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We Live Here
28 minutes | 19 days ago
Legislating to Save Lives
Democratic Representative Cori Bush made history when she became the first Black Congresswoman for Missouri, unseating the Clay political dynasty. She brought her background as a nurse, activist, organizer, single mom and pastor to her new role and has jumped headfirst into advocating for issues ranging from reparations for Black Americans to taxing billionaires to Medicare for All. She teamed up with Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey and Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth to introduce a bill that would bring together federal agencies and create a mapping tool to help allocate environmental funding from the Biden administration. Just last week, she also joined forces with New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to introduce a $1 trillion dollar bill to fund environmental justice projects for the next four years. In this episode, we’ll hear from Senator Tammy Duckworth and Congresswoman Cori Bush about three major environmental justice bills: the Environmental Justice for All Act, the Environmental Justice Mapping and Data Collection Act, and the Green New Deal for Cities Act.
30 minutes | a month ago
Bonus: Urban Farmers
We wanted to share the stories of the people who are at the heart of the environmental justice movement: urban farmers. In St. Louis, urban farmers have made great strides and continue to educate the next generation about the importance of growing their own food. In this bonus episode, we visit an urban farm, then hear from a food justice director advocating for a healthier environment and the founder of a nonprofit that provides equitable access to food, education, and employment.
51 minutes | a month ago
Boots to the Streets
The We Live Here team balances deep dives into systemic issues with inspiring stories about people working to make a difference in their own communities. So when a listener reached out and introduced us to the work of Jeffrey “JD” Dixon, an activist organizing cleanups and coalitions in East St. Louis, a predominantly Black city in Illinois, we knew that we’d have to drive across the river to share his story. In this episode, we’ll learn about JD’s demand for legislative reform, hear from a political science professor about the legacy of industrial suburbs, and talk to a reporter about how JD is one of many Black residents in the Metro East area of Illinois who are pushing back against environmental racism.
52 minutes | 2 months ago
To Live and Thrive
We wanted to know how environmental issues affect babies and birthing people during childbirth, one of the most delicate life processes. In the U.S., Black babies are two times more likely to die before their first birthday than white babies, and Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications then white women. So in this episode, we hear from a documentary filmmaker about humanizing Black birthing people, a neonatal hospitalist about the effects the environment has on newborns and mothers and an executive director of an Equal Access Midwifery Clinic about supporting people of color through the birthing process.
41 minutes | 2 months ago
Who Deserves Quality Air?
St. Louis is consistently listed as one of the worst “Asthma Capitals” in the country by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. During the pandemic, environmental issues such as dust from demolitions and housing conditions make it even harder for people to breathe. In this episode, we hear from a chronic disease epidemiologist and health education coordinator about an initiative to create healthier homes, an educator who collects racial and ethnic data to help us understand environmental issues in our region, and a reverend putting matters into his own hands to help his community live in a healthier environment.
43 minutes | 3 months ago
Environmental Racism in St. Louis Report
In St. Louis, there are many stories about how environmental racism impacts everyday people and their health, housing, and daily lives. So in this season, we’ll use the Washington University Interdisciplinary Environmental Law Clinic’s 2019 report on Environmental Racism in St. Louis to guide us through conversations about the top environmental issues facing the most vulnerable communities in St. Louis. In this episode, we look back at how St. Louis’ history of systemic racism has impacted the living environments of low-income and Black residents, how the report featured stories of everyday people, and what type of environment the report’s recommendations could create for the next generation.
58 minutes | 3 months ago
Farm Dreams & Toxic Dust
In this episode, we introduce you to two Black artists who teamed up to heal and educate their community through an urban farm in predominantly Black North St. Louis City. They share their vision for building an education garden with accessible raised beds, and growing flowers and healing herbs alongside chickens and bees. Then we learn about how they encountered a major obstacle that put their dreams on hold...
