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All of these photos were taken in prison.

At The Community Prisoner Mother Program in Pomona a select group of low level offenders can live with their young children until the child turns seven years old.

In 2011 and 2012, 233 inmates in California’s prison system gave birth while serving their sentences.

In most cases, the newborns went to live with relatives while the women were in prison, but some women had the opportunity to live with their children behind bars.

Learn more about the last prisoner-baby program in California and how the penal system handles these new mothers on KPCC’s Pregnant In Prison special coverage.

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Today, we’re starting something new with our friends at KPCC in Los Angeles: A community storytelling project through @Instagram. We’re calling it Public Square.

Each month will have a theme and hashtag. We’ll ask you to share a glimpse of your life – but beyond that, to tell us stories.

First Assignment: Hard Work (#PShardwork)

Find someone with a thankless job and thank them. The person who makes your burger, checks your luggage, wires your street lights, edits your writing, engineers the car you drive. 

Take their portrait or capture them at work. Get all the info – name, age, story – put it all in the caption, and tag it #PSHardWork

How Public Square Differs:

We’re public media, and storytelling is in our DNA. For this project, we want more than just a photo. Your words are equally important.

Ground Rules:

Please tag only one photo with #PSHardWork on Instagram between now and Monday, August 19th 

Any image tagged before that date is eligible to be featured on Instagram, KPCC's AudioVision and NPR's Picture Show

Follow us! @npr + @kpcc

(photos by Sheldon Serkin/@shelserkin, Michael Baranovic/@mishobaranovic and John Poole/NPR/@johnwpoole)

Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan

 Buy CD | MP3 | iTunes

Listen to a sample   Listen to the Madeleine Brand Show

This 2012 four-CD collection contains music from Patty Smith, Rise Against, Pete Townshend, Diana Krall, My Morning Jacket, Sting, Lenny Kravitz, Jackson Browne, Sugarland, Joan Baez, Flogging Molly, Joe Perry, Bad Religion and many others. Two iconic forces that have impacted the past 50 years—the life-saving human rights activism of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Amnesty International and the incomparable artistry of Bob Dylan—are being saluted by musicians who contributed new or previously unreleased recordings.

vimeo

Bristlecone pines are the oldest trees on earth. The oldest, Methuselah, has lived more than 4,800 years.

From their perch atop the White Mountains at California’s eastern edge, the bristlecones have survived as entire human civilizations have arisen and disappeared.

But there’s a new threat to the bristlecone’s existence, a globe-spanning emanation more menacing than anything they've faced in thousands of years.

Learn more on KPCC’s AudioVision.

From SPRC interview with Kate Hackett by Mike Roe

Web series “Classic Alice” takes viewers into the life of Alice Rackham, a college student who responds to a bad grade on a test by deciding to live her life according to the themes of classic literature, in order to show her professor she understands the material on a personal level.

Rackham is played by Kate Hackett, who also created and writes the show. The show came out of Hackett working with a YouTube channel, but they ultimately decided not to go forward with the project. However, they handed the keys over to Hackett and told her that she was free to make the show herself — which she did.

The show first sends Alice into living her life through the lens of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment.”

“It’s a book that I think not a lot of teenage girls, who are the audience for this, they haven’t read that,” Hackett said. “I loved it, I read it when I was 16, 17, but it’s not something that people are like, ‘You know what I feel like feeling today? Guilt. Searing guilt.’”

Alice continued her journey through “Pygmalion,” Hans Christian Andersen story “The Butterfly” and “Macbeth." Hackett says she wants to push the audience beyond the classics normally loved by teenage girls like the work of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters.

She joked recently that she was going to do "Pride and Prejudice,” which ended up backfiring because fans got excited about the prospect. It’s not an area Hackett ever plans to visit, though, as it’s been well-trod by other Web series including “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” — which shares other similarities with “Classic Alice.”

“It’s a bunch of redheads in a vlog-style literary adaptation. Of course we wouldn’t do that!”

With her show, Hackett wanted to write a female-positive series that showed women in a positive light.

“I think we’re absolutely moving in the right direction. I think the Web is a little bit easier to get away with that, because you’re not answering to advertisers,” Hackett said. “I hope my show fits in, as far as it was created by a lady-person — oh, me! My producers are, the whole production team, we’re all women, so it’s women creating a very positive, female-oriented show in what is traditionally kind of a guy’s playground.”

Hackett says that she wasn’t the most social person in school, which comes out in the Alice character. Hackett skipped a year of high school and graduated college when she was just 19.

“There was not a lot of partying, or going out,” Hackett said. “So anytime Cara [her roommate] comes in and was like 'Hey, I’m going out!’ This is all I understand of that. Like, I just assume people go out in college. I don’t know what it looks like.”

After the initial run of episodes, “Classic Alice” was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign — one that almost didn’t make its $8,000 goal .

“The last week, I think just all of the sudden, 90 percent of our donations came in. And it was just a function of the fans of these vlog-style Web series finally found us, and then kicked into hyperdrive,” Hackett said. “They basically ran it for us.”

In the end, the series raised almost $10,000. Hackett’s advice to other crowdfunding efforts? “Aim low.” She also did a previous Web series, “Kate and Joe Just Want to Have Sex,” which was solicited on Kickstarter as “Sex” and was only looking for $500, before ultimately raising $2,420. Hackett credits that effort’s success to people probably just looking for “sex” on Kickstarter and randomly coming across their series.

