Katie Marquette | WYPR

Katie Marquette

Producer

Katie Marquette is the producer for a number of local programs for the station, including Future City and Life in the Balance. She hosts and produces the new WYPR podcast, The Noir and Bizarre, a show that explores secret and dark history. Additionally, she works as a production assistant for Out of the Blocks. Katie has a masters degree in conflict resolution from Georgetown University and believes in the power of innovative storytelling to connect and reconcile diverse communities. She has an undergraduate degree from St. Mary's College of Maryland, where she majored in religious studies and English. Katie first discovered her love of radio when she started working as a producer for the independent radio show, Interfaith Voices

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Trends are suggesting that fewer and fewer people will be opting for a four-year college degree in the future. The average student who takes out student loans ends up with nearly 30,000 dollars to pay back, and many graduates just aren’t seeing a return on their investment: About 44% of graduates end up at a job that doesn’t require a college degree.

So what is the future of higher education? Some say it’s vocational and trade schools – programs that offer more technical training in specialized fields – many which traditionally haven’t required a bachelor’s degree.

But is our education system set up for students in vocational schools to succeed? What about students who don’t go to college? What sort of economic outlooks will they be looking at?

Benjamin H/flickr creative commons

Over 3.4 billion people use social media, but with privacy concerns and accusations of false information – what’s the future of internet use? New social media sites are emerging pitching authenticity and transparency, but are consumers willing to make the switch to new platforms? Wes discusses media, marketing strategies, and the future of the internet on this episode. 

Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun

Here in Maryland, there are nearly 4,000 children in foster care. With so many children in need, how do we ensure a future where children, parents, and foster parents are all provided with the best possible care? Wes discusses interracial adoption, foster parents, biological parents, and the emotional realities of this complex system. 

Force: upsettingrapeculture/Facebook

Today we’re focusing in on people who are confronting some of Baltimore's most ingrained issues head on through the power of art.  Baltimore is known for its thriving artistic scene and many artists are serving a dual purpose – as both artists and healers - through aesthetic expression they are quite literally restoring people and communities. 

Thomas Hawk / Flickr

With the highest imprisonment rate in the world, the United States is long overdue to address the issue of mass incarceration. With 2.2 million people behind bars in this country, what have been the effects? Has our prison system worked? We’re looking to examples in Europe to learn more. Many European models focus on rehabilitation rather than retribution. While some here in the U.S. remain skeptical about the European method of incarceration, many are beginning to implement changes and programs that take best practices from European countries and apply them here in the U.S.

all photos by Wendel Patrick

Neighborhood elders take it upon themselves to step between warring gang members, a mother-daughter duo produces a DIY feature film about gun violence, a restorative justice mediator helps lawbreakers to repair the harm they’ve caused, and a bee-keeper goes from homelessness to running his own business. Plus, conversations with local politicians past and present, an activist science teacher, and a young motivational speaker with an inspiring voice.

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When many of us think of the modern workplace, we start thinking about the images we’ve seen of Facebook and Google headquarters: open floorplans, fooseball tables, designer beanbag chairs. Maybe we don’t picture an office at all. Instead, we picture someone telecommuting from home in their pajamas. But do either of these images reflect the reality of the modern workplace? And what trends are emerging that are changing our conceptions about the needs of workers in the 21st century? On this edition of Future City, Wes explores the future of workplaces. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived in North Lawndale on Chicago’s West Side in 1966, and he galvanized the neighborhood in a campaign against redlining and housing discrimination. Two years later, he was assassinated. In the wake of his death, riots erupted in North Lawndale. Local industries abandoned the neighborhood, population plummeted, unemployment ballooned, and today the area is still trying to rebuild from the ashes of ‘68.  In this episode, we meet elders who remember the turmoil of that era, and we hear from a younger generation that’s seeking to breathe new life into North Lawndale. 

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

On this episode of Life in the Balance, guest host, Jamyla Krempel, explores getting by in Baltimore in 2019. Why are so many working families struggling to pay their bills? We'll meet a housekeeping manager and local activist, Doreen Hicks. She's worked up to four jobs just cover basic necesssities. Are we solving the root causes of poverty or just responding to it's symptoms? We'll discuss the 2018 ALICE report (ALICE stands for "Asset limited, Income Constrained, Employed") with the President of the United Way and learn more about GEDCO, a local non-profit trying to fill in the gaps for families in need. 

