The Working Poor

(Note: This interview originally aired in January.) For a number of different -- and often unsettling -- reasons, issues of race and racism have by now come into focus in American life in a pervasive manner that we, as a society, have not seen in decades. Or maybe, actually, we as a nation have never been as racially aware, or as racially alert, as we are at this moment. Thus we're discussing an important textbook in this regard; "Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice" first appeared back in the 1990s, and it has just been published in a new (fourth) edition.

Photo by Valery Lyman

Our guest is the photographer and filmmaker Valery Lyman, who now has a striking show on view at Living Arts in downtown Tulsa called "Breaking Ground." This show, per the Living Arts website, aims to travel "through the American psyche and landscape. Documentary artist Valery Lyman has been photographing and recording audio in the Bakken region of North Dakota over the course of five years, documenting the rise of the oil industry there and the substantial migration that went along with it.

Our guest on ST is Ren Barger, the founder and CEO of Tulsa Hub, which is, as noted at its website, "a syndicate of volunteers on a mission to change lives through cycling. It is the only nonprofit in Oklahoma providing certified bicycling-for-transportation education, refurbished bicycles, safety gear, and follow-up support to people in poverty, people with physical and mental disabilities, and people who are otherwise disenfranchised in our community.

This coming Friday and Saturday, the 30th and 31st, the Helmerich Center for American Research here in Tulsa will present "Dislocations and Migrations," an interdisciplinary symposium of academics, activists, archivists, curators, librarians, and other experts -- all of them exploring ideas of displacement, departure, arrival, relocation, removal, escape, and so on. Our guest on ST, the journalist Jessica Bruder, will be the keynote speaker at this upcoming gathering.

On this installment of ST, our guest is Cameron Walker, the Executive Director of Tulsa Habitat for Humanity (or THFH). This crucial nonprofit recently received a $6.7 million grant from the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, and therefore, as we learn on today's program, THFH is transitioning from building 25 to 30 houses per year (which is what it does in the Tulsa area currently) to building 150 houses per year (which is what it aims to be doing four years from now).

On this installment of StudioTulsa, with the Oklahoma State Legislature set to begin its new session on Monday of next week, we check in with David Blatt, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Policy Institute. This non-profit public-policy think tank recently posted a detailed list of legislative priorities for the new year at its website. Blatt reviews several of these goals with us today: from Budget and Taxes to Economic Opportunity and Security, and from Education and Criminal Justice to Health Care.

For every six Oklahomans, one is hungry, according to the latest data. And as the U.S. Congress looks to potentially address a $1.5 trillion projected deficit, many domestic programs face an uncertain if not bleak future -- including food-assistance and hunger-relief programs -- both here in the Sooner State and nationwide. On this edition of ST, we are discussing these matters with Effie Craven, who is the State Advocacy and Public Policy Director for both of the Oklahoma Food Banks (i.e., the Regional Food Bank in OKC as well as the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma in Tulsa).

On this edition of our show, an interesting chat with Ali Noorani, who's the Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum (an advocacy organization promoting the value of immigrants and immigration) as well as the author of "There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration." Mr. Noorani will be giving a free-to-the-public, immigration-focused address tonight (the 28th) on the TU campus; his address, titled "Beyond the Headlines," begins at 7pm in Tyrrell Hall.

On this broadcast of ST Medical Monday, our guest is Chris Bernard, the executive director of Hunger Free Oklahoma. This nonprofit, per its website, "works to bring a unified, statewide voice to the issue and solutions surrounding hunger, with a goal to ensure all Oklahomans have access to affordable, nutritious food. Hunger Free Oklahoma holds the core belief that hunger is solvable, unnecessary, and unjust, and it impacts everyone living in Oklahoma.

On this installment of ST, an interesting chat with Rick Wartzman, who is the director of the Moon Center for a Functioning Society at the Drucker Institute, which is a part of Claremont Graduate University. Wartzman also writes about work and working for Fortune Magazine's website, and he joins us to discuss his new book, "The End of Loyalty: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America." This book, which Forbes called "a brilliant, rogue history of American business's transformation over the past 75 years," shows us how and why four major U.S.

Our guest on ST today is Eileen Bradshaw, Executive Director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. The Food Bank, as it's commonly known, is the largest private hunger-relief organization in eastern Oklahoma; it's been around since 1981. As is noted at this special nonprofit's website: "Our vision is food security, with dignity, for all eastern Oklahomans.... With locations in Tulsa and McAlester, we provide food and other donated goods to 450 Partner Programs in 24 counties of eastern Oklahoma.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Ted Piccone, a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy as well as the Latin America Initiative at the Brookings Institution. His research is focused on global democracy and human rights policies, and he spoke recently at the Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations. Piccone is the author of "Five Rising Democracies and the Fate of the International Liberal Order," and his talk here in Tulsa was basically an extension of this book.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we speak with two representatives from the Tulsa Housing Authority (or THA): Matt Letzig is the organization's Interim CEO and Terri Cole is its VP for Assisted Housing. THA, as noted at its website, "provides publicly assisted housing comprised of traditional public housing, mixed finance sites, and Section 8. Currently, THA provides assistance to more than 20,000 individuals, or 7,200 families....

On this edition of ST, we speak with Tamara Draut, who is Vice President of Policy and Research at Demos, a left-leaning national think tank. She's also the author of "Strapped: Why America's 20- and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead," and she joins to talk about her new book, which is called "Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America." As was noted of "Sleeping Giant" by Kirkus Reviews: "A close examination of the plight of the working class, the decline of organized labor's political power, and the stirrings of activism that indicate change may be on the way.