KSQD Cutting Edge Episode #233 with Eric Porter on A People’s History of SFO
In this episode of The Cutting Edge, host Chris Benner interviews UC Santa Cruz Professor of History Eric Porter about his new book A People’s History of SFO. The book focuses on the SFO’s unique role in the SF Bay Area’s growth, and the ways that understanding this role helps us better understand patterns of political, economic and social influence in Bay from the eighteen century to today. This interview explores Dr. Porter’s personal background and interest in the airport, the strategic importance of transportation networks in civil rights struggles, the role in particular of Black labor struggles in the airport, and future implications of climate change for the airport and the SF Bay.
KSQD Cutting Edge Episode #220: Greg Fischer, Former Mayor of Louisville
In this episode of The Cutting Edge, host Chris Benner interviews former Mayor of Louisville, Greg Fischer, who was recognized in 2016 by Politico as the most innovative Mayor in America. In this wide-ranging interview, Mayor Fischer talks about the power of local politics, his work with the Dalai Lama, Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, his economic development concept of bourbonism, the values of compassion, health and lifelong learning he tried to instill in the city, and more. You can learn more about Mayor Fischer and his work at https://www.gregfischer.com/.
KSQD Cutting Edge Episode #211: Architects of Abundance
In this episode of The Cutting Edge, host Chris Benner introduces three Indigenous scholars and stewards of Indigenous Knowledge who are featured in a Conversations on Climate Justice event on March 13th on the UC Santa Cruz Campus: Dr. Lyla June Johnston (of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages), musician, scholar, community organizer, and author of Architects of Abundance: Indigenous Regenerative Food and Land Management Systems and the Excavation of Hidden History; Chairman Valentin Lopez of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, who is an advisor to the UC Office of the President on issues related to repatriation; and Brook Thompson, a Yurok and Karuk Native from Northern California, a water rights activist and Environmental Studies Ph.D. Student at UC Santa Cruz
KSQD Cutting Edge Episode #207 A Just Transition to a Carbon Free Future
To meet the greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed to stave off the worst impacts of climate change, a transition away from fossil fuels must occur, as quickly as possible. In this episode of The Cutting Edge, Environmental Studies professor Mijin Cha discusses why attention to the jobs and communities most affected by this transition is important, not just for ensuring social justice in the process, but for helping ensure the transition is a true transformation away from fossil fuels, and not just cosmetic reforms.
KSQD Cutting Edge Episode #198 Patricia Pinho Brazilian Politics
Luis Inacio Lula da Silva is perhaps the most prominent left leader in the entire globe right now. After defeating conservative populist Jair Bolsonaro in the 2022 Brazilian general election, Lula will be sworn in on January 1, 2023 to his third term as President of Brazil. In this episode of the Cutting Edge, Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies Patricia Pinho discusses the significant of Lula’s victor in the context of the broader politics of Brazil, the background of both Presidents Bolsonaro and da Silva, and the prospects for the Brazilian poor and working class populations, and protection of the Amazon rainforest, in the months ahead.
KSQD Cutting Edge Episode #194 All-In Conference
In this episode, host Chris Benner plays excerpts from the opening plenary of our All-In Conference for a one-of-a-kind event to build collaborative partnerships for community-engaged research and meaningful social change. You’ll hear: Sociology Professor Steve McKay calling for a focus on social justice and equity, not just the public good, in critical community engaged scholarship: Sociology Professor Rebecca London outlining the history of community engaged scholarship at UCSC and launching our Campus + Community initiative; and community partners Chairman Lopez of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and Keisha Browder talk about their visions for the future in community engaged scholarship at UCSC. As well as a powerful spoken word performance by Patrice Hill and Denisha “Coco” Bland of Sacramento Area Youth Speas (SAYS).
KSQD Cutting Edge #189 with Martin Rizzo-Martinez on Lifting Up Local Indigenous Voices
KSQD Cutting Edge #185 with Rekia Jibrin on the Growing Movement for Ethnic Studies
KSQD Cutting Edge #176 with Valentin Lopez, Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band
KSQD Cutting Edge #173 Building Belonging Flash Talks
In this show, host Chris Benner plays excerpts from our recent Building Belonging Student Flash Talk event. The Building Belonging program at UC Santa Cruz is designed to foster student success, increase engagement, and build a greater sense of belonging for under-represented undergraduate students through faculty mentored service-learning and research projects. This event provided Building Belonging Fellows an opportunity to share their research with the community.
