Sean Powers

Producer/Reporter - On Second Thought

Sean Powers is a producer and reporter for "On Second Thought.” Powers is a native of the south suburbs of Chicago, and he graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Missouri.  In 2012, he completed a fellowship at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He moved to Atlanta after working as a reporter for the public radio station in Urbana, Ill. His reporting has earned him about a dozen Associated Press awards, two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, five national PRNDI awards, a first place award for best use of sound from the Atlanta Press Club, and recognition from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters. After a long week of public radio, Powers enjoys live jazz and soul food. He also mentors teenage journalists who report for VOX Teen Communications, a magazine in Atlanta. In addition to his work at GPB, he also oversees the development of several podcasts for an audio book company in Atlanta called ListenUp Audiobooks.

Ways to Connect

Manuel Balce Ceneta / The Associated Press

Three years ago, Ferguson, Missouri, exploded into national headlines when an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by the police. Protests erupted in many cities, including Atlanta. Now, Charlottesville is the latest example of the nation’s heightened racial tensions and growing white supremacy groups. We talked with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Wesley Lowery, who covers race and justice for The Washington Post.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / The Associated Press

When Donald Trump addressed the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, he said there was bad behavior on both sides. Many people then accused the president of false equivalence. That phrase has come up a lot in the past couple years, whether we’re talking about Nazis or Benghazi or emails or Black Lives Matter.

This summer, 27 so-called micronations gathered in Dunwoody, Georgia for MicroCon 2017. A micronation is defined as a small, self-proclaimed entity which claims to be an independent sovereign state, but is not acknowledged as such by any recognized sovereign state, or by any supranational organization. Vice News produced a documentary from the convention, which featured many micronations based within Georgia. We get the inside scoop from Vice Media Video Producer Oliver Noble.

Meet The Press / NBC

This past weekend, former Atlanta mayor and U.N. ambassador Andrew Young appeared on NBC’s "Meet The Press" with Chuck Todd. Following the interview, many civil rights activists criticized Young for some of his comments. We get reactions from local leaders, including Reverend Gerald Durley, LGBT activist Monica Helms, and Creative Currents Executive Director Oronike Odeleye.

Morris Publishing announced this month it would sell ownership of 11 daily newspapers in the Southeast to Gatehouse Media. The sale includes large local Georgia papers like the Augusta Chronicle, the Athens Banner-Herald, and the Savannah Morning News. We talk about what’s behind the sale with Carolyn Carlson, a Professor of Communications and Media at Kennesaw State University. And Phil Kent, CEO of Insider Advantage, and a former editor at the Augusta Chronicle.

For the first time in over four decades, West Point authorized an updated text on military history in 2014. This one focuses on the tactics and consequences of the Civil War. We revisit a conversation with Colonel Ty Seidule, one of the book’s editors.

Wikimedia Commons

Fifty years ago this month, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at the at the annual convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Hyatt Regency in Atlanta opened its doors for the event on August 16, 1967. One of the conference’s planners was civil rights icon and journalist Xernona Clayton.

Emily Jones / GPB News

When the nation first met Georgia author Cassie Beasley, it was in 2015 with the release of her debut novel, "Circus Mirandus." It went on to become a New York Times bestseller. Beasley’s books are targeted to middle schoolers, but the appeal of her storytelling is widespread.

About 30 years ago, the “Brotherman” comic series paved the way for today’s black comics and superhero movement. Atlanta-based artist Dawud Anyabwile is the co-creator of Brotherman. We talk with him about a new exhibit in Atlanta chronicling Brotherman’s universe.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

The first black superhero in mainstream American comic books was the Black Panther, introduced by Marvel in 1966, but there have been other influential characters since then. Brotherman comics is the story of a public prosecutor who hits the streets at night, seeking justice. That series helped change the way African-Americans are portrayed in comics.

It’s been two weeks since the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The violence there renewed conversations about race relations, and have left some searching for answers on how to de-radicalize people. That’s something Shannon Martinez of Athens knows firsthand. She was a skinhead for several years, but managed to leave that life behind her.  We talk with her and Sammy Rangel of Life After Hate, a group that helps people move away from hate and violent extremism.

The Associated Press/Shannon Martinez

It’s been two weeks since the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The violence there renewed conversations about race relations, and have left some searching for answers on how to de-radicalize people. That’s something Shannon Martinez of Athens knows firsthand. She was a skinhead for several years, but managed to leave that life behind her.

For centuries, groups in the South have sought to secede from the United States. More than 150 years after the Civil War, groups like the League of the South are pushing again to break from the Union. We talk about how serious we should take calls for secession with Roxanne Donovan, Psychology Professor at Kennesaw State University. And Trey Hood, Political Science Professor at the University of Georgia in Athens.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Over the last year, Atlanta’s soccer scene has blown up thanks to a new professional soccer club, Atlanta United FC. You can’t miss the black, red, and gold jerseys and flags that fans are sporting. In about three weeks, the team begins its next chapter when it plays at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

The Breakroom gang joins host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week's news.

