• Ninth National Season of “Story in the Public Square” to Premiere July 2022

    NEWPORT, RI – “Story in the Public Square,” the five-time Telly-Award winning series from the Pell Center at Salve Regina University, is set to premiere its ninth national season during the week of Monday, July 4 2022 via NETA.  The new season will include 24 new episodes seen nationally on public television.

    “Story in the Public Square” is a weekly, 30-minute series that brings audiences to the intersection of storytelling and public affairs. Its guests vary from week to week and include acclaimed filmmakers, scholars, photographers, journalists, activists, musicians and more.  Together they shed a light on the stories shaping culture, politics, and current national and international events.

    The series is a creative collaboration between its hosts, Jim Ludes (Vice President, Salve Regina University) and G. Wayne Miller (Staff Writer, The Providence Journal.)  It has been in production at Rhode Island PBS since January 2017.

    After two years of virtual production the show returned to a redesigned set in the studio at Rhode Island PBS.  In the new season, guests will join Ludes and Miller on set and virtually.

    “We were able to keep our promise of ‘big ideas and great guests’ throughout the pandemic,” said Ludes, “thanks to some ingenious problem solving by our crew and a desire to make it work.  We actually think we learned how to produce a better show, but we are thrilled to be back in the studio.”

    “Jim and I have said for years that the show succeeds because of its guests,” confirmed Miller, “and the episodes throughout the pandemic underscored that belief for us.  We regularly bring inspired conversation with artists, storytellers, and scholars into people’s homes, and that privilege doesn’t escape our appreciation.”

    “Story in the Public Square” is currently seen in more than 86 percent of the nation’s television markets with over 500 weekly broadcasts nationally.  It has won Telly Awards for excellence in politics and commentary as well as social impact in 2021, 2020 (twice); 2019, and 2018.  The show is produced by the Pell Center at Salve Regina University and presented by Rhode Island PBS via NETA, the National Educational Telecommunications Association.

    Story in the Public Square:

    On the Web: https://pellcenter.org/story-in-the-public-square/

    On Twitter: @pubstory

    On Facebook: www.facebook.com/StoryInThePublicSquare/

  • Studying Traumatic Brain Injuries Among Survivors of Domestic Violence with Eve Valera

    Air Dates: May 9-15, 2022

    Traumatic brain injuries can have lifelong impacts on cognitive and psychological function.  Dr. Eve Valera studies these injuries among survivors of domestic violence and says they have serious mental health impacts.

    Valera is an associate professor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a research scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital. She has been studying domestic violence for nearly 25 years and is recognized internationally for her work in understanding the effects of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) sustained from intimate partner violence. Her current work uses a range of methodologies to understand the neural, cognitive, and psychological consequences of such TBIs. She published one of the first studies examining the prevalence TBIs in the context of intimate partner violence and their relationship to cognitive and psychological functioning.  Valera has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, Harvard Medical School Center of Excellence in Women’s Health and the Rappaport Research Fellowship in Neurology to support her work.  She continues to disseminate her research at through lectures for academics and other justice-involved personnel, at police departments and for front-line staff for intimate partner violence support and shelter, and to women with lived experience.

    “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., 4:30 p.m. ET, and Sundays at 1:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. & 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. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

  • Comic Communication: “Wrong Hands” Creations with John Atkinson

    Air Dates: May 2-8, 2022

    Cartoons communicate ideas in ways words cannot.  Canadian artist and humorist John Atkinson shares his unique take on the world through his cartoon series, “Wrong Hands” creations.

    Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, John Atkinson has been writing and drawing his cartoon series, “Wrong Hands,” for over ten years.  After graduating from the University of Ottawa with a degree in fine arts, Atkinson began his comic series for children.  After posting his work for a wider audience, “Wrong Hands,” online, it was quickly embraced by a loyal following worldwide, with nearly eight million fans visiting the site.  In addition to being syndicated on Andrews McMeel’s site GoComics, “Wrong Hands” was featured weekly in TIME magazine for over two years.  In 2018, his incredibly popular series “abridged classics” was expanded into a book and published by HarperCollins.  The book featured dozens of new abridgments and unique illustrations for both domestic and international markets.  “Wrong Hands” has regularly appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and textbooks worldwide, while several of his comics have been featured on major online sites including Upworthy, Bored Panda and Literary Hub, and Atkinson has collaborated with Chanel Paris, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Janis Ian, and the Quevedo Institute of Humour Arts in Madrid, Spain.  He is the author of “Abridged Classics: Brief Summaries of Books You Were Supposed to Read but Probably Didn’t.”

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Atkinson discusses his everyday inspiration for his “Wrong Hands” creations, his creative process and their evolution through the years.

    “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., 4:30 p.m. ET, and Sundays at 1:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. & 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. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

  • Tackling Election Integrity Issues on Social Media with Katie Harbath

    Air Dates: April 25-May 1, 2022

    A decade ago, social media could be seen as a well-spring of democratic innovation and potential.  Events of the last six years may have changed the public’s perception on that score, but Katie Harbath warns that social media platforms have much more work to do to protect democracy in the United States and around the world.

    Harbath is a global leader who works at the intersection of elections, democracy, and tech.  Most recently, she was a public policy director at Facebook where she was credited with building out and leading a global team responsible for managing elections over the course of 10 years.  She played a significant role in building another team of over 30 people that worked to engage governments and elected officials from around the world at the local, regional, and national levels, in using Facebook and Instagram to connect and engage with constituents.  She worked closely with product development teams to deploy civic engagement and election integrity products, including transparency features for political ads, developing and implementing election policies, building teams to support government, political, and advocacy partners, and working with policymakers to shape election regulations online.  Harbath was involved in this work in major elections for every country around the globe, including the United States, India, Brazil, United Kingdom, European Union, Canada, Philippines, and Mexico.  Before joining Facebook, Harbath held senior strategic digital roles at the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, DCI Group and multiple campaigns.  She sits on the boards of the National Conference on Citizenship, Democracy Works and the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Harbath discusses the challenges faced by tech companies and citizens of democracies around the world as they address and create policies for election-related issues.  She says individual citizens should be aware of the presence of disinformation on social media and emphasizes the importance of having a “diverse news diet,” advising users to consider a story’s source before sharing it on any social media platform.  With the large number of elections taking place around the world in 2024, Harbath worries tech companies will be fighting election integrity issues on so many different fronts that countries like Russia and China could attempt to interfere with democratic processes and civic life and these companies will not have the resources and people power to adequately address these threats.

    “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., 4:30 p.m. ET, and Sundays at 1:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. & 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. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

  • The Blueprint for Autocracy with Ruth Ben-Ghiat

    Air Dates: April 18-24, 2022

    Tyranny comes in many forms, but its central elements of violence, lost glories, and corruption seem to repeat.  Ruth Ben-Ghiat warns that autocrats have risen frequently from democracy over the last century by relying on a simple playbook that has proved as durable as it is menacing.

    Ben-Ghiat is a historian and commentator on fascism, authoritarian leaders, and propaganda and the threats they present to democracies.  She brings historical perspective to her analyses of current events on MSNBC Opinion Columnist and author or editor of six books, with over 100 op-eds and essays in CNN, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post.  Her insight into the authoritarian playbook has made her an expert source for television, radio, podcasts, and online events around the globe.  She grew up in Pacific Palisades, California, where many intellectuals who fled Nazism resettled, which sparked her interest in the subject.  Ben-Ghiat teaches History and Italian Studies at New York University and an Advisor to Protect Democracy and her work has been supported by Fulbright, Guggenheim, and other fellowships.  Her books “Fascist Modernities” and “Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema” detail what happens to societies when authoritarian governments take hold and explore the appeal of strongmen to collaborators and followers. 

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Ben-Ghiat discusses her latest book, “Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present,” which examines how illiberal leaders use corruption, violence, propaganda, and machismo to stay in power, and how resistance to them has unfolded over a century.

