Virginia Prescott

Host - On Second Thought

Virginia Prescott is the Gracie Award-winning host of On Second Thought for Georgia Public Broadcasting. Before joining GPB, she was host of Word of Mouth, Writers on A New England Stage and the I-Tunes Top Ten Podcasts Civics 101 and The 10-Minute Writers Workshop on New Hampshire Public Radio. Prior to joining NHPR, she was editor, producer, and director on NPR programs On Point and Here & Now, and Director of Interactive media for New York Public Radio.

Throughout her radio career, Virginia has worked to build sustainable independent radio in the developing world and has trained journalists in post-conflict zones from Sierra Leone to the Balkans. She was a member of the Peabody Award-winning production team for Jazz from Lincoln Center with Ed Bradley and the recipient of a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University.

Virginia loves working as a radio and podcast host, but regrets that so many good outfits go unnoticed.

Hurricane Michael makes landfall in Florida on Wednesday. The hurricane is expected to hit the northeastern coast of Georgia and continue through the southwest and center of the state, according to the National Weather Service. We spoke with Marshall Shepherd, the program director for atmospheric sciences at the University of Georgia, about tracking the hurricane over the week and how meterologists convey the severity of storms. We also spoke with Gwen Cooper, an author and pet rescue expert about what to do with pets during extreme weather.


Courtesy Wildsam

"Wildsam" is not your typical travel guide. Created by LaGrange, Georgia, native Taylor Bruce, the highly-designed, pocket-sized Wildsam Field Guide has no starred ratings or glossy photos. Described as existing between a magazine and a guidebook, each Wildsam is instead filled with illustrations and longform essays, interviews with locals and essential knowledge about a place's history as well as critical issues it faces today. The aim, Bruce said, is to give travelers a true sense of place, regardless of where they're from or where they're going. This time, Wildsam is sending travelers across the American South with its newest Road Trip guide.


A new oral history project reaches back over the decades for stories of black queer people in Atlanta. It highlights shifting sites of connectedness across the city.

Ashley Coleman Taylor is the principle investigator for the oral history project as well as an instructor of women's studies at Agnes Scott College. She spoke about the importance of centering black queer stories in Atlanta. We also spoke with Rev. Duncan Teague, from Abundant LUUv Unitarian Universalist Church, who worked with Taylor on the project.


Weather hurricane michael hurricane
Brendan Farrington / Associated Press

Hurricane Michael makes landfall in Florida on Wednesday. The hurricane is expected to hit the northeastern coast of Georgia and continue through the southwest and center of the state, according to the National Weather Service.

We spoke with Marshall Shepherd, the program director for atmospheric sciences at the University of Georgia, about tracking the hurricane over the week and how meterologists convey the severity of storms. We also spoke with Gwen Cooper, an author and pet rescue expert about what to do with pets during extreme weather.


Georgia has the seventh highest rate of uninsured children in the country. The problem is especially severe in low-income communities. The report from Voices of Georgia's Children shows 80 percent of Georgia children who were eligible for medicaid or Peachcare in 2016 weren't enrolled. Virginia Prescott spoke with executive director from Voices of Georgia's Children, Erica Sitkoff, and editor of Georgia Health News, Andy Miller, about the barriers Georgians face.


LaRaven Taylor/GPB

Being a teenager today is difficult enough. For many, shifting definitions of sexual orientation adds layers of adolescent angst. A new young adult novel from The New York Times bestselling author, Nic Stone follows how questions of gender and indentity play out in the lives of three teens in a Decatur high school.

Onlinemediarelease/Flickr

Georgia has the seventh highest rate of uninsured children in the country. The problem is especially severe in low-income communities. The report from Voices of Georgia's Children shows 80 percent of Georgia children who were eligible for medicaid or Peachcare in 2016 weren't enrolled.

Bubba73 (Jud McCranie) / Wikimedia Commons

A startling number of children eligible for Medicaid or PeachCare in Georgia still don’t have insurance coverage, a recent study has found. Another reason kids don’t see doctors as often as they should is also a factor for adults: access. It’s not just cost, but the lack of physicians, especially in rural Georgia.


There aren't many African-American males who play lead roles in superhero or Sci-Fi films. 

Jessica Handler

Jessica Handler is author of "Braving The Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Invisible Sisters: A Memoir." Handler gave her list of favorite southern books. Her forthcoming novel, "Magnetic Girl" will be available in 2019.


Myles Truitt/Twitter

There aren't many African-American males who play lead roles in superhero or Sci-Fi films. Earlier this year, we got a taste of representation in "Black Panther." The movie made more than $1 billion in less than a month. "Kin" is a new Sci-fi film, starring a young black man.


CollageMaker / NPR

David Sedaris is a pioneer. Twenty-six years ago, the humorist busted through public radio’s polite veneer as a begrudging department store elf in "The SantaLand Diaries." Ten books later, Sedaris is a best-selling author who draws thousands of fans to his public readings. He writes frequently and candidly about his wisecracking, eccentric family. "Calypso," his newest collection of essays, is no exception. Virginia Prescott asked Sedaris about family, aging and writing about the negative when he stopped by GPB on his last sweep through Georgia. 


The U.S. Senate plans to vote this Friday on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Given his record, predictions are that Kavanaugh will shift the court to a conservative majority. That got us wondering about what cases are on the docket for the term that began on Monday. We spoke with Fred Smith, Jr. about cases to watch during the 2018-2019 term. Smith is an associate professor of law at Emory University School of Law.

Twitter / A3C

When Hip-Hop hit big in the early '70s, classics flooded out from New York and Los Angeles. Then came Atlanta, and we had A3C, a hip-hop music festival and conference for all three coasts.

