interviews

Mallory Falk / WWNO

Rowan Shafer is a third grade teacher at Morris Jeff Community School. She's committed to teaching a social justice curriculum... which she knows can sound abstract.

"Yeah, those are easy words to say that mean a lot of things," she says.

In this month's Voices of Educators segment, Shafer describes one of her favorite social justice units and explains why, after years of teaching fourth grade, she switched to third.

Do you know a great teacher to include in our series? Send us an email: comments@wwno.org

Music Inside Out

At their best, pop songs conjure exactly what it’s like to be young. The stories are often simple. But they’re not so easy to write.The best pop songs take on the same themes as a great epic poem or a Wagnerian opera. Pop is about the loss of innocence.

Caleb Elliott is a singer-songwriter in Lafayette, Louisiana whose debut pop album is called, Where You Wanna Be. (Check out the video for “Speaking Of.”) He’s new to pop music, but as a classical cellist Caleb Elliott has already played Carnegie Hall.

Joe Shriner

Author Andrew Lawler sits down with us on this week’s Louisiana Eats! to discuss Why Did The Chicken Cross The World, which is also the title of his new book. You’ll be amazed by the many ways that simple bird has impacted humanity over the ages. Even Queen Victoria gets into the act, with her fascination for fancy hybrid chickens helping to bring about the “chicken bubble.” Would you pay thousands of dollars for a clucker? Nineteenth century Europeans did!

Zack Smith / Music Inside Out

Onstage, they don’t look like a traditional rock ‘n roll band. Sure, the seven members of Sweet Crude are kinda young and kinda scrawny and their clothes suggest a GAP-meets-Garanimals flare.

But they carry no guitars. Five of them play percussion. And yes, there’s a glockenspiel in the mix.

Sweet Crude sounds different too. They produce a sophisticated mixture of rhythm, classical strings, and musical theater that’s highly danceable and even educational. That’s because the band sings in English and Louisiana French – a language they’re learning on the job.

This week on the Reading Life: Jim Grimsley, author of How I Shed My Skin: Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood

Plus, City librarian/New Orleans Public Library executive director Charles Brown talks about the high stakes of this week’s upcoming millage election.

Following Ladies of Liberty and Founding Mothers, NPR and ABC News regular Cokie Roberts has written another book giving women in American history credit where credit is due.

The latest, Capital Dames, looks at the Civil War and the Women of Washington, D.C. from 1848-1868.


This week on The Reading Life:  Journalist turned bestselling historian Cokie Roberts, whose new book is Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868.

New York Times bestselling novelist David Baldacci talks about Memory Man, his 30th novel for adults, and UNO's Rick Barton talks about In the Wake of the Flagship, the sequel to his first novelThe El Cholo Feeling Passes.

**Lagniappe Audio**

Steve Voss / NPR

The New Orleans education system has changed dramatically in the almost ten years since Hurricane Katrina. NPR's Michel Martin is in town for a live event looking at those changes. It's part of her Going There series, where she hosts conversations about local topics with national significance.

Martin recently spoke about the event with WWNO Education Reporter Mallory Falk. She started by explaining why she chose to focus on education in New Orleans.

Jesse Hardman / WWNO

Billy Nungesser was the President of Plaquemines Parish five years ago when the BP oil disaster happened. Nungesser’s constituency of around 23,000 residents were some of the hardest hit along the Gulf Coast.

For months after the disaster, Nungesser was a constant presence on national television, taking on both industry and government officials over their handling of the spill and cleanup.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, or NOCCA, has long been known as a leading arts education program. But the staff there began to notice a trend. Students came to NOCCA from schools all over the city and had dramatically different experiences.

"And there were a lot of sad moments at the end of somebody's senior year where they'd be given a scholarship based on their art, or get into a school based on their arts audition, and then not be able to accept it because they weren't admitted academically," says Dr. Kate Kokontis.

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