In today’s news cycle it’s challenging keeping up with the latest developments around the world. In 2014 we saw pro-democracy protests spanning 75 days in Hong Kong to the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S. Often we just get the stories when they first break, then once the height of a conflict diminishes or really when another issue surfaces to the top of the news cycle, that’s it. After that we don’t hear much more about the issue. Even though we know that the issues remain.

On today’s show we’re going to bring you an update on some of the stories we’ve covered this year. We’ll go to a protest to talk to advocates calling for an end to using Native American imagery and stereotypes in sports. We’ll talk to the Center for Food Safety about the political outlook for supporters of better regulations of GMOs and pesticides. And we’ll get an update on US immigration policy from the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.


  • Alice Ollstein, radio producer
  • Suzan Shown Harjo, Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee advocate for American Indian rights
  • Morning Star Gali, co-chair of Bay Area Coalition to End Racism in Sports
  • Jacqueline Keeler, founding member of Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry
  • Don Tipping, Seven Seeds Farm owner
  • Chris Hardy, Rogue valley farmer
  • Sylvia Wu, staff attorney at Center for Food Safety
  • Catherine Tactaquin, Executive Director of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.
Direct download: MakingCon_141224_Pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

Fallen Heroes of 2014

Hundreds of social justice advocates and organizers passed away in 2014, leaving their work behind as their legacy, but often also leaving an irreplaceable hole in their movements.

On today’s edition of Making Contact we honor and revisit the lives of just a few of those fallen heroes who passed away this year.

  • Chokwe Lumumba, former mayor of Jackson MS
  • Morgan Powell, Bronx River Sankofa founder
  • Charity Hicks, Detroit People’s Water Board co-founder
  • Darby Tillis, death penalty opponent
  • Yuri Kochiyama, civil rights activist
  • Ted Gullickson, San Francisco Tenants Union director
  • George CarterKids Rethink New Orleans Schools participant
  • Leslie Feinberg, author of Stone Butch Blues
  • Eddie Ellis, prison reform advocate
  • Mark Naison, Fordham University African-American history professor
  •  Lila Cabbil, Rosa Parks Institute president emeritus
  • Diane Fujino, author of Heartbeat of Struggle, the revolutionary life of Yuri Kochiyama
  • Taiyo Na, author
  • Randy Shaw, Tenderloin Housing Clinic executive director
  • Qasim DavisKids Rethink New Orleans Schools project manager
  • Perry Cobb, Darby Tillis’ co-defendant
  • Dr. Divine Pryor, executive Director of the center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions
Direct download: MakingCon_141217_Pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

Fossil fuels are a trillion dollar industry but environmentalists say they have a plan to pull the plug on the industry: divestment. The campaign to get institutions to end their investments in oil, gas, and coal companies has won supporters around the US and abroad.

But is the strategy working? We hear from students in Boulder, Colorado who have been campaigning since 2012 and we hear about the close relationship between the oil industry and professional soccer.


  • Jay Carmona, Community Divestment Campaign Manager for
  • Ben Ayliffe, Greenpeace Arctic Campaign
  • Michael Goodman, sports writer for Grantland
  • Stefan Szymanski, Professor of Sports Management and Business at the University of Michigan
  • PD Gantert, Kelsey Cody, Fossil Free CU campaigners
  • Ken Mcconnellogue, Vice President for Communication at the University of Colorado
  • Steven Schueth, President and Managing Member of First Affirmative
  • David Gross, Senior Instructor of Finance and Faculty Director of the Masters Program in Finance and Real Estate CU Boulder
Direct download: MakingCon_141210_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:26pm PST

Over 6,000 migrant deaths were recorded on the U.S. side of the border with Mexico between 1998 and 2013. The true number of deaths is likely higher, and thousands of families never hear from their loved ones again.

This documentary travels to the desert ranch lands of Brooks County and the border town of Reynosa, Tamaulipas to introduce us to the human cost of “prevention through deterrence,” a border enforcement strategy introduced during the Clinton administration.


  • Lori Baker, Professor of Anthropology, Baylor University
  • Eduardo Canales, Executive Director, South Texas Human rights Center
  • Elias,
Direct download: MakingCon_141203_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:27pm PST





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