The “Classic Alice” crowdfunding helped pay for a full production team, with a mapped out storyline featuring even more intricately mapped out social media tie-ins. Rather than just the fake Twitter accounts popularized by a lot of productions, there’s an immersive online world for “Classic Alice” fans including everything from fake websites to Last.fm and Goodreads accounts.

Hackett said that one of the biggest challenges she faced was how to fight the limitations of a locked-off shot in the vlog-style format. What she originally wrote for the show was more elaborate, but production costs led to the vlog format — though she hopes to do a more documentary-style series one day, and has already found ways to let the camera move a little within the show’s existing format.

She watched other Web series in the same genre to look for inspiration on how to deal with the format, as well as to make sure they were setting out in their own unique direction.

“['The Lizzie Bennet Diaries’] had things like, she would put on costumes and stuff like that, and play act other characters, and that’s a nice device,” Hackett said. “You just want something to make it feel like you’re not still in this friggin’ room.”

Hackett says she can see continuing to do “Classic Alice” as long as they’re able to fund the production and make sure everyone’s getting paid.

“I’d be happy to keep doing this, at least until I look too old to play a college student. They’d graduate at some point,” Hackett said.

Or, it could go a different way.

“They just keep doing this while they’re in a retirement home!”

Watch the first episode of Classic Alice below:

Hackett in the KPCC studios:

Thanks for the interview @MikeRoe @KPCC pic.twitter.com/UIlLTotuzM

— Kate Hackett (@HackettKate)

October 17, 2014

That 81 seconds of videotape did more than studies and speeches and panels and conferences could ever have done. The LAPD is different. The city is different. And I asked him if he would rather not have been that man. And he said, no, because of what happened to him, big things happened, important things happened, that people would come up to him and say, I got a job because of you. I got justice because of you.

Mexican actress, immigrant icon known as ‘La India María’ dies

In this Feb. 21, 2013 photo, Maria Elena Velasco, better known as “La India Maria,” performs her most famous role which exaggerated stereotypes about Mexico’s indigenous people, in a debut presentation of a soap opera in Mexico City. The Mexican film … [Read More]

LISTEN HERE: Marketplace "The Ripple Effects of Unemployment"

Bureaucracy for Breakfast is featured in this in-depth Marketplace story about unemployment. If you’re in Southern California tune in at 8PM PST this Saturday or Sunday to 89.3 KPCC-FM and you can listen online HERE

The report explores some interesting aspects of what’s going on with our crazy economy. Here’s hoping things change!

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What do the objects we keep say about us? Which things, if any, are the ones we wouldn’t want to live without?

In December, for our ongoing community “Public Square” photo project with KPCC, we asked you to photograph and share some of your favorite things — and tag them #PSMyFavoriteThings.

Surprisingly (or maybe not) there’s only one iPhone in the batch. (Thank you @phatkatblues for your honesty!) For the most part, you love your photos, family heirlooms, artifacts that jog the memory, and little things you’ve been gifted.

These Are A Few Of Your Favorite Things (In Photos)

Photo Credits: demonttl, erinleight, lsberke/all via Instagram

The Barbarian Nurseries by Hector Tobar

 Buy Book | Kindle

Listen to The Madeleine Brand Show

Araceli is a maid for a wealthy couple, Scott Torres and his wife, Maureen Thompson. After the couple fires their household staff, Araceli finds herself with new responsibilities, principally child care. These characters are at the heart of the new book, “The Barbarian Nurseries.”

Author Héctor Tobar is accustomed to writing nonfiction about the intricacies of life in Southern California as a columnist for the LA Times. His novel is really an allegory that maps class, race and immigration. Araceli’s story captures what it means to live in a divided Los Angeles.

  • Listen
Play

How does the formation of Asian American communities in Southern California differ from the rest of the country?

14 min 58 sec

Guests:

John Logan, Professor of Sociology and the Director of Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences at Brown University 

Joanna Lee, Senior Research Analyst of the Demographic Research Project at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles, formerly the Asian Pacific American Legal Center


[This accompanying article includes a download link for the Brown University study.]

Susan Rosenberg w/ Jason Leopold at KPCC's Crawford Family Forum | Saturday, April 16, 5pm

KPCC, in partnership with Rare Bird Lit and the Program for Torture Victims, presents Susan Rosenberg in conversation with Jason Leopold.

An American Radical: A Political Prisoner In My Own Country - “On a November night in 1984, Susan Rosenberg sat in the passenger seat of a U-Haul as it swerved along the New Jersey turnpike. At the wheel was a fellow political activist. In the back were 740 pounds of dynamite and assorted guns.” 

Rosenberg was convicted of possession of explosives and illicit weapons and sentenced to a 58-year prison term. Rosenberg served 16 of those years before she was pardoned by President Clinton in 2001.

Rosenberg received an M.A. in Writing from Antioch University while in prison, as well as taking graduate courses in creative and expository writing from the University of Iowa. She is an award-winning member of PEN (Poets, Essayists and Novelists) and for the last three years she has been on panels at the PEN World Voices Festival with globally recognized authors. 
Jason Leopold is the Deputy Managing Editor of Truthout.org.

Admission is FREE, but RSVPs are required.

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For this month's Public Square assignment, we asked you to share the story of your commute and challenged you to find beauty in the everyday. Many of you rose (or should we say rode!) to the occasion. Here are some of our favorites.

Stay tuned for our next assignment and follow us on Instagram @npr and @kpcc.

Planes, Trains And Gondolas: Your Commute In Photos

Photo Credits: @donilee, @anjalid and @katetyler