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BLOG | Podcast Compilation: Public Reporting with ‘Crosscurrents’

In collaboration with Crosscurrents from KALW News, Mills College students in the Public Radio Reporting Program unearth the many facets of the Oakland community.

This is a compilation of all their finished podcasts, which can also be found with the rest of The Campanil’s multimedia:

Underage Prostitution

By Tashina Manyak

    In some neighborhoods of Oakland, opportunities to earn a living in the formal economy are limited. So some young people turn to the streets for money. For teenage girls, this often means prostitution. Currently, there are hundreds of underage prostitutes on the streets of Oakland. Many of them were coerced into sex work by older boys and men.

    While prostitution is technically a crime, some local activists are pushing for children and teens involved in the sex trade to be seen as victims of sexual abuse instead of wrongdoers. In January 2009, new legislation went into effect to do precisely that; yet certain advocates question its success.

    In this report Tashina Manyak talks to the people working directly with these minors to find out what they have to say.


Mountain View Cemetery

By Anna Belle Peterson

    How would you like to go on an afternoon stroll six feet above the final resting places of “The Black Dahlia,” the founder of the Oakland Tribune, and the rapper Mac Dre? The Mountain View Cemetery on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland offers this opportunity and is a beautiful setting for all people – alive or dead. Run by a community association since 1863, the cemetery grounds are open to all visitors and can be toured with docents.

    Anna Belle Peterson reports on the many ways people use their local cemetery.


Derby Girls

By Rashida Harmon

    Picture the toughest woman you know. Now picture her in a mini-skirt, fishnets, kneepads and roller skates. Imagine twenty women just like her slamming into each other as they skate around a roller rink, and you’ve got a typical Roller Derby match.

    With names like Frank-n-Hurter and Tramplesteelskin, these women are not your grandma’s Derby Girls. They are part of a burgeoning subculture that, until recently, remained underground.

    So what it really like to be part of Oakland’s resident team the Oakland Outlaws? Rashida Harmon went to find out.

    More from The Campanil.



By Priscilla Wilson

    Situated between downtown and the wharf, Chinatown is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Oakland. It has been a bustling hub of the city for over one hundred years. Today, it is a pedestrian-oriented multi-ethnic neighborhood – and some say the community represents a model of sustainable development.

    But, the history of this place hasn’t been documented much – until now. The Chinatown-based Oakland Asian Cultural Center has started “The Oral History Project.”

    The mission is to preserve the living history of Oakland’s Chinatown through dialogue and memories Priscilla Wilson has the story.


Heal the Streets

By Lupe Cazares

    Technology seems to surround us these days…and younger folks are even more likely to be spending hours of their energy on Twitter, Youtube, Myspace, and Facebook. But what if teens could channel that energy into activism?

    That’s what the Ella Baker Center in Oakland is trying to do through their Heal the Streets Fellowship where teens age 15 through 18 are learning to help reduce violence in Oakland.

    Lupe Cazares has the story.



By Dalia Cuenca

    The Big Bad Wolf has been huffing and puffing and blowing houses down for years. Honestly, doesn’t he ever get tired? Not at Oakland’s Fairyland, on the shores of Lake Merritt, where he’s been keeping people of all ages entertained for 59 years with stories, rides and performances. And it’s not just for kids – adults can also take a journey through the magical world.

    Well, as long as they bring a child. That’s what reporter Dalia Cuenca found out – here’s more.


Women, Infants and Children

By Bethan Lamb

    Mothers have been telling their children to eat their fruits and vegetables for decades, but until this year, the federal government, which provides many low income families with food, wasn’t sending the same message.

    Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC, is a program that started in the 1970′s, and provides food vouchers to disadvantaged women with children. Last month, a landmark policy was finally implemented — to include fresh produce as one of the essential good categories that women can purchase with their vouchers.

    Bethan Lamb went to find out why it took so long for the program to catch up.


Death Row Art

By Kate Ruprecht

    On the first Friday of every month, the streets of downtown Oakland are transformed into a festival celebrating art and performance. It’s called “art murmur.” Vendors and musicians fill the streets, and galleries lure passersby with wine and snacks. Typically those galleries stock ultra-contemporary art; the kind of thing that would look good in a sleek loft apartment. But during a recent art murmur, one gallery took a different approach.

    At Rock, Paper, Scissors Collective, all of the artists whose work was on display are on death row or serving a life sentence for crimes they say they didn’t commit. Kate Ruprecht has the story.


Tourettes Without Regrets

By Lindsey Lee Keel

    If you’re looking for an entertaining night out, you might start by deciding what kind of performance you’re interested in attending. Maybe you’re into listening to poetry, or stand up comedy, or rap. But you don’t have to choose.

    In a warehouse space near the Oakland waterfront, there’s a show that combines all of those – and more. Lindsey Lee Keel has the story.