Leighton Rowell

On Second Thought Producer

Leighton Rowell is a producer for On Second Thought.

Prior to joining GPB, Leighton lived in Brazil, teaching English through a Fulbright Award and eating far too much pão de queijo.

Leighton's previous reporting has appeared on TIME.com, The Trace and in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; she also interned for NBC Sports during the Rio 2016 Olympics. For her work on investigations at the AJC and WSB-TV, Leighton was honored with two Larry Peterson Memorial Awards in 2016.

An Atlanta native, Leighton attended the University of Georgia, where she was a Foundation Fellow and managing editor of The Red & Black student newspaper. She also began her public radio career in Athens as an intern for WUGA's classical music program Afternoon Concert.

Leighton graduated from UGA summa cum laude with bachelor's degrees in history and Romance languages. She speaks Portuguese and French. 

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, a leader in South Africa's anti-apartheid movement and ex-wife of the late Nelson Mandela, died Monday. She was 81. On Second Thought producer Fenly Foxen, who grew up in South Africa, spoke with host Adam Ragusea about Madikizela-Mandela's integral role in the fight against apartheid. Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe, CEO of the TutuDesk Campaign and daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, also joined from South Carolina. Tutu-Gxashe earned her master's degree from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health. 

Stephen Fowler, GPB News

The state of Georgia did away with Confederate History Month in 2015, but last week Atlanta suburb Griffin declared April as Confederate History Month. April 26 will be Confederate Memorial Day. 

During public comments following the proclamation, a former city commissioner, who is white, used racial slurs in an exchange with current commissioner Rodney McCord, who is black.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its historic ruling Brown v. the Board of Education more than six decades ago. Linda Brown, the namesake of that landmark court case, died March 25. She was 76. 

With Brown v. Board, it became illegal to separate public school students by race. But since the landmark ruling, many schools in the South have resegregated, according to a report from the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles. The study also found Latino student enrollment surpassed black enrollment for the first time.

We spoke about the resegregation of southern schools with Erica Frankenberg, associate professor of education at Penn State University, Belisa Urbina, executive director of Ser Familia, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution education reporter Maureen Downey.

National Park Service

April 4, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr. Today, we paid tribute to King's legacy by talking to the people who knew him, portrayed him and were inspired by him. 

Last year, we spoke with two Georgia-based comic book publishers who are working to develop more superheroes of color. Carlton and Darrick Hargro are the creative force behind the comic book company, 20th Place Media. We talked to them about one of their latest comics called “Moses,” which draws connections between the African slave trade and an alien abduction.

Georgia leads most of the nation in average student loan debt. Nearly 1.5 million Georgians owe an average of $30,000 in federal student debt. Defaulting on student loans hurts more than your credit score; it can also result in losing your professional license. In more than a dozen states, including Georgia, your license can be seized if you don't keep up with your loan payments. 

Before the new teen romantic comedy, “Love, Simon” hit the big screens, it was a novel. "Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda" follows the story of a highschool boy who struggles with his sexual identity.

The newest appointed director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is already facing serious accusations. Dr. Robert Redfield has been accused of fabricating or seriously botching HIV vaccine data. President Trump's appointee also has no experience running a public health organization. This problematic news comes months after the controversy with previous CDC director, Brenda Fitzgerald.

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