Anita Rao

Producer, "The State of Things"

Anita Rao is a producer 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. She loves excessively-long dinner parties and hopes to one day live up to her mom's nickname, "Sheila, The Chocolate Eater."

Ways To Connect

Image of Chapman in Shanghai with Professor Meihua Zhu, on the left, a former visiting scholar at UNC.
Mimi Chapman

The power of art is not lost on Mimi Chapman. She is a professor at the UNC School of Social Work who believes that art can have a profound impact on people’s ability to empathize. She also studies how art can help illuminate conscious and unconscious biases and affect how people treat one another.

Image of a plate of soul food, including fried chicken, mac and cheese, collards, and fried okra.
Flickr/Jennifer Woodard Maderazo

Adrian Miller calls himself a “recovering lawyer and politico turned culinary historian.” He went from working as a special assistant to former President Bill Clinton and a legislative director for former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter to becoming a soul food scholar.

“Practicing law was not the thing for me,” Miller says.“I was singing spirituals in my office, so I figured I needed to do something else.”

Image of Allison Leotta, who wanted to show the ways the criminal justice system does and doesn't work in her books.
Allison Leotta

Allison Leotta was a federal sex-crimes prosecutor in Washington D.C. for more than a decade. Every day when she came home from work, she would think to herself, “I can’t believe what I saw today…someone should write about this.”

She began writing in the mornings before work and at night when she got home. In 2011, Leotta left the Justice Department to write full-time. She has now written four novels about a prosecutor named Anna Curtis, and people often refer to Leotta as “the female John Grisham.”

Oakwood Lives!

May 27, 2015
Image of actors George Jack and Greg Paul performing in a production of Oakwood Lives!
Burning Coal Theatre

Oakwood Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 20,000 citizens, including notable community members and prominent state and national leaders. A collaboration between Burning Coal Theatre and Oakwood Cemetery honors the stories of some of the deceased each year through staged production.

Image of Duke Professor Missy Cummings, drone advocate and expert.
Missy Cummings

This is a rebroadcast from November 3, 2014. To visit the original post click here.

  

Although the word drone may at first evoke an image of a stealth killing machine, the work of Mary 'Missy' Cummings proves drones are much more than that initial thought. 

Image of Cliff Collins, owner of Cliff's Meat Market
D.L. Anderson

Cliff’s Meat Market has been a cornerstone of the food industry in the Triangle for more than four decades. Cliff Collins started the shop when he was in his 20s, and it’s now one of the last family-owned markets in the area. Many have noted that the key to Cliff’s success is his ability to evolve alongside the community he serves and create products to meet their needs.

Image of Katharine Wright sitting beside Wilbur before her first flight in 1909.
Courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, Wright State University

The state of North Carolina has many claims to fame, but there is likely none more popular or controversial than the slogan on the state license plate: “First In Flight.” The phrase commemorates the spectacular achievement of brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright who piloted their first flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903.

    

Medicaid reform is at the forefront of the state's legislative agenda this session, but legislators are still debating how to design the reform. 

The Senate wants to privatize administration and let commercial insurance companies control the market while the House and Governor McCrory want state health care providers to be in charge. A new report from Wake Forest University argues for a hybrid strategy.

Image from  National Hollerin' Contest archive.
Tony Peacock

Hollerin’ is an ancient form of human communication originally used in rural areas—people would yell from farm-to-farm to share messages over long distances. In 1969, a group of people in Spivey’s Corner, N.C. began the National Hollerin’ Contest to preserve and celebrate this form of communication. 

    

Image of John Hitchcock with the Front Row Gang
John Hitchcock

Greensboro native John Hitchcock attended nearly every professional wrestling show in the Greensboro Coliseum for 15 years. He was a part of a group of troublemakers who sat in the front of the coliseum cheering loudly for the bad guys and getting a rise out of the crowd and the wrestlers.

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