Crosscurrents Podcast | KALW

Crosscurrents Podcast

A Bay Area non-profit is bringing laughter to hospitals and assisted living centers. Today, we hear why clowning is essential. Then, 99% Invisible host Roman Mars talks about how he got his start in radio — and, we look at some of the hidden designs found right here in Oakland. Plus, today's local music features Bay Area-based band Flamango Bay. They're performing a livestream set with the Art House Gallery this Saturday.

President Biden’s inaugural speech was focused on unity. But, how can we achieve it? Today, we talk to Professor john a. powell of UC Berkeley's Othering and Belonging Institute. Then, we hear how some seniors are coping in this time of isolation. And, do you ever wonder why there’s not a single billboard on most of highway 280?

The Progressive Prosecutor Pt 1 / Chinatown Pretty

Jan 21, 2021

Today, we look at how a decision Chesa Boudin's parents made shaped his path from the public defender's office to the prosecutor's seat. It's the first installment of a new series, "The Progressive Prosecutor." Then, the authors of a new book take a deep dive into the fashion and lives of seniors living in various Chinatowns. Plus, we hear new music from local band Bombsnax.

Today, we hear from a visual journalist who documented this year’s events during a global pandemic. Then, a health equity expert pushes back on the hesitancy many Black people feel about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. And, we meet San Francisco’s new poet laureate.

Today, a farmer talks about how the pandemic has changed her work. It's part of an ongoing series called "At Work." Then, we hear from California’s youngest new assemblymember who started his campaign at just 23. And, we check out a famous piece of art by Diego Rivera in the city. Plus, an episode from the New Arrivals podcast.

Andrew Stelzer

The three largest mental health treatment facilities in the U.S. are jails. The criminal justice system has become the primary way the United States deals with mental illness. In the second of a two-part documentary, we see how some communities are working to find solutions to this misalignment of care.

Listen to part one of this audio documentary here.

Andrew Stelzer / KALW

In part one of a two-part investigation into how the country’s jails have become our default mental health treatment centers, we go to Santa Rita jail in Alameda County, one of the largest — and deadliest — jails in California.

Listen to part two of this series here.

The Stoop: That Black Tax

Jan 12, 2021

When you’re the one in your family who ‘made it’ sometimes there’s an expectation to share your wealth and help relatives. Black communities call it the Black Tax. Whether you’re African American, or a Black immigrant, it’s the feeling of obligation that comes with prosperity. Today, an episode from The Stoop podcast. 

Today, we meet the Fox Guy, a man devoted to protecting the elusive gray fox and other animals that live along the bay. Then, we consider what happens when certain species get more attention from conservationists than others. And, we hear about a climate change initiative that aims to improve overall quality of life.

In today's show, California lawmakers describe their experience under attack at the U.S. Capitol. Then, we get an update on why the COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been slower than expected. And, we hear Shirley Weber's plans for her role as California's next Secretary of State. Plus, an episode from the New Arrivals podcast, featuring a local author.

Christine Nguyen / KALW

Many people don’t recognize dementia, and not recognizing it can lead to death. Most caregivers are unprepared to manage dementia in their own family. And, for many ethnic minorities, such as Vietnamese, there is little support.

The Stoop: Black On Air

Dec 17, 2020

Black women journalists have had to face criticism and jump over many hurdles to be seen and taken seriously. We explore what it means to be a Black woman on the air today. And, we go back in time to hear what it was like in the past with a Bay Area broadcasting pioneer. Veteran journalist Belva Davis, plus Jemele Hill. It’s a special episode from The Stoop podcast: Black on Air.

Skye Heritage

In this story from The Spiritual Edge, we meet Sarah Byrne-Martelli, a hospital chaplain who is caring for COVID-19 patients when their families can't visit because she believes no one should die alone.

Sacred Steps: Making Space For Women In Mosques

Dec 15, 2020
Azad Essa / Middle East Eye

From The Spiritual Edge, this is the story of how Malcolm X inspired an outspoken Christian girl from Alabama, and how she went on to inspire a national campaign and a fatwa — a religious legal opinion — aimed at persuading the men who control America’s mosques to share space and power. 

