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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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It's been over a year since President Donald Trump issued an executive order promising to halt federal funding for cities that limit cooperation with immigration agents. After the order was made, mayors from across the country vowed to remain so called “sanctuary cities” anyway. 

Courtesy of Sarita Ocón

When theater artist Sarita Ocón started working as an actor in the Bay Area, she felt like something was missing, especially for a new generation of female, queer, and gender-expansive artists of color in the Bay Area.

3/6: Bringing new voices to the stage

Mar 6, 2018

Today on Crosscurrents:

  • What it means to live in a sanctuary city
  • A look inside Las Hociconas, a new theater residency program that supports artists of color

Stories Behind the Fog: George

Mar 5, 2018
Courtesy of Stories Behind the Fog

George came out to San Francisco in the 90s, and worked at a computer company. But after his health started to deteriorate, he lost his job, and ended up homeless and panhandling.

Liza Veale

An East Oakland warehouse is ground zero of a unfortunate standoff between art and marijuana. Over 30 artists are facing possible eviction, after a cannabis investment fund bought their building—one of Oakland’s oldest live/work artist housing.

3/5: The cannabis industry comes to Oakland

Mar 5, 2018

Today on Crosscurrents:

  • Is a cannabis business displacing artists in Oakland?
  • A man without a home talks about the inhumanity of poverty
  • A conversation with the new director of Youth Speaks

Youth Speaks brings on a new leader

Mar 5, 2018
Courtesy of Youth Speaks


if you’ve ever been to a Youth Speaks poetry slam here in the Bay Area, you know young people have a lot to say.

Living the LARP life in the Berkeley hills

Mar 1, 2018
Lilia Vega / KALW News

Parallel to our world is a fantasy world full of knights and dragons, wizards and druids. Every Sunday they take a break from their separate lives and come together to battle for glory.

Codornices Park, where they gather, is a few blocks north of the UC Berkeley Campus.

To get there you have to surmount a steep hill; the farther up you go, the wilder the terrain becomes. Trees become lusher, the sidewalk buckles from the pressure of giant roots, and on some early mornings, this whole North Berkeley area is swirled in fog.

3/1: The LARPers of the Berkeley Hills

Mar 1, 2018

Today on Crosscurrents:

  • Supportive housing for homeless veterans and low-income families comes to San Francisco’s Mission Bay
  • How a history of racist government decisions led to institutionalized poverty
  • The story behind this week’s Audiograph mystery sound

Liza Veale


Today, San Francisco began construction on a housing development in Mission Bay, a complex that will house 62 homeless veterans and 59 low-income families.

The weather did not stop housing leaders from gathering under a muddy tent to celebrate.


“Thanks for coming out in the rain,” said Michael Blecker of Swords to Plowshares, the veterans' services organization. “And, of course the folks who will be living here will be out of the rain.”


Did you know that Richmond, Milpitas, and Palo Alto all had subdivisions where it was illegal for African Americans to own a house?

Kari Orvik


Jean Melesaine grew up all over the Bay, but she picked up her love of photography in San Jose working for the media collective Silicon Valley Debug. Jean’s work ranges from documentary photography to personal portraiture.

Courtesy of UC Berkeley Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society


Scholars from around the country are at UC Berkeley this week for a conference exploring racial justice. It’s called "Race & Inequality in America: The Kerner Commission at 50."

2/28: Revisiting the Compton's Cafeteria Riot

Feb 28, 2018

Today on Crosscurrents:

  • A theater piece brings the country’s first known act of militant, queer resistance against police brutality back to life
  • How interracial relationships are faring in the era of Black Lives Matter
  • A Bay Area photographer uses her camera to give back to her community

2/27: The Kerner Report turns 50

Feb 27, 2018

Today on Crosscurents: 

  • The Bay Area invests in driverless car technology
  • Scholars at UC Berkeley revisit the Kerner Report, which investigated the racial unrest of the summer of 1967

Courtesy of Detroit Free Press

In the summer of 1967, more than 150 riots broke out in Black communities across the country, protesting racial injustice. President Johnson then called a special commission to investigate, which produced an unusual document, called the Kerner Report, which analyzed the reasons why Black communities were frustrated and rising up.