5 minutes | 4 months ago
Trailer: Environmental Racism
In the last two seasons of the show, we have covered the COVID-19 pandemic and the current uprising for Black lives, both of which continue to shape society today. The pandemic and the uprising also raised two major questions, which we’ll be addressing in our new season on environmental racism: How do we achieve a healthy life? And what kind of world do we want to leave for the next generation? These are profound questions for a region that boasts some of the most prestigious hospitals in the nation and is home to residents with some of the worst health outcomes. So in this season, we’ll trace the connection between systemic racism, housing conditions, and health outcomes. But we’ll also highlight the organizers, tenants rights advocates, and urban farmers who are working to improve conditions in their communities. The first episode of the environmental racism season drops on Friday, February 12th, anywhere you get podcasts.
54 minutes | 5 months ago
Uprising: Storytelling through COVID
This year, we produced a season that put a racial equity lens on the COVID-19 pandemic and a season about the current uprising for Black lives. As a collective, we have faced this season's challenges head first and continue to press on by producing meaningful and impactful stories, which is why we wanted to know what other journalists in our region experienced during this time. In this episode, we’ll hear from a correspondent for Kaiser Health News about the importance of telling the stories of everyday people during this time and a reporter from the St. Louis American will share what it’s like to work on a year-long fellowship to produce stories about COVID-19 affecting the Black community.
57 minutes | 5 months ago
Over the past months, we’ve seen civil unrest across the country in a renewed uprising for Black lives and the fight to hold police accountable. But we should not forget the painters, poets, musicians, and more who have decided that through their art they can motivate people to move into action. In this episode, we’ll hear from a young man who found beauty in destruction and created a group for local Black artists, the founder of ART House will share about how she is building a place for artists of color to thrive in their own community, and the founder of UrbArts will teach us about art’s ability to uncover systemic racism and how we can create a marketplace to support Black artists in a more meaningful way.
68 minutes | 6 months ago
Uprising: Police Accountability
The call to defund the police has gained steam as activists and advocates bring attention to police budgets that they believe could be better allocated to education, healthcare, and social services. At the heart of this call is the question of whether or not police increase public safety. Growing numbers of people are joining a movement to abolish the current system of policing and imagine new structures for responding to mental health crises, domestic violence, and social problems created by poverty and racism. In this episode, we talk to the co-chairs of St. Louis’ Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression about police accountability and the tension between efforts to reform and desire to abolish the current system of policing.
71 minutes | 6 months ago
Uprising: Navigating Educational Inequities
Many schools have started hybrid in-person and online learning, even as coronavirus cases keep rising and students continue to experience disparities in accessing technology, meeting their daily needs, and learning at home. So in this episode, we’ll hear from a first generation college student who has been helping her community navigate the education system and an executive director of a local education-based nonprofit will share what parents and families face when navigating the St. Louis Public Schools system and how that impacts students’ experiences with higher education. And then, we’ll zoom all the way out to examine why St. Louis’ educational landscape remains uneven and segregated over six decades after the Brown vs. Board of Education decision. This episode was produced with the help of Lindy Drew, Lead Storyteller and Co-Founder of Humans of St. Louis, which is a paid content partner of Navigate STL Schools and Forward through Ferguson. As always, We Live Here’s coverage remains independent.
54 minutes | 7 months ago
Uprising: Movements on Campus
Back in early March, we were collecting stories from first generation college students about their experiences on campus. Since then, COVID-19 hit college campuses across the country and we’re seeing a rising number of cases since students have returned for in-person classes. So in this episode, we hear from a first generation college student about navigating post-grad life during a pandemic, a health reporter will share what it’s like to report about the virus at a university, and a student activist will tell us about how they are fighting to uplift the demands of Black students on campus.
