Conversations in culture
“ALS is a disease that quarantines and isolates in its very nature. So in a way, for the past nine years, our family has been experiencing something similar to what the world is experiencing right now.”
Former NFL athlete Steve Gleason lives with ALS. But he hasn’t let his diagnosis stop him from fighting for policy changes and new innovations that transform lives by making crucial technology accessible to those living with the neurodegenerative disease. In this episode, he delves into the purpose and strength he’s found in fatherhood and shares insights about Team Gleason, his organization that’s turning disabilities into super abilities by developing innovative technological solutions.
“We're all individuals, but we are better and stronger when we are a community. When people care about each other more and pay attention to what life is like for other people, that's a really big takeaway.”
Casey Harris, keyboardist for the rock band X Ambassadors, hasn’t let living with low vision hold him back. He has strived to create a world without limits and has found that community and inclusion are more important than ever—especially during times of social isolation. Hear from the infectiously positive musician on ways we can uplift each other and create a future that’s more connected and inclusive than ever before.
Kendall and Delaney Foster
“When you hear that someone has autism, you can't go in with specific stereotypes, you need to just start engaging with them one-on-one, learning about them, learning what their challenges are, what they enjoy doing, how they prefer to interact with someone. It's a very individualized disorder.”
Meet Kendall and Delaney Foster. They’re the sisters behind Unified Robotics, an inclusive after-school program for students with cognitive disabilities. Delaney started the program in 2015 to create a shared activity between her and her sister Kendall, who has autism spectrum disorder. In this episode, find out how the Foster sisters are raising disability awareness. They prove that when programs and technology include people with disabilities, everyone wins.
Lacey Henderson’s story is one of hardship—but also one of perseverance and overcoming adversity. After being diagnosed with the extremely rare synovial sarcoma at nine years old, Lacey had her right leg amputated above the knee.
In addition to using her athletic success to normalize disability in society, Lacey works with children with limb difference and is a passionate advocate for health, fitness, nutrition, child advocacy, and living one’s best life. Last year, she premiered the first season of her podcast, “Picked Last in Gym Class,” where she talks to people like photographer Michael Avon about how to overcome adversity before finding success.
But this didn’t stop her from earning a cheerleading scholarship to the University of Denver and becoming a six-time USA National Champion in the long jump and the world record holder in the pole vault. Lacey also participated in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and earned a silver medal at the 2019 PanAmerican Games in Peru.
Coach, lifelong football fan, game-changer
As the second woman ever to coach in the NFL, Katie Sowers helped lead the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl LIV in 2020. From facing job rejection for being an openly LGBTQ person to dealing with social media trolls after her team’s devastating loss, Katie lets her guard down for a vulnerable conversation. Listen on, and get to know her off the field.
Emily Adams Bode
Fashion visionary, storyteller, boundary breaker
Breaking boundaries is all in a day’s work for Emily Adams Bode, the first female designer ever to show at men’s fashion week. In this episode, go inside her innovative creative process.
Digital skills teacher, refugee advocate, dreamer
From Kakuma refugee camp resident to digital literacy teacher, Grace Nshimiyumukiza shares how she persisted in the face of prejudice and personal strife to pursue a master’s degree and inspire thousands of others to learn digital skills.
Gamer, data lover, fearless problem solver
It might seem like Halee Mason was destined to be a lead data scientist at Cloud9, but her path wasn't exactly straightforward. Find out how she thrived in a competitive, male-dominated industry.
Coder, accessibility advocate, creative force
“I want to change no into a yes. Because yes girls can code. Yes, girls can do whatever they want,” says 12-year-old wunderkind Anna Miller. Find out how’s she’s building a more accessible world.
Host Taylor Trudon
Host Taylor Trudon is a writer, content strategist and Gen Z whisperer. She’s worked at HuffPost, MTV News, and The New York Times where she’s grown young audiences through multi-platform storytelling and explored emerging trends. A graduate of University of Connecticut, Taylor was named one of the Most Influential Young Women of 2015 by Teen Vogue. She’s passionate about using her platform to build community in meaningful ways.
Learn how modern storytellers are immersing people in the worlds of their stories.
The sonic turn
Meet artists who are transforming the way audiences experience and interact with music.
Breaking the pattern
Shaping a sustainable future for the fashion industry with tech-powered innovation.
The new MVP
Find out how data is revolutionizing sports to gain a competitive edge.
The future past
Hear how mixed reality and the Internet of Things are helping to preserve our past.
Hosts Becca DeGregorio and Todd Whitney
Becca DeGregorio got her start in radio working on WBUR Boston’s Open Source with Christopher Lydon. She’s since worked with Vice’s GARAGE Magazine, Project Worldwide, and Color of Change.
Since 2012, Todd Whitney’s produced stories for NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin and reported on waste, cultures, and change for KALW’s Crosscurrents. He’s also directed audio fiction and produced food travelogues for Audible Originals.