Forum KQED's live call-in program presents wide-ranging discussions of local, state, national and international issues, as well as in-depth interviews.
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From KQED

KQED's live call-in program presents wide-ranging discussions of local, state, national and international issues, as well as in-depth interviews.

Most Recent Episodes

'A Chance to Harmonize' Tells the Story of the U.S. Music Unit

A generation of American folk singers – including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Woody Guthrie – owe their inspiration to a little-known New Deal project known as the U.S. Music Unit. Over the course of two years, federal workers recorded amateur musicians at government-owned homesteads as a way to "raise morale, build community, and create hope," according to music scholar Sheryl Kaskowitz. The Music Unit made hundreds of recordings for the Library of Congress before it was shut down on grounds that it was "socialistic." We talk to Kaskowitz about the people behind the music and hear some songs from archives. Kaskowitz's new book is "A Chance to Harmonize." Guests: Sheryl Kaskowitz, author, "A Chance to Harmonize: How FDR's Hidden Music Unit Tried to Save America from the Great Depression—One Song at a Time"

Here's What to Do in the Bay Area This Summer

Whether you're looking for an outdoor excursion, a quiet art gallery to wander through or a rousing show for an evening's entertainment, KQED's Arts & Culture team has got you covered. From festival dates to soccer schedules, the 2024 Summer Guide has recommendations in the Bay Area covering every interest and price point. We'll get a temperature check on how the region's arts and culture ecosystem is faring and hear from reporters about what they're looking forward to this season. Guests: Gabe Meline, senior editor, KQED Arts & Culture Nastia Voynovskaya, editor and reporter, KQED Arts David John Chávez, theatre critic; author of the theater portion of KQED's summer arts preview Alan Chazaro, arts and food reporter, KQED; also a poet and educator

California's Budget Deficit is $45 Billion. What's Newsom's Plan to Fix It?

Gov. Gavin Newsom last week proposed a series of deep cuts to close the state's $45 billion budget deficit. The proposals, which include no new taxes, include a nearly 8% cut to state operations and the elimination of 10,000 unfilled jobs and will affect some education, public health and affordable housing programs. The governor's office says that the proposal "maintains service levels for key housing, food, health care, and other assistance programs." We look at the Governor's May revise and the fiscal health of our state. Guests: Guy Marzorati, correspondent, KQED's California Politics and Government Desk Michelle Gibbons, executive director, County Health Executives Association of California Lindsey Holden, legislative reporter, The Sacramento Bee

California's Budget Deficit is $45 Billion. What's Newsom's Plan to Fix It?

Doing Democracy: Trump's Rhetoric Raises Fears of an Authoritarian Second Term

Donald Trump's 2024 presidential bid "is the most openly authoritarian campaign I've seen [from] any candidate anywhere in the world since World War II". That's according to Harvard political scientist Steven Levitsky, co-author of the book "How Democracies Die". Trump's stated plans include seeking revenge on political opponents, purging the federal workforce, ordering mass deportations, and deploying the military domestically. As part of Forum's "Doing Democracy" series, we'll talk with Levitsky and others about why democracy experts are sounding the alarm about a possible second Trump administration, and whether our institutions can withstand the upheaval. Guests: Steven Levitsky, professor of government, Harvard; co-author with Daniel Ziblatt of the New York Times bestseller "How Democracies Die." Their latest book is "Tyranny of the Minority: Why American Democracy Reached the Breaking Point." Lulu Garcia-Navarro, host, "The Interview" podcast, New York Times; former NPR correspondent Eric Cortellessa, reporter, Time magazine - He interviewed Donald Trump for a cover story in April.

Doing Democracy: Trump's Rhetoric Raises Fears of an Authoritarian Second Term

Tiffany Haddish Wants to 'Curse You With Joy'

You may know actor and stand-up comedian Tiffany Haddish best for her riotous performance in the 2017 film "Girls Trip." Or for her Emmy Award-winning turn as host of Saturday Night Live...or for her voicework in "The Lego Movie 2" and other animated films. But her successes came hard-won against a backdrop of childhood trauma and mental health challenges. "I know what it feels like to hurt and what it feels like to see other people hurt," she writes in her new memoir "I Curse You with Joy." We talk to Haddish about her career, her life and what's bringing her joy right now. Guests: Tiffany Haddish, author, "I Curse You with Joy"; stand-up comedian; actress, "Girls Trip," "Night School," "Nobody's Fool" and more.

