10 episodes

A Public Affair is WORT's daily hour-long talk program. It aims to engage listeners in a conversation on social, cultural, and political issues of importance. The guests range from local activists and scholars to notable national and international figures.

A Public Affair WORT 89.9 FM

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 9 Ratings

A Public Affair is WORT's daily hour-long talk program. It aims to engage listeners in a conversation on social, cultural, and political issues of importance. The guests range from local activists and scholars to notable national and international figures.

    Remembering Martin Luther King Jr’s Radical Politics

    Remembering Martin Luther King Jr’s Radical Politics

    On the heels of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, today guest host Karma Chávez spends the hour discussing MLK’s legacy and the impacts of commemorating him with professor Jared A. Ball.

    They have a wide-ranging conversation touching on topics like how MLK has been received by white liberals, the rise of the non-profit industrial complex in the 1970s, the challenges of political organizing today, and the importance of having honest discussions of King and his politics.

    Recommended books:



    * Black Awakening in Capitalist America by Robert L. Allen

    * The Revolution Will Not Be Funded by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence



    If you’d like to revisit King in his own words, as Dr. Ball suggests, you can see a full list of his books and bibliography maintained by the King Center here.

    Jared A. Ball is professor of communications and Africana studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore and the author of The Myth and Propaganda of Black Buying Power (Palgrave, 2020). He is also host of the podcast iMiXWHATiLiKE! and co-founder of Black Power Media. His decades of journalism, media, writing, and political work can be found at imixwhatilike.org.

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    • 52 min
    Healing the World with Ancestral Medicine

    Healing the World with Ancestral Medicine

    What will it take to mend the world? What’s the work that needs to be done? How do we recognize that we are one with the Earth and the planet so we can approach political, solidarity, and organizing work in a way that is whole?

    These are lofty questions but important ones, says Friday host Esty Dinur, especially as we embark on a new year.

    Today, she takes a step back from the typical political coverage on the show to talk about spirituality and core values with Daniel Foor, founder and director of Ancestral Medicine.

    They spend a thought-provoking hour discussing how to be in the world in a way that’s healing rather than adding to the strife—and in a way that respects and is in relationship with ancestors from before memory and the many other-than-human beings with which we share the world.

    Daniel Foor is a licensed psychotherapist, doctor of psychology, and the author of Ancestral Medicine: Rituals for Personal and Family Healing (Bear & Company, 2017). Since 2005, he has led ancestral healing intensives in eight countries, trained over sixty practitioners, and supported thousands with ancestral reconnection through online teaching and sessions. He lives with his wife and daughters in Western North Carolina, homeland of Cherokee peoples.

    Cover photo: Moapa River Indian Reservation, United States by Ryan Franco on Unsplash

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    • 53 min
    “Bodycams Are Not What They Seem”

    “Bodycams Are Not What They Seem”

    Should Madison police wear bodycams? That’s the question the Madison Common Council has been debating as they move toward a vote on whether or not to implement a pilot program for the city.

    Community activist and UW–Madison scientist Greg Gelembiuk offers a resounding “no.”

    His views on police bodycams have changed after carefully examining the reports and the statistics. Rather than creating more transparency and accountability for the police, he learned that bodycams often end up exonerating police officers, creating distortions of police-involved events, being used to capture evidence against low-level offenders, and trumpeted out to create good PR.

    “So you have this expensive thing that’s basically a way of expanding the criminal-justice system and entrenching the status quo.”

    For today’s show, Greg Gelembiuk joins Thursday host Allen Ruff to discuss the ins-and-outs of Madison’s police bodycam debate and why he says they have no place in the MPD.

    Cover photo: Policeman with body-worn videocamera (body-cam) in North Charleston, 2016 by Ryan Johnson, shared under CC BY-SA 2.0

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    • 52 min
    Addressing the Youth Mental Health Crisis

    Addressing the Youth Mental Health Crisis

    Last month, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory warning of an escalating youth mental health crisis. And just yesterday, the Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health released their annual report with findings that “more teen girls are being treated in emergency rooms for suicide attempts than before the pandemic.”

    It’s a different kind of pandemic—and one that we urgently need to address. Today on the show, Wednesday host Carousel Bayrd takes a close look at the youth mental health crisis and the way forward with social work professor Tally Moses.

    Tally Moses is an associate professor in the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her research focuses on adolescents with mental health disorders, child and adolescent mental health services, stigma, labeling, and adolescent social and family relationships.

    Cover photo by Ümit Bulut on Unsplash

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    • 52 min
    Beer! And Science!

    Beer! And Science!

    Happy Brew Year! For today’s show, WORT news producer Jade Iseri-Ramos cracks open a cold one with brewmaster Jessica Jones of Giant Jones Brewing Company to talk all things beer in the new year.

    They talk about how Jessica got her start brewing, the science behind making beer, the joys of joining the Madison food-and-drink scene, and how to make the perfect pairings (dry white wine and Dreamfarm goat cheese? Yes, please!).

    Jessica Jones is the founder, co-owner, and brewmaster of Giant Jones Brewing Company. She is a Grand Master Beer Judge in the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) and an Advanced Cicerone—an expert on food and beer pairings.

    Did you enjoy this story? Your funding makes great, local journalism like this possible. Donate here

    • 53 min
    The Impacts of the Marshall Fire

    The Impacts of the Marshall Fire

    On December 30, 2021, a fast-moving wildfire that covered six thousand acres destroyed over a thousand homes in the towns of Louisville and Superior in Boulder County, Colorado.

    For today’s show, Monday host Patty Peltekos talks about the Marshall Fire, its effects on local residents, and what it means in the context of climate change and year-round wildfire seasons with Stacy Feldman from the Boulder Reporting Lab and professor Christine Wiedinmyer.

    They discuss Christine’s evacuation experience, the work of the Boulder Reporting Lab, droughts in the West, wildfire smoke and air quality in Colorado, the enormous cleanup and aftermath of the Marshall Fire, and more.

    Stacy Feldman is the founder and publisher of the Boulder Reporting Lab. Previously, she was co-founder and executive editor of Inside Climate News.

    Christine Wiedinmyer is the associate director for science at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder.

    You can read Christine Wiedinmyer’s piece published by the Boulder Reporting Lab about mitigating the harmful effects of post-fire smoke here.

    Cover photo: Fire Danger sign in Colorado, 2009 by FEMA, shared under public domain

    Did you enjoy this story? Your funding makes great, local journalism like this possible. Donate here

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

MurasakiFloof ,

I drive for a meager living

And this is the best radio.
Sometimes I forget to tune in punctually.
I got carried away listening to Danez Smith one day.
They were a guest on a podcast with other poets.
I had forgotten about my favorite radio hour.
Ten minutes in, I unplugged my phone-audio connection.
What happened?
The Poet was there, guesting all over the Madison waves like a professional, like a virtuoso, like a friend, like a mentor, like someone tired and caring and open and halfway home.
I thought I hadn’t unplugged my phone.
Thought the world’s logics had turned into bracelets of smoke.
I had to pick my brain up off the floor.
By the brake pedal.

Anyways yeah the guests are good, the topics salient, the voices earnest and damned smart, and it’s a wonderfully conceived and crafted show.

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