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

Hana Baba

Racial and religious stereotyping are sadly a reality we still have to live with in the United States. You hear that discussed nowadays in light of police shootings of young African American men, or in African immigrant communities around the country that are dealing with another form of discrimination: harassment based on Ebola stigma. Over the weekend, Bay Area African leaders and activists gathered in Oakland to discuss what should be done about it. 

Courtesy of oaklandnorth.net

Antwan Wilson is the new head of Oakland Unified School District. Wilson spent five years as Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Denver before coming to Oakland schools last July. He arrived with a reputation for turning things around.

Laura Mason

 

In 1996, Bay Area journalist Gary Webb wrote a series of articles in the San Jose Mercury News proving that in the 80s, the CIA and DEA helped facilitate drug trafficking into the U.S. in order to give Nicaraguan Contra fighters funding to topple the communist Sandinista government.

US Census / US Census

It’s hard to define individual identity. For example, if you're Spanish speaking, what do you call yourself? Latino? Hispanic? Something else? Berkeley professor G. Cristina Mora dug into the  history of what Spanish speakers were called in America in her new book 'Making Hispanics: How Activists, Bureaucrats and Media constructed a New American.' It tells the story of how and when Spanish speakers in America got their own ethnic category on the US census, and what that iconic moment led to. G. Cristina Mora joined Hana Baba in studio, and Mora told her that story. 

 

When a rape is reported, the victim is medically examined, and the biological evidence acquired in that exam is called a "rape kit." That rape kit is used by prosecutors who try to bring the perpetrator to justice.

At least that's what is supposed to happen. But in many cases, it doesn't. Last month, a state audit found that half of all rape kits at the Oakland Police Department were never analyzed. Rape kit backlogs, it turns out, are plaguing the state. In Alameda County alone, the audit found close to 2,000 untested kits, dating back to 2001.

www.prisonerswithchildren.org

In 1969, Dorsey Nunn was sentenced to life in prison for killing a man. After serving 12 years of his sentence, Nunn was paroled in 1981. Back on the outside, he realized there was very little help for him or people like him to make new lives. He took matters into his own hands and started working with other formerly incarcerated people to address issues of employment, education, and voting rights. 

Under CC license from Flickr user Jon Starbuck.

KALW’s Liz Pfeffer speaks with Hana Baba about housing-related measures on the upcoming San Francisco ballot, including Propositions K and G.

http://www.nunsonthebusmovie.com/

As head of the Catholic Social Justice group network, Sister Simone Campbell, who is a nun, worked for immigration reform, healthcare, and economic justice. In 2010, when the Affordable Care Act was being debated in Congress, she wrote a letter in support of the bill, and was able to get 60 signatures from religious orders in the US on it.

Note: The San Francisco Unified School District owns KALW's broadcast license. 

Nollywood Mindspace

 

For the past five years, Chike Nwoffiah has put together the Silicon Valley African Film Festival, which screens and celebrates films from fifteen different African countries. Nowadays, it's become more than a film fest; This year there's an African market, a visual arts exhibit, and a forum that features African women who work in tech. Nwoffiah hopes all this will help festival-goers understand the complexity of the continent.

Credit: Oakland Wiki

On November 4th, Oakland voters will pick their next mayor. All month on “Crosscurrents,” we are going to bring you the voices of each of the 15 people who are campaigning for the job.  

In  Marin County the  Mill Valley Film Fest  is underway. It opens Thursday October 2, and this week we're featuring some of the many local documentary makers in this year’s program.

Today, we explore the film FREE, which follows young dance students at Destiny Arts in Oakland as they navigate harsh realities like abuse, violence, suicide attempts, and absent parents, all while preparing for a big dance performance that compels them to express their innermost fears. Director Suzanne Lafetra came to the studio, to talk about the film. A note to our listeners, this interview contains a description rape.

Baraka Blue (Facebook Mobile Upload)

The religion of Islam has been showing up in hip hop and rap music for decades.  Artists like Mos Def are open about their Muslim faith, and how it influences their music. And there are many others too -- Big Daddy Kane, Lupe Fiasco, and some members of the iconic 90s hi hop group A Tribe Called Quest. Similarly, hip hop artist Baraka Blue draws inspiration for his music from Sufi Islam. But unlike these artists who are African American -- he’s white.

SF Public Press

San Francisco's housing crisis has been making headlines for a while now. It’s hard to avoid the numerous news reports on skyrocketing rent prices, controversial evictions, or horror stories of terrible housing situations. But, there’s been far less coverage of what actual solutions there might be for these issues.

