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.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been more than 200,000 opioid-related deaths in the United States over the last two decades. Georgia has some of the nation's hardest-hit counties. White users have largely been the face of the epidemic, but the problem affects every demographic.


Jessica Gurell / GPB

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been more than 200,000 opioid-related deaths in the United States over the last two decades. Georgia has some of the nation's hardest-hit counties. White users have largely been the face of the epidemic, but the problem affects every demographic.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Chadwick Boseman, Oprah Winfrey and Spike Lee are all graduates of historically black colleges and universities. For more than a century, HBCUs provided the foundation for countless dynamic and influential leaders. Now, some academic finance experts predict that a quarter of those schools could be gone within 20 years.


From the mountains to the coast to the forest, Georgia is a beautiful place for spending time outdoors.  GPB journalists are celebrating that splendor with Wild Georgia, a series of in-depth reports airing this month during Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Ross Terrell and Emily Jones are among those working on the series, and they stopped by On Second Thought to take their stories a little deeper.  Ross talked about Atlanta’s lush tree canopy, and Emily explained how sharks sense the world around them.

 


Credit: Jeff Forney

With a curled lip and a graveled voice, Atlanta-based band The Coathangers will tell you what they think. Their gritty garage music incorporates influences that range from early punk to the golden oldies of rock 'n' roll. And yet, their lyrics are undeniably modern. The trio's new album, The Devil You Know, features songs that address current social issues like drug addiction and gun control.

We asked two members of The Coathangers, Meredith Franco and Julia Kugel, to add to our Georgia Playlist of songs written or performed by a Georgian. Their picks? "Frankenstein" by Subsonics and "Bad Kids" by Black Lips.


Women in Georgia are more likely to die from pregnancy-related and associated complications than in Uzbekistan. The state allocated $2 million to help reduce that number in this year's health budget.

On Second Thought spoke with Wanda Irving, whose daughter, Shalon, died after giving birth in metro Atlanta, and Breanna Lipscomb, U.S. maternal health campaign manager for The Center For Reproductive Rights, about efforts to improve maternal health outcomes in Georgia and across the nation.


Courtesy of SIRUM / Good Pill Pharmacy

From waiting rooms across the country to the floor of the U.S. Capitol, healthcare is one of the biggest issues for American voters.

One of the main challenges in Georgia is access to doctors and pharmacies alike, especially in rural parts of the state. And then there's cost of care. According to the Commonwealth Fund, a quarter of Americans report not filling prescriptions they cannot afford.


Casimir Pulaski was born in Poland in 1745. After proving his military mastery in independence struggles across Europe, Pulaski moved to Boston in 1777. He formed the colonists' first legion on horseback, became Brigadier General and saved George Washington's retreating troops at Brandywine. Pulaski was later mortally wounded, and died, amid the 1779 Siege of Savannah. But for centuries, his final resting place remained a mystery.

Earlier this month, the Smithsonian Channel revealed not only that the "father of the American cavalry" was indeed buried in Savannah – but also that Pulaski may biologically been intersex. Both breakthroughs came after decades of research by a team based in Georgia with help from colleagues across the United States, Poland and Canada.


As peak tornado season bears down on the Southeast, On Second Thought is looking at who gets aid after disasters. A recent NPR investigation found that federal emergency has been a political football played by both parties. Research from Carnegie Mellon and other sources shows that how much people affected by disasters get depennds on how your district votes.

Robert Benincasa is a producer for NPR Investigations. He researched and reported on the thousands of disaster buyouts Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA didn't want people to see.


In the late 19th Century, Lulu Hurst transfixed audiences as the "Georgia Wonder." An electrical storm supposedly gave the teenager supernatural powers to catapult grown men from chairs. She performed on stages from Cedartown, Georgia, to the East Coast and Midwest.

Hurst appeared in front of members of congress and government scientists. She was tested by Alexander Graham Bell, the faculty at Mercer University and the Medical College of Georgia - all baffled by mysterious force of the "electric maid."

