Khalil Ekulona

Your N.M. Government Producer, Host
Khalil Ekulona

The coronavirus pandemic has slammed the arts and creative industries. One study by Americans for the Arts found over 90 percent of respondents lost income since it began.  A new bill introduced by New Mexico Democratic Rep. Teresa Leger-Fernandez looks to the New Deal from the 1930s as a blueprint to support artists and spur economic revitalization. 

Sgt. Samuel Ruiz/US Marine Corps / Associated Press


  Let’s Talk New Mexico 8/26 8 am: Thousands of people are fleeing Afghanistan since the Taliban’s takeover and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has announced that New Mexico is ready to welcome them with open arms. How can our state best ready itself to receive these refugees? What type of services are already available? How will all of this work while we are still struggling with a global pandemic? On this week’s episode, we’ll be talking to folks who work with New Mexico’s refugee population, as well as the refugees themselves, about their experiences and how they think our state should respond to this sudden need. 

Josh Lane via New Mexico United

  Let’s Talk New Mexico 8/12 8am: If you’ve seen black and gold T-shirts, jerseys, and flags around Albuquerque, you’ve seen fans of New Mexico United. The professional soccer team has been generating excitement in our state  since the team was first announced in 2018, and their home games at Isotopes Park are almost always sold out. Recently New Mexico United and the City of Albuquerque released a proposal for a new 10,000 - 12,000 seat stadium  to serve as the home of the team. The cost? An estimated $65-$75 million dollars. The location? That is to be determined.

Milton Lau Photography

It’s been a long road to the Tokyo Olympics for Albuquerque resident and Highland High School grad Anicka Newell.

The pole vaulter has dual citizenship in Canada where she was named to the Olympic team in 2016 for the Rio de Janeiro games. But Newell says she choked in that competition. Then she had to wait an extra year as the 2020 games were delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Her parents, Tim and Marina Peters Newell, said the extra time actually worked in Anicka’s favor. They will watch her compete in the pole vault final at 4 a.m. Mountain Time Thursday from their home in Albuquerque. 

Canva


  Let’s Talk New Mexico 8/7 8am: This summer has marked big changes in the landscape of college athletics. From the NCAA allowing student-athletes to earn income based off of their name, image, and likeness, to major programs like the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma moving conferences, college sports is now in a new era. How will this new terrain affect schools like the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University? And what do the rising number COVID-19 cases mean for practices and games? On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll be discussing what plans our state-run universities are making and how they are preparing to compete now and in the future. 

Elizabeth Bailey / Tricorp Laboratories and Christopher Productions, LLC

While New Mexico’s percentage of fully vaccinated sits at 64.5% for people 18 and older, there has been a drop off in the number of people receiving vaccinations. Vaccine hesitancy is often cited as the main reason. A new documentary, "Vaccination From The Misinformation Virus," looks to address the effectiveness of vaccines and why some are hesitant to take them.

Miriam Gwilt

Former KUNM News Director and reporter, Hannah Colton, died by suicide at age 29 in November 2020. We have dedicated every episode of No More Normal to our dear friend and colleague since then, and now – for the last episode of the series – we memorialize her life, work and legacy. 

Vanessa Bowen / Bowen Creative

 

Music! It drives us to hit the dance floor and creates the landscape of our memorable moments in life. Seeing that music is so influential it is the perfect opportunity to inquire about the people who make the music we listen to. How are musicians faring after taking a year off from performing publicly? What about the venues where we gather to rock with our favorite bands or DJ’s?

Scott Brandt, Lisa Villareal

Sports has been a form of entertainment for humans since, well... humans. While not all of us get obsessed with our favorite teams and look to flip over police cars when our squad wins the title, we do find ourselves lost in a world of athletic prowess and skill. Sports serve as a great tool to teach lessons to the youth. They learn about teamwork, dedication, loyalty, setting goals, and hard work. They also learn how to have fun. What is life without a little fun? Even if you are not a heavy sports fan, episode 35 will give you something to cheer about.

GUESTS:

Paul Bradshaw / Creative Commons

We are officially a few days into New Mexico’s reopening. Restaurants and venues are now at full capacity. Some people are eschewing their masks and are ready to have some summer fun. But what about people who are not ready to move on? What about the great losses we collectively and individually suffered? How are we supposed to move on, as if nothing happened? This week we continue our conversation on grief and transformation as we discover ways to process the events of the pandemic and its effects on families, friends, communities, and ourselves.

GUESTS:

No More Normal: Grief & Transformation Part 1

Jun 27, 2021
Roxy Tocin

New Mexico will be fully reopened on July 1, and people are getting back to what some describe as normal activities. But how can we just get back to normal after we all went through—more than a year of heavy, powerful change? What about all the losses people suffered? Loved ones and friends are gone. Homes taken away. Careers and opportunities disappeared. The future you thought you were heading toward vanished. And your old self—who you thought you were—that person might be gone or different, too. How can we move ahead while honoring what has occurred?

