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Community Activist Christopher 2X

Community Activist Christopher 2X

Louisville activist Christopher 2X talks about his journey as a former convicted drug dealer who received government pardons for his crimes, to his community work helping young people stay on a better path through early childhood education initiatives.
S16 E18 Length 28:02 Premiere: 2.7.21

A Mission to Educate At-Risk Youth About Peace, Justice, and Respect

For activist Christopher 2X, redemption isn’t something that comes quickly or easily. It comes from a true commitment to improve oneself and to serve one’s community in ways that improve the lives of others.

“Redemption and second chances can be real,” says 2X. “It’s reachable, but you have to put the work ethic into it and understand, especially for young people, you were born for a better purpose than you might think.”

2X is a familiar figure in Louisville where he often serves as a mediator to calm tensions in the wake of racial violence. His peace, justice, and early childhood education work through his non-profit organization Game Changers has been hailed by citizens, politicians, and law enforcement on both sides of the political divide.

A Reset on His Own Life

The feelings of hope and redemption he seeks to encourage among both the victims and perpetrators of violence are rooted in what he describes as his own “dark journey” riddled with “a lot of self-inflicted wounds.” By age 13 Christopher Anthony Bryant was in juvenile detention for drug dealing. In the 1980s and 1990s, he served multiple stints in state and federal prison for drug possession, cocaine trafficking, and theft.

When he left jail for the final time in 1999, Bryant set about healing himself. He joined the Nation of Islam and took the name Christopher 2X. He also committed to working in the community to help ensure other young people didn’t fall into the same traps of crime and violence that he did.

“For me, it was more or less trying to reset,” says 2X, “and say, ‘Where can I place my energy best, and where would I feel comfortable the most in placing that energy in a good way to try to do some cleansing.’”

Part of that process involved changing his view of law enforcement. Instead of simply distrusting the police, 2X says he realized that they too were a part of the community and weren’t going away. He also realized that if he wanted to be respected by police, then he would also have to respect them. That epiphany gave 2X a new approach.

“I believe in having civil conversations to try to better relations.” he says.

Now even in some of Louisville’s tensest times, such as last summer’s demonstrations over the police shooting of Breonna Taylor, 2X has worked to facilitate conversations among protestors, police, and civic leaders.

Early Interventions are Critical

Whether he talks with high-powered politicians or up-and-coming activists, 2X offers the same message.

“We’ve got to figure out a way to coexist better for children to thrive in safe and habitable environments,” he says. “Not in a way that we have this lovey-dovey relationship that might be so artificial, but on the principles of respect.

“We can get there if we try hard,” he adds.

To help create those environments, 2X founded his Game Changers organization to create educational initiatives to help children who are exposed to violence in their homes and neighborhoods, and to keep them on a positive and productive path in life. He says the old model of trying to address youth misconduct among older children is outdated.

“We’ve got to intervene now, unfortunately, at the preschool level,” says 2X. “We’ve got to do strong intervention in elementary school and definitely middle school before they even take that next step into high school.”

Even the very youngest children can pick up negative influences that can put them on a bad road, according to 2X. Plus, he says the ones that are exposed to traumatic experiences like a neighborhood shooting can have a harder time focusing and learning in the classroom, which can also lead to a downward spiral He says when he was an at-risk youth, he didn’t get the help he needed.

“When you see a troubled kid in school, sometimes you have to be more patient with that kid,” says 2X. “Maybe give a little bit more attention to that kid to try to find out what is the bottom line on this behavior issue and how can we attempt to turn it around.”

2X says it is a mistake to think that a child will simply grow out of their behavioral problems. He says parents who see misconduct in a son or daughter should be as diligent in addressing it as they would if the child was diagnosed with a medication condition.

“Don’t give up on them because they have behavioral issues, work harder to try to correct those issues,” he says. “Parents don’t need to be ashamed or afraid to seek help.”

Using Your Blackness for Healing

Just before Christmas 2020, outgoing President Donald Trump granted a full pardon to 2X for his federal charges. Just a year before, former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin pardoned 2X for his state charges.

2X says that he did not seek those pardons, rather they were the work of retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Rod Givens, who is on Sen. Rand Paul’s staff. 2X says he and his daughters allowed Givens to proceed with the pardon requests to Bevin and Trump so long as they were done without fanfare.

Now that he has the pardons, 2X says he wants to use them as a tool to further his conversations about redemption and second chances.

“I don’t want individuals to think a pardon is the truly redemptive qualities of a person,” he says. “Doing the work and finding satisfaction in doing something that you know was worthy to do in a positive way to impact others is the biggest applause you can get in life.”

That’s a message 2X frequently delivers to young people, especially Black youth. He says he wants them to have hope as they realize they were born for a purpose. They can make a positive difference in the world, he says, as long as they do it with taste and distinction.

“Be proud of your blackness but use your blackness in a universal way for healing the planet,” says 2X. “Real blackness for me is using it in way to get healing and justice to anyone you have interactions with.”

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Renee talks with Malcolm Ratchford, executive director of Community Action Council, an organization that helps thousands of low-income Central Kentuckians each year work toward greater economic security.

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Connections - S17 E18

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Pop Culture and Commodification of Women - S9 E8

Renee talks with women and others about the influence of popular media on body image and the stereotypes perpetuated throughout the entertainment industry.

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Innocence Project - S9 E9

Renee's guests are Innocence Project Policy Director Stephen Saloom and prison exoneree Calvin Johnson. In 1983, Johnson was falsely convicted of rape and sentenced to life in prison. The Innocence Project took his case and arranged for forensic testing that proved his innocence 16 years later. Renee talks with Johnson about his experience and with Saloom about the work of the Innocence Project in all 50 states.

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Diabetes Prevention and Control - S9 E10

Experts discuss the statewide education and prevention methods being dispatched and the changes individuals can make to avoid diabetes.

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Human Trafficking - S9 E11

Renee talks with guests about recent legislation that strengthens Kentucky's human trafficking laws and provides more services to victims and other topics.

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The Forgotten Minority - S9 E12

Renee talks with advocates for Kentuckians with disabilities about the challenges facing those with mental and physical limitations and illnesses, the resources available, and the policy changes needed to better serve this population.

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Connections - S17 E19

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Middle Class Struggles and Poverty - S9 E13

Renee's guests are Ron Crouch, demographer and director of research and statistics in the Office of Employment and Training for the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, and Myrdin Thompson of Louisville, an activist with RESULTS, a nonprofit whose mission is to fight hunger and poverty.

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History Maker; Tuskegee Airmen History - S9 E14

Renee interviews three men who are either making history or working to preserve it: Reginald "Reggie" Thomas is the third African American in Kentucky history to be elected to the Kentucky Senate; Ron Spriggs, historian, and Bobby Scroggins, a University of Kentucky art professor and sculptor, talk about the Tuskegee Airmen and new artwork created to honor them.

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Sabrina Butler and Kate Miller - S9 E19

Renee talks with Mississippian Sabrina Butler, the only female death row exoneree, about her wrongful conviction and her quest to end capital punishment, and with American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kentucky spokesperson Kate Miller.

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Vershawn A. Young - S9 E20

Renee talks with University of Kentucky professor Dr. Vershawn A. Young (aka Dr. Vay), an expert of the contemporary African American experience, about his latest published work, Other People's English: Code-Meshing, Code-Switching, and African American Literacy.

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Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker - S9 E21

Frank X Walker, named Kentucky's 2013-14 poet laureate, talks about his latest collection, "Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers", and other works and projects.

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Connections - S17 E20

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50th Anniversary of the March on Frankfort - S9 E22

Renee discusses the 50th anniversary commemoration of the 1964 March on Frankfort with historians and participants including: NAACP Louisville leader Raoul Cunningham and former state Senator Georgia Davis Powers.

  • Monday February 7, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Aaron Thompson - S9 E26

Aaron Thompson, executive vice president and chief academic officer of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, discusses the state budget for higher education and the impact on student tuition.

  • Tuesday February 8, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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MaryLee Underwoood and Chastity Ross - CCDD - S9 E27

MaryLee Underwoood and Chastity Ross with the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities (CCDD) discuss recent legislation to protect vulnerable adults against abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

  • Wednesday February 9, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Dr. Janet Taylor - S9 E29

Renee speaks with Dr. Janet Taylor, psychiatrist, certified life coach, and national commentator on work-life balance and mental health issues.

  • Thursday February 10, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Djuan Trent - S9 E30

Former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent talks about her decision come out as a gay woman, reaction from family and friends, her activism in advancing gay rights and marriage, and more.

