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Crosscurrents is our award-winning radio news magazine, broadcasting Mondays through Thursdays at 11 a.m. on 91.7 FM. We make joyful, informative stories that engage people across the economic, social, and cultural divides in our community. Listen to full episodes at kalw.org/crosscurrents

SF Carnaval Queen Mayela Carrasco talks about the festival and gentrification

Mayela Carrasco
Mayela Carrasco

This interview aired in the May 24, 2023 episode of Crosscurrents.

What’s so important about it right now is that it’s a time for the community that really created what the Mission is, for a lot of us right now, gets to come back.

It's almost as if Mayela Carrasco was destined for for Carnaval royalty. She was born on Carnaval San Francisco weekend into a family of artists. She began learning Afro-Brazilian dance while growing up in the Mission. Mayela was recently crowned queen of San Francisco’s Carnaval. For her, the festival is not just about partying, but also lifting up youth. Mayela does this as manager of Loco Bloco. Her parents founded the organization that uses Afro-Latinx arts and culture to empower youth. She speaks with KALW's Jenee Darden about dance and how the festival is serving as a way for people pushed out of the city by gentrification to reclaim the Mission.

Carnaval San Francisco is this weekend, May 27th and May 28th. Also check out the Oakland Carnival Festival on Saturday, June 3rd.

This interview was co-produced by Porfirio Rangel.

Click the play button above to listen to the interview

Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker and proud Oakland native. She is the executive producer and host of the weekly arts segment Sights & Sounds as well as the series Sights + Sounds Magazine. Jeneé also covers East Oakland for KALW. Jeneé has reported for NPR, Marketplace, KQED, KPCC, The Los Angeles Times, Ebony magazine, Refinery29 and other outlets. In 2005, she reported on the London transit bombings for Time magazine. Prior to coming to KALW, she hosted the podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio.