© 2024 WHRO Public Media
5200 Hampton Boulevard, Norfolk VA 23508
757.889.9400 | info@whro.org
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Smart Pill: A WHRO Emerging Leaders Board Podcast

Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

For the last year and a half, the WHRO Emerging Leaders Board has been hosting the Emerging Talks Event Series. Modeled after the French salons of the 18th-century Enlightenment, these events are fun, educational gatherings that stimulate discussion and engagement around topics that are interesting to millennials, but also accessible to those of any age.

With themes covering “Sea Level Rise,” the “Impact of Digital Technology on Art,” and the “Impact and Experiences of Women Veterans,” the events bring in substantial crowds, but in early 2017, the Board expressed the desire to extend the discussion beyond those in attendance.

The solution? Record the salons and make them available in podcast form. A podcast is a digital audio program that can be downloaded to phone or computer, and can be played whenever a listener desires. According to Edison Research, 38% of millennials listen to podcasts, so it’s a great way to engage the demographic in a format they enjoy.

In Feb. 2018, the Board launched its own podcast called Smart Pill, where each episode delivers concentrated knowledge on one specific topic. Some episodes share recordings of the Board’s salon series, while others, use interviews with experts to explore salon themes. In addition to the themes mentioned above, the podcast has also covered “Diversity and Inclusion in Comics and Geek Culture” and will soon record an episode on “Millennial Moms.”

To hear them all, visit whro.org/smartpill.  Check out our latest podcast below.


Mr. Soul

Today, we bring you a different kind of Smart Pill. PBS hosts a documentary series called Independent Lens. The Emerging Leaders Board hosts screenings of these documentaries called Indie Lens Pop-Ups. These pop-ups are a neighborhood series that bring people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations. The screenings draw local residents, leaders and organizations to discuss what matters most, from newsworthy topics and social issues, to family and community relationships.

Though this podcast is a panel discussion in response to the PBS Independent Lens film, Mr. SOUL, the panelists discuss poignant topics in African American history and culture.

About the film: Mr. SOUL!, is the story of the groundbreaking series SOUL! and its creator, back to its public media roots this February. At a time when the nation was in socio-political upheaval over the Vietnam War, racial injustice, and the assassinations of civil rights activists Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., producer Ellis Haizlip saw a lively cultural renaissance in Black communities across the country. This Black Arts Movement provided the source and substance for the series SOUL! at a time when there were few balanced images of African Americans on television. Produced, developed, and hosted by Haizlip, SOUL! was an important chapter in the story of television and public broadcasting. It was the first variety show series of its kind, and it introduced many Black artists, poets, writers, dancers, and musicians to a national audience.

The panel discussing this wonderful documentary includes Jerome Langston, regional arts and culture writer for the Hampton Roads area, Jennifer Chapman, Regional Engagement Coordinator for the Richmond Ballet, and Anthony Stockard, director of the Norfolk State University Theatre Company. The panel is moderated by Tameika Hopkins of the Emerging Leader Board. Mr. SOUL!



Speed Dating with the Emerging Leaders Board