Humankind on Public Radio

Humankind on Public Radio

Weekly podcast from public radio’s award-winning program Humankind


November 24, 2022 30 min
We hear the moving story of Kathleen DiChiara, suburban housewife who became very concerned about human hunger in the 1970s. This motivated her to start collecting food at church, and eventually other sites, and then to organize distribution to people in the nearby inner city.
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There’s a kind of mystery in sitting calmly, patiently, attentively and tuning into someone else’s personal story – their experience and life journey. In this documentary, we hear the insights of people who, in a sense, listen for a living: physicians, counselors, clergy and others. What does it mean to set aside one’s own agenda […]
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November 17, 2022 27 min
As we grope for a “new normal”, has humanity reached a kind of turning point? It feels that way — in the wake of the Covid pandemic, intensifying impacts of climate change, the war in Ukraine, mounting threats to our democracy, repeated mass shootings and so much more. In this second part of our documentary, […]
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November 10, 2022 28 min
Have we entered an age of unrelenting chaos? As we grope for a “new normal”, has humanity reached a kind of turning point? In this timely audio documentary, you’ll hear inspiring stories of survivors. We also listen to health care providers, clergy and others who offer specific guidance to help people navigate these choppy waters. […]
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November 7, 2022 33 min
Health care chaplaincy has increasingly been a subject of evidence-based research. In this episode of the podcast, we review findings of some recent studies by the American Cancer Society, the Mayo Clinic, Pew and other sources. Two leading researchers offer their perspectives.
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November 3, 2022 29 min
In a country as wealthy as the United States, “working poor” should be a contradiction in terms. But tens of millions of Americans fall into that category — affecting a growing population of children.
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October 24, 2022 34 min
From firefighters to police officers to the Red Cross and many others, First Responders play an essential role in protecting public safety and helping people cope with emergencies. In this segment, we consider the work of providers of disaster spiritual care. These folks look after both survivors of tragedies and the responders, who are sometimes reeling […]
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July 21, 2022 29 min
Take a trip to a pristine spot in Maine for an afternoon spent with Palestinian and Israeli youth as they come together to play, connect, and discuss the imperiled region they struggle in eleven months out of the year. Despite the hardened conditions in which they were raised, the teenagers here reveal an innocence and […]
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June 23, 2022 29 min
After war, our veterans face a new battle: emotional and spiritual conflict that is normal to human beings who’ve experienced intense brutality. In this documentary, we examine the effects of military violence and how people begin the journey of healing from it. We hear deeply moving stories of veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and […]
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June 9, 2022 29 min
The Prisoners Literature Project, an all-volunteer service based in Berkeley, California, packages and ships books to people who are incarcerated, as a humanitarian gesture and one that helps inmates prepare for re-entry into society.
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May 30, 2022 27 min
In the wake of shocking violence at abortion clinics, two apparent enemies — women representing pro-choice and pro-life factions in the Boston area, where shootings had occurred — were forced to communicate, for the sake of everyone’s safety. What unfolded over many months was one of the most mysterious and moving conversations among people of […]
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December 16, 2021 30 min
Christal Presley, an English teacher in Virginia who experienced “secondary trauma” in response to the extreme behavior of her father, a Vietnam-era veteran with PTSD, tells how the family began a journey of recovery.
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December 9, 2021 30 min
Following incarceration in New Jersey for a multiple homicide he did not commit, Rubin Carter managed to emerge from prison in 1985 with an astounding attitude about life. A famous prize-fighter on the outside, Carter suffered great deprivation behind bars: Not only more than nineteen years of his life had been taken, he also lost […]
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December 2, 2021 30 min
As dramatized in a Bob Dylan song and ‘The Hurricane’ starring Denzel Washington, ex-prize fighter Rubin Carter tells how he was wrongly convicted of a triple homicide and ultimately exonerated by a federal judge, and trained his mind in prison to transcend hatred. After a court declared his murder conviction a miscarriage of justice, Rubin […]
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November 25, 2021 30 min
Today over two million people partake of the storytelling, the good humor, the words of wisdom and the gallons and gallons of free coffee made available to attenders of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. AA’s basic text has been translated into more than 60 languages and has sold over 35 million English copies. We consider the history […]
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November 18, 2021 30 min
Alcoholics Anonymous marks its beginning when one hopelessly addicted drunk realized that connecting with a fellow-sufferer would create a safe zone in which both could stop their downward spiral. In the second half, we examine the AA recovery principles that have promoted sobriety for millions of recovering alcoholics and have created a template to help […]
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November 11, 2021 30 min
“At the end of the day,” says Jonathan Star about his English translation of Tao te Ching from the original Chinese, “it’s not about attaining anything.  The Tao keeps saying ‘it’s everywhere!’  It’s to notice another part of yourself that’s just overlooked.  You know, we see what the mind shows us, but there’s another dimension […]
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November 4, 2021 30 min
Jonathan Star took twelve years to master the nuances of ancient Chinese in his quest to produce a remarkably lucid and evocative English translation of Lao Tsu’s brilliant masterpiece of wisdom. Guidance in the subtle art of attaining mental and emotional balance pervades Star’s brilliant translation of Lao Tsu’s timeless poetic volume of Taoist philosophy […]
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October 28, 2021 30 min
When we nurse grudges, the person clinging to a resentment often pays a high price in anxiety, hostility, perhaps depression. What follows from that for many people, says Robin Casarjian of the Lionheart Foundation, are health-related symptoms.  “And it stops you,” she says, ‘from really being able to be fully present to yourself, and to […]
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October 28, 2021 23 min
Within a decade, America will be looking different. In addition to other demographic changes, 70 million Baby Boomers are now entering their retirement years. For the first time in our history, there will be more older adults than children. This huge societal change will affect how families provide eldercare, how older Americans access transportation, and […]
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