110 episodes

Notes from America with Kai Wright is a show about the unfinished business of our history, and its grip on our future.

Notes from America WNYC Studios

    • News
    • 4.3 • 1.4K Ratings

Notes from America with Kai Wright is a show about the unfinished business of our history, and its grip on our future.

    How You’re Dealing With Digital And Political Life

    How You’re Dealing With Digital And Political Life

    We’ve received a lot of messages from listeners in response to our recent episodes, especially our coverage of the recent midterm elections and our stories about dealing with life online. Host Kai Wright is joined by producer Kousha Navidar to open the listener mailbag and unpack some recent voicemails.  

    Companion listening for this episode:

    What Keeps You Voting? (10/31/2022)

    Even amid a broken democracy we’re still told to “go vote!” But what do you do when voting doesn’t feel like enough?

    “Notes from America” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on notesfromamerica.org or on WNYC’s YouTube channel.


    We want to hear from you! Connect with us on Instagram and Twitter @noteswithkai or email us at notes@wnyc.org.

    • 10 min
    Actor Omar Epps Imagines Life After The Climate Crisis

    Actor Omar Epps Imagines Life After The Climate Crisis

    The leading man from beloved films like “Love and Basketball” and “Higher Learning” has entered the world of Young Adult fiction to inspire today’s youth and their fight against climate change.

    Since his breakout role in 1992 as Q in “Juice,” actor and producer Omar Epps has become known for portraying the scope of Black life on the big screen. He joins host Kai Wright to talk about his new co-authored novel, "Nubia: The Awakening", which imagines a New York City ravaged by climate disaster, and a group of teens who hope to save it. They talk about Epps’s inspiration for the book, his pivot from actor to author, and reflect on his career.


    Companion listening for this episode:

    The Climate Crisis Needs a New Gospel (11/21/2022)

    Meet Dr. Katharine Hayhoe – a climate scientist who happens to be an evangelical Christian. The climate crisis was on the minds of many Americans as they voted in the midterms, and Hayhoe offers insight about what productive action looks like in the critical years to come. She says we need to spend less time wringing our hands, and more time connecting the climate to each others’ values.


    “Notes from America” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on notesfromamerica.org or on WNYC’s YouTube channel.

    We want to hear from you! Connect with us on Instagram and Twitter @noteswithkai or email us at notes@wnyc.org.

    • 18 min
    The Climate Crisis Needs a New Gospel

    The Climate Crisis Needs a New Gospel

    Meet Dr. Katharine Hayhoe – a climate scientist who happens to be an evangelical Christian. The climate crisis was on the minds of many Americans as they voted in the midterms, and Hayhoe offers insight about what productive action looks like in the critical years to come. She says we need to spend less time wringing our hands, and more time connecting the climate to each others’ values.

    As part of that conversation, producer Regina de Heer is joined by members of the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions to hear how these ideals are put into practice on a local level.

    Find more in Professor Hayhoe’s bestselling book, Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World and her Global Weirding series on Youtube. The Global Weirding segment mentioned in this episode can be found here.

    Companion listening for this episode:

    Nothing You Do Alone Will Save the Climate (9/20/2021)

    New science finds we’ve got less than a decade to avoid catastrophe. Activist and author Bill McKibben says the only solutions that can beat that deadline are collective.

    'How to Start Saving the World' was originally published on August 1, 2022. Listen to more episodes here.

    “Notes from America” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on notesfromamerica.org or on WNYC’s YouTube channel.

    We want to hear from you! Connect with us on Instagram and Twitter @noteswithkai or email us at notes@wnyc.org.

    • 32 min
    The Right Wing Media Empire Hiding in Plain Sight

    The Right Wing Media Empire Hiding in Plain Sight

    Far-right conspiracies and incitements to violence have found a comfortable home on the nation’s radio airwaves. This is the story of how.

    During the 2022 midterms, election-denying and pro-Trump candidates ran on a platform of  falsehoods about voter fraud in 2020. But there's a much more present source introducing this narrative into American homes: the country's largest Christian conservative multimedia company. We learn how the far-right came to dominate Christian talk radio and we meet Salem Media Group – perhaps the most influential media company you’ve never heard of.



    The Divided Dial is a new series from our colleagues at On The Media about how one side of the political spectrum came to dominate talk radio – and how one company is using the airwaves to launch a right wing media empire. You can listen to future episodes here.



