Crosscurrents | KALW


Monday-Thursday at 5pm

Crosscurrents is KALW Public Radio's award-winning news magazine, broadcasting Mondays through Thursdays on 91.7 FM. We make joyful, informative stories that engage people across the economic, social, and cultural divides in our community.

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6/14: Celebrating Eid ul-Fitr

Jun 14, 2018

Today on Crosscurrents:

  • An Oakland mosque where both Sunni and Shia pray and sing together.
  • Eating Uhygur food in the Bay Area.
  • The spiritual beats of San Jose rapper Tyson Amir.

Hana Baba

This story originally aired in 2015. 

Through much of their history, Sunni and Shia Muslims have lived peacefully together in countries like Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. But since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, sectarian conflict has escalated in the region. Here in the Bay Area,  around 75% of Muslims identify as Sunni, just four percent identify as Shia.

Courtesy of Giorgio Angelini


The history of home ownership in the US is a complicated one, but a look at that history can help shed light on why today’s housing economy is the way it is —especially if you go back to post-World War II America.


Even in the Bay Area, there are some properties that are so dilapidated they can’t sell. Many have been languishing since the foreclosure crisis a decade ago. But instead of letting them just take up space, the city of Richmond is flipping the homes that investors won’t touch.

6/13: Flipping 'zombie properties' in Richmond

Jun 13, 2018

Today on Crosscurrents: 

  • The city of Richmond turns abandoned homes into assets.
  • A new film tackles the racist history of home ownership in the US.
  • One Hunters Point adult who is making a very specific kind of difference for graduating high school seniors.

Courtesy of Berkley, Ca. Police Department – Historical Unit

How are police trained, and what kind of education do they get? A 2014 study by the Journal of Criminal Justice Education found the more educated an officer was, the less likely they would use force during an encounter.

6/12: What does police education look like?

Jun 12, 2018

Today on Crosscurrents:

  • Why have universities been resistant to offer policing degrees?
  • Sammay Dizon discusses on why she started the arts festival Urban X Indigenous.
  • A local hero who helps kids become better basketball players ... and better people.

Earl Buenaobra


Choreographer, musician, and healer Sammay Dizon is originally from the Southern California city of Carson, but she’s made her artistic home here in the Bay. Her work often deals with  her cultural identity as a Filipina woman, particularly in the multimedia arts festival she founded, Urban X Indigenous.

Urban X Indigenous is happening June 16-17 at SOMArts IN SAN FRANCISCO.

Ben Trefny

It’s the final game of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department's Junior Warriors 8th grade girls basketball league. The SOMA Stars and the Lady Hurricanes take their positions on the court. A tall, wiry man – the referee – steps to the center. He looks at all the girls, smiles, and tosses the ball straight up in the air. Two girls jump for it, and the game is on.

Audiograph's Sound of the Week: Chapel of the Chimes Solstice Concert

Jun 11, 2018
Julie Caine

This story originally aired in 2015.

All week long, we've been playing this sound, and asking you to guess what exactly it is and where exactly in the Bay Area we recorded it.

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, courtesy of the artists, Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, and Luhring Augustine, New York


Maybe you were among the lucky visitors to a sonic installation at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center a couple years ago.

6/11: The poetry machine

Jun 11, 2018

Today on Crosscurrents: 

  • The story behind two new permanent water restrictions
  • Exploring a new sound installation by artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller
  • Music for the heart at the Chapel of the Chimes

Steve Johnson via Flickr Creative Commons

Even though we are entering another summer drought-free, Governor Jerry Brown just signed two new water conservation bills into law. These laws will require permanent water conservation, regardless of whether or not California is in a drought.

KALW’s environment reporter Angela Johnston tells us more on AB 1668 and SB 606

The Stoop: Pretty for a dark-skinned girl

Jun 7, 2018
illustration by Neema Iyer

The Stoop podcast is hosted by KALW's Hana Baba and Leila Day. 

In this episode we explore colorism — discrimination based on skin tone, which has happened for decades in Black communities.

 To hear more episodes, subscribe to The Stoop wherever you get your podcasts. 

6/7: The Stoop — Pretty for a dark skinned girl

Jun 7, 2018

Today on Crosscurrents:

6/6: Election recap

Jun 6, 2018

Today on Crosscurrents:

"one-forty/three-sixty-five" by CC Flickr User Laura LaRose


The votes are in — or, most of them anyway, with some mailed-in ballots yet to be counted. And California voters have weighed in on state and local propositions as well as many elected offices.

David Wilson


Actress, writer, and educator Rhodessa Jones got the idea for The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women almost 30 years ago, after teaching classes at the San Francisco County Jail.


Jones founded The Medea Project to explore whether an arts-based approach could help reduce the numbers of women returning to jail.


San Quentin Radio: The bird man of San Quentin

Jun 6, 2018
"Pigeon" by CC Flickr user jans canon, resized and recropped

With San Quentin has dozens of self-help programs for inmates. But one man foregoes them all, creating his own form of therapy through feeding birds.

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

There are stars in East Oakland. Not just the ones in the sky, but homegrown, right in the community.

Eli Wirtschafter

Last December, James Smith’s car was towed as a consequence of unpaid parking violations. Smith was homeless, and the car was his only shelter. Now, Smith filing suit against San Francisco, arguing that towing for debt-collection is unconstitutional.

Today on Crosscurrents:

Courtesy of London Breed


When Mayor Ed Lee unexpectedly passed away last December, London Breed became acting mayor — the first African American woman in that position.

Hana Baba

For the first time in nearly a decade, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley is running against an opponent.

Courtesy of Pamela Price

Pamela Price is an African American civil rights attorney who says she wants to create change in Alameda County's criminal justice systems.

5/31: Has Napa Valley reached its limit?

May 31, 2018

Today on Crosscurrents: 

  • A Napa County proposition wants to limit Napa Valley’s vineyard growth
  • A conversation with San Francisco mayoral candidate Mark Leno
  • Inside the 27-year-old East Bay institution Ballet Folklórico México Danza

Angela Johnston

Some Napa winemakers and environmentalists feel the Valley has reached its limit. They say too many vineyards are hurting the environment — but their solution is producing a divisive battle at the ballot box.

Nopal Media

Hayward's Ballet Folkórico México Danza started out as an after-school program for local kids to learn traditional Mexican dance. Since 1991, it's grown to over 100 members, including teenage and adult companies.

5/30: Destiny's story

May 30, 2018

Today on Crosscurrents: