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

Leonard Rogoff

Gertrude Weil spent her life fighting for civil rights in the South. She founded the state's League of Women Voters and campaigned against lynching and segregation. She cleverly navigated the fault lines that marked politics in North Carolina in the early 20th century. In new the book, "Gertrude Weil: Jewish Progressive in the New South" (UNC Press/2017), Leonard Rogoff exposes the roots of Gertrude Weil's activism.

Jordan Green / Triad City Beat

UPDATE: According to reports from News & Record reporter Danielle Battaglia, a superior court judge has ordered the release of the police body camera footage of Jose Charles to the Greensboro City Council for viewing in a closed session.

Another violent arrest by police in Greensboro is testing North Carolina's 2016 law on the release of police body camera footage. The mother of fifteen-year-old Jose Charles says police choked her son without provocation at a Fourth of July party, and she wants the public to see the police tape of the incident. Police charged Jose Charles with attacking an officer, among other crimes. 

www.abigaildowd.com

After working in city politics, and running an art school, Abigail Dowd needed a change. She packed up her great-grandfather’s guitar and took off to Florence, Italy, to Ireland, and later to Maine, to spend some time reconnecting with herself and her music. The trip turned into an eight-year journey.

AP Photo/Gerry Broome

The founder of the private security firm Blackwater was allegedly involved in a secret meeting with a confidante to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

jessamynstanley.com

 Jessamyn Stanley did not like yoga when she first started. Stanley’s first yoga class ended with her lying in a heap, overcome with nausea. But the body positivity advocate found her way back the mat years later and started sharing her journey with yoga on social media. Her honest posts on Instagram and Tumblr made Stanley a social media star.

North Carolina State Capitol, Raleigh.
Jim Bowen / Flickr

The replacement bill for House Bill 2 has been signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper. Cooper called House Bill 142 a compromise between state lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. 

St. Martin's Press

In 1995, Lisa Dickey set out on what she thought would be a once in a lifetime trip. Along with photographer Gary Matoso, the writer headed to a lighthouse at the border of Russia and North Korea, and then voyaged inland for more than 5,000 miles. Along the way, they met a broad spectrum of Russians and spent time getting to know a few standout characters, including a farmer, members of an isolated Jewish community, and a rap star.

Mona Chalabi

During his campaign, President Donald Trump repeatedly voiced distrust of the national unemployment numbers, calling them “totally fiction" and a “hoax.” He's not alone in his skepticism. A new survey by British polling company YouGov shows many Americans are distrustful of statistics released by the U.S. government and the degree of trust varies along party lines.

LOGAN ULRICH / WUNC

Prominent leaders from the North Carolina General Assembly have taken the reigns and are working to rewrite the controversial House Bill 2. 

Logan Ulrich / WUNC

House Bill 2 sparked national discussion after it was introduced in the North Carolina legislature in March 2016. At the center of HB2 was whether transgender people should have the right to use public bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity rather than the biological sex listed on their birth certificate. One year later, the debate over HB2 continues.

http://www.artcuriouspodcast.com

Is the Mona Lisa hanging on the wall in the Louvre a fake? Why have some people been driven to insanity after being in the presence of art?

In a new podcast called “ArtCurious,” Jennifer Dasal, creator of the podcast and associate curator of contemporary art at the North Carolina Museum of Art, unravels some of the mysteries surrounding the art world.

Marc Edwards has been named among the most influential people in the world by Time, Fortune, Politico, and Foreign Policy Magazine. Edwards is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, and he blew the whistle on the water crisis in Flint, Mich.

Rosenfeld Media / Flickr

Flying cars, totalitarian regimes, and post-apocalyptic worlds. These are just a few characteristics of the dystopian film genre--movies that explore a twisted view of the future.

A profile of a smiling Bakari Sellers, CNN political analyst, lawyer, and former South Carolina State Representative.
Courtesy Bakari Sellers

In 2006, Bakari Sellers became the youngest elected state representative in South Carolina. At one point he was also the youngest black elected official in the United States.
 

In conversation with guest host Phoebe Judge, he reflects on his father’s civil rights legacy and his own political career.

Courtesy The Nile Project

 

The Nile Project is a collective of musicians from countries along the Nile basin. The group tours internationally and brings the eclectic sounds of participants’ native instruments to the stage. The musicians also organize lectures and workshops alongside their performances to discuss water conflict issues affecting their respective countries.

photo of the NC legislature
Wikimedia

A new bill in the North Carolina Legislature proposes changing the juvenile penal system to raise the age of adult prosecution for most offenses. The state is currently one of only two in the nation where 16 and 17 year olds are routinely charged as adults.

Courtesy North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture

A newly-formed group comprised of former politicians, academics, and community leaders will investigate possible connections between North Carolina and the CIA’s interrogation program.

Aero Contractors, a private aviation company based at the Johnston County airport, allegedly picked up suspected terrorists and transported them to CIA-run black site prisons.

Courtesy E.C. Hanes

When E.C. “Redge” Hanes was looking for a backdrop for his latest novel, he decided to draw from his own experience. He once raised hogs on a farm with his brother, and he also participated in an environmental study commission looking into the impact of hog farming on North Carolina’s ecology.

Hanes’ new book “Justice By Another Name” (Rane Coat Press/2017) is a tale of love and revenge set in fictional Hogg County, North Carolina.
 

Courtesy Western Carolina University

Davy Arch grew up on a subsistence farm in western North Carolina. As a boy, he learned the value of traditional Cherokee culture from his grandfather, who taught him the old stories, how to hunt and fish, and how to identify valuable medicinal plants.

Today Arch is a practitioner of traditional medicine, a historian, storyteller and a folk artist with work on display at the Smithsonian Institution.
 

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.

Pages