Sean Powers

Director of Podcasting

Sean Powers is Georgia Public Broadcasting's first director of podcasting. He joined GPB in 2014 as a producer/reporter with On Second Thought, and remained with the program until 2018. For his last four months on the show, he served as acting senior producer.  Powers is a native of the south suburbs of Chicago, and he graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Missouri. In 2012, he completed a fellowship at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He moved to Atlanta after working as a reporter for the public radio station in Urbana, Ill. His reporting has earned him a dozen Associated Press awards, two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, five national PRNDI awards, honors from the Atlanta Press Club, and recognition from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters. Powers previously developed podcasts for ListenUp Audiobooks in Atlanta. He's also mentored teenage journalists who report for VOX Teen Communications, a magazine in Atlanta.

Ways to Connect

Laughing Skull Lounge

For many young people, turning 21 means buying their first legal drink. For On Second Thought intern and aspiring comedian Monique Bandong, it meant finally being able to perform at a 21+ venue. Okay, it also meant her first legal drink. Maybe drinks. "Sorry, Mom," she says.


On Second Thought For Friday, June 22, 2018

Jun 22, 2018
GPB

Georgia has the nation’s third largest rural school population, but less than 30 percent of those students attend a big college or university. Part of the explanation is that students from rural areas are more likely to come from low-income households, and transitioning from a small town to a big city can both be daunting and financially nerve-racking for students thinking about college. We talked to Marjorie Poss, a guidance counselor at Pickens High School, about why students decide to stay close to home and how these fears can be overcome. We also spoke with Hannah Velcoff, a student who made the leap from Dawson County to New York University.


On Second Thought for Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Jun 20, 2018
GPB

June is Pride Month. This year, Atlanta’s Pride Committee and the LGBT Institute at the Center for Civil and Human Rights are partnering with the Fox Theatre to celebrate the 49th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which ignited an equal rights movement in what became the LGBT community. We spoke with Emmy Award-winning comedian Wanda Sykes, who’s headlining a comedy show at the Fox in celebration of Pride Month.


June is Pride Month. This year, Atlanta’s Pride Committee and the LGBT Institute at the Center for Civil and Human Rights are partnering with the Fox Theatre to celebrate the 49th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which ignited an equal rights movement in what became the LGBT community. We spoke with Emmy Award-winning comedian Wanda Sykes, who’s headlining a comedy show at the Fox in celebration of Pride Month.


On Second Thought for Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Jun 19, 2018
GPB

The history of Juneteenth goes like this: President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. But two years later, on June 19, 1865, slaves in Texas finally got the news that they were free. Now Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. However, many people have never heard of the holiday or even celebrate it. Historian and storyteller Lillian Grant Baptiste joined us from Savannah to give the history of Juneteenth and why people should celebrate the holiday.


On Second Thought for Friday, June 15, 2018

Jun 15, 2018
GPB

The United Methodist Children’s Home reports there are more than 15,000 children in Georgia's foster care system — and that number is growing. But because of the increased need, UMCH has to say turn away children in need at least 40 times a week, so it reached out to churches for help. That's how Brett Hillesheim started fostering children. Hillesheim has fostered 18 kids within the past few years, and he now works with UMCH. 


On Second Thought for Thursday, June 14, 2018

Jun 14, 2018
GPB

Flannery O’Connor is regarded by many as Georgia’s greatest fiction writer. Her books are written with dark humor, eccentric characters, and it’s all set in a devout Catholic faith. All of which made her a leading voice in southern gothic literature.

 

 


Mariam Akbar / GPB

Most of America’s history has the experiences of food segregated. Everything differentiated between white and black Americans from: where you shopped, how you ate, what you ate, and the value of certain cuisines. Todd Richards, an Atlanta chef and owner of Richard’s Southern Fried just released his newest book about the ever-changing southern recipes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

Flannery O’Connor is regarded by many as Georgia’s greatest fiction writer. Her books are written with dark humor, eccentric characters, and it’s all set in a devout Catholic faith. All of which made her a leading voice in southern gothic literature.

 


On Second Thought for Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Jun 13, 2018
GPB

According the United States Census Bureau, there are nearly 50,000 homeless veterans in America. In order to combat these issues with housing, popular TV shows like “Tiny House Hunters”are looking to create tiny homes as a solution.

