Previously on Forum

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about North Korea at a meeting with administration officials on the opioid addiction crisis at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on August 8, 2017.

President Trump on Tuesday defended his delayed response to last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia and said that there was culpability on both sides. We discuss the President’s latest controversial remarks.


Ron Elving, senior editor and correspondent on the Washington desk, NPR

Rashad Robinson, executive director, Color of Change

Lanhee Chen, research fellow, Hoover Institution; policy director, Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign

David French, senior fellow, National Review Institute

Technology entrepreneur Garrett Johnson has called Silicon Valley a “liberal echo chamber.” His organization, Lincoln Network, was set up to promote conservative and libertarian values in the tech sector. As part of our “First Person” series, we’ll talk to him about his efforts to bridge the political divides in the industry. And we’ll get his take on Google’s controversial firing of an employee for his comments on women in tech.


Garrett Johnson, co-founder and executive director, Lincoln Network

Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers watches Blaine Gabbert #2 play quarterback during their game against the Atlanta Falcons at Levi's Stadium on November 8, 2015 in Santa Clara, California.

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made headlines last August when he refused to stand for the national anthem during a preseason game. His gesture, he later explained, was an act of protest against police violence and the oppression of people of color. A year later, preseason games have begun, and Kaepernick is out of work. NFL officials say he’s unsigned because he’s not good enough or wants too much money. But supporters within and outside of the sports world say that Kaepernick would have a job but for his acts of protest. We’ll discuss why the NFL has sidelined Kaepernick and the role of protest in sport.


Dave Zirin, sports editor, The Nation

Ann Killion, sports columnist, San Francisco Chronicle

A close view of a man drinking a dark brown beer.

One in eight American adults suffers from alcoholism, according to a study published in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry this month. The study found that rates of high-risk drinking and alcohol use disorder have increased substantially since 2001 and constitute a public health crisis. We discuss what may be driving Americans to drink more, what treatments are most effective and who’s most at risk.


Bridget Grant, senior epidemiologist, National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism; study author

Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University Medical Center

Bruce Lee Livingston, executive director and CEO, Alcohol Justice

Colorful murals and a woman carrying groceries in Balmy Alley in San Francisco.

In her new book “The Heart of the Mission: Latino Art and Politics in San Francisco,” Cary Cordova explores a cultural renaissance that started in the Mission District in the late 1960s and continued through the ‘90s. The art, then as now, mixed with politics often. Early iterations of the now-popular Día de los Muertos procession mourned victims of AIDS and wars in Central America. A popular 1974 mural critiqued its own corporate sponsor, while other muralists worked with the Black Panthers. Cordova joins us to discuss the book, and how the Mission of today is responding to the rise of the tech industry, a shortage of affordable housing and rapid gentrification.


Cary Cordova, author, “The Heart of the Mission: Latino Art and Politics in San Francisco”

A row of demonstrators hold hands across a freeway as police look on.

One person died and at least 19 others were injured after violence at a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday. James Alex Fields Jr., 20, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder and other charges after driving his car into a crowd of counter-protesters. Authorities identified 32-year-old paralegal Heather Heyer as the woman killed in the attack. President Trump condemned the hatred and violence “on many sides” but faced heavy criticism for failing to strongly denounce white supremacy by name. Demonstrators marched in Oakland and San Francisco over the weekend to protest the violence and the president’s response. We’ll talk about the incident, the white supremacist movement and how the Bay Area is reacting.


Eva Paterson, president and co-founder, Equal Justice Society

Peter Simi, professor of Sociology, Chapman University,  author, “American Swastika: Inside the White Power Movement’s Hidden Spaces of Hate”

Sahil Kapur, national political reporter, Bloomberg News

Bert Johnson, contributor, KQED News


The author Margaret Wilkerson Sexton is an African-American woman with dark hair and glasses.

In her new novel “A Kind of Freedom,” Bay Area author Margaret Wilkerson Sexton explores the three-generation long descent into poverty of an upper middle class black family in New Orleans. Sexton joins us in studio to discuss her novel, the importance of her New Orleans roots and how her career as a lawyer informs her writing.


Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, author, “A Kind of Freedom”

Judge Abby Abinanti

Imagine a courtroom where the judge is someone who grew up with your parents and who sits down at the table to talk with you like a longtime friend. That’s the approach Judge Abby Abinanti takes when she rules on cases for the Yurok Tribe in Northern California. Abinanti and Claudette White, who is the chief judge for the Quechan Tribe in Southern California, are the focus of a new documentary, “Tribal Justice.” The film examines the two judges’ use of restorative justice in their courtrooms. We talk to Judge Abinanti and filmmaker Anne Makepeace.

