Laura Pellicer

State of Things Producer

Laura Pellicer
Credit Tammy Jean Lamoureux

Laura Pellicer is a producer with The State of Things, a show that explores North Carolina through conversation.

Laura was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, a city she considers arrestingly beautiful, if not a little dysfunctional. She worked as a researcher for CBC Montreal and also contributed to their programming as an investigative journalist, social media reporter, and special projects planner. Her work has been nominated for two Canadian RTDNA Awards.

Laura loves looking into how cities work, pursuing stories about indigenous rights, and finding fresh voices to share with listeners. Laura is enamored with her new home in North Carolina—notably the lush forests, and the waves where she plans on moonlighting as a mediocre surfer.

Ways to Connect

Courtesy Rob Dunn

The banana is always in season and always available at the grocery store. A new book explores how the prevalence of the popular fruit is a model for the dangers of a food system that is increasingly dependent on fewer food staples.

“Never Out Of Season” (Little, Brown, and Company/2017) by biologist Rob Dunn, a professor in the department of applied ecology at North Carolina State University, walks readers through the precarious corporate food system and explains how diversity is crucial to crop survival.
 

Courtesy Danielle Purifoy

Lawyer and environmentalist Danielle Purifoy and artist Torkwase Dyson loaded up art supplies and media equipment in a mobile art studio and traveled to North Carolina and Alabama to meet people who live in the shadows of structural racism. The documentary project “In Conditions of Fresh Water” focuses on how residents of some communities in Alamance County, North Carolina, and Lowndes County, Alabama lack access to adequate sanitation infrastructure.

Courtesy of the Artists

Indian immigrants have been been settling in North Carolina for decades. Today there are an estimated 100,000 Indian immigrants who call North Carolina home, and a large concentration of those individuals live in the Research Triangle.

 

A picture of an empty classroom.
f_a_r_e_w_e_l_l / Flickr

Today is International Women's Day, and women across the United States are participating in a mass strike called, “A Day Without a Woman.” The organizers behind the historic Women’s March on Washington that came in that wake of President Trump’s inauguration are behind the mass protest. They called on women to not attend work, not to shop, and if unable to do either of those, to wear red in solidarity. 

A promotional still with John Wayne and Claire Trevor from the 1939 American Western film 'Stagecoach'.
Wikimedia Commons

A gun-slinging cowboy on a mission of revenge takes down the enemy in a quick-draw duel.  He then rides off on his trusted steed with the setting sun casting long shadows on the rugged landscape. This is one of the iconic narratives in Western film, a genre which has gone through a massive evolution since its “good versus evil” and “cowboys versus Indians” days.

Courtesy Triad City Beat

Hundreds of residents from Winston-Salem joined prayer services at three mosques in the Triad area on Friday. The outpouring of support for the Muslim community was a reaction to violent, anti-Islamic speech that emerged from a meeting between far-right conservative activists held in Kernersville, North Carolina.
 

'Lovie: The Story of a Southern Midwife and an Unlikely Friendship' (UNC Press/2016) explores the legacy of North Carolina's first nurse-midwife.
UNC Press

Lovie Beard Shelton was a pioneer in her field. As the first registered nurse-midwife in North Carolina, she helped birth more than 4,000 babies born to mothers from diverse backgrounds.
 

Folklorist Lisa Yarger first met Beard Shelton in 1996 and spent the following 20 years documenting her life. “Lovie: The Story of a Southern Midwife and an Unlikely Friendship” (UNC Press/2016) is the culmination of that journey.

Two dancers Fana Fraser and Beatrice Capote strike a youthful pose in a photo for the dance piece 'Black Girl: Linguistic Play' choreographed by Camille A. Brown.
Christopher Duggan / Courtesy Camille A. Brown

A new dance piece by choreographer and educator Camille A. Brown digs into the nuanced way black girls play and communicate. “Black Girl: Linguistic Play” documents the historical roots of street games like double-dutch, stepping, and tap. It also examines how they’ve been used to connect and communicate for centuries. 

Courtesy of Frank Stephenson Jr.

Moonshine has shaped the culture and economy of North Carolina for hundreds of years. In the 19th century, sales from moonshine helped fund Civil War efforts, while in the 20th century, moonshine jump started the careers of prominent NASCAR drivers. North Carolina writer Frank Stephenson Jr. considers himself a lifelong student of moonshine. As a youth, he joined his father, a part-time deputy, on moonshine busting raids.  As an adult, he set out on a quest to explore the legacy of moonshine throughout the state. 


Courtesy St. Martin's Press

Haider Warraich is only 29 years old, but he is no stranger to death. Throughout his training as a doctor, he has witnessed the death of multiple patients. Warraich was trained in the appropriate medical response to death but remained stumped by a multitude of bigger questions about the process, such as what role does religion play in a hospital, and how does social media change how we process death and dying?  

Courtesy Michael McFee

Poet Michael McFee is known for creating rich images of his native Appalachia that are grounded in the simplicity of everyday life and in the unique language used by his family over generations.

