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MPR News

This American Moment: A Series of Conversations with Kerri Miller

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In the weeks leading up to and following the tumultuous 2018 midterm elections, MPR News host Kerri Miller released a series called This American Moment. It's a collection of wide-ranging and long-view conversations with writers, scientists, artists, activists and religious leaders about this moment in American life. Who are we right now? And how does our understanding of that inform how we relate to each other and create a better future?   Writer Anne Lamott believes it's possible to curate hope in a world that caters to despair. She said it is the small, everyday mercies that sustain her expectation that all will be well. 

Listen to the conversation with Anne Lamott here.

Former South Carolina Congressman Bob Inglis didn't climate change was real. "Al Gore was for it, and therefore I was against it," he said. But a careful and sometimes reluctant review of the evidence changed his mind. Now he's working to find solutions to combat climate change - and convince his fellow Republicans to take it seriously.

Listen to the conversation wtih Bob Inglis here.

Harvard social psychologist Mazahrin Benaji discussed implicit bias and how our brains implicitly and unconsciously interpret social situations.

Listen to the conversation with Mazahrin Benaji here.

Pastor Adam Hamilton Hamilton's Methodist congregation in Kansas is a reflection of America today - it's politically divided. But that doesn't stop him from addressing politics in a religious setting.

Listen to the conversation with Adam Hamilton here.

Virginia Tech civil engineer Siddhartha Roy was part of a team of scientists that traveled to Flint, Michigan, to help residents prove the water coming into their taps was tainted with lead. He spoke about trust - what it will take to return to a place where rigorous scientific method is believed again. 

Listen to the conversation with Siddhartha Roy here.

Artist, activist and dancer Marc Bamuthi Joseph is the son of Hatian immigrants. He talked about the intersection of freedom and struggle, art and immigrant identity. 

Listen to the conversation with Marc Bamuthi here.

Ikhlas Saleem co-hosts the podcast Identity Politics, which shares the stories of young, Muslim, black women in America today. In this episode, Saleem shared her perspective on staying grounded and inspired, even when the world feels chaotic and out of control.

Listen to the conversation with Ikhlas Saleem here.

Carol Anderson, a scholar, political scientist and chair of African American studies at Emory University in Atlanta, discussed disenfranchised voters, particularly voters of color. She believes America stands at a fork in the road. Will voters reengage, even if the system seems broken? 

Listen to the conversation with Carol Anderson here.