San Diego County COVID cases cross 700,000 mark, but new cases trending downward
Speaker 1: (00:01)
The death toll from Omicron is increasing in San Diego.
Speaker 2: (00:04)
I think they are pretty confident that we've seen the height of infection in the Amron wave thus far
Speaker 1: (00:11)
I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Jade Heman. This is KPBS midday edition. Why a single payer health plan failed again in Sacramento, there are
Speaker 3: (00:29)
Political fears related to elections, and whether people might get voted out of office for supporting something like this,
Speaker 1: (00:36)
Sheriff bill gore retires with a mixed legacy in San Diego films that focus on struggle and triumph. Mark this year's human rights watch film festival that's ahead on midday edition.
Speaker 1: (01:00)
Many health experts believe the Omicron surge has peaked in San Diego, new case numbers while still disturbingly high seem to be trending downward. But even though the latest coronavirus surge may be receding, it's leaving a deadly legacy. 113 deaths are reported in the county's most recent weekly COVID 19 update. Although the highly contagious Omicron variant is responsible for breakthrough cases in San Diego health officials say an analysis of recent deaths from COVID still show vaccination and booster shots are the best defense joining me as San Diego union Tribune health reporter Paul Sissen. Paul, welcome back. Thanks
Speaker 2: (01:41)
For having me
Speaker 1: (01:42)
Is the number of deaths reported this week, significantly higher than what we've seen here in San Diego.
Speaker 2: (01:48)
It's trending up a bit. You know, we had 113 in the last, uh, week that are in this report that comes out every Wednesday. Uh, look back the week before that it was 69, then 24, the week before that and 34 the week before that. So it's trending upward. It really isn't quite as high. Uh, is it nearly as high as we saw last year when coronavirus was really causing a lot more severe lung problems? I actually did a little bit of analysis of, of how many people had died each day. And, uh, it looks like the record for the whole pandemic, which the county just confirmed for me this morning. It was January 15th, 2021 when 58 people died on a single day. So, uh, the, the highest we've seen this winter has been January 10th when we saw 17. So that's still a lot of people and it's still terrible, but it doesn't yet appear to have, uh, been quite as severe as, as we saw last winter. And, and that's probably down to, uh, to a virus that doesn't produce as severe lung problems as before. I think it's important also to note that the vote is still out on that we still have over 1300 people in our local hospitals who have tested positive for, uh, for coronavirus and, and are fighting COVID 19 as we speak, you know, and people will often fight for weeks in hospitals. So we, we don't really know the whole pattern yet. It takes weeks for, uh, for them to confirm these deaths and report them to the public.
Speaker 1: (03:12)
Yeah. Why does it take weeks to report the deaths from COVID?
Speaker 2: (03:17)
You know, that's, uh, it's a bit of a mystery to me. Uh, you know, what I've been told and, and, you know, I've asked the folks who run the, the vital records in this town over and over again, exactly what the delays are. And they generally talk about processing delays. You know, it might take time for a, a hospital or nursing home or a per person dies to, uh, report that information to the county government. Uh, and then the county government has an entire verification process, uh, that they do, uh, where they look at health records and, and other things. And, and I'm, I'm a little cloudy on exactly all the tiny details of that process, but I guess sometimes it can just take with them a while to, uh, decide for sure whether or not they want to put any given death on the list of those that they can consider to be COVID related. Now, we
Speaker 1: (04:04)
Usually hear that most of the people who get seriously ill or die from COVID are over 65 with underlying conditions. Is that the case in this most recent report too?
Speaker 2: (04:14)
Yeah, absolutely. I, I went through and, uh, and looked at these 113 deaths and, uh, the average age there is 74, all, but two of these, uh, latest 113 had other underlying health problems present, uh, besides COVID tragically. We had two on the list though, uh, one who was 28 and one who was 31, both who had no other underlying problems according to the, the county's list. Anyway. So
Speaker 1: (04:39)
What about the vaccine nation status of people who recently died from COVID? Were they vaccinated?
