Season 1

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Pastoring in a Pandemic

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with Guest Co-Host Bishop Lawrence Ward

On the Season Finale of The PowerPLAY, Bishop Lawrence Ward of the Abundant Life Church in Cambridge joins as guest co-host to faith, work and the challenges of ministering during this pandemic. 2020 was a challenging year for many, including those in the faith community. Learning new technologies just to be able to continue connecting and sharing the word of God changed the way most of pastors work and minister.

Added to the challenges of the pandemic is the idea of “church” - the building – and how do believers continue to meet and worship together in this digital space. 

The challenges are awesome. The solutions aren’t as easy to find. Our guest panel for Pastoring in a Pandemic are Bishop Brian Greene of Pentecostal Tabernacle, Reverend Lorraine Thornhill of the Kingdom Empowerment Center, and Larry Kim, Senior Pastor of the Central Square Church.

Listen HERE!

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RAMIRO!

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Hot 96.9's Morning Show Host, Ramiro!

For over two decades, and more than half of his life, Ramiro - the Freakin' Puerto Rican - has been on the air and in your ear! His home now is on Hot 96.9 with co-hosts Pebbles and Melissa - who start your morning off with laughs, music and fun! 

Making the move to 96.9 was a reunion of sorts. Ramiro and Pebbles anchored the morning show at Jam'n 94.5 for over a decade. But the duo were split up. Ramiro went silent for 6 months before finding his new home with The GetUP Crew!

But there's so much more to the guy from the second date updates! My guest this week is the talent that goes by one name, Ramiro!

Listen HERE!

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Walter Beasley

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Recording artists and renown saxophonist Walter Beasley

Walter Beasley is an award winning saxophonist, singer and instructor whose musicianship has been described as an anomaly, says friend and fellow saxophonist Branford Marsalis. Marsalis describes Walter as a successful performing musician who possesses the rare skill of understanding the musical process beyond the intuitive. Walter has released several albums and since 1998, has been one of the top five best-selling African-American saxophonist in the world. Walter came to Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music, and – stayed. The student became the teacher with what was supposed to be a temporary teaching gig – that turned into over three decades of passing along his talents to thousands. At the time, he was the highest selling full-time professor and recording artist in history – having balanced an exemplary career as a recording artist and performer with the influential presence in music education. But life changed and Walter took upon the extraordinary opportunity to take care of his father in his last years. He shared much of their time together through posts and social media, much to the sadness of his fans when he had to announce to the world his father had passed. He shared spending this time with his dad was a true gift. So, Beasley’s address may have changed, but his music - and his inspiration are more impressive than ever.

WATCH HERE!

Listen HERE!

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Jeffrey's House

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with Jeffrey Summers, Founder & Director of Jeffrey's House

The PowerPLAY interviews Jeffrey Summers, founder and manager of Jeffrey's House! Jeffrey’s House works to provide viable solutions in the battles of addiction. With 5 current locations, Jeffrey’s House works to provide a space for sober living and helps residents drastically increase the chances of maintaining a fulfilling sober life by providing safety nets and skills in order to succeed.

Listen HERE!

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Travel Safety in the COVID Era

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with Maurice Jenkins, Division Director of Aviation Services for Miami International Airport

Airline stocks soared with the news of a coronavirus vaccine, meaning - some may return to the friendly skies. However many are still skeptical when it comes to airline travel in the COVID era.

Most carriers are still racking up daily operating losses as air traffic remains at a third of pre-pandemic levels, averaging 785,000 passengers a day in the U.S., down from 2.3 million a year ago.

It’s clear travelers are reluctant to fly. So, what is being done to help customers feel safe?

Maurice Jenkins, Division Director of Aviation Services at Miami International Airport says,  “It’s more important than ever to enable a touchless journey and explore the technologies required to enable a fully contactless experience throughout these large global transport hubs.”

Listen HERE!

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Justice Served?

