Before the war in the East Ramapo, New York school district, there was a truce. Local school officials made a deal with their Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbors: we'll leave you alone to teach your children in private yeshivas as you see fit as long as you allow our public school budget to pass.
East Ramapo School District
Ira tells the story of Meron Estefanos, a freelance journalist who in 2011 got a troubling tip: A group of Eritrean hostages was being tortured and held for ransom in the Sinai desert. Along with the tip was a phone number.
Ira plays audio from a YouTube video made by Jonathan Perez. In it, 24 year old Jonathan, an undocumented immigrant, walks straight into a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, tells an officer he doesn’t have papers, and gets himself arrested.
Reporter Michael May tells the story of activists from the National Immigrant Youth Alliance who intentionally got arrested for being undocumented. They believed if they could get inside the Broward Transitional Center in Florida, they could prevent lots of the immigrants there from being deported.
Producer Ben Calhoun tells the story of a former Congressional Representative from South Carolina, Bob Inglis. Inglis is a conservative Republican who once doubted climate science.
Host Ira Glass tells the story of writer turned activist Bill McKibben. McKibben is trying to reinvent progressive politics when it come to climate change.
Camas Davis tells a true story about a rabbit kidnapping that saves some rabbits' lives, kills those same rabbits' babies, and leaves students in a Portland rabbit-butchering class scratching their heads.
Producer Jonathan Menjivar tells the story of John Smid, a gay man who did not want to be gay, and who tried to get other gay people to suppress their urges as well. Then...John changed.
Host Ira Glass has a lot of questions for Mike Daisey, beginning with why Daisey lied to Ira and This American Life producer Brian Reed about how they could fact-check his story with Cathy Lee. Ira also explains This American Life's fact-checking process, in general.
Producer Sarah Koenig continues the story Terry Engelder and Dan Volz, their rival calculations about natural gas in Pennsylvania, and how each was treated by his university. She explains how Pennsylvania's universities, politicans and industry have united to develop natural gas.
Sarah takes us to Mt. Pleasant, PA, where a gas exploration company called Range Resources has leased 95% of the township's land.
Ira talks with reporter My Thuan Tran of The Los Angeles Times about how San Jose City Councilwoman Madison Nguyen went from being the "golden child" of the Vietnamese community to someone who faced weekly protests and a hunger striker. Turns out red-baiting is alive and well in the Vietnamese-American community.
The story from the prologue continues.
Brandon Darby was a radical activist and one of the founders of the incredibly effective relief organization Common Ground. Michael May reports on how Darby changed from a revolutionary who wanted the overthrow of the U.S. government into an informant working with the FBI against his former radical allies.
Michael May's story about Brandon Darby continues.
When Molly Antopol was in 7th grade she learned what abortion was—and it sounded to her like murder. Her mom, a pro-choice activist made it her mission to change her daughter's mind.
Working in a poultry processing plant is one of the most unpleasant jobs you can get in this country. It's low-paid, dangerous and difficult.
Sara was raised in a fancy suburban neighborhood with strict parents who liked to flaunt their wealth—with his and hers Porsches, for instance. But when Sara was 12, her mother and father sat her down in the den with her siblings, and told them that their father had done a terrible thing, and their lives were about to change forever.
Host Ira Glass introduces a story on the most ambitious and hopeful solution to urban poverty in the country—the Harlem Children's Zone. The project's goal is nothing less than changing the lives of thousands of children in Harlem, starting at birth and continuing until they go to college.
Paul Tough reports on the Harlem Children's Zone, and its CEO and president, Geoffrey Canada. Among the project's many facets is Baby College, an 8-week program where young parents and parents-to-be learn how to help their children get the education they need to be successful.
Tim White used to be a gang leader in Chicago, but now he's a "violence interrupter" for a program called CeaseFire. Host Ira Glass talks to Tim about his work, and why he thinks it can keep young gang members from killing each other.
Producer Jane Feltes spends a day with two young Mormons, on mission to possibly the least receptive environment they could find...the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Chaya Lipschutz, an Orthodox Jewish woman from Brooklyn, donated herkidney to a stranger. After that, she decided to spend all her time tryingto match up potential donors with kidney patients.