Anita Rao

Managing Editor, "The State of Things"/ Host, "Embodied"

Anita Rao is the Managing Editor and regular host for The State of Things, WUNC's daily, live talk show that features the issues, personalities and places of North Carolina. She hosts the recurring series and podcast Embodied.

She fell in love with interviewing and storytelling as a Women's Studies and International Studies major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and began her radio career at WUNC as an intern for the nationally distributed public radio program The Story. From 2011 - 2014, she worked for the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps Production department, where she pitched, edited and produced conversations from across the nation--from Chicago, IL to Pineville, North Carolina.  

Anita was born in a small coal-mining town in Northeast England but spent most of her life growing up in Iowa and has a fond affection for the Midwest. In her spare time she also co-hosts and produces a podcast and radio show about millennial feminism called "She and Her."

Ways to Connect

Anita has a gut feeling none of us know as much as we should about the connection between our intestinal health and how our minds work.

Want to support this podcast? Subscribe on your favorite audio app, leave a review on Apple Podcasts, join the conversation at #EmbodiedWUNC or give to WUNC.


Anita Rao  00:04

Frank Stasio
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Frank Stasio, host of The State of Things, is retiring on January 1, 2021. Frank has hosted the live, daily talk show since June 2006, and over the last 14 years, has covered a variety of important stories about North Carolina.

"I’m proud of what we built on The State Of Things," Stasio wrote in a letter to WUNC staff. "We made some powerfully good radio and, by most accounts, had a profound effect on our community. I’m grateful to all of you and our amazing listeners for helping to make this happen."

Furniture sitting on a sidewalk curb
CC/Flickr

As of this Monday, Aug. 24, tenants in federally-subsidized housing are facing eviction, homelessness and increased vulnerability to COVID-19. More than just Section 8 public housing, the CARES Act moratorium on evictions that expired July 24 applied to many private rental companies and private landlords with federally-backed mortgage loans. 

Woman sitting at a kitchen table
Creative Commons

For many who suffer from eating disorders, COVID-19 has thrown a curveball into their usual management and coping methods. Social isolation has meant less accountability and a heightened ability to hide disordered eating. 

Anita is a workaholic. Being overworked stresses Anita out. Too much stress leads to poor health. Don't be like Anita.

Want to support this podcast? Subscribe on your favorite audio app, leave a review on Apple Podcasts, join the conversation at #EmbodiedWUNC or give to WUNC.


Anita Rao  00:06

StarsApart/Flickr/CC

The North Carolina Supreme Court banned the state from reinstating the death sentence on a Black man named Marcus Robinson last Friday. Robinson was removed from death row in 2012  and sentenced to life without parole after a North Carolina judge found that his trial was influenced by racial discrimination in the jury. At Robinson’s original trial, the prosecution removed half of qualified Black jurors from serving — but only 15% of white jurors. 

A Black man looks directly at the camera with tired eyes. He's wearing violet lipstick and is wearing his bleached hair in dreadlocks. Atop his head is a glittering fabric crown.
Courtesy of D'Arcee Charington

How to disclose on Tinder … maybe a full-body profile picture? Is a wheelchair emoji in the bio too cliche? Maybe just mention it after matching? For people with physical disabilities, dating can be a barrage of stigma and questions about what their bodies can and cannot do. And no, an arranged date with another physically disabled person — usually with no regard for compatibility —  is not ideal either. 

SeXXXed: Porn For All

Aug 20, 2020

Anita questions whether her inner feminist will ever let her come around to enjoying porn without shame.

Want to support this podcast? Subscribe on your favorite audio app, leave a review on Apple Podcasts, join the conversation at #EmbodiedWUNC or give to WUNC.


Anita Rao  00:07

Andrea Lingle with four children
Andrea Lingle

How do you heal from losing a child before getting the chance to meet them? The answer to this question is told in the painful experiences of 1 in 100 pregnancies affected by stillbirth each year in the United States. The loss can feel isolating. The grief can lie underneath the surface even on good days. For some people, the best medicine is in sharing their story.

a girl standing outside a straw-roofed bakery with two gryphons
Geneva Bowers

Geneva Bowers grew up watching animé television shows like “Sailor Moon” into the wee hours of the morning. The interest bled into another of her hobbies, drawing, and she began creating her own cartoon characters. As she honed her drawing skills, she noticed several patterns: Her characters were always thin, and they were always white.

