100 episodes

“Story in the Public Square” is a year-round initiative to study and celebrate public storytelling. It features an annual conference, lectures, awards and student contests, as well as original scholarship about public storytelling and how those stories can affect the public debate.

Story in the Public Square is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal, and is directed by visiting fellow G. Wayne Miller with Pell Center executive director Jim Ludes.

Story in the Public Square Story in the Public Square

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    • 4.9 • 7 Ratings

“Story in the Public Square” is a year-round initiative to study and celebrate public storytelling. It features an annual conference, lectures, awards and student contests, as well as original scholarship about public storytelling and how those stories can affect the public debate.

Story in the Public Square is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal, and is directed by visiting fellow G. Wayne Miller with Pell Center executive director Jim Ludes.

    Zakiya Dalila Harris and Her Novel, "The Other Black Girl"

    Zakiya Dalila Harris and Her Novel, "The Other Black Girl"

    “The Other Black Girl” is one of the most anticipated and critically acclaimed releases of 2021. Part thriller and part social commentary, the author Zakiya Dalila Harris has been heralded for her “genre-bending evisceration of workplace privilege.”

    Zakiya Dalila Harris is based in Brooklyn, New York, and has a passion for writing and talking about Blackness, books, and oldies music. Her debut novel and New York Times bestseller, “The Other Black Girl,” was published in 2021 and was named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by TIME, The Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar, Entertainment Weekly, Fortune, and the BBC. Its television adaptation is currently in development with Tara Duncan, Temple Hill Entertainment, and Hulu.  Harris earned her MFA in nonfiction creative writing from the New School and her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She was born and raised in Connecticut.

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    • 28 min
    Learning to Pray with Fr. James Martin, SJ

    Learning to Pray with Fr. James Martin, SJ

    The faithful among us often learn to pray as children.  We ask for things.  We might even, sometimes, say thank you.  Father James Martin asks what it would mean to pray like adults—and offers insights about faith in public life and the challenges to democracy.

    Rev. James Martin, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America magazine and consultor to the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication.  He is the author of numerous books, including New York Times bestsellers “Jesus: A Pilgrimage, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything” and “My Life with the Saints,” which Publishers Weekly named one of the best books of 2006.  His latest book, “Learning to Pray, a Guide for Everyone,” was published in 2021.  Martin is a frequent commentator in the national and international media and has appeared on all the major networks and outlets including the Colbert Report, NPR’s Fresh Air, the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.  Before becoming a Jesuit priest in 1988 he graduated from the Wharton School of Business.

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    • 28 min
    Brining Big Topics to the Big Screen with Elaine McMillion Sheldon

    Brining Big Topics to the Big Screen with Elaine McMillion Sheldon

    Documentary filmmakers take us into the lives of their subjects in a way that the written word can’t capture. We see what they see. We get a sense of the physical space they occupy with our own eyes.  We hear their voices.  Elaine McMillion Sheldon weaves these elements together in powerful films that explore everything from love to addiction.

    McMillion Sheldon is an Academy Award-nominated, and Emmy and Peabody-winning documentary filmmaker based in Appalachia. She has been commissioned by Netflix, Frontline PBS, The Center for Investigative Reporting, The Oxford American, The New York Times Op-Docs, TEDWomen, Field of Vision, and The Bitter Southerner. Sheldon is the director of two Netflix Original Documentaries, “Heroin(e)” and “Recovery Boys” that explore America’s opioid crisis. “Heroin(e)” was nominated for a 2018 Academy Award and won the 2018 Emmy Award for Outstanding Short Documentary. The short film premiered at the 2017 Telluride Film Festival and went on to screen hundreds of times across America as part of a community-driven impact campaign. Sheldon has appeared on “The Daily Show” with Trevor Noah, Anthony Bourdain’s CNN show, “Parts Unknown” and “Meet The Press” with Chuck Todd. She’s a founding member of the All Y’all Southern Documentary Collective. She is a recipient of the 2020 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Film and 2021 Creative Capital Awardee. In 2016 she received a highly-competitive national “Breakthrough Award” and fellowship from Chicken and Egg Pictures. She was also named a 2018 USA Fellow by United States Artists, one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker magazine, one of 50 People Changing The South by Southern Living magazine, and grants from Sundance, Tribeca, Catapult, Chicago Media Project, and Field of Vision.

