Pria Mahadevan

Producer, On Second Thought

Pria is a producer for GPB's program, On Second Thought.

Pria is passionate about using local journalism as a way to strengthen communities. She got her start in radio through KALW's Audio Academy program in San Francisco, but she has a diverse set of professional experiences outside of journalism. She studied cognitive neuroscience and Spanish at Washington University in St. Louis, and later worked as a financial consultant in Boston and taught English at a university in Brazil on a Fulbright scholarship.

After spending years exploring a variety of fields she finds interesting, Pria is thrilled to have found a career that lets her continue to explore new ideas every day. She has always loved storytelling, and she is excited that every day at GPB involves new ideas and challenges. She's eager to bring new voices to airwaves across Georgia. 

Ways to Connect

Last week, the On Second Thought team pulled together a list of some of our favorite interviews from our archives.

And as COVID-19 headlines continue to top the news, we wanted to share another list of thoughtful, non-coronavirus conversations to take your mind off any fears and anxieties regarding the pandemic. Until the virus’ spread slows down, we’ll be dropping a list like this one at the start of every week.

Dani Andujo, Love Beyond Walls

As the coronavirus pandemic has hit Georgia, many nonprofits and community organizations have had to reevaluate how to best support vulnerable populations through the outbreak.

One such organization is Love Beyond Walls, which focuses on supporting the homeless population in metro Atlanta throughout the year. But with the growing threat of coronavirus, Terrence Lester, founder and executive director of the nonprofit, had to quickly pull together a plan to address new and critical needs in the communities they serve. 


While online scams are always a danger, malware attacks and phishing schemes have found a new opportunity with coronavirus. Millions of Americans are now working and learning from home, without the protections — or IT help — found in most offices and schools. And in some countries, the virus has upped the ante on government surveillance of online activity. Alfred Ng, senior reporter at CNET News, and Brendan Saltaformaggio, assistant professor at Georgia Tech, talk about the concerns around data privacy and security that have developed alongside the coronavirus pandemic. 

 

 


John Minchillo / AP Photo

While online scams are always a danger, malware and phishing attacks have skyrocketed in the past two weeks. Many of these schemes have found new opportunities through the growing fear and concern over coronavirus. And now, millions of Americans are working and learning from home to help halt the spread of the disease — and find themselves without the protections (or IT help) found in most offices and schools. 

And in some countries, the virus has upped the ante on government surveillance of online activity. 


COVID-19 headlines have dominated the news nationally, on GPB and conversations within On Second Thought. But, there’s a lot more that our show has to offer within its archives that may provide a break from the coronavirus outbreak.

Collage by Emilia Brock

Social distancing has become the new normal. With borders closing, shelter-in-place orders in California, lockdowns in Europe, and the Trump administration's guidelines to limit gatherings, millions of Americans are shuttering indoors — and spending a lot of time in front of a screen.

And the memes have flourished.


As the United States tries to slow the spread of coronavirus, social distancing has become the new normal. Millions of Americans are shuttering indoors and spending more time behind screens — and the memes have flourished. Tweets, TikToks, and more viral content have picked up on major themes of the coronavirus pandemic, like the importance of washing your hands, the scarcity of hand sanitizer and toilet paper, and how boring quarantine can be. Dr. Andre Brock, Associate Professor at Georgia Tech studying digital culture, and Emma Grey Ellis, staff writer at Wired magazine who specializes in internet culture and propaganda, joined On Second Thought to talk about what online meme culture reveals about how we're processing anxiety during this unprecedented pandemic.

 

 


Tim Huber

Atlanta’s East Lake Meadows public housing project first opened its doors to Atlanta’s low-income residents in 1970. By the end of the century, it was being completely demolished. The complex, once known as “Little Vietnam” for its violence and crime, was troubled from the outset by disinvestment, white flight, and concentrated poverty — and was also home to dozens of children and families striving to build a better life. 

The nuanced policies and personal stories behind the notorious Atlanta housing project are the subject of a documentary airing on PBS, East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story. The film airs on PBS on Tuesday, Mar. 24 at 8 p.m.

 


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The coronavirus pandemic has led to travel restrictions, canceled events, school closures, consumer panic, and mayhem in stock markets across the world.

The spiraling fears and slow access to tests for the virus in the U.S. have exposed weak points in government and health care systems, as well as the social fabric upon which we rely — especially for the most vulnerable. 


