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Episodes

Arne Duncan with Joy Resmovits

10/17/2018
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Politicians and teachers alike have often spoken out on the need for widespread reform of our nation’s education system. Former Secretary of Education under President Obama Arne Duncan arrived at Town Hall with insight from his book How Schools Work to offer perspective on the failures in our school systems—and what we can do to fix them. Duncan met with Joy Resmovits, Seattle Times education writer and editor. Together they discussed critical deficiencies in the structure of our nation’s...

Duration:01:17:46

Juan Williams

10/15/2018
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Donald Trump has been criticized for his history of unsympathetic, ambiguous, and openly racist remarks. They may have reached fever pitch after he failed to condemn white supremacy in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, but perhaps no remark of Trump’s is more telling than his campaign pitch to Black Americans: “What the hell do you have to lose?” Bestselling author, political analyst, and civil rights expert Juan Williams took Town Hall’s stage to offer his take on just what Black...

Duration:01:03:11

Jose Antonio Vargas with Ijeoma Oluo

10/12/2018
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Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who has been called “the most famous undocumented immigrant in America,” tackles one of the defining issues of our time. He took Town Hall’s stage to share his explosive and deeply personal memoir Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen. Vargas was joined by Seattle-based feminist writer and activist Ijeoma Oluo. Together they discussed Vargas’ tale, focusing not on the politics of immigration but on the sense of homelessness, the...

Duration:01:09:16

Shane Bauer

10/10/2018
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In 2014, Shane Bauer was hired for $9 an hour to work as an entry-level prison guard at a private prison in Winnfield, Louisiana. There was no meaningful background check, and he used his real name despite his notoriety as an award-winning investigative journalist. Four months later he had seen enough, and in short order he left to write an exposé that won a National Magazine Award and became the most-read feature in the history of the magazine Mother Jones. Bauer joined us with excerpts...

Duration:01:12:44

Steve Phillips with Kiran Ahuja

10/8/2018
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Obama’s presidency awakened the U.S. to new lines being drawn in voting demographics and the fundamental changes taking place in our population. Some political analysts see the explosive population growth of people of color in America as the foundation for a new progressive majority. Political expert Steve Phillips joined us to illuminate the ways progressives can properly capture this moment in history. He argued that, now more than ever, hope for a more progressive political future lies...

Duration:01:13:02

Teaching for Black Lives

10/1/2018
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Local educators and activists feel that Black students’ minds and bodies are under attack. That’s why they created Teaching for Black Lives, a handbook for creating the sweeping reform of our education system and equitable teaching strategies for Black students. The editors of this collection joined us on Town Hall’s stage to read excerpts and call us to action to dismantle stereotypes and the school-to-prison pipeline. They called for educators everywhere to engage Black students in...

Duration:01:19:59

Anand Giridharadas

9/24/2018
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What do we do when our society’s economic elite become more interested in celebrating their own magnanimity than bringing about real change? Former New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas took Town Hall’s stage to present perspectives from his latest book Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World. He decries the modern gilded age where the rich and powerful have rebranded themselves as saviors of the poor—constantly seeking to do more good, but never less harm. He...

Duration:01:14:35

Justin Driver with Lisa Manheim

9/17/2018
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Bitter controversy consistently surrounds our nation’s judicial decisions concerning the constitutional rights of students in public schools. The Supreme Court has weighed in on numerous cultural anxieties that divide American society—from racial segregation to unauthorized immigration, from antiwar protests to compulsory flag salutes, from economic inequality to teacher-led prayer. With insight from his book The Schoolhouse Gate: Public Education, the Supreme Court, and the Battle for the...

Duration:00:48:55

Maya Rao

9/11/2018
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With an account equal parts dark, surreal, and humorous, journalist Maya Rao brought us a fraught firsthand chronicle of the breakneck capitalist microcosm contained in the modern-day gold rush of North Dakota’s oil fields. Rao took Town Hall’s stage to share accounts from her book Great American Outpost: Dreamers, Mavericks, and the Making of an Oil Frontier, detailing her interactions with drifters, fortune-seekers, and unlucky entrepreneurs who embodied the region’s culture of reckless...

Duration:00:44:46

Michael Bennett with Art Thiel

7/2/2018
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Michael Bennett is a Super Bowl Champion, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end—as well as a fearless activist, a feminist, a grassroots philanthropist, an organizer, and a change-maker. He’s also been called one of the most scathingly humorous athletes on the planet, a trait that shines as he joins us to share excerpts from his book Things That Make White People Uncomfortable. He offered a deep examination of turbulent times in America and their effect on the relationships of black athletes...

