IDEAS IN ACTION is a podcast series produced by the University of Southern California. Aligned with the university mission dedicated to “the development of human beings and society as a whole through the cultivation and enrichment of the human mind and spirit,” the series brings you thought-provoking conversations across various disciplines, happening at USC's University Park and Health Sciences campuses today. Recordings are available on this website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music and Spotify.
Crisis on the Colorado River
44:23The Colorado River is in crisis. Once hailed the "American Nile," the river stretches 1,450 miles and provides drinking water, irrigation, and hydroelectric power to nearly 40 million people across seven states and northern Mexico. But after decades of prolonged drought and overuse, vital reservoirs along the river are drying up. USC experts Robin Craig and Shon Hiatt discuss the far-reaching impacts of Colorado River water shortages on the region's agriculture and energy industries. Read the full story on USC News. Robin Craig is the Robert C. Packard trustee chair in law at USC Gould School of Law. Shon Hiatt is an associate professor of Business Administration at USC Marshall School of Business.
Eat, Lead, Love: Celebrating BIPOC Communities through Food, Art, and Activism
52:09As we work to create a more equitable world, marginalized and underrepresented communities must be able to tell their own stories. Learn and find inspiration from BIPOC authors whose books uplift, celebrate, and amplify their communities through art, cooking, journalism, history, storytelling, and more. Panelists Jamal Jordan is a multimedia documentarian, professor, and Civic Media Fellow at the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab. Last year, he published his first book, Queer Love in Color, a collection of portraits and stories of love between people of color. He teaches multimedia storytelling at Stanford University and publishes work in spaces ranging from The Washington Post to Mic.com. He was formerly a digital storytelling editor for the New York Times. Adrienne Keene is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, an assistant professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies at Brown University, and Civic Media Fellow at the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab. She cohosts the podcast All My Relations and is the longtime author of Native Appropriations, a blog discussing representations of Native peoples in popular culture. A contributor to outlets such as Teen Vogue, the New York Times, Stanford Magazine, and Indian Country Today, her newest book is Notable Native People: 50 Indigenous Leaders, Dreamers, and Changemakers from Past and Present. Tien Nguyen teaches food journalism at USC Annenberg. She co-authored the Red Boat Fish Sauce Cookbook, which focuses on fish sauce and its central role in Vietnamese American cooking and makes use of the cookbook format to tell a larger story about the legacy of war and colonialism, the Vietnamese American diasporic journey, and the critical role of culture in community building. Amara Aguilar (moderator) is a journalism professor of Professional Practice at USC Annenberg. At USC, she co-founded Annenberg Media’s award-winning bilingual outlet, Dímelo, focused on serving Latinx audiences. Her first co-authored and co-edited book is Covering Latino/a/x Communities: A Guide for Journalists.
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Transformative Learning: Innovation, Inclusion, and the Future of Education
1:00:24While education is weathering attacks on Critical Race Theory, outlawed instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity, and issues of inclusion, educators are working to create a more equitable educational system. Several renowned authors and educators will discuss what’s at stake, offer innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and share their visions for the future of education. Christopher Emdin is the Robert A. Naslund Endowed Chair in Curriculum and Teaching and professor of Education at USC, where he also serves as director of youth engagement and community partnerships at the USC Race and Equity Center. He is the author of numerous award-winning works, including Urban Science Education for the Hip-hop Generation; the New York Times bestseller, For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood and the Rest of Ya’ll too; and Ratchetdemic: Reimagining Academic Excellence. Matthew Manos is the Director of Challenge-Based Learning and assistant professor of Teaching and Design Strategy at the Iovine and Young Academy. He is also the founder and managing director of verynice, a design strategy practice that gives half of its work away for free to nonprofit organizations; the author of over 30 books and toolkits on the intersection of creativity, social impact, and strategy; and chair of Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti’s creative advisory board. Pedro A. Noguera is a Distinguished Professor of Education and Dean of the USC Rossier School of Education. An elected member of the National Academy of Education, his research focuses on the ways schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, and demographic trends locally, regionally, and globally. His latest book, A Search for Common Ground: Conversations About the Toughest Questions in K–12 Education, co-authored with Rick Hess, won the Association of American Publishers’ 2022 Prose Award. In 2022, he ranked third in the nation for influence and impact by Education Week. LaVonna Blair Lewis (moderator) is the Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. Lewis’s areas of research and professional interests focus on cultural competency and health equity. Her work has appeared in The American Journal of Public Health, Family, and Community Health; The American Journal of Health Behavior, Social Science, and Medicine; The Journal of General Internal Medicine; and other journals.