KSQD Cutting Edge #167 Global and Community Health with Matt Sparke
Global and Community Health is a new program at UC Santa Cruz aimed at addressing challenges of ill-health both globally and locally. In this episode, GCH Executive Director and Politics Professor Matt Sparke talks about the background of the initiative, the innovative inter-disciplinary and community-based approach that has been at the core of the initiative’s development, and the exciting milestone they’ve recently achieved in getting two new majors approved (a new BA and BS in Global and Community Health) for students interested in pursuing public health and related careers.
KSQD Cutting Edge #163 ClimateJustice With Flora Lu
Signs of the climate crisis are everywhere–from record wildfires, drought scorching the west, intensified hurricanes lashing the south, and rising oceans threatening coastal communities around the globe. In this interview, John R. Lewis College Provost and Environmental Studies Professor Flora Fu discusses her approach to understanding these issues, focused on issues of social and environmental justice locally and globally. She also discusses how this work relates to her efforts bu build more inclusive sustainability at UCSC, and intersections with the work of leading global climate justice activist Colette Pichon Battle, and with the legacy of John R. Lewis, that Dr. Lu is working to strengthen in her role as provost of the newly named John R. Lewis College.
KSQD Cutting Edge #159 on the War in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded its neighbor Ukraine, a former republic of the USSR and today an independent, democratic country. In this show, a panel of UC Santa Cruz Faculty, PhD Students, and alumni discuss the historical and political context for Russia’s war in and on Ukraine, tension with NATO, broader Russian efforts at territorial expansion and destabilization, and responses by Ukrainians and the global community. This is an excerpt from an event held on March 4, 2022, with the full video recording available here.
KSQD Cutting Edge #155 on Reparations with William A. Darrity Jr., Kirsten Mullen and Anne Price
In September 2020, California became the first state in the country to adopt a law that established a task force to study and develop proposals for potential reparations to descendants of those impacted by slavery. Although the movement for reparations extends back to the 18th century, it has gained momentum in recent years, especially after the national protests against racial injustice last summer. In this episode, panelists discussed how reparations could help close the racial wealth gap and promote racial equality. This is an excerpt from a full-length event held in April 2021, which is available to watch here.
KSQD Cutting Edge # 150, with host Chris Benner and Better World Books
In this episode, Institute for Social Transformation Faculty Director Chris Benner discusses books highlighted in our annual Better World Book celebration. Each year, the institute honors faculty authors from the UCSC Division of Social Sciences who published that year. This year’s books include cutting edge research on a wide range of topics including: poverty, economic equity and financial sector reform; precarity, belonging, and democratic reforms (from the U.S., to Chile, to Somaliland; urbanized nature, food systems and health equity; and more. For a full list, see here.
KSQD Cutting Edge #146 with Everett Program Students and the 3rd Annual Showcase
In this episode, we share excerpts from the 3rd Annual Everett Program Student Showcase, highlighting student projects with community partners at the intersection of technology and social change. Hear students discuss their project’s purpose, design, strengths, and challenges, while we celebrate UCSC students’ projects despite the challenges and obstacles highlighted by the pandemic. Everett students remained resilient and persistent in advocating for social justice and social change locally and globally, and the showcase provided an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments together!
KSQD Cutting Edge #142 with Tsim Schneider discussing Indigenous history in California
In this interview, Anthropology professor Tsim Schneider discusses indigenous archeology, and his work in examining the history of Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo peoples in California. Professor Schneider’s recently published book, The Archeology of Refuge and Recourse, offers insights into the critical and ongoing relationships Indigenous peoples maintained to their homelands, despite colonization and systematic destruction of their cultural sites. His research shows autonomous sites of protection and redirection for Native people grappling with change and colonial assertions of power, arguing for a new direction in the archaeology of colonialism.