Photograph by www.kvandco.com

Choreographer Namita Kapoor grew up in the East Bay town of Moraga, dancing jazz, tap, and ballet. She says, at the time, there were no dance classes in her surroundings that reflected her Indian heritage. It was when she went to college that she discovered Indian dance, and as she did her research, she discovered a fascinating link between classical Indian dance and American Jazz dance. In the 1940s and 1950s, theatrical jazz dance legend Jack Cole invented a dance form called Hindu Swing: jazz dance that draws on ancient Hindu tradition and form. You may remember this from dance numbers he choreographed in films like the 1955 film Kismet

Takei was one of the first stars to portray Asian Americans in a positive light on the small screen. But he’s been a role model in other ways too. In 2005, at the age of 68, he came out as gay and became a fierce advocate for marriage equality. He’s also spoken out against the kind of hatred that landed him and his family in the a Japanese-American internment campo during World War II.

In her new film 'To Be Takei', Jennifer Kroot takes a close look at Takei’s life, spanning from his recent activism to his internment as a child. Kroot spoke with KALW's Hana Baba.

 


These days, a lot of people prefer the word “spirituality” over “religion”. Many people associate religion with dogma handed down by inflexible institutions that don’t keep up with the times. 

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 answer came in April of 2011, when she launched a company called Black Girls Code to teach girls how to build their own websites, make computer games, and train them for careers in the tech industry. Kimberly Bryant and her daughter, Kai, who has been through the program, joined KALW’s Hana Baba in the studio.

The Marsh- SF

 

Dezi Gallegos is a playwright who is searching for God. He's only 18 years old, but says he's already lived through numerous tough life experiences that led to him asking the question: is there a loving God? And if so, why are these bad things  plagues, he calls them  happening to me and my family? 

New Americans Campaign

Last February, the federal government announced a new form to apply for citizenship -- one that is twice as long and more complex than the previous one. The price to apply for citizenship, or naturalization, has gone up from $200 in 2000, to $680 today. That means a family of four will have to pay over $2,700 to apply. And it's one reason so many eligible immigrants are putting off citizenship.

http://www.anamericanmosque.com/

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to 250,000 Muslims. They work in tech, medicine, commerce, the service industry. And if you drive two hours north of San Francisco, to Yuba City, you’d find a Muslim farming community that’s been there for nearly a century. Pakistani immigrants made their way to Yuba City in the 1920s and today grow almonds, oranges, alfalfa, and prunes. Lots of prunes. The community was living peacefully until one fateful day in 1994, when disaster struck. Oakland filmmaker David Washburn’s new film An American Mosque tells their story. I spoke to Washburn about making the film.

Ho John Lee

 

With redevelopment happening in places like San Francisco’s Hunter’s Point waterfront, and Oakland’s new Brooklyn Basin project along the shoreline, it can look like a lot of our natural landscape will turn into shiny residential towers.

Blues legend Sugar Pie DeSanto still hits the high notes

Jul 10, 2014

She began winning talent shows up and down Fillmore Street at 18, when she weighed just 85 pounds, wore size 3 shoes and went by her given name, Umpeylia Marsema Balinton. 

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/child-sex-trafficking-a-story-about-love

 

Oakland activist and filmmaker Sheri Shuster has been advocating against the sex trafficking of youth for more than a decade. Her new film, 'Child Sex Trafficking: A Story About Love,' exposes and explores the world of girl trafficking in Oakland through the story and activism of trafficking survivor Leah Albright-Byrd. 

 

For 23 years, retired California Highway Patrol Sergeant Kevin Briggs patrolled the Golden Gate Bridge for suicide jumpers. He talked hundreds of people off the ledge and back onto the bridge and earned the nickname, “The Guardian of the Golden Gate.” His powers of persuasion were the doorway between life and death. Sometimes, unfortunately, they just weren’t enough.

CCSF

City College of San Francisco is now able to stay open for another two years while it meets accreditation standards, according to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

This is a relief for the college which has feared closure since last July, when the commission decided to terminate the college’s accreditation this coming July.

A new play in in Berkeley is trying to capture and preserve the diverse character of the city through the stories of its people. Playwright Dan Wolf interviewed hundreds of people from all around Berkeley and asked them these three questions: when did you come to Berkeley, why do you stay in Berkeley and what’s magical about Berkeley?

Behavioral health courts can give offenders who are mentally ill the option to be tried for non-felony crimes. Within the program, offenders can have access to not only the district attorney and public defender, but to several social services programs in order to help them get them back on their feet. 

One catch — they have to want to be in the program. 

Bay Area Beats: DOE EYE

May 28, 2014
Olivia Lee

In this edition of Bay Area Beats, we meet Union City based musician Maryam Qudus, who says she was a shy child of an Afghan immigrant family. When she wanted to pursue music, it was a first for her family, her culture, and her larger community.

“There was NO music in my family. ----- my mom knows who Beyonce is, who MJ is- that’s all,” says Qudus.

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