Emilia Brock

Producer, On Second Thought

Emilia Brock is a producer for GPB's program, "On Second Thought."

Emilia is a passionate storyteller and has experience in a number of creative fields, including journalism, photography, video and radio production, fiction writing and more.

She has held a variety of professional roles, ranging from arts and culture reporting to communications for Atlanta's Delta Air Lines. She was even, at one point, a street performer in Helsinki, Finland, writing stories and poems on demand.

Emilia got her start in journalism early on, writing for her local newspaper, “The Daily Breeze,” before even graduating high school. She went on to write a weekly column for that paper, recounting her experiences as a freshman at New York University. There, she double-majored in journalism and English & American literature, and minored in music, graduating cum laude.

Emilia is originally from Los Angeles, and while she will always have love for her former cities in the Avocado State and the Big Apple, she is thrilled to make her home here, now, in the Peach State.

State officials say more than 100,000 service members from Georgia were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan between 2001 and 2012. Nationally, about 20 percent of veterans coming back from those conflicts have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and traumatic brain injuries. Alchemy Sky Foundation is an Atlanta organization that helps people heal through music. It recently worked with a group of metro Atlanta veterans to create a song called "Adjust Fire." 


It takes about a decade to grow a productive pecan tree, but only a matter of minutes to take one down. Five months after the storm, a University of Georgia specialist estimates that Hurricane Michael left 75 percent of pecan crops unviable in several south Georgia counties. Combined losses in the state's agricultural sector run around $2.5 billion. 


It's hard enough to eat well and stay in shape, but, in several parts of Georgia, residents don't even have access to nutritious foods.  The Georgia Farmers Market Association is trying to bring awareness to the issue and help overcome barriers to access. Its initiatives connect small growers with communities that don't have good options to buy fresh, high-quality meat and produce. 


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It's hard enough to eat well and stay in shape, but, in several parts of Georgia, residents don't even have access to nutritious foods. 

The Georgia Farmers Market Association is trying to bring awareness to the issue and help overcome barriers to access. Its initiatives connect small growers with communities that don't have good options to buy fresh, high-quality meat and produce. 


We're in the final weeks of the 2019 legislative session, and lawmakers are not going out quietly. They're debating changes to Georgia's abortion laws. House Bill 481, otherwise known as the "heartbeat" bill, already passed the House last week. Republican Rep. Ed Setzler of Acworth, the bill's sponsor, says he aims to prevent doctors from performing an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected. 

GPB politics reporter Stephen Fowler and "Lawmakers" Capitol correspondent Donna Lowry stopped by "On Second Thought" with an update on that legislation and other bills making their way through the Gold Dome.


Caroline Ervin and Cristen Conger made a splash with their How Stuff Works podcast “Stuff Mom Never Told You.”  Now, the Georgia duo has transitioned to entrepreneurship with a company called Unladylike Media.  The two host a weekly, feminist podcast that shares their company’s name.  Caroline says it’s, “where we investigate what happens when women break the rules.” Along with the podcast, they also have a book out called, “Unladylike: A Field Guide to Smashing the Patriarchy and Claiming Your Space.” Caroline and Cristen talked feminism and journalism with “On Second Thought” host Virginia Prescott.

 

Daylight saving time is behind us, and spring is just around the corner. To celebrate, "On Second Thought" is reflecting on a Southern icon: The Quercus virginiana is Georgia's official tree. It's better known as the live oak tree and has held the title since 1937.

These majestic, ancient trees are symbols of the South in postcards, films and online travel sites. Greg Levine, co-executive director and chief program officer at Trees Atlanta, stopped by the show to explain the history and nature of live oak trees. 


AP Photo/John Bazemore

Collisions that involve cars, pedestrians and bicycles are on the rise across the U.S., including in Georgia. The Atlanta Regional Commission reported a 53 percent jump in such collisions in metro Atlanta between 2006 and 2015. The number of serious injuries or fatalities from these collisions over that time went up by 26 percent.

 

Thomas Wheatley is articles editor for Atlanta Magazine and recently wrote an article covering the issue of rising bicycle and pedestrian fatalities in Atlanta. He joined "On Second Thought" to discuss the causes of increased collisions — and efforts to reduce them.

 

 

Eighteen miles of I-85 could be an on-ramp to the future. The Ray C. Anderson Memorial Highway, or The Ray, stretches from West Point to LaGrange. Named for a carpet manufacturer once called the "greenest CEO," The Ray is now a proving ground for technologies that could make infrastructure safer and more ecologically sustainable. So, how would it work? We asked Allie Kelly, executive director of The Ray.


On today's show, GPB reporters recapped events from crossover day at the Capitol, "Macon Conversations" addressed issues of identity, and the Dining for Women founder helped preview GPB's International Women's Day Panel.

