• Reaching Americans in Turmoil with Cody Keenan

    Air Dates: Often, politics can feel like a thankless and often futile undertaking.  But White House chief speechwriter Cody Keenan tells his readers that occasionally, through long and sustained effort, the world moves.

    Keenan began his political career as an intern and legislative aide to senator Edward M. Kennedy.  He earned a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he studied speechwriting and delivery.  After a speechwriting internship on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign working under White House Director of Speechwriting Jon Favreau, Keenan returned as a full-time staffer on Obama’s presidential campaign.  In 2013, Keenan took the lead in writing the State of the Union Address just prior to Favreau’s departure from the White House.  He became the White House Director of Speechwriting in March 2013.  Among his many notable speeches, Kennan wrote Obama’s speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in 2015.  An expert on politics, messaging, and current affairs, he now serves as a partner at leading speechwriting firm Fenway Strategies and teaches political speechwriting at his alma mater Northwestern University.

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Keenan discusses his book, “Grace: President Obama and Ten Days in the Battle for America.”  He describes reading letters from Americans that described the impact various policies had on their lives, saying, “these were the people we were always thinking about—that’s why we do the job.”  He adds he and his White House colleagues were united by a belief in politics as a common endeavor that could make America better.

    “Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m., 5:30 p.m. ET, Sundays at 2:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET, and Mondays at 2:30 a.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal and aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

  • Stories of Hope and Renewal in America’s Heartland with Art Cullen

    Air Dates: January 24-30, 2022

    Rebroadcast Dates: September 26-October 2, 2022

    The rise of instant updates from today’s online news sources have left many to regard the local newspaper as a thing of the past.  But Art Cullen describes how he and his family have kept Iowa’s Storm Lake Times newspaper alive and prosperous in the digital age.

    Cullen is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and editor of The Storm Lake Times, a family-run weekly newspaper in Storm Lake, Iowa.  He has made it his life’s work to ask the big questions, speak truth to power, and share the struggles and successes of his community.  Part cultural history, part memoir, his book, “Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope from a Heartland Newspaper” explores the themes of family, community, immigration, and the Heartland’s turbulent history and promising progressive future.  It is both a story of cultural upheaval and loss and a story of successes and surprising sources of optimism for those who still believe in the promise of America.  The small town of Storm Lake is vividly described as a diverse, growing community enhanced by immigration from Mexico, Laos and other countries.  It is a story of how immigration revitalizes America culturally and spiritually, and how a small newspaper plays its role in investigating, explaining and sharing the life of the community around it.  “Storm Lake” was published in 2018.

    “Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m., 5:30 p.m. ET, Sundays at 2:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET, and Mondays at 2:30 a.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal and aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

    This episode of “Story in the Public Square” won the 2022 Bronze Telly Award in the Social Impact category.

  • Examining Maternal Health Disparities Among Women of Color with Ade Osinubi

    Air Dates: September 19-25, 2022

    For most mothers, pregnancy is a time of hope, expectation, and even fear.  Dr. Ade Osinubi focuses the lens—literally—on the maternal health challenges facing black women in the United States—the legacy of racism, staggering numbers of maternal mortality, postpartum depression, and difficulties accessing care.

    Adeiyewunmi (Ade) Osinubi is a documentary filmmaker, photographer, and an Emergency Medicine Resident Physician.  Her work focuses on sharing the stories of minority populations that often go untold.  At the age of 16, Ade travelled to Mekelle, Ethiopia to co-produce her first documentary.  Since then, Osinubi has produced films educating the public about various health topics in an accessible way. She has written for the Washington Post and Glamour Magazine on topics related to health equity. Her work on the film was also recently recognized in Forbes among other places and she was the recipient of the 2022 National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) 40 under 40 Leader in Health Award.  Osinubi hopes to pursue a career in health journalism, using her passion for photography and film to elevate the voices of communities of color.

