You gotta hear this one….backwards

February 9, 2010

Meghan Shea, a UNC College undergrad majoring in biology, can speak backwards. She talked about it frontwards and backwards on NPR Week-End Edition. Check it out.


Taylor Branch talks about secret Clinton tapes, Feb. 23

February 9, 2010

UNC College alumnus Taylor Branch ’68 will discuss his book  The Clinton Tapes at UNC Wilson Library Special Collection on Feb. 23 at 5 pm. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Martin Luther King biographer was invited to record a series of secret White House conversations with Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001. The President kept the tapes, but the historian published his recollections of what was said, based on his personal notes and recordings made on the drive home. The result is a fascinating though complicated glimpse of an irrepressible politiciain’s perpsective on our time.

Branch’s tapes, transcripts and notes are available to researchers through the University Library’s Southern Historical Collection.  He returns to his alma mater this month to talk about it all.


Alum on Public TV’s ‘Environmental Heroes’ Feb. 11

February 9, 2010

UNC TV’s Environmental Heroes features alum Todd Miller of NC Coastal Fed and 2 other local heroes, Thurs 9:30 pm

E-News: Blues Goldmine, Nicholas Nickleby, Chinese Lessons

December 3, 2009

In the latest edition of Carolina Arts and Sciences E-News:

  • UNC historian and folklorist William Ferris spent the 1960s and 70s traveling the back roads of his native Mississippi tracing the roots of American blues music. He found them in church halls, prison fields and rural homes, where he recorded and filmed African American musicians and storytellers.
  • Like everyone in PlayMakers Repertory Company, Jeff Meanza plays multiple characters in The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. The company’s most ambitious undertaking ever runs on the Paul Green stage through Dec. 20.
  • Wyatt Bruton ’11 spent last summer in Beijing, where he worked at a public relations agency during the week and taught in a migrant village on the week-ends.

Learn more here.

HOPE Garden: Where homeless and neighbors grow together

November 10, 2009

David Baron — a UNC-Chapel Hill undergrad studying biology, ecology and social entrepreneurship – understands the importance of fresh whole food for human and environmental health. But it bothers him that not everyone has access to locally raised fruits and vegetables.

So last year he founded HOPE Garden, combining community garden plots with a small-scale urban farm and job training program for homeless people.

The project, part of UNC’s Campus Y Homeless Outreach Poverty Eradication (HOPE) project, will rent about 25 individual, 4×8-foot raised-bed plots to local residents for $100 annually. At the same time, the garden will provide transitional employment, skill-building, income and food for homeless people tending common space in nine adjacent 60-foot beds.

“We combined an urban farm with a community garden to bring the community in to help socialize the homeless and give them a support network,” Baron said. He explained that he and project volunteers would work with homeless individuals they know are ready for employment training.

The 5,000-plus square-foot garden is enclosed by deer fencing on publicly owned land at 2200 Homestead Road. Farmers have access to free public transportation via Chapel Hill Transit. The homeless gardeners will be able to sell produce at the local farmer’s markets and donate the rest of their harvest to a local homeless shelter and kitchen.

Baron received a $10,000 grant for the garden from philanthropist Kathryn Davis (Projects for Peace). He’s taking time off from his undergraduate studies this fall to develop the gardens with volunteers, including students from UNC and local public schools as well as homeless people. They have been working together to grow collards, kale, lettuce and turnip greens.

Saturday a group of volunteers showed up to plant mulberry trees and blueberry bushes, with guidance from expert garden installers and educators associated with Bountiful Backyards.

Last summer, Baron had an internship with Growing Power, run by urban farming guru and McArthur “Genius” Fellow Will Allen. Baron trained at Allen’s famous Milwaukee farm, helped run the project’s other farm in downtown Chicago and sold produce at local farmer’s markets there. Before that he apprenticed on a farm in Tanzania.

UNC’s APPLES Service Learning program is giving students academic credit for participating in HOPE Garden. Other partners are the Town of Chapel Hill, N.C. State University, Active Living by Design program , the NC Botanical Gardens, and several local nurseries and garden businesses.

Anyone interested in particpating in HOPE Garden can reach Baron at

Red Clay Ramblers release Old North State

October 22, 2009

Jack Betts likes the Red Clay Ramblers’ new CD, “Old North State” with our very own Creative Writing Professor Bland Simpson, alum Jack Herrick, and company. Learn more.

‘How Could Anyone Defend Slavery?’

October 21, 2009

Award-winning literary scholar and social critic Andrew Delbanco will discuss “How Could Anyone Defend Slavery? Moral Crisis in Antebellum America” Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. at UNC in Gerrard Hall. Free and open to the public, books for sale and signing at reception afterwards. Learn more.