Sean Powers

Acting Senior Producer - On Second Thought

Sean Powers is the acting senior producer "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.

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Nearly a decade after Martin Luther King Jr's death, President Jimmy Carter posthumously awarded King the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The activist's widow, Coretta Scott King, accepted the award on his behalf. On Second Thought producer Sean Powers took us back to that day at the White House with an audio postcard.

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Georgia Congressman John Lewis is a man who wears many hats. He is a civil rights leader, a principled politician and a graphic novelist. We talked to him about his three-part graphic memoir, "March," which tells the story of the civil rights movement from Lewis's perspective. 

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In August 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke in Atlanta at the annual convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Less than a year later, he was killed in Memphis, Tennessee. We talked with Xernona Clayton, an advisor to King and one of the conference planners.

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In this rare 1961 interview with Martin Luther King Jr., King spoke with Eleanor Fischer, a reporter with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation who later worked for National Public Radio.

In the interview, King reflects on childhood run-ins with racial prejudice in Atlanta.

This interview was uncovered by archivist Andy Lanset and the WNYC archives. 

Interview Highlights: 

Eleanor Fischer: We're you aware of racial prejudices while growing up in Atlanta?

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.

The City of Atlanta is still dealing with the fallout from a massive cyberattack Thursday. Since a group of hackers locked down the city's computer system with a malware called Ransomware, city employees have been unable to carry out essential business. Atlanta residents can't even pay their bills online. 

Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has condemned the attack. She has yet to confirm if the city will pay the $50,000 ransom hackers have demanded in exchange for the city to regain access to its data. Georgia Public Broadcasting reporter Emily Cureton updated us on the latest developments in the data breach. We also spoke with Milos Prvulovic, a professor in Georgia Tech's School of Computer Science.

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Across film, television and comic books, we’re seeing the rise of superheroes of color.

One of the latest examples is the CW series "Black Lightning," which films in Georgia.

Amid all the superhero action, Black Lightning also tackles complex issues like how communities deal with crime and police brutality. 

We talked with Marvin Jones, who plays the show’s lead villain.

A teenager in Thomasville, Georgia is facing charges for allegedly stealing a gun from a car earlier in March. We've seen this problem across the state. In 2016 The Trace, an investigative news website, examined firearm theft in Atlanta and Savannah. finding Atlanta led many cities with its rate of guns stolen from automobiles. We spoke with Brian Freskos, a reporter who covers gun trafficking for The Trace. 

Former Georgia Gov. Zell Miller, 86, died Friday morning at his home in Young Harris. Miller was best known for pioneering the lottery-funded HOPE scholarship, which has provided nearly 9.5 billion dollars in financial assistance to millions of Georgia college students since its creation in 1992. 

 

Normally when you think of cherry blossoms, you think of Washington D.C. or Japan. But unbeknownst to a lot of tourists, Macon, Georgia is the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World. William A. Fickling Sr. discovered the distinctive blooms in his backyard in 1949.

Sean Powers / GPB

White, Georgia is about 45 minutes northwest of Atlanta, and home to a massive junkyard for rare and retired vehicles. What started as a car dealership in 1931 is now the final resting place for more than 4,000 cars. 

On Second Thought producer Sean Powers drove up to Old Car City USA and visited the massive junkyard. 

Opioid addiction is a major problem in Georgia. Several years ago, Governor Nathan Deal signed the "Good Samaritan" bill. The bill was created to prevent opioid overdose deaths by giving amnesty to anyone who reports drug-related emergencies. The measure also equips law enforcement and first responders with Naloxone, a drug that can reverse overdoses if given right away.

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