Crosscurrents Podcast | KALW

Crosscurrents Podcast

First up, a battle between builders and conservationists over Bay Area land goes to court in Livermore. And, from our series “It Takes A School” we meet a former activist who inspired students with his social justice approach to learning. 

First up, we'll meet a longtime resident of San Francisco's Bayview Hunters Point who has spent a quarter-century contributing to her neighborhood elementary school. Then, with football season right around the corner we'll hear about a man coaching flag football ... in prison.

First up, we hear how a former actor is bringing mindfulness practice to kids in the Bayview. Then, in our new series “It Takes A School” we introduce you to a security guard in the Mission who has been the heart and soul of his campus for more than three decades.

We’re celebrating people making a difference in our schools, today on Crosscurrents.

First up, the Bay Area is taking on a new Trump Administration policy that advocates say could hurt immigrants’ health. Then, we’ll learn what it’s like to be an undocumented day laborer in Trump’s America. And, a local DJ finds personal freedom through music.

The Radical History of the Murals at George Washington High School

Aug 20, 2019
Ariella Markowitz / KALW

San Francisco Unified School District is back in session, and at George Washington High School, students will walk by the controversial Victor Arnautoff murals that depict images of slavery and Native American genocide. 

Froebel's Gifts / A Prisoner's Remorse

Aug 19, 2019

Coming up, SFUSD is back in session today. As the kids go back to school, we’ve got a story about the surprising history of early childhood education. Learning with toys inspired by nature. Then, regret and reflection in a new story from Solano State Prison.

The Gull Chain Reaction / Latin Rock Band Dakila

Aug 15, 2019

Coming up, a story about a bird that lives in the Bay and eats our trash. Then, in Bay Area Beats, we’ll hear the story of the San Francisco band Dakila, who after more than four decades are reaching a new generation of fans.

First up, Bay Area readers express how Toni Morrison’s work changed their lives. Then, a conversation about the importance of jazz to black culture. And, we check out an old-time ballgame with wool uniforms, tiny gloves, and good sportsmanship.

First up, an iconic symbol of San Francisco is shutting down. The Haight Ashbury Music Center is going out of business. But the Bay Area’s still home to many people who make music … and instruments. Meet someone who fixes some of the world’s most valuable guitars. And, we talk with a San Franciscan dedicated to promoting craftsmanship around the world

San Francisco Chronicle

Today, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo talks about his plan to tackle the issue of homelessness in the South Bay. Plus we hear from other stakeholders. What should the Bay Area do for people living without homes? Different perspectives, today, on a special edition of Crosscurrents in partnership with the San Francisco Chronicle's SF Homeless Project.

San Francisco Unified Superintendent Vincent Matthews draws from his childhood to plan for each and every student in the district. Then, we explore the Bay through sounds in this week’s Audiograph. And, we find out where 'the wave' first started.

First up, why family members are showing up to pack Santa Clara courtrooms. Then, should we really be worrying about robots taking over our Bay Area jobs? And, how sometimes what we think will be the wave of the future… isn’t.

First up, we talk to advocates for a Daly City man who they say was unlawfully transferred by police to ICE custody. Then, a look inside the California Condor Recovery Program in Oakland. And, we go looking for exotic animals right here in San Francisco’s Glen Canyon Park.

Mayor London Breed talks about her plan to tackle the issue of homelessness in San Francisco. Then, the meaning behind some prison slang.

First, a battle over elk and cows in Point Reyes National Seashore comes to a head this summer. Then, we dig into the best places to eat in East Oakland.

Black Women Challenging Mental Health Stigma

Jul 31, 2019

First up, an Oakland group is helping black women fight the stigma associated with mental illness. Then, one woman’s Bay View on how support from her mother helped her cope with depression as a kid. And, how motherhood changed one Oakland musician’s career.

The History Of Sausal Creek / Russian River Salmon

Jul 30, 2019


First up, the historical significance behind a special creek in East Oakland. Then, we’ll drop into the Russian River, counting salmon.

Tech Training In East Oakland / Shakespeare In Prisons

Jul 29, 2019

First up, tech training centers in Oakland are empowering their students and the community around them. Then, stories from people making theater inside prison — and, a former prisoner making theater on the outside.

First up, we meet State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and ask him about his goals. Then, a drag queen struggles with authentic blackness in the drag scene. And, an Audiograph celebrating the 50th anniversary of the St. John Coltrane Church.

Asylum Seekers / Black Muslim Women

Jul 24, 2019

First up, a San Francisco judge is hearing a case today that could block one of Trump’s most aggressive attacks on asylum seekers. And, Muslim American women have to face Islamophobia, but when you’re also black, it’s even more complicated.

First up, why Oakland became the third city in the country to ban facial recognition software from policing. Then, we explore why and when black people nod to each other on the street. And, a henna artist takes a modern approach to an ancient art form.

W. Kamau Bell / Ghost prophecy

Jul 22, 2019

First up, comedian W. Kamau Bell explains why sometimes he has felt 'not black enough.’ And, in a story from Solano State Prison, a grandmother’s ghost gives a chilling prophecy.

Sara Nora Koust / KALW

In the past decade, over 1,800 trans and gender-diverse people have been reported murdered in Latin America. Probably hundreds more were never reported.

The Port Chicago 50: An Oral History

Jul 17, 2019
Damian Dovarganes / AP Images

Seventy-five years ago, today, on July 17th, 1944, two Liberty ships anchored at the Port Chicago Munitions Case near San Francisco, exploded. 390 men were injured. 320 men died. It was the worst homefront disaster of World War II.

First up, just before legislators go on summer break, California gets a new wildfire plan. Then, an East Bay author tells the story of the aftermath of Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria. And, we hear from the lead singer of an Oakland group that mixes hip-hop and punk.

ICE deportation / Forgiving a mother

Jul 15, 2019

First up, the ICE raids may not have happened last weekend, but migrant and refugee families still live in fear. We meet a Cambodian family who spent months fighting a loved one’s deportation. Then, the story of a man who learns to forgive his mother, from Solano State Prison. 

First, we explore tensions between a homeless encampment and a home depot in East Oakland. Then, homegrown national sportswriter Marcus Thompson discusses what it was like to cover the Warriors' last season in Oakland. And, we’re heading to the Tenderloin for this week’s Audiograph.

The Town That Refuses To Die

Jul 10, 2019
Sarah Craig / KALW

When drinking water gets contaminated, there’s usually a polluter to blame. Most likely it’s the fault of big industry spewing out toxic fertilizers or synthetic chemicals. 

But in nearly 100 communities in California, this isn’t the case. They have water that is contaminated with a naturally occurring chemical: Arsenic.

Cooking, culture, and connection

Jul 9, 2019

First, we visit a restaurant in conservative rural California that relies on Bay Area diners. Then, we get a taste of some authentic Uyghur Chinese food. And, a mother and daughter bond over their love of food in the StoryCorps booth.

First up, families of people killed by police weigh in on a bill that would change standards around the deadly use-of-force. Then, we hear how one prisoner is able to make his escape, in a new story from Uncuffed, at Solano State Prison. And, Southern California earthquakes have the Bay Area thinking about how to prepare for the Big One. Are you ready?