Created Equal
& Breathing Free

A 13-episode podcast series in partnership with Florida Humanities

In partnership with Florida Humanities, The Village Square proudly presents “Created Equal & Breathing Free,” a 13-episode series of Village SquareCast airing through the end of 2021. The series includes specially curated episodes that speak directly to the heart and soul of the American experiment — both its extraordinary achievements and its promise yet to be fulfilled. We’ll begin with Florida’s unique Emancipation Day story, continue with a series of timeless throwback episodes and add in new fall programming with some of the most insightful thinkers of our time. We’ll journey from Jackie Robinson to Thomas Jefferson to college campuses and beyond, with the goal that you will never be bored. Subscribe now wherever you get your podcasts so you won’t miss a thing: https://podfollow.com/villagesquarecast/view.


1 – Created Equal | Stretching Toward Freedom: A Conversation about Florida Emancipation Day
Airing on Thursday, June 24

Link to podcast.

The 6th event in the annual “Created Equal” series — offered by Leon County and The Village Square with support from Florida Humanities (including facilitation by Keith Simmons) features prominent historians marking this momentous history and considering how we continue to stretch toward freedom today. The panel included Florida A&M University’s Dr. Larry Rivers, University of Florida’s Dr. Paul Ortiz, and the founding director of John G. Riley Museum and Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network, Althemese Barnes.

Find a full program description and panel bios here: https://tlh.villagesquare.us/event/emancipation-day/


2 – An Evening with Thomas Jefferson: Celebrating American ideals and measuring our progress (A special live taping of the Thomas Jefferson Hour with Humanities Scholar Clay Jenkinson)
Airing on Thursday, July 8

Link to podcast.

Clay Jenkinson has lectured about and portrayed Jefferson in forty-nine states over a period of fifteen years, having performed before Supreme Court justices, presidents, eighteen state legislatures, and countless public, corporate and student audiences as well as appearing on The Today Show, Politically Incorrect, The Colbert Report and CNN. Clay is a humanities scholar, Rhodes Scholar, author and social commentator who is considered one of the most entertaining and articulate public speakers in the country.

Find a full program description and panel bios here: https://tlh.villagesquare.us/event/jefferson/


3 – From Victim to Victor: Jackie Robinson at 100
Airing on Thursday, July 22

Link to podcast.

On the 100th anniversary of his birth, we discussed the impact of Jackie Robinson breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier in 1947 – why it was such a momentous breakthrough, how it laid the groundwork for the subsequent success of the civil rights movement, and what we can still learn from Robinson’s example today. We were joined by Jackie Robinson’s cousin, Dr. Linda Walden, Fred Flowers, who broke FSU baseball’s color barrier and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Bob Sanchez, whose career began writing sports columns in the Florida Flambeau during the civil rights protests of the 60’s.

Find a full program description and panel bios here: https://tlh.villagesquare.us/event/victim-to-victor/


4 – Dead Presidents + Living Statues: Ideals, hypocrisy + e pluribus unum
Airing on Thursday, August 5

Link to podcast.

As current events batter already weakened institutions of democracy, it’s increasingly hard to navigate how we gather together under the banner of “e pluribus unum.” We’ll be joined by humanities and presidential scholar Clay Jenkinson as we struggle together to understand (and learn lessons from) the tumult of our times.

Find a full program description and panel bios here: https://tlh.villagesquare.us/event/ideals-hypocrisy/


5 – Created Equal and Breathing Free: The Straining Founding Ideals of Equality and Freedom
Airing on Thursday, August 19

Link to podcast.

“All Men are Created Equal,” but not everyone feels they are. Have we gone too far with insuring equality or not far enough? In “Created Equal + Breathing Free,” we’ll examine the straining of the central – and sometimes competing – principles of equality and freedom. Does your freedom threaten my equality? And does my equality limit your freedom? We’ll dive into the last year of struggle on racial issues, gay rights and the appropriate role of the law in both insuring equality and safeguarding freedom.

Find a full program description and panel bios here: https://tlh.villagesquare.us/event/breathing-free


6 – Amanda Ripley | High Conflict: How we get trapped and how we get out 
Airing on Thursday, September 2

Link to podcast.

Watch the event here.

We’ll be joined for an intimate conversation by journalist Amanda Ripley to talk about her tour-de-force book about how we — in our lives, in our work and in our country — navigate the unique dynamics of high conflict at a time when division is on the rise.

