Kai Wright

Host & Managing Editor, The United States of Anxiety

Kai Wright is host and managing editor of The United States of Anxiety, a podcast about the unfinished business of our history and its grip on our future, produced by WNYC Studios.

The Atlantic hailed the show as one of the “The Best Podcasts of 2018,” declaring that it “has always been able to swiftly explain current events through the lens of the past.”

In addition, Wright was the host of WNYC Studios’ other limited edition podcasts with social justice themes: The Stakes, There Goes the Neighborhood, and Caught: The Lives of Juvenile Justice, which was honored with an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award. He also served as one of the hosts of Indivisible, a national live radio call-in show that WNYC convened during the first 100 days of the Trump Administration to invite Americans to come together across divides.

Wright’s journalism has focused on social, racial, and economic justice throughout his career. Formerly, he was an editor at The Nation and the editorial director of Colorlines. As a fellow of Type Investigations, he covered economic inequality, access to healthcare, and racial inequity. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Mother Jones, and Salon, among other outlets, and his broadcast appearances include MSNBC and NPR. Wright is the author of Drifting Toward Love: Black, Brown, Gay and Coming of Age on the Streets of New York, as well as two surveys of black American history.

Shows:

Kai Wright appears in the following:

America Are We Ready For Truth And Reconciliation?

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

A look at the truth of America's racial divide and how to reconcile.

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A Court On The Edge

Monday, September 21, 2020

Voting rights cases are moving fast. The Affordable Care Act faces yet another life or death hearing. And that’s before we even get to the fight over who’ll replace Justice Ginsburg.

Dissent, Dissent, Dissent

Sunday, September 20, 2020

As the country mourns the loss of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we gather together to honor the life and legacy of the woman, the pioneer, the icon and the daughter of Brooklyn.

Serving Up Social Justice

Monday, September 14, 2020

Despite empty stands, athletes are making waves across the sports industry speaking out against anti-black violence. Many Americans support, but not everyone is a fan.

The Necessary Work

Monday, September 07, 2020

Public and care workers have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, but who takes care of them? We explore the histories, realities and hopes of these very essential workers.

Scared in the Suburbs

Monday, August 31, 2020

The suburbs have long been considered safe spaces for white Americans to retreat from ‘dangerous’ big cities. Now violent unrest around the country threatens that sheltered way of life.

What Do You Have to Lose?

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Share your story with us. We want to hear from you!

“It’s My Party”

Monday, August 24, 2020

For our first LIVE episode we take calls and reflect on last week’s Democratic National Convention by exploring what it means to be a member in a party divided.

Recapping the DNC Finale

Friday, August 21, 2020

Biden's big moment.

Revisiting Caught: 'You Just Sit There and Wait for the Next Day to Come'

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Solitary confinement has been proven gravely dangerous for young people. For some, it represents another way to survive, but often at the expense of making it home. Where is Z now?

Revisiting Caught: 'They Look at Me Like a Menace'

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Just one diagnosis can make or break a seemingly endless cycle of incarceration, but for 16-year-old Z, it’s complicated. And frustrating. Our presentation of Caught continues.

Revisiting Caught: 'I Just Want You to Come Home'

Thursday, July 30, 2020

What happens once we decide a child is a criminal? We return to Caught as the nation continues to grapple with long-standing systemic racism in our policing and justice systems.

The Laws of Soil and Blood

Friday, July 17, 2020

Afro-Italians like Bellamy Ogak are not born citizens by law. Their story is a reminder why U.S. birthright citizenship is a radical idea: It ended slavery.

Zoned for Resistance

Friday, July 10, 2020

Chicago’s Little Village has been hit hard by COVID-19, but after a botched demolition left it coated in dust, one lifelong activist and her community are standing together while apart.

Why Frederick Douglass's "Fourth Of July" Speech Still Resonates

Friday, July 03, 2020

In his speech, Douglass challenged what he saw as the hypocrisy of the Fourth of July. Here's why his words resonate today. 

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Juneteenth, an Unfinished Business

Friday, June 26, 2020

As the nation grapples with a reckoning, we pause to celebrate Juneteenth. Our holiday special, for Black liberation and the ongoing birth of the United States.

Rage, Grief, Joy

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Something has been pushed to the surface that can no longer be repressed. And it’s transforming everything— from what we tolerate politically to how we mourn those we’ve lost.

'Community' Is a Verb. And It’s Hard

Friday, June 12, 2020

People all over the country are stepping up to make change. But as they do, they face challenges that go beyond Covid-19 and police violence. Two stories, from Chicago and New York City.

Keeping Released Prisoners Safe and Sane

Thursday, June 04, 2020

What if we release prisoners with no one to help them? We follow a psychiatrist and social worker as they try to find and support mentally ill inmates being released during a pandemic.

Kai Wright on WNYC's 'America: Are We Ready' Call-In Special

Monday, June 01, 2020

Kai Wright on WNYC and Minnesota Public Radio's national call in special, 'America: Are We Ready: A National Call-In About Racism, Violence, and Our Future Together.' 

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