Stacia Brown

Producer, "The State of Things"

Stacia Brown comes to WUNC from Washington, DC, where she was a producer for WAMU’s daily news radio program, 1A. She’s the creator and host of two podcasts, The Rise of Charm City and Hope Chest. Her audio projects have been featured on Scene on Radio, a podcast of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University; BBC 4’s Short Cuts; and American Public Radio’s Terrible, Thanks for Asking.

Before working in podcasts and public radio, she was a freelance writer whose work was featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, New Republic, and several other publications.

Stacia was born in Michigan, raised in Maryland, and delighted to find herself living and learning in North Carolina now.

North Carolina Public Radio presents Pauli, a podcast about the power of one person to change what's possible for us all. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and NPR One.

Inspired by the life, work and lasting influence of Durham-based civil rights activist Pauli Murray, this series explores the bravery and brilliance of a tireless hero for social justice. WUNC's Leoneda Inge takes listeners through three chapters of Pauli's journey as a battle-ready solider against racism and sexism and a spiritual mentor for today's justice advocates.

PAULI: EPISODE THREE

After spending decades fighting for gender equality and racial justice, Pauli Murray decided to unite her convictions for human rights with her religious spirituality.

In her early 60’s, Pauli entered a seminary and became the first Black woman ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1977. She brought to the priesthood the same power she’d carried as a firebrand all her life ― a power that is strengthened by women in the church today standing tall on Pauli’s shoulders.


PAULI: EPISODE TWO

In 1948, Pauli Murray began a years-long journey, crossing the country to document each state's segregation laws. The result was an exhaustive, 700-page tome. The text, published in 1951, may have a pretty unexciting title — “States' Laws on Race and Color”  — but its nickname is more glamorous: the “bible of civil rights law."

Pauli's work documenting discriminatory ordinances across the nation was pivotal to the NAACP’s legal team as they fought key battles against segregation in the mid-20th century. But Murray’s road to writing that bible was anything but easy, and she was often on the verge of having to forego the seminal project.


PAULI: EPISODE ONE

As a Black, queer, Southern woman, Pauli Murray endured a sinister combination of sexism and racism. She called this specific kind of discrimination Jane Crow, and no matter where Pauli  went, Jane Crow followed.

But Pauli refused to let that dictate her life. With the pen as her sword, Pauli fought to undermine Jane Crow’s grip on the lives of Black women, wielding the written word as a weapon for truthtelling.

As a legal scholar, she inspired the likes of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and helped secure equal rights for women. As a poet, Murray has given hope and resilience to countless women of color ― offering messages of brave love and bold defiance that resonate today.


Pauli Murray isn't a completely unsung hero of the Civil Rights Movement. She isn't exactly a household name either. Her brand of fighting for racial justice is defined by speaking truth to power, a tireless effort and a deep imagining of what was possible for a Black queer Southern woman during the Jim Crow era. Get to know the poet, priest and powerhouse for change on Pauli, a new podcast from WUNC.

  

Kane Realty/Gensler


This week the Raleigh City Council approved rezoning for Downtown South, a $2.2 billion development project that will bring shops, housing and a soccer stadium to southeast Raleigh. The space was previously zoned as an industrial district. Downtown South’s mixed-use zoning clearance is just an early step in the project’s progress.

A glass store front with the words 'Black Owned Business' in silver, bold letters. The words are enclosed in a rectangle on the glass, the same exact color as the words
Paul Sableman/Flickr

When the first wave of federal COVID-19 provisions became available to businesses in April, Black business owners received a very small amount of relief funding. And the North Carolina Business Council estimates the number of Black businesses in the state has decreased by 41 percent since the beginning of the pandemic. There are several reasons for this, including the racial wage and generational wealth gaps, both of which contribute to Black businesses starting up with lower capital and struggling to sustain themselves without economic relationships with banks and other wealth-holding institutions.

A nurse sitting against a wall on the hospital floor. The nurse is covered in full gear: a white mask, blue shoe covers, a blue robe covering, blue gloves, and a blue nair net, and clear goggles. The nurse is looking straight ahead.
Alberto Guiliani/CC

COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing shortage of licensed nurses in the state of North Carolina. Too few nurses are available for staffing at local hospitals, leading to double and triple shifts for nurses who are healthy enough to work, as well as nurses’ increased exposure to COVID-19. This problem is expected to persist after vaccines become available, and retired nurses are being asked to return to work and assist with future distribution.

