Crosscurrents | KALW

Crosscurrents

Monday-Thursday at 5pm

Crosscurrents is KALW Public Radio's award-winning news magazine, broadcasting Mondays through Thursdays on 91.7 FM. We make joyful, informative stories that engage people across the economic, social, and cultural divides in our community.

Email Newsletter
Sign up for the Crosscurrents weekly email newsletter, delivered every Friday morning.

Podcast
Subscribe on iTunes or copy-paste http://feeds.feedburner.com/crosscurrentskalw into an app. 

Comments & Tips
Got a general comment, story, or tip for us? Email news@kalw.org or call (415) 264-7106.

Amanda Levin

San Francisco students have been back to school for nearly a month now, and a lot has changed for students — and for teachers. Amanda Levin is currently a teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District at Leadership High School, and she’s been teaching for nearly three decades. As part of our ongoing series The Essentials, we’re bringing you overlooked stories of essential workers: people who are still being called to work while most of us are sheltered in place.

Photo by Andria Lo

Oakland author Monica Sok reads from her book of poetry, "A Nail the Evening Hangs On," which explores the Cambodian diaspora. It’s about what it means to inherit a history of genocide and process inter-generational trauma.

Unconfined: Chanthon Bun

Sep 8, 2020

Chanthon Bun caught the coronavirus at San Quentin Prison during one of the worst outbreaks in the country. On top of the usual challenges people face when they parole, Bun had to deal with COVID recovery, survivor's guilt, and the fear that ICE would put him back in a different kind of prison. 

Unconfined is a new special series that features Uncuffed producers navigating life after incarceration.

San Francisco author Rachel Levin teamed up with Evan Bloom from Wise Sons Deli on a book of recipes and essays called "Eat Something." She says, "It’s basically about how a Jewish life is marked by meals ... One of my favorite sections is the wedding section."

Que Viva Camp

One of the principles guiding Burning Man is "Radical Inclusion." Basically, all are welcome. But, the temporary city that Burners build in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert has never been racially diverse. Just 1% of attendees self-identify as Black.

Ep 08 - PRESENT meets PAST at Burning Man

Sep 1, 2020
LUCY KANG

Every year — in normal years — thousands of people trek to Black Rock Desert in Nevada for Burning Man. But, most don’t know about the history of the land or the people who were its original inhabitants. In this episode of THE INTERSECTION at Burning Man, we learn more about the history of the Pyramid Lake Paiutes and the relationship between the event and the tribe.

Ep 07 - REVELRY meets REVERENCE at Burning Man

Aug 31, 2020
Photo by Jamen Percy

If the wooden man effigy represents Burning Man’s cosmic and comic core, the Temple is its heart and soul. A place where people come to honor and grieve, Burning Man’s Temple has become a potent and sacred space in the middle of nowhere. In this episode of THE INTERSECTION at Burning Man, we hear why Burners have such a strong attachment to a temporary structure that’s little more than wood and nails.

Lucycal

Millions of U.S. office workers have now stretched into their sixth month of the world’s largest work-from-home experiment. Before the pandemic started, just 4% of Americans worked from home. Once the pandemic kicked in, that number jumped to 34%.

Luisa Cardoza

The CZU Lightning Complex fires cover parts of San Mateo County, and Santa Cruz County. The fires there have burnt more than 80 thousand acres. Yesterday, a marine layer came in and was a welcome help to the firefighters today, helping cool the area. 

Northern California Public Media

Fires are raging around the Bay Area and the smoke is thick in the air. One of the 'lightning complex fires' — LNU has caused major damage and evacuations in the North Bay.

Courtesy of UCSF / Adobe Stock

Like many people, back in April, Christin New needed something to look forward to. Not only was a pandemic spreading around the word, she’d just had a miscarriage. So when she and her husband found out they were expecting, they were overjoyed. 

Jonathan Kos-Read

In Alameda County, more than one out of every ten COVID-19 cases can be traced back to a single neighborhood’s zip code. Fruitvale is a dense, predominantly Latinx community in East Oakland, and its COVID-19 case rate is higher than Florida’s and Georgia’s, two of the hardest hit states in the country. 

Madeline Born

Oakland painter Paul Lewin brought his own touch to Afrofuturism. His work is inspired by nature, Afro-Caribbean culture, folklore and science fiction. Paul’s pieces have graced the covers of books by sci-fi greats Octavia Butler and N.K. Jemisin.

Christine Palmer

Earlier this month a group of East Bay hair stylists and salon owners gathered outside Flaunt Hair Designs in Pleasanton. They were there to plot ways to convince public health officials to let them open up, and the group agreed to stage a mass reopening in defiance of stay-at-home orders.

Courtesy of Amy Kisch

Amy Kisch is the founder of Art+Action Coalition. She’s working with other artists and the Yerba Buena Center to urgently get the word out about the census. She shares why it’s important for everyone to be counted.