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Osinubi discusses the creation of her documentary, “Black Motherhood through the Lens” which follows four women as they navigate the disparities black women face with access to maternal healthcare

    “Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m., 5:30 p.m. ET, and Sundays at 2:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

  • Javed Ali on National Security Priorities 21 Years after 9/11

    Air Dates: September 12-18, 2022

    For most of the last 20 years, the conversation about American national security has been focused on the threats posed by extremists.  With the death of al Qaeda Leader Ayman al Zawahiri, Russia’s war in Ukraine, and rising tensions with China, Javed Ali argues that conversation has swung back to great-power competition.

    Ali is an associate professor of practice at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.  He spent 20 years of working with national security and intelligence issues in Washington, D.C. at the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security before joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  While at the FBI, he also held senior roles on joint duty assignments at the National Intelligence Council and the National Counterterrorism Center, and the National Security Council under the Trump Administration.  Ali holds a JD from the University of Detroit School of Law, and an MA in international relations from American University.  He writes and provides commentary across a number of media sites and platforms, including MSNBC, CBS, CNN, ABC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Hill, and Newsweek.

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square” that airs 21 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Ali takes a look at the priority counter-terrorism efforts given in the United States in the decade following 9/11 and where counterterrorism and domestic terrorism threats fall in our national security priorities today.

    “Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m., 5:30 p.m. ET, and Sundays at 2:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

  • 2022 Fall Event Series Announced

    The Pell Center is pleased to announce our 2022 fall event series.  Tickets to these events are free and will be available approximately two weeks prior to the event date.  Please RSVP for each event on the Pell Center’s Eventbrite page and call 401-341-2927 or email [email protected] with questions.  Sign up for our mailing list on the right side of this page to be notified when tickets become available.  Event updates and registration details will also be posted on the Pell Center’s social media.

     

    Title: America’s Constitution: How It Arose and How to Preserve It

    Speaker: Akhil Reed Amar, Ph.D., J.D., Yale University

    Date: October 11, 2022

    Time: 7:00 p.m.

    Location: Salve Regina University | O’Hare Academic Building | Bazarsky Lecture Hall

    This event will be held in partnership with the League of Women Voters of Newport County.

     

    Title: Getting Something to Eat in Jackson: Race, Class and Food in the American South

    Speaker: Joseph C. Ewoodzie, Jr., Ph.D., Davidson College

    Date: October 26, 2022

    Time: 7:00 p.m.

    Location: Salve Regina University | O’Hare Academic Building | Bazarsky Lecture Hall

    This event will be held in partnership with Salve Regina University’s Department of Multicultural Programs.

     

    Title: Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause

    Speaker: Brigadier General Ty Seidule, Ph.D., U.S. Army (Ret.), Hamilton College

    Date: November 3, 2022

    Time: 6:30 p.m.

    Location: Salve Regina University | O’Hare Academic Building | Bazarsky Lecture Hall

    This event will be held in partnership with Salve Regina University’s Pell Honors Program.

     

    Title: Media Literacy in the Post-Truth World

    Speaker: Renee Hobbs, Ed.D., University of Rhode Island

    Date: November 30, 2022

    Time: 7:00 p.m.

    Location: Salve Regina University | O’Hare Academic Building | Bazarsky Lecture Hall

    This event will be held in partnership with the League of Women Voters of Newport County.

  • Examining Health Outcomes Among Black Americans with Linda Villarosa

    Air Dates: September 5-11, 2022

    People come from all over the world to access cutting-edge care in American hospitals.  But Linda Villarosa describes a different experience for Black Americans, who she says “live sicker, and die quicker” than their white compatriots.

    Villarosa is a journalist, author, editor, novelist and educator.  A contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, where she covers race, inequality and health.  Her 2018 cover story, “Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis,” was a finalist for a National Magazine Award. She has covered the toll Covid-19 has taken on black communities in America and the environmental justice movement in Philadelphia in 2020 and wrote about life expectancy in Chicago in 2021.  Villarosa previously edited the health pages for the New York Times, working on health coverage for Science Times and for the newspaper at large.  She was also a two-time executive editor of Essence Magazine where she wrote or edited a number of award-winning articles.  She is the author or co-author of three books, including “Body & Soul: The Black Women’s Guide to Physical Health and Emotional Well-Being,” her first novel, “Passing for Black,” which was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, and “Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation,” which was published in June 2022.  Villarosa was a journalism fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and is an associate professor and journalist in residence at CUNY’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism.  She also teaches reporting, writing and Black Studies at The City College of New York in Harlem.

