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.
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.
When we think of the need for an improved healthcare system, often the focus is on the patients’ experience. But there can be no strength of care if the caregivers themselves are discouraged to the point of exhaustion. Bonnie Wesorick, founder of the Clinical Practice Model Resource Center in Grand Rapids, MI describes how a healthy work culture should feel. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Many thought hip hop music would be a short-lived fad, but it has lasted decades and is even growing in popularity. Clearly this type of music connects with many people. Daniel White Hodge, author of two books about the messages of hip hop, looks past the commercialized material to the complex themes of a music that turns to God surprisingly often. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Some say the era of the American religious right is over. Which direction will evangelicals head next? Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners and author of the bestseller God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get it, pinpoints a “moral center” and its corresponding political revival in America today. Karen Saupe hosts.
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.
January Series guest
Stories of failing schools are all too common--schools that look and feel like prisons, with teachers who fear losing their jobs if they don’t stay focused on test scores. But there are also many public schools that have learned how to help any student succeed, no matter how poor or disadvantaged. New York University urban sociologist Pedro Noguera, co-chair of the public policy group Broader Bolder Approach to Education, shares what we can learn from schools that have excelled in dire circumstances.
Are teens posting risqué photos on the internet because they are starved for attention, or because they are convinced they’re HOT? Should EVERYONE on the team get a trophy? Jean Twenge of the San Diego State University psychology department, and author of The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, warns that our culture of extreme encouragement may have gone too far. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
A factory still using production systems from the 1950s would not make sense in today's technological world. Unfortunately, some K-12 schools still use decades-old educational techniques and policies. Turnaround specialist Sajan George describes progressive technologies and approaches currently under consideration to turn around troubled school districts. Karen Saupe hosts.
We hear about prisoners, but not so often from prisoners. When bestselling novelist Wally Lamb (She’s Come Undone, I Know This Much is True) tried his hand at teaching prisoners to write, he had no idea how many lives would be impacted. Hear how their compelling personal stories were published after considerable opposition from the prison. Karen Saupe hosts.
You may long for the latest gadget or fashion, more because of the image it projects than for any other reason. Where do those images come from? Calvin College philosophy professor Jamie Smith, author of Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation, says our idea of "the good life" reveals a lot about us. 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.
When Katrina Browne was 28 years old and in seminary, she learned that her ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. And, they were not from the South; they had lived in Rhode Island. Katrina wrote to 200 family members, inviting them to explore their family's past. The result: an award-winning documentary, Traces of the Trade, made with co-producer Juanita Brown, who helped plan a journey to Africa for the group and facilitate painful conversations about their discoveries. Karen Saupe hosts.
Although viewing pornography is often dismissed as a rite of passage into adulthood, Michael Leahy,author of Porn Nation and Porn University, hears a different message from thousands of college students. Many are not prepared for the guilt, altered perspective, and addiction that often follow in pornography's wake. Leahy describes the destruction from first-hand experience, and suggests ways to begin rebuilding. 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.
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.
Considering the highly organized, successful marches and protests of the civil rights era, why don't we see similar action today? Aimless park campouts or overseas service projects seem to be the preferred responses to injustice now. Adam Taylor, author of Mobilizing Hope: Faith-Inspired Activism for a Post Civil Rights Generation, explores successes and failures of activism through the decades. He illustrates how activism can be a way of life. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
The new wave of government voucher programs aims to correct segregation that happens all too often; the privileged move away from under-resourced public schooling or housing, leaving the rest wondering what their options are. Mary Pattillo, professor of sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University, describes what hundreds of interviews in Chicago reveal about what works and what doesn’t with these programs. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Handling the pressure from society’s expectations is challenging enough; add more demands because of your race, gender, immigrant parents, and religion, and it can be nearly impossible to find your own voice. Nikki Toyama-Szeto is co-editor of More Than Serving Tea: Asian American Women on Expectations, Relationships, Leadership and Faith. She describes the struggle and joys of finding one’s own calling and voice.
The US Constitution guarantees a host of freedoms. But as we watch the economic freedom of some people come at the expense of other people, many Americans are wondering if capitalism can exist more fairly. Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, suggests who deserves the blame that the free enterprise system gets these days. Karen Saupe hosts.
North American attitudes toward nature have shifted over time, almost as much as our natural landscape has. Donald Worster of the University of Kansas helped develop the intriguing new field of environmental history to track the intense relationship we’ve had with nature. He describes the patterns he’s seen and how America’s history has been shaped by its natural resources. Karen Saupe hosts.
Journalists have been embedded in military units since the early stages of the Iraq War. While this positions them to show the complexities of war, it also exposes them to more danger. CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier, author ofBreathing the Fire: Fighting to Report—and Survive—the War in Iraq, shares her perspective on the benefits and costs, including the day she and her colleagues became the top news story. Karen Saupe hosts.