    “Story in the Public Square” continues to broadcast 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., 4:30 p.m. ET, and Sundays at 1:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. & 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. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

  • The Power of Great Literature with Azar Nafisi

    Air Dates: April 11-17, 2022

    So much of our modern life is built upon simplifying the complex.  We reduce social interactions to likes and follows on social media and dilute the “news” in our favorite echo chambers.  But Azar Nafisi warns that life is not simple and the complexity found in great literature is ultimately liberating of the mind and essential to the health of our democracy.

    Dr. Azar Nafisi is best known as the author of the national bestseller “Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books,” a compassionate and often harrowing portrait of the Islamic revolution in Iran and how it affected one university professor and her students.  Born and raised in Iran, she came to the United States to earn her Ph.D. at the University of Oklahoma during the 1970s. Afterward, Nafisi returned to Iran and taught English at the University of Tehran. In 1981, she was expelled for refusing to wear the mandatory Islamic veil and did not resume teaching until 1987. She taught at the Free Islamic University and Allameh Tabatabai, and went on to a fellowship at Oxford University, teaching and conducting a series of lectures on culture and the important role of Western literature and culture in Iran after the Revolution in 1979.  Nafisi returned to the United States in 1997—earning national respect and international recognition for advocating on behalf of Iran’s intellectuals, youth, and especially young women.  Nafisi was a Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC, where she taught aesthetics, culture, and literature, and taught courses on the relation between culture and politics.  She also served as Director of The Dialogue Project & Cultural Conversations there.  She has lectured and written extensively in English and Persian on the political implications of literature and culture, as well as the human rights of the Iranian women and girls and the important role they play in the process of change for pluralism and open society in Iran.  She has been consulted on issues related to Iran and human rights both by the policymakers and various human rights organizations across the world.

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Nafisi discusses the importance of literature and the free exchange of ideas to democracy and her latest book, “Read Dangerously: The Subversive Power of Literature in Troubled Times,” which was published last month.

    “Story in the Public Square” continues to broadcast 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., 4:30 p.m. ET, and Sundays at 1:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. & 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. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

  • Nuala Pell Leadership Fellows Visit Washington

    On March 24, 2022, eleven undergraduate student fellows in the Nuala Pell Leadership program arrived in our nation’s capital to meet with Rhode Island’s legislators in Washington and leaders from across the public sector.  Named in honor of the late Nuala Pell, wife of Sen. Claiborne Pell, who was an avid supporter of public service, the program exposes student fellows to both the theory and practice of leadership with an emphasis on public service.  One day prior to arriving in Washington, the eleven student fellows presented their research on various public issues to the Salve Regina University community at the University’s annual SRyou Student Exposition, with topics that included the impact government public relations has on addressing current issues, racial bias in the Rhode Island courts, and multilingualism in U.S. politics, among others, each emphasizing the role of leadership.

    The student fellows began the visit by meet with Rebecca Rose Nolan, a Diplomat in Multilateral Trade Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.  Nolan spoke with the students about her role in the State Department’s Economic Bureau and various internship opportunities that are available in different areas if the federal government before leading them on a brief tour of the area.  The students then met with Clay Pell, the grandson of Senator Claiborne Pell, for lunch.  Pell shared examples of leadership that had great impacts on his life and discussed his relationship with his late grandparents, Claiborne and Nuala Pell.   The students visited the U.S. Capitol Building for tours led by members of Sen. Jack Reed, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s staff before meeting with the senators in Sen. Reed’s office.  When students asked what keeps him motivated, Sen. Whitehouse said he reminds himself, that “persistence through adversity” is an important phrase to remind himself of in his role as an elected leader.  The senators listened to the students’ concerns about climate change issues and the War in Ukraine.  Sen. Reed preceeded Sen. Claiborne Pell in 1997 after Sen. Pell retired as Rhode Island’s longest-serving U.S. Senator.