Speaker 2: (04:45)
Sadly, we do not get granular information from the county on each person who died and whether or not they were vaccinated. You know, what we do know is that in general, 46 of these 113 who died and were announced last week, we're fully vaccinated, 67 were not, we don't know how many of those exactly, uh, were boosted, although the county's data does indicate that there have just been two deaths in the past month of people who were boosted
Speaker 1: (05:17)
Well, the recommendation that a booster is the still the best per protection for a fully vaccinated person, that's apparently true across the nation as well. Here's CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Wilinski, here's what she had to say about that yesterday.
Speaker 4: (05:32)
Unvaccinated individuals were 97 times more likely to die compared to those who were boosted.
Speaker 1: (05:40)
Now, Paul, you spoke with Dr. Rodney hood who told you, he thinks the message about vaccinations and boosters is getting through to more
Speaker 2: (05:48)
People. Yeah, that's right. Uh, Dr. Hood, um, is a, a very well known physician, uh, in many parts of San Diego, especially, uh, serving San Diego's black community, which has, uh, you know, throughout the pandemic through this last year, when the vaccine has been available, it has been, uh, more reluctant to get vaccinated. I think it's fair to say that's what the numbers show compared to the population as a whole people, uh, who are African Americans, uh, have just reached a percent, uh, vaccination rate and the county's overall vaccination rate is 80%. So, uh, you know, it's, uh, it's pretty clear that, that there has been some reluctance there. Uh, but if Dr. Hood definitely indicated that he's seeing more interest, uh, as more people in the community have direct experience, uh, with this virus, uh, people know a lot of times maybe not hospitalized, but are still ending up, uh, with a, you know, severe case convalescing at home. And, uh, you know, what he said is, you know, if you know, somebody, you know, who's important in your life who has recently gotten sick, you're just significantly more likely to consider vaccination. If you're not already vaccinated,
Speaker 1: (06:57)
Is the county confident that the number of COVID cases is going down in San Diego?
Speaker 2: (07:02)
I think they are. I think if you look, uh, at the cases, by the dates that people got sick, rather than by the, uh, dates that those cases were announced to the public, uh, you can see a pretty solid trend. You know, it looks like we, we pretty Def peaked in, uh, mid to, uh, early January. And, you know, I think there was one day in there where we had 16,000 positive cases in a single day. I, I think the caveat there as they indicated in their press release yesterday, has to do with all the, um, home tests that are, that are occurring. Those results are not reported, uh, to the epidemiology department. So they don't quite have a handle on, on how many home tests are coming positive and yet not being communicated, uh, widely. Uh, but I think overall the trend, you know, we were, we were seeing, uh, numbers, uh, in the five digits for quite a while. And mid-January in the last few day, uh, the numbers have been under 3000. I think they are pretty confident that we've seen the height of infection in, in Theron wave thus far.
Speaker 1: (08:09)
I've been speaking with San Diego union Tribune health reporter, Paul Sissen, Paul. Thank you very much. Thank
Speaker 2: (08:15)
Speaker 5: (08:25)
An effort to enact a single-payer healthcare system in California, fizzled out in the state assembly this week, despite lobbying from progressive activists, the failure to deliver on assembly, bill 1400 highlights, a lack of political will and getting a government run healthcare system off the ground, despite being a longstanding stated goal of the democratic party. Joining me now with more is Cal Matt's reporter Alexi Kaif Alexi, welcome to the program. Thanks for having me on. So can you start by giving us some background on this bill assembly?
Speaker 3: (08:57)
Bill 1400 has been working its way through the legislature for a year. Now. It was introduced last year and went nowhere. And in the meantime, supporters have been working, trying to come up with details that could really convince people that this is finally the time that a single payer healthcare bill could make it through the legislature and work in California. It's something that has been a priority for some members of the democratic party for decades, and they really see California as the place to make it happen. It's supposed to be this big liberal environment where you can make these, you know, experiment with policy and be out ahead of the country. And so in January, they came back with this proposal of how to pay for it with the series of taxes on businesses and high earning households. And they were hoping that they could push it through and really get the conversation rolling again in California. But as we saw this week, there just was not the political will once again, to get this bill moving and the Bill's
Speaker 5: (10:03)
Author assembly member, Ash cholera failed to gain adequate support for the measure. Should that come as a
Speaker 3: (10:10)
Surprise? Yes and no. People were hoping that this time might be different because Ash cholera had really put in the work to try and come up with more of a proposal. It was, it was still needing a lot more work, but there was a real solid foundation there. And instead he wasn't able to get enough votes that he even felt comfortable bringing it up on the floor. Uh, he told supporters later that he was likely short by double digit votes, maybe 10 or more, and he needed 41. So that's a pretty substantial, you know, shortfall and he didn't wanna bring it up at all because he thought that having it flame out and do so poorly in front of everybody would actually set back the effort.