  • Friday February 11, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Connections - S17 E21

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Hasan Davis - S9 E31

Renee speaks with former Kentucky Commissioner of the Department of Juvenile Justice, Hasan Davis, about recent juvenile justice reform. Davis was featured in the recent PBS "Frontline" program "Prison State," about Kentucky's correction system, and interviewed for KET's follow-up program, "Prison State: A Kentucky Community Conversation".

  • Monday February 14, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Prison Reform In Kentucky - S9 E32

Renee continues the discussion about Kentucky prison reform recently highlighted on the PBS "Frontline" program "Prison State." Her guests are: Mark Bolton, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections; Sheila Schuster, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and mental health advocate; and Ray Larson, Fayette County Commonwealth's Attorney.

  • Tuesday February 15, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Ted Strader - COPES - S9 E33

Ted Strader, the director of the Council on Prevention and Education: Substances, Inc. (COPES) in Louisville, discusses how partnering agencies with the corrections system can help former inmates with successful re-entry into society.

  • Wednesday February 16, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Colene Elridge - S9 E34

Renee speaks with human resources professional and life coach Colene Elridge, better known as Coach Colene, owner of Be More Consulting.

  • Thursday February 17, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Rape Culture - S9 E35

Renee's guests are Mae Suramek, executive director of the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center and Rus Funk, executive director of MensWork- Eliminating Violence Against Women.

  • Friday February 18, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Connections - S17 E22

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Mental Health Courts - S9 E36

Kelly Gunning, director of advocacy and public policy, NAMI Lexington (National Alliance on Mental Illness), and Public Defender Jon Landon, discuss mental health laws in Kentucky.

  • Monday February 21, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Malcolm Ratchford - S9 E4

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Marcie Timmerman - Mental Health and Wellness - S13 E43

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Shining a Spotlight on Epilepsy - S13 E35

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Criminal Justice Reform - Cherise Fanno Burdeen - S13 E34

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Dr. Donna Grigsby - S13 E28

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Kosair Charities Face It Movement; Terry Brooks - S13 E25

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Sec. Eric Friedlander - Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services - S17 E16

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Child Marriage Laws in Kentucky - Donna Pollard - S13 E24

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  • Friday January 7, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - S13 E23

  • Thursday January 6, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday January 6, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday January 6, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday January 6, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Educational Innovation - S13 E21

  • Wednesday January 5, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 5, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 5, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 5, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Gerald Smith - S13 E20

  • Tuesday January 4, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 4, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 4, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 4, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 4, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 4, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

DV8 Kitchen - S13 E17

  • Monday January 3, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday January 3, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday January 3, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday January 3, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday January 3, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday January 3, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Elizabeth Helm-Frazier - S16 E39

  • Sunday January 9, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 9, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday January 8, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday January 8, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 5, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday January 5, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday January 2, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday January 2, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday January 2, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 2, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday January 2, 2022 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday January 2, 2022 11:00 am CT on KET

Silas House - S13 E16

  • Friday December 31, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday December 31, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday December 31, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday December 31, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday December 31, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday December 31, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Sexual Harassment Issues - Consultant Rus Funk - S13 E14

  • Thursday December 30, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday December 30, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday December 30, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday December 30, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday December 30, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday December 30, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Good Samaritans - Surgery on Sunday; Bluegrass Families First and One Parent Scholar House - S13 E12

  • Wednesday December 29, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday December 29, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday December 29, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday December 29, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday December 29, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday December 29, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Health Issues - Sen. Julie Raque Adams and Rep. Addia Wuchner - S13 E10

  • Tuesday December 28, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 28, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 28, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 28, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 28, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 28, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention - S13 E8

  • Monday December 27, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday December 27, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday December 27, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday December 27, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday December 27, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday December 27, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Caroline Randall Williams - S16 E13

  • Sunday January 2, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 2, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday January 1, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday January 1, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday December 29, 2021 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday December 29, 2021 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday December 29, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday December 29, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday December 26, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday December 26, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday December 26, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday December 26, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday December 26, 2021 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday December 26, 2021 11:00 am CT on KET

Gordon Hamlin - S13 E7

  • Friday December 24, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday December 24, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday December 24, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday December 24, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday December 24, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday December 24, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Steve Beshear - S13 E5

