Whitney Chirdon

Director/Producer - On Second Thought
Ilustrated by Dian Wang

How do children’s books represent people of color? Authors and educators have organized a festival to raise awareness and celebrate books where children of color are heroes and heroines. “Hey, Let’s Read” is happening in Atlanta on May 20. We spoke with author  Patrice McLaurin and KaCey Venning, executive director of the “Hey Let’s Read" event.

For the first time, a federal court has ruled workers can’t be fired for their sexual orientation. A court in Chicago recently extended workplace protections in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the LGBT community.  A similar case in Georgia is up for appeal. We talk with a lawyer for both cases, Greg Nevins, and with Andrea Young, director of the ACLU of Georgia.

The Breakroom returns to discuss the news of the week. Our panel  includes Atlanta-based author Nicki Salcedo; Christian Zsilavetz, Executive Director of Pride School Atlanta; Natalie Pawelski of Cater Communications; and veteran Jon Jackson, who runs a farm in Milledgeville.

A lawsuit filed this month claims Georgia’s system for drawing voting districts purposefully excludes black voters. This brings redistricting, also known as gerrymandering, back into the news. The dictionary definition of gerrymander hardly explains what it really is and a lot of people don’t really understand the incredible impact it has on the nation. So, we'll break it down with Kennesaw State University professor of Political Science, Kerwin Swint

Matthew Hashiguchi

Asian-Americans are America’s fastest growing ethnic group. Many Asians and Pacific Islanders are settling in Georgia. But in filmmaker Matthew Hashiguchi’s experience, people don't always welcome them to the South. We talked with him about his documentary, "Good Luck Soup," which is airing on ​GPB’s Knowledge channel Sunday, May 14 at 5 p.m.

Mike Dunn / flickr

Retail stores are disappearing, but the economy is not the bad guy. Rising pressure from online shopping is causing brick and mortar stores to file for bankruptcy at a record pace in 2017. We talked about how this retail downturn is affecting Georgia with Atlanta Business Chronicle reporter Amy Wenk and Georgia Southern University professor John Brown.

When you think of bullies, you might think of kids at school. But bullying doesn’t stop with school. A recent study shows women and minorities are most likely to be targeted in the workplace. We spoke with study authors Brandon Attell from the Health Policy Center at Georgia State University and Linda Treiber, a professor of Sociology at Kennesaw State University.

 

Thinking of getting a new credit card or buying a house? Your credit score can determine those things, and a whole lot more. A new report puts Georgia at the top of the list for worst credit in the country.  That’s according to the website, cardratings.com. Georgia’s lousy rating is the result of low credit scores, foreclosures, unemployment and bankruptcy.

One approach to climate change is to chip away at the human activities driving it, until greenhouse gas emissions level out. We spoke with Paul Hawken, founder of Project DRAWDOWN. He's working on solutions that he hopes will produce dramatic results to reverse global warming. Those solutions are the subject of Paul Hawken’s new book, DRAWDOWN.

The Breakroom gang joins Celeste to weigh in on this week's headlines.

University of Georgia professor Gregory Robinson was recently honored with an international prize for his contributions to chemistry. Dr. Robinson specializes in combining unlikely elements. He does this in his lab, and also when he uses plain language to talk about highly specialized research. The idea is to get people to care about science, even if they won’t see it applied in the world for decades. This year Dr. Robinson was named a Fellow with London’s Royal Society of Chemistry. We talked with him about being a self-described “chemical detective.”

More than 100 Atlanta teachers have joined a federal age discrimination lawsuit. The complaint alleges teachers were forced out of their jobs by an administration that was openly hostile to employees over 40. We spoke with former teacher, Cheryl Patterson. She worked for twenty-three years in the Atlanta Public School District. Georgia State University assistant professor Charlotte Alexander, also joined the conversation. She specializes in employment discrimination law.

America was founded on principles of religious freedom. But Christianity dominates politics today. How this happened is the subject of a new book by Frances Fitzgerald. It’s called "The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America." In it, Frances Fitzgerald documents the rise and potential fall of America’s largest religious movement. She joined us to talk about the history and influence of evangelicalism.  

Early last week, a flock of chickens at a Northwest Georgia farm tested positive for bird flu. It’s the first confirmed contamination of commercial poultry in the state. What’s being done to contain the virus? How do farmers and officials prevent future outbreaks? We asked Mike Giles, President of the Georgia Poultry Foundation and Bruce Webster, UGA Professor of Poultry Science.

We’ve seen more acts of hate speech and racism in recent months. Are hate groups becoming more organized? Jeannine Bell, Professor of Law at Indiana University, and filmmaker Mike Ramsdell joined us to discuss the rise of white supremacy, and what we’ve learned from dealing with hate groups in our history.

 

Men Stopping Violence

April 2-8 is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The Georgia Senate recently passed Marsy's Law and the House will take it up next session. It’s a resolution to amend the state constitution so that crime victims have rights equal to perpetrators and the accused. We spoke with Pastor Sabrina McKenzie. She lost her sister to a violent crime, and now advocates for increased victims’ rights. We also talked with Lee Giordano, Training Director of Men Stopping Violence.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

The new home of the Atlanta Braves opened Friday. Fans headed out of the city to SunTrust Park while the team’s former home sat empty. Turner Field was purchased by Georgia State University for millions of dollars. Now, those who live near the stadium want to make sure redevelopment doesn’t drive up the cost of living in their neighborhoods, and drive them out of their homes. At least 150 people marched from Mechanicsville to Turner Field this weekend. GPB’s Sean Powers was there, and brought back this audio postcard.

 

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

The Breakroom gang joins host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week's news. The panel includes Atlanta-based LGBT educator and activist Robbie Medwed, former NPR correspondent Kathy Lohr, Amber Scott of the non-profit 'Leap Year,' and Steve Brown of the Fayette County Board of Commissioners.

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donnierayjones / Foter

It’s no secret young kids’ parents don’t get a lot of sleep. But new research shows living with children means less sleep for women than it does for men.

Georgia Southern University assistant professor of epidemiology Kelly Sullivan is the author of this study. She joins us to talk about the findings.

Gary Waters / Getty Images

No human being is free of bias, but we’re mostly unaware of them. Politicians aren’t, though, and they use our unconscious biases to convince us that what’s true is false and vice versa. Appealing to emotions, rather than reason, can be a very persuasive strategy. We talked about this tactic with Kennesaw State psychology professor Roxanne Donovan and Penn State media studies professor Shyam Sundar.

Georgia American Revolution Preservation Alliance

More than 200 years ago, the British Army made its first push into the American South. The Georgian Continental Army lost to the British during the American Revolution at Brier Creek. Today, another battle is being waged over threats to the preservation of this historic 500-acre site.

Jon Ossoff

As the race to fill Tom Price’s 6th District Congressional seat heats up, Democrats hope all that activity translates to votes in the special election next month. Jon Ossoff, 30, is encouraging Democrats with his “Make Trump Furious” campaign, and raising a considerable amount of grassroots support. We learned more about Ossoff’s campaign and the race ahead with Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Greg Bluestein and University of Georgia professor Audrey Haynes.