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State of the Re:Union’s 2010 Fall Season was broadcast on 215 stations. Be sure to check your local public radio station’s schedule to see if State of the Re:Union will be airing in your local area. And if you don’t see us, why not reach out to them and let them know just how much you would love to hear the program on their station?
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The Bronx, NY: Still Rising from the Ashes
The Bronx has long been seen as a symbol of America’s failings. For many people here, ‘making it’ means escaping the crime and poverty of their borough. But some have refused to flee. This episode shines a light on the hold-outs and the dreamers, people who’ve committed their lives to keeping chaos at bay in the Bronx.Listen Now
Mississippi Gulf Coast: Defending the Gulf
After Hurricane Katrina ravaged the area, Mississippi Gulf Coast residents were forced to come together to deal with the aftermath. Then, just as they were starting to get back on their feet, the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster dumped millions of barrels of oil into the water just off their shores. Cumulatively, these events have made environmentalists out of a whole lot of Gulf Coast residents who may not have considered themselves as such… We tell an hour of stories about the fight for the natural world Gulf Coast bringing residents together, both with one another and with unlikely partners—and how, in some instances, that fight is turning out to be exactly what a community needed to survive.Listen Now
Wyoming: The New Old West
People are few and far between in Wyoming. Those that do live here prize tradition, self-reliance, and their connection to the land. So when change comes to the high plains—an oil boom, a minister with new ideas—communities here are tested. And neighbors have to strike a balance between preserving their independent way of life, and learning to rely on one another. We trek to the small towns and remote ranches of Wyoming, meeting people as they adapt to the New Old West.Listen Now
Cleveland, OH: Entrepreneurs at Work
Cleveland, Ohio is a city that was made by entrepreneurs, but for decades, it’s been known as a city that’s a shell of its former manufacturing-era glorious self. However, Cleveland is being embraced by a new generation of entrepreneurs as a place to put their dreams in motion. This is a now a city of entrepreneurship in a range of incarnations… in their kids’ education, in the environment, even in beer. This is an hour of entrepreneurial stories, taking a look at that go-get-em-seize-your-dreams energy in a variety of forms.Listen Now
Sacramento, CA: All Hands on Deck
There’s been a lot of bad news coming out of Sacramento lately: homelessness, the foreclosure rate, unemployment, political gridlock in a state crippled by the recession. Add to that a stubborn case of politics fatigue, and you’ve got a lot of reasons to write off this city. But we trekked to California’s beleaguered state capital to peek behind the national headlines and find out who keeps this city running—day in, day out—despite all that’s going wrong. And we left with the realization that people in Sacramento are remaking the American city, in surprising and deeply moving ways.Listen Now
Las Vegas: Bright Lights, Big City, Small Town
These days, two versions of Las Vegas occupy the public imagination. One is of Sin City, home to The Strip, to glitter and entertainment. The other is as a dramatic victim of the recent economic recession, a city where whole neighborhoods have been foreclosed upon, where the jobless rate shot up to double digits, where massive casino and hotel constructions were suspended, leaving hulking ghosts to remind residents of the boom times. SOTRU explores stories of people making Las Vegas home between these two sides of the city.Listen Now
Birmingham: The Long Story Short
Birmingham, Alabama. Just the words make you think about freedom riders, church bombings, civil rights marches and police dogs. This is a place that can’t escape its history—especially the painful parts. Almost fifty years later after the tragedies and triumphs of the civil rights era, Birmingham is still a community trying to put itself back together.Listen Now
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 Out of Utica, Please Turn Out the Lights.” Once a bustling textile city perched on edge of the Erie Canal, Utica lost its mills in the mid-20th century, and has been losing population ever since. But something has changed in recent years, with a surprising influx of refugees to this part of snowy, cold upstate New York—the newcomers have given Utica hope for second chance.Listen Now
Miami – Bridging the Divide
Famous for its beaches and clubs, Miami is also the third poorest city in the nation. If you own a store in South Beach, your customers are equally likely to be billionaires or homeless people. And, on top of that, they’re very likely to have started life somewhere else. Miami is an incredibly international city—but not in the way many others are. Here, instead of working towards assimilation and blending with one another, ethnic communities exist as a patchwork, remaining like isolated microcosms of their homeland.Listen Now
Oakland: The Self-Made City
Refugees, entrepreneurs, visionaries—these are the historic roots of Oakland, California. The city has long been home for people building new lives and imagining even better ones. But dreams deferred also haunt this place, in its empty post-boom skyscrapers, its infamous homicide rates and deep budget cuts. In the face of entrenched problems, though, the people of Oakland characteristically answer back with diverse, revolutionary solutions. We explore the rewards—and costs—for people dreaming big in Oakland.Listen Now
Brooklyn – Change Happens
State of the Re:Union visits New York City’s most populated borough to examine how this diverse collection of communities handles the friction of change, the pull of tradition, and discovers that special something that makes this neighborhood so celebrated.Listen Now
Greensburg – To the Stars Through Difficulties
One night in May of 2007, a tornado wiped Greensburg, Kansas, off the map. The town’s residents have decided to not only resurrect the town, but to rebuild in a true spirit of renewal. State of the Re:Union examines the profound devastation and the rigors and rewards of this innovative rebirth.Listen Now
Milwaukee – City of Vision
Once the toolbox to the world, Milwaukee has suffered the fate of many American rust belt cities. But despite shuttered businesses, and high unemployment rates, Milwaukee and its resilient people are poised for a rebirth. State of the Re:Union visits Milwaukee to explore it’s industrial past and to learn of its post-industrial future.Listen Now
New Orleans – The Big Easy
The city of New Orleans is as proud of its traditions as it is steeped in them. But since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the city and its residents have been thrust into new relationships with those very traditions they hold so dear. State of the Re:Union visits the Big Easy to explore how the city is negotiating that tension between the old and the new — from music to po boys to combating crime — five years after the storm.Listen Now
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 mills shut down and their economies crumbled. State of the Re:Union surveys how a town that has lost its identity reinvents itself.Listen Now
Black History Month Special
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 come to fruition if it weren’t for a man standing in King’s shadow, Mr. Bayard Rustin. Rustin was a man with a number of seemingly incompatible labels: black, gay, Quaker… identifications that served to earn him as many detractors as admirers. Although he had numerous passions and pursuits, his most transformative act, one that certainly changed the course of American history, was to counsel MLK on the use of non-violent resistance.Listen Now
Jacksonville – Bold New City of the South?
Visit host Al Letson’s hometown and explore the colossal city of Jacksonville, Florida. We look at how the past and present vie to shape the future of Florida’s First Coast and try to capture some of the city’s spirit. Unlike previous State of the Re:Union episodes, our Jacksonville show uses three major stories to confront the difficult issue of race in the South.Listen Now
Des Moines – Heart of the Heartland
Travel to the surprisingly metropolitan and remarkably progressive city of Des Moines, Iowa. Discover an immigrant Iraqi family’s take on the American dream, hear how traditional farming techniques have once again become relevant to 21st century business and get a Middle-American take on the gay marriage debate in Heart of the Heartland.Listen Now
Detroit – Motor City Rebound
If you listen to the news, you’ve heard a lot about Detroit in recent years, none of it very good. Host Al Letson travels to Detroit to move beyond the headlines and explore the Motor City.Listen Now
Washington, D.C. – Welcome to D.C.
This first episode of the series familiarizes the listener with a side of the capital city that most visitors never get to see — a thriving metropolis removed from the politics that govern this nation. The District is filled with arts and culture unique to the area, individuals striving to make the city a better place, and neighborhoods struggling to return to their former glory.Listen Now