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with Phillip Martin, Senior Investigative Reporter, WGBH News and Adrian Walker, Columnist, The Boston Globe

If you lived in Boston from the early 90’s on – you probably heard of the story of Boston Police Detective John Mulligan. Mulligan, 52 years old, was shot five times in the face on Sept. 26, 1993, while working a detail at a local Walgreens. Mulligan was reportedly inside his SUV, asleep, when the shooting occurred.

You also probably heard of the name Sean Ellis.

Two journalists familiar with this story and appeared in the 8-part docuseries Trial 4 – now streaming on Netflix - Boston Globe columnist Adrian Walker and Senior Investigative Reporter for WGBH-NEWS Phillip Martin - discuss the problems with the investigation, the Boston police department and will there ever be justice for Mulligan or Ellis.

Listen HERE!

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The Promise of A New Day

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with Framingham Mayor Dr. Yvonne Spicer, Attorney Joseph D. Feaster, Jr. and Communications Director for the City of Brockton, Darren Duarte

The Election is over, and our President and Vice president elect are in place. History has been made and the promise of a new day has been shared with the nation.  EXCEPT – our sitting President has yet to concede; charges of voting irregularities and fraud have been spewed by several politicians with no substantial evidence; and millions are still waiting for stimulus money to be distributed.  Also hanging in the balance is the hope of a vaccine that will end this
deadly pandemic.

What we do know? President Donald Trump's efforts to deny the outcome of the 2020 election cannot change an undeniable reality: Joe Biden won decisively, and his lead nationally and in key states has grown over time as more votes have been counted.

So, where do we go from here?

Listen HERE!

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What the Country needs now!

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with Attorney Joseph Feaster and Communications Director Darren Duarte

With less than a week to what is sure to be one of the most divisive presidential elections in recent history – all eyes, ears and fingers are on the pulse of what will happen. Either way – what has happened over the last several months is a sad reflection of our political process. 

Gone are the days of decency and a respectful difference of ideas and opinions. We’ve turned the election season into a barrage of name calling, personal attacks, and temper tantrums. So how do we begin to heal the racial and political divide this administration has let widen over the past 4 years? How do we begin to unite and truly make America great again for all citizens, black and white and everyone in between?

Listen HERE!

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The Story of the Syracuse 8

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with Alif Muhammad and Greg Allen

Protests by African Americans for equality and justice did not begin in 2019 or 2020. Thousands of seeds were planted many years ago and through the present day. African Americans have been protesting and rebelling since slavery. Each one was a significant link to the protests of today. In the spring of 1970, eight members of the Syracuse University football team, African Americans, decided to take a stand for justice and equality. They were members of the 1969–70 Syracuse University football team known as the Syracuse 8.

Listen HERE.

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In Her Own Words...

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with Dr. Victoria Greer

Superintendent, Sharon Public Schools

She made history and then she made the news. In 2017 – Dr. Victoria Greer became the first person of color to serve as Superintendent of Sharon Public Schools. Just some three years later – the Sharon Public School Committee essentially booted Dr. Greer out.

Dr. Greer has filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination alleging demeaning and abusive behavior AND racial discrimination despite receiving proficient or higher performance reviews, being appointed to Chair of the Commonwealth’s Gifted and Talented Education Advisory Council and recognized at the 2019 Black Excellence on the Hill Program.

Hear Dr. Greer’s story, in her own words. 

Listen HERE.

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Un-Justice for Breonna

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with Ret. Superior Court Judge Charles Spurlock

Breonna Taylor. Her name has permeated social media feeds and news headlines for months – and sadly for the grimmest of reasons. But the 12 million dollar question – exactly the amount the City of Louisville settled for with the family of Breonna Taylor – is did the grand jury get it right? 

Listen HERE.

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The Funkin' Rock Rebellion

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with Aron Lee, Tom Silcott and Rich Morey

It’s a bit like the million man march meets James Brown – The Funkin' Rock Rebellion – created by Aron Lee - is conspired of a collection of artists aligned against racism, injustice and inequity are taking it to the streets. What’s it? The power of socially-conscious beliefs set to hard funk. It makes you stop, listen and feel. The power of music at its best.

