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, and recognition from the Atlanta Press Club. 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.

Ways to Connect

Keenan Jones / On Second Thought

The Breakroom gang joins host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week's news. The panel includes Georgia State University professor Eric Segall, writer and blogger Jessica SzilagyiNatalie Pawelski of Cater Communications, and Emory University professor Falguni Sheth.



Last month, the A&E Network canceled a documentary series about the Ku Klux Klan. The series, which featured Klan members in North Georgia, was scrapped because some of the people interviewed were paid to appear in it.

The Associated Press

Georgia led the nation last year in death row executions. Nine men were put to death by lethal injection in 2016. That’s more executions than any other year since capital punishment was reinstated nationwide 40 years ago.

Evan Vucci / The Associated Press

A high priority for President Donald Trump is getting his cabinet nominees approved by the U.S. Senate. Late last week, he named his one remaining choice: former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue as secretary of agriculture.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

It’s unclear how many protesters we’ll see at Donald Trump's inauguration. Some estimates say as many as 200,000 will attend the Women’s March on Saturday, and it’s just one of several planned protest events. Others are choosing not to attend the inauguration as a form of silent protest. More than 40 theatre companies, including three in Atlanta, are hosting readings of a play by Atlanta-native Lauren Gunderson.

Carolyn Kaster / The Associated Press

People from all over the world are in Washington DC on Friday to catch a glimpse of history. One of them is Greg Williams, a conservative radio talk show host based in Decatur, Georgia. Williams tells us this is the first presidential inauguration he’ll see up close. 


Also attending the inauguration are a number of Georgia students, including 50 middle schoolers in the Whitfield County School District. We check in with a couple of those students as they prepare for a moment they’ll never forget. 

A Look Back At Jimmy Carter's Inauguration

Jan 20, 2017
The Associated Press

On Jan. 20, 1977, Jimmy Carter was sworn in as the nation's 39th president. Following the ceremony and his Inaugural Address, President Carter and his wife Rosalynn did something no other president had done before. They walked down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. A.D. Frazier was watching from behind the scenes. He managed Jimmy Carter’s inauguration, and talked with us about the prep work leading up to the event.


History Of Presidential Inaugurations

Jan 20, 2017

Donald Trump makes history on Friday by becoming the 45th president of the United States. What follows is a weekend of inauguration pageantry, a parade, several inaugural balls -- even fireworks.The presidential inauguration has a rich history dating back to George Washington. For more on that legacy, we turned to historian Kenneth C.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

The U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade 44 years ago this month. At the same time, it also ruled on a companion case from Georgia called Doe v. Bolton. This case was another challenge to states' abortion restrictions.

Before The Legal Fight For Abortion

Jan 18, 2017
The Associated Press

Nearly 44 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized getting an abortion with its Roe v. Wade decision. The battle over abortion rights goes back a long way in the United States, long before the landmark decision in 1973. There was a time in the 19th century when abortions during early pregnancy were legal according to common law. But by 1880, most states had passed anti-abortion laws.

The Debate Over Abortion Rights

Jan 18, 2017
American Life League / flickr

The debate over a woman’s right to an abortion is one issue that’s expected to take center stage with the incoming Trump administration. Donald Trump has picked Georgia Congressman Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Price has long opposed abortion rights. For more on that side of the debate, we talk with two abortion critics: Emily Matson of Georgia Life Alliance and Ricardo Davis of Georgia Right to Life.

Furious Flower / flickr

Nikki Giovanni is one of the most celebrated poets of her generation. Her unique style weaves together strong ties to family, experiences as an African American woman growing up in the South, and her pride as an activist. We asked her about whether she considers herself a good poet, and how she feels America needs to come together amid so many divisions.


Sean Powers / On Second Thought

A favorite pastime for many people is playing with model trains. It can be exciting to watch them whiz by on tiny tracks. Recently, model train enthusiasts of all stripes came to Atlanta for a the World's Greatest Hobby on Tour, a show promoting model railroading across all gauges for all ages. GPB’s Sean Powers stopped by and sent us this audio postcard.

A problem with some fantasy fiction narratives is the misogynistic treatment of female characters. The sci-fi world may still be very much dominated by men behind the scenes, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been female trailblazers. A new book explores some of those unsung heroines.

