Sandhya Dirks Sandhya Dirks is the race and equity reporter at KQED and the lead producer of On Our Watch.
Sandhya Dirks
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Sandhya Dirks

KQED
Sandhya Dirks
KQED

Sandhya Dirks

Producer, On Our Watch

Sandhya Dirks is the race and equity reporter at KQED and the lead producer of On Our Watch, a new 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

Rev. Wanda Johnson's son, Oscar Grant, was shot and killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer on January 1, 2009. The recordings of the internal investigation were not released until this year, when NPR member station KQED forced BART to comply with California's "The Right to Know Act," a 2019 police transparency law. Nicole Xu for NPR hide caption

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Nicole Xu for NPR

Rev. Wanda Johnson's son, Oscar Grant, was shot and killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer on January 1, 2009. The recordings of the internal investigation were not released until this year, when NPR member station KQED forced BART to comply with California's "The Right to Know Act," a 2019 police transparency law. Nicole Xu for NPR hide caption

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Nicole Xu for NPR

KQED and NPR analyzed 103 sexual misconduct cases from different law enforcement departments across the state. "He knew exactly what he was doing," one victim said of their encounter. Nicole Xu hide caption

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Nicole Xu

Patterns Of Sexual Abuse Show Gaps In Police Disciplinary System

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Nicole Xu for NPR
Nicole Xu for NPR
Nicole Xu for NPR
Nicole Xu for NPR
Nicole Xu for NPR

Congregants stand and pray, at the end of the Sunday service at Tapestry Church, an newly, and intentionally, multi-ethnic church. Sandhya Dirks/KQED hide caption

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Sandhya Dirks/KQED

Integrating Sunday Morning Church Service — A Prayer Answered

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When the First Congregational Church of Oakland decided to hang a Black Lives Matter sign, they started a conversation that led them to try to stop calling police, especially on people of color. Sandhya Dirks /KQED hide caption

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Sandhya Dirks /KQED

Oakland Church Steps Out On Faith And Pledges To Stop Calling Police

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On Saturday, firefighters investigate the scene of the overnight fire at the Ghost Ship warehouse in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland. Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images hide caption

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Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Deadly Fire In Oakland May Spur Crackdown On Off-The-Grid Artists' Spaces

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Firefighters Continue Search For Victims In Deadly Oakland Warehouse Fire

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Mired In Scandals, Oakland Mayor Calls For Police Department Oversight

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With Police In The News, National Night Out Goes Alternative

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Morals Clauses Prove Controversial For Catholic School Teachers

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