Kjetil Ree/Flickr

The U.S. Senate plans to vote this Friday on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Given his record, predictions are that Kavanaugh will shift the court to a conservative majority. That got us wondering about what cases are on the docket for the term that began on Monday. We spoke with Fred Smith, Jr. about cases to watch during the 2018-2019 term. Smith is an associate professor of law at Emory University School of Law.

Next Monday, public schools and state offices across Georgia close to mark Columbus Day. Five states, more than 50 cities and dozens of universities no longer observe the federal holiday. Most instead celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day. After a unanimous vote this summer, South Fulton became the first city in Georgia to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day. On Second Thought’s Virginia Prescott spoke with Mayor Pro Tem Mark Baker about the ctiy's new holiday. 

Lisa Yaszek, professor of science fiction studies, in front of a bookshelf seated at a table.
Rob Felt / Georgia Tech

Women have historically been erased from science fiction storytelling, but Lisa Yaszek is working to change that. Her new anthology “The Future Is Female! 25 Classic Science Fiction Stories by Women, from Pulp Pioneers to Ursula K. Le Guin” showcases female pioneers in the genre since the 1920s.

We spoke with Yaszek, who is a professor of science fiction studies at Georgia Tech, about how women have shaped our understanding of technology and identity.

Courtesy Pride School Atlanta

Pride School Atlanta, an LGBTQ-affirming school, closed its doors in September after two years of operations. The school's closing came amid low enrollment and financial challenges. Christian Zsilavetz opened Pride School Atlanta in August of 2016 to create a space accepting of everyone and free of homophobia and transphobia. He joined us for a conversation about the future of LGBTQ-affirming education after Pride School Atlanta. 


Twitter

Next Monday, public schools and state offices across Georgia close to mark Columbus Day. Five states, more than 50 cities and dozens of universities no longer observe the federal holiday. Most instead celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day.


The FBI is currently investigating allegations of sexual assault made against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Tens of millions of Americans watched testimony from Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. Responses to the hearings and the #MeToo Movement make clear sexual violence is something that must be addressed in the public sphere. We spoke with University of Georgia psychology professor Isha Metzger and Sally Sheppard, executive director of The Cottage, a sexual assault center and children's advocacy center. We discussed how we talk about sexual assault in our communities. 


Leighton Rowell / GPB

From social media to Capitol Hill, conversations about sexual assault are dominating the national dialogue, taking a topic that for decades was taboo to the center of public debate.

 

We asked how these conversations have gone with your loved ones.


The ongoing debate over so-called religious freedom laws recently surfaced in the Georgia gubernatorial race. Democrat Stacey Abrams told a group in Savannah the law is unnecessary -- and could prevent prospective employers from setting up shop in Georgia. Meanwhile, Republican rival Brian Kemp has pledged to sign a religious protection law. That got us thinking about the nature of laws on Georgia’s books. We learn about some curious and outdated ones.

Art Georgia Gallery
Jessica Caldas

Some survivors of sexual assault have chosen to tell their stories through creative mediums. Jessica Caldas is an Atlanta-based artist and activist who tells women’s stories through her artwork. She wants her art to create space for her audience to have difficult conversations about trauma and healing.

We spoke with Caldas about the role of art in processing her own sexual assault.

Christine Blasey Ford
Associated Press

The FBI is currently investigating allegations of sexual assault made against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Tens of millions of Americans watched testimony from Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Kavanaugh.

Responses to the hearings and the #MeToo Movement make clear sexual violence is something that must be addressed in the public sphere. We spoke with University of Georgia psychology professor Isha Metzger and Sally Sheppard, executive director of The Cottage, a sexual assault center and children's advocacy center. We discussed how we talk about sexual assault in our communities.


Flickr

Christina Ham's play "Nina Simone: Four Women" follows the activism and creative legacy of the fiercely talented Nina Simone.

 

The woman known as "The High Priestess of Soul" aspired to be America's first black classical pianist, and left a lasting impression on music that resonates today.

 

We spoke with director Michele Shay and actors Adrienne Reynolds, Wendy Fox-Williams, Jordan Frazier, and Regina Marie Williams on the way the characters each represent a different aspect of Simone's life.

 


There are a lot of film and television projects being produced right now in Georgia. We got a rundown of some of what’s in production from Kalena Boller. She works as a location manager in Georgia’s film industry. She also gave us a preview of her upcoming GPB podcast, "The Credits." It focuses on the stories of the people who work behind the scenes.

 

Lee Coursey / flickr

In June, Atlanta’s iconic Hotel Clermont reopened after an extensive renovation, a matter of concern for fans of the dingy strip club in the hotel basement called the Clermont Lounge.

The Man Behind The Predator Mask

Sep 27, 2018
Kimberley French / 20th Century Fox

This month, the movie The Predator came to theaters. In the new remake of the 1987 film, the actor wearing the alien mask is Georgia-native Brian Prince. Brian was a student at SCAD when he plunged into the gravity defying stunts of parkour. He told us how he got involved in the film industry as a stuntman.

Arthur Mola / Invision/AP

There are a lot of film and television projects being produced right now in Georgia. We get a rundown of some of what’s in production from Kalena Boller. She works as a location manager in Georgia’s film industry. She also gives us a preview of her upcoming GPB podcast, "The Credits." It focuses on the stories of the people who work behind the scenes.

 

Elise Amendola / The Associated Press

Pressure is ratcheting up on U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). She’s considered a swing vote in the confirmation of federal judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Collins’ office has been deluged with calls, threats, and a crowdsourcing campaign to unseat her if she votes for Kavanaugh has raised more than a million dollars. On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott talks with Sen. Collins at the ‘Constitutionally Speaking’ series event at  Saint Anselm College.


Pages