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Entering Colorado City, Arizona. Image by Wikimedia user Ricardo630 and shared under a Creative Commons By Attribution license.
Embedded: A Conversation with the co-hosts of Unfinished Short Creek
August 22, 2021
Beyond the headlines of abuse, underage marriages, and polygamy, the award-winning podcast UNFINISHED: SHORT CREEK, explores how this community is wrestling with its history.
Show Title: Embedded: A Conversation with the co-hosts of Unfinished Short Creek August 22, 2021
This week’s episode features an hour-long conversation with Sarah Ventre and Ash Sanders, two religion journalists who partnered to co-host and produce Unfinished: Short Creek.  

Released in 2020 by Witness Docs and Critical Frequency, the podcast has won numerous awards including the 2021 Wilbur award for Best Series of Programs. (Religion Communicators Council) and was named a  finalist for the 2020 Association of Mormon Letters podcast award.  

Ventre and Sanders explain why they were drawn to tell the story of Short Creek in the wake of the conviction of the group’s prophet, Warren Jeffs.  Beyond the sensational headlines of abuse, underage marriages, and polygamy, they explore how this town is wrestling with its history, the growing divides between believers and ex-believers, and the struggle to heal and forgive.

In the process, they unearth parallels between the larger debates unfolding in the United States around religious freedoms, the relationship between church and state, and trusting the intentions of law enforcement.  

On one end of the spectrum, listeners meet fundamentalists who embrace beliefs and practices that put the church at the center of all aspects of life -- economic, political, and personal.  On the other side are ex-believers who want to reform local government to be secular to ensure leaders do not privilege or prefer one faith group over the other.

Ash Sanders. Journalist and podcast producer who covers both religion and the environment. Her writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, The Believer, Narratively, NPR's The Salt, and Buzzfeed, as well as the climate anthology, All We Can Save.

Ash Sanders

Ash Sanders

Sarah Ventre. Audio journalist and producer based in Phoenix. Her credits include work for NPR, PBS, the Center for Science and the Imagination, the Jewish Women’s Archive, and other outlets. She’s one of the founders of Girls Rock! Phoenix, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering girls, trans, and gender-nonconforming youth through music.

Sarah Ventre

Sarah Ventre

Our theme music is by MC Yogi

This week's closing music, New Hope, by Audiobinger,
used under a Creative Commons By Attribution 4.0 license.

All additional music by Blue Dot Sessions.

Remixes and sound design by Dissimilation Heavy Industries