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We live in a society deeply invested in ownership. It’s been the classic way to gain, sustain, and grow family wealth. It’s been the mark of adulthood and stability. Ownership – of a car, of a house, of a phone, clothes - has been a ‘given’ for most of recent history. But will this remain the case? With the rise of the so-called sharing economy and the popularity of Marie Kondo-style minimalism, ownership doesn’t always hold the same appeal.

700 Fallsway: Masterpiece in the Mire

Mar 12, 2019
all photos by Wendel Patrick

One man spent more than half his life in prison. Another fled his country to avoid religious persecution and ended up on the street. One was left to live alone at age 12. One relapsed after 18 years clean. And one carries the burden of a lost sister. These men live together in a long-term residential program called Christopher Place Employment Academy on the 700 block of Fallsway, one block south of the Baltimore Jail. In this episode, we listen to their stories, and we meet the staff supporting them as they attempt to redefine their lives.

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Baltimore's Shock Trauma Center is the busiest in the country – this is where the Air Force sends medical professionals to train before deploying. In other words, the conditions in Baltimore City aren’t so different from a war zone.

What are we doing to address this ongoing crisis? Some say it’s time to start looking at gun violence as a public health issue. That’s the angle we’re taking on this show. And we’re talking with the folks who are at the front lines – working in Shock Trauma – in Annapolis – and at John Hopkins’ renowned School of public health.

Baltimore Museum of Art

There's a new exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art - "Monsters & Myths: Surrealism and War in the 1930s and 1940s". On this episode, Katie goes behind the scenes with co-curator Oliver Shell to explore some key works and ask big questions about absurdity, dreams, nightmares, demons, and monsters. 

If you heard the last episode of the podcast, you’ll remember we spent some time on the block where the release door of the Baltimore Jail lets out onto the street. We met some guys who’d been locked up in the jail multiple times, we talked a lot about the jail, but we didn’t talk with anyone who actually works in there. Well, that’s what this episode is about: Conversations about work and life with the warden, two correctional officers, and the commissioner of pretrial detention and services at the Baltimore City Detention Center.

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The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that Every day, more than 130 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total "economic burden" of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.

And frankly, the problem is only getting worse. Opioid overdoses increased 30 percent from July 2016 through September 2017 in 52 areas in 45 states.

This is a national health care emergency – and a national tragedy.

So what’s being done about it? Today on the show we’ll be exploring the personal impacts of opioid and drug addiction… The tolls on families… And what states and cities are doing to address this is issue as the healthcare crisis that it is.

all photos by Wendel Patrick

The release door of the Baltimore City Jail opens out onto this otherwise abandoned block, empty except for the presence of a mobile medical office that posts up there 5 days a week. The PCARE Van, as it’s known, is operated by the non-profit Behavioral Health Leadership Institute, and it’s there to prescribe the opioid addiction medication Buprenorphine (Suboxone) for those in need. Oftentimes, people will walk directly out of the jail and directly onto the van. In this episode, we meet the staff of the van and the clients they serve.

Lacey Benton

Have you ever had a mentor? Have you ever been a mentor?  In either case, mentorship can be a powerful experience for everyone involved.

Today on the show we’re going to be looking at the impact of mentorship – professionally, personally, and academically.  Having a mentor can be a total game-changer for a young person who doesn’t have a lot of other resources.  It’s also a really effective way for an older person with resources to make a major and direct difference.

We'll meet a mentor-mentee pair, talk about Baltimore City's YouthWorks program (and how you can apply), and speak broadly about how we can change our assumptions about mentorship when it comes to age, race, and socioeconomic status. 

all photos by Wendel Patrick

Our collaboration with Arlo Iron Cloud & KILI Radio continues this episode, as we travel through the Pine Ridge Reservation and visit with an Oglala Sioux Tribal Vice President, an historian at Oglala Lakota College, a pair of Pine Ridge Highway Safety Officers, a man who reflects on the trauma of the Wounded Knee Occupation, and an embittered son who returned to the reservation to reconcile with his father. We also get to spend some time hanging out with Arlo’s family: his dad, Richard, his wife, Lisa, and his son, LeRoy.

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Accordinding to The College Board, 71 percent of graduates from four-year colleges carried debt, with students at public schools owing an average of $25,550 and those with degrees from private colleges owing an average of $32,300.

So what’s the solution? Consider the relatively low cost of a community college education - Average annual tuition and fees for students attending public, two-year colleges in their communities were just $3,260 in 2013-2014.

With so many people priced out of higher education – what’s the future of colleges – and where do community colleges fit into this changing landscape?