 


Mary Frances Early UGA Black African-American Graduate
University of Georgia / Twitter

Mary Frances Early is a trailblazer. While Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Hamilton Holmes were the first African-Americans admitted to University of Georgia as undergrads in 1961, Early was the first to graduate. She earned a master's degree in music education.

Last week, UGA announced an initiative to name its College of Education after Early. Last year, when UGA was celebrating 100 years of education groundbreaking women, On Second Thought spoke with Early about her experiences as the first African-American student to graduate from the Georgia college. We hear that conversation.

Courtesy of ProPublica

It's Tax Day. Unless you got an extension, you have until midnight to get all your tax forms filled out and filed. And then hope that you don't get audited. But if you live in the South, your chances of being audited are apparently greater. ProPublica published a map showing where the highest rates of IRS audits happen, and that distinction belongs to southern rural areas.

Poker and chess are both considered professional sports. Competitive gaming is now on that list. Esports is, in fact, booming. Market watchers predict revenues to hit $1.5 billion by 2020. The gaming industry is so big that Georgia high schools got the green light to form student esports teams in 2018. 

As the definition of athletes expands, so do demands to treat gaming-related injuries. Dr. Vonda Wright is an Atlanta-based orthopedic surgeon. She's currently partnering with game developers Skillshot Media to research and treat professional gamers. Wright spoke with On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott about her efforts. 

 


The Masters begins tomorrow at the legendary Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. It's among professional golf's most prestigious tournaments, bringing in big names like Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.

Last week, the golf course made history, hosting its first women's tournament: the Augusta National Women's Amateur. On Second Thought spoke with Bob Harig, senior golf writer for ESPN who joined the program from Augusta, about what it took to get women on the famous green. Anya Alvarez, former Ladies Professional Golf Association player and women's sports journalist, also joined the conversation from New York.

 


Paul R. Giunta / Invision/AP

When it comes to hip-hop, Atlanta boasts some big names: CeeLo, T.I., Ludacris, André 3000, Big Boi, Killer Mike, and the list goes on...and on. And there are always new chart toppers coming out of the Southern capital all the time. But that wasn't always the case.


AUGUSTA NATIONAL

The Masters begins tomorrow at the legendary Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. It's among professional golf's most prestigious tournaments, bringing in big names like Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.

Last week, the golf course made history, hosting its first women's tournament: the Augusta National Women's Amateur. On Second Thought spoke with Bob Harig, senior golf writer for ESPN who joined the program from Augusta, about what it took to get women on the famous green. Anya Alvarez, former Ladies Professional Golf Association player and women's sports journalist, also joined the conversation from New York.


The University of Tennessee is making a big promise: Starting in 2020, the system will offer free tuition to qualifying low-income students enrolling at its Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin campuses.

The program, called UT Promise, is the first of its kind among public universities in the South. UT Interim President Randy Boyd, a first-generation college graduate himself, is the architect of the program. Boyd joined On Second Thought from WUOT in Knoxville to explain why Tennessee is making this promise, how the university will fund it and how other Southern states could follow suit. 

 


The Patients First Act is now Georgia law. It allows Gov. Brian Kemp’s office to request a Medicaid waiver from the federal government. Both proponents and opponents of the move are making it clear a waiver isn’t the same as full Medicaid expansion, which is what then-President Obama envisioned for states when crafting the Affordable Care Act.

Democrats say a waiver doesn’t go far enough while some conservatives say even a partial expansion is too costly.


The Final Four is set. Baseball season is on, and, for the first time ever, there's a Masters tournament for women. In the world of esports, hundreds of fans and players gather Saturday at Georgia State University for the PantherLAN tournament.

Georgia State students Aimee Vu and Praful Gade will be there. Vu and Gade, along with esports program coordinator Lucas Bailey, joined "On Second Thought" with the latest on collegiate esports in Georgia.


By 2050, the world's population is expected to reach 9.8 billion people. According to a report by the United Nations, nearly 70% of them are projected to live in urban areas. If current patterns hold, those who flock to the megacities of the future will face issues with affordable housing and increased hours in traffic. The impact on low-income pepole and the environment will be especially acute. 