Sean MacEntee / flickr

A new report slots Georgia third in the nation for credit card debt. The website figured the average credit card debt and median income in each state, and in this case, being high on the list is bad news. We talked more about this with Atlanta financial advisor Cecily Welch.

Stefano Brega / flickr

Pigs are a huge part of Georgia’s economy. They can also cause a lot of problems. A University of Georgia report last year says feral swine caused nearly $99 million in crop damage and $51 million in non-crop damage in 2014. But that doesn’t mean we should hate these animals.

Keenan Jones / On Second Thought

The Breakroom gang joins host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week's news. The panel includes former NPR correspondent Kathy Lohr, Georgia State University professor Hector Fernandez, Soumaya Khalifa ​of the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta, and Natalie Pawelski of of Cater Communications.


Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Atlanta teenager Nzinga Braswell, 17, traveled to Ghana in 2015 and documented her journey on film. The result was “A Queen’s Discovery,” which was recently honored by a PBS film festival. The film compares Nzinga's Black American experience with what she saw in Africa. We talked about the documentary with her and her father Kenneth, who is the director of President Obama’s Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse.


Georgia Institute of Technology

The first living organisms on Earth were probably single-celled organisms similar to bacteria. It took eons for those tiny forms to evolve into humans. But how did they begin? Georgia Tech researcher Nick Hud is working to answer that question. We talked with him about his work to discover the root of life on Earth.



Wikimedia Commons

​In​ ​November,​ ​voters​ ​approved​ ​the creation​ ​of​ ​two​ ​new​ ​cities​ ​-​ ​South​ ​Fulton​ ​in​ ​Fulton ​County​ ​and​ ​Stonecrest in​ ​DeKalb​ ​County.​ ​New​ ​commissions​ ​appointed​ ​by​ ​the​ ​governor​ ​are working​ ​to​ ​help​ ​each​ ​community​ ​operate.​ ​We talked more abou

Solar Energy Industries Association

As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office, it is unclear what effect his administration might have on renewable energy. Trump has raised concerns about wind and solar energy, and several of his Cabinet picks have ties to the oil and gas industry. However, the renewable fuel industry may have reason to be hopeful.

Jonathan Phillips

By all accounts, Atlanta’s Fox Theatre shouldn’t be around anymore. The historic movie palace, which opened Christmas Day of 1929, escaped financial ruin several times, dodged a date with a wrecking ball, and survived a potentially fatal fire. But 87 years later, the theater’s future couldn’t be brighter. To mark its anniversary, a new GPB documentary premiering Christmas night at 7 p.m. ET, tells the theater’s incredible story.

Best Southern Albums Of 2016

Dec 18, 2016

A lot of amazing music has come out of in 2016. We talk about some of the best Southern albums of the year with Chuck Reece of The Bitter Southerner. He recently compiled his list for the magazine.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

We add a couple tunes to our essential Georgia Playlist from Atlanta performer Mike Geier. He is best known for creating Puddles, a sad clown with an incredible singing voice.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Georgia is not particularly welcoming to the craft beer industry. In fact, our state ranks 48th for number of breweries per capita. Yet, a new one will open its doors next year. When it does, the Oconee Brewing Company will pour its beer into cans instead of bottles.

Richard Elzey / flickr

In about 10 days, many families will gather around the table for a holiday feast, and you can be sure that most of those tables will include delicious drinks. If your mind has now wandered to wine glasses -- or sweet tea -- stop right there. There's another tasty and tasteful option to serve with all those wonderful dishes. It’s craft beer.

U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence

Construction recently began on the future headquarters of the U.S. Army’s cyber command facility. It’s based at Fort Gordon, right outside Augusta. The state of the art center will bring with it many new intelligence and security jobs. We learn more about the project, and the area’s new role as the Silicon Valley of cyber security.

From its earliest days as a nation, the United States has struggled with a problem that we can’t seem to solve - racism.

National Park Service

The Ocmulgee National Monument near Macon was designated this month as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The most prominent features at Ocmulgee are huge earthen mounds that spread across 700 acres. Native Americans first settled there thousands of years ago.

Emily Jones / GPB News

The Savannah-based group Twisty Cats performs this month in Atlanta. We talk with the duo behind the band: Peter Mavrogeorgis and Blake Olmstead. The married couple runs a recording studio during the day, and by night they perform what they call "electro, gotha-billy, psych-punk-pop." 

Twisty Cats performs at 529 in Atlanta on Saturday, Dec. 17.