Duration:00:55:06

Michael Bennett with Jesse Hagopian

7/2/2018
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Michael Bennett is a Super Bowl Champion, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end—as well as a fearless activist, a feminist, a grassroots philanthropist, an organizer, and a change-maker. He’s also been called one of the most scathingly humorous athletes on the planet, a trait that shines when he joined us to share excerpts from his book Things That Make White People Uncomfortable. He offered a deep examination of turbulent times in America and their effect on the relationships of black...

Duration:00:59:53

Leni Zumas and Tiffany Hankins with Megan Burbank

6/18/2018
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Novelist Leni Zumas imagines a dystopian future that places severe restrictions on women’s reproductive rights. She took us on a deep dive into these issues through the lens of speculative fiction with selections from her new book Red Clocks. She was joined onstage by Tiffany Hankins, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, along with moderator and feminist reporter Megan Burbank. They came together to ruminate on Zumas’s fiction and form a discussion of the current state of...

Duration:00:56:04

Khaled Beydoun

6/11/2018
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The term “Islamophobia” may be fairly new, but irrational fear and hatred of Islam and Muslims is anything but. Lending us perspective through his unique lens as a critical race theorist and law professor, Khaled A. Beydoun joined us to discuss the ways in which law, policy, and official state rhetoric have fueled the frightening resurgence of Islamophobia in the United States. With wisdom from his book American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear, Beydoun took us through...

Duration:00:47:41

In Residence—Histories of the Central District and What We’ll Build Next

6/4/2018
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Seattle’s Central District has undergone changes of identity and witnessed the rising presence of many communities of color. But are these communities thriving now, and who is welcome in today’s CD? Town Hall’s Inside/Out Neighborhood Resident Erik Molano invited us to explore these questions and more, as well as the Central District’s history with a diverse array of storytellers, panelists, and speakers. Storytellers from the CD’s Asian, Jewish, and Black communities took the stage to...

Duration:01:21:50

Yanis Varoufakis

5/24/2018
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How should parents talk to their children about the economy: how it operates, where it came from, how it benefits some while impoverishing others? Former Finance Minister of Greece Yanis Varoufakis has appeared before heads of nations, assemblies of experts, and countless students around the world—and now he joins us to add Town Hall audiences to that list as he joins us to share wisdom from his book Talking to My Daughter About the Economy: A Brief History of Capitalism. Varoufakis took...

Duration:00:59:13

Michael K. Honey with La TaSha Levy

5/17/2018
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Fifty years ago, a single bullet robbed us of one of the world’s most eloquent voices for human rights and justice—Martin Luther King Jr. Humanities professor Michael K. Honey convened us for a modern application of King’s advocacy for racial harmony with insight from his book To the Promised Land. He was joined in conversation with La TaSha Levy, who teaches American Ethics Studies and courses on African American history at the University of Washington-Seattle. Honey and Levy explored...

Duration:01:11:44

Nomi Prins

5/14/2018
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The 2008 financial crisis unleashed a chain reaction that turbo-boosted the influence of central bankers and triggered a massive shift in the world order. Economic writer and journalist Nomi Prins joined us to illuminate the machinations at the core of this rising tide of financial instability, drawing on observations from her latest book Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World. With signature verve and insight, Prins outlined how central banks and institutions like the IMF are...

Duration:01:00:02

Ashley Dawson

5/10/2018
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How will climate change affect our lives? Where will its impacts be most deeply felt? Are we doing enough to protect ourselves from the coming chaos? Professor of English and environmental organizer Ashley Dawson argued that highly developed urban cities are ground zero for climate change. In his book Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change he highlighted the elevated risk of dense metropolises, which contribute the lion’s share of carbon to the...

Duration:01:20:53

BirdNote Live! Podcast

5/3/2018
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Birds are with us everywhere. They animate our stories, inform our art and music, and reveal startling truths about the world we share. Join BirdNote’s Michael Stein and Mary McCann with special guests Barbara Earl Thomas and Dr. J. Drew Lanham for BirdNote Live!, an evening of conversation by, for and about birds. BirdNote celebrates how stories about birds connect us with each other, and how caring for birds and the places they live can inspire the next generation. Join us for this special...

Duration:00:53:51

Annelise Orleck with Heidi Groover

4/30/2018
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In May of 2014, thousands of fast food workers in 230 cities across the globe went on strike, protesting for a living wage, workplace protections, and the right to unionize. Today that fight persists in the form of the #FightFor15 movement, whose efforts have resulted in cities around the nation (including Seattle, New York City, and Los Angeles) instituting a rise to a $15 minimum wage. History professor and activist Annelise Orleck chronicled the fight for a living wage and the results of...

Duration:00:48:22