Response to the coronavirus pandemic has led to travel restrictions, canceled music festivals, school closures, consumer panic for basic needs like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, and mayhem in stock markets across the world. The spiraling fears and slow access to tests for the virus in the U.S. have exposed weak points in government and healthcare systems, as well as the social fabric upon which we rely — especially for those most vulnerable. Dr. Keren Landman, a doctor, epidemiologist, and journalist, and Dr. Carlos del Rio, Chair of the Department of Global Health at Emory University, discuss how inequities in these systems play into the risks and outcomes of a global pandemic.

 

 


With his books The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake, best-selling author Erik Larson established a gift for bringing historic events to life, in almost cinematic detail. And his latest book, The Splendid and the Vile, continues in that tradition. From early September of 1940 until the following May, German planes bombed London and other British cities almost nightly to devastating effect. The book adds dimension and behind-the-scenes details to how newly-named Prime Minister Winston Churchill modeled courage and leadership during the London Blitz. At the end of February, On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott interviewed Larson onstage at The Carter Presidential Library. We hear that conversation and learn how Churchill guided the U.K. through the conflict — and stirred Britons through proud resistance and resilience.

 


Alex Harris

A Nielsen report from 2018 shows that black women and men spend disproportionately more on beauty products than other demographic groups. And with Hair Love winning best animated short at this year’s Oscars, the conversation around black hair — and standards of beauty within the black community — continues to evolve. 

While the mainstream hair and beauty industry has not always been there to meet demand, black innovators and entrepreneurs have frequently taken it upon themselves to develop their own solutions. On Second Thought sat down with three people working to bring both awareness and new offerings to the cultural conversation on beauty standards in the black community.

 


While few operas were written in English, Gershwin's Porgy and Bess is one of the most celebrated — and perhaps the most controversial. Criticism of the opera's representation of black culture and dialect have followed the 1935 libretto for decades. As the Atlanta Opera prepares to present a production of Gershwin’s famous opera in early March, On Second Thought caught up with Morris Robinson, the singer playing Porgy in the upcoming production, and Dr. Naomi André, professor at the University of Michigan, to learn more about the classic music, story, and dilemmas presented by the Porgy and Bess.


“All I have are my words,” shares Nikki Giovanni, a 77-year-old poet and professor at Virginia Tech. She has published nearly 30 collections of poetry, anthologies, children’s books and essays. During the 60s and 70s, she helped pioneer the Black Arts movement and she has been credited as an influence by hip-hop artists. On Saturday at 4 p.m., she is giving a free reading at Emory University’s Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts. Before her reading, she reflects on how she views her many accomplishments at her age. 

 

The documentary Always In Season gives an honest look into the history of racism and lynching in the United States and connects it to the racial climate and justice of the present. The film makes its television premiere on PBS’ Independent Lens on Monday, Feb. 24. Director Jacqueline Olive talks about her documentary and her engagement with the film — and discussions across racial lines — with viewers in communities across the country. 


Brett Weinstein; Flickr

Soon after Nikki Giovanni enrolled at Fisk University in 1960, she was asked to leave for expressing “attitudes unbecoming of a Fisk woman.” A decade later, Giovanni was named “Woman of the Year” by Ebony Magazine

Time changed — and the now 77-year-old distinguished professor at Virginia Tech has evolved with them.


  

Anthony "Truth" Gary

Every month, a group of budding Atlanta lyricists — some veterans, some novices — gather together, form a circle, and start rapping. It’s an experience the group’s founder, Alex 'Cost 1’ Acosta, has described as akin to “hip-hop church.” 

The monthly gathering is just one offshoot of the freestyle rap nonprofit Soul Food Cypher, which aims to use the power of words to transform individual lives — with ripple effects into their broader communities. 

 


For one couple living in Alpharetta, Valentine's Day roughly coincides with their wedding anniversary — and a marriage arranged by their parents. Some might hear a story of arranged marriage and assume that love plays a secondary role, but Anitha and Subbu would disagree.

The couple agreed to pull back the curtain on their union and share what their contemporary arranged marriage looks like for On Second Thought.


Visiting a cemetery on Valentine’s Day may seem like an unconventional way to share your love with your sweetheart. But with over 70,000 residents at Oakland Cemetery, there are a lot of love tales to unearth — which are the subject of a walking tour this weekend. Education Manager Marcy Breffle shared some of the most heartwarming love tales. 

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival began on Feb. 10 and runs through Feb. 27. Now in its 20th year, it’s the largest film festival in not just Atlanta, but all of Georgia. In 2015, it attracted more moviegoers than any other Jewish film festival in the world, with over 38,000 attendees. 

Jason Evans is an Atlanta-based film critic and the co-chair of the Film Evaluation Committee for the festival. He joined On Second Thought to talk through some of his favorite films at this year’s event, as well as share goals and visions for the festival.