A Black woman smiling while holding an orange book titled 'Black Equestrian; coloring book.' The woman is wearing silver dangly earrings and her hair is pulled back into a ponytail
Courtesy of Caitlin Gooch

When Caitlin Gooch began working at a daycare center and a Boys and Girls Club in her hometown of Wendell, North Carolina, she noticed that students were not as interested in reading as she would have hoped. She started showing them pictures of her horses at her father’s farm, if they agreed to read and work on their vocabulary.

A tube filled with blue liquid with the words "COVID-19 Vaccine" on it. There is a syringe with a needle going into the tube.
Marco Verch, Flick/CC

With more than 2,000 hospitalizations in North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper has announced a tentative plan to make Pfizer’s vaccine available to state residents, regardless of health insurance status. While this long-term plan may mitigate future spread, residents are still struggling with how to protect themselves from contracting COVID-19.

Courtesy of Markee Steele

North Carolina-based emcee Markee Steele recently changed his name. Formerly known as Mark Steele, a moniker given to him by super-producer 9th Wonder, Steele felt the need to change the course of his career this year. The ESPN-featured indie artist, formerly known as Mark Steele, started with a new stage name, then created a new label, Thee Marquee Recordings.

Cannabis containers and advocacy materials reading 'No one should be in jail for weed.'
We Go High NC

Hemp — including smokable hemp — is legal in North Carolina. But that is only the case if the hemp does not contain more than trace amounts of THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. Hemp and marijuana can be similar in appearance. Both contain some level of THC, though hemp’s concentration is much lower.

An older Black woman standing in chef's gear: a black apron with a black buttoned shirt underneath and a black cap. The woman is looking off to the right and is wearing glasses
Courtesy of Sprouthouse Agency

When Hanan Shabazz was a child in her grandmother’s Asheville home, she remembers their house as the one where those in need of a good meal would come to be freely fed. The experience was formative for her as she grew up and opened Shabazz Restaurant in the early 1970s. The restaurant was part of Asheville's thriving Black business scene in the historic neighborhood known as The Block until urban renewal forced its closure. 

The famous well at UNC-Chapel Hill, with a larger building in the background.
Courtesy of UNC-Chapel Hill

Do UNC-Chapel Hill’s admissions policies disproportionately favor underrepresented minorities? That question is at the center of a federal court case on trial in Winston-Salem.

NCSBE

Over 5 million North Carolinians cast ballots in this year’s election, many of them opting for mail-in and early onsite voting. While there is still a lot we do not know about voter demographics, we do know that the pandemic did not deter voter engagement. 

A student and teacher, both wearing masks, sit in front of a laptop in a classroom
Piney Creek School / Facebook

Report cards have been distributed for the first time in the 2020-21 school year, and in many school districts across the state, students have yet to set foot inside a traditional classroom. 

Around the world, skin-lightening agents are a billion-dollar industry. Colorism and discrimination are major factors.
Flickr/CC

In the U.S. as well as around the world, skin color has long been associated with social perceptions of beauty, intellect and class. Studies have shown that many perceive lighter skin as indicative of higher intelligence. Research also suggests that those with darker skin experience higher instances of criminalization

N.C. House Races Heat Up in Key Counties

Oct 28, 2020
A large room with a square spiraled ceiling and red carpet flooring. There are more than 100 people in this room, some sitting in chairs on the red carpet and some standing on the next level, one that overlooks the area with the red carpeting
Speaker Tim Moore

With less than a week till the end of voting, residents in key North Carolina counties are heading to the polls to determine who will take control of the state’s House of Representatives. Though Republicans currently hold a majority in the House, Democrats would need to secure just six more seats to flip power in their favor.

Carteret County Shore Protection Office

It’s estimated that annual average temperatures in North Carolina will rise between 2 and 5 degrees by the middle of this century, and 2019 was the warmest year on record for the state. This heat has already had a significant impact on farmworkers, who have reported noticing both an increase in temperatures outdoors while working and afterwards, in lodging that does not offer relief from evenings that are trending increasingly warmer. 