Eli Wirtschafter

What if a bicyclist could turn a traffic light from red to green — just by having the right app in their pocket? Or what if a driverless car could take you to the hospital?

2/26: The great heron experiment

Feb 26, 2018

Today on Crosscurrents

  • Herons that have been nesting in downtown Oakland for years look for new homes at Lake Merritt
  • An organization tries to disrupt stereotypes about who is and who is not ‘outdoorsy'
  • Memories recounted by the oldest park ranger in the country, Betty Reid Soskin

Marissa Ortega-Welch


Biologists are trying to lure herons that have been nesting in downtown Oakland to move to Lake Merritt instead. Will it work?

Photo courtesy of Rue Mapp



This story originally aired in 2014.

One of the Bay Area’s main attractions is its proximity to nature. Only 45 minutes separate Bay Area residents from arriving at the ocean, the mountains, or a hiking trail. But not everybody experiences the Bay Area’s natural beauty.

From the Storycorps booth

If you've ever visited the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park on the Richmond waterfront, chances are you have heard of its most celebrated ranger.

East Oakland youth share stories of resistance and resilience

Feb 26, 2018
Selena Wilson

In the fall of 2017, KALW and East Oakland Youth Development Center teamed up to present a series of audio storytelling workshops for East Oakland youth. Taught by KALW reporter Eli Wirtschafter and Snap Judgment producer Adizah Egan, the students learned the basics of audio storytelling and created their own pieces, which you can listen to below. A new round of the workshop starts March 6 — East Oakland teens age 13-18 can sign up here, or just come to the first class at EOYDC!

Guess this Bay Area sound! February 23, 2018

Feb 26, 2018

This is Audiograph — the Bay Area’s sonic signature. We’ll play you a sound recorded somewhere in the Bay Area. Your job? Listen to the sound in the player above, figure out where it was recorded and what it is, then call to let us know.

If you think you can identify this Audiograph sound of the week, call 415-264-7106. Also, tell us where to record next. We’ll give away a KALW t-shirt every week to one lucky caller.

Photo courtesy of Laura Oda

Stand outside Yaelisa’s East Oakland dance studio on a quiet night and you can hear the sound of dancers practicing their footwork. Inside the studio, about ten women in long skirts are standing in line behind their teacher.  She sings throughout her class and calls out guidance to her students as she keeps the rhythm with her hands and feet. The dancers move in unison. The sounds of their stomps take on the quality of a drum.

Hannah Kingsley-Ma


This story originally aired in August of 2016. 

There’s a warehouse in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood stuffed with the severed legs of aging mannequins, screws of various sizes, and large pieces of real fur.


Garaje Gooch


The Stud is a queer bar in San Francisco with a long and storied history. It was founded in 1966, the same year as the historic Compton’s Cafeteria Riot in the Tenderloin, three years before the Stonewall uprising in New York. It survived the AIDS crisis, the dot com boom, and bust and boom again — all the while building a reputation as a quirky, welcoming place for all visitors.

Courtesy of Snap Judgment

In 2017, there were 77 homicides in Oakland. Our friends at the podcast Snap Judgment reported on each one.

12/21: Counted: An Oakland Story

Feb 21, 2018

Today on Crosscurrents: 

The Guardian

One of our listeners, Consuelo Faust, recently asked us a question through our Hey Area project: “Is it fact or urban legend that other cities or even States send their homeless people to San Francisco?”

2/20: Inside San Francisco's homeless bussing program

Feb 20, 2018

Today on Crosscurrents:

  • An interview with Guardian reporter Alastair Gee about San Francisco's bussing program 
  • How one woman’s experience of childhood incarceration made her a lifelong activist
  • A visit to a Bay Area mall that once was a World War II detention camp