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Art of Power

A weekly Society and Culture podcast featuring Aarti Shahani
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Episodes of Art of Power

Nikole Hannah-Jones won the Pulitzer Prize for creating The 1619 Project, a series from The New York Times that reframes American history by placing the institution of slavery at the center of the national narrative. The project was released as
The inaugural season of WBEZ’s Art of Power podcast comes to a close after nearly 30 episodes. In our season finale, Aarti asks listeners to take stock, internalize lessons learned and make a commitment: What am I doing — or going to do — to fi
Tarana Burke created the “Me Too” movement 15 years before #MeToo went viral in the wake of the 2017 Harvey Weinstein scandal. On Art of Power, she tells host Aarti Shahani how she did it. Burke, author of the new memoir Unbound, said she had
Margaret Cho, an elder stateswoman in comedy, began touring the stand up circuit as a teenager. She dropped out of school and, at age 23, launched the very first TV sitcom about an Asian-American family, All American Girl. The show bombed. And
Common is an actor, writer, and hip hop artist who’s won a Grammy, an Emmy and an Oscar, putting him a Tony award away from a rare EGOT. As he explains on Art of Power, Common is not just a man of contradictions, but a man able to hold contrad
Nearly one third of American workers under age 40 are thinking about changing careers, according to a Washington Post poll. I was one of them. I pivoted from grassroots organizer in prisons to NPR’s Silicon Valley correspondent. I then pivoted
When Kemp Powers seized the world’s attention in 2020 with two blockbuster movies — 'One Night In Miami,' which he wrote, and 'Soul,' which he co-wrote and co-directed — he was 47 years old. His envious achievements are the culmination of an un
Yaël Farber grew up in South Africa during Apartheid, an era when the country’s white minority government racially segregated and brutalized Black South Africans. Farber, a white woman, said the cognitive dissonance she experienced “turned into
For decades, the country has witnessed police shootings of Black people and grappled with a question: Are police racist? Are police departments racist? Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff and his team are finding answers using cold, hard data, and using it
Leigh Bardugo is among the most celebrated young adult novelists of our time. She’s the author of - among many novels - 'Shadow and Bone,' a fantasy series with over 2.5 million books sold. It’s now a Netflix hit that became the most streamed s
Evanston, Illinois is the first city in the United States to fund a reparations program for black residents with local tax dollars. That’s thanks to Robin Rue Simmons. She was a graduate of Evanston Township High School, just a one-term city c
Fred Swaniker is CEO of the African Leadership Group. He's been named one of the world’s most influential people by Time Magazine. And the entrepreneur from Ghana has the ambitious goal of educating 3 million young people over 50 years. On Art
Randi Weingarten is the first openly gay president of a labor union in America. The president of the American Federation of Teachers, Weingarten represents 1.7 million teachers, healthcare workers and support staff across the country. Decades
Justin Baldoni is best known for his role as Rafael, the bad boy heartthrob from the TV series ‘Jane The Virgin.’ In the real world, Baldoni is on a very public mission to “undefine” a version of masculinity he says is hurting men “far more t
Stacey Abrams, one of the highest profile democracy activists on the planet, is many other things: politician, entrepreneur, lawyer, novelist, even TV producer. She nearly became the first Black woman to govern a state in the U.S. In a wide-ra
The political divisiveness of the 2016 election led Katie Fahey to write a Facebook post. “I’d like to take on gerrymandering in Michigan,” she said. “If you’re interested in doing this as well please let me know.” Over the next two years, she
Kevin Chou, who could definitely be retired, is definitely not. He’s on a mission to wrest power away from the handful of companies that seemingly own the Internet. Chou is the founder of Kabam, a video game company behind dozens of popular mo
What matters inside the halls of Congress is not how many retweets you get, it’s how many votes you control. Elected to Congress in 2016, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., has established that power with remarkable speed. She is chair of the Congr
Ezra Klein, founder of Vox.com, is now a New York Times columnist and podcaster. He wants to fix the broken system that is Congress, yet he finds himself operating from inside another broken system: mass media. Ezra talks with Art of Power hos
Educating is hard work. And for the people who work for Geoffrey Canada — the man who created one of the most ambitious education models in existence — burnout is real. “It sounds glib when I say this work is not for everybody, but it’s not fo
Reshma Saujani used to be a Big Tech evangelist. She raised a lot of money to build Girls Who Code, a celebrated organization that’s trained nearly half a million girls and young women in tech. But in recent years, she’s come to question if co
Ai-jen Poo’s life’s work involves bringing dignity and fairness to domestic workers, often women of color, who care for our children and elders and clean our homes. She has mentored and employed leading activists, including a founder of Black L
Sal Khan challenged the education model we’ve been using for centuries. In so doing, he created the largest school in existence. He explains how he wanted Khan Academy to offer a world class education — like a Harvard or an Oxford — except onl
Former President Barack Obama tells ‘Art of Power’ that society has made progress in recognizing the most toxic elements of bad behavior by men. Now, he wants to flip the focus. “What are the positive values that we're trying to instill in ou
David Collins, creator of the Netflix hit ‘Queer Eye,’ used reality TV to push for cultural acceptance of the LGBTQ community. The idea for the show? It was born at a wine and cheese party.
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