Listen HERE.

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My Ministry

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with Attorney Joseph Feaster, Jr.

The powerful story of one father's journey and his life's work to bring awareness to the complexities and stigmas of mental illness.

For his completely story, listen HERE.

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Redemption From Darkness

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with Ashleigh Collins

We first heard Ashleigh's story this past winter - from her childhood to the beginning of her entering what she described as darkness - to her power, love and God. This month as we listen to stories of those affected by suicide, we thought Ashleigh's story could help others who think, this is too much, to know that God can handle all. 

For her complete story, listen to HERE.

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A Knock At The Door

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with Nieisha Deed

You push and push, thriving through school and college to make it big in corporate America. Sleepless nights, working essentially every day – all in the name of fortune and success. You have it all! Until you realize your sleepless nights are now a normal occurrence. You haven’t eaten in days and getting out of bed is the last thing on your mind.

 

A knock at the door and you realize you almost succumbed to your death – if not for a knock at the door. This is just part of the story of Nieisha Deed. Nieisha spent over a decade working her way up through corporate America when one day, the pressure she had put on herself was so immense, she swallowed a bottle of pills. Nieisha discusses her failed suicide attempt and how she turned her diagnosis of depression and bipolar disorder into helping others through the organization she founded, PureSpark.

Listen HERE!

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A Father's Story

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with Gregory Magras

Gregory Magras has not just had to live through the pain and anger of a loved one committing suicide once, but twice. First, his father, when Greg was just a teenager.  He literally held his father's body while another family member cut the rope his dad used to hang himself. After attempts of trying to revive him, he had to deal with the shock of his father being dead.

Then just three years ago, after what was described as an argument in the house where his oldest was living, Jamie took a gun from the home and was found dead two days later.

But despite the weight of the pain these two tragic losses held, Greg found purpose in their deaths.

My husband, Gregory Magras, tells his story for the first time on the PowerPLAY.

Listen HERE!

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What Is Black Enough?

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with Ret. Superior Court Judge Charles Spurlock

Some individuals are still celebrating the Democratic ticket for president and vice president because of the historic selection of Senator Kamala Harris for vice president. Why the celebration you ask? Is it because she is the first African American and Asian American woman nominated by a major political party in this country or is it because of the talent and purpose she adds to the ticket?

Exactly, what is it that we are celebrating? Is it her race that makes the nomination worthy of celebration?

Unfortunately, people in America see one’s color first and immediately place the individual into a racial category with all of its attending character traits associated with one’s stereotypical image the person has formulated over the years. Do we all do it?

And what is Black enough?

Listen HERE!

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Coping with COVID

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with Shameka Gregory

Mood swings. Sadness. Fatigue. Over-eating. Not eating. Drinking too much. Self-medicating. Feeling sad, lonely, or depressed at times is a normal reaction to loss, life's struggles, or even low self-esteem. But when these feelings
become overwhelming, cause physical symptoms, and last for long periods of time, they can keep you from leading a normal, active life.

 

Add to this our current pandemic which has ripped us all from our normalcy including: work, activities, and social engagements - and these symptoms can become unbearable.

So when is it time to ask for help?

Listen HERE!

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What November May Bring

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with Phillip Singleton

History Made! Presumptive democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden chooses Senator Kamala Harris to run as his Vice
President. Senator Harris will be the first woman of color to be on a major ticket for the presidential race. But will this be enough to change the residence of the White House and undo the racial,
political and economic strife President Trump has created over the last four years.

Listen HERE!