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    • 28 min
    Fighting for Human Rights for All Americans with Kylar Broadus

    Fighting for Human Rights for All Americans with Kylar Broadus

    The Human Rights Campaign estimates that there are 2 million transgender people living in the United States, today. Yet Kylar Broadus says the fight for human rights is not yet won as long as transgender Americans lack equal rights under the law.

    Kylar Broadus is a Black trans man that has been a pioneer in the movement as an attorney, long-time activist, public speaker, author and professor. Broadus is known worldwide for his avant-garde work in the LGBT and Trans movements. He was just awarded the Trans Trailblazer Award by the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles and issue a Proclamation by the City Attorney’s Office of Los Angeles on March 28, 2019. In 2018, he was awarded the 2018 Gentleman of Excellence Award by the Gentlemen’s Foundation of Atlanta. Mastercard featured Broadus for Pride Month that same year, and he was recognized by the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office of King’s County in Brooklyn, New York in 2018 for his contributions to the legal field. Liberty Mutual honored him at the GLAAD Awards for his 30 years contribution to the movement and he was awarded a Certificate of Legal Excellence by the City of New York District Attorney’s Office. The Advocate recognized Broadus as one of “25 Legal Advocates Fighting for Trans Rights.” He was honored to stand with President Obama while signing the Executive Order adding protections for millions of workers in 2014. He is the first out transgender American to testify before the United States Senate in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 2012. Broadus was given the Pioneer Award at the Trans faith of Color Conference by the Freedom Center of Social Justice. He is founder and director of the Trans People of Color Coalition the only national organization dedication to the civil rights of transgender people of color and is on the board of the National Black Justice Coalition. He currently serves on the Freedom For All Americans board of directors.

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    • 27 min
    Uncovering the Truth Behind a Haunting Holocaust Photograph with Wendy Lower

    Uncovering the Truth Behind a Haunting Holocaust Photograph with Wendy Lower

    In 2009, an acclaimed historian of the Holocaust was shown a picture of one family’s execution by Ukrainian allies of the Nazis some 70 years earlier.  In the years that followed, Dr. Wendy Lower’s research gave names to the victims and the killers and lays bare the horror of the Holocaust on an intimate, personal level.

    Dr. Lower is an acclaimed historian and widely published author on the Holocaust and World War II.  She is the John K. Roth professor of history at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California.  She was also named the director of the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights at Claremont in 2014.  Lower chairs the Academic Committee of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and directed the Visiting Scholars Program at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies from 2000 to 2004.  Her research and teaching focus on the history of Germany and Ukraine in World War II, the Holocaust, women’s history, the history of human rights, and the history of genocide.  Lower’s 2013 book, “Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields,” was translated into 21 languages and was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award in the nonfiction category and for the National Jewish Book Award.  Her latest book, “The Ravine: A Family, A Photograph, a Holocaust Massacre Revealed,” was published in 2021.

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    • 28 min
    Exploring Heartache Through Word and Music with Dessa

    Exploring Heartache Through Word and Music with Dessa

    Everyone of us knows heartache—the sweet melancholy of a love that just doesn’t work. Multi-talented Dessa traces much of her musical inspiration to that pain, and commissioned a team of neuroscientists to help her fall out of love.

    Dessa is a singer, rapper and writer whose musical resume includes performances at Lollapalooza and Glastonbury, co-compositions for 100-voice choir, performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, and top-200 entries on the Billboard charts. She contributed to the number one album The Hamilton Mixtape: her track, “Congratulations,” has notched over 16 million streams.  Her writing has been published by The New York Times and National Geographic Traveler and broadcast by Minnesota Public Radio and published as a memoir-in-essays, entitled “My Own Devices” in addition to two literary collections.  Dessa has delivered keynote speeches and presentations on art, science, and entrepreneurship, guest lectures at universities and colleges across the United States and a TED Talk about her science experiment on how to fall out of love.  She hosts the “Deeply Human” podcast, created by the BBC and American Public Media.

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    • 28 min

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