Sandhya Dirks Sandhya Dirks is a National Correspondent covering race and identity for NPR.
Sandhya Dirks
Stories By

Sandhya Dirks

KQED
Sandhya Dirks
KQED

Sandhya Dirks

National Correspondent, Race and Identity

Sandhya Dirks is a National Correspondent covering race and identity for NPR.

Previously, Dirks was the race and equity reporter at KQED and the lead producer of On Our Watch, a podcast from NPR and KQED about the shadow world of police discipline. She approaches race and equity not as a beat, but as a fundamental lens for all investigative and explanatory reporting.

Dirks covers policing, housing, social justice movements, and the shifting demographics of cities and suburbs. She's the creator and co-host of the podcast American Suburb, about the transformation of suburbia into the most diverse space in American life. She was the editor for Truth Be Told, an advice show for and by people of color. Her stories about race, space, and belonging were part of KQED's So Well Spoken project, which won RNDTA's Kaleidoscope award, honoring outstanding achievements in the coverage of diversity.

Prior to joining KQED in 2015, Dirks covered the 2012 presidential election from the swing state of Iowa for Iowa Public Radio. At KPBS in San Diego, she broke the story of a sexual harassment scandal that led to the mayor's resignation. She got her start in radio working on documentaries about Oakland that investigated the high drop-out rate in public schools and mistrust between the police and the community. Dirks lives in Oakland and believes all stories are stories about power.

Story Archive

Saturday

Sikhs hold a rally in Sacramento, California ahead of a March 31 referendum for independence. Sandhya Dirks/NPR hide caption

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Sandhya Dirks/NPR

Sikhs in California vote on independence from India

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Monday

What changed after a California school district banned teaching critical race theory?

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Wednesday

People rally during the "National March on Washington: Free Palestine" while calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, at Freedom Plaza November 4, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) hide caption

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(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Monday

Tuesday

Some Palestinian Americans say they're afraid to mourn their loved ones out loud

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Thursday

California could become the first state to ban discrimination on the basis of caste

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Sunday

Saturday

Ten California police officers have been charged for violating civil rights

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Sunday

People protest outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down affirmative action in college admissions, declaring race cannot be a factor and forcing institutions of higher education to look for new ways to achieve diverse student bodies. Jose Luis Magana/AP hide caption

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Jose Luis Magana/AP

Affirmative action divided Asian Americans and other people of color. Here's how

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Wednesday

Left: Kansas City Defender founder Ryan Sorrell attends a youth summit on June 9, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. Right: Sorrell distributes Kansas City Defender fliers at a rally on Nov. 17, 2022. Arturo Holmes//Getty Images for National Urban League and Arin Yoon for The Washington Post via Getty Images hide caption

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Arturo Holmes//Getty Images for National Urban League and Arin Yoon for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A new iteration of the Black Press is changing the media landscape in Kansas City

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Sunday

How a Black-owned news website in Kansas City reported the story of Ralph Yarl

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Tuesday

Faculty of color fought to shed light on university's unethical experiments

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Monday

California panel calls for billions in reparations for descendants of slaves

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Thursday

Monday

From left, then-expelled Rep. Justin Pearson, D-Memphis, Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, and then-expelled Rep. Justin Jones, D-Nashville, raise their fists as they walk across Fisk University's campus after hearing Vice President Kamala Harris speak on Friday, April 7, in Nashville, Tenn. Johnson was saved from expulsion by one vote. Pearson and Jones have each been returned to their seats. George Walker IV/AP hide caption

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George Walker IV/AP

Friday

What the expulsion of Black lawmakers in Tennessee reveals about race and democracy

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Thursday

California is considering a bill to make caste a protected category

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Wednesday

Black history then, and now (left) Carter G. Woodson and his great, great grand nephew, Brett Woodson Bailey. NPR hide caption

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Sunday

The Woodson family members at the Woodson reconciliation ceremony in 1998. Courtesy of Craig Woodson hide caption

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Courtesy of Craig Woodson

1 side owned slaves. The other side started Black History Month. How a family heals

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Thursday

Why South Asians are the most politically liberal of all Asian Americans

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Monday

Analysts say hate crimes are increasing but that's not reflected in FBI data

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Monday

Georgia's U.S. Senate race pits the Black church against white Christian nationalism

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Tuesday

Suburbs are now the most diverse areas in America

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Americans are being inundated with messaging about a surge in crime rates. But the reality is more complicated. Tillsonburg/Getty Images hide caption

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Stories about crime are rife with misinformation and racism, critics say

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