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The KUNM news team's coverage of the 2020 legislative session and its impacts

No More Normal: Lessons Of Endurance

Zack Freeman


No More Normal is a new show brought to you by the same crew behind YNMG. On episode 1, we’re talking endurance. In the last few months, how many times have you heard someone say, “We’re in this for the long haul”? It’s going to take all kinds of gritty willpower to keep each other alive and to make it through the changes in our world. This week we learn from younger folks. We get lessons, advice and stories from civil rights activists. We talk about the endurance of people who’ve been fighting racist mascots and imagery for decades. And we tag along for a long run in the brutal heat.

Distance runner Liz McKenzie

Liz McKenzie runs 20 miles in the Albuquerque summer heat wearing a mask, and carries a recorder along with her for the show. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham lays out a possible timeframe for the pandemic based on data and the hope that a vaccine will be available early next year (we included a much longer version of that interview in the online version of the show above). We hear from several younger adults about how they’re hanging in there despite social isolation and what this has meant for their long-term goals. Poet, cultural strategist and KUNM DJ Ebony Isis Booth offers us thoughts on endurance and a poem by Lucille Clifton.

We also hear from Richard Moore, a founder of the Black Berets, about what it takes for movements to last. Former Black Panther Party member Aaron Dixon talks about how the fight for justice and community wellness is never over. A. Billi Free and Tensei from southern New Mexico offer up a song about hanging in there even when your back’s up against the wall. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez tells us about what his community is enduring and gives us his take on the Washington football team finally changing its racist name after years of work from activists. And host Khalil Ekulona talks to fans of the team and The Prognosticators, a crew of sports wonks he formed to hash things out in detail.

Next week: Disappearing Acts

Hear the show on KUNM’s airwaves Sundays at 11 a.m., or find it wherever you get your podcasts.

Special thanks to: Cheo Melendez and Jazztone the Producer for sharing their music with the show. Ty Bannerman and Hannah Colton jumped in on the editing. Zack Freeman contributed the original artwork for this episode. Khaki, Pope Yes Yes Y’all, and Bigawatt composed the show’s theme music. Vanessa Bowen of Bowen Creative designed our logo.


No More Normal is brought to you by Your New Mexico Government, a collaboration between KUNM, New Mexico PBS, and the Santa Fe Reporter. Funding for our coverage comes from the New Mexico Local News Fund, the Kellogg Foundation and KUNM listeners like you, with support for public media provided by the Thornburg Foundation. 


Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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