Speaker 5: (10:52)
Well, now that this effort has been effectively killed for another year, is there a pay forward forward in the future?
Speaker 3: (10:59)
That is the biggest question. You have a governor who has said he supports single payer and wants to move the state toward that, but never came out and spoke in support of assembly, bill 1400. You have a democratic party that has said in its platform for many, many years, that it support single payer, but you can't get all of the Democrats who control the legislature to even support a bill. And you continue to have a lot of really intense lobbying on all sides. I mean, one of the reasons this bill wasn't able to move forward last year or this year is that there was a very intense campaign from the business community insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, a lot of different kinds of groups that have a financial stake and an interest in whatever the healthcare system looks like in California, who do not want this change to happen. And there are political fears related to elections, and whether people might get voted out of office for supporting something like this. So there are a lot of factors at play. There are a lot of things that need to be sorted out and worked through and strategies that need to change for future efforts to work out differently for supporters.
Speaker 5: (12:10)
And as you mentioned, despite being a long priority of Democrats, you know, there doesn't seem to be a lot of political will to pass an initiative of this kind. I mean, why is that there seems to be plenty of support for this among the voter base.
Speaker 3: (12:23)
I, I think, you know, the idea of single payer and the reality of it, there's sometimes a gap and that's hard to close, um, both in the, of politicians and in the minds of voters in particular, the fear over backlash of the need to raise taxes, to pay for a system like this, even if it might cost less in the long run, because you don't have private health insurance, you know, making that case to voters could be difficult in a lot of politicians are scared that this might get them voted out of office and they don't wanna take that risk. Um, there are, you know, a lot of complicated factors at play and, you know, having a governor who was more out in front of this might also help shift the landscape toward this happening in the future. But governor Gavin Newsome who was out there early in his, uh, 2018 election campaign on the record supporting single payer just has not put in a lot of political capital or work over the years since he was elected to build up that support and lay the ground work in Sacramento for that to happen either
Speaker 5: (13:40)
You talked about opposition to this bill, uh, the California chamber of commerce actually labeled assembly bill 1400 as a job killer. Can you tell us more about
Speaker 3: (13:48)
That? The job killer label is not necessarily based on any particular or research or analysis that would indicate it kills jobs. It's more of a, a labeling, a flashy way of branding. The bills that the, uh, California chamber of commerce, uh, most wants to kill that are their priority to defeat. And, um, you know, there's a lot of concern among the business community about the prospect of raising additional taxes upon them. And they would bear the brunt of having to pay for a system like this. And so that's where there's this opposition that, um, you know, that's what really drives this intense opposition to a system like this. You also have healthcare companies that would essentially be pushed out of California that would no longer be able to operate because it's largely a government run tax payer funded system under single payer. And so they have business, uh, stakes in this too, and are fighting to essentially keep their place in the California economy. And a lot of them give money to lawmakers, have close relationships with lawmakers and their voices are very influential at the capital.
Speaker 5: (15:09)
So what's been the respect from supporters of the measure to the recent news.
Speaker 3: (15:13)
There was a very intense backlash to its defeat, and you'd be surprised some of the ways that came out because a lot of it was directed at assemblyman cholera and they were very angry at him for not even taking the bill up for a vote. They wanted it on the record. They wanted to know who supported it and who didn't because these progressive activists wanna go out and defeat the lawmakers who aren't on board with their cause and get people elected who are supportive of single payer. So they had a very emotional call on zoom. On Monday night after the vote, it went on for several hours and there were people activists on that call who were just lambasting assemblyman. Carra telling him he had lost a trust. He had betrayed them. And it really indicates this rift in strategy and approach. And also, um, just the path forward.
