Rebecca Martinez

Podcast Producer

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.

Rebecca began her radio career at her college station in Harrisonburg, VA before moving onto NPR, Wyoming Public Radio, and WUNC. Her work has aired on NPR, APM, the BBC, National Native News and Gimlet Media, and it has received several PRNDI awards.

Rebecca has a Master’s Degree in Social Work and is an LCSWA. She works as a therapist a few hours per week. She lives in Durham with her family. She loves to hike and probably drinks a little too much coffee.

Ways to Connect

Many African Americans have a healthy skepticism of a racist health care system. Now Black health professionals have an uphill battle to promote the COVID vaccine.

Host Leoneda Inge talks about trust in both the medicine and messaging with Meharry Medical College President James Hildreth, Duke Medical Center nurse Faye Williams and clinical trial participants Curtis and Benita Perkins.  


Five people died after President Trump incited rioters to storm the U.S. Capitol. North Carolina Central University Law Professor Irving Joyner tells host Dave DeWitt that what happens next will help define this moment in our history.  


The deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol evokes memories of the only successful coup d'état on American soil, more than a century ago, when the government was overthrown in Wilmington, NC. Host Leoneda Inge talks with historians Jim Leloudis and Bob Korstad, co-authors of "Fragile Democracy," about how today's political landscape is haunted by ghosts of the 1898 Wilmington Massacre. Plus, Grammy Award-winner Rhiannon Giddens reflects on why the events of 1898 inspire her artistically.

  

It may feel like COVID-19 has been with us for eons, but there is still a lot we don't know yet about its potential effects on our health. Host Dave DeWitt asks Dr. Colin Smith of Duke University Medical Center about a small, but growing, number of cases of severe psychosis associated with the virus.


Host Dave DeWitt wraps nine months of Tested podcasts with a look at COVID-19 in North Carolina then and now with the show's first guest: Rose Hoban of North Carolina Health News.


El Mensaje

Dec 15, 2020

Early public health messaging around COVID-19 widened a communication gap between officials and North Carolina's Spanish speakers. In this episode, we hear about efforts to bridge the divide from Dr. Viviana Martinez-Bianchi, director of health equity at Duke's Department of Family Medicine, and Eliazar Posada of El Centro Hispano.

The pandemic has only added to the obstacles immigrants in the U.S. face. Volatile federal policies, growing fees, and information gaps are some of what is keeping more people from obtaining American citizenship.

Host Leoneda Inge talks about what the path to that status looks like now with Juliana Cabrales of the NALEO Education Fund and Katherine Reynolds from Elon’s Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic.

COVID-19 cases are spiking in rural areas, where hospitals have been dwindling over the past 15 years. Host Dave DeWitt learns more about the impact from Mark Holmes of the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center at UNC-Chapel Hill. Plus, reports from the mountains, and an update from Gov. Roy Cooper.

 

Departures

Dec 1, 2020

COVID-19 has taken the lives of more than 5,000 North Carolinians, and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services estimates the disease has increased the state's death rate by 5%. 

LaKeisha Butts, an end-of-life doula, talks with Tested producer Rebecca Martinez about the challenges of comforting and offering spiritual guidance for a person over the phone instead of at their bedside. Butts shares how, as an African American woman who has lost some of her own loved ones to COVID, it's much harder to grieve them without community celebrations of life.

And host Dave DeWitt speaks with Heather Hill, a funeral director at Renaissance Funeral Home and Crematory in Raleigh, about how funerals have changed since this spring.


Any other year, Americans would be gearing up for the big Thanksgiving travel weekend; traffic jams and long lines at the airport would just be a reality of life. But TSA is quiet at Raleigh Durham International Airport, where the pandemic has cut air travel by two-thirds. Tested host Leoneda Inge talks with passengers and an RDU spokesperson about the changed travel landscape.

Winter

Nov 17, 2020

The pandemic promises to claim many more lives as we head into winter. But, in one of our nation's most dismal times, we have elected a president who is poised to make science a factor in decision-making about this public health crisis. 

In this episode of Tested, host Dave DeWitt discusses the impact of that with Holden Thorp, editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals.

Robeson County has been frequently inundated by hurricanes and flooding. When COVID-19 hit that community, it hit it hard. As its residents navigated recent crises, they were also squarely situated on the presidential campaign trail this election season. President Donald Trump and Presidential-elect Joe Biden singled out the uniquely diverse rural county for political canvassing.

Host Dave DeWitt talks with WUNC's digital producer Laura Pellicer and data reporter Jason deBruyn about the pandemic, storm recovery, and why Robeson County increased its support for Trump this election.

We also highlight the significance of an annual Lumbee tradition, and how the tribe is adjusting amidst the pandemic.


You're not imagining it. Almost everyone is incredibly stressed out right now.

