March 2014


Ruxandra Guidi‘s story about the relationship between the mother of a victim of gun violence and the person who shot him airs this week as part of the hour-long radio documentary “Guns in America.” The program is the latest episode in the BBC’s “Real America” series.

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Casson Evans was three when he was killed by a stray bullet in Denver.

Ruxandra shares the story of Sharletta Evans, who lost her three year-old son, Casson, when a stray bullet pierced her car. The teenager responsible, Raymond Johnson, was caught and imprisoned, but Sharletta didn’t let things end there. She bound herself to Raymond, and to the mother of an accomplice, in extraordinary ways.

“Real America” is a product of the BBC Public Radio Partnership, which engages independent radio producers in the US to create original work for broadcast on the BBC World Service as well as on public radio stations across the United States.

Other producers contributing to “Guns in America” are Kelly Jones, Lu Olkowski, Dmae Roberts, and Skye Fitzgerald.

Members of the BBC Public Radio Partnership are the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR), the Public Radio Exchange (PRX), WBEZ in Chicago, WBUR in Boston, and KPBS in San Diego. The programs are distributed by American Public Media.

The public radio program Interfaith Voices has received a Wilbur Award from the Religion Communicators Council for its “God and Government” series, which looks at the relationship between religion and the state in 14 countries around the world. The award will be presented at a ceremony on April 5 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The winning entry, a half-hour segment about the struggle over Islam in Egypt, included a feature story by independent producer Kimberly Adams and a discussion with historian Khaled Fahmy of the American University of Cairo and anthropologist Jessica Winegar of Northwestern University.

Interfaith Voices is a weekly religion newsmagazine created and hosted by Maureen Fiedler. Laura Kwerel is the senior producer and Jocelyn Frank is the producer and editor of the “God and Government” series. Homelands’ Jonathan Miller is a consultant for the project.

Flooded village

Children walk through floodwaters in Ustupu Island village in the Kuna Yala region of Panama. With sea levels rising and storms in the islands getting stronger, indigenous Kuna leaders are planning to relocate entire villages to the mainland. Photo by Bear Guerra.

The environmental website Mongabay.org has selected Homelands producer-members Ruxandra Guidi and Bear Guerra for a Special Reporting Initiative award for their multimedia project on climate change and community forestry in Panama.

Climate Change in Kuna Yala

Ustupu Island chief Leodomiro Paredes (pictured with his wife, Imelda) says developed nations responsible for climate change should help pay for his people’s move. Photo by Bear Guerra.

Ruxandra and Bear have reported from the area before, for The Atlantic. With support from Mongabay, they’ll return to do more reporting this spring and summer. They plan to publish their work later this year under a Creative Commons license.

Other winners of Mongabay’s Special Reporting Initiative awards are Robert Eshelman for his look at deforestation in Indonesia and Dominic Bracco II and Erik Vance for an investigation of sustainable fisheries in China.

Radio and print journalist Ruxandra Guidi and photographer Bear Guerra joined Homelands as producers and board members in February. They co-founded the multimedia group Fonografia Collective.

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Host Bill Maher will talk population tonight with Homelands’ Alan Weisman.

Homelands co-founder and senior editor Alan Weisman will be on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher tonight at 10 pm EDT. Alan will be talking to Maher about his latest book, Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?

In Countdown, Alan proposes concrete steps for bringing human population growth back in line with the planet’s carrying capacity. He’ll share the stage tonight in LA with Amy Chua, Salman Rushdie, Andrew Sullivan, and Seth MacFarlane.

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The Millers owned an avocado green 1968 Plymouth Fury Suburban station wagon, just like the one pictured, but theirs didn’t float.

Homelands’ Jonathan Miller has produced a two-part series for PRI’s The World on the 40th anniversary of the end of the Arab Oil Embargo. The first part, which aired yesterday, looks at how (or whether) the embargo changed US energy policy. The second part, which aired today, looks at how (or whether) the embargo changed us. Jon got to interview his dad, listen to speeches by Richard Nixon, and dig into some groovy 1970s music.