Fans of U.S. health care reform point out that many other countries provide coverage for all their citizens, and no one files for bankruptcy due to medical bills. But how exactly do these countries do it? January Series guest & journalist T.R. Reid, author of The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care, tells of his travels comparing systems around the world. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Wikipedia began with the goal of distributing a free, high-quality encyclopedia to every person on the planet. This internet project, written collaboratively by volunteers in over 260 languages, is now over 10 times larger than Encyclopedia Britannica. Founder Jimmy Wales considers how the project is meeting its many ideals. Karen Saupe hosts
With the definition of autism now encompassing a wide range of behaviors, more people find themselves daily encountering those diagnosed with some version of this disorder. How can we make more room for differing styles of relating? Laurel Falvo of The Gray Center for Social Learning and Understanding provides ideas for improving communication on all sides. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Forever defined by their worst choices, former prisoners re-enter a society that locked them up and tried to throw away the key. Harold Dean Trulear of the Howard University School of Divinity and The Center for Public Justice shows how churches across the nation work to provide a warmer return for these citizens. Karen Saupe hosts.
Now and then through the decades there's a swell of complaints that America has strayed from its Christian roots. But others question whether the U.S. was ever designed to be a Christian nation. Notre Dame historians Mark Noll and George Marsden, authors of many works on early American history and on evangelical Christianity, consider current interpretations of the founding fathers. Skot Welch is guest host.
Is racism a thing of the past or is it still with us, something many people try to will away and out of sight? Barbara Trepagnier, sociology professor at Texas State University-San Marcos, discusses the subtleties of prejudice in her book Silent Racism: How Well-Meaning White People Perpetuate the Racial Divide. Karen Saupe hosts.
When artists create, how much consideration should they give to their audience? And, when viewers approach artwork, is it more important to respond to the piece first or to read the printed artist’s statement? Sheila Wyne, a visual artist from Anchorage, Alaska whose work has been installed permanently in public spaces and in several museum collections, describes how to engage with a piece of art, and how a visually literate community fosters the evolution of art. Karen Saupe hosts.
As religion becomes a central theme in the headlines of the day, many journalists find themselves to be under-informed. Michael Cromartie of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. describes how he brings religion experts and reporters together for some revealing conversations.
What's a 17-year-old to do after lashing out at Mom? Ask Amy. Amy Dickinson's Chicago Tribune column appears daily in more than 150 newspapers, replacing Ann Landers's long and legendary run. Dickinson gives advice about giving advice, and discusses her memoir The Mighty Queens of Freeville with host Karen Saupe.
Scowling cheerleaders and thirsty vampires beckon from the Young Adult bookshelves. How can concerned parents evaluate what their kids are reading? Newbery Honor-winning author Gary Schmidt of the Calvin College English department suggests ways to judge a book other than by its cover. Karen Saupe hosts.
What does it take to get thousands of people to show up downtown for a pillow fight? Rob Bliss, creator of The Rob Bliss Urban Experiments, tells how technology and social dynamics help him gather crowds for memorable happenings. Karen Saupe hosts.
John Rodden, a scholar and writer who no longer specializes in one area of study, describes his motivations and adventures after walking away from a promising career as a professor in order to pursue his dreams. Karen Saupe hosts.
An angry criminal takes a hostage and demands to speak with authorities. Who’s most qualified to take the phone? What strategy might have worked with David Koresh? Jim Botting, author of Bullets, Bombs and Fast Talk: 25 Years of FBI War Stories, describes the adventures and dilemmas of his seventeen years as hostage negotiator for the FBI. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
If a chemist could sample your body's chemistry, she would find scores of toxic chemicals picked up throughout your life, as early as in your mother's womb. Is this an unavoidable part of life on modern earth? January Series guest Sandra Steingraberis an ecologist, writer, and cancer survivor who promotes a different path. Karen Saupe hosts.
Some people seem born to climb the ladder of success and power. Are leadership qualities innate, learned, bought? January Series guest Michael Lindsay of the Rice University Center on Race, Religion, & Urban Life has interviewed hundreds of prominent public leaders; he shares his notes with host Shirley Hoogstra.
Is being a “natural politician” a mark of truth or falsehood? Better to forge ahead in the face of opposition, or to be swayed by the citizens? Presidential historian and biographer Richard Norton Smith draws on a wealth of stories to bring to light the issue of presidential character. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Marriage is more than a piece of paper, yet it's more difficult to buy a new car than to wed someone for life. John Witte, Jr., director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University, traces the view of marriage throughout western history, suggesting ways to strengthen and enrich the institution today. Karen Saupe hosts.
Publicity abounds on the growing number of orphans overseas, but little is known about our domestic situation. Is our foster care system veiling a similar crisis? Kerry Hasenbalg, co-founder of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, brings the problems to light, offering ways to enfold orphans wherever they may live. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Whose job is it to ensure justice, human rights, and care of our neighbor? How would government look if it upheld more biblical values? Steve Monsma of Calvin College's Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics helps host Shirley Hoogstra think it through with his book Healing for a Broken World: Christian Perspectives on Public Policy.
Montreat College’s Jim Southerland is an artist who developed his own version of the camera obscura, an ancient predecessor to the camera. Anyone can use it to create drawings in correct proportion. Southerland guides host Karen Saupe as she gives it a try, and describes the joys of sharing art creation with underprivileged children around the world.