KSQD Cutting Edge #137 with Phillip Hammack and Adriana Manago discussing the 21st Century Revolution in Gender & Sexual Diversity
The 21st century has seen an explosion of new language and new understandings of gender and sexuality, with LGBTQ+ adolescents often depicted as harbingers of social change in gender and sexuality, challenging mainstream beliefs and values and using social media as tools for expression and community building. In this episode, we explore recent research on these issues with Phillip Hammack, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Sexual and Gender Diversity Laboratory, and Adriana Manago, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Head of the Culture and Tech Lab.
KSQD Cutting Edge #132 with Chris Benner and Rob Fairlie on Solidarity Economics
Traditional economics is built on the assumption of self-interested individuals seeking to maximize personal gain. This is far from the whole story, however: sharing, caring and a desire to uphold the collective good are also powerful individual motives. In a world wracked by inequality, social divisions, and ecological destruction, can we build an alternative economics based on our mutual co-operation? In this episode, Professor of Economics Rob Fairlie and Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology Chris Benner discuss the forthcoming book, “Solidarity Economics: Why Mutuality and Movements Matter” by Chris Benner and Manuel Pastor.
KSQD Cutting Edge #123 with Mark Massoud on Sharia, or Islamic law
Sharia, or Islamic law, is often portrayed in the West as a tool of oppression or violent extremism. But Sharia, like any form of religion or law, be used to either uphold or struggle against systems of oppression. In this week’s episode of The Cutting Edge, hear Politics and Legal Studies professor Mark Massoud reflects on the implications of our understanding of religion and law in the U.S., as he discusses his new book Shari’a, Inshallah: Finding God in Somali Legal Politics, in which he discusses the role of Sharia in the Horn of Africa, and how lawyers, community leaders and activities have developed Sharia to resist oppressors, expel war lords, fight for gender equality, and build a path to the rule of law.
KSQD Cutting Edge #119 UCSC Building Belonging Program Student Flash Talks
One of the factors helping shape educational success for underrepresented undergraduate students is the extent to which they feel a sense of belonging and connection to the University. The Building Belonging program at the Institute for Social Transformation is a new five-year effort designed to increase engagement and build a greater sense of belonging for under-represented undergraduate students through faculty mentored service-learning and research projects. This episode of The Cutting Edge is an excerpt of an end-of-year celebration and student flash talk event, with students presenting their contributions to research projects, and honor the work that has been accomplished in the Building Belonging program.
KSQD Cutting Edge #114 Catherine Ramírez on Missions, Monuments, Sites of Memory & Sites of Dispute
Monuments are statements of power and presence in public, and have increasingly become sites of contested terrain. Struggles to dismantle monuments tied to histories of white supremacy, genocide and settler colonialism have been prominent in the news. Meanwhile, artists are working to design new monuments that do justice to the complex and contradictory histories and communities that make up contemporary American society. In this week’s episode of The Cutting Edge, hear Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies Catherine Ramírez discuss her personal and academic reflections on Latinx contributions to these conversations about monuments in the U.S., with a particular focus on Missions in California.
KSQD Cutting Edge #110 with Anne Price on reparations for Black Americans and the path to racial equality
In 2020, California established the nation’s first state task force to study and make recommendations on reparations for slavery, the atrocities that followed the end of slavery, and the discrimination against freed slaves and their descendants from the end of the Civil War to the present. In this episode, hear Anne Price, the first woman President of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development and a national expert on race and wealth inequality, discuss reparations and its relationship to other strategies for addressing the racial wealth gap and promoting racial equality, in California and beyond.
KSQD Cutting Edge # 106: with Jessica Taft on Youth Activism in the Americas
Youth activists around the globe have gained increasing prominence in recent years, around issues as varied as climate justice, racial equity, educational reform and immigrant rights. In this episode, professor of Latin American and Latino Studies Jessica Taft discusses her research on youth activism across the America’s, reviewing some of the lessons of many decades of youth organizing, the dynamics of inter-generational organizing, and the importance of not treating them as inspirational figures, but as serious political actors.
KSQD Cutting Edge #102: with Chris Lang and Breanna Byrd on Environmental Justice
The incoming Biden administration represents a step in rejoining the global community to address climate change and provides an opportunity to jump start programs to protect and restore our environment. Graduate students Chris Lang (Environmental Studies) and Breanna Byrd (Feminist Studies) discuss why issues of racial justice and equity need to be at the center of these environmental efforts, how these issues are represented in their own work and life experiences, and opportunities and concerns in the new administration. They also discuss their upcoming conversations with Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Director of Climate Policy at the Roosevelt Institute, as part of her February 10th virtual visit to campus.
