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.

For more than three decades, Erma Bombeck drew laughs from her life as a suburban mom. Bombeck's syndicated newspaper column reached some 30 million readers. She was also a best-selling author and regular on Good Morning America.

Although it was less well known, Bombeck also campaigned across the country for the Equal Rights Amendment — just one of the things uncovered in a play about the famous columnist, called Erma Bombeck: At Wit's End.


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. 

 


NOAA

In 2017, thousands evacuated southeast Texas in preparation for Hurricane Harvey. As they sped down the highway away from the storm, one car drove toward it. Inside it was Russell Lewis.

Officially, Lewis is NPR's Southern Bureau chief, but he's also known as the go-to guy on NPR's "go team," which covers earthquakes, fires, flood and other disasters; both natural and man-made. Lewis is often the first member of the team on a plane and on the ground, setting up logistics, drivers, translators and supplies in places where systems have broken down, so NPR can bring those events to listeners.


Jared Rodriguez / Truthout / Flickr

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.


Courtesy Big Beach Films / Depth of Field / Kindred Spirit

This year's Atlanta Film Festival celebrates Georgia talent, along with the debuts of some significant documentary and narrative features.

Beth Ward, film and books editor for Arts ATL, joined us for a conversation about some of the festival highlights, including Georgia-produced Summer Night and Lulu Wang's The Farewell, starring Awkwafina. The festival runs through April 14.


Wiki Commons

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.


BagoGames / Flickr

The Final Four is set, baseball season is on and for the first time ever, there's a Master's 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, a volunteer coordinator, and Gade, a varsity team player, along with esports program coordinator Lucas Bailey, joined "On Second Thought" with the latest on collegiate esports in Georgia.


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.


National Geographic

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. 

La'Raven Taylor/GPB

You may have heard of Ruby Bridges or the "Little Rock Nine" walking through a gauntlet of jeering protestors as they made their way to school. Just a few states over in Georgia, Dr. Michael McBay was among less-photographed pioneers.

In 1967, McBay along with six other students were among the first African-American students to attend the Westminster Schools, an elite private school in Buckhead. McBay's younger brother, Ron, later enrolled at Westminster Schools in 1968. Shortly after, Vic Bolton enrolled in the institution.


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.


GPB

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.


Eric Risberg / Associated Press

Airbnb has faced various lawsuits and allegations that guests and hosts of color are less likely to successfully book a reservation. A Harvard Business School study in 2016 looked into those claims. The study found that people with African American-sounding names were 16% less likely to be accepted as Airbnb guests.

 

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.

 


Ninja Puppet Productions

Raymond Carr was raised by Christian clowns. Yes, that’s a real thing. He was also taught by the famous Jim Henson Company. He is a master puppeteer who has worked all over the world.

Kate T. Parker

Atlanta-based photographer Kate T. Parker's book, Strong Is the New Pretty, showcased girlhood in all its messy, muddy glory. The book featured portraits of girls and young women whose beauty came from being their authentic selves.

Now she's doing the same thing with boys. Her new book, The Heart of a Boy, is out April 2. Parker joined On Second Thought to discuss the messages of empowerment that run through her books.

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.

 

 


© Mickalene Thomas / High Museum of Art

Wikipedia is a highly visited site on the internet, yet only about 17 percent of biographies posted on it are about women. In addition, less than 10 percent of editors are women. On Saturday, March 29, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta joins cultural institutions across the country for the "Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon." Community members will be able to add information to Wikipedia entries on feminism and art.

 

On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott spoke with Eva Berlin, digital content specialist at the High Museum, and Melissa Katzin, manager of family programs at the High Museum, about the event.


Rebecca Hammel / U.S. Senate Photographic Studio

Some Georgia farmers say they’re worried they’ll lose land that’s been in their families for generations after hurricanes and tariff hikes wiped out their crops and reserve cash.  Federal leaders promise to help, but farm loans are coming due, and disaster relief has yet to arrive.


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.


GPB

The penultimate day of the 2019 legislative session brings discussion of medical marijuana cultivation, a controversial ban on most abortions and a proposed takeover of the airport. Next week marks Sine Die, the last day for a bill to pass both chambers and head to Gov. Brian Kemp for approval. Otherwise, the legislation will have to wait to pass until January 2020.

GPB reporter Stephen Fowler joined On Second Thought to discuss the ins and outs of the legislative session.


ASO Media

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra released a new album of music from one of its own, Michael Kurth. Among the pieces on Everything Lasts Forever: music inspired by Atlanta graffiti, travel—and betrayal, in his choral work Miserere.

Kurth joined Sarah Zaslaw of GPB's Nightcap and Atlanta Symphony broadcasts to discuss Miserere.


Leighton Rowell / GPB

As Women's History Month draws to a close, On Second Thought celebrates women working for change around the world. Dining for Women, Peace is Loud and the Association of Junior Leagues International joined with Georgia Public Broadcasting for a panel called "Women as Agents of Change."

 

On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott spoke with filmmaker Abigail E. Disney, Razia Jan from the organization Razia's Ray of Hope and Elvia Raquec from Women's Justice Initiative.

 


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 YouTube

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: YouTube sensation. Cooper has reviewed movies, books and television shows on his YouTube page for the past 12 years.

He joined On Second Thought on the line from Perry, Georgia, to explain how he went from 136 to 150,000 subscribers in less than one month on YouTube. 


Mike Jensen / The High Museum of Art

Between 1983 and 1992, photographers Guy Mendes and Roger Manley traveled with poet Jonathan Williams along the backroads of the Southeast. Williams covered nine states in search of what he called "outlandish art." Mendes and Manley captured sprawling environments like Howard Finster's Paradise Garden in Somerville and the Land of Pasaquan in Buena Vista.

 

Photography and art from their trips are now gathered in an exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta called "Way Out There: The Art of Southern Backroads." Manley and Mendes joined On Second Thought to recap their travels and the importance of self-taught artists in the South.

 


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.


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