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  • In 2019, Virginia joined just three other states in making Juneteenth a paid state holiday, recognizing it as a holiday for all Virginians. Historian Lauranett Lee says in this country we have parallel histories, with Black and white Americans knowing about and acknowledging different pasts. But community efforts and local activists are elevating the stories of African Americans so that those parallel histories are brought together. One of those local historians is Wilma Jones, who grew up in the mostly Black community of Halls Hill in Arlington, Virginia. Now the neighborhood is rapidly gentrifying and Black families like hers have been pushed out. Today, Jones says it’s too late to save Grandma’s house, but it’s not too late to save her history.Later in the show: Much has been said about the golden age of gospel in the 1940s and 50s. But what about the gospel music that came later when hip-hop and soul were dominant? Claudrena Harold’s new book, When Sunday Comes, takes us to the Black record shops, churches, and businesses that transformed gospel after the Civil Rights era and nurtured the music that was an essential cultural and political expression for African Americans.

  • Black women are three and a half times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. Even highly educated, wealthy African Americans are at a greater risk than whites. To combat the disparity, Dr. Rochanda Mitchell advocates hiring more African American nurse educators and providing anti-bias training for medical professionals. Plus: Bellamy Shoffner was well aware of the frightening statistics when she gave birth to her sons. Shoffner is Founder and Editor of Hold The Line Magazine, about social justice motherhood. Later in the show: Although doulas have become more popular as birth and postpartum support, they’re still expensive and most insurance won’t cover their services. This can be particularly important for African Americans who are at greater risk throughout pregnancy and whose babies are at greater risk at birth. Christin Farmer created Birthing Beautiful Communities of Cleveland, a non-profit that trains and provides doulas at no cost to African Americans in Cleveland, Ohio.

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  • One study found that in the early months of the pandemic, as many as 40% of Americans skipped medical care. But new health insurance coverage of telehealth visits means that there’s a better option. UVA Health’s Karen Rheuban and Laurie Archbald-Pannone have steered innovative telehealth approaches that bring safe medical care to patients’ homes and long-term care facilities. And: When the world closed down last March, Sarah Gilbert created the Front Porch Project to connect her nursing students with the older adults they were learning to care for. Their distanced conversations started as a health intervention and turned into so much more.Later in the show: When COVID-19 struck, most of us were caught off guard. Others, like Saskia Popescu, have spent years preparing healthcare systems for events like Covid. Plus: Rural communities face so many barriers to accessing healthcare, but they also show incredible strengths in the way they care for each other. Laura Trull shares how the pandemic has affected rural communities and how public health officials can use rural strengths to help fight back.

  • It’s difficult to imagine that the highway was someone’s home. But it was. LaToya S. Gray says a once thriving Richmond neighborhood known as the Harlem of the South fell victim to intentionally destructive city planners. And: You don’t have to look far to connect racial inequities to environmental issues. Jeremy Hoffman says that many formerly redlined neighborhoods experience up to 16 degree hotter days in the summer than green lined neighborhoods within walking distance. Later in the show: How far do you have to travel to get to a park? Not a patch of grass, but a real park -- with shade, amenities and things to do. Dorothy Ibes says American parks are underutilized, and we’ve got to step it up. Aside from jumping in a pool, trees are our best bet to cool summer heat. Pamela Grothe says we have to be intentional about putting trees in the right places.

  • In July of this year, Virginia will become the first Southern state to legalize marijuana, marking a major milestone in the failure of the War on Drugs. Katherine Ott Walter traces the racist roots of the War on Drugs and offers sensible alternatives to dealing with addiction in America. And: In the early 1970’s, Richard Bonnie became the Associate Director of the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse. While the Commission ultimately recommended the decriminalization of marijuana, President Nixon refused to endorse the recommendation. But that didn’t stop a handful of states from decriminalizing marijuana.Later in the show: Today, the majority of Americans favor marijuana legalization. But back in the 1930’s the US government pumped out bogus propaganda that incited fear and linked marijuana to violence. Scott Maggard breaks down how the media shaped attitudes towards marijuana throughout American history. Plus: Marijuana has been used medicinally and recreationally for thousands of years. But Larry Keen says the science isn’t exactly clear about it’s long term effects on the body.

