SOT Meet Series

The State of Things
11:07 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Meet Alexandra Zagbayou

Alexandra Zagbayou
Credit studentudurham.org

Meet Alexandra Zagbayou

Alexandra Zagbayou was born in Montreal but returned to her father's homeland of Ivory Coast when she was 4 years old. Six years later, her family fled because they feared political persecution in the tense years before the country's civil war.

"We thought we would be in the U.S. for a summer. The summer turned into 15 years," she said.

The family moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, where Zagbayou learned English by reverse engineering her school's French classes.

Later, her parents returned to Africa while she and her sister stayed in Raleigh with their aunt and uncle. A few years after that, their uncle was killed.

Zagbayou's older sister became her primary guardian while she worked hard to finish high school and secure funding for college. 

One summer, Zagbayou taught dance classes to homeless and displaced youth. This was when she first began to process her own challenging life experiences. She realized not only that she related to her students, but that she had come out the other side. 

Today she helps run the Durham-based college-access organization, Student U. The program empowers students to pursue their own educational journeys despite diverse challenges. 

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The State of Things
11:00 am
Mon May 19, 2014

The Lives Of NC Firefighters: What We Don't Know

Firefighters at work
Credit creative commons

Meet North Carolina Firefighters

  

Many young children dream of becoming firefighters someday. But not everybody sustains that desire into adulthood. What is it that makes some people want to run into the buildings when everyone else is fleeing? 

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The State of Things
11:35 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Meet Terri Phoenix

Terri Phoenix is the director of the LGBTQ Center at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Credit lgbtq.unc.edu

Meet Terri Phoenix

Terri Phoenix (T) grew up always feeling like an outsider. As a young child in a poor, fragmented family, Terri moved around more than ten times before starting high school and was always the "new kid."

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The State of Things
11:29 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Meet Jane Smith Patterson

Jane Smith Patterson

Meet Jane Smith Patterson

For more than 40 years, Jane Smith Patterson has been paving the way for women in North Carolina politics and digital technology. After her start as a young organizer and activist in her hometown in Columbus County, North Carolina, Patterson left home for college when she was 16 years old. 

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The State Of Things
12:19 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Farm Provides Therapy For People With Mental Illness And Developmental Disabilities

Working on a farm
Credit Wikipedia

The Farm at Penny Lane is a 40-acre plot of land tucked away in north Pittsboro, North Carolina. But this is no conventional farming operation; it is operated by volunteers and people with mental illness and developmental disabilities.

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The State of Things
11:58 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Meet Perry Deane Young

Writer and activist Perry Deane Young
Credit Credit: Perry Deane Young

  

Journalist and writer Perry Deane Young has covered some of the biggest stories in recent decades. From the civil rights movement to the Vietnam War and from the Moral Majority to Moral Mondays, Young witnessed and documented key moments in American history. Host Frank Stasio talks with the North Carolina native about his life, his experiences and his writing.

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The State of Things
11:36 am
Mon August 12, 2013

The Mysterious Relationship Between Brain And Body

A picture of the human brain
Credit creative commons / creative commons

Scientist Staci Bilbo helps decipher the mind body relationship

Scientists generally understand that healthy bodies and healthy minds are related, but the interaction between the two isn’t as clear.

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The State of Things
10:34 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Former Nun Reflects On The Sanctuary Movement

Credit hrcr.org

Frank Stasio talks with Darlene Nicgorski

Darlene Nicgorski was a nun when she was convicted of conspiracy and faced a 25-year prison term in the 1980s for her work helping Central American refugees. She didn’t end up having to serve that term, but her work in the so-called Sanctuary Movement made her the poster child of immigrant activism in the 1980s.

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State of Things
9:31 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Meet Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

When Pam Spaulding first got into publishing, she used an X-Acto knife and cardboard. She stayed in the field by learning how to use a computer. And now her blog — Pam’s House Blend — is a popular activist website for gay rights.

Host Frank Stasio talks to Pam Spaulding about her life, work and gay rights activism.

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State of Things
10:04 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Meet Darlene Nicgorski

Darlene Nicgorski
Credit hrcr.org

Darlene Nicgorski was a nun serving in Los Amates, Guatemala in 1981 when her pastor was assassinated miles away. That early experience helped shape her decision to help Central American refugees seeking shelter in the United States. For her efforts, Nicgorski would eventually be convicted of conspiracy and face a 25-year prison sentence. She has since left the convent and settled in Chapel Hill. Host Frank Stasio talks to former nun and activist Darlene Nicgorski.

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