Inner Compass is an interview show that explores how people follow their conscience about ethical, religious, and social justice issues. Guests include authors, activists, religious leaders, and engaging thinkers from around the world. A smaller selection of Inner Compass episodes air on approximately 50 public television stations across the U.S., reaching 35% of U.S. households.
It is illegal to steal from your workplace; yet across the nation, employers are stealing from their employees every day. Practices such as withholding tips, bouncing paychecks, hiring employees as “independent contractors,” and refusing a final paycheck are surprisingly common. Kim Bobo, executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice and author of Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Americans are Not Getting Paid—and What We Can Do About It, describes the scene.
Punk rocker turned music critic Jessica Hopper, author of The Girls’ Guide to Rocking: How to Start a Band, Book Gigs, and Get Rolling to Rock Stardom, takes us on tour with the women of rock & roll, including a stop at the new phenomenon of girls’ rock camps. Karen Saupe hosts.
To get to the top, business executives need drive and determination. But to be their “best selves,” they must slow down enough to look around and see how they’re affecting those who work for them. Rubi Ho, an executive coach, tells how he helps leaders confront and overcome the haunting pressures they face—or aren’t facing—using his own story of overcoming as inspiration. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
The most common form of slavery today is sex trafficking, with victims numbering in the millions. Although we may prefer to imagine it’s mostly happening overseas, many young victims are walking the streets of U.S. cities and towns. When youth worker Andy Soper found himself suddenly facing this ugly truth, he started The Manasseh Project to highlight the tragedy and what can be done to help. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
There’s nothing like some prize money to get things moving. Ask Charles Lindbergh and his Spirit of St. Louis, or Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X Prize Foundation. Author of Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think, Diamandis believes human innovation can overcome any hurdle--especially when the competitive spirit gets involved. He describes scientific breakthroughs of the past and future, incentivized by the $10 million X Prize for the benefit of humanity. Karen Saupe hosts.
Do we really know what our teens think and feel? Or do they just give us the answers we want? Chap Clark, professor of Youth, Family, and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary and author of Hurt 2.0: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers, has research that says teens are on rough seas without a rudder while adults rush them around, distracted by their own agendas. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Are soldiers prepared for the life-altering sacrifices they may have to make? Captain Scotty Smiley enthusiastically joined the army, graduated from West Point, and then lost his eyesight when an Iraqi car bomb exploded in front of him. Hear about his journey back to wholeness, as described in his memoir Hope Unseen: The Story of the U.S. Army's First Blind Active-Duty Officer. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Package: book promotional
It’s a country where a bowl of rice is an extravagance for many citizens, and where reading the Bible or stepping on a photo of the supreme leader can land you in jail. Mike Kim knew little of North Korea when he first visited, but once he learned, he could never forget. Hear about his response and the hundreds of defectors he’s been able to help, as described in his memoir Escaping North Korea: Defiance and Hope in the World's Most Repressive Country. Karen Saupe hosts.
When we hear about layoffs and other painful business decisions, the blame often goes to voracious stockholders or the unforgiving bottom line. Jeff Van Duzer says not so fast—though companies must survive, there is a time for examining those demands and realigning priorities. He is author of Why Business Matters to God: and What Still Needs to Be Fixed. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
What happens when an evangelical Christian and a Mormon pray together? Most people wouldn’t know, since it happens so rarely. But Fuller Theological Seminary president Richard Mouw has been meeting with Mormon leaders for years, and has been amazed at the changes he’s witnessed as the Mormon faith matures. Mouw describes the hopes and experiences detailed in his book, Talking with Mormons: An Invitation to Evangelicals. Karen Saupe hosts.
Since the U.S. economy relies on immigrant workers, not to mention the $12 billion they pay in taxes, many argue there should be more avenues for them to legally come and go as needed. Jenny Yang, Vice President of Advocacy at World Relief, describes what comprehensive reform should include, as laid out in her book Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
In Iraq, the alarming rate of children born with birth defects is actually opening doors to collaborations that never existed before. Jeremy Courtney & Cody Fisher, co-founders of the Preemptive Love Coalition, describe their adventures bringing together foreign doctors and sick children with some amazing results. Along the way, they’ve found that the hearts that have changed most have been their own. Karen Saupe hosts.
Package: Preemptive Love Coalition video
When called upon to define who we are, not many think to mention our land and neighbors. But it wasn’t always that way. Willie Jennings, Associate Professor of Theology and Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School, invites a return to the rootedness that communities used to enjoy. His book The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race, suggests connections should grow from shared spaces--not shared attributes such as skin color--and that Christians need to be modeling this. Karen Saupe hosts.
At a time of life when most people would be relaxing into retirement, Vern Hoffman started up a faith-based justice organization that now involves hundreds in his city. Focusing on aspects where change is most possible, the Micah Center has seen some exciting results. Hear the story, which now includes Jordan Bruxvoort, the young man Hoffman selected to carry on the charge. Karen Saupe hosts.
In some cities, pockets of serenity can be found where people of many races find themselves mingling and enjoying each other’s presence. Yale sociologist Elijah Anderson, author of The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life, has studied these public spaces and shares what they reveal about us and our hope as a society. Karen Saupe hosts.
Thousands of women in Juarez, Mexico have been tortured and murdered because they are women. Yet the authorities have been more inclined to call these killings imaginary than emergency. When installation artist Mandy Cano Villalobos of the Calvin College art department learned of this mass femicide, she looked for a way to honor the individual victims. See what she created to give these silenced women a voice. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Package: film clip: Juarez: the City Where the Women are Disposable
Pastors are trained to care for people, but not to the detriment of themselves and their families. Pastor Mike Van Kampen of Alongside Ministries, a counseling & retreat center for clergy, relates some of the pressures, needs, and expectations ministers can struggle with. He also suggests ways that congregations can take better care of their leaders and perhaps see them in new way. Karen Saupe hosts.
There’s a life-altering trauma that 1 in 5 American children experience, yet it rarely comes up in conversation: molestation. Survivor Nicole Braddock Bromley started an organization called OneVOICE Enterprises to break the silence in our families and in society. She discusses conversations she has had with hundreds of victims on her speaking tours, and experiences related in her books, including Hush: Moving from Silence to Healing after Childhood Sexual Abuse. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
We see the “seven deadly sins” in board games and fashion magazines, but for many people, their purpose now and over the centuries has been to direct our hearts toward the things we all long for—love, integrity, and freedom. Calvin College philosopher Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung, author of Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and their Remedies, considers the true definitions of these timeless pitfalls, which are not always what you’d think. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
It’s easy to think that refugees have won a golden ticket of opportunity if they can make it to the U.S. But their challenges are far from over as they learn a new language, search for work, and sustain their families. Dana Doll of Lutheran Social Services of Michigan describes the stereotypes and the hurdles they face, and how volunteers can make all the difference for these resilient newcomers. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Package: interview with volunteers Auriane Virieux and Amelie Bureau