  • If plants could talk, what would they say? What if they could sing? Sam Nester, Yassmin Salem, and Donald Russell explain how George Mason University’s Arcadia installation turns a greenhouse into an orchestra. And: Fossils give away the secrets of the past, but they can also tell the future. Rowan Lockwood is taking a closer look at the fossils of giant oysters to learn how to rebuild oyster reefs today. Lockwood was named a 2019 Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award recipient.Later in the show: Crystal blue lakes might make for a popular tourist spot, but they’re starting to disappear. Dina Leech is studying what gives lakes their color and why they’re changing. Plus: While forests are a deep green right now, in just a few months leaves will be changing colors--thanks, in part, to caterpillars. Rebecca Forkner shares how these tiny insects change their environments and what we can learn from them.

  • More and more often, celebrities are home-grown in front of a ring light and iPhone. As viewers keep scrolling past these insta-celebs, they’re starting to see themselves differently. Miriam Liss and Mindy Erchull say we compare ourselves to what we see despite knowing all that glitters isn’t gold. And: Have you been running to Twitter to cope with the crazy news cycle over the past year? John Brummette says it's a common coping mechanism. Later in the show: Long before social media, there was cancel culture. Carolyn Eastman reminds us of Mr. O, the first “cancelled” celebrity you’ve probably never heard of. Plus: Matthew Turner says that all comedy is an inside joke, but some jokes span generations.

  • Kirsten Gelsdorf has spent over 20 years working for the United Nations and other organizations in the humanitarian sector. She discusses her experience in disaster zones and clears up some commonly-held misconceptions about humanitarian aid. And: Earlier this year, Virginia became 1 of only 10 states to pass a Bill of Rights for domestic workers. But Jennifer Fish says while it’s certainly a step in the right direction, these protections often exist only on paper. Jennifer has been named an Outstanding Faculty member by The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Later in the show: According to the Guiness Book of World Records, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the most translated document in the world. But it’s not typically taught in American classrooms. Eric Bonds says we could learn a lot from studying the document and applying its moral framework to our communities right here in the United States. Plus: Before the Cold War, UN peacekeeping missions were executed almost entirely by the United States and Western European countries. But now developing countries have started to take the lead. Tim Passmore says this may signal a larger shift in the global power structure.

  • Thanks to COVID-19, many of us are more closely tuned in to the environment around us than ever before. We’re spending more time hanging outdoors, planting kitchen gardens, and taking up bird-watching. In honor of Earth Day and our new relationship with the great outdoors, With Good Reason invites you to walk with us. We venture into dark caves with Ángel García, traipse around the foothills of Appalachia with Ryan Huish, explore the mini-ecosystems of fallen trees with Deborah Waller, and wade through ghost forest wetlands with Matt Kirwan.

  • In 2019, the most notable poets of our time gathered in the nation’s capital to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Furious Flower Poetry Center, devoted to African American poetry. Furious Flower founder, Joanne Gabbin and Lauren Alleyne join us in-studio to celebrate poets and hear excerpts from interviews with Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Rita Dove, Sonia Sanchez, and many others. Later in the show: Widely known for his poem called “Facing It” about the Vietnam War, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa was a guest of honor at a week-long seminar at James Madison University’s Furious Flower Poetry Center. And: In her newest book, Sargent’s Women, Donna M. Lucey tells the fascinating stories behind four of the portraits by the famous painter John Singer Sargent, and ushers us into the scandalous and heartbreaking lives of Gilded Age high society.

