Please support our programs

radio stories and voices to take action

Abortion Access and Eroded Rights
Dec09

Abortion Access and Eroded Rights

In 1973 the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade established the legal right to abortion in the United States. Since then, state legislative and executive bodies have battled to restrict access to abortions. Federal law banned the use of federal funds for most abortions in 1977, and public funding for abortion remains a contested issue. One recent study in Texas found that more than 200,000 women performed abortions on themselves because they weren’t able to find clinical services. From restrictive laws to a lack of information to violent attacks, the blocking of abortion access is eroding the reproductive rights of women. On this edition, we hear from women at the New Orleans Abortion Fund and Ibis Reproductive Health, as well as experiences from a doctor who provides abortions and a woman that sought abortion access in New Orleans, Louisiana. Featuring: Jessie Nieblas, New Orleans Abortion Fund Liza Fuentes, Ibis Reproductive Health Natalie, teacher in New Orleans Diary excerpt from Dr. Susan Wicklund, an abortion provider under attack, as performed for Making Contact by Words of Choice with Actor Claudia Scheider, Directed by Francesca Mantani Arkus, Created and Produced by Cindy Cooper    Credits Music: Ketsa, Will Bangs Special Thanks to The Mary Wohlford Foundation for partial funding of this program. More information http://neworleansabortionfund.org/home http://www.ibisreproductivehealth.org/ http://wordsofchoice.org/ The Toll of Violent Anti Abortion Speech ‘Roe’ Revisited: The Path From Texas to SCOTUS for HB 2 Up to 240,000 Women Have Tried to Give Themselves Abortions in Texas How Bobby Jindal Threw Reproductive Health Under the Bus for His Presidential Bid Construction of New Orleans Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz Continues Despite Protests #is100enough Photo  by Debra...

Read More
Invisible Workers, Laboring in the Shadows
Oct21

Invisible Workers, Laboring in the Shadows

Millions of people around the world work in jobs that aren’t formally recognized or afforded legal protections typical of wage earning jobs. They’re often not even thought of as legitimate work. On this edition of Making Contact, we’re going to meet people making work where there is no work for them. From recyclers, to border couriers, to waste pickers, we’re exploring the informal labor sector and what some are doing to gain greater recognition, protections, and rights. Featuring Landon Goodwin, recycler and pastor and also featured in documentary Dogtown Redemption Aicha al Azzouzi border courier Salma al Azzouzi, Aicha’s oldest daughter Charles Gachanga Gichonge, creator of the Mustard Seed Courtyard clean-up campaign Antony Makau, Dandora resident Richard Munene, Dandora restaurant owner Sally Roever, Urban Policy Director for Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) Malati Gadgil, KKPKP Credits Host: Laura Flynn Contributing Producers: Thalia Beaty, Maggy Donaldson, and Beenish Ahmed Featured Music: Blue Dot Sessions: Lesser Gods of Metal, Tyrano Theme, and Pavement Hack, Tours: Enthusiast, Salomé Lego Playset: La Lutte, Comme Experience Intérieure, Janneh: Humajataritee Photo Credits: Thalia Beaty and Maggy Donaldson Show segments An Unusual but Legal Trade: the “Mule Women” of Morocco This slideshow requires JavaScript. We head to the Spanish enclave Ceuta bordering Morocco. The border is a gateway for a brisk trade. Moroccan markets sell goods imported from Spain at a discount for buyers. But that discount comes at a price — for the Moroccan women who bring those goods across the border…on their backs. Co-reported with Maggy Donaldson, Thalia Beaty brings us this story. From dump site to Mustard Seed Courtyards There’s a neighborhood in Nairobi, Kenya that doubles as the city’s main garbage dump. More than 900 tons of trash are piled into Dandora every day. It was declared full more than a decade ago, but the trucks kept coming — dropping everything from household scraps to medical waste. The waste has polluted the water, soil, and air according to the report, Trash and Tragedy by Concern Worldwide. And it has compromised the health of more than 200,000 people. Often the trucks also dump garbage into the surrounding courtyards of residents. While an estimated 10,000 people earn money by mining the trash for recyclables, even those who work at the dump don’t want to live in a dump. Reporter Beenish Ahmed has the story of a community-driven clean-up effort in Dandora. More information: Dogtown Redemption Concern Worldwide: Trash and Tragedy, the impact of garbage on human rights in Nairobi City Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing SWaCH (Solid Waste Collection and Handling or, officially, the SWaCH Seva Sahakari Sanstha Maryadit,...

Read More
Not Throw Away Women: Black and Indigenous Women Disrupt Violence
Sep09

