How is America reshaping its future? In this coproduction from the BBC and Ozy, Katty Kay and Carlos Watson share fresh perspectives on America and the world.
Have Native Americans been let down?
At the height of the pandemic, Native Americans were dying of Covid at twice the rate of white Americans. Huge inequalities have been highlighted, not just in terms of health, but also housing, education and wealth. Twenty-three percent of Native Americans live below the poverty line, compared to 10 percent of white Americans, and Native Americans are 19 times more likely to live without running water in their home. But there’s some good news too. If confirmed, Deb Haaland will make history as the first Native American in a cabinet secretary role. She’ll be the Secretary of the Interior, which oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Could this historic appointment change the fate of Native Americans today?
There’s a lot of history to undo. Jonodev Chaudhuri, ambassador for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, explains how his mother was forced to go to a boarding school where she was forbidden from speaking her native language, and her arm was broken by her teachers. The poor education she received didn’t set her up well in life. He says the federal government has broken promises made in treaties to safeguard the health, education and safety of his people in return for their land.
Amber Crotty, a tribal council delegate in the Navajo Nation in Arizona, tells how her tribe were left out of agreements over who had the right to the water that ran through their land, so today they can’t lawfully use it. One-third of her nation live without running water in their homes, and there are just 13 grocery stores on the 71,000 sq km reservation, meaning they have to drive for hours to buy food. She’s working hard to get her citizens vaccinated against Covid, and says the tide is now starting to turn. She hopes having a Native American head up the Department of the Interior, which oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs, will help address many inequalities they face.
America has been involved in plenty of wars in recent decades and is proud of its military and veterans. But are veterans getting the support they need?
The wonderful world of Gen Z
How are Generation Z shaping your world? They are the generation born from 1996 to the present day. As the oldest members are turning 24, they’re already shaking things up in the workplace and at the ballot box. Social justice is the most important issue for them and their demands that companies take a stand on political issues is causing a debate in the workplace.
Deja Foxx was the youngest staffer working on Vice President Kamala Harris’ election campaign, working on social media strategy. She is the founder of Gen Z Girl Gang, which promotes inclusivity and diversity. At 17, she founded a sex education organisation helping teens at risk of homelessness and those formerly in prison with access to birth control.
Maya Penn started her own sustainable fashion brand Maya’s Ideas at only 8 years old. She is also the author of ‘You Got This’, a handbook for other would be teenage CEOs and is an award winning environmental activist and artist.
As the most diverse generation America has seen, it’s no wonder that inclusivity is important to them. Deja and Maya discuss how they feel empowered to build a more just and vibrant world…with a little help from their smartphones.
This is a co-production between BBC World Service and Ozy Media.
Immigration in America
America was built on immigration, but is it still a good place for immigrants? Katty Kay and Carlos Watson discuss immigration, acceptance and assimilation with a top chef and a hip hop music manager.
Marcus Samuelsson was born in Ethiopia but brought up in Sweden by his Swedish adoptive parents, before moving to America in the 1990s. He now has a chain of restaurants across the US, including the famous Red Rooster in Harlem.
Sophia Chang was born in Canada to Korean immigrant parents. She moved to the US in her twenties and has been living in New York for more than three decades. She is known as “the first Asian woman in hip hop.” Amongst others, she has managed three members of Wu Tang Clan.
Both discuss their journeys and reasons for coming to America, their experiences of trying to fit into American society, and what they feel about America’s attitudes to immigrants. They also talk about America’s cultural mosaic, opportunities, what immigrants bring to the US, and racism.
This is a co-production between BBC World Service and Ozy Media.
America’s loneliness epidemic
Even before Covid, four out of every 10 American adults admitted to feeling anxiety and depression, and up to 70% of young Americans said they were lonely. Now amid growing concerns of an emerging mental health crisis because of the coronavirus pandemic, Carlos Watson and Ritula Shah (standing in for Katty Kay) tackle the subject with the help of two leading health experts - Dr Altha Stewart, former head of the American Psychiatric Association and Dr Deepak Chopra, a prominent alternative medicine advocate. Together they explore how loneliness affects people of a different age, race and gender, and offer some solutions and advice as to how Americans can learn to cope, even after the pandemic has passed.
A new presidency
It’s all change at the White House, with the new president promising a fresh start on a host of key issues: from vaccines and the economy, to race and climate change. But is President Biden offering too much, too soon, and can he live up to his pledge to unite a divided America? At the end of inauguration week, Katty Kay and Carlos Watson are joined by Valerie Jarrett, long-term adviser to Barack Obama, and by John McLaughlin, a former deputy director of the CIA. Together they discuss some of the major challenges facing the incoming Biden administration, from relations with the Republican party, to dealing with Iran and China.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Fresh and Focused!!
Thank you Apple! I no longer have to get up at 5 a.m. Saturdays to hear WKmetC on BBC. Each show is focused on one major U.S.-related social, political, cultural, and/or international topic. Probing questions are asked of interviewees who are not usually appearing on othe shows or given air-time for in-depth responses to such questions.
A world perspective!
It is refreshing to hear great commentary from both Katy and Carlos! I’m really enjoying two side of America! I also love Katy’s finger on the pulse of the rest of the land! Love you too Carlos!
Intelligent and Calm
Woke up to this at 4:30 this morning and boy am I glad I did! Amid the firestorm that is Donald Trump and the media coverage of his presidency, this was a refreshingly calm, rational, intelligent conversation.