Memory Wars: A Podcast That Looks Outside of Our Borders to Learn Lessons

Mallory Noe-Payne, Virginia Public Radio IQ’s Richmond bureau chief, and Michael Paul Williams, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, have launched “Memory Wars,” a podcast examining race and prejudice.

The new podcast was inspired by Mallory’s Fulbright grant funded residency in 2021 that provided an opportunity for her to listen deeply to people’s personal stories as she spent a year traveling from Munich and Berlin to Nuremberg and small country towns. Upon returning to Virginia earlier this year, Mallory quickly went to work with Michael Paul Williams. Together, the duo balanced her observations of how German citizens are coming to grips with their country’s recent Nazi past with Michael’s research of how Virginia – and America – have dealt with racism and continue our struggle with it.

“We live in a world where challenges are not unique to the United States and I think it’s important to look outside our borders to learn lessons,” says Mallory.

In the premiere podcast, “Memory Wars” begins in the aftermath of World War II, exploring how people began coping with the past just after the war. The first episode lays the groundwork for the series as it looks at themes of education, memorialization and accountability. Michael then brings the conversation back to Virginia and the questions we face in America today. The series of five, 45-minute podcasts began in June and will conclude on August 4. You can access the series on Radio IQ as well as Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and other platforms.

The podcast is part of Radio IQ’s ongoing commitment to exploring and reporting on issues that encourage listeners to consider other perspectives. “Memory Wars” joins the station’s recently premiered “Tribal Truths” series and its civic engagement conversations. Use the link below to listen to “Memory Wars”:


CategoriesLive, Storytellers

Publisher and Editor in Chief of Richmond Grid magazine, a conscious lifestyle publication designed to celebrate how the region works, lives and plays. Richmond Grid magazine is a B-Certified business that uses a community-based, solution-oriented approach to shift the region for good.