Anita Rao

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

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 "Embodied: Conversations about Sex, Relationships & Your Health."

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

Scott Sharpe / News & Observer

In an ambitious new project, visual journalists from The Charlotte Observer, The News and Observer and the McClatchy Company spread out across the state of North Carolina to record the concerns of regular people.

Book cover reads: The Future of Feeling: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World.
Little A Publishing

Do you say please and thank you to your smart speaker? With each update, technology inches closer towards a greater understanding of the human condition. Empathy remains a trait exclusive to people, but that could change.

Animated hands with words like 'calm, friendly, curious, inviting, attentive' frame an animated image of a toddler throwing a tantrum.
Pixabay

 

Parents in the United States typically have very little institutional support when it comes to raising children. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 guarantees workers 12 weeks of parental leave — but that leave is unpaid.

Lizzo sits naked with her long hair draping over her body.
Atlantic Records

The flute-wielding singer and rapper Lizzo is the artist of the moment. She secured the most 2020 Grammy nominations of any artist, including nods for best album, song and record.

Protesters hold signs that read 'NO IRAN WAR.'
(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The U.S. House of Representatives approves a resolution that would limit President Donald Trump’s power and require authorization from Congress before taking any additional military action against Iran. While Trump tries to calm the nation’s fears, the FBI and national security leaders believe Iran and its proxies still pose a threat.

Charlotte Jarvis

Semen is a potent substance, both literally and symbolically. It was described by Chinese proverb as “equal to ten drops of blood”; by Sumerians as “a divine substance,” given to humanity by the god of water; and by Aristotle as “the most perfect component of our food.”

Courtesy of the Verona Quartet

Attending a night at the symphony may conjure up images of an elaborate theatre, expensive tickets and an audience dressed in their finest. Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle is working to change that perception with upcoming performances featuring the Verona Quartet, COT’s inaugural string quartet-in-residence.

Trump at the rally in Michigan.
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

2020 is more than a presidential election year — it is also the beginning of a new decade. Does this mean a new era of politics?

Photo of the Cat's Cradle from behind the stage at a show.
Courtesy of Steve Balcolm

At 17 years old, he was barred from entering the front door of the Cat’s Cradle, so John Howie Jr. instead got on the stage of the Chapel Hill club.

Yang, Buttigieg and Warren at the debate.
(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The House of Representatives voted mostly along party lines to impeach President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The next step would send impeachment papers to the Senate, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is delaying that action until Senate leaders reach an agreement on the ground rules of the trial.

Book cover that reads 'Speaking of Feminism: Today's Activists On The Past, Present, And Future of The US Women's Movement.'
UNC Press

Why is feminism imagined as waves? These ocean waves, crashing then retreating, can make it appear like ideas come out of nowhere and eclipse everything that came before.

Oral history provides different frameworks for understanding the history of feminist activism.  Personal narratives of the movement capture the constant push and pull of ideology and action — how the definition "feminist" is constantly evolving and sometimes is irrelevant to real social progress. 

Middleton singing into a mic and playing an acoustic guitar.
Courtesy of Nancy Middleton

Durham called folk rocker Nancy Middleton back home after 11 years in Nashville.

Illustration of someone surrounded by life stressors.
Adhiti Bandlamudi / WUNC

The World Health Organization now officially lists workplace burnout as an occupational syndrome in its International Classification of Diseases manual.

Illustration by Adhiti Bandlamudi / WUNC

If you have ever been on a diet, you know the pure vulnerability of getting weighed at the doctor’s office. Standing on an old metal scale with your shoes off, you might avert your eyes, as if that would prevent the nurse from saying the number out loud as they write it down. But what if weight did not play such an active role in how you understood your health?

Teachers on a sidewalk holding signs that read 'Proud Public School Teacher.'
Cole del Charco / WUNC

The 2019 legislative session ended with no compromise on teacher pay raises. Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed Republican leaders’ final proposal of an average 3.9% increase, calling it “inadequate.”

