Katherine S. Newman became the Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs of the University of California in January of 2023. She was simultaneously appointed as the Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at U. C. Berkeley. Dr. Newman is the author of fifteen books on topics ranging from technical education and apprenticeship, to the sociological study of the working poor in America’s urban centers, middle class economic insecurity under the brunt of recession, and school violence on a mass scale. She has written extensively on the consequences of globalization for youth, on the impact of regressive taxation on the poor, and on the history of American political opinion on the role of government intervention.
Her latest, co-authored with Elizabeth S. Jacobs, a senior fellow in the Center on Labor, Human Services and Population at the Urban Institute, is MOVING THE NEEDLE: WHAT TIGHT LABOR MARKETS DO FOR THE POOR, published this month by the University of California Press. We spoke with Dr. Newman on April 24, 2023.
We end this edition of Forthright Radio with audio from the last floor speech that Montana’s first transwoman elected to Montana’s State Legislature, Zooey Zephyr, before she was censured by the necessary 2/3 vote of House on April 26, 2023. Her offense? Calling out that the gender affirming health care they were outlawing would result in deaths, and used the phrase, “blood on their hands.”
Articles pertinent to this edition of Forthright Radio:
On May 5th & 7th, Intermountain Opera concludes their 2022-23 season with a performance of Verdi’s opera, Rigoletto. We spoke with Intermountain Opera’s Artistic Director, Michael Sakir, about the opera and his work with Intermountain Opera.
You can find Olivia Weitz’s segment on Yellowstone Public Radio about Intermountain Opera’s Wheels of Harmony Tour:
The Bozeman Doc Series afforded us the opportunity to interview the filmmaker of the film, of THE LAKE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD, Kathy Kasic, and the ‘main character,’ Professor of Ecology in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences at MSU Bozeman, John Priscu.
He has been organizing expeditions since 1984. He is a principal investigator in the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project and SALSA, the Subglacial Antarctic Lakes Scientific Access project, which is the subject of this film. His work, and the work of his teams, have revolutionized our understanding of our Earth, as well as the diversity of life on our planet and beyond.
Kathy Kasic is a director/cinematographer and Associate Professor at California State University Sacramento. Twenty years ago she traded researching evolutionary biology in the Ecuadorian Amazon for filmmaking. Since then her artistic vision and craving for adventure have brought her to film off the bow of a ship, underwater in wild mountain rivers, and on the ice fields of Greenland and Antarctica. Using a sensorial emphasis on place to unveil the human relationship with the natural world, her 100+ productions have appeared at international festivals, on television (BBC, Discovery, Smithsonian, PBS, National Geographic), art galleries, museums (The Hirshhorn, Portland Art Museum, The Crocker), and won numerous awards. Most recently, Kasic field directed for BBC’s Earth Shot: Repairing Our Planet (feat. David Attenborough and Prince William) and directed The Lake at the Bottom of the World, a sensory vérité feature film about an international team of scientists exploring a subglacial lake 3,600 feet beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. She has been part of three National Science Foundation grants and mentored 12 graduate students. She believes that filmmaking is a way to give voice to what is not voiced, to see and hear more deeply, and to foster compassion across cultures.
THE LAKE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD will be screening at the Emerson Crawford Theater on Sunday, April 30th, 2023 at 7pm.
You may recall the horrifying news that hit the airwaves on March 26, 2018 about a van that had driven off the 100 foot cliff on HWY 1 just south of Juan Creek between Rockport and Westport on the north coast of Mendocino County, CA. Bad as the initial reports were, as more was learned about what had actually happened and what led up to it, the horror only grew.
Texas based journalist, Roxanna Asgarian, began investigating the tragedy within a day. Her investigations since have resulted in her book, WE WERE ONCE A FAMILY: A STORY OF LOVE, DEATH, AND CHILD REMOVAL IN AMERICA, published in March, 2023 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
She writes it as the true crime story that it certainly is, but her primary goal was to uncover the untold stories of the birth families of the six Black children taken from their families, who did NOT want to give them up, and who were making efforts to keep them, when the deeply flawed child welfare system thrust them first into the foster care system, and then fast tracked them into out of state adoptions.
Roxanna Asgarian reports about courts and the law for the Texas Tribune. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Magazine and Texas Monthly, as well as other publications. She received the 2022 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award for WE WERE ONCE A FAMILY: A STORY OF LOVE, DEATH, AND CHILD REMOVAL IN AMERICA. It goes well beyond the earlier, sensationalist reportage by the mainstream press and delves into the systems and history that allowed this murder/suicide to happen. We spoke with her via Skype on April 10, 2023.
Tragic as this story of innocent children taken from their birth families by a Child Protection Service system which purports to protect children, it is but one aspect of our society that does NOT protect innocent children.
Once again, another mass shooting at a school ended in the murder and traumatizing of children, this one at the Covenant School in Nashville, TN, which led to protests at the State Legislature, the expulsion of two young black representatives, their unanimous reinstatement to represent their districts, and more diverse voices calling out the politicians only too happy to maintain the status quo.
One mourns the loss of the Hart children, particularly Devonte Hart, whose famous “hug heard around the world” – showing Devonte’s tear streaked face at the age of 14 hugging a white police officer during a tense demonstration protesting the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. He, with his “Free Hugs” sign, would have been 20 years old now. What might he have become, had his life not been cut short, his body never found?
The broadcast ended with Cheryl Wheeler’s song, “If It Were Up to Me,” which you can hear using this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Op7agdIFOGY. It is sadly even more relevant than when she first recorded it in 1997.
In this edition of Radio Goes to the Movies, we inquire about a new documentary from Bozeman based Grizzly Creek Films with director, Eric Bendick, PATH OF THE PANTHER.
Drawn in by the haunting specter of the Florida panther, it follows a wildlife photographer, veterinarians, ranchers, conservationists, and Indigenous people, who find themselves on the front lines of an accelerating battle between the forces of renewal and the forces of destruction that have pushed the Everglades to the brink of ecological collapse.
Once ubiquitous in North and South America, but now perched on the edge of extinction, this perilously small, sole remaining population of the panther east of the Mississippi is an emblem of our once connected world. A vision of what could be again.
We spoke with the Emmy Award winning director of Path of the Panther, Eric Bendick, about his work and this powerful new film via Skype on April 5, 2023.
It will be premiering on the National Geographic/Disney+ channel on April 28, 2023.
Source: FloridaWildlifeCorridor.org; Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.