  • Thursday December 23, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday December 23, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday December 23, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday December 23, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday December 23, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday December 23, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao - S13 E4

  • Wednesday December 22, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday December 22, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday December 22, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday December 22, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday December 22, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday December 22, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

bell hooks - S4 E16

  • Sunday December 26, 2021 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday December 26, 2021 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday December 25, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday December 25, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday December 22, 2021 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday December 22, 2021 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday December 22, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday December 22, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Tuesday December 21, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 21, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 21, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 21, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 21, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 21, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Sunday December 19, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday December 19, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET2

Kristin Ashford - Smoking Cessation and Pregnancy - S13 E2

  • Monday December 20, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday December 20, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday December 20, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday December 20, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday December 20, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday December 20, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY
Top

Season 16 Episodes

Filmmaker Elizabeth Helm-Frazier

S16 E37 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 8.1.21

Early Childhood Development Initiatives in Louisville

S16 E36 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 7.25.21

Kathy Werking and Jim Embry

S16 E35 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 7.17.21

Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack

S16 E34 Length 27:41 Premiere Date 7.11.21

Boone Co. Judge Executive Gary Moore

S16 E33 Length 28:03 Premiere Date 6.26.21

The Demands and Rewards of Fatherhood

S16 E32 Length 26:31 Premiere Date 6.20.21

Psychologist Julie Cerel

S16 E31 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 6.13.21

Restaurateur and Chef Ouita Michel

S16 E30 Length 27:56 Premiere Date 6.6.21

Sarah Taylor Vanover - Early Childhood Education

S16 E29 Length 27:32 Premiere Date 5.16.21

A Conversation with U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell

S16 E28 Length 28:21 Premiere Date 5.9.21

Cynthia Knapek of Louisville Leadership Center

S16 E27 Length 27:35 Premiere Date 5.1.21

Vaccine Equity and Hesitancy

S16 E26 Length 28:22 Premiere Date 4.24.21

State Treasurer Allison Ball and Sharon Price

S16 E25 Length 28:31 Premiere Date 4.18.21

Chef and Activist Dan Wu

S16 E24 Length 27:52 Premiere Date 4.11.21

EKU Criminal Justice Professor Pete Kraska

S16 E23 Length 28:00 Premiere Date 4.3.21

The Rise of Anti-Asian Violence

S16 E22 Length 27:32 Premiere Date 3.28.21

Authors Prisha Hedau, Carly Muetterties and Maddie Shepard

S16 E21 Length 28:21 Premiere Date 3.21.21

Charles Booker

S16 E20 Length 28:27 Premiere Date 3.14.21

Mental Health and COVID-19

S16 E19 Length 28:39 Premiere Date 2.14.21

Community Activist Christopher 2X

S16 E18 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 2.7.21

Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Keith Jackson

S16 E17 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 1.31.21

A Mission to End Institutional Racism in Kentucky

S16 E16 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 1.24.21

Celebrating the Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County

S16 E15 Length 28:33 Premiere Date 1.17.21

Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman

S16 E14 Length 27:06 Premiere Date 1.10.21

Caroline Randall Williams

S16 E13 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 12.20.20

Amy Luttrell and Adria Johnson

S16 E12 Length 28:12 Premiere Date 12.13.20

Kentucky Education Commissioner Jason Glass

S16 E11 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 11.22.20

Louisville Metro Police Interim Chief Yvette Gentry

S16 E10 Length 28:11 Premiere Date 11.15.20

Jecorey Arthur and Quintez Brown

S16 E9 Length 27:31 Premiere Date 11.8.20

Terrance Sullivan

S16 E8 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 11.1.20

2020 Election Preview with Colmon Elridge and Tres Watson

S16 E7 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 10.25.20

Beth Howard and Michael Harrington; Devine Carama

S16 E6 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 10.18.20

Nana Ama Aya Bullock and Muriel Harris

S16 E5 Length 28:26 Premiere Date 10.11.20

Betsy Johnson, Saundra Ardrey

S16 E4 Length 28:41 Premiere Date 10.4.20

Fabian Alvarez, Leyda Becker and Mercedes Harn

S16 E3 Length 28:06 Premiere Date 9.27.20

Devine Carama; Marjorie Guyon and Barry Darnell Burton

S16 E2 Length 28:46 Premiere Date 9.20.20

Marsha Weinstein

S16 E1 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 9.11.20

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