Anita Rao  00:06

Anita realizes she never got 'the sex talk' growing up. And even if she had, it probably wouldn't have gone like this.

Want to support this podcast? Subscribe on your favorite audio app, leave a review on Apple Podcasts, join the conversation at #EmbodiedWUNC or give to WUNC.

Man sits on the left, sharing food with woman sitting on the right as part of the Netflix show 'Indian Matchmaking'
Netflix

In the new Netflix docuseries, “Indian Matchmaking,” affluent Indian singles look for love and marriage with the help of a professional matchmaker. Based on criteria they provide, clients are matched with ostensibly compatible dates, but they soon find that the goal of marriage is more difficult to attain that they had hoped — even with a matchmaker who consults biological data profiles, astrologers and face readers. 

Wallpaper Flare

Gun violence is back on the rise in North Carolina and around the country. After a lull during the stay-at-home orders, shootings surged over recent weeks. 

Football field at UNC-Chapel Hill
Flickr / William Yeung

The Atlantic Coast Conference Board of Directors voted to push back the start of their fall college sports to Sept. 10 and implement new rules to keep student athletes and coaching staff safe. But is that enough to prevent outbreaks? And if sports are canceled, what does that mean for the future of athletics departments — and for the student athletes?

Herpetologist Nick Massimo holding a snake, with his son on the left
Nick Massimo

Free time from quarantine has given way to more wandering in backyards, and sometimes people encounter a critter that scares them. That is where Nick Massimo comes in. 

North Carolina Public School bus.
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Over half of the students enrolled in North Carolina public schools will be starting their school year at home this fall. Gov. Roy Cooper announced earlier this month that public schools can open through a Plan B or hybrid model, with some in-home and some face-to-face instruction, or with a Plan C model, with remote-only instruction. 

Stethoscope lying on papers with a pen in background
Pxhere

Organizations publish ranked lists of the country’s best hospitals every year in an effort to guide patients to high-quality care. One of the most visible, U.S. News and World, released their 2020-21 Best Hospitals Honor Roll on Tuesday.

Four people standing under the words' Black AF'
Carolina Waves

Lena Jackson, Tagem, 2FLY KNG and Jooselord join verses about the systemic violence against Black bodies in “Black AF,” a raw black-and-white lyric video released by Carolina Waves.

Embodied: Trailer

Jul 28, 2020

Impolite conversations. Intimate connections. Important self-discoveries. 

Check out the trailer for WUNC's new podcast Embodied, hosted by Anita Rao.

Coming soon!


Absentee voter ballot envelope
Flickr / Nadya Peek

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many North Carolina voters are choosing to cast their ballot via mail. Over 90,000 North Carolinians have requested a mail-in absentee ballot so far, nearly five times as many requests as this time in 2016. 

Lightner and his mom.
Courtesy of Kai Lightner

The climbing started with baby gates and wooden balconies. As a kid, professional rock climber Kai Lightner had a lot of energy and a love for scrambling up anything he could find. 

Waynesville police car.
Smoky Mountain News

The price of local law enforcement is coming under increased scrutiny amidst nationwide calls to defund or abolish the police. Smoky Mountain News took a deep dive into the implications and possibilities for reallocating funding for law enforcement in four counties in Western North Carolina. 

Bus seats with "seat closed" signs.
Wikimedia Commons

The North Carolina General Assembly cut hundreds of millions from the state’s transportation budget in late June. While the funding bill received overwhelming bipartisan support in both the Senate and House, one item raised some controversy: completely cutting the $51.2 billion allocated to programs at local transit departments.

StoryCorps

StoryCorps has been traveling around the country, collecting oral histories in person for years. The impact of COVID-19 means that the archival organization has to get creative. 

Map of North Carolina that shows the rate of sterilization in NC counties.
North Carolina Justice For Sterilization Victims Foundation

Between 1929 and 1974, North Carolina officials sterilized an estimated 7,600 people, many by force or coercion. The state’s eugenics program targeted people deemed “feebleminded,” sick or living with a disability. 

Courtesy Jon Gardiner / UNC-Chapel Hill

In an email to leaders at all 17 UNC System campuses, UNC Board of Governors Chairman Randall Ramsey asked each chancellor to prepare a proposal that reflects a budget cut of up to 50 percent. 

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