Episode 99: Jose Antonio Vargas
Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas, called “the most famous undocumented immigrant in America,” shares his story of discovering his status at age 16 and his journey in the decades that followed including his coming out to the world as undocumented in The New York Times Magazine. In this poignant interview, the immigration rights activist discusses misconceptions about immigrants, his definition of "American," and his memoir Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen.
Episode 98: Lynsey Addario
She’s one of this generation’s pre-eminent photojournalists, who covers wars and conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Darfur, among others; during which she’s been kidnapped twice. In this riveting conversation, the winner of a MacArthur Genius grant and a Pulitzer for her photos gives a behind-the-scenes her recent photography book simply titled, Love and War.
Episode 97: Kevin Allison
Michael sits down with friend and fellow member of The State Kevin Allison for a nostalgic, hilarious, and honest conversation about their time together in the iconic sketch group. For more than a decade after the tv show ended, the comedian and storyteller struggled to find his voice trying his hand at numerous jobs (including a stint as a porn author). It wasn’t until he decided to be himself on stage that he discovered his true calling and the Risk! Podcast and live show were born.
Episode 96: Maeve Higgins
The delightful and hilarious Irish-born comedian and writer sits down with Michael to discuss her passion for using her comedic voice to start conversations about immigration, environmental issues, and social justice. A star in her native Ireland, she left fame behind to come to the US to continue her comedy career but also began chronicling the lives of immigrants in her podcast and book of the same name Maeve in America
Episode 95: Hank Green
In 2007, Hank Green along with his brother John, tried a Youtube experiment - for an entire year they made a video a day together - which they thought was a dumb idea. To their surprise, these videos quickly led to millions of fans. Eleven years later Green has harnessed his popularity to focus on what's important to him and now oversees a video company that produces popular Youtube educational content, has raised millions of dollars for charity, founded the world's largest conference celebrating online video, and now written his first novel, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. In this episode, Hank talks about his first novel, how his life parallels his main character’s, and why taking risks is the best way to learn.
Episode 94: Zachary R. Wood
As president of his college group "Uncomfortable Learning," Zachary R. Wood attempted to bridge the gap between dissenting views by inviting controversial speakers to campus and was shut down by student protests. Now a recent graduate, and a new author of the memoir, Uncensored, he opens up about his abusive childhood with a schizophrenic mother, and the pressure he felt to constantly strive for perfection as a son, student, and black man.
Episode 93: Tina M. Tchen
The former Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama and leader of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund talks about her time at the White House and her childhood growing up in 1960s Ohio as the daughter of Chinese refugees. With a sense of humor and positively Tchen gives her take on the current administration, the importance of diversity of thought and representation in politics, as well as her lifetime commitment to tackling issues related to corporate compliance, ethics, and equality.