Robert Neuwirth, author of “Shadow Cities: A Billion Squatters, A New Urban World”, estimates that more than a billion people–thats 1 in 7–are squatters.  This week, we visit squats in Venezuela and the Philippines, and find out why squatters aren’t just tolerated…they are crucial to the growth of major cities and national economies.


  • Robert Neuwirth, author of “Shadow Cities: A Billion Squatters, A New Urban World”
  • Filomena Cinco, Barangay captain of Estero de San Miguel
  • Luz Sudueste, Urban Poor Associates organizer
  • William Gonzalez, Gladys Flores, Jacqueline Calderon and Yolimar Noriega, Toree David residents
  • Andres Antillano, Universidad Central de Venezuela professor & activist for squatters’ rights.
Direct download: squat2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:52pm PDT

From the Fight for 15 campaign to the Syrian refugee crisis, the past year was full of news headlines that were tough to keep up with. Making Contact is committed to in-depth critical analysis that goes beyond the breaking news. On this edition of Making Contact we take a look at shows we produced in 2015, and we ll find out what’s happened since.

  • Alicia Garza, Black Lives Matter co-founder
  • Cat Brooks, Anti Police Terror Project
  • Antonia Juhasz, Investigative Journalist
  • Thomas DarDar, United Houma Nation Chief
  • Mark Miller, Southern Utah University History professor
  • Sylvia Rivera, Remembering Stonewall oral history project
  • Michael Schirker, Remembering Stonewall oral history project
  • Aesha Rasheed, Southerners on New Ground.
Direct download: lookingback15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Thousands of local social justice organizers passed away this year. People doing crucial work in their communities, whose deaths didn’t make the headlines.  On this edition of Making Contact, we’ll hear about some of the fallen heroes of 2015.

Featured Fallen Heroes

  • Grace Lee Boggs, activist, philosopher and movement builder
  • Danny Schechter, author and media critic
  • John Warshow, anti-nuclear campaigner and hydro power developer
  • Emiliano Amor Mataka, Environmental Justice activist, co-founder Valley Improvement Projects
  • Hashem Al-Azzeh, Palestinian peace activist
  • Juan Evans, trans activist
  • Hank Williams, Platform Summit founder
  • Shannon Williams, Sex Workers Outreach Project board co-chair
  • Dori Maynard, president of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education
Direct download: fallen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:58pm PDT

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 the New Orleans Abortion Fund and Ibis Reproductive Health, as well as experiences from an abortion provider and a woman that sought abortion access in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Direct download: PP2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Who remembers the local beat cop, who lives in and really knows the community? Increasingly, police don’t live in the neighborhoods, or even the cities they patrol. But is that a problem?

On this edition, should police be required to live in the cities they patrol? Law enforcement agencies around the country are struggling for answers to a question that’s about race, class and geography.

Direct download: ncops.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:13am PDT

In this radio adaptation of the documentary film, Walking in Two Worlds, we bring you to Alaska’s Tongass Forest, where the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act turned tribes into corporations and sparked a lengthy logging frenzy.

We meet a Tlingit brother and sister, who are trying to heal both the forest and their native community.

Special thanks to Specialty Studios.


  • Wanda Culp & Bob Loescher, Tlinget brother & Sister
  • Peter Coyote, narrator
  • Mike Jackson, Tlingit tribal historian
  • Ernestine Hanlon-Abel, Weaver & Activist
  • Byron Mallott, Former Seaalaska CEO
  • Israel Shotridge, Tlingit carver
  • Tom Thorton, anthropologist
  • Lydia George, Tlingit Clan Mother
  • Joe Sebastian, Alaska Fisherman & guide
  • Deny Bschor, former US Forest Service Regional Forester
  • John Rowan, Tlingit carver
  • Richard Nixon, President of the United States
  • Rick Harris, Former Seaalaska Executive VP
  • Rosita Worl, Seaalaska Board member
Direct download: MakingCon_151125_pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

We hear about systems of mutual support; where peers coping with similar struggles like HIV, mental health issues and surviving prison step into the roles typically filled by licensed specialists.

Mutual support can be controversial, especially when it tries to replace professional help. But it can also be immensely rewarding for all parties involved, and can save a ton of money.

This show features a special segment by Making Contact Storytelling Fellow Al Sasser. Find out more about the fellowship here.

Direct download: Mutual.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:58am PDT

In order to reduce prison over-crowding the Justice Department is releasing about 6,000 non-violent inmates early. Darris Young is working to make sure upon release individuals can successfully transition after incarceration.

On this edition of Making Contact we’ll meet more individuals like Darris who also went to prison, came out and dedicated their life to making a positive difference.


  • Frankie V. Guzman, Attorney at the National Center for Youth Law
  • Frederick Hutson, Founder/CEO Pigeonly
  • Clemmie Greenlee, founder of the Nashville Peacemakers
  • Darris Young, Local Organizer at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
Direct download: Formerlyincarcerated.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

2016 marks 50 years since the founding of the Black Panther Party-a group that’s took the world by the storm, but is still widely misunderstood.   There’s a new documentary film that’s trying to set the record straight. On this edition of Making Contact, journalist Eric Arnold talks with Stanley Nelson, director of The Black Panthers, Vanguard of the Revolution.


  • Stanley Nelson, Director of Black Panthers: vanguard of the Revolution
  • Eric Arnold, journalist
Direct download: panthers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

They say a smart athlete will use their head. But what if using your head cost you everything?

That’s a question being asked in locker rooms the world over. Whether it’s boxing, hockey, or soccer, it seems that head injuries are finally being taken seriously.

In the United States, lawsuits brought by players, as well as a body of scientific evidence, has lead to growing awareness about the impact American football has on players’ brains.

And now a similar debate has kicked off across the Atlantic among players and fans of the sport that American football evolved from: rugby. On this special edition of Making Contact, producer Luke Eldridge brings us to the UK to hear how rugby is dealing with the issue of head injuries.

Direct download: ConcussionsPod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am PDT





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