This week’s idealist is St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, who’s ushered in a new era of imagination and energy to create a “St. Paul for everyone”; the Big Interview is with Hadeel Abouhasira, a young Richmond VA attorney of Palestinian descent who’s trying to give back; and in Block C, I talk about visiting beautiful…

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The idealist for this week is Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1971 leaked the infamous Pentagon Papers as a way of changing the conversation about the Vietnam War, highlighting the government’s failure to be honest with Americans; in the Big Interview, I talk with David Liners, a priest-turned-nonprofit founder, who oversees WISDOM in Wisconsin—a collection of…

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This week I focus on the incredible idealism of Colin Kaepernick, a man of principle and humility who is fighting oppression; I also return to the youngest member of Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who even before she takes the oath to serve is working to radically change the status quo. In Block C, I talk about…

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Our idealist for this early December show is Eartha Kitt, famous for “Santa Baby,” who worked to help at risk youth and who wasn’t afraid to speak truth to power; for this Ellie’s Talking Head Show we’ll also talk about white journalist Ray Sprigle, who in 1948 posed as a black man while on a…

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Our idealist for this week is Belva Davis, the first woman of color to be a new anchor on the West Coast—in the early 1970s; the Big Interview is with Tom Dzik, who has been “giving back” to the community all his life in remarkable ways—as Tom say, “Just do it.” In Block C, I…

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Part of our theme this week is about prisons and those who are willing to “see” confined persons as human. Our idealist is the one and only Johnny Cash, whose many prison concerts (all for free) led him to champion prison reform in the early 1970s; the Big Interview is with Tonen O’Connor, a Buddhist…

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This week’s idealist is Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz, one of the Living Tree Synagogue shooting victims, who rushed to aid the wounded and was killed himself. The Big Interview is with Daryl Davis, a black man who bravely meets with Klu Klux Klan members to form friendships and who’s convinced some to renounce their Klan membership.…

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The theme is about idealists who pay a price. Our idealist highlight is about Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who at the 1968 Olympics raised their gloved fists in protest of oppression of black people in the U.S.—both men were banned from further Olympic competitions. The Big Interview is with Fr. Harry Bury, an outspoken…

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Our theme this week is “Idealist’s Under the Radar” and I highlight a pharmacologist with the Food & Drug Administration, Frances Oldham Kelsey, who in 1960 resisted drug manufacturer pressure to license thalidomide in the U.S. and in doing so, prevented thousands of American babies being born with birth defects. The Big Interview is with…

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It’s an Ellie’s Talking Head Show! Our idealist highlight is of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who unseated a 10-term Democratic in this year’s NY primary. Block B is about racism and trauma—in part, a history lesson about the Tulsa race riot of 1921 and then how a personal health crisis (another form of trauma) can cause one…

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This week’s idealist is the Rev. William Barber, II, a 2018 MacArthur Genius Grant recipient for his work in organizing North Carolina marginalized communities into a political force that unseated Pat McCrory as governor; the Big Interview is with 22-year-old Nick Alm, who founded Mossier MN.org to promote LGBTQ entrepreneurs in Africa as a way…

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The theme this week is “befriending the untouchables” and in Block A, I talk about two white high school students who befriended the “Little Rock 9”—black students who sought to integrate Central High School in Little Rock in 1957; The Big Interview is with Fr. Harry Hartigan re: his work at MN’s Moose Lake facility…

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Ellie’s Talking Head show re: the interplay of hope and idealism. I feature Daryl Davis, a black man whose mission in life has been to convert Klu Klux Klan members from hatred of “Other” to acceptance; Block B is about loss of hope and political hope; in Block C, I share about launching my first…

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This week’s theme is “Thinking Big.” Block A highlights Jose Antonio Vargas, a young idealist, journalist, author and documentary director who is championing the rights of undocumented immigrants; The Big Interview is with Mark Goulston, a MD-neuroscientist who is trying to change the world by making us better listeners; and in Block C, I talk…

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Our theme is “Changing the World.” Block A is a discussion of “Beware (of) Rich People Who Say They Want to Change the World,” (www.nytimes.com/2018/08/24/opinio…-fake-change.html) and the concept of “Fake Change”; the Big Interview is with a real idealist—Cathy Heying of the Lift Garage; and in C Block, I talk about wrestling with the decision…

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This week’s theme is how idealism fuels philanthropy. My A Block is about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—the largest in the world; the Big Interview is with Vanessa Tennyson, a transgender woman who transitioned from high level executive to philanthropist/entrepreneur/3:00 a.m. telephone crisis counselor for LGBTQ people; and in my C Block, I share…

