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In some ways, this entire season was prompted by the parents who organized against diversity planning in School District 28. So in this episode, we're going back to that one ugly meeting, where they unleashed their fear and anger into the rest of the community. So who are these parents, what do they believe and why? Moreover, why were they ready to fight so hard against a plan that didn't exist?
It's the second year that Juneteenth has been a federal holiday — which means it's getting the full summer holiday treatment: sales on appliances, branded merchandise, and for some, a day off of work. But on this episode, we're talking about the origin of the holiday — and the traditions that keep its history alive for Black folks around the country.
Though a lot of parents and educators agree there needs to be some change in District 28, the question remains: what kind of change? When we asked around, more diversity wasn't necessarily at the top of everybody's list. In fact, from the north and south, we heard a lot of the same kind of thing: "leave our kids where they are and give all the schools what they need."We went to the Southside and asked parents and school leaders directly, what do the schools need?
A new book by Linda Villarosa looks at how racial bias in healthcare has costs for all Americans. Spoiler: Poverty counts — but not as much as you'd think.
Spilling the T

Spilling the T


Code Switch's Kumari Devarajan found an unlikely demographic doppelganger in D'Lo, a comedian and playwright whose one-person show about growing up as a queer child of immigrants in the U.S. is reopening on a bigger theater stage. But when you share so much in common with a stranger who is putting their sometimes messy business on front street for the world to see, it can feel like they're also sharing your secrets, too.
Until recently, School District 28 in Queens, N.Y., was characterized by a white Northside, and a Black Southside. But today, the district, and Queens at large, has become what is considered to be one of the most diverse places on the planet. So how did District 28 go from being defined by this racial binary, to a place where people brag about how diverse it is?
In the wake of violence and tragedies, people are often left in search of ways to feel safe again. That almost inevitably to conversations about the role of police. On today's episode, we're talking to the author and sociologist Alex Vitale, who argues that many spaces in U.S. society over-rely on the police to prevent problems that are better addressed through other means. Doing so, he says, can prevent us from properly investing in resources and programs that could make the country safer in the long run.
So much of the present day conversation about District 28 hinges on the dynamic between the Northside and the Southside. But why were the North and the South wedged into the same school district to begin with? When we asked around, no one seemed to know. What we do know are the consequences.
Millions of Syrians have been displaced by ongoing civil war. In her new book, Refuge, Heba Gowayed follows Syrians who have resettled in the U.S., Canada and Germany. She argues that finding their footing in their new homes is less about individual choice and more about governmental systems.
In the early 1970s, Forest Hills, Queens, became a national symbol of white, middle class resistance to integration. Instead of public schools, this fight was over public housing. A fight that got so intense the press called it "The Battle of Forest Hills." How did a famously liberal neighborhood become a hotbed of reaction and backlash? And how did a small group of angry homeowners change housing policy for the entire country?
The Utang Clan