  • We have a lot to do with what happens to rainwater from the time it hits the ground, to the time we drink it. And our small efforts can add up over time to prevent catastrophe. Kathy Gee has great advice for us: don’t live downhill from someone else, and start a rain garden. And: Along Appalachian streams, people grew up watching the hellbenders swim around and fight beneath the surface. Now, their grandchildren have hardly ever seen the two-foot long salamanders, affectionately called snot dogs. Bill Hopkins says that what’s happening to the snot dogs’ water also has an impact on our livelihood. Later in the show: Water is a vehicle for social and political inequality all over the world. But Claire Payton says that the issue is front and center in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Plus: Abbey Carrico says that fictional representations of water help us make sense of life and death.

  • The Women’s March in January 2017 was the largest single-day protest in U.S. history. Anywhere from 3 to 5 million Americans--most of them women--took to the streets in the U.S. and around the globe. But while women have certainly made their voices heard in massive protests like that one, women’s activism often looks like radical everyday acts. Lori Underwood and Dawn Hutchinson share some of their favorite examples from their book on social change and women’s activism around the world. And: Today, women’s colleges are often seen as hotbeds of radical activism. Caroline Hasenyager says that reputation started early, way back at the turn of the century, when faculty and students were leaders in the progressive movement. Plus: Zakia McKensey talks about how pageants and performance led her to activism for the LGBTQ+ community.Later in the show: In the hills of Appalachia, women are leading an environmental justice movement. Shannon Bell tells the stories of the mothers and grandmothers who fight back against the impacts of coal mining on their families. And: Jayme Canty studies how Black women have organized in the South, from Civil Rights activism to church social organizations.

  • Serena Williams is widely regarded as one of the best athletes of all time. But far too often her passion on the tennis court has been criticized as aggression. So why do Black sports women seem to attract more scrutiny than other athletes? Letisha Engracio Cardoso Brown says it’s because the same commonly-held stereotypes for Black women in society frequently get repurposed into sport. And: The USA men’s basketball team boasted a perfect Olympic record of 63-0. But Russia had developed a scrappy, up and coming team of their own. So, when the two basketball teams collided at the 1972 Olympics - it was bound to be a showdown of epic proportions. Christopher Elzey calls this game the greatest WTF moment in sports history and explains how it opens a window into Cold War animosity.Later in the show: From Stone Cold Steve Austin to The Undertaker, the 1990’s were one of professional wrestling's most popular eras. Marc Ouellette says this golden age of wrestling reflected a perceived decline in masculinity throughout society. Plus: Many elite athletes, including Eliud Klipchoge - the famous Kenyan who ran the fastest marathon in 2019 - have endorsed hydrogel technology. But does the stuff actually work? Dan Baur says it's inconclusive at best.

  • Remember those twelve months where every ad was asking you to vote? It was inescapable. Gilda Pedraza and her team worked around the clock to ensure Latino voters in Georgia had the information they needed to cast their ballot. But even with historic voter turnout, a third of eligible adults didn’t vote. Bernard Fraga says that’s a political failure, and not the failure of individual voters. Plus: Kathleen Hale and Mitchell Brown have spent years traveling the country talking to election officials. Why they say this past election has forever transformed the voting process in America. Later in the show: Young people feel ignored by politicians, and politicians feel ignored by young people. So the cycle repeats. A lot of young people don’t vote, and politicians opt out of spending money trying to reach them. Evette Dionne says that new media engages the young voters who politicians ignore.

  • We all know that teenagers would rather die than hang out with their parents, right? Not so, says Jon Lohman. The Old Fiddlers Convention in Galax, Virginia, brings young and old together to share traditions and songs. But how are musicians faring during the pandemic? Plus: The studio comes alive with song when Steve Rockenbach and Gregg Kimball bring their banjos in to share the instrument’s storied history in America. They reflect on how the banjo’s transformation has affected song styles to this day. Later in the show: When the first settlers came to America from England and Scotland they brought with them a rich tradition of ballad-singing. Cece Conway traces the singing families and their songs from the UK to the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, where they influenced modern performers from Joan Baez to the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