The American Psychological Association says the “2020 Presidential Election is a source of significant stress for more Americans than the 2016 Presidential race.” Not to mention COVID-19. And the economic downturn. And ongoing civil unrest.

Host Leoneda Inge examines our collective anxiety — what's causing it, how to recognize it, what to do about it — with Lynn Bufka, the APA's senior director of practice transformation and quality.

Then, Leoneda reconnects with an old friend, comedian Roy Wood Jr., who says it's never too soon to look for the humor in the heavy stuff, as long as you're making light of the right things. He's had plenty of practice as a political correspondent for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.


Marchers made their way across downtown Durham on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020 calling for all votes from Tuesday's election to be counted.
Jay Price / WUNC

As North Carolinians await final results in key political battles in an unprecedented election year, state officials say it's business as usual.

Raleigh Police Cruiser
PDpolicecars, via Flickr / https://bit.ly/2Q7UmMD

Raleigh police used expired tear gas on demonstrators during protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, according to a report released Tuesday.

Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown told the City Council there have been 106 arrests stemming from the protests and more warrants are still outstanding.

Kerwin Pittman, 33, of Raleigh, NC, is the founder of Recidivism Reduction Educational Program Services and a field organizer with Emancipate NC.
Kate Medley / For WUNC

Kerwin Pittman is a member of the governor's new task force examining racial inequities in the criminal justice system. He is also a field organizer for Emancipate N.C. and has helped post Black Lives Matter billboards in Raleigh and Pittsboro.

Playgrounds throughout Durham, N.C. city parks were closed March 26, 2020 after Mayor Steve Schewel issued a stay-at-home order for the city in an effort to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
Chuck Liddy / For WUNC

Five months after the pandemic forced many public places to shut down, playgrounds have reopened. It's welcome news for many parents, but not necessarily all. 

ECU
Brent Hoard via Flickr / https://bit.ly/2Ctqqrm

About 20 parties, including one with nearly 400 people in attendance, were shut down at East Carolina University in Greenville during the school's opening weekend, campus police said.

Image couresy of Kerwin Pittman

It's been less than a month since anti-racist activists posted "Black Lives Matter" on a billboard next to a large Confederate flag in Pittsboro. Now, the owner of that property says he wants the billboard removed.

Crystal Cavalier Keck stands for a portrait at her home in Mebane, N.C. on Thursday, July 30, 2020.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

This summer, WUNC is meeting some of the North Carolinians who are "Calling for Change" in policing. Crystal Cavalier Keck is Indigenous and also of European and African descent. She is a member of the Occoneechee Band of the Saponi Nation and founder of "Missing Murdered Indigenous Coalition of North Carolina." The group runs a database and accepts reports of missing Indigenous people.

Zhang / Flickr/Creative Commons

Alcohol sales hours at restaurants, breweries and distilleries in North Carolina will have a curfew starting Friday night.

Mike Pence coronavirus Florida
Wilfredo Lee / AP

Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Raleigh on Wednesday morning in a push to encourage more K-12 schools to reopen with entirely in-person instruction.

Image couresy of Kerwin Pittman

A group in Pittsboro has erected a Black Lives Matter billboard to counter a Confederate flag that stands along U.S. Highway 64.

County of Dare/Flickr / https://bit.ly/2O0i6Bn

New federal flood maps have reclassified thousands of properties in Dare County from high-flood risk areas to lower risk ones called "shaded X zones."

Graham Protests
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Activists in Alamance County are calling for policy overhauls to prevent police brutality, especially against Black people. And another group of protesters want a Confederate monument removed from downtown Graham, the county seat.

Rebecca Martinez / WUNC

Protesters have been camped outside the Durham Police Department since Monday night. That's when the Durham City Council approved a 5% increase in the police budget, bringing it to $70 million.

A child care subsidy for essential workers expires this weekend, but there's funding making its way through the General Assembly that could help.

The aid program was set up by the state health and human services department for workers like nurses and bus drivers after the governor issued his stay-at-home order.

PxHere / Public Domain

 North Carolina legislators are wading into Gov. Roy Cooper's business reopening decisions, as the state Senate voted Thursday to let bars serve customers again despite his recent executive order keeping them closed due to COVID-19.

A picture of LaShauna Austria working in a hoophouse on Benevolence Farm.
Ben McKeown / WUNC

A nonprofit in Alamance County is celebrating the second anniversary of its working farm. Benevolence Farm provides housing and jobs for North Carolina women as they leave prison.

Kadiza Sultana, left, Shamima Begum, centre and and Amira Abase
Metropolitan Police via AP, file

A new study from psychologists at North Carolina State University suggests that counter-terrorism experts miss an important piece of the puzzle when they focus on the process of recruiting men.

Research assistant and PhD candidate Christine Brugh is lead author of a new report, "Gender in the jihad: Characteristics and outcomes among women and men involved in jihadist-inspired terrorism."

Pages