The Utang Clan


Utang na loob is the Filipino concept of an eternal debt to others, be it family or friends, who do a favor for you. It goes back to pre-colonial times in the Philippines, and can pass from one generation to another. And some Filipino-Americans want to do away with utang all together, especially when it butts up against "American" values of independence and self-reliance. On this week's episode, we break down this "debt of the inner soul" — and discover a surprising side to this value.
School District 28 in Queens, N.Y., has a Northside and a Southside. To put it simply, the Southside is Black and the farther north you go, the fewer Black people you see. But it wasn't always like this. Once the home to two revolutionary experiments in integrated housing, the Southside of the district served as a beacon of interracial cooperation. So what happened between then and now?
In 2019, a school district in Queens N.Y., one of the most diverse places on the planet, is selected to go through the process of creating something unexpected: a diversity plan. Why would the school district need such a plan and why were some parents so adamantly opposed?
Coming soon to the Code Switch feed: School Colors, a limited-run series about how race, class and power shape American cities and schools. Hosts Mark Winston Griffith and Max Freedman take us to Queens, N.Y. – often touted as the most racially diverse place in the world. In 2019, a Queens school district announced that they were chosen to get a "diversity plan." One reaction from local parents? Outrage.
Some call it a riot. Some call it an uprising. Many Korean Americans simply call it "Sai-i-gu" (literally, 4-2-9.) But no matter what you call it, it's clear to many that April 29, 1992 made a fundamental mark on the city of Los Angeles. Now, 30 years later, we're talking to Steph Cha and John Cho — two authors whose books both center around that fateful time.
How can anything be more important than what's happening right now? That's the question a woman named Evelyn Wang is pondering right before she is thrust into a surreal, sci-fi multiverse, in the movie "Everything Everywhere All At Once." On the other side — googly eyes, talking rocks, people with hot dog hands — and an exploration of the dynamics between three generations in a Chinese immigrant family.
In the 70s and 80s, Fashion Fair was an iconic cosmetics company designed to create makeup for Black women of all shades. This is the story of that company's meteoric rise, its slow decline, and the two women who think they can resurrect it once more.
What do you do when all your options for school kind of suck? That was the question some folks on the Standing Rock Reservation found themselves asking a couple of years ago. Young people were being harassed in public schools, and adults were worried that their kids weren't learning important tenets of Lakota culture. So finally, a group of educators and parents decided to start a brand new school, unlike any others in the region.
Lindy Hop is a dance that was born in Harlem in the 1920s and 1930s — created and performed by African Americans in segregated clubs and dance halls. But today, one of the world's most vibrant Lindy Hop communities is in Sweden. So what happens when a Black American wants to learn the art form that she first encountered at the hands of her great-grandmother?
It is probably the most radioactive word in the English language. At the same time, the N-word is kind of everywhere: books, movies, music, comedy (not to mention the mouths of people who use it frequently, whether as a slur or a term of endearment.) So on this episode, we're talking about what makes the word unique — and how the rules about its use line up with other words.
Comments (152)

Mo U.

I love this episode so much because I relate so much!

May 14th

Annice Barber-petroff

I'm sorry we gave Asians resting bitch face? that's nice -_-

Mar 30th


I liked your discussion. your sincere concerns of fatherhood in our times were mine as well, as I raised my kids with their mother and my wife who looks nothing like me in hair, skin or face. I believe children have a beep natural need for true masculine fathers in their life. no need to be toxic to be a man. I did think it strange how much hand ringing you two had over how to teach your children the "correct " kind of Racism. I taught my children to deny racial constructs and the toxic racial labels for themselves and everyone else. the toxic concept of race its self does nothing but separate and alienate us. I certainly don't want that in my family even though some would try to assign different racial identities to us.

Mar 23rd


There's a better chance of seeing a termite choke on a splinter (credit to Beck) than seeing those people reckon, recognize, evolve.

Jan 13th

King Tee is Free

Who was this episode made for? Surely not black people.

Jan 12th


this is so disheartening.

Dec 28th


I've been giving money to the Smithsonian. I did not want them to be stealing people's ancestors with my money.

Dec 25th

Kimberley Louise

what the name of the professor? I got Dr Petra and not the rest of her name!

Dec 17th


we watched Soul Train in the 70s in LatAm

Nov 14th

Andrew Kozma

Good but depressing analysis.

Oct 5th


Thank you for introducing me to Ashley Ford. I'm almost finished with her memoir and I don't want it to end

Sep 23rd


Very interesting. I've always done the opposite. I "insisted" strangers and people at school/work use my full name. Even if they f it up. I knew what they meant. My family used my nickname. And it felt weird with people I barely knew using my nickname.

Jul 23rd


so true. so complex. so important. thank you.

Jul 14th
Reply (1)


so important. thank you. everytime... and this time!

May 28th


Is it me, or has Code Switch gone entirely insane?

May 9th

It's JustB

Wow, this was beautiful! Filled with emotional and inspirational words.

Apr 19th

Kenneth Mett

I found your posts very interesting. In fact after reading

Apr 16th

It's JustB

And here we are in 2021 still wearing 😷. I wish these two the best 🤗.

Mar 24th

Andrew Kozma

I'm not allowed to cry at every episode, either, but apparently that's not stopping me.

Mar 20th


I don't get why she'd be surprised a slave owner is in her family lineage when she had just said the vast majority of black people have slave owners in the lineage?

Mar 14th
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