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September 3, 2019
Whiteness, as an idea and as an identity, is not as fixed as many people believe. Over the centuries, Western societies have defined and redefined it. But always, it has served to delineate who gets access to rights and privileges, and who doesn't. In this episode, we meet an Italian American family as they reflect on a time when they weren't yet white in America, and consider how that changed. And we explore the role white identity politics have always played in American elections. We hear from: - Chris Arnade, author of Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America - Nell Irvin Painter, author of The History of White People  - Joshua Freeman, Distinguished Professor of History at CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies and author of Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World - Fred Gardaphe, Distinguished Professor of Italian American Studies at Queens College Hosted by Kai Wright. Produced by Joseph Capriglione. 
August 13, 2019
Silicon Valley’s so-called “millionaire maker” is a behavioral scientist who foresaw the power of putting persuasion at the heart of the tech world’s business model. But behind the curtain of the industry’s behemoth companies is a cadre of engineers and executives small enough to rein in. This is the final installment of our three-part series. If you haven't heard parts one and two, start there first. In this episode, we hear from: - Alexandra Rutherford, Professor in the Department of Psychology at York University in Toronto andauthor of Beyond the Box: B.F. Skinner's Technology of Behaviour from Laboratory to Life, 1950s-1970s - Ian Leslie, author of “The Scientists Who Make Apps Addictive” - B.J. Fogg, Director of the Stanford University "Behavior Design Lab” - Tristan Harris, Co-Founder & Executive Director of the Center for Humane Technology - Dorothy Glancy, Professor of Law at Santa Clara University - Senator Mark Warner of Virginia Hosted by Kai Wright. Reported by Amanda Aronczyk. WNYC’s health coverage and The Stakes is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jane and Gerald Katcher and the Katcher Family Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Thanks to Andy Lanset, WNYC Archives, Lizette Royer Barton at the Center for the History of Psychology and Diana Bachman at the Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.
August 8, 2019
Ted Kaczynski had been a boy genius. Then he became the Unabomber. After years of searching for him, the FBI finally caught him in his remote Montana cabin, along with thousands of pages of his writing. Those pages revealed Kaczynski's hatred towards a field of psychology called "behaviorism," the key to the link between him and James McConnell. This is part two of our three-part series. If you haven't heard part one, listen here first. In this episode, we hear from: - Philip Bradley, Harvard contemporary of Ted Kaczynski - Alston Chase, author of A Mind for Murder: The Education of the Unabomber and the Origins of Modern Terrorism - Donald Max Noel, former FBI agent and author of UNABOMBER: How the FBI Broke Its Own Rules to Capture the Terrorist Ted Kaczynski - Chuck Seigerman, former student of James McConnell - Greg Stejskal, former FBI agent - Larry Stern, Professor of Sociology at Collin College Hosted by Kai Wright. Reported by Amanda Aronczyk. WNYC’s health coverage and The Stakes is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jane and Gerald Katcher and the Katcher Family Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Thank you to Lizette Royer Barton at the Center for the History of Psychology and Diana Bachman at the Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. Special thanks to Larry Stern, Professor of Sociology at Collin College and to Alexandra Rutherford, Professor in the Department of Psychology at York University in Toronto and author of Beyond the Box: B.F. Skinner's Technology of Behaviour from Laboratory to Life, 1950s-1970s.
July 30, 2019
Infinite scrolling. Push notifications. Autoplay. Our devices and apps were designed to keep us engaged and looking for as long as possible. Now, we’ve woken up from years on social media and our phones to discover we've been manipulated by unaccountable powers using persuasive psychological tricks. But this isn’t the first time. In this three-part series of The Stakes, we look at the winding story of the science of persuasion -- and our collective reaction to it. In this episode: A once-famous psychologist who became embroiled in controversy, and how the Unabomber tried to kill him. Already heard this one? Continue to part two. We hear from: - Larry Stern, Professor of Sociology at Collin College - Nicklaus Suino, writer, martial arts expert, attorney and business consultant Hosted by Kai Wright. Reported by Amanda Aronczyk. WNYC’s health coverage and The Stakes is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jane and Gerald Katcher and the Katcher Family Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Thanks to Lizette Royer Barton at the Center for the History of Psychology and Diana Bachman at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan for the use of the educational films “Battle for the Mind” and “Heads and/or Tails” featuring psychologist James McConnell.
July 16, 2019
If you want to change the law, you have to name the problem. That's why, in 1975, five to eight women in a room in Ithaca, New York came up with two words that changed the law, and the workplace, forever. But as you'll hear, victory really has a thousand mothers. You'll hear from: - Linda Hirschman, author of Reckoning: The Epic Battle Against Sexual Abuse and Harassment - Susan Meyer, a founder of Working Women United - Faith Hochberg, former Federal Judge Hosted by Kai Wright. Produced by Jessica Miller.
