Surviving California

Series produced by Ruxandra Guidi

Series image
Image by: Photo by Ruxandra Guidi 

Sun. Crashing surf. Laughter. Picture-perfect models gazing out from a thousand billboards. But even in sunny Southern California, looks can be deceiving. A limited series podcast produced by the students of USC’s Spring 2019 public radio documentary class at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

From immigrants under threat, to Muslims targeted by hate crimes, to families whose men are in prison, and ordinary people confronting the tensions and anxieties of everyday life: there is no single way to survive this sprawling region of nearly 24 million people. Welcome to Surviving California. For the next several weeks, we'll be sharing with you the stories of eight individuals who are surviving, hustling, challenging and sometimes even thriving in SoCal. Surviving California is produced by the students of USC’s Spring 2019 public radio documentary class at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, taught by Sandy Tolan and Ruxandra Guidi.

8 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Melissa Dueñas' dad in Donovan Correctional Facility in the early 1990s., Credit: Photo courtesy of Melissa Dueñas
Melissa Dueñas’ dad went in-and-out of jail and prison her whole life. Whenever he was locked up, they would keep in touch by writing letters. She ...

Bought by WMMT

  • Added: Aug 04, 2019
  • Length: 16:19
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Lee Plaza at one of her organizing meetings, Credit: Photo by Rebecca Ressler
Like many low-wage immigrant workers in Los Angeles, Aleja "Lee" Plaza spends her days taking care of the elderly — emptying bedpans, giving sponge...

  • Added: Jul 27, 2019
  • Length: 07:35
Caption: Kateri Gutierrez at Collective Avenue Coffee, Credit: Photo by Ben Tran
Like many kids who come from working class immigrant families, Kateri Gutierrez felt a lot of pressure to get ahead. After a brief stint trying to ...

  • Added: Jul 21, 2019
  • Length: 07:05
Caption: Natalie Bader with her first flute., Credit: Laurie Bader
Natalie Bader’s passion for music has been around for as long as she can remember. Unfortunately, so have her debilitating panic attacks. For most ...

  • Added: Jul 08, 2019
  • Length: 08:42
Caption: Almadeus Star, zen archer, Credit: Jon Reed
Almadeus Star is not your average 73 year old. He makes his living through odd jobs, like teaching zen archery. He rents a house, but chooses to sl...

  • Added: Jul 01, 2019
  • Length: 11:06
Caption: The Allen Co. drilling site in South Los Angeles., Credit: Photo by Claire Heddles
Generation Z has been called a lot of things: The internet generation. The Instagram generation. And as some say: the activist generation. Claire H...

  • Added: Jun 24, 2019
  • Length: 08:29
Piece image
Carlos Samaniego created Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Ángeles, or Mariachi Rainbow, back in 2000 for a pride event. Almost two decades later, the group...

  • Added: Jun 17, 2019
  • Length: 06:53
Piece image
A limited series podcast produced by graduate students at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern Calif...

  • Added: Jun 11, 2019
  • Length: 01:15