Carol Chu

The Oscars nominations were announced this year with no women nominated for Best Director, the hashtag #OscarsSoMale began trending online. In the past 92 years, only five women have ever been nominated in the category.

For some, this outrage is nothing new. In a TED Talk that went viral, Atlanta-based actress, writer and producer Naomi McDougall Jones proposed that nothing short of a revolution would break the predominantly male hold on power in the film industry.


Kin Cheung / AP Photo

The spread of a deadly new coronavirus is being closely followed by global health officials and the public, with over 31,000 confirmed cases worldwide, over 600 deaths, and 12 cases in the United States so far. 

But along with headlines of quarantines, canceled flights and travel bans comes another threat: misinformation going viral. 

 


With news of the new coronavirus circulating around the world, there’s also been another viral threat: misinformation. TIME reporter Jasmine Aguilera and Dr. Marybeth Sexton, an assistant professor at the Division for Infectious Diseases at Emory University, discuss the rumors and misconceptions behind this new health epidemic.

 


Emilia Brock/GPB

Millions of NPR listeners trust Steve Inskeep to help them make sense of the news. The Morning Edition anchor manages to sound simultaneously knowledgeable about the facts and curious about the human side of stories — attributes of an incisive interviewer and author.  

Inskeep’s third book, Imperfect Union: How Jessie and John Frémont Mapped the West, Invented Celebrity, and Helped Cause the Civil War, follows an ambitious couple through some decisive events in American history. On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott spoke with Inskeep about the book onstage at The Carter Presidential Library at an event for A Cappella books.


Georgia is one of four states that does not have a law specifying penalties for hate crimes. Last year, State Representative Chuck Efstration, a Republican from Dacula, introduced a new hate crimes bill. It passed in the Georgia House last March and, in 2020, it is up for debate in the state’s Senate. We spoke with a reporter from ProPublica, Rachel Glickhouse, who worked on the publication’s “Documenting Hate” series, to learn more about how these laws work and what this bill, if passed, could mean for Georgia’s legal landscape. 


Friends to the Forlorn

Pit bulls have long been stigmatized by stories of aggressive behavior, locking jaws and poor temperament around children. Some cities and counties in Georgia ban pit bulls from being off-leash in dog parks, and national statistics show that dogs labelled as pit bulls in shelters spend three times longer there compared to other dogs — and are also the most likely to be euthanized. 

For the last decade, Jason Flatt has made it his mission to save as many of these dogs as he could. He is founder of “Friends to the Forlorn” pit bull rescue in Dallas, Georgia. The rescue houses between 75 and 100 animals on any given day – most of them pit bulls – and has re-homed over 600 dogs since 2009. 


Pria Mahadevan/GPB

La Choloteca is not just any dance party. What began as a simple idea between friends in late 2016 has grown into a monthly gathering spot for Georgia's Latinx community.

The "party with a mission" aims to create a safe and inclusive space for all identities who want to jam out to Latin tracks. It takes place monthly.  


Pitbulls: they’re the dog that “America loves to hate,” and Jason Flatt is devoted to saving them. We learn how tragedy and depression transformed Flatt, and how a puppy saved his life. Now, he spends his time saving the most neglected — and least wanted — dogs that come across his foundation, Friends to the Forlorn.


Courtesy of Will Brown / Kate DeCiccio for Amplifier / Courtesy of Donal Thornton and Tresor Dieudonné

As 2019 drew to a close, protests spilled into cities from Hong Kong to Santiago, Paris to Tehran, and Khartoum to La Paz. People around the world flocked to the streets, often with handmade signs, addressing their objections to policy changes, power grabs and cutbacks.

The power of images to communicate disagreement is the subject of an exhibition now on view at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA). 


For the last five years, we’ve heard cries of “fake news” from media critics on both sides of the political aisle. This year, Emory University offered first-year students the opportunity to enroll in a course about fake news. It’s one of Emory’s “evidence-focused seminars” intended to prepare students for college-level research. We speak to Dr. Judith Miller, who teaches the course, and Natalia Thomas, one of the students who took the class last semester.


Pria Mahadevan/GPB News

Spreading lies is not new in politics. However, slickly packaged fictions can move faster, wider and deeper in the digital age.

After the election of President Trump in 2016, concepts like “alternative facts” and “post-truth” became buzzwords. Increasingly, calling something “fake news” became a blunt instrument for discrediting stories, whether based in fact or not.

The term is also being used to educate students at Emory University. History 190: Fake News is one of dozens of “evidence-focused seminars” intended to prepare first-year students for college-level research.

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