On Point

Weekdays 9-11 a.m.

Hear provocative voices and passionate discussion of the stories that are at the center of what is important in the world today. Leaving no perspective unchallenged, On Point digs past the surface and into the core of a subject, exposing each of its real world implications.


The History And Hope Of Juneteenth

Jun 19, 2020

Celebrating Juneteenth. We talk about the push to observe and understand the deeper story of the holiday.


Mary Elliott, historian and specialist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. (@NMAAHC)

New York Times business writer Eduardo Porter talks about how racial hostility is impoverishing all Americans.


Eduardo Porter, economics reporter for the New York Times. Author of “American Poison: How Racial Hostility Destroyed Our Promise.” (@portereduardo)

George Mpanga, better known as George the Poet, is a 29-year-old British spoken word artist. His new podcast is a genre-defying mix of music, poetry, storytelling, and personal narrative. We talk to him about his art, his push for social change and this moment now.


George the Poet, London-based spoken word artist. Host of “Have You Heard George’s Podcast?,” the first European podcast to ever win a Peabody award.

The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on workplace protection for LGBTQ workers. The justices ruled 6-3 that portions of the Civil Rights Act extend to gender identity and sexual orientation. We analyze the historic decision and its impact.


Greg Stohr, Supreme Court reporter for Bloomberg News. (@GregStohr)

Some states are reopening, while others have reversed course, as protests for racial justice continue across America. We check in around the country.


Rose Scott, host of “Closer Look with Rose Scott” on WABE, an NPR station in Atlanta. (@waberosescott)

Is The Virtual Workplace Here To Stay?

Jun 15, 2020

Working from home has become the norm for some these last few months, but will it endure after the pandemic? We explore the future of the virtual workplace.


Cal Newport, professor of computer science at Georgetown University.

Nicholas Bloom, professor of economics at Stanford University. (@SIEPR)

More than 44 million Americans have filed for unemployment in just 12 weeks. The shock of the pandemic to the economy is still being felt. We bring back two finance experts to talk about personal finances in this troubled economy and how protests have forced businesses to act on racial justice.

This broadcast originally aired on April 16, 2020.

A look at the Strategic National Stockpile. Where is it? What is it? What should it be used for? We’ll talk with the man who was once in charge of the whole thing.


Greg Burel, former director of the Strategic National Stockpile. (@gburel)

We talk to members of the high school class of 2020 about what it’s like to enter adulthood amid nationwide protests and a pandemic.


Sandy Banks, columnist for the Los Angeles Times. (@SandyBanksLA)

Rafael Escoto, he is graduating from Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School in New York. He plans on attending St. Lawrence University in New York.

Do protests spread the coronavirus? What about asymptomatic people? And where are the next possible hotspots? We look into what we know about the pandemic as global cases continue to rise, while much of the developed world begins to reopen.


Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. (@ashishkjha)

The call for a modern-day civil rights movement. We talk to two scholars of history about the need for change and healing.

Former American military leadership has been speaking out against the use of force against protesters. We talk with some of them about why.


Gen. Wesley Clark, retired four-star general. Former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. Served 38 years in the U.S. Army. (@GeneralClark)

Protests over racism and police brutality continue to grip the country. We hear the stories of organizers on the ground.


Kwame Rose, social activist, artist and organizer in Baltimore. (@kwamerose)

Tay Anderson, community organizer in Denver. Member of the Denver School Board. (@TayAndersonCO)

Black Americans are disproportionately hard hit by the current loss of jobs. We explore why and what can be done to reverse this trend.


Valerie Wilson, director of the Economic Policy Institute’s program on race, ethnicity and the economy. (@ValerieRWilson)

We are seeing people ‘pushed to the edge.’ That’s how Kareem Abdul-Jabbar describes the protests in the Los Angeles Times this week. We speak with the former NBA star.

As protests continue across the United States, we check in directly with Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Atlanta to get the latest.


Angela Davis, host of “MPR News with Angela Davis” on Minnesota Public Radio. (@AngelaDavisMPR)

How should parents talk with their children about all they’re seeing and experiencing right now? We get some good advice.


Melissa Giraud, social justice educator, researcher and advocate. Co-founder of EmbraceRace, an organization that provides resources for parents to teach their children about race. (@RaceEmbrace)

Editor’s Note: This hour discusses addiction and mental health. If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting 741741. 

We look at addiction and substance abuse during the coronavirus pandemic and the resources available to those who are suffering.

As the disrupted school year winds down, educators, parents and students look toward an uncertain fall. What will school look like next year?

Luvelle Brown, superintendent of the Ithaca City School District in New York.  Moderator of Discovery Education’s Equity Talks, a weekly webinar with educational leaders. (@luvelleb)

What We Learn From FDR's New Deal

May 27, 2020

Lessons from the New Deal. It wasn’t one big package wrapped in political consensus. We look at the real, messy process that pulled the U.S. out of the Great Depression.


Lizabeth Cohen, professor of American Studies at Harvard University. Author of “Saving America’s Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age.” (@Harvard)

Native American communities have been hit hard by the pandemic. We hear how they’re responding.


Dr. Michelle Tom, family practice physician currently working in two small ERs in Winslow, Arizona. She serves the entire southern region of Navajo Nation (roughly 17,000 people). (@drmichelletom)

This program originally aired on April 9, 2020. 

“The Good Place” creator Michael Schur joins us to talk about morals and being good during a global pandemic.

We look at what’s fair and foul in Major League Baseball’s proposal to return to the field this summer amid the coronavirus pandemic.


Jeff Passan, senior MLB Insider for ESPN. (@JeffPassan)

17 years ago, the world was facing a different mysterious, viral respiratory disease. Dr. Ali Khan tells us what we should have learned from SARS.

The Pandemic's Child Care Problem

May 20, 2020

Parents are expected to get back to work — and they want to — but how can they do it without the child care they rely on? Can an economy fully recover without robust child care?

The class of 2020 is stepping out into an utterly transformed world. We talk with grads about their hopes and fears as they try to launch their lives and careers.


Jonathan Yubi Gomez, he is graduating from Lehman College later this month with a BFA in Fine Arts. (@JonathanYubi)

We check in on China's massive testing campaign in Wuhan, Beijing's efforts to reopen its economy and the impact of another low point in U.S.-China relations.


Brenda Goh, Reuters chief correspondent in Shanghai. (@brendagoh_)

What gives art meaning? What impact does physical distancing have on our consumption and appreciation of art, both performance and visual?


Helen Molesworth, curator-in-residence at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center. Former chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. (@AndersonRanch)

This program originally aired on March 24, 2020. 

It’s been more than 100 years since all of humanity has had to respond to a global pandemic on the scale of coronavirus. We’ll take a deep look at the origins, responses and lessons of the flu pandemic of 1918.

What We Learn From Pandemic Lit

May 14, 2020

Can pandemic literature serve as a tool to understand this pandemic? Authors Tom Perrotta, Geraldine Brooks and Lawrence Wright tell us what they think.


Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist. Her bestselling novel “Year of Wonders” draws on the history of the bubonic plague in rural England. (@GeraldineBrooks)