July 2, 2019
The Declaration of Independence was America’s first act of social design. The men who drafted America’s founding document recognized the tension between their ideals of liberty and the realities of the nation's slave economy. But they couldn’t deal with that tension, so they chose to avoid it. A generation later, in a July 5, 1852, speech in Rochester, Frederick Douglass delivered one of history's most stirring oratorical responses to the contradictions embedded in the Declaration. In this episode, reporter Jim O'Grady visits the New York Public Library to check out Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten copy of his early draft of the Declaration, and considers how the document shaped today’s society. Then, we hear excerpts of Douglass’s famous speech.  Plus, we bake a pie (literally), meditate on the stories we tell ourselves, and hear from The Stakes' listeners.
June 18, 2019
Host of The Stakes Kai Wright visits the Alabama Women's Center, one of three remaining abortion providers in the state—and the sole provider within 150 miles. Alabama passed the nation's most restrictive abortion law in May—a law that would make the providers at this clinic into felons. It was one of a dozen states that have passed new abortion restrictions already this year. But from the vantage of the Alabama Women's Center, the story of abortion access in 2019 is revealed to be the story of gerrymandering in 2010. More than a third of all restrictions placed on abortion have been put in place since that election. Also, producer Jessica Miller investigates a clinical trial that would safely bring abortion care into a patient's home, expanding access across the country. We speak to: - Dr. Yashica Robinson and nurse LaShonda Pinchon of the Alabama Women's Center - Michael Li of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University - Rep. Laura Hall, Alabama statehouse - Melissa Grant, Carafem COO participating in Gynuity's clinical trial WNYC’s health coverage and The Stakes is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jane and Gerald Katcher and the Katcher Family Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
June 4, 2019
In honor of Stonewall’s 50th anniversary, it’s time for an intergenerational queer conversation. Kristin Tomlinson is a gender fluid, pansexual 21-year-old. She takes Kai into her very fluid online and IRL world of cartoon cats in crop tops, Instagram icons and friends who see gender as just another construct. Along the way, we look at the meaning of labels and categories for youth today and whether they’re necessary to create and claim political and social space in the LGBTQ community. We also hear from: - Pose actor Bhawk Snipes - Paulette Thomas-Martin, teaching artist at SAGE Center Harlem, Vice-President of HarlemYes, Inc.  Hosted by Kai Wright. Reported by Kristin Tomlinson. Produced by Jonna McKone. Radio Rookies is supported in part by the Margaret Neubart Foundation and The Pinkerton Foundation.
May 21, 2019
Drug wars, recessions and record violence in the 1980s had US cities in crisis. Hip hop artists responded by shifting from party music to a new style called "conscious rap." Artists like Public Enemy and Digable Planets championed a sound that was political, community-minded and deeply pro-black. But about six years after it started, that first wave of socially-conscious hip hop seemed to be over. Who killed it? And what’s the story of its rise and fall tell us about the relationship between culture, politics, and commerce? We speak to: - Rapper Kool Moe Dee - Writer and filmmaker Nelson George - Dan Charnas, author of The Big Payback - Ann Carli, former hip hop record executive Listen to the songs from this episode here. Hosted by Kai Wright. Reported by Christopher Johnson.
May 7, 2019
A black woman in America is three to four times more likely to die than a white woman during pregnancy, childbirth, and in the year after the baby's born, according to the Centers for Disease Control. As more and more black women share their near death experiences while giving birth, including world tennis champion Serena Williams, we see this reality affecting black woman regardless of education or wealth. So what are black women supposed to do with this information as they think about pregnancy? And what’s being done in the medical field to change it? In a deeply personal search for answers, producer Veralyn Williams talks with celebrated author Tressie McMillan Cottom, with black women in her own life and with Doctor Deborah Cohan, a white OB-GYN from the Bay Area who is confronting her own implicit bias.  We also speak to: - Helena Grant, Director of Midwifery, Woodhull Hospital - Leeann Rizk, Associate Director of Community Organizing, Planned Parenthood - Linda Villarosa, New York Times Magazine contributor and Program Director of the journalism program at the City College of New York. - Wendy Willcox, Chairman, OB-GYN, Woodhull Hospital WNYC’s health coverage and The Stakes is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jane and Gerald Katcher and the Katcher Family Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
April 30, 2019
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Former US Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. told us that that only happens when people put their hands on that arc and pull on it. He joins host Kai Wright and a live audience to discuss the Mueller Report, voting rights, the state of democracy in America and whether or not we should have faith in our national institutions.
April 23, 2019
One of the longest-running public health epidemics in American history involves a handful of baby teeth, a creepy cartoon character and The Young Lords. This is a story about a fight for accountability. Hosted by Kai Wright. Reported by Christopher Werth. Support for WNYC reporting on lead is provided by the New York State Health Foundation, improving the health of all New Yorkers, especially the most vulnerable. Learn more at www.nyshealth.org. Additional support for WNYC’s health coverage is provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jane and Gerald Katcher and the Katcher Family Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
April 3, 2019
Coming up on The Stakes podcast, host Kai Wright and team identify what's not working about our society and imagine ways to fix it. From healthcare to climate change, from the music we consume to the food that we eat, everything we experience is the result of some rule, decision or system that someone put in place. That means that if we don't like the world we live in now, we can design a better one. And we have to. From the people who brought you Caught, There Goes the Neighborhood and The United States of Anxiety.  Follow Kai on Twitter at @kai_wright.  
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