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Villarosa discusses her book, “Under the Skin,” and the impact of racism on the health of America and Americans and black Americans in particular.  She says, “I think that really opened my eyes to a different way of thinking that it wasn’t just this sort of individual responsibility-blame, but it was about looking at structural and institutional barriers to good health.”

    “Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m., 5:30 p.m. ET, and Sundays at 2:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

  • Honoring Indigeneity in the 21st Century with Cannupa Hanska Luger

    Air Dates: August 29-September 4, 2022

    Indigenous artists often straddle a space created by white anthropologists between art and craft. Cannupa Hanska Luger grapples with that dichotomy. Creating art from tradition that, in its time, was purely practical. And seeing his own contemporary activism viewed as art when it was, in fact, protest.

    Luger is a multidisciplinary artist and an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold—Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara and Lakota.  Through installations and social collaboration, Luger communicates stories about 21st-century indigeneity with critical cultural analysis and respect for the diverse materials, environments, and communities he engages.  He lectures and produces large-scale projects around the globe and his works are in many public collections.  Luger is a 2022 Guggenheim fellow, recipient of the 2021 United States Artists Fellowship Award for Craft and was named a Grist 50 Fixer for 2021, a list which includes emerging leaders in climate, sustainability, and equity who are creating change across the nation.  He is a 2020 Creative Capital Fellow, a 2020 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow, the recipient the 2020 A Blade Of Grass Artist Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art and the recipient of the Center For Crafts inaugural Craft Research Fund Artist Fellowship for 2020.  He is the recipient of a 2019 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grants, a 2019 Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Honoree and the recipient of the Museum of Arts and Design’s 2018 inaugural Burke Prize.

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Luger discusses his piece called “Every One,” which recognizes and represents the number of people missing and bodies found of indigenous women in Canada found with the help of the Truth and Reconciliation Acts.  He says, “[art] has always been to communicate and to share stories, to share experiences and histories.  [It] has a profound power for us to examine and understand the depths of situations, but it also creates an anchor from one cultural group to another.  And those anchors are great platforms to build bridges across.”  He adds, “having a large-scale piece that’s looking at data and allows everybody in, who experiences it, to understand the scale of that, I think has a profound effect [and] I think that affects people more than the singular number of data gathering.”

    “Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m., 5:30 p.m. ET, and Sundays at 2:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

  • Utilizing Social Determinants of Health for Better Care with Maria Raven

    Air Dates: August 22-28, 2022

    The social determinants of health—how living conditions, family life, poverty, homelessness and other factors affect human health—have emerged as key factors in understanding health outcomes.  Dr. Maria Raven shines a critical light on the complexity of cases she sees every day in one major city’s emergency room.

    Dr. Maria Raven is a practicing emergency medicine physician and health services researcher and is the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UCSF and a Vice Chair in the UCSF Department of Emergency Medicine. She co-directs the Section of Social Emergency Medicine and Health Equity and is on faculty at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative.  Maria researches and speaks locally and nationally about caring for complex populations, frequent emergency department users, and the link between homelessness and health. She has published and peer-reviewed extensively on these and other topics. A graduate of UC Berkeley and the Oregon Health and Sciences University for her MH/MPH, she completed her residency training and Master’s in Clinical Research at the NYU-Bellevue Hospital Center.  She is co-editor of the first Social Emergency Medicine textbook and works on multiple funded initiatives to address social and behavioral needs in emergency departments including emergency department-initiated treatment for alcohol use disorder. Since March 2020, she has also focused on emergency department operations/preparedness in the face of COVID-19, and related research including a CDC/NIOSH-funded study on N95 reuse.