Adams Wood

What’s the difference between committing the same non-violent crime in one North Carolina county and another? For Daniel Noell, a homeless man convicted of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and drug trafficking in Buncombe and Yancey counties, the difference was vast: he was sentenced to 30 months of probation in Buncombe County and nearly six years in prison in Yancey County. 

A Black man in a black shirt smiling. He has his hands behind his head
Courtesy of Phonte Coleman

Robeson County-born, Greensboro-raised musician Phonte Coleman has traveled all over the world, but there’s no other place he can imagine living than North Carolina. A founding member of the rap group Little Brother, as well as a member of the genre-bending music group The Foreign Exchange, Coleman appreciates the quiet, lowkey community he’s built in the state and the focus on his craft that it affords him.

NC Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Services

For over a century, Black farmers have faced challenges in securing federal and local funding to aid their farms in times of need and during crises. COVID-19 has been no different. From lack of access to information about coronavirus relief provisions for farmers to difficulty finding spaces to safely vend during the crisis, the pandemic has made obstacles even more stark.

Two white men, Rep. Joe Sam Queen on the left and Mike Calmpitt on the right. Clampitt has grey hair with grey facial hair and Queen has light grey hair. Both men are smiling  and wearing a suit and tie.
Blue Ridge Public Radio

One of the most competitive local races in the state is in District 119, which includes Jackson, Swain and Haywood Counties. Democratic Rep. Joe Sam Queen and his Republican challenger Mike Clampitt have vied for the same seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives since 2012. This is their fifth race against one another and its outcome will take Western North Carolina’s political temperature this election season. 

A map of North Carolina color-coded by districts.
North Carolina Legislature

The past 10 years have seen North Carolina’s legislative and congressional district maps drawn and redrawn, court-ordered resolutions to partisan and racial gerrymandering and the long-term impact of racial redistricting. The upcoming 2020 election will determine how the state’s communities will be represented for the next decade.

White man wearing a mask directing a group of students to come forward with hand motions
Wake County School System

Wake, Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Guilford Counties are among the state’s public school districts that have announced mid-fall reopening plans for elementary and middle school students. Each district intends to implement reopening differently based on their community’s size, distinct challenges and specific concerns. The reopening decisions come as a relief to some parents who have struggled to balance the demands of work and remote instruction. 

A movie poster saying a fascinating adventure into the unknown! There is a yellow tiger being poked by a small white man next to a large pair of scissors, matches, and white sewing thread
Flickr / Creative Commons

One of the truest forms of horror Hollywood ever depicts is the story of mankind abandoned, disoriented or forgotten. Whether it’s a film about being lost at sea like Robert Zemeckis’ “Cast Away” or one about being so miniscule that your spouse believes you’ve been eaten by the family cat — as was the case in the 1957 sci-fi film “The Incredible Shrinking Man,” — movies about isolation force viewers to confront some of their worst fears.

Parental advisory labels date back to the 1980s. They exist, in part, to alert consumers to the presence of profanity, explicit discussion of sex and sexuality and graphic violence. But there has never been a unilateral ranking system to determine what content must be labeled as explicit. 

Durham-based musician A.yoni Jeffries understands discouragement. Her latest album, “Potential Gon’ Pay,” was delayed three times this year. But the 25-year-old never stays discouraged for long. In the interim, while she awaited a new release date, she focused her attention on a new endeavor, Handèwa Farms, which she launched in December 2019 with eight partners. 

Ronnie Chatterji, smiling
NC Department of Transportation

Aaron “Ronnie” Chatterji is a first-time political candidate, running as a Democrat for the position of North Carolina Treasurer. He knows it is a challenge, facing off against an incumbent. And he knows a win would be unprecedented: If elected, he would become the first Indian American elected to statewide office in North Carolina. 

Headshot of Rissi Palmer
Chris Charles

Independent country music recording artist Rissi Palmer is not surprised by the feedback she has received about her new Apple Music radio show “Color Me Country Radio,” which explores Black, Latinx and Indigenous voices in country music. She has heard everything from, “Is this a limited series? You’re going to run out of people to talk to!” to “Why does everything have to be about race?” 

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