KSQD Cutting Edge #97 Better World Book Party
On Dec. 9, 2020 the Institute for Social Transformation celebrated authors from the Division of Social Sciences who published in 2020:
- Lily Pearl Balloffet: Argentina in the Global Middle East
- Jeffrey Erbig: Where Caciques and Mapmakers Met: Border Making in Eighteenth-Century South America
- Madeleine Fairbairn: Fields of Gold: Financing the Global Land Rush
- David Gordon: Cities on the World Stage
- Karen Holl: Primer of Ecological Restoration
- Sikina Jinnah: Greening through Trade: How American Trade Policy is Linked to Environmental Protection Abroad
- Catherine S. Ramírez: Assimilation: An Alternative History
- And more!
KSQD Cutting Edge #91 with Manuel Pastor on the Election
At the core of the 2020 election in the U.S. are key questions about the role of race, social movements, and economic inequality in shaping electoral politics. In this wide-ranging interview, USC Professor Manuel Pastor discusses how we should understand patterns of voting in different Latino communities, the role of organizing in shaping electoral outcomes, and the challenges of overcoming the white resentment and fear that fueled the Trump campaign. He also discusses how movements in California have been so important for shifting political possibilities, and the power of a ‘solidarity economics’ framing for transforming economic futures.
KSQD Cutting Edge #87 with Sylvanna Falcón on Human Rights Investigations Lab
On October 25, in a historic referendum culminating a year of widespread protests, voters in Chile overwhelmingly approved a referendum to scrap the constitution developed under the military dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, and write a new one through a newly elected constitutional convention. Hear Latino & Latin American Studies professor Sylvanna Falcón discuss the election, and the work of her Human Rights Investigations lab in documenting the widespread police repression and other human rights abuses Chilean people had to endure in the past year.
KSQD Cutting Edge #83 with Veronica Terriquez on Youth Civic Engagement
In 2014, only 8% of eligible people aged 18-24 in California voted in the mid-term electives. In 2018, that percentage nearly tripled. What helps explain that jump, and what are the implications for the 2020 election. Hear Sociology professor Veronica Terriquez, as she discusses her research on youth civic and voter engagement in California and what makes a difference in young people being involved in shaping the future of the state.
KSQD Cutting Edge #79: Jody Greene on Educational Equity and Opportunity
The pandemic has pushed educators of all types to explore new methods of teaching and learning using remote technologies and digital collaboration tools. The challenges are substantial, but so also are the opportunities. We explore these issues with Associate Vice Provost and Founding Director of the Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning Jody Greene, who helps put this moment in the context of longer-term efforts to ensure educational equity and opportunity in higher education.
KSQD Cutting Edge #75: Camilla Hawthorne on Race & Citizenship
Recent scholarship has been helping us understand in more depth how citizenship is not just a legal right, but also includes processes of creating social, cultural, and economic belonging and ‘othering’. Assistant Professor of Sociology Camilla Hawthorne’s research on Black Italians helps us understand how nation-building, in both Italy and the U.S., has been fundamentally a white racial project, but also how Black youth in particular are challenging these systems of white nationalism and reimagining citizenship in innovative and inspiring ways.
KSQD Cutting Edge #71: Anjuli Verma On Policing Reform
In the midst of historical protests against police oppression and anti-black racism, our country faces critical questions about how to effectively implement police reform. Assistant Professor of Politics and Legal Studies Anjuli Verma goes deep into these issues, suggesting a need to look beyond our formal institutions of the police and prison to address the deeper processes of policing. This requires attention to the broader questions of why certain activities are defined as crimes and how discipline and punishment is enforced across multiple institutions and social processes.
KSQD Cutting Edge #67: Hillary Angelo on Climate Action Plans
In the face of the limitations of national politics and global agreements to effectively address climate change, cities have become the leading frontier of climate change action. Though the United Nations in 1987 put equity on equal footing with economy and ecology in laying out its three pillars of sustainability, incorporating social equity goals into sustainability planning remains a challenge in practice. Hillary Angelo, Assistant Professor of Sociology at UC Santa Cruz, discusses California’s city and county Climate Action Plans and how well they address equity in these efforts.
