Episodes

Photo by Chief Engineer Doru. Bay of Biscay, February 2006.

Truckers of the High Seas

I n our globalized world, it only takes a click to buy something from China and have it delivered right to your doorstep. But that…
Outside the Police Academy in Albuquerque, NM.

American Justice

The United States has the world’s largest prison population. In 2012, there were 2.3 million people in American prisons or jails – and even more…
The Snyder family: Denise, Ella and Vann

Trans Families

It’s estimated that there are nearly 1.5 million people in the U.S. who identify themselves as transgender. That’s more than a million people with families,…
Another view from the train.

Interior Alaska: Frontier Community

Interior Alaska can be a forbidding place. The region is largely wilderness, covered with expansive stretches of tundra and towering mountain ranges. Winters are long…
The MCS community outside in Eastern Arizona occupies a wide-open plateau.

The Sorting of America

The U.S. has been a country shaped by migration, dating back to the days of the pioneers making their way West. But recently, this country…
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Salt Lake City, UT: Updating Tradition

When Mormon pioneers rolled into the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, they brought with them a new theology, a short but intense history of persecution,…
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Contested

Host Al Letson and guest producer John Biewen (of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University) present a collection of stories from Durham, North…
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Hawai’i: The Legacy of Sugar

For many Americans, Hawai’i is a tropical playground, the place of surf, sun and dream vacations. Behind the tourist façade, though, is one of the…
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Leadership from the Bottom Up

Usually during Black History Month, we remember civil rights icons and reflect on their legacy. But over the past couple of years, SOTRU has met…
sotru_rbh_02

Re:Defining Black History

During a month selected to celebrate “history,” we certainly are treated to a lot of the same familiar stories: the battles won for Civil Rights,…
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The Southwestern Range

Among the most iconic landscapes in America is the Western Range, a stretch of millions of acres of land, much of it remote and undeveloped.…
Fireworks over Woody Guthrie Center. Photo courtesy of Robert M. Watt.

Tulsa, OK: Reconciliation Way

Tulsa, Oklahoma sits at a crossroads of American identities. In a special episode of SOTRU, we travel to the middle of Middle America to see…
Portland: Welcome to America's Bicycle Capital

Portland, OR: A Tale of Two Cities

Portland is a city that some residents praise as a kind of eden: full of bike paths, independently-owned small businesses, great public transportation and abundant…
Creedmoor

The Hospital Always Wins

Back in 2004, staff producer Laura Starecheski visited a state mental hospital in Queens, New York, called Creedmoor. She stumbled on to a mystery there…
Back to Basics Featured Image

Back to Basics: An American Graduate Special

In this American Graduate special, State of the Re:Union takes a closer look at school, community, and the dropout crisis in this country.  With reporting…
Internet Communities

Internet Communities: Virtual Reality

At this point in the 21st century, it’s kind of impossible to talk about community-building without, at some point, talking about the Internet. With this…
Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville, FL: Grinding the Gears

Jacksonville, Florida is a lot of things: a military town. A church town. A beach town. And it can be all those things because Jacksonville…
Tucson, AZ

Tucson, AZ: Borderlands

Tucson sits in the borderlands, the desert landscape where America and Mexico meet. This place is crisscrossed by boundaries, visible and invisible — from the…
Ozarks

Ozarks: Full Circle

The Ozarks have long been an isolated part of the country. Steep mountains break up the landscape into hills and hollows, making each little town…
Baltimore

Baltimore, MD: Outsiders In

Baltimore is a city of many neighborhoods, of intense divides—racial, class, and otherwise– not easily overcome. It’s a city bogged down by a reputation for…
Vermont

Vermont: The Small Town State

Quaint storefronts along Main streets, covered bridges over clear streams, cows from dairy farms dotting green valleys: across the state, these are the iconic images…
utica

Utica, NY: City with a Warm Heart

A couple of decades ago, Utica, New York, was dying, by even its residents diagnosis: a popular bumper sticker in the ‘90s read “Last One…
Veterans Day Special

Veterans Day Special

Soldiers coming  home from Iraq and Afghanistan can be faced with obstacles and 
wounds not clearly visible to the rest of the country. These current…
Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA: Home, Sweet Home

Los Angeles, Lala land, often thought of as the city of movies and money and fame. But that characterization doesn’t get at the heart and…
twin-cities

Twin Cities, MN: World Within Two Cities

It isn’t exactly Lake Wobegon anymore… Once known as the home of Midwestern Lutherans and Scandanavian farmers, the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are…
New Orleans, LA

New Orleans, LA: The Big Easy

SOTRU explores and celebrates New Orleans, Louisiana. The city of New Orleans is as proud of its traditions as it is steeped in them. But…
Oakridge, OR

Oakridge: A Work in Progress

Back in the timber industry’s heyday, small mill towns in Oregon were thriving. Business was booming. Then in the early 1990s, the saws stopped. The…
Bayard Rustin

Bayard Rustin: Who Is This Man?

August 28th, 1963 will forever be tied to Martin Luther King Jr.’s hallowed “I Have a Dream Speech.” This historic moment would probably have never…