Movers & Thinkers | Nashville Public Radio

Movers & Thinkers

Movers & Thinkers is all about why people do what they do. We take you into the minds of some of the most interesting innovators in Nashville and discuss their motivations, passions and challenges. Each episode is produced from a conversation with Nashville Public Radio's Emily Siner.

*Special thanks to the SunTrust Foundation for providing support for Movers & Thinkers.

Kara McLeland / WPLN

Judge Sheila Calloway sees children during some of the worst moments of their lives. In some cases, their parents may be struggling to hold onto custody. In others, the kids themselves have committed an offense and are facing punishment.

But Calloway's basic philosophy is that that children are redeemable, and as Davidson County's juvenile court judge, she has a major influence over how the system treats minors. How has her role affected the way she sees the world? And what does she see as the balance between forgiveness and justice?

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Unlike most New Testament experts, Vanderbilt Divinity School professor Amy-Jill Levine is Jewish.

Her lessons are sprinkled with Yiddish phrases, and she attends an Orthodox Jewish synagogue in Nashville. That's given her a unique perspective on Judaism and Christianity — two religions that have diverged from the same source, took different interpretations of similar texts and collided repeatedly throughout history.

Kara McLeland / WPLN

How does a cold case homicide detective maintain faith in humanity? What makes him so sure that he’s going after the right bad guy? And how can a case with no known suspects be solved? For more than 25 years, retired police detective Pat Postiglione solved some of the most gruesome murder cases in Nashville. This, he says, takes a toll: “If you stay in homicide long enough, it definitely has an effect on your personal life.”

Every human is fortunate to have this organ inside our skull called the brain. It allows us to breathe, create art, develop new technology — and yet there's much that is undiscovered about how these masses of neurons work. Why is everyone's brain a different shape? When the brain starts to deteriorate, what's really happening? And what is thought? 

#16: What Is Love?

Apr 18, 2018
Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

Without a doubt, romantic love is a driving force in our culture — with countless movies, songs and books devoted to finding it, losing it or making it last. Falling in (or out of) love can feel so intense in our own lives, but our fundamental assumptions about what love really is are not always correct.

In this episode of Movers & Thinkers, we talk to three guests who have seen a lot of love, heartbreak and romantic confusion: relationship therapist Jeannie Ingram, divorce attorney Siew-Ling Shea, and Alex Pollack, a writer who muses on modern dating culture.

#15: The Disrupter

Jan 12, 2018
Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

More than 50 years ago, Rip Patton's world changed. He started attending nonviolence workshops in Nashville and learned how to endure abuse during the Civil Rights movement without fighting back. Rip became a Freedom Rider, part of the movement that ended an era of legalized segregation in the South.

Now, five decades later, he looks back on his role as a "disrupter" — sitting, standing and singing to make major societal change.

#14: Demystifying Death

Oct 31, 2017
Kara McLeland / WPLN

For something as ubiquitous as dying, most of us know surprisingly little about it — not just the big unanswerable questions, like what happens after we die. We also rarely think about how to deal with grief, or what to talk about with your family before you go.

So on this episode of Movers & Thinkers, we're facing our fears (and fascination) by talking to three people who come face-to-face with mortality on a daily basis: hospice physician Sasha Bowers, cemetery historian Fred Zahn and Death & Dying professor Andrea Mills. 

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Parents pass on their genes, their values — and sometimes, their careers. These guests have taken on the family business, which has connected them more to their parents but, at times, tested their relationships and created lofty expectations. Featuring third-generation luthier Manuel Delgado, second-generation pastor Amy Mears, and poet Caroline Randall Williams, who has written books with her mother. 

Emily Siner / WPLN

Poet Tiana Clark has been tackling uncomfortable truths for years, ever since she wrote in her diary as a child that she hated her mom (who then discovered the writing). Now, she is a nationally lauded poet from Nashville who is the author of Equilibrium, a book of poetry published in 2016. She has a forthcoming poem in The New Yorker.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

In our society, what we do often defines how we see ourselves: Our identity is tied up with careers and success. So what happens when we're forced to start over? These people have grappled with reinvention, realizing that it's possible to get out of situations that don't feel right — and figure out how to move forward. Featuring musician Vanessa Carlton, journalist-turned-educator Chris Echegaray and former country music manager Chip Peay.

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