  

The Chatham Savannah Authority for Homeless has organized the “Tiny Home Project” in order to fight this growing problem.

 


On Second Thought For Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Jun 12, 2018
GPB

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta says suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and according to a new report, the number of people who take their own lives has risen substantially since 1999. Per the report, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older took their own lives in 2016. Georgia alone saw a 16 percent increase in suicides from 1999-2016. Emory University professor Nadine Kaslow and Doreen Marshall of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention say more needs to be done to prevent these tragedies.


On Second Thought For Monday, June 11, 2018

Jun 12, 2018
GPB

Every month approximately 374 girls are sexually exploited in Georgia. On average, they are 12-14 years old. Last month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Atlanta office collaborated with nearly 40 local law enforcement agencies to rescue 148 missing children who had become victims of human trafficking. Some were as young as three years old.To learn more about Operation Safe Summer, we spoke with FBI agent Nathan Whiteman, who spearheaded the operation.


On Second Thought For Friday, June 8, 2018

Jun 8, 2018
GPB

Thirty-seven million Americans live in poverty today. According to the National Women's Law Center, more than half of them are women. Race, health and gender discrimination contribute to this disparity, but to learn about the economic history that led us to where we are today, we spoke with Diana Pearce and George Robb.


On Second Thought For Thursday, June 7, 2018

Jun 7, 2018
GPB

Jason Reynolds didn't get through a whole book until he was 17. He's now a bestselling author, and he's trying to change the way young people feel about reading. Inspired by hip-hop, Reynolds now writes books to get young people to excited about reading. He has various awards to his name, including an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Youth/Teen and a National Book Award finalist designation for his book "Ghost."

Courtesy Dust-to-Digital

"Southern" has a variety of meanings in the personal and popular imagination. It's a term that evokes history, food and musical traditions and ways of speaking. They often get lumped together, especially by those who don't know the South.


On Second Thought For Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Jun 6, 2018
GPB

The Georgia 2018 legislative session recently legalized the use of cannabis oil for treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD affects about 31 million people in the United States. The disorder is often associated with veterans, but another group of heroes — first responders — also struggle with the disorder. According to one survey, one in 15 paramedics and EMTs has attempted suicide. Heather Harp, a paramedic in Atlanta, says she and her colleagues need more support in their battle against PTSD. 

On Second Thought For Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Jun 5, 2018
GPB

Graduation Achievement Charter High School was founded in 2012 to help at-risk students earn their diplomas. But after six years of poor performance, Georgia’s first virtual charter high school — and only “alternative”  school within the state charter system — is shutting down. The last senior class graduates later this month. To learn more about the future of virtual and alternative charter schools in Georgia, we spoke with Atlanta Journal-Constitution education reporter Vanessa McCray.

On Second Thought For Monday, June 4, 2018

Jun 4, 2018
GPB

The 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education made segregation of America’s public schools illegal. But decades before Thurgood Marshall argued for Linda Brown's right to attend the all-white school closest to her house in Topeka, Kansas, lawsuits brought by little girls and young women chipped away at the foundations of segregated education. New research finds their grassroots efforts paved the way for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) legal battle to integrate schools nationally.


On Second Thought For Thursday, May 31, 2018

May 31, 2018
GPB

In a bid to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Alabama and six other states recently filed a lawsuit against it. The Obama-era program protects about 700,000 young immigrants from deportation. In Georgia, there are roughly 24,000 DREAMers, a term that describes undocumented immigrants whose family brought them to the United States as children, and who have grown up in the U.S. 

On Second Thought For Wednesday, May 30, 2018

May 30, 2018
GPB

To many Georgians, barbecue is not just food. It's a lifestyle. Over the years, barbecue has evolved in the Atlanta area. Southern folks still grill out, but in recent years the cuisine has re-emerged as an integrated bond of multiple different cultures and communities. Over the next few months, we'll explore Georgia’s greatest barbecue joints and step into their kitchens to see what makes their food different. To start off our the series, we sat down with John T. Edge. He’s the director of the Southern Foodways Alliance and author of "The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South."