    Above: Nuala Pell Leadership Fellows meet with Sen. Jack Reed and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island at Sen. Reed’s office in Washington. 

    The students concluded their day meeting with U.S. Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline’s staff.  The following day, the student fellows visited the Embassy of Lichtenstein in Washington to meet with Ambassador Georg Sparber, the Ambassador of the Principality of Lichtenstein to the United States.  Sparber discussed public leadership and diplomacy’s unique role in foreign affairs and emphasized the importance of devoting one’s life to a cause they are passionate about.

    With their remaining time in Washington, the students took to the National Mall to visit the Smithsonian museums and national monuments.  Nuala Pell Leadership Fellow Lindsey Smith ’23 described the visit as “eye-opening and eventful, and one we will always remember.”

    Left: Clay Pell discusses the importance of public leadership.  Right: Ambassador Georg Sparber discusses diplomacy with student fellows at Lichtenstein’s Embassy in Washington. 
  • Photographing America with Maddie McGarvey

    Air Dates: April 4-10, 2022

    America is a study in contrasts: from the pomp and circumstance of a presidential inauguration to the reality of hunger across the land, Maddie McGarvey documents life in the United States as only a photojournalist can.

    Maddie McGarvey is a freelance photographer based in Columbus, Ohio. She graduated from Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication in 2012 with a degree in Photojournalism, interned at the San Francisco Chronicle in 2011, and worked as a staff photographer at the Burlington Free Press in Vermont before returning to the Midwest.  In 2014 she was named an Emerging Talent for Getty Reportage and in 2015, she was selected as one of Magnum’s 30 Photographers under 30. In 2016, she was chosen as one of TIME magazine’s 51 Instagram Photographers to follow in the USA and was recognized by Picture of the Year International for her campaign work. She works for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Time, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, AARP, NPR, ESPN and her work has appeared in Mother Jones Magazine, The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, and FiveThirtyEight, among others.

    “Story in the Public Square” continues to broadcast 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., 4:30 p.m. ET, and Sundays at 1:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. & 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. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

  • Student Blog: Nuala Pell Leadership Fellows Visit Washington D.C.

    On March 24, 2022, Salve Regina University students in the Nuala Pell Leadership Program arrived in our nation’s capital to meet with Rhode Island’s elected leaders and leaders from across the public sector.  The visit concluded the year-long leadership program that exposed our high-achieving student fellows to both the theory and practice of leadership and emphasized public service. One day prior to arriving in Washington, the students presented their research on various public issues to the Salve Regina University community at the University’s annual SRyou Student Exposition.  The program is named in honor of the late Nuala Pell, wife of Sen. Claiborne Pell, who was an avid supporter of public service.

    Day One — Beth Nickerson ’23

    As part of the Nuala Pell Leadership Program, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. for a few days. The first day was full of great experiences as we toured parts of the city and met with inspiring individuals. Some highlights of this day were our time at the Capitol Building and our meeting with Rhode Island Senators Reed and Whitehouse. We also had lunch with Clay Pell, the grandson of Senator Claiborne Pell and Nuala Pell. He told us stories from his own career and about his grandparents and it was nice to hear about the Pell family, one that is so important to our program and the Salve Regina community. As this was my first time in Washington D.C., it was an incredible experience to just see the U.S. Capitol Building, and we were lucky enough to also receive an official tour. My favorite part of the Capitol tour was being in the Rotunda where we saw statues of key historical figures and impressive paintings of major events throughout American History. One painting that stood out to me was the Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull. I learned about this painting in history class with Dr. Leeman, and it was great to see it in person. After our tour, we met with Sen. Jack Reed and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse in Sen. Reed’s office. It was a great opportunity to speak with them and we asked them questions about current issues facing our country and about their experiences as Senators. This conversation provided us with insight into the inner workings of policymaking and how a Senator’s office functions. I am so grateful for the chance to be a part of this visit and to engage in these enlightening experiences.

