Category: “A Better Life?”

“A Better Life?” explores how America’s failed response to COVID-19 has reshaped immigrants’ lives and their relationship to the United States. Each episode tells a different immigrant story and examines how the crisis has challenged or changed that person’s ideas of what it means to be American. The show also includes conversations with immigrant elders — grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles — to hear how they are coping during this time, and what they have learned over the years that can help the rest of us survive today’s challenges.
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"A Better Life?"AudioStories

Red Lines and Zip Codes – Home, Interrupted

Your zip code can tell a lot about your health. Studies show that historically redlined neighborhoods can overlap with areas that flood the most, have the worst air quality, and experience the warmest temperatures.

Our story takes us to California’s San Fernando Valley and to Newark, NJ, where immigrant families live in or near zones that have been redlined and experience health issues due to extreme heat and pollution.

Senyo Ador site visit
"A Better Life?"AudioStories

Building a Green Chicago – Home, Interrupted

In 2023, Illinois’ governor signed the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act to phase out fossil fuels by 2050 and renovate the state with green infrastructure. Chicago is one of the cities offering communities of color and those most impacted by pollution the chance to lead this energy revolution.

Reporter Wendy Wei speaks with Ghanaian American Senyo Ador about how he is bringing his insights from working on energy projects in Ghana to make Chicago a more energy-equitable city for communities of color.

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"A Better Life?"AudioStories

Rain, Rain, Go Away. New York Kids Are Trying to Play – Home, Interrupted

Across New York City, concrete and asphalt are being torn out of schoolyards and replaced with rain-absorbing surfaces to make them more climate-resilient. The redesigning of playgrounds in immigrant neighborhoods offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rethink how kids in the city relate to the outdoors.

Producer Aria Young, an immigrant journalist from China, explores the recent transformation of New York City playgrounds to respond to the climate crisis and what it means for children’s play.

"A Better Life?"AudioStories

Maya Farms…in Nebraska? – Home, Interrupted

In America’s agricultural heartland, a small group of immigrant farmers look to ancient methods to help modern farming respond to the climate crisis.

Producer Anja Nilsson reports from Nebraska on Maya farmers from Latin America who employ farming methods that conserve water, increase biodiversity, and reduce carbon emissions.

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"A Better Life?"AudioStories

Harvest of Shame: Deadly Heat Edition – Home Interrupted

In July of 2023, Efraín López García died picking fruit on a farm in Homestead, Florida. According to his family, extreme heat caused his death. At the same time, the Florida legislature was considering a bill banning local governments from enacting safety regulations to protect farmworkers. About 75 percent of farmworkers in the United States are immigrants.

Allison Salerno reports on community organizations and scientists who are working to protect farmworkers from extreme heat in the absence of government protections.

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"A Better Life?"AudioStories

Rising Floods for Basement Apartment Dwellers – Home, Interrupted

Over 100,000 people live in New York City basement apartments – most are immigrants. It’s an open secret that, while basement apartments offer cheap rent, they are potential death traps in a city experiencing more frequent and severe flooding due to climate change. Government programs to address the problem have largely failed. Producer Emmy Brett asks where people go when there is nowhere safe or affordable to call home.

"A Better Life?"AudioStories

Who Sends Help When Hurricanes Strike? – Home, Interrupted

When Hurricane Otis devastated the resort city of Acapulco in October 2023, Mexican authorities struggled to respond to the disaster. Producer Greta Díaz González Vázquez reports on how families divided by the US-Mexico border faced challenges in surviving Otis.

Green Card Project 14_Diana Cervantes
"A Better Life?"AudioStories

Permanent Resident, Expiration: Never

Through The Fake Green Cards Project, Philadelphia-based artists Xuan Liu and Youkun Zhou invite us to imagine a world where getting “papers” is not the nerve-wracking process it has become for many immigrants in the U.S. Producer Danya AbdelHameid reports on how their whimsical hand-drawn cards explore the meaning of the green card, spark conversations about the challenges of navigating the immigration system, and raise questions about what it means to belong in America.

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"A Better Life?"AudioStories

How to Wash Your Brain — “A Better Life?” Podcast

Writer and producer Boen Wang and his Chinese-born mom disagree on almost every political issue. Each suspects that the other has been “brainwashed”, because how else could they have such extreme views? In this personal piece, Boen unpacks the epistemology and history of the term brainwashing, and goes on an intimate exploration of his mom’s childhood and experiences in the U.S. to figure out what has actually shaped her political beliefs—and his own.

"A Better Life?"AudioStories

Does Anyone Even Want Latinos to Vote? — “A Better Life?” Podcast

Both parties maintain that Latino voters are important to them. But across the country many Latinos say they feel alienated from the political process.