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The Fall of Playing Ball

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with Former Sports Reporter Gary Gillis and NCAA Head Coach Michael Jarvis

Never since World War 2 has the disruption of professional sports been felt – and in this day and age, the effect is much more profound. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused most sporting events to be cancelled or postponed. Even the 2020 Summer Olympics – which were to take place in Tokyo have been rescheduled to 2021, hopefully. And for the first time in its history – the Boston Marathon was cancelled. Most noticeably in this strange time, spectators have been replaced with an applause audio track – making it –
dare I say – just bizarre to watch.

Players opting out, restricted access to their families, COVID cases putting the breaks on upcoming games, and no fans to help cheer them on – one must ask – is this even worth it?

Listen HERE!

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Justice for Eurie

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with Selvin Chambers and Donnie Harding

Eurie Stamps was killed by a policeman’s bullet on January 5, 2011. He was 68 years old. A Framingham Police Officer Paul Duncan, who was a town of Framingham SWAT team member fired the fatal shot. Officer Duncan is white. Eurie Stamps is an African American male. Police and the Middlesex District Attorney at the time, Gerald Leone, determined that it was an accident, that the officer merely tripped over Mr. Stamps as he laid prone face down on the floor of his home.

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Remembering John Lewis 027

Bishop William Dickerson of the Greater Love Tabernacle Church in Dorchester, Massachusetts discusses his meeting U.S. Congressman John Robert Lewis - the civil rights icon and why Lewis' legacy on non-violent protests, "good trouble" and his gift of forgiveness will be among some of Bishop's greatest inspirations left by one of the last soldiers of justice and equal rights.

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The Talking Drum 

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Lisa Braxton is an essayist, short story writer, and novelist. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Southern New Hampshire University, her Master of Science in Journalism Broadcasting from Northwestern University and her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media from Hampton University. Her debut novel, The Talking Drum, is forthcoming from Inanna Publications in spring 2020. She is a fellow of the Kimbilio Fiction Writers Program and a book reviewer for 2040 Review. Her stories and essays have appeared in Vermont Literary Review, Black Lives Have Always Mattered, Chicken Soup for the Soul and The Book of Hope. She received Honorable Mention in Writer’s Digest magazine’s 84th and 86th annual writing contests in the inspirational essay category.

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A Triggered Life 

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Keith Mascoll, project founder of The Triggered Project – Shattering The Silence and Nurturing the Healing - discusses his story and the work his project is doing by helping to unpack the sexual trauma AND cast a shadow over the wholeness of black male selfhood. The project allows for a sharing of cultural values in black and brown communities –that often demand men suppress their vulnerabilities and deal with their trauma alone.

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Professor Deborah Ramirez

Police Commissioner Branville Bard

Mayor Joseph Curtatone

Investigative Reporter Phillip Martin

Dean Dr. Virginia Ward

The horrific murder of Minnesotan, George Floyd has shocked the Nation. Americans of all stripes are questioning the fate of the Nation as America struggles to live up to the promise of Her creed. Amidst a growing pandemic and burgeoning economy, Americans are forced to grapple with race, violence, and now public safety. Effective leadership is at a loss to handle the current national crisis. Compounding America’s turmoil, is a thin blue line mentality where police can’t police their own. The stories being told across the Country reflect the status of these turbulent times and require a willingness to listen and understand. 

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A Reporter's Story 

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Her career as a multi-award winning reporter/anchor has led her to an opportunity to mold future journalists. Tina Martin on storytelling and the responsibility of being a journalist of color.

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Defending The Scales of Justice

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with Attorney Daniel Beck

Irate Suffolk County District Attorney criticizes the entire class of lawyers in the Commonwealth who are court appointed to represent indigent criminal defendants. Defense Attorney Daniel Beck thinks, she may be wrong.

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Everyone's Coach 

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He spent decades coaching on the court, before taking his strategies to the fans. Coach Mike Jarvis on his new chapter: author.

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My Friend 'TREE' 

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Attorney Charles Walker shares stories and accomplishments of his friend, Professor Charles Olgetree, now dealing with the onset of Alzheimers. 

