226 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

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 384 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.

    Us & Them Encore: SNAP — Do The Hungry Get More Policy Than Nutrition?

    Us & Them Encore: SNAP — Do The Hungry Get More Policy Than Nutrition?

    Forty-two million Americans or about 12 percent of the the population need help feeding their families. That help often comes from a federal program called SNAP - which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly called food stamps. The Mountain State is one of the top recipients of SNAP benefits. Nearly 45 percent of recipients are older adults or families with someone who’s disabled while nearly 60 percent are families with children. The nation’s food support program began six decades ago, as a pilot program in McDowell County. Since then it has reduced poverty and hunger across the nation. In an award-winning encore episode of Us & Them, host Trey Kay talks with three people, a retiree, a mom and a lawmaker who all say that nutritional support has made a difference in their lives. 

    • 46 min
    Us & Them Encore: Can Childhood Trauma Limit The Future?

    Us & Them Encore: Can Childhood Trauma Limit The Future?

    We continue to learn more about the way childhood trauma can affect our physical and psychological health and the result is creating a social movement. More than two decades ago, researchers first came up with a way to assess the impact of childhood neglect, abuse and family dysfunction. Nearly half the kids under 18 in the U.S. have had an adverse experience or serious trauma. Now, advocates are getting traction with “trauma-aware” campaigns and coalitions. Many institutions are investing in trauma awareness, training and screening. The original study, published in 1998, concluded that early traumas contribute to poor health outcomes later in life. That research got almost no attention when it was first published, however today its findings are considered ground-breaking. But some say using such a rubric to assess a person’s experience won’t work for everyone and may simply label and limit their future potential.

    • 52 min
    Us & Them Encore: Compassion Fatigue

    Us & Them Encore: Compassion Fatigue

    Homelessness has been on the rise since 2016 and the pandemic only exacerbated an acute shortage of resources to help people living on the streets. Now, many communities are struggling to provide support as some homeless people turn away from emergency shelters and remain in outdoor encampments. In Charleston, West Virginia, the city’s opioid response program also now focuses on homelessness. Outdoor encampments have been a focus at the state legislature as debate continues over how best to help people living on the street. At the same time, some people say they’re more afraid of people living on the street than in the past. Providing sustained care for homeless people continues to elude and divide even well-meaning and determined communities. Earlier this year, this episode received a second place award from the Virginias AP Broadcasters for Best Podcast.

    • 55 min
    Us & Them: Our Foster Care Crisis

    Us & Them: Our Foster Care Crisis

    There’s a foster care crisis in America. Nationally, more than 390,000 children are in foster care, in West Virginia that’s just over 6,000 children who need a safe place to call home. Last year, more than half of all states saw their number of licensed homes drop, some as high as 60 percent. That challenge comes because new foster parents don’t stay in the system for long. On this episode of Us & Them, host Trey Kay hears about the shortage of licensed foster homes. Foster care is most often needed because of parental substance use, mental health challenges, poverty and neglect. While official foster care cases are tracked and overseen by state agencies and non-profit organizations, there are many informal kinds of so-called kinship care that are not official or included in state data. Some experts say the number of those kinship cases drives the stakes of the challenge much higher.

    • 52 min
    Us & Them: Locked Out Of Voting?

    Us & Them: Locked Out Of Voting?

    More than 4.5 million Americans cannot vote because of a felony conviction but only about a quarter are currently in prison. On the newest episode of Us & Them, host Trey Kay talks with people who support expanded voting rights for felons, and those who say people who’ve committed crimes should forfeit their rights until they serve their entire sentence, including any probation or parole. Felon disenfranchisement laws differ significantly from state to state and even legal experts say it can be difficult for someone to know their rights. In a few states a person can vote from prison, while in others, voting rights are restored upon release or completion of parole or probation. Despite recent trends to expand voting rights, some states are moving in the opposite direction. In Florida, voters passed an amendment to restore voting rights to most people with felonies, but lawmakers passed a new law requiring that people pay all of their court fees first. And in Virginia only the governor can restore the right to vote for someone convicted of a felony.

    • 39 min
    Us & Them: Another Small Town Paper Down

    Us & Them: Another Small Town Paper Down

    Our country’s divides often reveal themselves in our choices and habits, including how and where we get our information. As the economics of the media landscape have imploded, the economics of the industry have forced changes. In the past two decades, online sites have taken over much of the income stream from classified ads and general advertising. That has led newspapers and broadcasters to slash thousands of jobs. Many local news outlets have gone out of business and there are now more than 200 counties across the country with no source of local news. One of those is McDowell County in West Virginia.  Last year, publisher Missy Nester was forced to shut down the Welch Daily News  after a valiant effort to keep the paper running. Join host Trey Kay and reporter Todd Melby on this episode of Us & Them to see what happens when local news organizations stop telling the stories of a community.

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
384 Ratings

384 Ratings

cmcveigh23 ,

Five Star

This podcast continues to be one of the most informative and important on my playlist. I always feel like sharing episodes to ppl I know with the hopes of fostering good discussion and tending to our nations divi visions. So good and worth your time.

SequoiasOutBack ,

Glad to have found Us & Them

Not only is Us & Them very engaging and an interesting podcast to listen to, but I am surprised by the multiple ways of looking at the topics. It’s not just black & white, but in-between too. Even though it can be hard to listen to some of the guests, they exist and it’s healthy for us all to try to keep our minds open. Thanks Trey Kay for your great work!

Jcmaidens ,

So glad I found this

I am so glad to have stumbled across this podcast. It has a unique way of looking at both sides and them connecting them. We really aren’t all that different are we?

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