Crosscurrents Podcast | KALW

Crosscurrents Podcast

Homelessness During An Election / Poll Workers

Nov 2, 2020

As voters cast their ballots, intimidation and suppression tactics are emerging, and those experiencing homelessness are especially vulnerable. Today, we take a closer look at the unhoused community, and some of the California propositions meant to help them. And, we hear from the people on the front lines of the election — poll workers and officials who are making sure this important day runs smoothly. Plus, we made a voter guide. Check it out.

tbh: Athletes And Activism

Oct 29, 2020

This year has marked a turning point in how American athletes have engaged in political issues. Today, we’ll hear from our teenaged reporters from the podcast "tbh" about how the next generation is engaging in the movement for racial justice.

Residents in the City of Alameda are debating over building more dense housing. We learn more about Measure Z. Then, we head to Bayview, an area with historically low voter turnout, to hear what’s getting them to the polls next week. And, we hear about a new sci-fi thriller that takes you on a dystopian journey. Plus, today's local music features Oakland-based artist Greg Ashley with a new record called "Death of a Ladies Man."

The election is just a week away, and Californians will decide on a measure that could allow people on parole to vote. Today, we learn more about Prop 17. Then, Californians move to Texas and change the local political scene. And, we get spooky with one filmmaker who takes us on a haunted tour of the Bay Area. Plus, today's local music features a new album from Dingbat Superminx

San Francisco bond measures are usually planned out years in advance, but this year, Proposition A got a last minute edit. Today, we hear about a bond focusing on mental health, homelessness, and street repair. Then, we find out some of the reasons why East Palo Alto has a low voter turnout rate. And, a new children’s book is set in the time of the California Gold Rush. Plus, today's local music comes from Oakland-based band Memory Theater.

tbh: Discipline In Schools

Oct 22, 2020

America’s entrenched institutional racism has roots in its schools. Today, we hear first-hand stories of how prejudice has impacted the education of Black students, and what’s being done about it. Teenagers from around the Bay Area share their thoughts on this year’s racial reckoning in a new episode of the podcast tbh.

Recent wildfires have made grapes in wine country unfit for consumption. Today, we hear from winemakers in Sonoma. Then, the managing editor of The Oaklandside discusses voter engagement in The Town. And, a long-time Oakland poet discusses the theme of spirituality in her first book.

The aunt of a man shot and killed by police in 2017 wants people to know about the family he left behind. Today, we’re looking at the aftermath of police violence. Then, we go to Richmond to ask people what’s on their minds this election season. Plus, an episode from our podcast New Arrivals. And, today's local music features a new album by Maya Songbird from San Francisco. 

tbh: Diversity ≠ Integration

Oct 15, 2020

Segregation is a common scene in Bay Area high schools. When children are separated by race, voluntarily or involuntarily, how does that impact the way our country sees itself? In the next epsiode of tbh, with less than three weeks to go until Election Day, we’re turning to young people to see how their lives are shaped by American race relations. 

The race for East Oakland’s District 7 is on. We talk about the issues on the table — and there are a lot of them. Then, what are the health effects of all the smoke we’ve been breathing? Plus, we meet a fire chief who says we actually need more fires — of the right kind. 

Today's local music is hardcore Bay Area band Gulch. Their new album is "Impenetrable Cerebral Fortress."

With Election Day just three weeks away, we talk about the effort to get out the vote in the lowest voter turnout precincts. Then, actor Brian Copeland brings back his one of his solo shows to help people cope with the pandemic And, an episode from our New Arrivals reading series. Plus, today's local music features the latest single from San Francisco's Sally Mango.

tbh: Wheelchair Basketball Is Just Basketball

Oct 8, 2020

Finding your place can be hard. Just ask a high schooler. Today, we hear from young people about how they build community and confidence — even during a pandemic. And we hear the story of one who found his joy in wheelchair basketball. It’s a new episode from tbh: by, about, and for teenagers.

Some of the most powerful art in Oakland isn’t on a canvas in a gallery, it’s on plywood covering store windows — and many of these temporary murals honor the memories of Black people killed by police. We find out what will happen to the art when the plywood comes down. Then, we hear about an instagram account that chronicles experiences of racism at a Bay Area high school. And, we meet a man who is working to keep a movie theater alive during the pandemic.

Today, we take a look back at a powerful act of civil disobedience that changed the San Francisco Police Department: The Frisco Five hunger strike. Then, we look at the Bay Area art scene. A local musician brings a classical touch to bluegrass.

tbh: Cancel Culture

Oct 1, 2020

Young people are struggling with a tech world that can quickly turn somebody from an influencer into an outcast. In the next episode of tbh, we're taking a fresh look at “cancel culture."

Pregnancy And Pesticides: Doctors And Lawyers Team Up

Sep 30, 2020

In Monterey County, mothers who worked in farm fields during their pregnancies worry about the effect it’s had on their children. We hear about a lawsuit that aims to help mothers who were exposed to pesticides during their pregnancy. Then, we meet a doctor-lawyer team trying to find protections for farmworkers.

For two decades, researchers have been studying the effect on women in Salinas Valley who work in the fields while pregnant. We meet one young woman who's been part of the study for her entire life. Then, we find out why the Oakland Roots soccer team honors The Town through music.

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.