Hana Baba

News Reporter/Host

Hana Baba is a reporter and host of Crosscurrents, KALW's evening newsmagazine. She's also part of KALW's project The Spiritual Edge.

She interviews and reports on ethnic communities, poverty, health, culture, religion, arts, and the global nature of the San Francisco Bay Area.  Her work also appears on NPR programs, PRI's The World, BBC World Service, and New America Media. A Sudanese-American, Hana also reports from and about Sudan and Sudanese.

Ways to Connect

Photo by Judy Dater, resized and recropped

Elizabeth Rosner’s parents both survived the Holocaust. Growing up she felt traumatized, even though she personally didn’t experience the camps. And when she talked to other children of survivors — not just of the Holocaust, but also of the Cambodian killing fields and the Armenian genocide — she realized she wasn't alone.

angelisland.org

The San Francisco Bay has long been a gateway for immigrants. Between 1910 and 1940, more than a million people from 80 different countries entered the United States through the immigration station on Angel Island. 

Akashic Books

The dark fiction genre, "noir",  evokes smoky black and white crime films, with fast talkin’, gun toting men in slick suits and fedoras. But what does noir mean today? 

Tom Levy

About 20% of American Muslims are converts — people who didn’t grow up with the religion and often don’t have any cultural ties.

The Stoop is launching soon! Hosted by KALW journalists Hana Baba and Leila Day, the podcast features stories and conversations about blackness that aren’t always shared in the open.

John Nilsen

Meklit Hadero is an Ethiopian-American musician, singer, songwriter, and composer. She grew up in San Francisco and now makes music that blends jazz with her native Ethiopian music.

Courtesy of Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society

 

The Migration Policy Institute estimates that the number of immigrant workers in the U.S. has tripled since 1970. As foreign born workers and their children make homes in the U.S., they often face a society that sees them as 'other.'

Courtesy of blackgirlscode.com

Electrical engineer and computer programmer Kimberly Bryant says that when she was in college, she was one of only a few women, and the only black woman, in her class. When she had her own daughter, Kai, she wondered what she could do to get more young girls of color into the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. 

The Bay Area has about 250 thousand Muslim residents – more than three percent of the region’s population. But what many people know about Islam is limited to anti-Muslim messages that have come from the highest political office holders.

Courtesy of Islamic Scholarship Fund

Back in 2003, the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science published a study of Arab Muslim portrayals in a Hollywood movies. Out of 900 films, only a dozen had a positive portrayal. 

Why is it hard for some black folks to say I love you? The Stoop, a new podcast about black identity, explores this question in a sneak preview of the podcast.

 

Disability rights lawyer Lainey Feingold is known for negotiating landmark accessibility agreements. She pioneered a dispute resolution method called “Structured Negotiations.” Instead of suing companies to be more accessible to the disabled, she talks to them, builds relationships, and brings her disabled clients to the negotiating table. Feingold is the author of  Structured Negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits.

Update: President Donald J. Trump signed an executive action on Jan. 25, 2017 to withhold federal grants from "sanctuary cities." 

When Donald Trump is inaugurated as President of the United States on Jan. 20, part of his 100-day action plan is to block federal funding to sanctuary cities. San Francisco received approximately $1 billion in federal funds last year. Berkeley, Oakland, and San Jose also stand to lose funding.

Thomas Pacha

Kitka is a women's singing ensemble based in Oakland. For more than 35 years, the group has been singing songs drawn from Eastern European vocal traditions. What began as an informal group of singers with a passion for those Eastern European harmonies and rhythms has grown into a critically-acclaimed professional ensemble.

Winni Wintermeyer with permission from Mother Jones

Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer has spent time in an Iranian prison, gone undercover as a guard at a maximum security prison in Louisiana, and recently embedded with militiamen patrolling the U.S. border with Mexico.