Faber holding a mic during one of her comedy sets.
Courtesy of Lauren Faber

To be fair, Lauren Faber had one good shrink back in Philadelphia. Up until then, the 2016 Carolina’s Funniest Comic wondered why none of her friends would take her trauma seriously. That psychologist trained Faber to stop smiling while sharing painful stories. But 20 years of off-and-on therapy has left her wondering if counseling is a good fit.
 

Embodied: Deconstructing Forgiveness

Nov 27, 2019
Adhiti Bandlamudi

 

‘Tis the season for good food, celebration, and gratitude. But between carving the turkey and passing the cranberry sauce, some families are still harboring hurt, anger and resentment from events past. In hopes of salvaging this year’s festivities, host Anita Rao is joined by a team of experts who deconstruct forgiveness: how to do it, and how the act may impact your health. 

Photo of free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick
AP Photo/Todd Kirkland

During the 2016 NFL season, Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the pregame national anthem to take a stand against police brutality and racial inequality. His actions set off a heated debate, and as the NFL made their position about athlete protest more clear, Kaepernick’s future with the league got increasingly murky. 

Santibanez pumping up one of his teams.
Courtesy of Jose Santibanez

As a kid, Jose Santibanez showed up at school every day not to learn, but to play soccer. He was undocumented and struggled to motivate himself, despite his intellect.

Illustration of a diverse group of women and one man on a North Carolina outline.
Illustration by Mariano Santillan / Courtesy of Carolina Public Press

North Carolina seeks to close antiquated loopholes in sexual assault laws and add more protections for child abuse victims.

Cardman in her NASA gear.
Robert Markowitz / NASA

Zena Cardman knew she might not have another opportunity to pursue poetry. She was about to dive into graduate research on microbiology in extreme environments when she put that plan on ice, and opted to write a poetry collection for her undergraduate thesis at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Portrait of Cameron Dezen Hammon
Courtesy Cameron Dezen Hammon

From the time she was young, musician and writer Cameron Dezen Hammon craved a spiritual connection with the world around her.

Amy Townsend / WUNC

North Carolina students face a new roadblock when it comes to participating in the next U.S. election. Most of the state’s public universities have until Nov. 15 to re-apply for their student identification to be used as valid photo ID at polling places. Nearly half of N.C. higher education institutions missed the initial March deadline and had to scramble to meet a new deadline on Oct. 26.

photo of four people in the dark, in front of a creepy white house.
Courtesy of Nelson Nauss

How haunted is North Carolina? Around the state, teams of paranormal investigators are looking into some of the most historic — and most eerie — locations. These researchers collect data and conduct investigations at sites like Mordecai Historic Park in Raleigh and the USS North Carolina in Wilmington.

Marsh in front of a gravestone and stone cross.
Courtesy of Tanya Marsh

October in American culture is decorated with death. But after Halloween, we put the fake skulls and tombstones back in the box in the attic, to be forgotten until next year’s celebration of the macabre. Tanya Marsh, however, pays homage to death all year long.

SEAN HOBSON / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Exhausted by the longest legislative session since 2001, state lawmakers are pushing through piecemeal spending measures as the full budget sits in the senate. Governor Cooper signed off on raises for most state employees, but public school teachers as well as staff at state universities and community colleges are still waiting.

Photo of Nora McInerny with her hand up over one eye, with a hand-drawn crying eye on the back of her hand.
Courtesy of Nora McInerny

When something bad happens people often hear the same advice: “everything happens for a reason” or “time heals all wounds.” But Nora McInerny says that advice is useless and that grief is a chronic condition that you can’t just “get over.” She should know.

Rhodes will her guitar.
Courtesy of Lisa Rhodes

Lisa Rhodes was born in a small town outside a small city on the Gulf Coast of Texas and as a lesbian aspiring musician, she could not wait to get out of dodge. Rhodes would spend much of her younger years in Austin where she wanted to be a rock star.

Cummings headshot.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

In a time of great political upheaval, the country has lost a formidable force. Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings passed away last week at the age of 68.

Stock photo of a football helmet on the field.
Pixabay

A report from sports media outlet The Athletic calls into question concussion research that was conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and headed by now-Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz.

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