Courtesy of Jose Cisneros, San Francisco Treasurer

Many businesses, shops and restaurants, have stopped accepting cash as a way to protect their employees from the coronavirus. But, when cash is no longer accepted, many people get left behind — the unbanked and the underbanked.

Jenny G. Shao / KALW

The pandemic has forced public transportation to adjust. Now, riders are asking, is it safe to use public transportation during a public health crisis? In this installment of The Essentials, meet Phaethon Brown. He oversees day-day operations at BART in the East Bay. 

Lee Romney / KALW

Some of San Francisco’s African American families have attended public schools in the City for three generations. They share their personal stories as part of the ongoing series, “Learning While Black: The Fight For Equity In San Francisco Schools.”

Magnolia McKay / KALW

Jules Indelicato is a Bay Area musician. They recently took part in the durational performance art project "Romantic Songs of the Patriarchy." For eight hours a day, three days in a row, 30 women and non-binary musicians played popular love songs on repeat.

Tarek Kazaleh

Oakland artist Naima Shalhoub’s new album is "Siphr," which is Arabic for zero. The Lebanese-American vocalist and composer sings in both Arabic and English. She talks about the spiritual and cultural inspirations behind this album.

Click the play button above to listen to the interview.

Lee Romney / KALW

Kids around the Bay Area are going back to school. So today, we’re re-airing this story from our series, "Learning While Black: The Fight For Equity In San Francisco Schools." And, it just won an award from the Public Media Journalists Association.

African American students across the country are much more likely than any other student group to be placed in special education, and that’s true at San Francisco Unified too. The district’s troubled history has plenty to teach us about what is and isn’t working for black students with special needs today.

Jenny G. Shao / KALW

Life may feel like it’s on pause because of COVID-19. But climate change isn’t paused. How is the pandemic affecting the climate and the people working on solutions? 

Jenee Darden / KALW

As climate change intensifies, what toll will it take on our mental health in the future? Dr. Robin Cooper is a psychiatrist and co-founder of the Climate Psychiatry Alliance. She gives us a projection of what’s possible to come.

What Can COVID-19 Teach Us About Climate Change? (Ep. 4)

Aug 6, 2020
Lisa Morehouse / KALW

Originally, we were planning to do this series at the beginning of this year… but then COVID-19 hit. We had to put our climate change reporting on pause to focus on covering the coronavirus. But of course, climate change has not paused. In the final episode of our series, we find out what the pandemic can teach us about climate change. And, we talk to a psychiatrist about how to cope.

Robin Loznak / Courtesy of Our Children's Trust

Many environmental lawyers around the country have filed lawsuits against corporations and the government for their role in climate change. Many of these cases fail, stall, or are dismissed, but the quest to litigate the climate crisis continues.

Shereen Adel / KALW

The coronavirus has pumped the brakes on air travel. But before that, flying was responsible for about 5% of man-made global warming. So if and when the demand for air travel goes back to its pre-COVID trajectory, it could account for a quarter of the world’s carbon budget. That budget is what would keep temperatures from rising more than 1 and a half degrees Celsius by 2050. That’s why there’s been a growing movement for people to fly less.

Who Should Be Responsible For Saving The Planet? (Ep. 3)

Aug 5, 2020
Courtesy of Our Children's Trust

Climate change is a juggernaut — a huge, powerful, and overwhelming force. It's overwhelming because it’s a powerful force, and also because the very things that have created it are such deeply-rooted institutions. Fossil fuels are so ubiquitous and the industry that produces them so powerful, that challenging their influence can seem hopeless. In this episode, we hear about young people who are suing over their right to life, liberty ... and a healthy planet. Then, what do we do when one of the things that unites us is also a major contributor to climate change?

Courtesy of California National Guard

Climate change is intensifying California’s wildfires, and in many cases, low-wage immigrant workers like Socorro are cleaning up after them. Now, they’re fighting for new legislation that could protect them through climate disasters and a growing pandemic.

Lee Romney / KALW

Extreme wildfires fueled by climate change have been spewing more harmful smoke into California’s air in recent years. But not everyone is affected equally. Kids like Ta’Kira Dannette Byrd, who live in unhealthy, high-poverty neighborhoods, suffer more.

The Unseen Consequences Of Wildfire Smoke (Ep. 2)

Aug 4, 2020
James R Morrin Jr / Wikimedia Commons

Many of the extraordinary consequences of climate change are happening in a way we can't immediately feel in our everyday lives — like desertification, sea-level rise, mass human migration. But for Californians, there is one glaring exception: Wildfires. Over the last several years, they’ve become a constant presence in our lives, and the long-term effects of wildfire smoke is worse for some than others. In this episode, we start with the story of Ta'Kira Dannette Byrd, an 11-year-old girl who lives in Vallejo. Then, we hear why some domestic workers' jobs could get even riskier. 

Pages