Nationally, American prisons release more than 650,000 people into society every year. That’s equivalent to the entire population of Memphis or Boston. 

On this edition, producer Aaron Mendelson followed ex-prisoner Kevin Tindall on his journey out of prison.

Special thanks to Claire Schoen and the University of California Berkeley, School of Journalism.


  • Gordon Brown, ex-prisoner
  • Monta Kevin Tindall, ex-prisoner
  • Jerry Elster, ex-prisoner
  • Tom Gorham, Program Director Options Recovery Services
  • Barry Krisberg, Director of Research and Policy and Lecturer in Residence at Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy, UC Berkeley
  • Debra Mendoza, former parole officer, consultant
Direct download: MakingCon_140730_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:12pm PST

On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina ripped through the Southern Gulf Coast. Drawn by reconstruction work, the number of Latino immigrants has nearly doubled. Reconstruction after Hurricane Katrina drew thousands of people from India, Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, and other Latin American countries.  Workers were charged with pulling dead bodies from abandoned homes and rebuilding New Orleans. But the influx of migrant workers also increased immigration crackdowns.

Making Contact’s Jasmin Lopez follows Jose Monterubio, a reconstruction worker. He tells us about his detention and how he stands for immigrant rights with the support of Congress of Day Laborers. Next, Jose Torres Tama recites Corporate Coyotes Smuggle Immigrant Workers, a poem from his book Immigrant Dreams, Alien Nightmares.

Ten years later after hurricane Katrina, it’s estimated there are nearly 100,000 fewer African Americans living in the city of New Orleans.  Andrew Stelzer visits the Lower 9th Ward Living Museum, to learn how some are trying to preserve the lessons and legacies of the past. And we talk to a resident of one of the ultramodern homes built by Brad Pitt’s Make it Right project.

As a new lower 9th ward emerges, what will it look like and who will be included in the remake?


  • Luis Medina, immigrant reconstruction worker
  • Jose Monterrubio, immigrant reconstruction worker
  • Jose Torres-Tama, artist
  • Robert Green, Lower 9th Ward resident
  • Beck Cooper, Director of the Lower 9th Ward Living Museum
Direct download: KatrinaPodcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am PST

It’s something many of us take for granted: access to clean drinking water. But for many Americans it’s not something they can rely on.  From chemical spills in  West Virginia to ecoli in the water on the Texas-Mexico border, to contamination from farming in California. On this edition, we hear what happens when there’s not a drop to drink.



  • Angela Walker, Charleston resident
  • Neena Satija, environment reporter Texas Tribune
  • Daisy Gonzalez and Vicente Lara, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water
  • Horacio Amezquita, resident San Jerado
Direct download: Notadroptodrink.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am PST

It’s election season! But since the 2013 Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act, many states have pushed changes to voter laws that raise disturbing connections to the past. On this week’s show, we’ll hear about hard fought battles for voting rights and the implications of new laws.


  • Reverend Tyrone Edwards, civil rights historian in Plaquemines Parish Louisiana
  • Tyrone Brooks, Georgia State Representative
  • Clifford Kuhn, Professor of History at Georgia State University
  • JT Johnson, civil rights organizer
  • Allen Secher, rabbi
  • Jerel James, Tamia Adkinson, docents at Civil Rights Museum of St. Augustine
  • August Tinson, testified in U.S. vs Fox (1962)
  • Gary May, professor of history at the University of Delaware and the author of Bending Towards Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy.
Direct download: MakingCon_150805_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am PST





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