Speaker 3: (16:16)
Assemblyman cholera has said that he still wants to carry this bill next year, if they'll let him, but, um, they might not even trust him enough anymore to ask him to be the, the legislative author of a single payer bill. Um, there was also the California nurses association. The main sponsor of the legislation, um, came out very hard against assemblyman cholera, essentially accused him of, of giving up on Californians, uh, by not taking this bill up for a vote. And, you know, it just shows that there's these really intense rifts that people on the same side of this issue are gonna have to mend to move forward. I've
Speaker 5: (17:03)
Been speaking with Cal matters, reporter Alex costive, Alex, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you. You're listening to K PBS midday edition. I'm Jade Henman with Maureen Kavanaugh. Today is San Diego county sheriff bill Gore's last day on the job. The three time elected 74 year old is leaving after spending more than half a century in law enforcement, K PBS a meet the Sharma looks at the ups and downs. A of Gores tenure
Speaker 6: (17:35)
Bill gore took office in early 2011. After serving as interim sheriff for 18 months, it was a rough and painful time. The swine flew hit county jails and two teenage girls, Amber Duba and Chelsea king were murdered within 13 months of each other. I
Speaker 7: (17:52)
Don't think the men and women of the San Sheriff's department could have performed any better than they did during this last 18 months. There had just been incredible before
Speaker 6: (18:00)
Joining the Sheriff's department, Gora spent 30 years working for the FBI. He was special agent in charge for the San Diego office on 9 0 11. Some say that job taught him the importance of collaboration. And so what
Speaker 8: (18:13)
We're all working together and not in silos. He had the respect of every police chief, and certainly the respect of the DA's office,
Speaker 6: (18:23)
San Diego county district attorney summer Stephan law score for co-creating the San Diego human trafficking task force informing special units for sex crimes and cold cases. She says she and gore were instrumental in pushing for special mental health crisis stabilization units.
Speaker 8: (18:41)
He deserves credit for a lot of positive and a lot of why this area is looked at as a really great SIM for professional policing. I think he would own all of those positives and you know, would also take responsibility for the things that are negative.
Speaker 6: (19:02)
Many, say the negatives outnumbered the positives during Gore's tenure during his first year in office, the Sheriff's department faced in and scrutiny for how it handled the case of Rebecca Zaha in July of 2011, Zaha was found hanging in a Corona auto mansion. And though she had been bound and gagged Sheriff's department investigators concluded she had died by suicide S how's family believed she was murdered by her boyfriend's brother, Adam Shana, a civil jury agreed and found Shaq night liable for za how's death. In the years that followed gore continued to face accusations that he had rushed to judgment. He would not be interviewed for this story, but in 2018, he told a reporter that the suicide ruling followed a careful investigation.
Speaker 7: (19:49)
We didn't it off saying, well, this is suicide. And then gather information and facts to prove that it was a suicide. We kept an open mind until the last piece of evidence forensic evidence was, was
Speaker 6: (20:01)
Examined in 2017. Gora faced the public's eye for the conduct of his deputies. More than a dozen local women accused deputy Richard Fisher of sexual assault and misconduct. He just
Speaker 9: (20:13)
Scared me so bad that I would never let an officer in my house. Again,
Speaker 6: (20:19)
Many of the women blamed gore for not firing Fisher quickly enough gore disagreed.
Speaker 7: (20:25)
When the second allegation came in, he was removed from the field and shortly after more victims came forward, we put him on administrative leave out of the office.
