With the 2020 election as the backdrop for Season 2 of All Ears, Abby is excited to talk with people she considers "good troublemakers"...people whose work pushes back with imagination and courage against the status quo. We'll be intertwining big ideas and personal stories about gender, class, and race, and how we can take action to make changes in our cultural and political landscape.
Climate Activist Varshini Prakash: Young People Will Inherit This Earth
This week on All Ears, Abby talks to Varshini Prakash, who co-founded the Sunrise Movement, a youth-centered activist organization created in 2017 to end climate change. Sunrise has mobilized two incredibly valuable resources for grassroots organizing:...
Tabitha Jackson: How Sundance Sausage Is Made
This week, as Sundance Film Festival launches a virtual festival for first time, Abby talks to the festival's director, Tabitha Jackson. After spending 25 years in non-fiction filmmaking, Tabitha moved from head of the Sundance Documentary Program into...
Playwright Heidi Schreck: What The Constitution Means To Us
What could be more a timely topic for inauguration week than the US Constitution? But this isn’t any old patriarchal take on our country’s founding document. This week on All Ears Abby talks to playwright and actress Heidi Schreck, creator of Tony-nominated Broadway hit, “What The Constitution Means To Me”. In the play, Heidi reflects back on her teenage experience as an award-winning orator, traveling the country to compete with other teens on the topic of the US Constitution. If anyone ever had a mad crush on a document, it was 15 year old Heidi. But she also looks at it as an adult woman, processing the generational trauma of domestic abuse in her family, and the impact of how our laws have been historically interpreted through the lens of the values and biases of the landowning white men who wrote it. Though Abby and Heidi grapple with our nation’s historical sins and its uncertain future, you will come out the other side of this lively conversation with a spark of optimism. Much like Inauguration 2021!
Emily Bazelon: A Full-on Reversal Or An Incremental Hollowing Out For Roe V. Wade?
This week on All Ears Abby talks to New York Times Magazine staff writer, Yale Law School scholar, and Slate Political Gabfest co-host Emily Bazelon on a host of legal and legislative changes on the horizon in the American judicial system. With the looming shift from Republican to Democratic control of the federal government on January 20th, the Supreme Court is on its own separate trajectory, set into motion by the addition of Amy Coney Barrett to the bench. Focusing primarily on women’s reproductive health and justice, Emily breaks down how Supreme Court could begin to dismantle the legal scaffolding around abortion rights, and how it could reverberate through states and communities. With an eye toward the Democrats’ newly-shifted but still razor-thin control of Congress, Abby and Emily game the potential outcomes and discuss what values and metaphorical baggage justices bring into a courtroom. With Emily’s smart takes and deep knowledge, this is an episode for the legal-savvy, the legal-curious, and even the legal-agnostic.
Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee: Truth Is The Only Balm For The Festering Sore Of Racism
Like the rest of the country, All Ears is reeling from the disturbing events this week at the Capitol Building, so we decided to switch gears away from our planned programming to talk about the impact of this seemingly inevitable burst of political violence. Looking for some perspective from outside U.S. borders, Abby calls her good friend, 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee, who lived through civil and military insurrection in her native Liberia and as an ordinary social worker and grass roots organizer helped to lead her country out of a very dark era. Leymah’s perceptive commentary on the race and gender dynamics at play this week in Washington offers insight into the ways men, white people, and people in power shield themselves from moral responsibility and solution building. Abby and Leymah also talk about the ways women can both perpetuate and break apart conservative coalitions. Leymah insists that faith in the goodness of all people is a necessary ballast to her work as a peace builder, and as someone who has lived through the brutal undoing of a Democracy, her words have resonance for Abby. We hope you find inspiration in Leymah’s words as well.
Krista Tippett: Hope Is A Muscle
For All Ears this week, Abby hosts a rare and revealing interview with On Being host, Krista Tippett. Krista talks about growing up in Shawnee Oklahoma, and the enduring influence of her grandfather, a Southern Baptist minister, on her life’s work. Krista describes the experience of going from a sheltered, church-centric upbringing, to throwing herself into big, bold life experiences (Brown University, a Fulbright Scholarship in Bonn, a job at the US Embassy in Cold War Berlin) and the disorientation that unsettled her once she realized that powerful people in important jobs don’t necessarily have steadfast principles or rich emotional lives. Her subsequent path to divinity school and the creation of the On Being Project have been a process of defining what a “moral imagination” is, and why we, as a culture and as a country, need it. Krista and Abby also discuss how we can learn from one of the most trying and tragic years in our nation’s history, and where we can find hope, which Krista says, “is a muscle that keeps us moving and acting and doing.” It’s a fitting conversation to end the year on, and we wish you all the best for this holiday season. Our next episode drops on Thursday, January 7. See you in 2021!