124 episodes

We tell stories from the fault lines that separate Americans. Peabody Award-winning public radio producer Trey Kay listens to people on both sides of the divide.

Us & Them Trey Kay and WVPB

    • Philosophy
    • 4.7, 290 Ratings

We tell stories from the fault lines that separate Americans. Peabody Award-winning public radio producer Trey Kay listens to people on both sides of the divide.

    Coronavirus Czar Says Pandemic is a Stress Test for WV Health Care

    Coronavirus Czar Says Pandemic is a Stress Test for WV Health Care

    It’s about 10 weeks since the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the country, including West Virginia. While state officials are now reopening businesses, the pandemic is far from over. Seventy-eight West Virginians have died due to COVID-19. 250,000 unemployment claims have been filed. But the pandemic has exacted another toll — it’s fractured many of the state’s healthcare institutions. When the state was in quarantine mode, hospitals delayed and canceled many medical procedures. People shied away from elective surgeries that are just the kind of procedures that make money for hospitals. As a result, revenues are down and some health care systems have laid off staff to keep costs down. Recently, WV’s Governor lifted those restrictions to allow elective medical procedures. As medical systems come back on line, Trey speaks with Dr. Clay Marsh -- WV’s “COVID-19 Czar.” He  sees the pandemic as an opportunity to fix the parts of the state's healthcare system that are failing some West Virginians.

    • 12 min
    Forced Apart: Same Pandemic, Unequal Education

    Forced Apart: Same Pandemic, Unequal Education

    West Virginia’s 2020 school year, from kindergarten through college, is wrapping up unlike any other.  In recent years, Mountain State communities have been devastated by man-made crises and natural disasters, but nothing has affected the state’s education system like a world-wide pandemic. The coronavirus forced an extended Spring Break in March that quickly became a season of virtual classrooms and distance learning. Teachers have converted lessons into online assignments. Parents juggle their work with home-based tutoring. And schools deliver millions of meals to low-income students. As this truncated school year comes to an end, we hear from West Virginia families trying to make it work and teachers who say they’re learning valuable lessons they will use in the future. But we’re all learning something unfortunate; during a pandemic, all students aren’t equal.

    • 51 min
    The Legacy of the Upper Big Branch Disaster

    The Legacy of the Upper Big Branch Disaster

    Ten years ago, the Upper Big Branch Mine exploded in West Virginia. 29 men died and an investigation uncovered that a legacy of overlooked safety measures contributed to the disaster. A new play called “Coal Country” focuses on the stories of the men and their families. It aims to put a spotlight on prejudice against the rural working class… to bridge a divide between city dwellers and those who work with their hands underground. Co-creators Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen interviewed the families and the production weaves their words with the music of Grammy-award winner Steve Earle to help people understand another America.

    • 34 min
    Nurse Eva Travels to a COVID-19 Front Line

    Nurse Eva Travels to a COVID-19 Front Line

    The coronavirus pandemic prompts many reactions from people. Some people can be overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. Others step up to help where they can. U&T host Trey Kay splits his time living in West Virginia and New York. A few weeks ago, he got a message from someone trying to help Eva Crockett, a West Virginian traveling nurse looking to help treat COVID patients in New York City hospitals. This person wanted to know if Trey could help Eva find a place to stay in the Big Apple. Trey ran up a “Bat signal” on social media -- asking his New York friends for help. The response was overwhelmingly positive. For Trey, New Yorkers helping a West Virginian who was willing to help New Yorkers felt like an “Us and Them” moment.

    • 17 min
    Forced Apart: A Virus Creates New Divides

    Forced Apart: A Virus Creates New Divides

    A global public health crisis in the form of an invisible virus, now officially divides us from each other. We’ve learned to call it ‘social distancing.’ But the coronavirus is creating or reopening many layers between us and them. There are divides between workers: some must show up while others work virtually and millions more have lost their jobs as businesses shutter and the economy grinds to a halt. Families see divides as they decide how many generations can safely live under the same roof. And the government creates divisions as national, state and local leaders have different responses to the pandemic.

    • 52 min
    The Connector

    The Connector

    In many cities and towns, there are people in charge, and there are people who get things done. Joe Slack is an instigator for community change in West Virginia’s Upper Kanawha Valley. He sees the needs in his region, one that’s been hit hard by one economic disappointment after another. But Slack is a self-described squeaky wheel. He connects people, helps identify realistic opportunities and then works to make things happen.

    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
290 Ratings

290 Ratings

jilshs ,

I wish I could wash my brain after listening

“Objectivity is a luxury of the status quo”. Your self righteous, affected way of speaking and presenting information, along with your insistence on your neutrality and desire to remain unperturbed by the violent, racist, willful ignorance of your acquaintances makes your podcast cringe-worthy, creepy, and unlistenable. You and your privilege are part of the problem, definitely not part of the solution.

juliebwood ,

Binge-worthy!

I can’t eat just one Lay’s potato chip, nor can I listen to just one Us & Them. Us & Them is thought-provoking, educational, and entertaining. The series is a must-add to your podcast listening. Episodes are worth listening to once, twice, and more. Like a seven-layer cookie, you’ll always find some tasty morsel you missed the first time around.

Pepds ,

Cave Man, Patriarchy & Fairytales you brought it home!

Long time listener of Us and Them and big fan of Trey Kay. Personal disclaimer he is my dear friend. What I particularly loved about this episode was how it went from a family conversation filled with good humor and curiosity to a high level conversation connecting caveman fallacies to race to feminism. Fascinating discourse with all the different voices. I listened on my commute and felt like I was gifted with a car full of intelligent people having a rousing discussion about changing the world for the better! Thank you Trey and the Us And Them Team!

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