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Raven discusses her work on social emergency medicine at the UCSF.  She says, “taking care of emergency department patients really began to show me how much of healthcare and people’s health status was actually not affected by what we did in the hospital.” She adds an assessment of a patient’s social determinants of health and their effects on their current health status is critical to providing quality care.

    “Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m., 5:30 p.m. ET, and Sundays at 2:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

  • Surveying the Human Cost of War with Dr. Michael Fine

    Air Dates: August 15-21, 2022

    When Russian forces invaded Ukraine earlier this year, Dr. Michael Fine was outraged—like a lot of Americans.  So he traveled to see first-hand the human cost of this war.

    Dr. Michael Fine serves as the Chief Health Strategist for the city of Central Falls, R.I. and as a family physician with a practice in Rhode Island.  He is the author of several books, including “Health Care Revolt: How to Organize, Build a Health Care System, and Resuscitate Democracy—All at the Same Time,” published in 2018, “Abundance,” a novel about love, war and redemption, based on his experience as a volunteer during the Liberian Civil War, published in 2019, “Rhode Island Stories,” published in 2021, among others.  Dr. Fine’s career as both a family physician and manager in the field of healthcare has been devoted to healthcare reform and the care of underserved populations. Before his confirmation as Director of Health, Dr. Fine was the Medical Program Director at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections, with a healthcare unit serving 20,000 people a year and a staff of over 85 physicians, psychiatrists, mental health workers, nurses, and other health professionals. He was a founder and Managing Director of HealthAccessRI, the nation’s first statewide direct primary care organization, which made prepaid primary care available to people without employer-provided health insurance. Dr. Fine founded the Scituate Health Alliance, a community-based, population-focused non-profit organization, which made Scituate the first community in the United States to provide primary medical and dental care to all town residents.  He also convened and facilitated the Primary Care Leadership Council, a statewide organization that represented 75 percent of Rhode Island’s primary care physicians and practices.

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Fine recounts his visit to the border of Poland and Ukraine as a member of a humanitarian effort to help Ukrainians who were fleeing Putin’s war in the spring of 2022.

    “Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m., 5:30 p.m. ET, and Sundays at 2:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

  • Shedding Light on the Dark Dynamics of Hollywood and Beyond with Winnie M Li

    Air Dates: August 8-14, 2022

    Of all the hashtag social movements, #MeToo has proven among the most enduring—for its truth, for the power imbalance it revealed, and because so many women had the courage to speak out.  Winnie M Li told her story in her first novel.  Now, in her second novel, she tells another about appearance, reality, and the facades that dominate public life, whether in the film industry or at the corner shop.

    Li is an author and activist who has worked in the creative industries over three continents.  Taiwanese-American and raised in New Jersey, Li studied Folklore and Mythology at Harvard, and later Irish Literature as a George Mitchell Scholar.  Since then, she has written for travel guidebooks, produced independent feature films, programmed for film festivals, and developed eco-tourism projects and now writes across a range of media, including fiction, theatre, journalism, and memoir.  Her debut novel, “Dark Chapter,” is a fictional retelling of her real-life stranger rape in Belfast, from both victim and perpetrator perspectives. It won The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize in 2017, was nominated for the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, and shortlisted for The Author’s Club Best First Novel Award.  It has been translated into ten languages and Li is currently adapting it for the screen.  Her forthcoming second novel, “Complicit,” was sold in a six-figure pre-empt to Orion Fiction, and later, in a heated five-way auction to Emily Bestler at Atria Books for U.S. rights.  Li is also Co-Founder of the Clear Lines Festival, the UK’s first-ever festival addressing sexual assault and consent through the arts and discussion.  Her ongoing doctoral research at the London School of Economics explores media engagement by rape survivors as a form of activism.  She has delivered over 150 public talks and appeared in TEDx London, The Guardian, The Mail on Sunday, The Times, The Independent, The LA Review of Books, The Chicago Tribune, The Irish Times, BBC World News, Sky News, Channel 4, and BBC Woman’s Hour, among other media outlets.  She has an honorary doctorate from the National University of Ireland, in recognition of her writing and activism.

    “Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m., 5:30 p.m. ET, and Sundays at 2:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.