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

“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.

Charles Kelly / AP Photo

He was a civil rights icon, beloved father and husband, who would be 91 years old this year. On Monday, the nation celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Georgia native was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee a day after delivering one of his most memorable speeches, “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop.”


It made headlines when Queen Elizabeth II agreed to grant Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle their wish for a more independent life, allowing them to move part-time to Canada while remaining firmly in the House of Windsor. We speak with Emory history professor Dr. Patrick Allit and CNN senior writer Lisa Respers France to analyze the historical context and current implications of their move to this side of the pond.


David Goldman / AP Photo

Last September, President Donald Trump signed an executive order requiring state and local governments to consent, in writing, to allow refugee resettlement inside their borders.

The deadline for officials to opt in was originally Jan. 21. That order was struck down in a U.S. district court earlier this week. 


Jacquelyn Martin / AP Photo

The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is coming up on Monday. The King Center announced this year’s theme is “The Beloved Community: The Fierce Urgency Of Now.”

The Reverend Dr. Bernice King, CEO of The King Center, says her father’s message of the ‘beloved community’ operates out of unconditional love, adding, "it’s not about who deserves anything...it’s about all human beings having this inherent worth and value.”

Xernona Clayton embodies those values. She worked with Dr. King and Coretta Scott King at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the late 60s. In 1967 she became the first African American in the southeast to have her own television program. She served 30 years as an executive at Turner Broadcasting System and founded the Trumpet Awards to recognizes accomplishments of African Americans.


Rock n’ Roll hits the page in Ian Port’s The Birth of Loud. Hear him tone it down to speaking volume when he stops by On Second Thought.


Art Jones / Dream Factory

By 1970, Muhammad Ali’s boxing career was in decline. Convicted for draft evasion in 1967, Ali lost his license to fight in all 50 states and had become a polarizing figure across the country.

That was before a group of key players managed to jump through a legal loophole and stage a comeback fight — in Atlanta.


Technology and artificial intelligence are making leaps and bounds, but that doesn’t mean the technology is infallible. "Algorithm bias" does exist, largely because of the datasets from which these systems learn. Dr. Ayanna Howard of Georgia Tech joined On Second Thought to explain the concerns of trusting this technology completely, as well as ways we can make it better.


John Amis / AP Photo

Every 10 years, the Census gets distributed to every household around the United States. The constitutionally-mandated questionnaire tells a story about who we are as a country, along with some more practical implications.

Thousands of people, from door-to-door census takers to state governments, prepare years in advance to execute the massive push behind the Census. The results determine how much power individuals across the country have in their local and national political process, as well as how resources are allocated in communities across the country.


Robert Jimison of GPB breaks down the processes and benefits of the 2020 Census, and why local and state governments want you to participate.

National Book Award nominee Margaret Wilkerson Sexton’s latest novel, The Revisioners, crosses differences in race, wealth and time itself.  It came out Nov. 5, and we revisit our conversation with the author.


First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta

For more than a decade, the primetime reality series Shark Tank has given entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their ideas to a panel of wealthy business titans. These “sharks” then decide whether to invest in the idea or company. 

Last year, Atlanta’s First Presbyterian Church started their own “shark tank.”  It’s a social entrepreneurship venture called Epiphany.  Much like the show, the church’s Epiphany program puts out a call for budding business ideas and offers support to select entrepreneurs through business development “navigator” groups, which then help them refine their final pitch to be selected for a grant from Epiphany’s pool of money.


On Monday, Vice President Mike Pence swore in Georgia’s new U.S. senator, Kelly Loeffler. While she may be co-owner of Atlanta’s professional women’s basketball team, The Dream, and a successful finance executive, many Georgia voters don’t know much about their new senator. Greg Bluestein of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution joins On Second Thought to tell us what we know, what we don’t know, and what to pay attention to in the coming months.


Instead of condemnation, strangers showed up to support a mother of four arrested for leaving her teenage son with down syndrome at an Atlanta hospital. Hear a debrief with GPB’s Jade Abdul-Malik on what families of the developmentally disabled want you to know.


Atlanta-based author Nic Stone’s debut middle-grade novel, Clean Getaway, follows the story of a young boy embarking on a road trip with his grandmother. Hear how Stone balanced writing for middle-grade readers while still exploring complex topics.


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