SOT Meet Series

The Monday Meet series features conversations with people with strong ties to  North Carolina who have compelling personal stories. Host Frank Stasio talks with a range of people about their life, work, and how the two intersect.

Alice Gerrard
Alicegerrard.com

When Alice Gerrard was a child, music was just a fun social activity with her family. Little did she know that she would become one of the female pioneers of bluegrass and folk music. Her collaboration with Hazel Dickens in the 1960s produced anthems for the women’s rights and labor movements.   

Hana Pichova is a UNC professor and author that escaped communism 35 years ago and she's been making the most of her opportunities ever since.
gazette.unc.edu

Hana Pichova grew up under a totalitarian regime in Czechoslovakia during the 1970s. 

For Pichova, opportunities for learning and discovery were rare under the control of the communist government.

At 18, she and her parents fled to Switzerland. Pichova decided she wanted to  immigrate to America. Unbeknownst to her parents, she went to the German border to seek political asylum. When they learned of her move, they decided to follow her, despite their reservations. 

Former congresswoman Eva Clayton chats with other speakers during the North Carolina Campuses Against Hunger conference at Elon.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ncstate/

 Note: Today's program is a rebroadcast of a program originally aired on March 25, 2013.

  

Gerry Cohen is probably the most important North Carolina politician you don't know.

George Williams
St. Augustine's University

George Williams coaches one of the most successful track and field programs in the country. 

He has served as the coach at St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh for 38 years. And this spring, he won his 35th Division II national championship.  

He’s also been a coach and an assistant coach for the U.S. men’s team in three Olympic Games. His runners include former world record holder Michael Johnson and Bershawn “Batman” Jackson.

But such success comes from a long history of leadership. Williams helped integrate his city track team in Miami, and was one of the first to push for integration in Cary's public schools. 

Monika Johnson-Hostler
monikaforschools.com

Note: Today's program is a rebroadcast of a program originally aired on July 14, 2014.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Monika Johnston-Hostler, Executive Director of the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Wake County School Board Member.

Perry Deane Young
Courtesy of Perry Deane Young

Note: This is a rebroadcast of a show from Monday, February 3, 2014.

Journalist and writer Perry Deane Young has covered some of the biggest stories in recent decades. From the civil rights movement to the Vietnam War and from the Moral Majority to Moral Mondays, Young witnessed and documented key moments in American history. Host Frank Stasio talks with the North Carolina native about his life, his experiences and his writing.

    

Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara is an ordained minister and published author who uses her faith work and fiction writing to create new strategies for supporting LGBT communities in the South. 

Alexandra Zagbayou smiling
studentudurham.org

Alexandra Zagbayou was born in Montreal but returned to her father's homeland of Ivory Coast when she was 4 years old. Six years later, her family fled because they feared political persecution in the tense years before the country's civil war.

"We thought we would be in the U.S. for a summer. The summer turned into 15 years," she said.

The family moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, where Zagbayou learned English by reverse engineering her school's French classes.

Later, her parents returned to Africa while she and her sister stayed in Raleigh with their aunt and uncle. A few years after that, their uncle was killed.

Zagbayou's older sister became her primary guardian while she worked hard to finish high school and secure funding for college. 

One summer, Zagbayou taught dance classes to homeless and displaced youth. This was when she first began to process her own challenging life experiences. She realized not only that she related to her students, but that she had come out the other side. 

Today she helps run the Durham-based college-access organization, Student U. The program empowers students to pursue their own educational journeys despite diverse challenges. 

Firefighters use hose to tame large fire
creative commons

Many young children dream of becoming firefighters someday. But not everybody sustains that desire into adulthood. What is it that makes some people want to run into the buildings when everyone else is fleeing? 

Meet Terri Phoenix

Apr 21, 2014
Headshot photo of Terri Phoenix, the director of the LGBTQ Center at UNC-Chapel Hill.
lgbtq.unc.edu

Terri Phoenix (T) grew up always feeling like an outsider. As a young child in a poor, fragmented family, Terri moved around more than ten times before starting high school and was always the "new kid."

For more than 40 years, Jane Smith Patterson has been paving the way for women in North Carolina politics and digital technology. After her start as a young organizer and activist in her hometown in Columbus County, North Carolina, Patterson left home for college when she was 16 years old. 

Wikipedia

The Farm at Penny Lane is a 40-acre plot of land tucked away in north Pittsboro, North Carolina. But this is no conventional farming operation; it is operated by volunteers and people with mental illness and developmental disabilities.

Credit: Perry Deane Young

  

Journalist and writer Perry Deane Young has covered some of the biggest stories in recent decades. From the civil rights movement to the Vietnam War and from the Moral Majority to Moral Mondays, Young witnessed and documented key moments in American history. Host Frank Stasio talks with the North Carolina native about his life, his experiences and his writing.

creative commons
creative commons / creative commons

Scientists generally understand that healthy bodies and healthy minds are related, but the interaction between the two isn’t as clear.

Darlene Nicgorski
hrcr.org

Darlene Nicgorski was a nun when she was convicted of conspiracy and faced a 25-year prison term in the 1980s for her work helping Central American refugees. She didn’t end up having to serve that term, but her work in the so-called Sanctuary Movement made her the poster child of immigrant activism in the 1980s.

Meet Pam Spaulding

Dec 17, 2012

When Pam Spaulding first got into publishing, she used an X-Acto knife and cardboard. She stayed in the field by learning how to use a computer. And now her blog — Pam’s House Blend — is a popular activist website for gay rights.

Host Frank Stasio talks to Pam Spaulding about her life, work and gay rights activism.

Darlene Nicgorski
hrcr.org

Darlene Nicgorski was a nun serving in Los Amates, Guatemala in 1981 when her pastor was assassinated miles away. That early experience helped shape her decision to help Central American refugees seeking shelter in the United States. For her efforts, Nicgorski would eventually be convicted of conspiracy and face a 25-year prison sentence. She has since left the convent and settled in Chapel Hill. Host Frank Stasio talks to former nun and activist Darlene Nicgorski.

Meet Peter Ubel

Nov 26, 2012
Peter Ubel
duke.edu

Medical decisions are fraught with emotion and often have drastic impacts, yet we leave much of the choice in the hands of the doctors. They have been to medical school, after all. But Dr. Peter Ubel thinks the medical establishment has got it all wrong. Patients need way more participation in their medical decisions, and doctors should not dictate treatments. He explores this issue as well as others in his new book, “Critical Decisions: How You and Your Doctor Can Make the Right Decisions Together” (HarperOne/2012).

Baldemar Velasquez
www.supportfloc.org

Legend has it that Baldemar Velasquez led his first fight for migrant farmworkers’ rights at the age of 12. He started working in the fields at 4 years old and soon became a self-taught scholar of social justice. Today, Velasquez is the founder and President of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), a labor union that has battled against unfair wages and mistreatment of migrant workers since 1967. FLOC has a headquarters in North Carolina where Velasquez regularly rallies for better conditions for local laborers.

headshot of Bishop Michael Curry
www.dionc.org

Bishop Michael Curry grew up in an Episcopal Church steeped in the civil rights movement.  This early example of faith as an instrument of change followed him throughout his life and spurred him to become an Episcopal priest.

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