Alison Rosa

We talked with Georgia native Karin Slaughter, the author of several international bestsellers. Her latest crime novel, just out, is “The Good Daughter.” It is about how a terrifying event rips apart a family, as well as their small town.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Atlanta-based producer Will Packer’s new movie “Girls Trip” is doing quite well. It cost about $19 million to make, and it has grossed more than $90 million since opening in theaters last month. We talked with Will Packer last week about making hit movies with diverse casts, and his TV project “Black America.”

 

First, Atlanta has a healthy appetite for improv. This week Dad’s Garage Theater welcomes Scott Adsit. You may know him best as Pete Hornberger on the show “30 Rock.” Scott joined us earlier this week to discuss the art of comedy.

Then, Atlanta-based producer Will Packer’s new movie “Girls Trip” is doing quite well. It cost about $19 million to make, and it’s grossed more than $90 million since opening in theaters last month. We talked with Will Packer last week about making hit movies with diverse casts, and his television project “Black America.”

Natty G Photography / flickr

Atlanta has a healthy appetite for improv. This weekend, Dad’s Garage Theater Company welcomes Scott Adsit. He's best known for roles on the TV shows “30 Rock” and "Moral Orel."  We talked to him about the art of comedy.

Scott performs Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. at Dad's Garage Theater Company in Atlanta.

First, rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend brought together many factions of the white supremacist movement, and put a younger generation of white supremacists in the spotlight. Reporter A.C. Thompson has been tracking hate groups for ProPublica’s “Documenting Hate” project. He joins us to talk about his reporting, and what he saw in Virginia. We also talk with University of Maryland psychology professor Arie Kruglanski, who studies the mental processes behind radicalization, de-radicalization, and terrorism.

Steve Helber / The Associated Press

Rallies in Charlottesville over the weekend brought together many factions of the white supremacist movement, and put a younger generation of white supremacists in the spotlight. Reporter A.C. Thompson has been tracking hate groups for ProPublica’s “Documenting Hate” project.

The Atlanta Dream

The WNBA’s Atlanta Dream has had a surprising season. The team lost to the New York Liberty on Friday, for its sixth straight loss, and the team is currently in ninth place in the league. But there is still enough time to make the playoffs. And in many ways, the Dream has exceeded many people’s expectations since it lost a star player for the summer.

Atlanta Falcons

A new report finds chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in 110 of 111 brains of deceased former NFL players. The study adds to a  growing body of knowledge about the connection between contact sports and brain-damaging concussions.

First, a new report finds chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in 110 of 111 brains of deceased former NFL players. The study adds to a  growing body of knowledge about the connection between contact sports and brain-damaging concussions. We talk with Steve Broglio, Director of the NeuroTrauma Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan.

We also talk with former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Buddy Curry, who is working to improve football education with his group, “Kids & Pros.”

First, when Donald Trump began his campaign in 2015, few thought he would climb to the nation’s highest office. But Jared Yates Sexton realized Trump was onto something. He was one of the first people to attend and report on Trump rallies. Sexton teaches creative writing at Georgia Southern University, and has a new book: “The People Are Going To Rise Like The Waters Upon Your Shore.” He joins us for an hour exploring changes in the American psyche.

Casino Regina / flickr

If you want to see theater in one of its most nerve-racking forms, look no further than actor Colin Mochrie. The comedian is best known for his role on "Whose Line Is It Anyway?," a popular short-form improvisational comedy show. Mochrie has a richly deserved reputation for his skill at improvisation. Audiences in Atlanta can see him live on Aug. 11-12 at Dad’s Garage in Atlanta. We talked with him about his craft.

First, if you want to see theater in one of its most nerve-racking forms, look no further than actor Colin Mochrie. The comedian is best known for his role on TV’s “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and he has a richly deserved reputation for his skill at improvisation. Audiences in Atlanta can see him live Friday, August 11, and tomorrow August 12 at Dad’s Garage. We talk with Colin Mochrie.

First, imagine being in outer space with two sassy robots, and being forced to watch really bad science fiction movies with them. That’s the premise of the cult classic TV series, Mystery Science Theater 3000. The show is on the road this weekend [August 12] in Atlanta. We talk with series creator, Joel Hodgson.

American University

It’s been three years since 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The chaos in Ferguson brought to light deeper and disturbing issues involved in policing African Americans. American University Law Professor Angela Davis has edited an anthology of essays about black men and boys who have died at the hands of police.

Darren Michaels / Netflix

Imagine being in outer space with two sassy robots, and being forced to watch really bad science fiction movies with them. That’s the premise of the cult classic TV series, Mystery Science Theater 3000. The show is on the road on Aug. 12 at Atlanta Symphony Hall. We talked with series creator, Joel Hodgson.

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