  • In 2016, Lashrecse Aird made history as the youngest woman ever elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. She says her unique perspective - shaped by a childhood of adversity and hardship - allows her to better serve the full range of experiences within her constituency. And: Ebony Guy was inspired to get involved in activism from a young age by her grandmother, a beloved civil rights leader in Halifax County, Virginia. Now a board member at Virginia Organizing - her activist work has centered on voter education and political campaigns. Plus: From 1997-2001, Paul Clinton Harris represented Albemarle County in the Virginia House of Delegates. A descendant of enslaved people at Monticello, he describes his unlikely path to political office - serving in the very seat that Thomas Jefferson once held many years ago.Later in the show: A.E. Dick Howard directed the commission that rewrote Virginia’s constitution, which was eventually enacted in 1971. It was a bipartisan effort intended to heal the wounds of the state’s racist past. 50 years later, he reflects on whether the new constitution went far enough.

  • Scholars, historic interpreters, and descendants of enslaved people recently gathered at Montpelier, the home of James Madison. They were there to create a rubric for historic sites who want to engage descendant communities in their work. Anthropologist Michael Blakey discusses why historical sites must consider the needs and wishes of descendants. And: Historian Hasan Kwame Jeffries says we need to do more to teach our kids about African American history, even when it covers tough subjects.Later in the show: Justin Reid tells the story of how he set out to find the plantation where his great-great grandfather was enslaved, and what he found there. And: Crystal Rosson is the great-granddaughter of Sterling Jones Sr., who was enslaved at the former Sweet Briar Plantation, now Sweet Briar College. Rosson shares her family’s history and explains why research by African American genealogists matters as they discover more about the integral role of African Americans in Virginia's history.

  • In mid-December, UVA Health physician Taison Bell rolled up his sleeve to be one of the first people in Charlottesville to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Today he shares why he got the vaccine and how we can get it to as many Americans as possible. Bell was named a 2021 Outstanding Faculty member by The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. And: Navigating social lives in the time of Covid can be awkward. How do you tell your friends, ”No, I won’t be joining you at that restaurant, but yes, we can take a walk in the park together” without having to explain or excuse? Carrie Dolan says we need to get better at communicating our personal risk levels during the pandemic or we won’t be able to stop it.Later in the show: Every day, all over the world, people die because they don’t have access to life-saving medications. A problem that was already acute has become even more visible as countries struggle to produce and supply Covid-19 medications. Frank Gupton and the Medicines for All Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University are using innovative production techniques that cut costs and democratize the industry. Plus: Bioprospectors are companies or people that go looking for materials that can become a new medication. Sometimes these bioprospectors strike gold. But what if that “discovered” medication has been known and used by indigenous people for years? Christopher Morris studies who gets to profit off of selling the medication--the bioprospectors or the indigenous people who found it first?

  • We’re drawn to people who are kind to others. But once that kind person becomes our partner, we want special treatment. Lalin Anik says that we get a boost from feeling our "uniqueness" affirmed. She shares just how critical that special treatment is to a fulfilling relationship. And: Can one person really satisfy all of our needs? Julian Glover says no. They share how non-monogamy can be a freedom practice. Later in the show: Studies show that the more we look at screens, the less we feel our body. Scary, right? In our virtual world, we are becoming increasingly out of touch. Two days after Sushma Subramanian got engaged, she moved to Virginia to teach, leaving her fiance behind. She tells us about the app that got them talking -- and touching-- across the distance. Plus: Kristina Feeser shares her bittersweet realities of love.

  • Dwayne Betts was only a teenager when he was convicted of carjacking and sentenced to 9 years in prison. Today, he’s an acclaimed poet and PhD candidate at Yale Law School. He recounts his inspiring story and brings attention to one of the biggest civil rights issues of our time: felon disenfranchisement.Later in the show: Think immigrant voting is un-American? Think again. Ron Hayduk says it’s as American as apple pie. Plus: We take for granted that 18 is the voting age. But it wasn’t always this way. Rebecca DeSchweinitz explains how the Vote 18 movement led to the Twenty-Sixth Amendment, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 in 1971.