In his new collection, "We Were Once Here" (Carnegie Mellon/2017), the cast-iron skillet, chewing tobacco spit, and linguistic peculiarities of the mountains become anchors for stories woven from memories.

Courtesy City of Greensboro North Carolina Police

Like many other law enforcement agencies around the country, the Greensboro Police Department is working to improve community relations while facing a period of heightened tension between police and the public, particularly with marginalized communities.

Host Frank Stasio speaks with Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott about the unique challenges his department faces along with the continuing battle over policies surrounding access to police body camera footage.

Felipe de Jesus Molina Mendoza speaking at a protest against the Trump administration’s immigration policies in Raleigh.
Laura Pellicer / WUNC

UPDATE: Immigration officials in Charlotte have delayed the deportation order for Felipe de Jesus Molina Mendoza until a federal appeals court renders a decision on his asylum case. 

Mexican-born Felipe de Jesus Molina Mendoza is asking for asylum in the United States. He says he faces harassment if he is forced to return to Mexico because he is openly gay. Last time he was in Mexico, Molina Mendoza says he and a former boyfriend were attacked with beer bottles because of their sexual orientation.

Courtesy Marsha Gordon

Starting in the 1950s, filmmaker Sam Fuller produced war films that gave his characters room to question the design of war and their role in it. He also raised conversations about equality of men on and off the battlefield. North Carolina State University film professor Marsha Gordon authored a new book on Fuller's work called, "Film is like a Battleground" (Oxford University Press/2017) that explores his legacy of genre shifting war films.

Will Gehrman / Courtesy The Pinkerton Raid

Durham-based band The Pinkerton Raid released a new album this week called "Tolerance Ends, Love Begins." The new music melds rock and pop with bright harmonies and the twang of traditional Southern instruments. It is the band's third album.
 

David Goldman / AP

UPDATE: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has granted an easement allowing the final portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline to be constructed under the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

In the wake of the Trump administration’s executive order allowing construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and their supporters say they will continue to fight the pipeline through the courts.

Photo Yoon Kim

Comedian Hari Kondabolu has performed on the Late Show with David Letterman, Conan, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. His work explores his experience being raised in Queens, New York by Indian parents. And though his parents have provided him with plenty of comedic gems, Kondabolu does not use Indian accents in his stand-up.

UNC Program in the Humanities

We define ourselves based on our beliefs like conservatism, liberalism, socialism, or capitalism. In the 2016 election, these differing ideologies came to the forefront but these ideas are not as timeless as many believe.
 

Frank Stasio speaks with UNC History Professor Lloyd Kramer about the historical emergence of the ideologies that shape day to day relationships and civic engagement. Kramer gives a seminar at the Friday Center on the influence of Western “Isms” on Thursday Feb. 9.

 

A picture of the Gravy Boys
Christer Berg

Triangle-based Americana band, The Gravy Boys, recently emerged from the recording studio with a fresh batch of songs with influences ranging from pop to bluegrass. Their new tracks are rich and layered, and channel their foot-stomping stage performances.
 

Carolyn Kaster / AP

At a primetime press conference Tuesday evening, President Donald Trump announced appellate court judge Neil Gorsuch as his pick for the Supreme Court. If confirmed, the 49-year-old judge from Colorado would take up the seat left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. 

Women and their supporters turned out in droves for the Women's March on Raleigh on January 21, 2017.
Jess Clark / WUNC

The Women’s March on Washington last weekend and sister marches around the world brought the feminist movement into the limelight once again. But 2017 feminism looks very different from its 1960s counterpart. The intersectionality of women's experiences are being moved to the forefront of the cause. Since his start in office, President Donald Trump has signed documents which will impact women’s health and rights.

Eno Publishers

A long wait for grape pie, the intricacies of hard crab stew, and a good life for a pig named Crisco are some of the stories in the new book "The Carolina Table" (Eno Publishers/2016).

Jordan Green / Triad City Beat

Triad City Beat Senior Editor Jordan Green spent a year investigating housing ownership in lower income neighborhoods of High Point, North Carolina.

Host Frank Stasio speaks with Green about the racial lines of poverty in lower income neighborhoods, and how nearly more than 80 years of racial economic housing policies has limited access to loans and squashed opportunities for upward mobility for many African-Americans in High Point. 

Courtesy Sheryl Oring

In the lead up to the inauguration, Sheryl Oring, art professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, roamed the country asking people to dictate postcards to the new president. The postcards show a range of support, emotion, and frustration regarding the incoming administration.
 

Women and their supporters turned out in droves for the Women's March on Raleigh on January 21, 2017.
Jess Clark / WUNC

On Saturday, women and their supporters took to the streets of Washington, DC and other cities around the world to voice their opposition to incoming President Donald Trump. In Raleigh, marching women donned knitted pussyhats, the headwear that has become emblematic of feminist protest.
 

Host Frank Stasio speaks with WUNC reporter Jess Clark about the march in Raleigh and the range of issues protested including xenophobia and House Bill 2.

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