominent topic in North Carolina’s congressional races. 

Cover of the book A Cup of Water Under My Bed
Cover Image of the book A Cup of Water Under My Bed

  

Daisy Hernández grew up between cultures as a first-generation American child of a working-class Colombian mother and Cuban father. 

Image of Seema Kukreja as Udip, Robin Carmon Marshall as Anaba and Alexus Wilcox as Corrine in the play "From the Boot of Timberland".
Eric Barstow

A new family-run black theater company in the Triangle is presenting two companion one-act plays that encourage men and women to come together to address violence against women. 

Charlie Thompson

From 1942-1964 about five million Mexican guest workers were brought to the United States as part of a federal program to help with the post-war labor shortage.

    

When Linda Tirado responded to an online forum question: "Why do poor people do things that seem so self destructive?" she had no idea her response would go viral. 

Her essay, Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or poverty thoughts sparked national conversation and backlash. At the time, Tirado was a young mother of two, working two part-time jobs. She had recently returned to college. The essay detailed what her life was like, and how she and her family had reacted to the pressures of being poor.

Here is an excerpt from the essay:

Rest is a luxury for the rich. I get up at 6AM, go to school (I have a full courseload, but I only have to go to two in-person classes) then work, then I get the kids, then I pick up my husband, then I have half an hour to change and go to Job 2. I get home from that at around 1230AM, then I have the rest of my classes and work to tend to. I'm in bed by 3. This isn't every day, I have two days off a week from each of my obligations. I use that time to clean the house and soothe Mr. Martini and see the kids for longer than an hour and catch up on schoolwork. Those nights I'm in bed by midnight, but if I go to bed too early I won't be able to stay up the other nights because I'll f*** my pattern up, and I drive an hour home from Job 2 so I can't afford to be sleepy. I never get a day off from work unless I am fairly sick. It doesn't leave you much room to think about what you are doing, only to attend to the next thing and the next. Planning isn't in the mix.

This essay later inspired a book challenging preconceptions about the lives of the millions of Americans living below the poverty level. 

Carol Jackson

The State of Things is broadcasting live from the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh today, 10/2/14 at noon. Watch the show here:

Image of Marko Čermák is considered the father of Czech Bluegrass.
Lee Bidgood

People in the Czech Republic first heard bluegrass music during World War II when Western music was hard to access in the sphere of Soviet influence. 

Flickr/Creative Commons
Image of A flag for each of the potential 3000 women that will be assaulted on a campus the size of University of Oregon, based on national averages

  

One in five women and one in 16 men is sexually assaulted on campus according to the National Institute of Justice

Image of La Bête Magique performing at The Casbah
Tim Walter

For much of music history, rock music has been considered a boys club. 

Cover Image for On the Bevel.
Janice Fuller

  

When poet Janice Fuller sits down to write, she chooses three random words and uses them to jump start her creativity. 

Photo of Chunky Huse, a key grip who has worked in the film industry for more than five decades.
Chunky Huse

  

For more than five decades, Chunky Huse has been working behind the scenes of the film industry as a grip—a master lighting and rigging technician who provides the support to make shots possible. 

National Audubon Society, Meryl Lorenzo

  

Climate change will likely alter the migratory routes and habitats of more than half of the birds in North America, according to new study published by the National Audubon Society.

Theatre In The Park

A new play premiering at Raleigh's Theatre In The Park encourages viewers to question their notions of love, truth and sexuality. 

Image of the cover of The Story of Land and Sea, a debut novel by historian Katy Simpson Smith.
Katy Simpson Smith

    

At the end of the 18th century it was very common for women to die during childbirth. 

Image of Veteran AIDS Activist Sean Strub
Sean Strub

  

Sean Strub is best known as the founder of POZ magazine and the first openly HIV-positive person to run for Congress. 

Image of Scottish flag and UK flag.
Flickr/Lawrence OP

  

  

    

The people of Scotland will vote next week on whether to become an independent country. 

Image of Artist Stacey Kirby playing the part of a Local Declarations Officer in The Declaration Project.
Stacey Kirby

Artist Stacey Kirby transformed CAM Raleigh’s Media Lab into the “Bureau of Personal Belonging”—a series of interactive performance art installations that explore themes of belonging, identity and validity. 

Image of The company of the Burning Coal Theatre Company production of David Edgar’s Pentecost
Jason Dail

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent collapse of communism in Eastern Europe.

Image of Roger Guenveur Smith in his solo show, "Rodney King"
Patti McGuire

Rodney King gained overnight notoriety when videos surfaced of him being violently beaten by Los Angeles police officers. 

Cover image for a recent issue of The New Republic with a cover story about the decline of black political power in the South.
The New Republic

  

The percentage of black state legislators in the South that serve in the majority party has declined rapidly in the past 10 years—from 99 percent in 1994 to 4.8 percent today.

Graphic Illustration of "Allowed": A response to a 2013 Saudi law allowing women to ride bicycles only for leisure and only if accompanied by a male guardian.
Mohammed Sharaf

When Kuwaiti artist and graphic designer Mohammad Sharaf gets angry, he creates art.

The Fostering Bright Futures program helps former foster care children transition into college.
Wake Tech Community College

Last year, it looked unclear if Keilia Scott would be able to complete the cosmetology program she began at Wake Tech Community College in Raleigh. A foster child since the age of 15, Scott struggled in her teen years without family support.

She moved to nine different homes and each transition meant adaptation to a new family, new rules and a new school. Scott admits she was rebellious and ran away from several homes. The system eventually  placed her in a locked facility out-of-state.

Atlanta is considered the Black Gay Mecca of the United States.

Graphic for 25th Anniversary Celebration for Southern Folklife Collection
UNC-Chapel Hill Southern Folklife Collection

  

The Southern Folklife Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill  has grown to contain more than half a million items, including sound recordings, moving images, photographs, posters and ephemera.

    

A new report from the Brookings Institution ranks four North Carolina cities among the top 15 in the country where poverty is soaring fastest: Raleigh, Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Greensboro-High Point. 

Photo of poetry writing.
Flickr/Lorenzo Tomada

  

Triad poets are gaining local and national recognition for their creative approaches to poetry and poetry-inspired community work. 

    

Musician Laila Nur developed her “revolutionary love” music style when she moved alone to Greensboro at 19. 

  

Stories shape how we think about ourselves and the world around us, and insights from science, history, and biology confirm that humans are storytelling animals. 

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