NPR Presents ‘Michel Martin: Going There’ in collaboration with WVIA and Times-Tribune

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PITTSTON, Pa. – NPR’s Michel Martin, weekend host of All Things Considered, will be at The Royal Theater at the University of Scranton’s McDadeCenter for Literary and Performing Arts at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6, to host the final installment of NPR’s Going There live event series—Civics 101: What Does It Mean To Be A Good Citizen? NPR and NPR Member station WVIA are collaborating on this unique live event to present a fresh, thought-provoking discussion about what it means to be a good citizen in 2017.


In many countries, citizenship means you are required to DO something. In America, a fundamental right for many is the freedom FROM government. But the 2016 election saw voter turnout at a 20-year low. Some polls show a public either turned off by politics and government, or unwilling to engage with people with different views. Other polls show many Americans are uninformed when it comes to basic facts about their country. 


“Most Americans take great pride in our country,” says NPR’s Michel Martin. "But even in an election as consequential and hard-fought as the last one, fewer than four in ten of the people who were eligible to vote actually did. Even fewer people seem to know basic facts about our history and government. Barely a quarter of us can even name all three branches of government. So what does it mean for our democracy if we know so little about how it’s supposed to work? Is that a problem and if so, how did it start and how does it get fixed? And if those aren’t the measures of a healthy democracy, what is? How do you think we’re doing?  Those are just some of the questions I am eager to talk over with our audience and panelists in Scranton."


Panelists include Amilcar Arroyo, President and Editor, El Mensajero International Newspaper, Hazleton, PA, Linda Cliatt-Wayman, Educator, Former Principal, Strawberry Mansion High School, Philadelphia, Eric Liu, Founder and CEO, Citizen University, Andrea Mulrine, Treasurer, Scranton Tomorrow, Salena Zito, Columnist, CNN Contributor and will feature performances by Bethel AME Worship Team & Youth Choir and the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble.


"We are elated that Michel and the Going There team are coming to Northeastern Pennsylvania,” says Tom Currá, WVIA President, CEO and Executive Producer. "We believe this conversation on civic leadership will create a meaningful dialogue that will inspire our audience. WVIA is proud that our region will be showcased in this NPR event, and we encourage our audience to attend and participate."


The event will be streamed live on video and recorded for a featured segment on a weekend broadcast of All Things Considered. The discussion will continue online and the public is invited to participate, using the hashtag #NPRGoodNeighbor and following @NPRMichel and @WVIATVFM


In conjunction with the Going There event, WVIA-FM has launched a series call Stories of Civic Engagement that showcases citizens from around Northeast Pennsylvania who are making a difference in their community and for audiences to discover ways that they can get involved as well. Interviewed guests include Dr. Hank Willenbrink, Gus Fahey, Lisa Borchet, Jessica Cronauer and Dan Landesber and can be found on


NPR Presents Michel Martin: Going There officially launched in 2014 with a mission to “bring the studio to the story.” In collaboration with NPR Member station partners, Going There has engaged audiences across the country in deep and sometimes emotional conversations about pressing issues surfacing locally and nationally. The program has traveled to New York City, Charlotte, Dallas, Miami, New Orleans, Detroit, Los Angeles, Des Moines, Montgomery, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, MO, Ft. Collins, CO, Chicago, Cleveland, Asheville, NC, Madison, WI, San Diego and now Scranton. In addition, in 2014, the Going There team assisted with two community conversations in Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of civil unrest. 


The live-event series addressed issues as wide ranging as immigration, gentrification, and voting rights, to the ethics of football, diversity in theater and how we produce our food and what we do with our water.


“Three years ago we set out to engage communities around the country by hosting the kinds of complex, deep conversations we often have in newsrooms butwhich don’t fit easily into a three or five-minute piece for the radio,” says NPR Chief Operating Officer Loren Mayor. “This project gave us a chance to do that -- to bring people together who often don’t have a chance to be in a room together, to create the space for authentic, meaningful, and sometimes difficult conversations, and to listen to people in communities who don’t always have a chance to be heard. Michel Martin succeeded in bringing people together in conversations that were memorable and important, and at the same time deeply personal and human. We are very thankful and we know the spirit of this project will continue through other platforms.” 


NPR Presents is wrapping up the third and final season of this particular production of Going Thereconversations with this capstone event in Scranton. However, as weekend host of NPR’s All Things Considered, Michel Martin will continue to travel across the country and together with NPR Member stations, engage live audiences in important and dynamic conversations.


“Michel is extraordinary in front of a live audience,”says NPR Vice President of News Programming and Operations Christopher Turpin. “She has a brilliant way of bringing out the stories people are often afraid to talk about, but desperately want to hear. Nothing is off the table with Michel, and we’re looking forward to her continuing going right there."


NPR Presents Michel Martin: Going There is made possible by The Kresge Foundation, and by a collaboration between NPR and WVIA. Local support comes from The Times-Triubne Newspapers. 


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