With the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, economic uncertainty and the nation’s racial reckoning, it has become clear that our country’s past and present is not being told through an equitable lens. We know that race courses through every facet of our lives. And yet, too few people–particularly white people–truly understand the history of racism and how it still permeates today’s institutions.

That’s why we at E Pluribus Unum decided to produce a podcast exploring systemic racism as it exists in America. We worked with Next Chapter Podcasts to produce the 7-part series called Divided By Design, and it includes conversations with advocates, historians and experts to help us see more clearly what systemic racism looks like.

The podcast pulls clips from EPU’s Truth. Action. Reconciliation. conversation series in 2020 and 2021, as well as interviews from EPU’s tour of the South in 2019. All 7 episodes are now live to allow listeners to move quickly from one topic to the next.

Check out the podcast here. 

By better understanding how we got to this moment, we can better chart a path forward towards a more just, inclusive and equitable America for us all. We hope this podcast aids in that understanding.

Mitch Landrieu
Founder & President 

Episode 1 Illustration

E1: The Case for Racial Equity
The Divided By Design podcast kicks off with discussions exploring the “truth” in our history, including the history of racial inequality in the United States; how systemic racism has divided and crippled this country; and the need for audacious leadership to create the change that we all desperately need to be a just and equitable America. This episode features Princeton University’s Dr. Eddie Glaude, PolicyLink’s Angela Glover Blackwell, Center for American Progress’s Danyelle Solomon, the Brookings Institution’s Dr. Andre Perry and more.

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E2: Dollars and Sense: Breaking Down the Racial Wealth Gap 
In this episode, we’ll go deeper into how we are divided by design on economic opportunity and inclusion, including the long history of the racial wealth gap. This episode features PolicyLink’s Angela Glover Blackwell, the Brookings Institution’s Dr. Andre Perry, Center for American Progress’s Danyelle Solomon, HOPE Credit Union’s Bill Bynum, Nathaniel Smith of the Partnership for Southern Equity, and Garnesha Ezediaro who runs Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative.

E3: Criminal (In)justice System
We explore and discuss the history of the American criminal justice system, and how systemic racism was a part of its DNA, from the advent of the slave patrol to laws that ensured both power and privilege were to be maintained by white males of wealth and their families. Interviews feature Harvard University professor Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Alec Karakatsanis of Civil Rights Corps, ACLU’s Alanah Odoms, Nicole Porter of the Sentencing Project, longtime police chief and reform leader Charles Ramsey, and Baltimore Police Superintendent Michael Harrison.

E4: In Search of Health Equity
We delve into the roots of racism in medicine in the US–that is, the false notion of a biological basis for race–and the way that has shaped the profound systemic racism and anti-Blackness in American medicine. This episode features Morehouse School of Medicine’s and Harvard University’s Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Dr. Jeremy Greene, Cityblock Health’s Dr. Toni Eyssallenne, Black News Channel’s Dr. Corey Hébert, Harvard Medical School’s and EqualHealth’s Dr. Michelle Morse, New Orleans East Hospital’s Dr. Takeisha Davis, and Morehouse School of Medicine and Health Equity Leadership and Exchange Network’s Daniel E. Dawes, J.D.

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E5: Block Away But World Apart

In this episode, we look at the topic of housing and segregation, particularly in the South. The legacy of segregation is palpable across the American South and has enormous implications for how people lead their daily lives. From redlining and housing policy to physical separations by highways or railroad tracks and transit policies, physical separation is a real-life consequence of decades-old decision making. The episode features Nathaniel Smith of the Partnership for Southern Equity, Dr. Temika Simmons of Delta State University, Center for American Progress’s Danyelle Solomon and more.

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E6: Democracy Denied

In this episode of Divided By Design, we discuss the history of democracy in America. The promise of America is that we all come to the table of democracy as equals. But our democracy is in crisis. Episode 6 features political leader, voting rights activist and New York Times bestselling author Stacey Abrams, National Urban League’s Marc Morial and noted voting rights attorney and Democracy Docket publisher Marc Elias.

Episode 7 Illustration

E7: Getting Closer to Reconciliation

In this episode, we start to frame out what getting to reconciliation could look like by talking to behavioral scientists and psychologists who have studied race and bias to shed light on various strategies used to address the pre-conscious thoughts and ideas that prevent us from finding common ground on issues of race and bias. We’ll talk to former White House Communications Director for President Obama and bestselling author Jennifer Palmieri, sociologist Dr. Whitney Pirtle, psychologist Dr. Peter Coleman and Rachel Brown of Over Zero.