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NEXT with Marcus Atkinson
4th Sunday of every month, 4pm - 5pm

Throughout history, the voices of everyday people have been a driving force for social change. These movements harnessed the collective power of voices demanding justice, equality, and change to rally communities, mobilize support, and effect change on a small scale, eventually spreading to influence broader regions. Undeniably, the public's voice has proven to be a catalyst for progress, shaping the course of history and shaping a more inclusive and equitable society.

Erie is no different. To that end, NEXT 2.0 seeks to spotlight and analyze issues that affect inner-city Erie from the perspective of its next generation of voices – voices of those who are taking the lead on various aspects of the community to reflect the will of the public.

Email Marcus at Next@WQLN.org.

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  • When we talk about black history, one of the things that we forget is we are all living history, so we want to highlight those people that are laboring in our community. They are serving the community, especially with our young people and with our economic circumstances. The work continues and we want to shine the light on that a little bit today, so to that we’ve got three very special guests that are doing their fair share to leave Erie better than how they found it. Joining Marcus Atkinson in this episode of NEXT 2.0 is Bishop Frank Quinn, Mr. Jason Roberts, and Mr. Edison Nicholson.
  • In February 2018, Erie’s Public Schools embarked on a stakeholder-driven strategic plan. Many of the goals and benchmarks declared in that plan had a target year of 2024 to accomplish those goals. COVID-19 presented many unforeseen challenges for the nation and our local community. So where are we today? Are the students better prepared? How can the community do its part to ensure student success? Co-host Marc Blount and guest Danielle Randall helped us unpack these critical questions. Today, on NEXT 2.0.
  • You are about to enjoy our first Community Crossover Edition of NEXT 2.0. On this episode of NEXT 2.0 Marcus is in studio with Rob Davis and Martin Long, hosts of the podcast, Let's Fail. You may be wondering what a community crossover edition is. It's real simple. We've got a show, they've got a show. And this will air on their platform and ours.
  • When citizens have a voice in library decision-making, it builds trust and strengthens relationships between the library and the community. Citizens are more likely to support a library that values their input and actively seeks to address their needs and concerns. Like many places throughout the country, the public library in Erie, PA, is becoming a constant battleground around book banning and privatization. Today, a concerned group of citizens is speaking out about an arrangement to lease library space to a faith-based, private institution on the heels of protests around diversity and inclusive representation. Is it beneficial to the citizens and the right thing to do? Tune in and listen.
  • In this episode of NEXT 2.0, Marcus reflects on the recent MLK Junior Day in Erie, Pennsylvania. He discusses the annual march, charitable dinner, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s message of pride and empowerment for the African-American community. Marcus highlights the contributions of the African-American community in Erie and their commitment to making a positive impact. The script concludes with a clip from Bishop Curtis Jones Sr. discussing efforts to establish an African-American museum in Erie, emphasizing the importance of acknowledging and preserving black history. The host expresses gratitude to individuals and organizations contributing to the community and encourages listeners to join in discussions about the future of their communities and democracy.
  • To the dismay of many, Erie Mayor Joe Schember votes to appoint Mel Witherspoon to a vacant city council seat. None were more disappointed than former Council appointee Susannah Faulkner who publicly opposed this action. Chuck Cammarata sits down for a one on one interview to hear her thoughts and concerns for how this all played out. Today, on NEXT2.0.
  • In 2024, many compelling news stories are poised to shape the global landscape, influencing political, economic, and social trajectories. Societal conversations around equity, justice, and human rights are expected to evolve, focusing on addressing systemic issues and fostering inclusivity. The Trump trials and the 2024 election will undoubtedly be etched in the annals of history, leaving a profound impact on American politics and the global landscape. The trials, whether legal or political, surrounding former President Donald Trump will be scrutinized for their implications on accountability, executive power, and the resilience of democratic institutions. The aftermath of these trials will likely shape public trust in the rule of law and influence future political discourse. The regulation of A.I., transgender legislation, and more. This is 2024, the year in PREview, on this episode of NEXT2.0.
  • There are a lot of favorite holiday movies and tv specials, but one stands out for our host and millions of others, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Marcus gives his fun and informative take on things we bet you didn’t know about adapting this storied animation into a primetime holiday event, and the movie spawned from its source material. Pour a glass of eggnog and enjoy this holiday special on NEXT 2.0
  • Behind every show host is a supportive team. Today on NEXT 2.0, meet the interns who helped shape the 2.0 season of the NEXT journey. Meet the partners of the East Side Renaissance, the neighborhood nonprofit that houses the Publix Voice’s studio that co-produces and records 2.0. We discuss not just the rebranding but what the holidays mean in each of their households. This episode is dedicated to all this episode's guests and their families, WQLN- PBS-NPR's tireless staff, and all our loyal listeners. Happy Holidays! Enjoy.
  • In this season of holiday cheer, we often witness the goodness on display. From constant utterances of good cheer to charitable acts and contributions, Christmas just seems to bring the best out of humanity. However, far too often, organized religion has had the opposite effect on society. Its adverse history is fraught with conflict, intolerance, and oppression. Throughout centuries, various religious beliefs have been wielded as instruments of power, leading to countless wars, persecution, and discrimination. In the minds of many, religion has woven a complex tapestry of human suffering, division, and intellectual suppression, highlighting the dark side of the influence that organized faith has had on societies throughout history. Today, Marcus and Chuck Cammarata are joined by community advocate Tamara Johnson to take on this polarizing topic.