Frank Stasio

Host, "The State of Things"

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.

From there he went to National Public Radio, where he rose from associate producer to newscaster for All Things Considered. He left that job in 1990 to help start an alternative school in Washington, DC. Frank returned to NPR as a freelance news anchor, guest host of Talk of The Nation and other national programs, and host of special news coverage.

He also presents audio theater workshops for children and teachers and conducts radio journalism workshops for broadcasters in former Soviet-bloc countries. He lives in Durham.

Travis Dove/Scalawag

For decades Charlotte-Mecklenburg's public schools were promoted as a model for the nation because they used busing to prevent school segregation. But a 1999 lawsuit reversed what the 1971 Supreme Court ruling had accomplished.

An image of author Colson Whitehead
Madeline Whitehead

In the 19th century, American slaves escaped to freedom using a network of secret routes and safe houses known as  the Underground Railroad. 

In his new novel, "The Underground Railroad" (Doubleday/2016), Colson Whitehead creates a literal network of underground tracks and trains for an enslaved woman to escape life on a Georgia plantation. 

The history books documented track star Jesse Owens' experiences at the 1936 Summer Olympic Games, hosted in Nazi-controlled Berlin.

But Owens was not the only African-American athlete to represent the United States of America. A new film, Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, documents the experiences of 18 African-American athletes representing a country that would not give them equal rights.

Hunter Lewis
Courtesy of Hunter Lewis

Hunter Lewis grew up in a big family in North Carolina where gathering for meals was the centerpiece of the day.

He deepened his passion for food when he moved to New York to work in some of the top restaurants in the city. Eventually he merged his love of food with his journalism skills. He became food editor at Bon Appetit, then editor of Southern Living and now, editor of Cooking Light.

photo of Congress
Lawrence Jackson, whitehouse.gov.

Lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill last week for a short session before the November election. Their priorities include passing a spending bill to avert another government shutdown and coming up with a funding plan to fight the Zika virus. The pressure is on to adjourn the session quickly to allow embattled incumbents, like North Carolina’s Sen. Richard Burr, time to campaign in their home states.
 

An image of author Ron Rash
Ashley Jones / Clemson World

For 20 years, Ron Rash has been haunted by the murder of a young woman that took place near his home. Nobody was ever charged in the case. 

But over the years, Rash began to think about the two male college students who reportedly last saw her alive. This became the spark for his latest novel "The Risen" (Ecco/2016). The book tells the story of two brothers in Sylva, N.C. whose lives changed after they befriended a free-spirited young woman in the summer of 1969. 

Nina Totenberg, NPR legal affairs correspondent
Wikimedia

  NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg has covered the U.S. Supreme Court for more than four decades.

In that time, she has seen a shift not only in the way the court conducts business, but also in the way individuals consume news about the court. 

Ask The Ethicist

Sep 14, 2016
Ethics
Wikimedia / Wikimedia

What should you do if you know a friend is cheating on their spouse? Should you tell a friend who applied to your firm the real, but confidential, reason she did not get hired? 

Finding solutions to the ethical dilemmas of everyday life are the work of New York Times ethicist, Kwame Anthony Appiah. Appiah is a professor of philosophy and law at NYU. 

An image of the book cover for 'Walking Histories, 1800-1914'
Palgrave Macmillan

Walking may seem like a simple everyday act. But the act of walking has evolved over time, and a new book, "Walking Histories, 1800-1914" (Palgrave Macmillan/2016) examines how walking became a recreational activity and how it influenced both protesters and philosophers in the 19th century.

 

UNC-Chapel Hill Sophomore Delaney Robinson (right) and her attorney Denise Branch told reporters they believe the university is not adequately responding to Robinson's alleged rape.
Jess Clark / WUNC

UNC-Chapel Hill sophomore Delaney Robinson, 19, says neither the university nor local law enforcement have responded adequately to her allegations that UNC football player Allen Artis raped her last winter.

Jordan Green

Residents at the Rolling Hills apartment complex in Winston-Salem have alleged Section 8 housing fraud by management. They have been making complaints of housing code violations for months.

Host Frank Stasio speaks with Jordan Green, senior editor at The Triad City Beat, about the Rolling Hills story and larger issues of gentrification in east Winston-Salem.   

 

Image of Hank Willis Thomas's 'The natives will get restless'
ourtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

For a century, advertising campaigns have marketed products to white women by pairing phrases with images to construct a standard for white femininity. The contemporary art exhibit "Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015" ​includes a visual chronology of advertisements without the original ad's accompanying text. The collection aims to explore the intersecting dynamics of  beauty, race and gender through decades of marketing.