Speaker 6: (20:33)
Later that year gore again came under fire for failing to discipline, deputy Christopher Villanova, who shot and killed Jonathan Cornell while trying to serve a search warrant. It was Villanova's second fatal shooting. In 10 months,
Speaker 10: (20:48)
These gentlemen were unarmed. They may have been gang affiliated, but that was splashed all over the news to defame. And retraumatize the family and criminalize. The individual use
Speaker 6: (21:00)
Of Miller is with the racial justice coalition. He described Gora as a skilled politician. Some complaints were backed up by data. A 2021 study by the center for policing equity found that San Diego Sheriff's deputies were four times as likely to use forests against black people than whites. Black pedestrians were also stopped three and a half times more frequently. Deaths in sheriff operated county else have also do gore. A 2019 investigation by the San Diego union Tribune showed the department had the highest death rate of California's largest counties. Gore told KPBS. He disagreed with the methodology used by the paper gore chose to retire earlier than expected to care for his ailing wife, Natalie. He called her his staunchest supporter at his last swearing in aha Sharma KPBS news
Speaker 5: (21:56)
And on sheriff bill Gore's last day in office, the state decided to release the findings of an audit on San Diego county jail deaths. The state found that the Sheriff's department failed to prevent and respond to the death Fs of people in its custody
Speaker 1: (22:13)
For decades. It stood as an ISO and a landmark in Hillcrest. Now it's gone the dilapidated Peron's restaurant building closed and deteriorating since the 1980s has been demolished in its place and am vicious, multipurpose development will provide new housing hotel rooms and retail space to the community, the legend of per Conos and Wyat stayed in dilapidated limbo for so long as many twists and turns joining me to explain as San Diego union Tribune reporter Jennifer van Grove and Jennifer. Welcome.
Speaker 11: (22:49)
Thanks for having me
Speaker 1: (22:51)
That Perna conno sign with a broken Casa de BFI sign right next to it has been a constant for years on sixth avenue near university, and they both used to be restaurants, right?
Speaker 11: (23:02)
That's that's right. So Perna Conos opened in 1946 and then, uh, Casa Deba in 1961,
Speaker 1: (23:12)
Tell us about Perons and its heyday.
Speaker 11: (23:16)
So it was according to, um, Gary precon, who's the son of George Perna con. It was kind of the it spot. Um, so George moved out here from Detroit Roy. He was a former serviceman. He brought all 10 of his brothers, um, out to San Diego and, uh, they opened pro Conos as what, what, um, Gary describes the first pizza house in, in Southern California. They opened it. And George actually became a interesting figure in, in chargers lore. So he, he, according to his son convinced Barron Hilton to move the team down here. And he had a very small ownership, stake, 5% that's the family still holds a 3% stake today, a but so that relationship and others relationships made it, so that George was kind of a, a central figure in San Diego and in Hollywood circles there, you know, were lots of celebrities that came. And, you know, apparently according to a lot of the stories that, that our paper has from, from back in the day, um, you know, the food was also pretty good too.
Speaker 1: (24:25)
you spoke with Perna conno son, Gary, and he remembered those days.
Speaker 11: (24:31)
Yeah. So he says he grew up there, right? So he said he was thrown, not thrown, but he started, you know, thrown into the kitchen essentially at five. And he started washing dishes. He started cooking at 12. He spent most of his days there. So even at after school, he would go to the restaurant. Um, and so it was really his, his home. Um, and it became a, you know, popular place for him. And that's, you know, where he says he got to interact with a ton of celebrities, you know, from everyone, from Jane Mansfield and Lu OAL to Dean Martin. Um, and he got to meet, of course, a lot of the, the chargers players, um, over the years,
Speaker 1: (25:09)
Why did the restaurant go out of business?
Speaker 11: (25:12)
You know, I don't know for sure, but Gary's version of events is that George, his dad, um, closed the restaurant to take care of care of his mother who was very sick. And so that became am the family's priority. Uh, I don't know that the family ever really wanted the restaurants to be closed permanently. So George closed, um, per con's and costed a BFI both in the early eighties, but he reopened pre con's on a very limited basis in 85. And the story gets a little convoluted from there based on, you know, what George has said in other media reports. But what I believe happened is because it was just such a temporary schedule and he had a liquor license that he had an issue with with the liquor board, um, which, you know, I guess limited or was requiring him to be open seven of days a week and that just wasn't gonna happen. And so things just closed and they never opened again. And Gary had said that he had plans to reopen the restaurant, but it was just too cost prohibited, given the state of the, um, of the restaurant and some vandalism that's taken place over the years. And that's kind of where we are today.
Speaker 1: (26:29)
Yeah. Why did it stay empty for so long though?
Speaker 11: (26:33)
According to Gary it's because his father just never wanted to part with it. Um, there were just so many memories attached to it, uh, and it was just a very personal, um, family oriented place that they, they just didn't wanna let go on. And, and as I had said before, I think that there were still intentions in the family to revive it, to make it into, you know, the next great a pizza house in San Diego. And those kind of just fell apart. Those, uh, dreams fell apart because of the cost to do it. And then according to Gary, um, you know, they had to, to sell the property to pay for George's estate taxes. And so that kind of, uh, was the, the, um, the thing that kind of changed the course of what was gonna happen.