Muslim leaders are easing the anxiety of their communities  today, who were the target of Donald Trump attacks all through his campaign. Earlier this afternoon a number of national Muslim organizations held a press conference in Washington DC led by CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

The MacArthur Foundation announced its annual list of fellowship awards, often known as the “genius” awards, and one of this year’s winners is San Francisco-based José Quiñonez.

 

 

Buzzfeed News made waves at the beginning of the month, when it exposed the havoc behind the scenes of a rapidly growing company called Blue Apron.

Photo courtesy of Alicia Reyes

 

The Alameda County Bookmobile tours the county with books, magazines, CDs, DVDs and most everything else you can find at your local library. 

FLICKR USER Matthias Müller, USED UNDER CC / RESIZED AND CROPPED

Shane Bauer witnessed prison life firsthand during his four months undercover as a guard at the Winn Correctional Center, a private prison in Louisiana. What he experienced is detailed in a report he wrote for Mother Jones.

Simply the Basics Facebook page/Resized

Meeting personal hygiene needs are hard when you're living on the street. But a new nonprofit is trying to change that. Simply the Basics launched just last year and is providing homeless shelters and nonprofits with basic hygienic needs like tampons- but also soap, toothpaste, deodorant and other personal care items that help keep people healthy, but also help them live with dignity. It’s called the Hygiene Bank. Meghan Freebeck is founder of Simply the Basics. She spoke with KALW's Hana Baba.

Courtesy of rossvalleyplayers.com.

Ever since high school, people have pronounced Irma Herrera’s name wrong. When she'd correct their pronunciation, they'd ask where she was from, as if it was a foreign name. “I’m a fifth generation South Texan,” she’d say.

Hana Baba

This is a field trip.

East Bay school kids going to the California Academy of  Sciences - pretty typical, right? Wrong.

This is the weekend school of the Sudanese Association of Northern California, or SANC, where Sudanese kids come every Sunday to learn their parents’ mother tongue and immerse themselves in Sudanese poetry, folklore, music, and spirituality.  Even this bus ride from San Leandro to San Francisco is a cultural lesson in disguise.

Hana Baba

All of Delaine Eastin Elementary School’s 863 students — plus 18 teachers and staff — are on the school tarmac, formed into squares of eight dancers each on one sunny morning. Ivan DeSouza, also known as Mr. D., is the music teacher; he's teamed up with the PE coaches to help the kids try to break the Guinness world record for largest square dance today. 

KALW

KALW's Hana Baba is African. KALW's Leila Day is African American. In between making radio stories and interviews for Crosscurrents, they've had MANY casual conversations on the side ... many of them about black identity.

"Day 13: My morning at DMV" by Flickr user Vicky Sedgwick. Used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / cropped and resized

When it comes to undocumented immigrants applying for an AB 60 driver's license, it has been especially hard for people whose country is not on the list of countries whose nationals are approved to apply for AB 60, whose passports contain an electronic chip.

"Fullerton DMV" by Flickr user Micah Sittig. Used under CC BY 2.0 / cropped and resized.

 

AB 60 — a year-old law allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses — hasn’t worked the same for everyone. For some people, like Ghanaian national Eko Croffie, a small complication can mean a long journey ahead.

 

Courtesy of Wear Your Voice

For Ravneet Vohra, founder of Oakland-based magazine Wear Your Voice, getting dressed is more than a matter of clothes — it’s an act of reclaiming identity. Vohra was sexually abused as a young child, and after years of feeling disempowered, she’s now on a mission to break the silence around the many things we keep hush. KALW's Hana Baba sat down with Vohra to learn more.

"Facebook" by Flickr user Chris. Used under CC BY-SA 2.0 / cropped and resized

 

If you're on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed the new emojis you can use to express your feelings in reaction to a post. For those of you who don't know: Before, you could only "like" a post. But now you can also express anger, sadness, shock and love, too.

 

Tim Hussin

 

 

Talking to peers can be a vital tool for making it through dark times. But what happens when your friends and loved ones aren’t around anymore? That’s the situation for many older gay men in San Francisco, whose community was decimated by the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s.

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