    The Divided Dial is hosted by journalist and Fulbright Fellow Katie Thornton. You can follow her work on Instagram or on her website. The Divided Dial was edited by On the Media's executive producer, Katya Rogers. With production support from Max Balton and fact-checking by Tom Colligan, Sona Avakian, and Graham Hacia. Music and sound design by Jared Paul. Jennifer Munson is technical director. Art by Michael Brennan. With support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.



    Companion listening for this episode:

    Church, State, and the Soul of our Nation (10/10/2022)

    Christian nationalism – the push to have laws, policies and social norms reflect Christian values –  is a growing movement in the U.S. As its rise continues to influence contemporary politics, how should we consider and prepare for its impact on our government? Pastor and executive director of Vote Common Good, Doug Pagitt, walks us through the history of the movement, and tells us how he and other faith leaders are finding ways to combat the effects of Christian nationalism in their own faith communities.

    “Notes from America” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on notesfromamerica.org or on WNYC’s YouTube channel.

    We want to hear from you! Connect with us on Instagram and Twitter @noteswithkai or email us at notes@wnyc.org.

    • 30 min
    Notes From Our Exit Poll Episode

    Notes From Our Exit Poll Episode

    Keeping the voters in the midterm conversation: We invite callers to tell us what motivated them this election and what’s on their minds as news continues to unfold.

    Joan Walsh, national affairs correspondent for The Nation and a CNN political contributor, joins host Kai Wright to open the phone lines. They invite listeners to call in and share their perspectives on the developing news from the midterm elections. They also check in with reporters across the country who have been covering the races in their states: Jo Ingles (Ohio), Sam Dunklau (Pennsylvania), and Fred Hicks (Georgia). 

    PRODUCERS NOTE: This conversation took place the weekend after Election Day 2022. Official vote tallies and other news have likely developed. Check WNYC or Gothamist.com for the latest updates.

    Companion listening for this episode:

    The Morning After: A Midterm Breakdown (11/10/2022)

    Of red ripples and blue walls. Kai joins The Brian Lehrer Show to help digest election results. Why did Democrats defy predictions? And where does it leave the Republican Party?

    “Notes from America” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on notesfromamerica.org or on WNYC’s YouTube channel.

    We want to hear from you! Connect with us on Instagram and Twitter @noteswithkai or email us at notes@wnyc.org.

    • 50 min
    The Morning After: A Midterm Breakdown

    The Morning After: A Midterm Breakdown

    Of red ripples and blue walls. Host Kai Wright joins The Brian Lehrer Show to help digest election results. Why did Democrats defy predictions? And where does it leave the Republican Party?

    Other panelists include Alexis Grenell, columnist for The Nation and the cofounder of Pythia Public, and Charlie Sykes, founder and editor-at-large and host of a podcast at "The Bulwark," MSNBC contributor and author of How the Right Lost Its Mind (St. Martin's Press, 2017). The three help callers deconstruct the results and reflect on how the democratic process has held up this election.

    PRODUCERS NOTE: This conversation took place the morning after Election Day 2022. Official vote tallies and other news have likely developed. Check WNYC or Gothamist.com for the latest updates

    Companion listening for this episode:

    The Conservative ‘Swing’ Vote: Explained (11/7/2022)

    Trump-to-Biden voters may decide the upcoming midterms. So, who are they? And what do they want from candidates now? 

    “Notes from America” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on notesfromamerica.org or on WNYC’s YouTube channel.

    We want to hear from you! Connect with us on Instagram and Twitter @noteswithkai or email us at notes@wnyc.org.

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
1.4K Ratings

1.4K Ratings

mgunslinger17 ,

Insightful and relevant, but…

This show dives headfirst into topics that other shows may shy away from. It is insightful and informative. However, the more recent addition of listener call-ins hampers the flow and wastes time. I’m all for listener participation but perhaps this would be better served with voice messages instead of live calls. Most of the time the callers overstay their welcome and have to be shoved off the air anyway. The strength lies in the interviews and deeper dives.

GlennWatson ,

If you are white

Get ready, because this show hates straight white men.

mrderekturner ,

Kai’s talent shines through

Kai Wright had a remarkable gift to see and say things in a novel way, so that they are both fresh and deeply resonant. Highly recommend!

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