Aspen Ideas to Go Podcast

In rallies from coast to coast, students across the United States are calling for tighter gun control. The deadly Parkland, Florida shooting resurfaced the conversation but the issue of gun violence is all too familiar for people in Chicago. For residents in certain neighborhoods, shootings are frustratingly frequent. In 2016, a particularly deadly year, there were nearly 800 murders, and about half of the gun crimes happened in just five neighborhoods, according to the University of Chicago Crime Lab. So what’s being done to reverse the violence? In this episode, we hear from Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart, Corey Brooks, a pastor of a nondenominational church on Chicago’s South Side, and Liz Dozier, founder of Chicago Beyond and former principal of a South Side Chicago high school. Their conversation is moderated by Ron Brownstein, a senior editor at The Atlantic.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 13:30

A young, courageous African American woman risked it all to gain freedom from America’s First Family in the late 18th century. Ona, or “Oney,” Judge escaped George Washington’s Philadelphia mansion after years of serving as a seamstress for the famous founding father. There’s little written about Judge. Historian Erica Armstrong Dunbar stumbled on Judge’s story by chance when she discovered a runaway slave advertisement. “I remember sitting back and saying, ‘Who is this Ona Judge and why don’t I know her?’” Dunbar went on to write Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge. In this episode she speaks with Michele Norris, founder of The Race Card Project and executive director of The Bridge at the Aspen Institute, about what Judge’s story can teach us about racial injustice and gender inequality.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 17:15

For centuries the human race has been grappling with how to life a moral life. In this conversation we hear from scholars who think deeply about moral philosophy and helping others. David Brooks suggests that, “We have words and emotional instincts about what feels right and wrong,” yet questions the criteria we use to “help us think, argue, and decide.” New Yorker author Larissa MacFarquhar profiles a number of do-gooders whose deep, even extreme moral commitment leads as frequently to criticism as to admiration. Columbia philosophy professor Michele Moody-Adams believes that we find our best selves through serious self-examination and constant scrutiny. And Stanford political philosopher Rob Reich engages us all in deep exploration of these questions.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 19:45

Throughout history, young people have been at the center of activism: the Civil Rights movement, Black Lives Matter, the labor movement, and now gun violence. What barriers do young people have to overcome to get adults to listen? What tactics must they employ to get people in power to take them seriously? We hear from young student activists working on issues of racism, inequity, and transgender rights. One recent movement, the #MeToo effort, has mobilized people across the globe in a short period of time. In the second part of the show, Fatima Goss Graves, president of the National Women's Law Center, speaks with journalist Jay Newton-Small about how to keep the energy of #MeToo going.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 20:30

Why do people do evil things? We hear from Yale psychologist Paul Bloom and journalist Graeme Wood about the nature of evil. Bloom studies morality in babies, children, and adults. Wood immersed himself in ISIS, readings the terror group’s propaganda and conversing with its members, in order to write the book The Way of Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State. Graeme explains that ISIS members aren’t crazy but are driven to do horrific evil deeds, like murder and rape. Why do they carry out these evils? And what about smaller-scale evil acts like cheating a lying? Is it enough to define evil as having a sense of right and wrong? Bloom and Wood’s conversation touches on philosophy, religion, and politics.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - 16:15