Learn more about Amanda and “High Conflict” here: https://amandaripley.com/

Find a full program description and panel bios here: https://tlh.villagesquare.us/event/high-conflict/


7 – Respect + Rebellion: The State of Debate on Campus
Airing on Thursday, September 16

Link to podcast.

Universities have long been experienced as a place where the ideals of free inquiry and deliberative democracy are embodied – even as the paragon of these values. But in recent years, colleges across the nation have become front-page news for alarming instances of censoring voices and protests escalating when two ideas come into conflict. We talked cancel culture, critical thinking and campus politics with Dr. Musa Al Gharbi of Columbia, FSU’s Dr. Sam Staley and Shane Whittington.

Find a full program description and panel bios here: https://tlh.villagesquare.us/event/berkeley-byu/


8 – Free Speech (in the age of political correctness and bad manners)
Airing on Thursday, September 30

Link to podcast.

While charges of “hate speech” sprout like crabgrass on an un-mowed lawn and college students debate micro-aggressions, when a bad choice of words can tank your career, we seem to be in a societal-wide spitting match about just who is the most tediously offended. We’ll be joined by Jonathan Rauch author of “Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought.”

Find a full program description and panel bios here: https://tlh.villagesquare.us/event/free-speech/


9 – Danielle Allen: Our Declaration
Airing on Thursday, October 14

Link to podcast.

Watch the live event here.

Facilitated by Dr. Nashid Madyun of Florida Humanities
An important conversation with Dr. Danielle Allen, author of “Our Declaration” about this precipitous and critical moment in the future of building a multiracial democracy.


10 – American Values: An Evening with David Blankenhorn, Founder of Braver Angels
Airing on Thursday, October 28

Link to podcast.

There are few opportunities for this kind of a deep dive interview with the founder of that quickly growing national organization Braver Angels, David Blankenhorn. David has spent his career thinking creatively and provoking constructive discourse about some of the most important and controversial cultural issues of our time. As we find ourselves increasingly locked down inside ideological camps, David defies categories, crosses boundaries, and offers fresh and compelling thinking where we seem most stuck.

Find a full program description and panel bios here: https://tlh.villagesquare.us/event/blankenhorn


11 – Order, Chaos + Homo Sapiens: Human Nature, Now Weaponized.
Airing on Thursday, November 11

Link to podcast.

One enduring reality makes every challenge of democracy more difficult: people. Nothing our founders might have imagined — not checks and balances or limits to executive power — may stand a chance against human nature, now weaponized on social media. Does empathy? We were joined by two psychologists who disagree completely on politics, but somehow still remain friends.

Find a full program description and panel bios here: https://tlh.villagesquare.us/event/humans/


12 – Faith v. Science: Mythos and Logos
Airing on Thursday, December 2

Link to podcast.

There are few areas of our national polarization with deeper and more consequential divisions than the ongoing clash between faith and science. Joining our panel is FSU Physicist Dr. Harrison Prosper, on the team at CERN in Switzerland that discovered Higgs boson, referred to by some as the “God particle.” Bringing a deeply personal perspective to the conversation is Mike McHargue – or Science Mike – who talks faith “in an age where science explains our world so well.” We’re also delighted to be joined by Fr. Matthew Busch from Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. The name for this program comes from the insights of a former Catholic nun, author Karen Armstrong – that mythos (intuition, wisdom, meaning) and logos (rational, pragmatic, and scientific thought) are simply different ways of knowing.

Find a full program description and panel bios here: https://tlh.villagesquare.us/event/faith-science


13 – The New Minority with Dr. Justin Gest
Airing on Thursday, December 16

Link to podcast.

We’ll discuss the complex tectonic shifts across the political landscape as powerful forces drive globalization inevitably onward and a certain number of citizens – near and far – are dragging their feet as they cumulatively scream stop! This is ultimately a conversation about the roiling class, education and geographic divides here at home. Joining us for the conversation is Dr. Justin Gest, author of The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality.

Find a full program description and panel bios here: https://tlh.villagesquare.us/event/post-brexit/


Access all released Village SquareCast here: https://tlh.villagesquare.us/squarecast/

Critics say America is a lie because its reality falls so short of its ideals.  They’re wrong. America is not a lie, it’s a disappointment.  But it can be a disappointment only because it is also a hope. — Sam Huntington in “American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony”