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NEXT: A Weekly Podcast from the New England News Collaborative

THIS WEEK'S EPISODE:

Erin French’s ascent to rock star chef almost didn’t happen. Before becoming the owner of The Lost Kitchen in Freedom, Maine, she lost nearly everything that mattered in life. This week on NEXT, we talk with French about her journey and new memoir “Finding Freedom.” Plus, as a way to diversify staff and address inequality, more employers are dropping degree requirements for certain jobs — and gaining a market advantage. And we hear from Mardi Fuller, a volunteer leader with Outdoor Afro, about enjoying nature despite the prevalence of the “white colonial imagination.”

STORIES FROM THE COLLABORATIVE

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Episode 246: How The Lost Kitchen’s Star Chef Is ‘Finding Freedom’ After Hitting Rock Bottom; Pushing Past ‘The White Colonial Imagination’ To Enjoy Nature

Erin French’s ascent to rock star chef almost didn’t happen. Before becoming the owner of The Lost Kitchen in Freedom, Maine, she lost nearly everything that mattered in life. This week on NEXT, we talk with French about her journey and new memoir “Finding Freedom.” Plus, as a way to diversify staff and address inequality, more employers are dropping degree requirements for certain jobs — and gaining a market advantage. And we hear from Mardi Fuller, a volunteer leader with Outdoor Afro, about enjoying nature despite the prevalence of the “white colonial imagination.”

Hallel with their mother in the family's living room. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Episode 245: A Non-Binary Child And Their Family Explore Identity; The Impact Of Banning Race-Based Hair Discrimination

A few years ago, Hallel came out as a “boy-girl” to their parents. This week on NEXT, 9-year-old Hallel and their family explore gender identity. Plus, we learn about a new Connecticut law banning race-based hair discrimination in the workplace and in schools. And we hear from newcomers to New Hampshire about whether they plan to stay in the state after the pandemic.

Bridget Donovan on the stage at the Framingham High School auditorium, March 8, 2021. (Joanie Tobin/GBH News)

Episode 244: A High School Senior’s Journey Back To School After A Year Online; Author Jennifer De Leon On Returning To Her Roots

After a year of online school, high school senior Bridget Donovan is back in the building and feeling like “a freshman again.” This week on NEXT, we tag along with Bridget and visit a New Hampshire school that’s experiencing the social benefits of learning outdoors. Plus, we hear about Massachusetts’ new climate legislation and how it compares to other New England states. And author Jennifer De Leon reflects on language and heritage in her new book of essays.

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