Speaker 1: (27:24)
So who bought it and what are they doing with the property?
Speaker 11: (27:28)
So a developer named Carmel partners and, um, they're based outta San Francisco and they do multifamily housing. They bought it in 2019. Uh, they bought it for 8.4 million. Um, and the city has said that they are proposing a, a mixed use project that would have 77, um, multi-family units and 74 hotel rooms with there would be some ground floor retail and restaurant space as well. And that would be on the fifth avenue side. And the permits also indicate that, um, and they've, they've been created, but not approved is, uh, they indicate that it would be an eight story building with two levels of underground parking.
Speaker 1: (28:09)
Are there still Perna restaurants in the county?
Speaker 11: (28:14)
There are, there are two. So there's one on mercy road and there's one in El Cajon. Um, Gary is the owner operator of the, of the location in El Cajon. Um, I believe he, he live lives out in that area. And so the name lives on,
Speaker 1: (28:29)
I've been speaking with San Diego union Tribune, reporter Jennifer van Grove. And thank you so much.
Speaker 11: (28:35)
Speaker 5: (28:41)
A recent us census survey shows that during the last pandemic year, black parents moved their children to homeschooling at a rate of five times higher than previous years. And it's not all due to the pandemic, joining me to explore why black parents are opting to homeschool. Their children is Kadeja Ali Coleman, director of black family, homeschool educators and scholars, and also co-author of the recently really east book homeschooling black children in the us theory, practice and popular culture. Kadeja welcome.
Speaker 12: (29:12)
Thank you for having me,
Speaker 5: (29:14)
Your book outlines, how systemic racism and other factors influence the decision of black families to homeschool. Talk a bit about that. I mean, why are so many black parents looking to homeschool children,
Speaker 12: (29:27)
Black families who homeschool are not a monolith, but although we are not a monolith, there are some, um, similarities in some of the stories that we share in terms of why homeschooling was a choice. Um, the reality is that for the most part, many people who are choosing homeschooling as a practice, many black families, um, believe that the current, um, schooling system and I'll refer to traditional school spaces, um, such as public private and charter schools as tradit school spaces tend to have increasingly become racialized, meaning everything from consequences, being more punitive when looking at black children, compared to the consequences for white children, suspensions, expulsions to even the curriculum normalizing in experiences that aren't necessarily relevant to the historical experiences of black people in this country. For instance, parents remarked in a group that we have on Facebook, that one parent in particular, their breaking point was during an assignment that they, that their child had noticing that the history of black people in this country started with enslavement. So homeschooling really allows for the parent to curate the learning experience, where it's more inclusive of history that extends outside of our history. Beginning with slavery. In addition, many parents also found that COVID 19 provide it the space to begin homeschooling as schools went virtual, as many parents, um, started to work remotely from home and provided an opportunity that didn't exist before COVID 19. In what
Speaker 5: (31:15)
Ways do you see homeschooling providing a safer social environment for black students?
Speaker 12: (31:21)
It's not only a practice of, of education, but it's a practice of self-discovery. And so the safety that's involved in having space to explore who you are, um, and to give space for someone else to have self-discovery without shaming, without punitive consequence is enriching in ways that are, are often overlooked. When we think of education as a practice,
Speaker 5: (31:47)
You know, we often hear about learning loss and the social issues that stem from virtual learning. Are you seeing any of those same challenges in homeschooling?
Speaker 12: (31:57)
One of the, the things that, um, many of the new homeschoolers and I look at, I call look at those who are homeschooling since COVID or because of COVID 19. Um, many of them new to the practice. They're realizing that a lot of the, the learning that their children are engaging in does not take place behind a computer screen, or while they're sitting at a computer screen, or while they're in the house that they're learning that anything from outdoor play, um, traveling to museums, or just engaging in exponential learning activities, that don't necessarily require a lot of the tech that we're used to. And that's so integral to our day to day that once children, um, have the, the ability to really have a, a, a diverse range of experiences and activity that, um, this idea of learning loss, um, is replaced with understanding that learning is ongoing youth development is ongoing.
