How Memphis beat the odds to stop a pipeline

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About Broken Ground

Broken Ground is a podcast by the Southern Environmental Law Center. Join us as we dig up environmental stories in the South and hear from the people bringing those stories to light.

In our fifth season, we uncover the story of how a Black community in southwest Memphis and its allies beat the odds and defeated a crude oil pipeline.

Don’t miss out on the podcast called “an environmental ‘This American Life’ for the South” by The New York Times.

Listen wherever you get your podcasts.

Seasons

What Listeners are Saying

In 2020, iHeart Radio named Broken Ground one of the nation’s top green podcasts.

Podcast Team

The Broken Ground team is dedicated to telling the stories of people from all walks of life. We are looking for the stories of Southerners who are stewards of the environment, truth-tellers, and on the front lines fighting to protect our precious water, air, and land. Do you have a story to tell? 

LEANNA FIRST-ARAI

HOST

Leanna is a freelance journalist focused on bringing awareness to the connections between the climate crisis and economic, gender, generational and racial injustices. Her reporting has been featured in The Guardian, Truthout, Yes! Magazine, and Undark, and on NPR-affiliate stations Detroit Public Radio and New England Public Radio. Her favorite podcasts include Drilled, Hot Take, How to Save a Planet, This Land, and Timber Wars.

EMILY RICHARDSON-LORENTE

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Years of storytelling for public radio and through her award-winning video productions prepared Emily well for crafting podcast-sized stories for Broken Ground. Emily was senior producer on two earlier Broken Ground seasons. Some podcasts she’s currently listening to include Threatened, Twenty Thousand Hertz, Heavyweight, and This American Life.

JENNIE DALEY

MANAGING EDITOR

With a background in journalism and marketing for higher ed, Jennie now oversees much of SELC’s digital presence as Senior Digital Editor. Podcasts she’s listening to include Setting the Table and We Can Do Hard Things.

PRIA MAHADEVAN

PRODUCER

Pria is a freelance audio producer and editor based in Atlanta, Ga. She has reported and produced public radio stories for NPR stations in the Midwest, West Coast, and South. Before getting into audio journalism, she taught English in Brazil and studied cognitive neuroscience. Her list of favorite podcasts is long, but she’s a superfan of Throughline, Radio Ambulante and You’re Wrong About.

ELI MOTCYKA

ASSISTANT PRODUCER

Eli is a freelance journalist who focuses on stories across Tennessee. He is based in Nashville, where he was born and raised, and arrived at journalism after work in environmental organizing with the Sunrise Movement and disaster response after the 2020 tornados in Middle Tennessee. Eli is involved in the ultimate Frisbee community in Nashville and has a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, where he studied history and English.

CLAUDINE EBEID MCELWAIN

FOUNDING HOST AND FORMER EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

After more than 10 years as a producer/editor for NPR, most recently as a Supervising Producer for Morning Edition, Claudine began working at the Southern Environmental Law Center and is creator and past host of Broken Ground. She is now Executive Producer of Audio at The Atlantic. She’s a fan of the podcasts The Daily, Embedded, Reveal and More Perfect.