Not Throw Away Women: Black and Indigenous Women Disrupt Violence

On this week’s show we’re exploring how some women have been dehumanized to the point of indifference. We’ll learn how one community is undoing the silence around the violence women of color face. We’ll also hear about how serial killers were able to hunt down mostly Black women for three decades in South Los Angeles. Then we’ll take you to the Yucatan where pregnant indigenous women struggle under a health care system failing to provide proper medical care. Featuring: Rochelle Robinson, Making Contact Fellow Kimberly Smith, community member attending Her Resilience mural project Gabrielle Rae Travis,  Her Resilience Community Outreach Coordinator Margaret Prescod founder of Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders and host of KPFK’s Sojourner Truth Mirna Aracely Tuz Acosta, Safe Maternity for the Indigenous Population in East Yucatan Neyi Amparo Cime Arceo, resident of Xanlah. Thanks to the Mary Wohlford Foundation for funding towards this program. Host: Laura Flynn and Jasmin Lopez Contributing Producers: Rochelle Robinson and Karen Stefan Tenorio Featured music: Blue Dot Sessions, Farsical Slow Driver, Inside the Origami Violin, Tanguedo Trans Alp, Gnossienne N1, Gnossienne N3 Black Ant, Fater Lee Broke For Free, Night Owl Phour Trakk, Long Transfer Kai Engel, Written in Ink More information: Her Resilience Kimberly Robertson’s obituary Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders Sojourner Truth Radio HBO Tales of the Grim Sleeper LA Weekly, Grim Sleeper Returns: He’s Murdering Angelenos, As Cops Hunt His DNA The Grim Sleeper timeline Nick Broomfield Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer, A.C. Accountability in Maternal and Reproductive Health: Experiences from Civil Society from India, Mexico, and Nigeria Femicide in Mexico: Mapping of Silence Archival Footage: AP, New Sketches of California Serial Killer, December 18, 2009 ABC News, Grim Sleepers Mysterious Photos Normalizing Violence Puts Black Women’s Lives at Risk Making Contact’s fellow Rochelle Robinson brings us this story exploring how violence against women, especially women of color, is so pervasive that we’re numbed into thinking it’s nothing less than normal. While the homicide rate for Black women has decreased over the years nationwide, in 2010, the rate was twice as high for Black women than all female victims combined.  In this story the first voice you’ll hear is Kimberly Smith, and then Rochelle Robinson as they talk about their own brushes with death. How Serial Killers Stalked Black Women in South Los Angeles In the 1980s in South Los Angeles more than a dozen black women were murdered. Many of these women’s bodies were found in parks, alleyways, and dumpsters.It’s believed somewhere between 3 and 5 different serial killers were targeting the South LA community in the 80s and 90s. One suspect, Lonnie Franklin, Jr.,...

Read More

Living Downstream-creating a world free of cancer causing toxics

Renowned biologist Sandra Steingraber has made fighting environmentally induced cancers her life’s work. We hear excerpts of the documentary film, Living Downstream, which chronicles her efforts to create a world free of cancer causing toxics.

Listen

My Body My Message: women’s bodies as tools of self-empowerment

The female body as medium, and as message. How can a woman determine how she is perceived by the world, and even by herself? On this edition, we hear stories of women who are using their bodies for political protest, and as tools of self-empowerment…forcing everyone to reevaluate their perspectives on the female form. Featuring: Neda Topaloski & Xenia Chernyshova, Femen members Galia Ackerman, author of the book “Femen” Catherine King, Executive Producer, Global Fund for Women Yolando Y’Netta Harbin-Venson, Big Ol Pretty Girls owner Jenny “Diva” Davis, clothing designer Diva’s Exquisite Designs. Host: Jasmin Lopez Producers: Andrew Stelzer, Laura Flynn, George Lavender Contributing Producers: Sujata Dey, Aqueila Lewis, Mark Valcour This show features a segment from Aqueila Lewis, our second Community Storytelling Fellow. Click here for more information on the fellowship. More information: Big Ol Pretty Girls FEMEN Global Fund for Women Imagining Equality Indignadas (Outraged Women) Rape, rape culture and the problem of patriarchy Kenya’s stripping videos cause...

Listen
Why we need more voices to speak the unspeakable.
Jul06

Why we need more voices to speak the unspeakable.

My Community Radio Storytelling Fellowship with Making Contact (MC) has come to an end and I’m confident that my voice has been heard!   I am happy to have had the opportunity to be one of the first cohort of fellows to participate in what was both a challenging and engaging project, which I want to dedicate to Kimberly Robertson (may she forever rest in peace) and to all of the black female (including transwomen) victims and survivors of violence. My challenge stemmed from my topic about the unspeakable and perpetual violence against women, particularly black women, violence so normalized as to render us silent, invisible, and for far too many, dead.  Having to tell my personal story of domestic violence and sexual assault was hard at times.  While I had believed these experiences I’d survived were behind me, that I had moved on from the pain and suffering of those awful moments, I found myself struggling to tell the story without the memory of it consuming me. I would choke on the words as they tried to release themselves from my heart and my throat.  I would feel anxious about opening up those wounds and being left vulnerable while reliving the helplessness and despair that was once my life, a life exposed to violence.  Yet my desire to resist, challenge, and disrupt the status quo mindset that if it happens to black women it can’t be a crime, fueled me to see this project to its completion.  It is a small contribution to a very critical and complex issue that needs our attention and further discourse. This fellowship engaged me in dialogue with other powerful storytellers and agents of change.  It brought me into the company of the Her Resilience Mural Project, where the lives of women affected by violence in Oakland, CA became a clarion call for healing and a push for community and political discourse because this has to end and it won’t end if we don’t address it, if we continue to ignore this pandemic of trauma and death. I was inspired and lifted through these conversations with artists and organizers, many of whom had also survived violence and/or had friends and loved ones who survived or were murdered.  At times these voices were strong, clear, resilient and no longer afraid.  Other times, I can hear, see, and feel the tears, the pause manifested from the pain of retelling, of memories that can keep us bound and gagged and unresponsive. In those moments we found solace in spaces carved out for us to safely say what had been almost impossible in a society that would rather...

Read More