Speaker 5: (32:58)
And what kind of academic success are black students finding while being homeschooled?
Speaker 12: (33:03)
What the research shows is that proportionate to their population homeschool students are actually more apt to graduate, to persist, which means to continue through college without stopping and, and, and getting again, as well as graduating at higher levels than students who were not homeschool proportionate to their population. And not only do they, um, complete college, they're more likely to complete college and graduate, but graduate with higher GPAs. And, but many parents and many homeschooling students do not look at success as necessarily com um, aspiring to college or completing college. Many homeschooling students are engaged in activities to build entrepreneurial acumen or, um, to really be of service to their communities. So en engaging in preparation, um, for different types of work, whether it's, um, community service, um, or just continuing along the lines of building their skill set, um, as apprentice or, um, through trade. And so homeschooling students, homeschooling families have the same wants and needs of, of those families who have children in traditional school spaces in terms of wanting their children to be successful. But what success looks is very dependent on who the family is.
Speaker 5: (34:24)
Kadeja Ali Coleman is the director of black family homeschool educators and scholars also co-author of homeschooling black children in the us theory, practice and popular culture. Kadeja, thank you so much for joining us.
Speaker 12: (34:38)
Thank you for having me.
Speaker 1: (34:51)
This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Jade. Henman the museum of photographic arts in BBO park is hosting its 12th annual human rights watch festival. Now through Tuesday, the event will be virtual this year, featuring five films about issues ranging from foster youth to immigration reform. Besides streaming the films festival Watchers will also get a chance for Q and with filmmakers joining me to talk about the films playing during the week long film Fest is the deputy director of the human rights. Watch film festival, Jennifer, Ned Bosky and Jennifer. Welcome. Thank you so much. I'm happy to be here. Now. The human rights watch film festival typically gathers documentaries from around the world. Has that been more difficult during the pandemic
Speaker 11: (35:38)
In terms of human rights? the human rights movement hasn't stopped and neither have the ability for filmmakers to go out and shoot these stories. So it hasn't quite slowed down. Thankfully,
Speaker 1: (35:48)
Is there a theme for this year's film festival selections?
Speaker 11: (35:51)
You know, this year we are thinking about certainly at the human toll of the global demo, and many people are feeling a little bit isolated. There's so much going on all at the same time, but this year's festival really lifts up stories of community members, ordinary people all over the world, but definitely in California, where two of our films take place that are just overcoming the odds, finding support and leadership to take steps in action. Well, the
Speaker 1: (36:19)
Film festival is streaming it's underway, and the film on the divide is actually first on the list. Tell us what this film is about
Speaker 11: (36:27)
On the divide is a film that centers, the stories of the Latin X community in McAllen, Texas. This is an area where there's about a 250 mile swath of land. However, there's only one remaining abortion clinic. And this is for many people, especially folks living in poverty and with other limited access, um, this is where they pick up things like birth control. So when abortion clinics are closing in Texas, it really has an impact on every member of this community on whatever side of what they call the, they stand.
Speaker 1: (36:59)
Let's hear a clip from the trailer
Speaker 13: (37:03)
Abortion two, three years ago, Texas had 41 abortion facilities on October. The third, only seven in the state of Texas could legally perform an abortion.
Speaker 14: (37:14)
This is a clinic that has been closed down because of new laws implemented by the state of Texas. The illegal abortions will take place. Women can hemorrhage to death.
Speaker 1: (37:28)
Why is this your opening movie selection?
Speaker 11: (37:31)
You know, certainly women across the country and families across the country have so much stake right now while there's a huge amount of support across the country for women to have the right to choose. Um, this film really shows that obviously the question is really complicated, but also there's a lot of common ground to be found the discussion on abortion. Isn't always a black and white issue. This film really shows that there's a huge, great area where people, including people of faith really understand and are empathize thing with how difficult these choices are to make and how profound and important it is that women are able to decide what is best for their bodies and families.
Speaker 1: (38:08)
Another film featured in the human rights watch film festival is possible selves. What does this movie highlight?