 

National Geographic's special edition issue on the future of cities explores how planners, innovators and policymakers will cope with the influx. Rob Kunzig, the magazine's senior environment editor, visited cities across the world, including Atlanta and Duluth. He wrote about his findings in a feature called "Rethinking Cities." Kunzig joined On Second Thought from NPR in Washington with more on the future of urban life.


Sine Die is over and so is the 2019 session of the Georgia General Assembly. Lawmakers considered almost a hundred bills over a period of 14 hours on Tuesday. GPB politics reporter Stephen Fowler was there for the whole 40 days of the session, and he gave continuing updates to On Second Thought listeners throughout those weeks. Lawmakers capitol correspondent Donna Lowry provided ongoing coverage for GPB television viewers. They both stopped by the show after Sine Die to recap the closing hours of the session.


Today's show featured conversations on racial discrimination in Airbnb bookings and a new book focusing on the strength and spirit of boyhood.

The NAACP is partnering with Airbnb to prevent user bias on the home rental platform. The organization also wants to promote Airbnb as an economic opportunity in communities of color in Atlanta. GPB reporter Ross Terrell followed the story and joined On Second Thought to discuss the partnership.


Courtesy of Sony Music Archives

From the Civil War to the Dust Bowl and from baseball to jazz, Ken Burns documentaries have covered a range of critical events in American history and culture. Now, country music is getting the Ken Burns treatment. 

 

He and long-time collaborators and producers Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey spent eight years researching and making an eight-part, 16-hour documentary called Country Music, which will air on PBS stations like GPB in September. GPB is a presenting partner for a preview April 1 at the Atlanta History Center and on Wednesday, April 10, at Savannah's Jepson Center.

 

 


Today's show featured conversations on disaster relief for Georgia communities, a new release from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and a recap of bills moving through the state legislature.

Since Hurricane Michael, On Second Thought has heard from Georgia farmers whose crops were devastated by the storm. Their 2018 farm loans are coming due and yet the promised federal disaster funds they need to balance their books isn't here. Sen. David Perdue joined On Second Thought to provide an update on these funds.


Today's show featured interviews with a Georgia film critic and two photographers discussing a new exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

Jackie K. Cooper is a retiree who's practiced law, served in the U.S. Air Force and written seven books. The 77-year-old can now add another title to his enviable resume: overnight YouTube sensation. Cooper has reviewed movies, books and television shows on his YouTube page for the past 12 years.


Courtesy of Chef Nolan Wynn

"On Second Thought" continues its Main Ingredient series in which a chef tells us about his or her essential Southern ingredient. 

For Chef Nolan Wynn, that ingredient is the peanut. He's the executive chef of Banshee in East Atlanta Village, which he co-founded with Faielle Stocco, Peter Chvala and Katie McDonald. "On Second Thought" host Virginia Prescott visited Wynn to learn how to make his savory peanut brittle.


Today's show featured conversations on parental incarceration and the Ocmulgee National Monument in Macon, along with a new entry in our "Main Ingredient" series.

The Atlanta-based nonprofit Foreverfamily helps strengthen the bonds between incarcerated parents and their children through educational programming and visitation. Sandra Barnhill is the founder and national president of the organization. She joined "On Second Thought" to discuss how Foreverfamily helps parents and kids foster relationships inside and outside of prison.


More than a half a million Americans are homeless. In metro Atlanta, more than 3,000 people live on the streets, in shelters and in cars.

A new traveling museum uses stories, photos and virtual reality to give visitors a sense of what it's like to be homeless. It's called Dignity Museum, and the traveling museum shares the stories of those who are often forgotten. 

 


Lawmakers have only six legislative days left to debate and pass bills that could change policies all over the state. This week brought continued discussion about the potential Atlanta airport takeover and intense debate over women's reproductive rights.  GPB politics reporter Stephen Fowler joined "On Second Thought" to discuss this week in Georgia politics.


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." 


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