Image of The Allen Boys
DaShawn Hickman

The pedal steel guitar sits on a stand with foot pedals used to adjust the tension of the strings. The instrument is part of the Sacred Steel musical tradition, which was invented in 1930s-era Pentecostal churches. North Carolina’s only touring Sacred Steel band is The Allen Boys.

Meet Nancy Petty

Sep 12, 2016
Pullen Baptist Church

As an activist pastor at Raleigh’s progressive Pullen Baptist Church, Nancy Petty is often making news. She is openly gay and has championed marriage equality and LGBT rights. She has led Moral Monday protests and chairs the Reverend William Barber’s Repairers of the Breach board. Most recently her work has focused on facilitating interfaith dialogue with Raleigh’s Muslim community and fighting Islamaphobia and racism.  Her transformative journey from her small town upbringing in Shelby, North Carolina, paralleled major social shifts happening in the churches she has served.

Voting sign
JustGrimes on Flickr

The North Carolina State Board of Elections makes final decisions on early voting schedules where the local boards couldn't come to an agreement. Leaders on both sides of the aisle weighed in. Will the election rules finally be set or will more legal action follow? Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC Capitol bureau chief Jeff Tiberii about the latest. 

Retired New York City firefighter Joseph McCormick visits the South Pool prior to a ceremony at the World Trade Center site in New York on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015.
ASSOCIATED PRESS/ Bryan R. Smith / ASSOCIATED PRESS

This Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The event caused major shifts in the political, social and economic climates around the world, and has given birth to a wide array of new academic scholarship.

 

 

An image of Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba
Andrea Tani

Diali Cissokho comes from a long line of musicians and griots in his home country of Senegal. So when he came to the United States, continuing to play music was a natural progression. He teamed up with musicians from North Carolina to form a group called Kaira Ba.

The movie “Spotlight” won high praise and an Academy Award for best picture in 2016. But now that the Oscar parties are over, the real people at the heart of the story are fighting to stay in the public eye. Phil Saviano is the whistleblower featured in the film. He, along with local survivor and author Charles L. Bailey, Jr., join host Frank Stasio to talk about the fallout from the film and their efforts to change laws and perceptions surrounding child sexual abuse.

An image of 'Invisibilia' co-host Lulu Miller
Grace Miller

 

In her podcast "Invisibilia," Lulu Miller explores the invisible forces that guide human behavior. Topics have included explorations of emotions like fear and loneliness or social categories like gender.

  Miller also examines the dynamics behind personal creativity and how our commitment to "dream" projects might be constraining our creative minds.

An image of musician Joan Shelley
Nathan Salsburg

Singer-songwriter Joan Shelley believes in the power of place. She strives to immerse herself in a location's history and folklore, whether that be her hometown of Louisville, Ky. or the islands of Greece.

  Host Frank Stasio talks with Shelley about how she overcame stage fright and now travels the world writing songs.

Am image of a drone capturing videos and still images of an apartment building in Philadelphia.
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Last week, the Raleigh-based company PrecisionHawk became the first company to acquire a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration that allows pilots to fly commercial drones beyond the line-of-sight.

  PrecisionHawk uses drones for aerial data analysis in industries like agriculture. The F.A.A. waiver is an extension of new federal regulations that will allow more companies to use drones for commercial use. 

The Honor Was Mine: A Look Inside the Struggles of Military Veterans
Grand Harbor Press

 Therapist Elizabeth Heaney left her private practice to participate in a Defense Department initiative that offers free, confidential counseling to combat veterans and their families. Despite more than 30 years of counseling experience, she realized that her military clients were unlike any patients she’d met before. She learned to let go of preconceived notions of the military and to adopt new ways to forge relationships with her tight-lipped clients. Gradually the stories of war, loss and re-adjustment to civilian life came tumbling out.

Welcome to Florida sign
Joelk75 and DonkeyHotey on Flickr

Author and comedian Dave Barry is not a Florida native, but he has embraced the state as his homeland. In his new book, “Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland” (G.P. Putnam’s Sons/2016), he explores the wacky landmarks and zany stories of the Sunshine State.

 Director Michael Lewis talks with cast on Men of Israel film shoot.
Wikipedia

Traditionally, the media has blurred the line between public and private lives, and the digital age has almost eliminated that distinction entirely. Nowhere is the private becoming public more evident than in pornography. Professor Richard Cante examines the social and political implications of pornography. He is a professor of media and technology studies in the Communication department at UNC-Chapel Hill. Host Frank Stasio talks with Cante about the intersection of media and pornography.

An image of Yaba Blay
Sabriya Simon

  Note: This segment originally aired on Monday, March 7, 2016.

Growing up in New Orleans, Yaba Blay saw firsthand the different roles one navigates as an African-American. At home, she had to adjust to the Ghanaian culture of her parents, but outside the house, her dark skin set her apart from New Orleans' light-skinned Creole community.

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