Pine Ridge Reservation, part 1: Meeting a Prayer Halfway

Jan 14, 2019
all photos by Wendel Patrick

We team up with Arlo Iron Cloud of KILI Radio, Voice of the Lakota Nation, for this listening tour of The Pine Ridge Reservation, a 50 by 100 mile stretch of land in South Dakota that's home to the Oglala Lakota people. In this episode, we meet a radio producer, a hip hop artist, a medicine man, a home builder, a tribal government leader, a powwow organizer, a painter, and a philosopher who’s chosen to live alone in a house with no electricity and no running water.

Heidi Sheppard

Sixty years ago - on the night of October 26 1958, around midnight, two men were driving by Loch Raven Reservoir in Towson. Suddenly, they saw a huge egg-shaped object appear above a bridge. As they got closer, their car stopped dead.

They watched the object hover for a while and then there was a flash of light – some strange noise – and a burst of heat – it then rose into the sky and disappeared. The event remains unexplained.

Today, this history has been rediscovered and embraced by residents of the Knollwood neighborhood of Towson, Maryland, who are hoping to launch an Alien Invasion festival in the future. What's behind the continued allure of space?

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5.6% of people in Baltimore City find themselves unemployed. A few years ago, Diane was one of them. She had a series of personal struggles that left her feeling like finding a job was next-to-impossible. We’ll spend the first part of our show getting to know Diane – and then we’ll zoom out and learn more about the non-profit that helped get her back on her feet. We’ll also ask questions about how and why a person finds themselves unemployed – and just how difficult it can be to find stable employment after a personal setback.

In its prime, Pennsylvania Avenue was the black entertainment hub of Baltimore, but there’s a whole generation that doesn’t know about that heyday. The Jubilee Arts program aims to bridge the gap. We meet Jade Davis of Jubilee Arts, who teaches a children’s ballet class on the corner of Pennsylvania Ave and Presstman Street, and we get a historical perspective from community organizers Todd Marcus and Amelia Harris of Intersection of Change. We also get two takes on opiate addiction, one from a pharmacy that has to watch out for counterfeit prescriptions, and one from a former drug counselor who’s currently battling his own addiction.

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It’s the holidays – and maybe you still have some last-minute shopping to do. But how are you doing that shopping? Is it the same way you were doing your holiday shopping five years ago – fifteen years ago? Are you driving to a mall – are you hitting up your local shops – or are you ordering packages on Amazon?

Wes takes a look at retail and the future of commerce here in the United States – especially considering the seemingly limitless growth of online-commerce based businesses like Amazon. He then focuses in on Baltimore, and how our retail industry is changing and growing. What’s working, what isn’t?

Dubscience Photography

Baltimore's nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $606 million industry supporting more than 15,000 full-time jobs and generating $54.5 million in local and state revenue.

But just how accessible are these artistic jobs? Who is benefiting from our thriving cultural sector – are the arts equitable? These are some of the questions we’ll be discussing today.

We’ll also be discussing how the arts – especially poetry – can be a tool for activism. We’ll be speaking with a number of local poets and performers who are using their art specifically for the purposes of social engagement and activism.

Rowland Scherman - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Music has long been used as protest. Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, John Lennon, and CCR, and so many others, used their music as a way to protest the Vietnam War. They wrote songs that addressed systemic injustices and sought to unite people through the power of their music.

Today, many musicians are doing the same.

Music as activism is constantly growing and evolving, and art continues to be a vital medium for expression and dialogue.

Today on the show we’re looking at the Arts… Arts as Activism. We’ll be talking with musicians and visual artists about how their art is intertwined with their activism. 

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On this episode of Life in the Balance, we meet Ausar Daniels, a Baltimore activist who believes that the way we interact with food can change everything. 

With 228,000 households in Maryland considered food insecure, the risk of chronic disease is high. We’ll talk with health policy officials and advisors to better understand the detrimental effects of poor nutrition. 

Kennedy Krieger

Flickr / Avia Venefica

From Ancient Celtic harvest rites warding off ghosts and spirits... to Roman rites honoring the dead... To All Saint's Day masses... On this episode, Katie is exploring the origins and evolution of modern Halloween celebrations. We also feature a reading of T.S. Eliot's haunting poem, "The Hollow Men." Happy Halloween! 

Elizabeth Harper

Elizabeth Harper is an author, photographer, and academic, as well as the creator of the popular online blog: All the Saints You Should Know: Bones, Relics, Lore, and Oddities from the Catholic Church. On this episode, Katie and Elizabeth talk about the confusion over incorruptibility of saints' bodies, the strange allure of ossuaries (bone churches), folk Catholicism and veneration, and how churches can act as memory theaters for forgotten history.

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