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From small towns to big cities — Grapple gives voice to people living and working in distressed communities. Through personal narratives and long-form storytelling, you hear conversations that tell the story of America’s profound economic and social changes — including how distressed communitiesRead more

Popular episodes

Episode 18: Coal Miners, No Relic of the Past

May 31 • 25:12

Pennsylvania is the nation’s fifth largest coal producer. Counties in the western, central, and even eastern parts of the state are home to coal mines. But far less coal comes out of the ground than it used to. On this episode, we’ll head to southwestern Pennsylvania where coal mining is a strong part of the area’s identity, and find out what some miners there are grapplin...

Episode 17: Grappling with Racial Tension Part 2

May 24 • 26:48

In case you missed Part 1, make sure to go back and listen to it first before playing this episode. On Part 2, we’ll try to understand racial tension in York, Pennsylvania, and explore how the area is unique in some ways – but also reflective of other places. We’ll hear a range of perspectives, including from: a white nationalist group, a retired investigator for the Penns...

Episode 16: Grappling with Racial Tension Part 1

May 24 • 33:49

In Pennsylvania’s York County, which borders the Mason-Dixon line, racial tension is nothing new. While some isolated incidents took place around the time of the 2016 election, the area has experienced a long history of problems around race relations. On this episode, we’ll hear how one school in the city of York is trying to deal with racial tension; what the area went th...

Episode 15: What happens when a public school district is underfunded?

May 3 • 19:24

Erie, Pennsylvania has public schools that have been underfunded for years. And today, the school district is in a dire situation. Erie’s story raises broader questions about education equality, and to what extent kids can be successful when they go to schools with limited resources. In this episode, you’ll hear from a range of people — including parents, teachers, student...

Episode 14: Immigration, The Rust Belt and the Rise of Donald Trump

Apr 12 • 29:17

On this episode of Grapple, we’ll hear a range of personal stories that speak to some of the intense and passionate feelings around immigration. First, we’ll bring you stories from the northeastern Pennsylvania city of Hazleton, which made news a decade ago for trying to crack down on unauthorized immigrants. We’ll revisit the city’s history and hear from two longtime resi...

Preview of New Grapple Episodes Coming Out April 12

Apr 5 • 03:15

Bonus Episode: The Music Behind Grapple

Mar 22 • 12:06

If you love the music on Grapple as much as we do, then don’t miss this bonus episode with musicians Tony Trov and Mike Vivas in their recording studio! They talk about how they composed the music for Grapple, who some of their musical influences are, and the sheer fun they had working on this project, including coming up with ridiculous song titles like Scrapple in the Ni...

Episode 12: Breaking Down a Changing America with Maria Hinojosa and Dan Hopkins

Nov 16 • 27:52

Episode 11: Millbourne, Getting Back on Track

Nov 16 • 16:51

On this episode of Grapple, we head to a tiny inner-ring suburb outside of Philadelphia called Millbourne. It’s home to around 1,200 people. You’ll hear about how the closure of a Sears store in 1988 rocked this borough. Today, nearly three decades later, officials are grappling with what to do about the old Sears lot that’s still vacant. At the same time, immigrants prima...

Episode 10: Breaking Down Gentrification with Jackelyn Hwang

Nov 2 • 15:48

Gentrification is a controversial issue playing out in cities across America. What happens when wealthier residents begin to move into a lower-income neighborhood? Who gets to stay, and who doesn’t? In episode 09 of Grapple, we heard about how the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Hazelwood is on the cusp of change. Residents there are hopeful about a major new development and th...

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