National Geographic begins a six-part series on major issues in America Wednesday night. It’s hosted by journalist and UVA alum Katie Couric who offered a preview of the programs in Charlottesville.
Katie Couric was in Charlottesville, reporting for National Geographic, when white supremacists marched across the campus of her alma mater, and she was shocked.
“It was horrific to see such a disgusting display on the lawn of the University of Virginia," she recalls. "It was very upsetting, very depressing and very unsettling.”
The footage she and her crew shot that night and the following day would be a mainstay of her first program about confederate monuments.
“It isn’t just about statues," she explains. "It’s about race relations, about how we see history. It’s about the history we learn and the history we don’t learn.”
Future shows will focus on what it’s like to be a Muslim in American, working class anxiety, gender inequality in Hollywood and Silicon Valley, political correctness on college campuses and technology. Couric hopes the programs will provoke deeper thought and dialogue.
“We’re just trying to wrap our heads around some of these enormous changes, and the news cycle is so fast and furious that we don’t have an opportunity to take a step back and consider some of these big, important issues," Couric says. "As Jim Ryan, the in-coming president of UVA says, ‘We don’t have a moment to say, “Wait, what?”’
The Series is collectively known as America, Inside Out.