As President Donald Trump took office in January, students in Sandy Tolan and Karen Lowe's USC Annenberg radio class embarked on a months-long examination of vulnerable communities in Southern California. The result: "At Risk in the Trump Era," a seven-part series for KQED’s state-wide newsmagazine, The California Report.
In-depth reporting allowed the public radio documentary students to explore more deeply the daily lives of individuals in the community to get an understanding of the challenges they now face. The result is a trove of intimate, sound-rich stories that probe beneath the surface.
Reporters embedded with several community members: a transgender woman whose parents are staunch Trump supporters; a Muslim woman who, in fear, removed her hijab and started taking a self-defense class; and a rock band transformed by the new political landscape.
The first piece, “Undocumented Love,” by reporter and USC Annenberg fellow Paola Mardo, tells the story of Filipino high school sweethearts whose twisted path brought them together after nearly four decades apart. Now, they’re both grappling with the vulnerability of being undocumented as Trump steps up immigration enforcement.
Additional USC Annenberg reporters in the "At Risk" series are: Joanna Clay, Stefanie De Leon Tzic, Ashley Eady, Melanie Gonzalez, Renee Gross, Jenny Lower, Noorhan Maamoon, and Pasha Zolfaghari.
“At Risk” marks the fourth major collaboration between USC Annenberg and The California Report, each built around a central theme.
Click the links below to listen to the full series now.