Laura Ellis Podcast Image

Laura Ellis

Editor & Producer of Strange Fruit & Producer of Curious Louisville, The Pope's Long Con & Here Today
Laura Ellis has been a radio and audio producer with WFPL/Louisville Public Media since 2004. She co-created a weekly talk podcast called 'Strange Fruit,' which focuses on race, gender, and LGBTQ issues. She also produces WFPL's 'Curious Louisville' series, an audience-engagement-driven project answering questions about the city. In 2017, Laura produced the Peabody-Award-winning podcast, 'The Pope's Long Con,' an investigative piece by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, examining the life of Kentucky State Representative Danny Ray Johnson. In 2017, she was embedded for a week at the Kentucky State Fair, for a special Curious Louisville project called 'Fairly Curious.' Laura is a lifelong resident of Louisville, Kentucky.
Recent episodes featuring Laura Ellis
Diggin' on Beecher Terrace
Episode of
Here Today
The site where Beecher Terrace was built has a story that's much older than the housing complex itself. Louisville's first black doctor had a home there with his family. The city's first cemetery occupied what's now Baxter Square Park. Before we move on from Beecher Terrace, we spend some time this week learning more of that story. Click here to support Here Today:
Mental Health Matters
Episode of
Strange Fruit
Because July is Minority Mental Health Month, we’re dedicating this entire episode to discussing the mental health and wellness of black kids and adults. Our first guests this week are Aaron Hunt, a clinical psychology doctorate student and co-author of “Depression in Black Boys Begins Earlier Than You Think,” and his partner Lee Dukes, a special education teacher and a second-year Master of Education student. They join us to discuss suicide and depression in black boys, how the school system is complicit in creating and fostering poor mental health, and what it will take to turn this trend around. Later, therapist Brittany Johnson join us to discuss how poverty, race and unresolved childhood traumas are leading more black adults to seek therapy. She credits Millennials with breaking the stigma around mental health and therapy. Johnson, author of the self-published book "Get Out of Your Own Way: 21 Days to Stop Self Sabotage,” shares tips on recognizing and conquering anxiety. In Juicy Fruit, we salute chart topping crossover rapper Lil Nas X, who recently publicly confirmed that that he’s a gay man, and we celebrate black and queer mermaids everywhere.
Can't Find My Way Home
Episode of
Here Today
Construction of the new Beecher Terrace continues, and fewer than a hundred families are living in what’s left of the old complex. Several hundred others are settling into their new homes throughout the city. While some displaced residents await the new and improved Beecher, others are content to leave it behind and start anew. Those who do come back will find themselves living with lots of new neighbors -- not all of whom are low income folks, like before. Will it still feel like home? Last week we talked about the “big four” West End investments. Today on Here Today, we focus in on the biggest: the over $200 million dollar redevelopment of Beecher Terrace. *Click here today support the work we do on Here Today! * Today's additional music: "Catching Feelings," Audiobinger "Manele," Blue Dot Sessions "Never Can Stop It," Lobo Loco
#MeToo Means Men, Too
Episode of
Strange Fruit
Social movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp have brought greater attention to the issue of sexual harassment and sexual assault. These movements are largely focused on women and girls – so what about the nearly 1 in 4 men who have experienced sexual violence? Zeke Thomas is a music producer, deejay and the son of NBA Hall of Famer Isaiah Thomas – and he’s a survivor of sexual assault and rape. In 2017, Thomas revealed in a nationally-televised interview that he was sexually assaulted at 12 years old, and then experienced date rape at the age 27, committed by a man he met on a dating app. Thomas joins this week to discuss his journey from silent victim to empowered advocate in his role as first male advocate for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Beyond the work he’s done as for Sexual Violence awareness and LGBTQ and racial equality, Thomas is also a popular Hollywood DJ, having performed for celebrities including Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg, and Jay-Z. Thomas also reveals what music is certain to get Barack Obama and Joe Biden out of their seats and dancing. Later in the show we’re joined by longtime friend to the show Dr. Frederick Smith, who first joined us in 2015 to discuss his novel "Play It Forward." (He’s also the author of "Right Side of the Wrong Bed," a Lambda Literary Award finalist.) Smith joins us this week with poet and creative writer Chaz Lamar, to discuss their new novel, In Case You Forgot, which tells the story of two newly-single black queer, men who are packing up and starting again—in love, career, and life—in the West Hollywood neighborhood of LA. And in Juicy Fruit: A shopper at a Texas Walmart learns the hard way that  you can have your cake but you must pay for it, too! Help make Strange Fruit possible! Click here to support out show: _
Promise Of A New Day (Again)
Episode of
Here Today
When someone makes a promise to you and then doesn’t follow through, would you believe them the next time? And if you trust them a second time and they don’t come through, what about a third time? In recent years, plans for new developments in the West End -- like the FoodPort and a Super Walmart -- have come and gone. Now, west Louisville residents are again being asked to put their faith in planned developments aimed at revitalizing the neighborhoods, particularly Russell. Will things be different this time? For some projects, the answer seems to be yes -- things are going along as planned. For others, the future seems less certain. _ Here Today is listener supported, and every little bit helps. Click here to support the work we do:
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Louisville, KY, USA
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
1 week, 16 hours