A Better Life? presents four stories from a workshop that Feet in 2 Worlds hosted earlier this year for bilingual journalists. The stories focus on a casino worker in New Hampshire, a chef in Mexico, a radio host in Kansas, and high school students in Arizona.

These four audio vignettes were produced in a mixture of English and Spanish, a reflection of how the two languages live side-by-side in communities—and many households—across the U.S.

Feet in 2 Worlds recently hosted a live conversation about the unique role of immigrant journalists in covering the news. It featured Maritza Felix, Von Diaz, and Catalina Jaramillo. The conversation was recorded at Feet in 2 Worlds’ Celebration of Immigrants in Journalism on January 31st, 2022.

In Los Angeles Chinatown, local shops and restaurants eagerly welcome back customers as they return to business after the height of the pandemic shutdown. But the neighborhood’s rebound from Covid has been uneven.  The pandemic has shone a light on the divide separating the successful and the struggling, as well as concerns about anti-Asian violence.

A Better Life? executive producer Quincy Surasmith explores the starkly different visions for the future of L.A. Chinatown and the organizations promoting these competing ideas. 

A Better Life? speaks with Catalina Jaramillo of FactCheck.org and Nicolás Ríos of Documented about combating Covid misinformation directed at Latinos and Spanish-speaking immigrants, and to Daniel Le of Boat People SOS about his group’s successful efforts to get Vietnamese Americans on the Gulf Coast to get the Covid vaccine.

 

Covid-19 shut down or shortened most professional sports seasons in 2020 and even postponed the Olympics. What happened to all the people working behind the scenes at sports stadiums? Producer Khari Thompson explores how the pandemic affected their livelihoods.

Tested

28Oct21

After a year of holding classes on Zoom, schools across the country have returned to in-person learning this fall. Producer Katelynn Laws visits the rural town of Monroe, North Carolina, a community with a large Latino population, to learn how students are making up for what many say was a lost year.

Mohammed Ahsanul is an international student at the University of Wyoming about to complete his Ph.D. in applied mathematics. Once he finishes his degree, he expects to return home to Dhaka, Bangladesh—but not before his family reunites with him for the first time since the pandemic began.

Producer Naina Rao joins Mohammed and his family for a trip to see America as she examines the ways a better life in the U.S. doesn’t always mean a permanent stay.

When indoor dining shut down during the pandemic, food delivery apps thrived. But the people delivering the food – workers celebrated as essential – faced risks to their safety and unfair working conditions.

Producer Oscar Durand tells the story of Cesar, a delivery worker from Mexico who found a cause and a community while organizing his fellow delivery workers in New York. We also speak with Hildalyn Colón Hernández from Los Deliveristas Unidos, a group that advocates for delivery workers in New York City.

Jasmine Jiwani is part of Atlanta’s large Ismaili Muslim community. Covid restrictions prevented the community from gathering for the funeral of her husband, who died of Covid. Producer Zulekha Nathoo reports on how the pandemic has created unique challenges for Jiwani and other Ismaili Muslims.

In March 2020, at the start of the pandemic, the U.S. sealed its border with Mexico. The purpose, U.S. officials said, was to protect Americans from the spread of Covid-19. But in the neighboring cities of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, the unintended consequences of the border closure have come into sharp focus. In addition to Covid-related deaths, the economy on the U.S. side has been devastated. Meanwhile, business on the Mexican side is booming. What does this shift in the economic center of gravity mean for a region where travel and migration across the border has been a part of life for generations? Producers Maritza Felix and Julio Cisneros visit both cities to learn.

“A Better Life?” is back for a second season as we continue to explore how COVID-19 has changed immigrants’ lives and their relationship to America. This fall, we’ll be sharing new voices, new stories, and new perspectives as we ask the question, “As we navigate out of this pandemic, who gets to return to normal?”

 

Season 2 will premiere on September 30, 2021. 

At the start of the Biden administration and just two weeks after the siege at the U.S. Capitol, how are immigrants responding to this moment? Three senior journalists in the Feet in 2 Worlds network discuss the opportunities and risks, and the trauma they continue to grapple with from the past four years. Carolina González moderates this conversation with Zahir Janmohamed, Maritza L. Félix and Macollvie Neel.

Finding Joy

11Jan21

When Joy, who immigrated to the U.S. from China, finds herself trapped in an abusive relationship, she makes the choice to walk away from the family she thought she always wanted — and rebuild the family she always thought was broken.

This episode was made in partnership with Self Evident: a podcast that challenges the narratives about where we’re from, where we belong, and where we’re going — by telling Asian America’s stories.

We decided to check up on the immigrant elders in our lives to see how they’re surviving the pandemic. What we found was joy, wisdom, life experience and plenty of laughter — from two Italian immigrants in San Francisco, to a Haitian couple in Florida, to a 93-year-old aunt in Bangalore.

On a panel moderated by veteran editor and reporter Carolina González, the creators of “A Better Life?” discuss the inception of our podcast series at the peak of the pandemic. We talk about what kinds of stories we pursued in this season, what informed our decision-making choices as storytellers, and how our reporters dealt with the challenges of being vulnerable during the production process. This panel was recorded on a Zoom Webinar on Dec. 3rd, 2020.


Feet In 2 Worlds: A Better Life?

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