Making Contact: Essential: Gig Workers and COVID-19
Gig Workers, driver’s for app companies such as Lyft and Uber, are struggling during COVID-19. They’re considered essential workers, so they can still work but many of them aren’t making enough to cover rent. Many have chosen to stay home, facing economic insecurity. Those who work, however, are continuing to drive without much protection in the way of personal protective equipment, and very little help from the app companies themselves. We take a look at the future of the gig economy and how to protect “essential workers.”
Cutting Edge #62: New Generation Learning
New Generation Learning is a collaborative interdisciplinary research initiative, involving 65 faculty members across the University, designed to better understand the cultural strengths of learning by children and students from historically underserved populations and ways to leverage those strengths in formal and informal settings for improved learning outcomes. Director and Psychology Professor Su-hua Wang, along with co-directors Psychology Professor Barbara Rogoff and Education Professor and Department Chair Cynthia Lewis discuss new insights and developments in this important work.
KSQD Cutting Edge #58: Steve McKay
Sociology Professor Steve McKay joins to talk about the importance of community-engaged research and his project “We Belong,” which discusses the conditions of undocumented families in Santa Cruz County.
KSQD Cutting Edge #53: Alexander Repenning, Right Livelihood College
The Educational Manager for the Right Livelihood Award, Alexander Repenning, sits down with the Cutting Edge at a conference in Thailand to talk about what is the Right Livelihood Award and links between academia with activism.
KSQD Cutting Edge #48: Herman Gray & Jenny Reardon Discuss Race
Herman Gray, retired Emeriti Sociology Professor, whose work is in cultural and black studies and Jenny Reardon, Director of the Science & Justice Research Center and Sociology Professor, sit down to have a conversation on race in America.
KSQD Cutting Edge #45: Better World Books
The host of the Cutting Edge and Director of the Institute for Social Transformation, Chris Benner, speaks on the different books from the “Better World Book Party,” where the published works showcased included diverse topics such as youth development, cultural dimensions of globalization, and food systems dynamics.
KSQD Cutting Edge #41: Jesus Quiroz, Everett Program
Jesus Quiroz is an undergraduate fellow in the Everett Program, a program dedicated to creating social change through technology by working with non-profit organizations in efforts to achieve social good.
KSQD Cutting Edge #37: Rebecca London
Recess is an essential component of a school that shapes a considerable part of a student’s success. Professor of Sociology Rebecca London talks about her new book “Rethinking Recess,” taking a critical look at recess.
KSQD Cutting Edge #35: Sikina Jinnah
Professor Sikina Jinnah of Environmental Studies joins in on a conversation about global climate change and using climate engineering technology to address the increasing climate challenges.
KSQD Cutting Edge #33: Fernando Leiva
In the context of Chile, the world’s leading copper producer, Professor Fernando Leiva of Latino and Latin America Studies, joins to talk about his recent research trip to the country and speak on the extractivist economies in the region affecting indigenous communities and water resources.
KSQD Cutting Edge #28: Robert Fairlie
Professor Robert Fairlie of Economics is a national expert on small business creation and he joins to talk about the intersection of race and entrepreneurship and their importance in today’s economy.
KSQD Cutting Edge #20: Nicanor Perlas & Anthony Aquirre
As artificial intelligence technology evolves, will we end up facing an existential crisis? Nicanor Perlas, Right Livelihood Award winner and theoretical cosmologist UC Santa Cruz Professor Anthony Aguirre discuss the good and bad of artificial intelligence.
KSQD Cutting Edge: Anne Kapuscinski
Professor Anne Kapuscinski discusses the 6th annual climate science and policy conference. The theme for this year is Climate Justice: Linking Science to Just Action.
KSQD Cutting Edge: Adam Millard-Ball
Professor Adam Millard Ball talks about his work on autonomous vehicles within the realm of transportation planning and how the latest “driverless” technologies can transform the urban landscape.
KSQD Cutting Edge: Shaw David, Right Livelihood College, & Nicanor Perlas
David Shaw, the coordinator of the Right Livelihood College at UC Santa Cruz, talks about what is the Right Livelihood College, Right Livelihood Award, and award winner Nicanor Perlas’ work in artificial intelligence.