Noreen Gillespie


Noreen Gillespie

When the Associated Press’ Noreen Gillespie walked through doors of the Media Transformation Challenge at Poynter Institute in 2019, she was tasked with evolving the AP domestic news operations amidst a rapidly changing ecosystem. Three years later, the AP’s approach to U.S. news is wholly transformed, and Noreen’s applying everything she learned to coverage of the rest of the planet.

Chris Bullard


Chris Bullard

Sound Mind Executive Director Chris Bullard talks about growing up in L.A., sharing a mic with Kris Kristofferson, being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and his mission to end the stigma that surrounds mental health through the power of music.

The Secret Song


The Secret Song

We all have secrets, truths that gnaw at us, crush our spirit, and kill us from the inside out. The second single from my forthcoming album, Constellations, is that moment of realization and transformation made manifest. On this week’s episode, I share the journey of writing and recording of “The Secret Song,” from inception to release, and explore how it came to help me, as Fred Rogers often said, “make the mentionable manageable.”

Alberto Mendoza


Alberto Mendoza

As Executive Director of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Alberto Mendoza transformed the organization’s mission and drove record-breaking membership. In the second in our MTC Journeys series sponsored by the Media Transformation Challenge at the Poynter Institute, the Managing Director for the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University shares his path from high school journalist to non-profit entrepreneur and goes deep into how personal and professional experiences informed the launch of Palabra, an innovative media platform designed to represent and advocate for NAHJ journalists, and how his MTC fellowship helped catalyze its success.

Wide Awake


Wide Awake

Last August, armed with a dozen new demos, I set out for FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to begin recording my forthcoming LP, Constellations. The album, my tenth, drops October 14th. This week, the journey from iPhone demo to mastered album track for the first single, Wide Awake.

Human Kindness Foundation


Human Kindness Foundation

Since 1973, Bo and Sita Lozoff’s Human Kindness Foundation has given talks and distributed countless copies of their spiritual guidance to the incarcerated across America in order to encourage more kindness, simple living and service in the world. Fred Rogers was a fan, purchasing copies of books like “Deep & Simple” (the key message in Mister Rogers & Me) by the box load. As the organization approaches its fiftieth year, newly-appointed Executive Director, Erin Parish, shares her vision for the next fifty.

Michael Slackman


Michael Slackman

As Assistant Managing Editor for International at The New York Times, Michael Slackman oversees international reportage across the newsroom and bureaus around the globe. The three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner talks about growing up in the Bronx, getting shot at in Bahrain, defying Gadaffi in Libya, learning life lessons from a gold-toothed Muscovite, and how making a really good sandwich is an expression of love.

Neal Carruth


Neal Carruth

In the first in a series of episodes sponsored by the Media Transformation Challenge at the Poynter Institute, newly-installed Freakonomics Radio Network’s Executive Vice President Neal Carruth walks us step-by-step through his exceptional career and provides a deep dive into how his MTC experience helped him drive transformation at NPR, catalyzed personal and career growth, and provided immediate value in the early days of his new role.

Kirtan Smith


Kirtan Smith

Yoga instructor, Kirtan Smith, shares his experience growing up in a Hare Krishna ashram, how painful sports injuries led him to yoga, and how – even as he led others through this deep and sacred practice – he was hurting inside too.

Samantha Critchell


Samantha Critchell

Journalist Samantha Critchell shares how growing up in the garment business informed her career at Associated Press and beyond, and how that loving but sometimes unpredictable upbringing led to her profound objectivity.

Dennis Scott


Dennis Scott

Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and performer, Dennis Scott takes us on a wild ride from Queens to Nashville, tells us how he got artists from Amy Grant to Roberta Flack to reimagine Fred Rogers’ classics, and why America’s Favorite Neighbor belongs in the Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame.

Mike Joseph


Mike Joseph

Detoxicity podcast host, music exec, and wellness advocate, Mike Joseph, shares his often challenging and ultimately uplifting journey from Brooklyn to the Billboard Pride Power Player list.

“About “Friends & Neighbors”

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