26 minutes | 7 months ago
Bonus: Back to the Clock Tower
Back in 2014, after the police killings of Michael Brown Jr. in North St. Louis County and VonDerrit Myers Jr. in South St. Louis City, the St. Louis University Clock Tower became a site for Occupy SLU: six days of teach-ins, community conversation, and an occupation by community activists and students, which resulted in the creation of 13 Clock Tower Accords to advance racial equity at the school. This year, after a grand jury in Kentucky declined to indict three Louisville police officers for shooting and killing Breonna Taylor, students gathered at the Clock Tower again to hold a vigil for Breonna Taylor and make new demands to change culture and policies at St. Louis University. On this bonus episode, we’ll hear from three students who organized direct actions and a new list of demands to advance racial equity at St. Louis University.
40 minutes | 7 months ago
Uprising: Black Trans People Lead
The uprising for Black lives has amplified the names of Black people who have been killed by police and in racist attacks. But the names of people who are Black and trans are lesser known due to transphobia and a lack of understanding from media and society. In St. Louis, organizers have been uplifting the name of Kiwi Herring, a Black trans woman who was known by her loved ones as a playful nurturer, adored by neighborhood kids and her own children, who she taught to value education and hard work. In this episode we’ll hear more from organizers who are supporting people who are Black and trans, using art to promote social change, and staying inspired through the uprising.
45 minutes | 8 months ago
The uprising for Black lives has disrupted the social and economic status quo through protests, highway shutdowns and occupations. It has also been an opportunity for activists and organizers to build power and engage people politically. But the pandemic, changes to the postal service, and the increasingly polarized political climate will impact the upcoming general election in major ways. So in this episode, we hear from a state representative who helped to come up with new absentee and mail-in balloting guidelines and two ministers who are part of multi-racial and multi-faith coalitions that engage voters and increase voter turnout.
54 minutes | 8 months ago
In less than a year, the coronavirus has changed life as we know it-- from job losses to evictions and even the loss of loved ones. As we enter the fall and back-to-school season, we wanted to know: what does education look like in the midst of a pandemic and how can we keep students, educators, and workers safe? So in this episode, we hear from two teachers: one who will share what it’s like to teach through a pandemic and another who has been organizing teachers to advocate for safer policies and practices in the St. Louis Public School system. We’ll also talk to a student advocate and financial aid advisor from a local nonprofit scholarship organization about how COVID-19 is affecting college students and what it means to put a racial equity lens on the student loan crisis.
43 minutes | 9 months ago
Bonus: Making of Black at Mizzou
This is a bonus episode about the making of Black at Mizzou: Confronting Race on Campus, an audio documentary that was recently released by American Public Media. It provides a window into the community of Black students at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the impact of the Concerned Student 1950 movement. In this episode, we hear about the process of hosting and producing the documentary from someone that you already know, but are about to get a whole lot more familiar with: Lauren Brown, co-host and producer for We Live Here. Black at Mizzou: Confronting Race on Campus from APM Reports is out now-- on the Educate podcast from American Public Media-- everywhere you get podcasts. You can also find it online at apmreports.org.
34 minutes | 9 months ago
Uprising: Housing Crisis
As layoffs and furloughs continue through the coronavirus-induced recession and eviction moratoriums are being lifted, the U.S. is facing a major housing crisis. In St. Louis, people have been holding rallies and occupying City Hall to call for a moratorium on evictions for tenants and unhoused people alike, and framing this demand as a racial equity issue. So in this episode, we trace the story of two tent encampments: one occupied by people who are unhoused under an overpass and one occupied by activists and advocates at St. Louis City Hall. We also hear from the executive director and community engagement specialist of a fair housing enforcement agency about what racial equity means during a housing crisis.
38 minutes | 10 months ago
Uprising: Black Mental Health
Fighting for Black lives isn’t new and some say that this uprising isn’t new either. It’s a familiar fight that Black people have been fighting for centuries. The difference is that now this fight is happening as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, especially within the African-American community. The pandemic, state violence, and racist attacks all have devastating physical consequences, but there is also a mental toll. In this episode, we hear from a Black healing practitioner and two Black psychologists about how the pandemic and the uprising are impacting the mental health of African-Americans and how Black people can maintain and promote their mental wellness during these stressful times.
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