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Our theme this show is the intersection between the media and Idealism. I speak about Rachel Maddow’s rise from morning radio host in rural Massachusetts to MSNBC mega star; the Big Interview is with Chad Larson, KTNF station owner and “optimistic idealist”; and my C Block relates to how my daughter’s idealism and political activism…

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This week is an Ellie’s Talking Head Show—there is no Big Interview. Our theme is the intersection of education and idealism, so we’ll first talk about Jane Elliott, the Riceville, Iowa teacher who wanted to teach her third grade class about discrimination. In 1968, just after Dr. King’s death, she imagined and created the “Blue…

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Block A commemorates the 49th anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival and the idealist—Max Yasgur—who made it possible; The Big Interview is with Emily Hunt Turner, an activist-idealist, who founded Four Square, an initiative to give formerly incarcerated humans a second chance; Block C: The challenges of getting out my message about the…

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This week’s theme is the intersection of idealism and religion. Block A: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Protestant minister who resisted the rise of Hitler and Nazism and paid for that with his life; Block B, The Big Interview: Zen Buddhist teacher Bussho Lahn, about the similarities between Idealism and Buddhism—both require an awakened heart; Block…

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This show’s theme is politics—how it sometimes works with idealism but sometimes not. Block A: Minnesota’s own Paul Wellstone and how he came to fight for those who lack voices; The Big Interview: Richard Painter, candidate for U.S. Senate, and what fueled his need to speak up against greed; Block C: Why I don’t enter…

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Our theme is “standing up for those who lack voices.” Block A: Ralph Lazo, a Latino teenager who, as a show of support for his Japanese friends, voluntarily interned himself at the Manzanar interment camp during WWII after the U.S. gov’t dislocated 100K persons of Japanese ancestry. Block B: an interview with Jenny Schulz, founder…

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First expanded length show! Block A: Jerome Smith, a Freedom Rider who spoke truth to power when he was part of an informal meeting between Robert F. Kennedy; Block B: An interview with Stephanie Glaros of Humans of Minneapolis; Block C: My desire to do more to help make the world a better place and…

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Block A: Leonard Riggio, the founder of Barnes & Noble and father of mass book retailing. Riggio understood that paperback books represented a way to allow middle class people to assemble libraries; he also subscribes to the theory that a single book can change one’s life; Block B: My experience in encountering people who are…

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Block A: James Meredith, the first African American to attend Ole Miss, the University of Mississippi, and his persistence; Block B: My persistence in learning how to “write like a human” (as opposed to writing as a lawyer) and writing/launching my book, Getting to Ellen: A Memoir about Love, Honesty and Gender Change (2013).

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Block A: My first attempt to do good in the world by establishing a nonprofit in Cedar Rapids—and how I failed; Block B: Remembering that on this Memorial Day, we all need to do our best to reclaim America’s authenticity and values.

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Block A: Zora Neale Hurston, a writer who’s grandparents on both sides were slaves; Zora wrote about living as a black person in the first half of the 20th century. She interviewed and wrote about Cudjo Lewis, the then last person living who had been brought to America as a slave; Block B: My recent…

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Block A: Dr. Megan Coffee, an under-the-radar idealist who has dedicated her life to improving medical conditions in Haiti; Block B: How I’ve heard that my message about human inclusivity isn’t always received well.

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Block A: The work of Harry and Bertha Holt, who founded the first international adoption agency following the Korean war; Block B: My own story as an adoptive parent to two Korean-born girls and my gratitude for the work undertaken by the Holts.

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Block A: Johan Van Hulst and others saved 500-1000 Jewish children and babies from Nazi concentration camps and certain death; he believed that the risk to his own life was worth it; Block B: How my human inclusivity trainings have sparked compassion from others.

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Block A: Commemorating the life of Linda Brown, the plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court Decision, Brown v. Board of Education; Block B: The price of being an idealist.

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Block A: Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer and contemporary idealist whose advocacy has saved 100+ from death row and who’s the architect of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama; Block B: Ellie’s audience-participatory “Identity Game” where people want to be known for being “compassionate.”

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Block A: Christopher “Tripp” Zanetis, who could have been our “first gay President” and the best that America had to offer; Block B: Ellie’s experience of speaking/training in “the bubble” of the Twin Cities compared to the greater Midwest re: being a transgender person.

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Block A: Marsha P. Johnson, a founder of the modern transgender human movement and a participant in the Stonewall Riots; Block B: Living as a transgender person in the Trump/Pence America and believing in the other, far larger more welcoming and accepting America.

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Block A: Viola Desmond, “Canada’s Rosa Parks”; Block B: Ellie as an advocate for women and on the value to mentoring to girls and young women via Big Sisters.

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Block A: Parkland Fla. high school students leading our “leaders” on changing the gun rights conversation; Block B: Ellie as a whistleblower in college.

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