Speaker 11: (38:15)
So we're thrilled to be hosting the world premiere of this film possible selves, which the first documentary of its kind to focus on the stories of foster youth, telling their own stories in the United States. It's impossible for foster youth to speak out to the press without approval from a judge. And so this film is really remarkable as it lifts up a lot of organizations and individuals in California that are supporting foster youth as they go ahead and reach their goal of graduating from college.
Speaker 1: (38:44)
Here's a clip from the film.
Speaker 15: (38:46)
It's like a foster children has like, you know, damaged goods. No one really wanted. And I don't know once I, it became one it's like my whole perspective just shifted. You know, that if that's what everyone will think of as foster child, then how can they ever see the qualities that they possess? How can they ever see that they might be a great dancer or a gifted musician?
Speaker 1: (39:09)
When we see documentaries about foster children, it usually focuses on the foster your system itself. But as you say, this film concentrates on the stories of the foster kids themselves, how does that change the story that's told?
Speaker 11: (39:25)
You know, it's so important that we're able to hear from the perspectives of foster youth, what their lives are like. And this film really it's, it's so important for the public to understand that foster youth are in their communities, they're in your kids' schools. They might be your, your kid or the best friend of your child. They're important members of the community. And they're really trying hard to overcome the odds, to reach their goals, be educated in college, to be able to work and support themselves. But the films also so focuses on teens that are coming of age and aging out of the foster care system. And we at human rights watch really want the people to understand that watch this film, that foster youth need more support, and that can look like becoming a foster parent or just becoming a mentor and an ally to foster youth in your community.
Speaker 1: (40:15)
Tell us a little about some of the other films being streamed. There's one called fruits of labor.
Speaker 11: (40:21)
That's right. Fruits of labor tells the story of an incredible young woman who is living outside of Los Angeles. Her story is one that's not unique to many members of the California and San Diego area. As she's in high school, her mother is threatened with deportation. And because of the fear of having her mother taken away, this young teenager ends up having to work multiple jobs to support her siblings and her mother financially. So she's working in the strawberry fields in the morning, going to high school and then working in a meat packing plant at night. And the film actually is co-written by a Ashley, the film subject, and she'll be part of the Q and a. So we really hope folks get to meet her and hear her story.
Speaker 1: (41:03)
You now living in Southern California, we hear an awful lot of stories like that. It's different though, when you actually see it on the screen, isn't it?
Speaker 11: (41:11)
Absolutely. And then the film you're really brought into Ashley's life and the film really poses the question about what it's like to come of age as a young woman of color, a young working woman of color right now. And the
Speaker 1: (41:23)
Festival also presents a story about reclaimed identity in daughter of a lost bird. And let's just hear a little from that movie
Speaker 16: (41:35)
When someone says you are LUMY, it's very hard for me. I can't wrap my mind around. I don't know what that means.
Speaker 17: (41:46)
Don't be ashamed who you are now. Your ancestors are, are here. They led you here.
Speaker 1: (41:59)
Jennifer, tell us about this film
Speaker 11: (42:01)
Daughter of Velo bird is made by Brooke pep and Swanee. And it tells the story of a young woman who as she's about to become a mother herself, realizes that she is actually from a native background. She was raised by a white mother and family, and never knew anything about her native heritage until she was about to become a mother herself. So the film traces back, the origins of the family separations that took place called the Indian child welfare act, which led many families to be separated. And as Kendra goes ahead and learns about her identity, connecting with her culture, she also meets her birth mother who herself was also separated from her family due to these, um, separations in the native American community.
Speaker 1: (42:47)
So all of these films in the human rights watch film festival are currently streaming. Where can people go to stream the films during the festival?
Speaker 11: (42:57)
The films are available to stream online at mopa.org/r w F F. The films will be online from February 2nd, all the way through the eighth. And tickets start at just $9 for the individual film, 35 for a whole will pass. And I do wanna mention that we don't want the cost of the ticket to be a barrier so people can email us at film ticket, F I L M ticket hrw.org. And we'll go ahead and send you some free codes.
Speaker 1: (43:28)
Well, I've been speaking with the deputy director of the human rights, watch film festival, Jennifer NALs Jennifer. Thank you very, very much.
Speaker 11: (43:35)
Thank you so much.