Carvell Wallace Journeys Through Loss and Reunion in Memoir 'Another Word for Love'

In his magazine profiles and podcasts, Oakland writer Carvell Wallace has a gift for examining people and the times we live in with clarity and wisdom. With his new memoir "Another Word for Love," Wallace extends his compassionate gaze to his own story, tracing a childhood peppered with homelessness and abuse, through to his quest for healing, pleasure and the divine. "It is is not enough to be hurt and to know that you have been hurt," he writes. "The price of being alive, of being in love, is that you are required to heal." Guests: Carvell Wallace, author, "Another Word for Love: A Memoir"; 2023 recipient of the American Mosaic Journalism Prize; host, "Closer Than They Appear" and "Finding Fred"; his other book is "The Sixth Man" which he co-authored with Andre Iguodala

Carvell Wallace Journeys Through Loss and Reunion in Memoir 'Another Word for Love'

In Transit: Amtrak's Future In California

Amtrak reports that overall demand for passenger rail is soaring as yearly ridership totals approach pre-pandemic levels. But in California, the story is different. Popular west coast lines are losing riders and remain challenged by underinvestment and rules that give track priority to freight trains. In addition, increasingly powerful storms and rising seas threaten Amtrak's infrastructure: Southern California's Pacific Surfliner has repeatedly suspended service for emergency repairs. As part of Forum's In Transit series, we look at the future of Amtrak in California. Guests: Ethan Elkind, director of the Climate Program at the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment, UC Berkeley School of Law; host, the Climate Break podcast Tom Zoellner, English professor, Chapman University; editor-at-large, LA Review of Books; author, "Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World -from the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief"

Can Fashion Be Sustainable?

Fashion is self-expression. It's art. It's also responsible for between 8 and 9 percent of planet-warming emissions. But it doesn't have to be. We'll talk about the fashion industry's troubled relationship to labor, climate, and human rights issues – and spotlight companies creating sustainable alternatives. Plus, our panel of mending, thrifting and styling experts will share practical tips so that you can be chic... and climate-conscious! Guests: Ayesha Barenblat, founder and CEO, Remake Kara Fabella, stylist and founder, The Flipp Side Hayley Colette, educator, WorkshopSF James Reinhart, cofounder and CEO, ThredUp

Ali Velshi on the 'Small Acts of Courage' That Define His Family's Inheritance and His Journalism

In his new memoir "Small Acts of Courage," MSNBC host Ali Velshi recounts his family's migration across continents –– beginning in India under British rule, intersecting with Gandhi's "satyagraha" movement in South Africa, and eventually settling in Canada during a refugee crisis for the global Indian diaspora. Ali himself immigrated to the United States two days after September 11, 2001 and writes: "Cynicism about politics is actually a luxury of those who have never had to experience life without it, and if those people every truly lost their ability to participate in the system, they'd never take it for granted again." And we want to hear from you: Are there "small acts of courage" that define your life and values? What are they? Guests: Ali Velshi, MSNBC host; author, "Small Acts of Courage"

Ali Velshi on the 'Small Acts of Courage' That Define His Family's Inheritance and His Journalism

The Uncertain Future of Iconic, Battered, Highway 1

Yet another stretch of Highway 1 near Big Sur remains closed after a chunk of the roadway fell into the ocean in March. The latest closure raises questions about the future of the iconic highway amid threats from extreme weather and coastal erosion. "Everything is working against Highway 1," Gary Griggs, an oceanography professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz told the Washington Post. We'll look at what it could take to save Highway 1 and what it all means for local residents and the state's economy. Guests: Jonathan Warrick, research geologist, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, United States Geological Survey Rosanna Xia, environmental reporter, Los Angeles Times; Xia specializes in coastal and ocean issues. Her latest book is "California Against the Sea: Visions for Our Vanishing Coastline." Brianna Sacks, extreme weather & disasters reporter, Washington Post Ben Perlmutter, managing partner, Big Sur River Inn