As host of the Emmy Award–winning CNN show United Shades of America, W. Kamau Bell travels across the country to learn about the wide variety of challenges we face—and also to show us how we can begin to talk to one another. Which is why we asked him to be on the cover of Outside’s 2021 Best Towns issue: he helped us present a decidedly new take on dream destinations compared to past editions of this annual bestseller. Because Outsiders want more than just exceptional adventure playgrounds in their hometowns. They want things like affordable housing, investment in green initiatives, and a diverse population that has equitable access to parks and open space. In this kickoff episode to our new Forces of Good series, we hear what Kamau and fellow comedian and activist Baratunde Thurston think about the current divisions in our country—and what we learn when we engage with communities very different than our own.
This episode was brought to you by Hydro Flask, a company that believes every adventure starts with two simple words: let’s go! Shop Hydro Flask products for yourself or the outdoor lovers on your holiday list this season at hydroflask.com.
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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, which was developed in partnership with PRX, distributors of the idolized This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour, among others. We have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and politics, as well as reports from our correspondents in the field.