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.
Between growing public interest in the racial justice movement, a polarizing political landscape and folks trapped indoors for nearly nine months now, online activism is at an all time high. Accordingly, white supremacists who spew vitriolic and violent language and ideas also abound across social media platforms. This week Ron Dawson joins us to discuss his recent essay, "There’s a Jim Crow Mentality on Social Media,” which outlines his experiences combating racist trolls and threats of violence online. Later, diversity trainer Risha Grant joins us to discuss her idea that "radical acceptance" of our diverse selves makes us more valuable personally and professionally.
The body positivity movement has been extremely important in combatting our country's fatphobia and teaching us all to love our bodies just as they are. Kelsey Miller, founder of "The Anti-Diet Project," is this week's guest and joins us to explain “How Whiteness Killed the Body Positive Movement.” Miller shares her learning journey about white privilege and intersectionality and she says the body positivity movement must heed the work and labor of Black fat positive activists in order to keep the movement growing. We also chat with Elijah Li, founder of SOULE magazine and the SOULE Foundation about why it's important for Black LGBTQ+ folks to see reflections of themselves in a world that is both anti-Black and anti-queer.
This week writer Leigh Green discusses her compelling op-ed, "White Supremacy in Me: Light-skinned and part of the problem," where she acknowledges the privileges associated with her skin tone, and challenges other light skin folk to begin the work of using their proximity to whiteness to disrupt an unjust system and spark a revolution. Later, we speak with Peter Mercurio and Danny Stewart, who adopted their son after finding him abandoned in a New York City subway. They join us to tell their story and talk about Peter's heartwarming book "Our Subway Baby," which details their family's journey.
Nefertiti Austin was adopted by her grandparents when she was a kid because her parents struggled with addiction. She joins us this week, as a single parent of two adopted children, to discuss her book, "Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting." And we talk about her New York Times piece, "Grandparents, Kin and Play Cousins: The Soul and Survival of Black Families," which explores how African American families' use of fictive kinship ties and multigenerational structures have helped families survive through generations of violence, struggle and oppression. Later in the show, award-winning poet and Louisville native Joy Priest joins us to discuss her new book of poetry, "Horsepower," which was awarded the Donald Hall Prize for Poetry.
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Creator Details

Louisville, KY, USA
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
1 week, 2 days
Podchaser Creator ID logo 610763