Anne Makepeace,
filmmaker, “Tribal Justice”
Abby Abinanti, chief judge, the Yurok Tribal Court; retired commissioner, San Francisco Superior Court

Pro-Life protestors demonstrate outside of the Colorado Springs Westside Health Center February 11, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Democrats agree that the midterm elections are a crucial time to regain lost power in Congress, but divisions are emerging about how far the party should go to broaden its appeal. The head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last week refused to rule out supporting pro-life candidates. That sparked outrage from Planned Parenthood and other groups that say reproductive rights are core principles of the Democratic Party. Forum discusses the party’s struggle to appeal to its base, while expanding support.


Marisa Lagos, reporter, KQED’s California Politics and Government Desk
Clare Foran, associate editor, The Atlantic

Related Article:

Ellen Ullman is the author of "Life in Code: A Personal History in Technology."

Ellen Ullman began working as a computer programmer in the late 1970s, when Microsoft was just a fledgling company and Googling something wasn’t even possible. Ullman fell in love with translating the chaos and complexity of life into clean and organized lines of code. But Ullman says she also dealt with male colleagues who doubted her skills and a boss who said, “I hate to hire all you girls but you’re too damned smart.” In her memoir, “Life in Code: A Personal History in Technology,” Ullman reflects on the artfulness of coding, how the tech sector has changed San Francisco and how today’s work culture differs from that of the 1970s.

Ellen Ullman,
computer programmer; author, “Life in Code: A Personal History of Technology,” “Close to the Machine”

Ra Ra Riot plays at the 2016 Outside Lands Festival.

The Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival is set to celebrate its tenth anniversary Aug. 11-13 in Golden Gate Park. Headliners include Gorillaz, The Who, Lorde and A Tribe Called Quest. Outside Lands is currently the country’s largest independently-operated music festival. We take a peek inside this year’s line up and look back on the last 10 years. And we want to hear from you — if you’ve been to the festival, what was your favorite Outside Lands moment?

Gabe Meline, music editor and curator, KQED Arts

Related Links:

Paraphernalia for smoking and injecting drugs is seen after it was found during a police search on April 19, 2017, in Huntington, West Virginia.

President Trump this week said that solving the opioid crisis is an “absolute priority” but rejected the advice of his commission on drug addiction, which asked that the crisis be declared a national emergency. Forum talks about what Trump’s decision means for efforts to combat the epidemic in California where hospitals treat an opioid overdose – from heroin or prescription painkillers – once every 45 minutes.

Keith Humphreys,
professor of psychiatry, Stanford School of Medicine

Jennifer Kent, director, California Department of Health Care Services

Kelly Pfeifer, director of High-Value Care team, California Health Care Foundation

Katie Bell, program manager for the medication assisted treatment program, Chapa-De Indian Health in Auburn and Grass Valley

David Perlman

Last week, 98-year-old David Perlman will retire from the San Francisco Chronicle, nearly 60 years after he started filing science stories for the paper on a portable typewriter. Perlman covered the start of World War II, the height of the AIDS epidemic and traveled as far as Antarctica and Ethiopia for work. He joins us to talk about his career, his thoughts on climate change and what he’ll do now that he’s left the newsroom that affectionately calls him “Dr. Dave.”

David Perlman,
former science editor, San Francisco Chronicle

Related Links:

San Francisco Chronicle Science Writer David Perlman Retires at 98 (KQED Science)

Marcus Gardley

Award-winning playwright Marcus Gardley’s “black odyssey” opens at California Shakespeare Theater this week. The mashup of African-American cultural lore with Homer’s “The Odyssey” was set in Harlem when it premiered in 2014, but Gardley changed the setting to his hometown of Oakland for its East Bay run. The play follows an American soldier, Ulysses Lincoln, who is lost at sea and presumed dead, as he tries to return home. Two gods — Deus and Paw Sidin — play a deity’s game of chess that manipulates Lincoln’s journey. The Denver Post called the show’s premier “an epic night of ritual and wonder.” Gardley’s previous plays include “The House That Will Not Stand” and “X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation.” Gardley joins us in studio to discuss his new play, his spin on Homer and his own journey home to Oakland.

Marcus Gardley,
playwright, “black odyssey,” which runs August 9-September 3 at the California Shakespeare Theater

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