During crossover day, bills must be clear of one chamber or the other to remain in play for the rest of the legislative session. Both chambers passed a wave of legislation by the deadline, including a "heartbeat" abortion bill. GPB politics reporter Stephen Fowler and Capitol correspondent for GPB TV's "Lawmakers," Donna Lowry, joined "On Second Thought" to discuss this week in Georgia politics.

Women's educational opportunities in the 19th Century were few and far between. Finishing schools focused on women's socialization and skills like art, music and French, rather than a rigorous academic curriculum.

The Lucy Cobb Institute in Athens aimed to change that. It opened in 1859 and taught women finishing school skills alongside math and science classes. The institute cemented Athens as a place for women's education in the South.

 


Last week, the governing body of the United Methodist Church voted to uphold a ban on same-sex marriage and openly gay clergy.  The “Traditional Plan” won by a narrow margin at the annual meeting of the General Conference.  It defeated the “One Church Plan,” which would have allowed local congregations to make their own decisions on LGBT issues.

Dean of the Emory’s Candler School of Theology, Jan Love, was at the conference.  The school is one of thirteen Methodist seminaries in the country. During “On Second Thought,” Dean Love explored the implications of the vote here in Georgia.

 


(AP Photo/Sid Hastings)

Last week, the governing body of the United Methodist Church voted to uphold a ban on same-sex marriage and openly gay clergy.  The “Traditional Plan” won by a narrow margin at the annual meeting of the General Conference.  It defeated the “One Church Plan,” which would have allowed local congregations to make their own decisions on LGBT issues.

Jan Love, dean of Emory University's Candler School of Theology, was at the conference. The school is one of 13 Methodist seminaries in the country. During “On Second Thought,” Love explored the implications of the vote here in Georgia.


A tornado whipped through Southeast Alabama Sunday evening along the Georgia border, causing injuries and property damage through both states. Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency in Grady, Harris and Talbot counties on Monday due to storm damage. The Lee County sheriff said 23 people have died thus far in the Alabama county where the tornado touched down.

GPB's Grant Blankenship joined "On Second Thought" to discuss his reporting on the storm's impact in Georgia. He said affected areas in Georgia are some of the same ones still recovering from Hurricane Michael.

 


Georgia Pecan Commission

The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other media are reporting that the U.S. and China are closer to an agreement on trade. They're citing anonymous sources briefed on the matter.

The Trump administration waived its deadline for imposing additional tariffs on China last week, and talks over the weekend could mean a reduction in tariffs by both countries to pre-dispute levels. The news signals potential relief for many affected Georgia industries. Vivian Yue, associate professor of economics at Emory University, spoke with "On Second Thought" about these U.S. and China trade negotiations and what it could mean for the state's economy. Jeffrey Dorfman, professor of agricultural and applied economics at the University of Georgia, also joined the discussion.

 

This week in Georgia politics involved the ongoing discussion over House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) and calls for his resignation, Gov. Kemp's Medicaid waiver plan and possible state control of Atlanta's airport.

GPB reporter Stephen Fowler joined "On Second Thought" to discuss the Georgia legislature and Crossover Day, the last day bills have to pass out of one chamber or the other in order to be considered during the session.

 


Hip-hop has evolved from the streets of New York in the '70s to become the most popular music genre today, but it hasn't always been "evolved" in representing women. It's often singled out as being harmful or degrading to women. 

A recent study from Georgia State University looked at political rap music's influence on black feminist attitudes. The results may surprise you.


Photo Credit: Yoon Kim

Hari Kondabolu is a comedian, writer and podcaster based in Brooklyn, New York. He has performed on "The Late Show with David Letterman," "Conan," "Jimmy Kimmel Live," and more. He's a regular guest on NPR's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!," and he released his first Netflix comedy special, called "Warn Your Relatives," last year.

In that stand-up special, Kondabolu jokes about serious topics like politics, religion, racial prejudice and white guilt, which, he says, means his comedy may not be for everybody. He joined "On Second Thought" to talk about touring with his political material, the importance of diversity in comedy and the difference between being funny for a private and public audience.


Southern accents are inexplicably linked to a sense of culture, identity and community. They can also summon stereotypes about intelligence and education, something writer Laura Relyea found when her family moved from Charlotte to Chicago when she was young.

Relyea explored her relationship to her own North Carolina drawl on a recent episode of "The Bitter Southerner Podcast." Her story of losing and finding her way back to her accent resonated with listeners all over Georgia. She joined "On Second Thought" to discuss how accents form a pillar of Southern identity.

