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Know What You See with Brian Lowery

Whether we think about them or not, the people and institutions around us influence every aspect of our lives. In our workplaces, families, churches, and simply walking down the street every day, there are hidden social forces that affect our every move and influence our outcomes. Brian Lowery is a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a social psychologist by training. Join Brian for Know What You See, where he talks to people from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives about their experiences with the social forces framing our world.

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Rediscovering Worker Power

From teachers to baristas, warehouse workers to nurses, the media has been filled with stories of strikes, walkouts and union votes. The National Labor Relations Board says that petitions for union representation are up more than 50 per cent from this time last year. What's behind this surge in labor organizing? On this episode, Brian talks to Rebecca Givan, Associate Professor in the School of Management and Labor at Rutgers University. They discuss the relationships between workers and management, how the pandemic exposed the inequities of the labor system, and how a new generation of employees is using technology to advocate for their rights. Then, Brian revisits his conversation with Mary Kay Henry, International President of the 2 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and Roy Bahat, head of Bloomberg Beta, a venture firm investing in the future of work. For more about Brian Lowery, visit knowwhatyousee.com


7 Jul 2022

Rank #1

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Unrest at Work

Today, some workers are asking their companies for more than safe working conditions and fair pay—they are pushing for values-based behavior and decision-making. Employees are making their voices heard on issues like companies’ customers, hiring practices, and content creation. What role should employees play in such decisions? What staff input will companies need to allow to attract the best talent? On this episode, Brian talks with Terra Field, a systems engineer who co-organized the Netflix employee walkout over Dave Chappelle’s comedy special, The Closer. We'll hear about what led to the decision to take a stand against the streamer's release of that program, and why, ultimately, Field chose to leave the company. For more about Brian and the show, go to knowwhatyousee.com.


14 Jun 2022

Rank #2

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Season 2 of Know What You See

The people and institutions around us influence each aspect of life. In workplaces, at home with family, or even walking down the street, there are social forces that affect every part of ourselves. Join Brian Lowery for Season 2 of "Know What You See," a podcast where we uncover these hidden social forces.This season, Brian talks with a range of guests about the shifting world of work, who and what shapes these changes, and what they mean for you. For more visit knowwhatyousee.com.

7 Jun 2022

Rank #3

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Race at Work

What’s the cost of “just being yourself” when you don’t look like the majority of workers or the powerful people in your organization? When society is rife with negative stereotypes about minorities, when power imbalances plague workplaces, trust can be eroded and people churn through doubt and fear. That costs us all. Brian's guests on this episode are Josh Grant, a community manager who went public with his experiences of discrimination at his former employer, and social psychologist Claude Steele, who discusses how stereotypes can upend work culture and what to do to change that. For more on Brian and the show, go to knowwhatyousee.com.


28 May 2022

Rank #4

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There's No Place like House

The early 1980s saw the sound of a new generation emerge from the loft parties and underground clubs of Chicago: House music. In spaces like the Warehouse and the Music Box, DJ's began to innovate around disco's four-on-the-floor beat, adding drum machines, deeper bass lines, and synths. At the time, Chicago had its first Black mayor, Harold Washington Jr., and there was optimism and energy in the air, a feeling of progress. After the racist and homophobic cultural attack symbolized by Disco Demolition night at Comiskey Park, for people of color and the queer community, house music was a safe haven. In this episode, Brian talks to Micah Salkind, author of Do You Remember House?: Chicago's Queer of Color Undergrounds; and pioneering House DJs and producers Jesse Saunders, Wayne Williams, and Marshall Jefferson.


13 May 2022

Rank #5

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Who Do You Think You're Talking To?

Our voices are powerful tools. We can speak loudly or softly, with urgency or calm. We can make requests or issue commands. Whenever and however we speak, we reveal the way we see the world. But, it’s not just the words we use that people interpret, it’s the way we sound.  Our accents, our cadence tells people something about where we’re from in terms of location and group memberships. But how we speak and the way we are heard says a lot about race and power. This time on Know What You See, Brian’s two guests have thought a lot about how language and accents affect society as well as their own personal lives: Kelly E. Wright, a sociolinguist specializing in linguistic discrimination and its institutional outcomes, plus comedian Bernice Ye, a comedian, writer, and dancer originally from China who tells of her experiences as an immigrant in her standup. For more about Brian and his work, visit knowwhatyousee.com.


17 Dec 2021

Rank #6

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The Business of Food and Identity

Selling food that represents who you are and where you’ve been can be a tricky business. What does it mean to serve “authentic” food, and why should it matter? In this episode, we explore how ethnicity affects the experience of creating a food business. Brian Lowery talks to Toronto-based chef Eva Chin about how she is reclaiming her family history and cultural identity through her dishes. Then Brian visits Nong Poonsukwattana, owner of Nong's Khao Man Gai in Portland, Oregon, to hear how she built a mini-empire on one simple Thai dish. For more about Brian Lowery and his work visit knowwhatyousee.com.


19 Nov 2021

Rank #7

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Who Owns Food?

What does it mean for food to be authentic? Who owns this or that recipe, ingredient, or flavor? Why do we care? This week Brian Lowery speaks with documentarian, writer, and professor of food studies, Von Diaz. She discusses the fusion of island culinary traditions with Southern-style cooking, and what she's been studying about food and authenticity. Plus, Brian looks back on a conversation with Tunde Wey, a Nigerian artist, writer, and cook who uses food to investigate issues of racism, colonialism, and wealth inequality. For more on Brian Lowery and his work, visit knowwhatyousee.com.


6 Nov 2021

Rank #8

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Identity-Driven Design

Design is about more than just what looks good. From what we choose to wear to what we bring into our homes, design tells us what matters and sometimes who matters. And, as is true for all of us, a designer’s identity and experiences affect their ideas in both subtle and not so subtle ways. This week on the podcast, Brian Lowery talks with two artists about how issues of identity and power inform their work: Bryce Wong, footwear designer at Nike SB, and Jomo Tariku, furniture designer and creator of the Nyala chair. To find out more about Brian and his work, visit knowwhatyousee.com.


21 Oct 2021

Rank #9

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The Blacker the Hero, the Darker the Truth

This week, host Brian Lowery delves into the world of BLACK with the comic’s co-creator Kwanza Osajyefo. The series raises the question: What if only Black people could have superpowers? How would they use these abilities, and at what cost? The conversation explores issues of representation in the themes, artwork, and characters in BLACK and comics today, as well as how the story of superheroes is changing in publishing and onscreen. For more about Brian and his guests, visit knowwhatyousee.com. *As part of a historical discussion on race in America, words are used that some may find harmful. Listener discretion is advised.


7 Oct 2021

Rank #10