Be the first to try out our new On Being discovery tool for exploring hundreds of conversations in our archives! And, excellent writings on privilege, solitude, and productivity to accompany your listening.
Our Letter from Loring Park opens our application process for the inaugural On Being Gathering. And, articles on the complexities of family and love, giving up on the myth of perfection, grappling with inherited prejudice and being recognized for who we are, and words from Dorothy Day on a revolution that starts within.
Rather than focusing on what’s beyond the limits of ordinary experience, we might be better served focusing on what’s within.
Shame and defensiveness about racism are not the path to change. Our columnist extends a challenge to white progressives, and to herself: to face the reality of deeply embedded racism directly, and to resolve to change the prejudices that remain.
Omid Safi on the experience of being institutionally invisible — and how our structures and spirits might change to acknowledge each other’s entire being.
A deep inquiry into Trump’s immigration ban, and its subversion of the American ideals we’re called to embody.
Are we unconsciously selective about the causes we mobilize for? Courtney Martin asks the uncomfortable question: when do we choose to show up, and for whom?
A robust hope can be found in the work and life of Langston Hughes, infused with a visionary love for words and the world.
The struggle for soul in education and patriotism, the joy of marching in step, and reckoning with the legacy of our nation’s heroes and history.
From a perennial favorite on busyness to hard conversations to help us understand each other — a round-up of the most-read blog posts of the past year.
A look at icons in our popular culture reveals the crucial work of healing at the heart of the Muslim faith.
Wise minds grapple with the tensions of faith and community, honor the resilience of a movement, and remember the love of family we often take for granted.
A reflection on reimagining American identity, which may require us to break down our most basic assumptions about the society we live in in uncomfortable ways.
A Jewish rabbi and a Mormon bishop unite their voices in an invitation to unity, and remind us that our diversity in race, religion, and politics is what makes our nation great.
An African-American professor who has spent her life building bridges across racial divides questions whether she can continue knowing that four out of five white Evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump.
Some years ago, I came across one of the most intriguing book titles that I have ever seen. It was…
Profound moments of wisdom and change are often found in the interstitial spaces: in an exchange overlooked, in stories not shared. A collection of unexpected moments of beauty, curated by our executive editor.
Essential celebrations of the strength and beauty that surround us, from new life and community to the poetry of words and images.
A dispatch from across the pond on frank and generous response to difficult questions, and hovering in a magical, suspended moment.
The late historian Vincent Harding explores the potent and challenging spirituality shared by two fathers of the movement for civil rights.
We find ourselves at a pivotal moment in our history. What kind of path will we choose to forge ahead? john powell calls us to reform old narratives of oppression, violence, and exclusion into something hopeful and new.
It is a privilege to feel that this is a time of unusual turmoil. Sarah Smarsh points at our responsibility in this revelatory moment: not just to look at the injustice we live amidst, but to act on what we see.
We can begin to understand each other by asking the right questions — and listening to the stories we receive in turn. Lori Lakin Hutchinson sheds frank and essential light on the reality of racism in America.
Drawing on the walking undead from Game of Thrones, Omid Safi comments on the stubborn disease of white supremacy, and on resisting its spread with the resilience of kinship and kindness.
Can we be more generous in understanding those who are different from us? Parker Palmer recounts lessons learned over a lifetime on our true proximity and kinship with “the other.”
Our days have been marked by pain and gaps in understanding. The enduring presence of kindness, mercy, poise, and the beauty of music provide guidance in harrowing times.
The tension we feel at this moment in our history can be an opening for catharsis. Courtney Martin engages with perspectives in the dialogue that provide opportunities for greater understanding.
When the weight of the world is heavy, music can be a balm. A musical offering for this uncertain moment, for mercy and the courage to walk together toward the beloved community.
We find ourselves in a time of deep reckoning, and we must turn to each other for companionship and wisdom. Collected guidance on claiming the whole of our identities, and finding compassion for experiences that are not our own.
In light of the recent shootings, Krista offers a playlist for shedding light and wisdom on belonging to one another.
It’s easy to blame Donald Trump for the fear and anger in this election cycle; it’s much harder to see the deep roots of prejudice in ourselves and in our culture. Parker Palmer seeks a political reckoning beyond the language “us” and “them,” toward a language of shared responsibility.
We’re confronted with choices of wanting to do what’s best for our children and our communities. But sometimes they come into conflict with each other. What do we do then? Courtney Martin on the intersections of public and personal life as she makes school choices for her daughter.
Trauma can be a rigid dictator of the course of a life, often giving rise to paths of destruction and illness. Dr. Robert Ross on why these cycles exist, and on our responsibility as members of the community to heal the broken spaces in the structures we live in.
Feeling ill-equipped as a Yankee living in the South, a teacher in Charleston, South Carolina grapples with talking about race with her students and exploring the multiplicity of narratives we so often ignore.
A well-rounded and well-hyperlinked summary of the racial year behind and ahead from john a. powell. His expansive perspective challenges us to look with hope towards the new year.
The hope for the future lies in the lyrics and the spoken words of Prince EA. See how wise and beautiful we are capable of becoming.
A Southern woman’s searching lament on the hot, boiling silence of Southern grief after the shootings in Charleston — and the inheritance of sorrow.
In times of trauma, modern-day technology connects us instantly. But could it be that genetic memory metabolizes much more slowly? Courtney Martin juxtaposes modern day urgency with a long view of legacy.
A mother reflects on curating an updated library of children’s literature for her daughter to read — one that speaks to “the full spectrum of brown and black folks to mitigate the future onslaught of ubiquitous whiteness” and people she could imagine being.
Join us at 10:00 am this morning for a live video stream of Krista’s conversation with john a. powell, one of the most revered thinkers on race today. We’ll be taking your questions online too!
Children ask questions that challenge the best of parents. They also expose the weaknesses of our responses. A set of reflections from a black South African mother and activist who is confronted by the truth of her daughter’s words and embracing the “weirdness” of their “dark brown and peach” family.
A sampling of our best picks of the week on everything from vocation to multitasking, honoring teachers and Alzheimer’s patients. And some ways to join On Being in the studio or on your iPad.
With the overwhelming angst of privilege, our columnist confesses to her own inclinations to participate in Twitter testimonies of white privilege. But, it’s no substitute for the moral imagination required to acknowledge the emotional lives of others.
A black theologian talks with one of America’s leading Old Testament scholars about Ferguson and the place of protest and prophecy in our faith, the place for our rage, the need for honest talk, the role of education in protest, and the transformative potential of radicality.
With the decisions about the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, powerful words from a Holocaust survivor and essays dealing with grief and loss, systemic solutions, and polls that polarize.
With the grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer who killed Michael Brown, a school of children’s uncommon silence in New Mexico leads the way to expressing grief and finding a role for our anger.
A powerful commentary from the mother of a black teenage son who says we need to stop talking around the edges of race and address the systemic problem itself: that we see black men as less than human.
A behind-the-scenes narrative of how the music in our podcasts find its way serendipitously into our production process — all by way of hip hop aficionado Imani Perry. Lauryn Hill comes through in a pinch.
A powerful essay on the responsibility of raising black sons in America. Against the forces of injustice and the brutal truth of racial inequality, a scholar and a mother finds hope in community and the knowledge that “together we create gardens of possibility in the parched earth.”
Courtney Martin’s column on reckoning inspired this unexpected campaign on telling our own stories of privilege.