 


Georgia is one of five states without a hate crimes law on the books; however, legislation proposed last week could change that.  Sponsored by State Rep. Chuck Efstration, a Gwinnett Republican, House Bill 426 would introduce enhanced penalties for hate crimes if signed into law. According to the most recent data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 27 such crimes were reported in 2017. 

 A similar bill didn’t make it out of committee last year, despite wide support from law enforcement. We spoke with that bill's sponsor, former State Rep. Meagan Hanson, about why that legislation was a priority for her. Rachel Glickhouse, partner manager for ProPublica's Documenting Hate project, also joined the conversation. 


This week in Georgia politics was all about the state's voting system. Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem) filed a bill that proposed changing the voting machines from touchscreens to a new ballot-marking device. The bill also suggests changes to absentee ballots and voter registration.

GPB's Stephen Fowler stopped by "On Second Thought" to discuss the voting changes.

 


Dr. Curtis L. Jones Jr. is the second superintendent from Georgia since 2015 to win the national honor. He spoke with "On Second Thought" about the honor and reflected on how, in a relatively short time, he has rebuilt trust with the community, improved student success and created a positive culture for teachers and staff.

He also shared his priorities for the future of education in Georgia.

 


In 1832, playwright and peformer Thomas Dartmouth Rice used theatrical make-up to create a supposedly black character. The character's name was Jim Crow. That name later came to represent a system of extra-judicial terror and racial segregation laws that ended in 1965, but the recent political crisis in Virginia shows dressing up in blackface did not.

A poll published by "The Washington Post" has Virginians split over whether Gov. Ralph Northam should resign after a photo from his 1984 Medical School yearbook surfaced. It shows a character in blackface next to a person wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood. Last week, a Pew Research Center poll found about 34 percent of all Americans say, "Dressing up in blackface is always or sometimes acceptable for a Halloween costume." 

 


Millions of Americans are teetering on the brink of poverty, according to a new report from Prosperity Now that says 40 percent of all U.S. households – and 57 percent of households of color – could be knocked over the edge by one unexpected medical expense, lost paycheck or job loss.

That financial instability is mirrored in housing insecurity, and, while homelessness in Atlanta is on the decline, Fulton County remains by far the highest among the national benchmark counties, according to the Department for Housing and Urban Development. 

 


Flickr/Todd Petrie

State lawmakers are hoping to bring changes to homeschool reporting in Georgia. This, after two children were found dead and buried behind their family's home in Effingham County.


"On Second Thought" is on the road this weekend for the Savannah Book Festival.

Host Virginia Prescott will introduce keynote speaker Chris Stirewalt, Fox News channel’s politics editor, at the festival's opening Friday evening.

Ahead of the festival, "On Second Thought" sat down with "Friday Black" author Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah and "Birth of Loud" author Ian Port at the GPB Savannah studios. 


Auto company General Motors recently announced it is shutting down production at five plants across North America, leaving thousands of workers without jobs. These real-world events are mirrored in the Atlanta production of "Skeleton Crew." The play follows a tight-knit group of workers at the only auto stamping plant left in Detroit at the height of the Great Recession.

Director of "Skeleton Crew" Jamil Jude visited "On Second Thought" to discuss the play. He's also the new artistic director for Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company. Jude shared how the play's themes around unionizing, sacrifice and job insecurity resonate with audiences today.

 


The Georgia coast is a central calving spot for North Atlantic right whales; however, last year, no new calves were spotted there, and that caused great concern about the species. Only about 400 right whales are left in the entire world.

Things are looking up this year: four, possibly five, calves have been spotted along the Florida and Georgia coasts so far this season. 


Everyone knows what a magazine looks like on the coffee table or nightstand, but have you ever seen one performed on a stage? Monday night a group of artists and journalists performs Pop-Up Magazine at Atlanta's Variety Playhouse.

The event is described as a combination of a podcast, documentary film, concert, play, comedy show and more. Aaron Edwards, senior story producer and co-host of Pop-Up Magazine, joined "On Second Thought" to explain what the audience can expect to see and how it all came together. We also hear from Atlanta native Josie Duffy Rice, senior reporter for "The Appeal," who is a contributor for the onstage performance.

 


Photo Credit: Jon Snyder

Everyone knows what a magazine looks like on the coffee table or nightstand, but have you ever seen one performed on a stage? Monday night a group of artists and journalists performs Pop-Up Magazine at Atlanta's Variety Playhouse.

The event is described as a combination of a podcast, documentary film, concert, play, comedy show and more. Aaron Edwards, senior story producer and co-host of Pop-Up Magazine, joined "On Second Thought" to explain what the audience can expect to see and how it all came together. We also hear from Atlanta native Josie Duffy Rice, senior reporter for "The Appeal," who is a contributor for the onstage performance.

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