Leighton Rowell / GPB

"Barbecue Nation," a new exhibit at the Atlanta History Center, takes a deep dive into the history and culture of the South's most-loved food. But barbecue, like the South and the rest of the United States, is increasingly global. So "On Second Thought" is setting out on a series of roadtrips to see how different cultures and countries represented right here in Georgia do barbecue.

We started off with a visit to Chama Gaúcha, a Brazilian restaurant in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. Nelcir Muller, the general manager, took us inside the kitchen to show us how people in Brazil — South America's largest country — make their barbecue. In Portugeuse it's called "churrasco." 

On Second Thought For Tuesday, May 29, 2018

May 29, 2018
GPB

Here’s something you add to your burn book. "Mean Girls" is now a Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical. The musical is up for 12 awards. (That’s so fetch!) The play features an all-star cast of mainstays and breakouts, including Grey Henson, who is nominated for the Tony for best featured actor in a musical. Henson grew up in Macon and plays Damian in the show. The actor talked with On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott about life on Broadway and what it’s like working with Tina Fey.

Virginia Prescott joined the On Second Thought team at Georgia Public Broadcasting earlier in May. Prescott, the new host of On Second Thought, comes to GPB from New Hampshire Public Radio, where she hosted "Word of Mouth" and the "Civics 101" podcast, which is used in classrooms throughout the United States. She spoke with Adam Ragusea about the move from New England to the South, and why she loves Georgia.

On Second Thought For Thursday, May 24, 2018

May 24, 2018

Last month, cast members from TV’s “A Different World” reunited at Home Depot’s Atlanta headquarters. They were there to award renovation grant money to nine Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports HBCUs have received less philanthropic support than most colleges and universities, particularly for infrastructure and campus renovation projects. The AJC has looked at the role of HBCU’s across the country and the financial health of these schools. We spoke with AJC reporter Ernie Suggs.

On Second Thought For Wednesday, May 23, 2018

May 23, 2018

After writing his New York Times op-ed, “Dear White America," George Yancy received hundreds of hateful messages. Yancy, an Emory University professor of philosophy, knew that his letter was controversial, but he says he never thought he would receive literal death threats. This past April, he released his newest book, "Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly About Racism in America." It addresses how people confronted him after the publication of his op-ed, and how to proceed from there. In his book, he asks white Americans to rise above their initial racial response and have empathy for the African-American community. George Yancy joined us in studio to talk about "Backlash."

Matthew Sweet Returns To Georgia

May 23, 2018
Courtesy Matthew Sweet

Singer and songwriter Matthew Sweet got his start in the Athens, Georgia, music scene in the 1980s. His star rose in the 90s with hits like 100% Fun, Altered Beast and Blue Sky on Mars. Sweet’s drive to creative music hasn’t slowed down.

The United States Department of Justice estimates nearly two-thirds of all jail inmates have mental health problems. In Georgia, a new investigation raises serious questions about the quality of care those inmates receive.Over the last decade, 1 in 6 of more than 500 deaths in Georgia jails has involved inmates who showed signs of mental illness, the Georgia News Lab, WSB-TV and Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation has found. We spoke with Georgia News Lab reporters Christina Maxouris and Harrison Young to find out more. The AJC's Brad Schrade also joined.

It's been 100 years since a Spanish influenza epidemic killed as many as 50 million people worldwide, including 675,000 Americans. A new book on the deadly pandemic is out this week. It's called “More Deadly Than War.” The author, Kenneth C. Davis, talked with us about how the Spanish flu affected the course of World War I.

Colleges and universities across Georgia have wrapped up the semester, but one Morehouse College student has more work to do. Last year, Julien Turner took an extra credit biology assignment and turned it into a viral music video about the differences between mitosis and meiosis. The rising junior's video made it all the way to the people who work on "Sesame Street." Now, Julien and his brother are creating an educational music video for the show. Julien spoke with GPB's Leah Fleming about the project.

Atlanta’s Donald Glover has found a new level of success. He’s an actor, the creator of a hit show named after his hometown of Atlanta, and a rapper under the name Childish Gambino. But his most powerful statement might be “This Is America”, a new song and video released over the weekend. Freelance entertainment reporter Jewel Wicker gives us her take on the video and what role musicians should play when it comes to social issues.

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