Terry Gross is the host and an executive producer of Fresh Air, the daily program of interviews and reviews. It is produced at WHYY in Philadelphia, where Gross began hosting the show in 1975, when it was broadcast only locally. She was awarded a National Humanities Medal from President Obama in 2016. Fresh Air with Terry Gross received a Peabody Award in 1994 for its “probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insight.” America Women in Radio and Television presented her with a Gracie Award in 1999 in the category of National Network Radio Personality. In 2003, she received the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Edward R. Murrow Award for her “outstanding contributions to public radio” and for advancing the “growth, quality and positive image of radio.” Gross is the author of All I Did Was Ask: Conversations with Writers, Actors, Musicians and Artists, published by Hyperion in 2004. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and received a bachelor’s degree in English and M.Ed. in communications from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She began her radio career in 1973 at public radio station WBFO in Buffalo, NY.
The same ball culture Janet Mock saw in Paris is Burning would come up again in her career, decades later. After launching a career in journalism, writing two memoirs and becoming a trans activist, Mock made history as the first trans woman of color to write and direct an episode of TV when she joined the production of Ryan Murphy's series Pose.
Sister Helen Prejean is best known for her 1993 memoir, Dead Man Walking, about her role as a spiritual adviser to a convicted killer on death row. The story was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. Prejean has accompanied six prisoners to their executions and has been at the forefront of activism against the death penalty.
Jia Tolentino is a staff writer for the New Yorker. Her new collection of essays is written from the perspective of a millenial about subjects like social media and politics, feminist dilemmas, sexual harassment, and sexism.
Before Wanda Sykes became a comic, she worked as a procurement officer for the National Security Agency and had top security clearance. But she always loved telling jokes, and when a local radio station sponsored a talent show that included a comedy category, she decided to audition.