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Sports, Race & Society 

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Former sports reporter and anchor 
Gary Gillis on Boston sports, Colin Kaepernick  and whether college athletes should be paid.
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"3 Pounds of Pressure" 

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Author Mike Curry discusses his new book, his thoughts on the criminal justice system, and how writing became his therapy!
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What's wrong with instant gratification?

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with KHYAL

Imagine a world of instant gratification? Well, you're in it and our guest - simply put - hates it!
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The Secret of My Success, part 2 

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Aron Lee, Founder and CEO of DEILAB joins us to discuss how he found his secret to success and how YOU can find yours too in part 2 of his amazing story.
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The Secret of My Success, part 1 

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Imagine this - a childhood game we all played used to teach innovation by testing ideas, analyzing results, converting failure into an asset through structured yet playful iteration and rapid prototyping - AND - you don't have to be 5 years old to participate.

Aron Lee, Founder and CEO of DEILAB joins us to discuss how he found his secret to success and how YOU can find yours too in part 1 of his amazing story.

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Dr. Georgianna Melendez is an Assistant Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Dr. Melendez' career has included many positions on non-profit boards as well as leading New England's largest domestic violence services agency: Casa Myrna Vazquez. She has been twice selected as one of Boston's 100 most influential people for the Latino Community by El Planeta and one of Massachusetts' top 50 most influential people of color in higher education by Get Konnected and the EOS Foundation.
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Where Faith & Life Connect 009

When it comes to believing in God - how do faith and life connect? Bishop Lawrence Ward of the Abundant Life Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts discusses his doctrine, his experience in Israel, and what he likes to do for fun!

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Out of the Darkness 

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Thursday on an extended edition of the PowerPLAY: She has been to hell and back. Her extraordinary story has never been made public. On this special extended edition of the PowerPLAY, we hear the journey of one woman's triumph over pain, abuse, and prison and how God delivered her from her darkness. No commercials. No breaks. Ashleigh Collins explains why she feels her story can help others.
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Success in Business  

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Erinn Pearson specializes in healthy hair styles and management at Simply Erinn's in Cambridge. She was names one of Cambridge's YWCA's Outstanding Women and serves as one of the executive officers for Sister to Sister - A Woman's Health Initiative in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Changes In Probation 

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He's the Chief of Probation for the Cambridge District Courts. But there's more to this kid from Cambridge than you think. Damon Banks is changing the minds of what makes probation works - by using what he learned as a social worker to help those on probation succeed.
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Race & Education 

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J. Malcolm Cawthorne took over as METCO Coordinator for Brookline High School in September 2019. Learning from a rich history of METCO Coordinators before him, Malcolm hopes to build upon the program's success, while using its platform to engage former METCO students with current students when it comes to applying for colleges, looking for jobs, or mentoring.
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Financial Myths Debunked

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President and Executive Director of Financial Education Associates, Jacqueline Cooper, discusses 10 financial myths people need to know about, including:​

  • I'm too young to start saving for my retirement!

  • I'm only 30, I don't need a will!

  • I only have one credit score!

Learn about your fiscal reality and what you need to play for your financial future!

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Criminal Justice in 2020

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Days before the 25th anniversary of the observance of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Day, we sit down with retired Massachusetts Superior Court Justice Charles T. Spurlock to discuss race in the criminal justice system, the New York Times' 1619 project, and why people need to get out in vote this presidential election like never before!
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Criminal Justice Reform

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State Senator William Brownsberger (Second Suffolk and Middlesex districts) sits down with us to discuss the passing of the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform bill - what got us here and how this legislation will help those returning from prison a second chance at success outside of the judicial system.

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Art & Race

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On our premiere podcast, Rob Stull, the creator and curator of Sequential Art: The Next Step - a first of its kind traveling exhibit - spotlights the contributions of African Americans in mainstream comic book art and popular culture. The renown artist discusses how he uses art to tackle issues of race and power in our society; the inspiration he passes down to his students; and why Hip Hop - as we knows it - is dead.

May 21 2020