Crosscurrents Podcast | KALW

Crosscurrents Podcast

tbh: Representation In Video Games

Sep 24, 2020

Gender bias can start early and have lasting effects. Today, we’re passing the mic to the next generation, to hear how sexism and other inequities play out early in life. Like, for example, in video games. It's the latest episode of season two of tbh: a podcast by, about, and for teenagers ... and anyone else who wants to hear what’s on their minds.

Brian Adams

For most of her life, Neets’aii Gwich’in leader Sarah James has worked to protect her homelands, including the coastal plain of the nearby Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But, now the U.S. government wants to lease some of the area for oil exploration and drilling. In this story from The Spiritual Edge we hear how the Gwich’in tribal government is challenging those plans, which threaten land that they call sacred. 

It’s crunch time for census 2020 — there's only nine days left and the focus on reading "hard to count" populations. We get an update on the progress in Alameda County. Then, Oakland DJ Nina Sol talks about her love for spinning and how she’s now getting the party started—virtually. And, the Folsom Street Fair is going virtual this weekend, but did you ever wonder how it got its start?

tbh: Healthy Relationships

Sep 17, 2020

Ask a high school student, and they’ll tell you: They’re missing out on some of the education they need. Today, we’re bringing you inside the world of teenagers and the discussions they have with each other. It’s the debut of season two of tbh: a podcast by, about, and for teenagers ... and anyone else who wants to hear what’s on their minds.

Keeping Libraries Open / New Arrivals Podcast

Sep 16, 2020

In Oakland, library branches are closed, but for kids and families, their services are needed more than ever. We’ll meet a children’s librarian who’s finding new ways to keep kids learning. Then, we take you on a socially-distanced Bay Area book tour with our podcast New Arrivals.

Medical students are demanding racism be treated like a public health emergency. We hear about White Coats for Black Lives. Then, a personal story from our Bay Views series on how majoring in Ethnic Studies was life-changing for one of our reporters. Plus, today's local music is a new single from San Francisco musician Dominque Gomez.

Oakland artist Fantastic Negrito has a new album out. We hear how he’s using his Black Roots sound to address mental health. Then, an interview with a formerly incarcerated Uncuffed podcast producer who was released from prison early ... into a strange new world.

California is burning, but the state’s farmworkers are still going to work, risking their health. We hear from activists who worry that 2020’s disasters is also fueling labor abuses. Then, Alice Wong brings readers personal stories from people with disabilities. And, we’ll hear a reading from a new coming-of-age novel.

Schools have started back up, but it’s nothing like it used to be. We hear what it’s like teaching via zoom after years in a classroom. Then, we find out what recent college grads can learn from the last recession. And, a local author reads from her new book about a woman trying to find herself.


Yesterday, we met a group of people planning a protest about racial inclusion at Burning Man, but it's not that easy when you're in the middle of the desert without modern amenities like texting and social media. Today, in the final episode from THE INTERSECTION at Burning Man, we join them on their march. 

Most years, tens of thousands of people gather and build a temporary city in the Nevada desert for Burning Man. Why is an event that’s guided by a principle of radical inclusion almost exclusively white? And what are some Burners doing to change that? Today, in a story from THE INTERSECTION at Burning Man, we explore the fight for racial inclusion in Black Rock City.

THE INTERSECTION: Past Meets Present At Burning Man

Sep 1, 2020

Burning Man is known for a lot of things. The art. The parties. The wooden man that’s set ablaze every year. But most participants don’t know much about the land’s original inhabitants — and many of them drive right through the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation to get to Burning Man. Today, we're bringing you a story from THE INTERSECTION at Burning Man to explore where the past meets the present.

Burning Man began yesterday and this year it's virtual. The theme is the multiverse. Today, we’re going to bring you into that world by taking you inside its spiritual center. We find out how the Temple came to be, and the deep emotion it stirs in its visitors.

Today, we hear how work culture is changing — for good. Then, a Burning Man project connected people in the desert with strangers around the world. 

UC Santa Cruz was evacuated because of the CZU fires. We hear what it’s like for some of the students and staff. Then, Burning Man is canceled, but you can still experience sounds and scenes from the playa. And, we get a mini-reading from a Bay Area author.

At least 350 thousand acres have burned in the North Bay — we’ll get an update on the LNU Lightning Complex Fires. Then, normally right now, around 80,000 people would be preparing for their annual pilgrimage to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. Not this year. Like everything else, Burning Man is canceled. Instead, put on your headphones and take a trip to the playa with stories from the latest season of The Intersection.

People who were pregnant at the start of the pandemic are just beginning to deliver their babies — we find out what researchers are learning about the effects of the coronavirus on pregnancy. Then, a San Francisco poet uses flowers as a theme to address some heavy issues. And, a San Jose author’s new novel is set in the Kurdish region of Iran.

COVID-19 rates are skyrocketing in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood, as low-income immigrants risk infection to go to work. We look at Fruitvale’s infection rate and the community organizations trying to help. Then, Oakland artist Paul Lewin talks about Afrofuturistic art and what it means to him. And, we hear a local poet reading from her new collection, "Rift Zone."

Hair salon owners in the East Bay are finding creative ways to protest health guidelines keeping them shut. Then, artists are using their talents to bring awareness to the 2020 Census. And, San Francisco author A.H. Kim reads a passage from her latest novel.

San Francisco’s treasurer talks about a population that’s being forgotten in the pandemic. When shops go cashless what does that mean for the unbanked? Then, in a new installment The Essentials, we hear how Phaethon Brown is making sure BART is safe for employees and riders during the pandemic. And we catch up with Uncuffed producer Chanthon Bun, who’s been out of San Quentin for over a month now.

Singer Naima Shalhoub talks about her new album and what she learned from men in a Lebanese prison. Then, what happens when you sing a song with toxic lyrics on repeat for three days straight?

Showcase: Learning While Black / Bounce

Aug 12, 2020

School is starting back up for many students in the Bay Area and today we meet three generations of one Black San Francisco family who discuss their experiences in public school, from our series "Learning While Black." Then, we meet an Oakland barber who has some very special clients and tells us how he became one of their biggest fans.

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.

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.

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?

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. 

Angela Johnston

2020 has been a historically tense year. We’ve got a pandemic that won’t end, the biggest mass protests in American history, a divisive presidential election coming, and, by the way, global temperature rise is rapidly approaching the point of no return. It’s a frightening thought. What was true before COVID-19 is even truer now: When we try to think and talk about climate change, it’s normal to become overwhelmed. This week, we're bringing you a series about the emotional and physical impacts of climate change. And we begin with a story about sea-level rise.

Oakland officials are launching a task force to reimagine public safety. We hear about Bay Area city leaders taking a hard look at police budgets. Then, cellist Joshua McClain sparks people’s imaginations with his mystic sounds And, we hear how the Town got its colors. Plus, a reading from Oakland author Elwin Cotman.

Some California residents feel safer on the streets than in the shelters the state has provided, despite the health risks of living outdoors. Our partners at Valley Public Radio bring us a story about a team of physicians and medical students who are bringing healthcare to the streets. Then, the band The Seshen wants to redefine what it means to be a pop star. And, we hear a reading from a local author’s new young adult fantasy novel

Lately, people have been spending a lot more time indoors with their pets. So, what happens when our furry friends get sick or injured in the age of COVID? We find out from a San Francisco vet. Then, best-selling author Mary Monroe's latest book, inspired by real-life characters, is about neighbors who learn the hard way that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. And, from our producers at Solano State Prison, a story about the wild side of being a bike messenger