           

    Left: Lindsey Smith ’23 (left) and Beth Nickerson ’23 (right) stand in front of a statue of Rhode Island native and American Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene in Stanton Park in Washington, D.C.  Middle: Smith ’23 and Nickerson ’23 stand in front of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial.  Right: Smith ’23 and Nickerson ’23 in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington. 

    Day Two — Lindsey Smith ‘23

    On our second day in Washington, D.C. we had the opportunity to sight-see on the National Mall and meet with Georg Sparber, the Ambassador of Liechtenstein to the United States. We first traveled to the National Mall, where the Smithsonian museums are located. Our first destination was the American History Museum where we visited exhibits on American democracy, the First Ladies, and the American Presidency. We saw an interesting exhibit called “Girlhood,” which displayed the progression of girls’ jobs, education, politics, health, and clothing over time which represented their struggles and successes with gaining inclusion in American society. At the African American History and Culture Museum, we saw the “Paradox of Liberty” which focused on the creation of a nation built around freedom and inclusion, while there continued to be the exclusion of a huge portion of the population from equal rights and citizenship, enslaved peoples. This exhibit featured President Thomas Jefferson’s relationship and the children he had with an enslaved woman, Sally Hemmings, and documents such as the Bill of Rights and the Louisianna Purchase. The existence of slavery perpetuated the falsity of democratic progress while misrepresentation and bigotry of the African American community still remained.

    In the afternoon, we had the incredible opportunity to meet with the Ambassador of Liechtenstein to the United States, Georg Sparber. He discussed the importance of the relationship between Claiborne and Nuala Pell and the royal family of Liechtenstein, the Princely family. Ambassador Sparber shared personal leadership advice from his experiences with us, such as the importance of devoting your life to a cause that you are passionate about. He spoke about Liechtenstein’s international diplomacy, and the country’s deep commitment to fighting against human rights violations, such as those currently taking place against Ukrainian citizens. Ambassador Sparber explained that a core idea of diplomacy that his nation holds is one devoted to self-determination. He gave insight into the successes of his country in the areas of funding for education, as well as in domestic safety for its citizens. Ambassador Sparber also discussed their reliance on the workforce, which is impressively made up of a large portion of citizens from surrounding countries. Overall, Ambassador Sparber was welcoming, engaging, and intuitive, and his nation promotes a progressive view of international and domestic policy.

    We concluded the day with dinner at the Sequoia restaurant, where we enjoyed good food and Shirley Temples. We also explored the shops and streets in Georgetown before heading back to the National Mall to admire the beautiful buildings. We were able to see the Washington Monument, the museums, and the U.S. Capitol building illuminated at night. Our second day in D.C. was eye-opening and eventful, and one we will always remember.

  • Bridging the Divide with Susan Rice

    Air Dates: December 9-15, 2019

    Rebroadcast Dates: March 28-April 3, 2022

    Politics, it’s often said, is a tough game.  But lost in the back and forth over policies are the lives of public servants who pay a very real toll for their service.  Ambassador Susan Rice knows that experience better than most.

    Rice served as the U.S. National Security Advisor under President Barak Obama from 2013 to 2017.  She was unanimously confirmed by the Senate as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 2009, serving until 2013.  Rice was a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution from 2002 to 2009, where she focused on U.S. foreign policy, the implications of global poverty, and transnational threats to security.  She also served on the National Security Council and as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs during President Bill Clinton’s second term.  After serving as National Security Advisor, Rice joined American University as a distinguished visiting research fellow in the School of International Service.

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” co-host Jim Ludes asks Rice if she considers the divisiveness in American politics a liability to national security.  “It’s huge,” Rice said, calling it “our greatest national security vulnerability right now.”  She says our adversaries clearly recognize these divisions and understand that they can weaken us by leveraging these divisions through the media, “[setting] Americans against one another and cause us to hate and distrust each other more than ever.”

    “Story in the Public Square” continues to broadcast 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., 4:30 p.m. ET, and Sundays at 1:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. & 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. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.