Confronting Climate Change: Solutions for a Sustainable World
1:02:56Wrapping up #USCEarthWeek, experts from a variety of fields will look at the impacts of the climate crisis and discuss ways to create a more sustainable world, including ecological design, sustainable consumption, and production, and implementing institutional change. Jennifer Bernstein is a lecturer at the Spatial Sciences Institute at USC. She studies contemporary environmentalism with a focus on inclusiveness and collaboration, and has been published in the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Conversation. She recently published her first book, SDG 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production, with co-author Robert O. Vos. Mick Dalrymple is USC’s Chief Sustainability Officer. With 21 years of accomplishment in the sustainability field, he helped Arizona State University earn the #1 ranking in Sierra Magazine’s Coolest Schools list and carbon neutrality six years early. He is also a produced feature film screenwriter and an author of more than 50 published articles. Alexander Robinson is a landscape architect, researcher, and scholar. As an associate professor in the Landscape Architecture + Urbanism program at USC, he researches how infrastructure can function as landscape, exploring methods to re-envision ecological function and community value. His most recent book, The Spoils of Dust: Reinventing the Lake that Made Los Angeles is a history, field analysis, and design investigation into Owens Lake. Jill Sohm (moderator) is an associate professor of Environmental Studies and director of the Environmental Studies Program at USC. She is trained as a biological oceanographer and microbial ecologist, and her research is student centered. Currently leading an initiative to expand sustainability in the USC curriculum through grants and faculty development workshops, her career is focused on educating the next generation of environmental leaders. #USCsustainability
LAtinx LA Style
57:47Noted USC professors provide insight into three different neighborhoods of Los Angeles, mobilizing Latinx pasts to better understand the future and rethink our understanding of democracy, community, and political power. Panelists Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo is the Florence Everline Professor of Sociology at USC. She is a co-author of South Central Dreams: Finding Home and Building Community in South L.A., which takes a deep dive into the lives of first- and second-generation Latinx immigrants as they shape home and identity alongside their Black neighbors in South L.A., and explores the ways Latinx identity is shaped by Blackness. Natalia Molina is Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at USC and a 2020 MacArthur Fellow. Her book, A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community, traces her grandmother’s Echo Park restaurant that served as an urban anchor for a robust community and a gathering space where ethnic Mexican workers and customers connected with their patria chica (“small country”). George J. Sánchez is a professor of American Studies and Ethnicity and History at USC and the 2020–2021 President of the Organization for American Historians. His book, Boyle Heights: How a Los Angeles Neighborhood Became the Future of American Democracy, is a love letter to a vibrant, sometimes fragmented, yet deeply interconnected metropolis that shows how people’s connection to community and neighbors can transcend time and historical change. Juan D. De Lara (moderator) is the director of the Latinx and Latin American Studies Center and an associate professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at USC. He is the author of Inland Shift: Race, Space, and Capital in Southern California.
The Invasion of Ukraine
58:00Two of the foremost experts on national security will participate in an insightful discussion about the war in Ukraine. Join the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and the USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future for a conversation with retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and former Congresswoman Jane Harman. The conversation is moderated by Mike Murphy. boosts#toggleFormOnEscOrEnter" data-boosts-adding-class="boosts--adding" data-boosts-deleting-class="boost--deleting">
A Conversation with Dr. Nicole Mitchell
30:57Tune into a conversation with Dr. Nicole Mitchell, faculty director of the OB/GYN Diversity & Inclusion Program, exploring topics of reproductive justice, providing quality care for underrepresented patients, and the healthcare disparities that exist among Ob/Gyn, including among African American, LatinX, and the transgender patient population.
Crisis Briefing: The Russian Invasion of Ukraine
1:12:47The USC Global Policy Institute, Department of Political Science and International Relations, the Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies and the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures present a crisis briefing on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Listen to a distinguished panel of six experts discuss the ongoing conflict, what it means for the world and what may happen next. With Russia's invasion, negotiation talks in Belarus, the EU and NATO on standby, the U.S. on high alert and the world watching, the Ukraine-Russia conflict is at the forefront of the public mind. Speakers: USC professor and former Soviet Union expert Robert English; USC Kade Institute Director and Central Europe expert Paul Lerner; Slavic Languages Post-Doc Fellow Andrzej Brylak; European Academy of Public Diplomacy Director Katarzyna Pisarska; USC professor and Russia and Poland expert Tom Seifrid; and USC professor and human rights lawyer Steve Swerdlow.
Reflecting on MLK, Equity and Inclusion in Today's America
30:39USC professors Dr. Shaun R. Harper and Dr. Camille Gear Rich discuss the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the challenges we still face today. Panelists Dr. Shaun Harper studies racial, gender, and LGBT issues in corporations, law firms, Hollywood production companies, K-12 schools, and universities. He is a Provost Professor in the USC Marshall School of Business and USC Rossier School of Education and the USC Race and Equity Center Executive Director. Dr. Camille Gear Rich's research and teaching interests include constitutional law, feminist legal theory, family law, children and the law and the First Amendment. She is Associate Provost for Faculty and Student Initiatives in the Social Sciences, and Professor of Law and Sociology at USC Gould School of Law, and co-founded USC's Diversity and Inclusion Awareness Week.