As the latest wave of coronavirus cases has prompted increased restrictions, U.S. lawmakers are still trying to negotiate a relief package. Congresswoman Barbara Lee shares what she hopes to see from the Biden administration in 2021. Then, an Oakland artist with Southern roots pays homage to enslaved African Americans. And, in a story from Uncuffed, we hear about a musician who picked up the guitar while incarcerated. Plus: a two-minute mini-reading from our New Arrivals podcast.

The Stoop: All Black Everything?

Dec 10, 2020

What happens when your community, your group, has certain behaviors, that you just don’t want to engage in? Or don’t support? A Stanford psychologist breaks down social desirability bias — the pressure to conform to what your group does, even when you may not want to. Today, it's an episode of The Stoop podcast: "All Black Everything?"

Quarantine Diaries: Special Episode

Dec 9, 2020

Next week will mark nine months since Bay Area health officials first ordered residents to shelter-in-place. As we approach the end of this year, bracing for a devastating holiday surge, we'll hear from people who are fed up and others who are hopeful. It’s a special year-end edition of Day By Day: Quarantine Diaries.

Homicides are way up in Oakland this year, surpassing last year’s count. We hear from an anti-violence activist on what’s driving these killings. Then, meet an East Oakland teenager who is a sensation on the drums. And, a story from Uncuffed about how yoga brings people together, even in prison.

Black Satire

Dec 3, 2020

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Chronicled: Who Is Kamala Harris / Vinyl Nation

Nov 25, 2020

When Kamala Harris left her post as California’s Attorney General to join the senate her political stances appeared to shift Today, we’re bringing you the final episode from the new podcast Chronicled: Who Is Kamala Harris? about how her time in Washington catapulted her to the national stage. Then, we hear about a documentary that explores the history and culture of vinyl records.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was only the second Black woman and the second Asian American to have ever served in the U.S. Senate. She gained a reputation for her tough questioning style and her progressive voting record. But before that, she was San Francisco’s “top cop.” Today, we’re bringing you another episode from the San Francisco Chronicle podcast Chronicled: Who Is Kamala Harris? 

Chronicled: Who Is Kamala Harris? / Uncuffed

Nov 23, 2020

Vice President elect Kamala Harris surprised the people closest to her when she chose her career. Today, in another episode from the new podcast Chronicled: Who Is Kamala Harris? we hear why she went down that path. Then, we hear a story from Uncuffed about what happens when a wild turkey lands on a prison yard.

Who Is Kamala Harris? Ep. 3 - That Little Girl Was Me

Nov 19, 2020

Today, we're continuing a new series from the San Francisco Chronicle looking at Vice President-elect Kamala Harris's early life and career as a prosecutor to her rise to the national stage. It's Chronicled: Who Is Kamala Karris? In this episode, we hear how Harris’ early life in Berkeley shaped her worldview and her politics.

Who Is Kamala Harris? Ep. 2 - Bigger Job, Bigger Fights

Nov 18, 2020

Today, we're bringing you a new series from the San Francisco Chronicle that looks at Vice President-elect Kamala Harris's early life and career as a prosecutor to her rise to the national stage. It's Chronicled: Who Is Kamala Karris? In this episode, as California’s Attorney General, Harris takes on Wall Street.

Who Is Kamala Harris? Ep. 1 - Top Cop

Nov 17, 2020

San Francisco is a city of just seven by seven miles, but it's produced some of the nation’s biggest political names — most recently Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. She was the first woman and the first person of color to serve as the City's district attorney. But, she had a reputation for being tough on crime. Now, her politics are being scrutinized on the national stage and the country wants to know: Who’s the real Kamala? Today, we're bringing you the first episode of the San Francisco Chronicle's new podcast Chronicled: Who Is Kamala Karris?

At the beginning of the pandemic, San Francisco rented over 2,000 hotel rooms to move unhoused people off the street. Today, we hear how they plan to move people into more permanent housing. Then, we learn the meaning behind singer Valerie Troutt’s new album, "The Oakland Girl." And, in a story from Uncuffed, an incarcerated musician changes his tune after a visit from his sister.

Progressive candidates won big in the city of Richmond — we discuss what those election results mean. Then, a Black author talks about growing up with albinism in East Oakland. And, a new book looks at the history of protest through the lens of young people.