In episode 33. we search for clues about how to carry our freshly transformed selves forward into the future. We find some perspective about grief and transformation, in this new form of normal.

No More Normal: Free-ish?

Jun 20, 2021
Khalil Ekulona / KUNM

One hundred and fifty-eight years ago, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, putting an end to slavery in the United States. News traveled slowly in those days—no social media to spread the word. But this executive order took an especially long time to get to all corners of the country: two-and-a-half years, in fact. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, where the last enslaved people were told of their freedoms. From that moment on, African Americans have celebrated June 19 as the end of slavery in their communities, towns and cities. What do they celebrate? Freedom for one. There is also a theme of remembering our ancestors who survived almost unfathomable hardships so that we can be here, today.

Pexels

New Mexico Banks On Cash Incentives To Meet Vaccine Goal - By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

New Mexico residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19 will now be eligible for a $100 incentive as the state began a hard push Monday.

No More Normal: Journalism In The Pandemic

Jun 6, 2021
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

For more than a year now, this show has been keeping pace with changes large and small, noting them and documenting them. It’s about looking closely and creating a record of this historic year in human history. It’s also been an unusual time for journalists themselves. Today, we’re talking about the behind-the-scenes thinking and decision-making that goes into telling stories.

No More Normal: Gun Violence Part 2

May 23, 2021
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

  Young people in the last decades have had to study more than academics—they’ve had to learn what to do when a person shows up to your school with a gun and starts shooting. And unfortunately those types of skills could help you anywhere these days—even on Capitol Hill. As the American pandemic of gun violence grows, so do the arguments about what can be done about it. Often those arguments are about the Second Amendment, but do we have the right to bear arms ... right? Or are we arguing about it wrong? NoMoNo hits part two of our look at gun violence.

No More Normal: Gun Violence Part 1

May 16, 2021
Courtesy of New Mexicans To Prevent Gun Violence

As of Friday, May 14, there have been nearly 16,000 deaths due to guns so far this year in the United States, according to data from Gun Violence Archive. Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic, protests about racial equity, and the general election dominated our attention, but that doesn’t mean that other serious matters like gun violence disappeared. Data from the archive shows that nearly 20,000 Americans died by guns last year—the highest total number of deaths in at least the last two decades. The problem didn’t go away. Our attention did. In episode 29 we take a look at the problem of gun violence in America, where we stand and what can be done about it.

No More Normal: Walking Back Extremism

May 9, 2021
Courtesy of Tony McAleer

  Humans are peculiar. We are capable thoughts, feelings, and expressions ranging from unconditional love to insidious hate. It begs the question: where do we learn those concepts? And then: How do we unlearn them? Here is a good one: How does someone who has been a member of a group that professes hatred of other humans leave that community and ideology behind? What are the steps? What’s the process like? Who are the people that can help them?

Ken Lund via Flickr / Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Census Finds New Mexico Among Slowest Growing Western States - By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

New Mexico's population grew by 2.8% over the last decade, making it one of the slowest growing states in the West, according to the first numbers released Monday from the 2020 census.

No More Normal: Legal Cannabis Takes Root

Apr 18, 2021
Jurassic Blueberries via CC

After many attempts over what seems like forever, New Mexico has finally passed a law making recreational cannabis use legal for adults. But the rollout is not as simple as lighting a match as special considerations for how this new law will impact New Mexicans must be addressed. It raises a lot of questions: What happens to people with prior cannabis convictions? Who will have access to the emerging industry? How will equity be enacted? And how will this affect you if you don’t have citizenship status?

No More Normal: Revolutions Per Minute

Apr 12, 2021
The Seafarer via Flickr CC

The illness of racism was here long before Covid-19, but the pandemic brought it out into a brighter focus. It is too blinding not to see it. It is too loud to be silent in its presence. So we are going to make some noise of our own—the kind of noise you can dance to. On Episode 26, we highlight the dialogues we’ve had over the past year with anti-racist educators and leaders. As the country loops back through a national call to self-destruct on Sunday, April 11, NoMoNo spins remixes of conversations and wall-to-wall beats.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


CARES Act money was distributed last year to keep businesses open during the pandemic, to help people pay rent, and even to help local governments stay afloat. But for the country’s indiginous tribes, who are among the most vulnerable, getting those dollars took extra work and more time. KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona recently asked Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez what it took to get their stimulus and disaster relief payments and how they’re using the money to help people on the reservation. 

No More Normal: A Year In Pandemic Part 2

Apr 4, 2021
Vanessa Bowen

2020 was a long year. We don't have to tell you. It was a constant barrage of reality-shaping events, and it hasn’t stopped. What is different for us now that we are on the verge of—maybe, knock on wood—coming out of the pandemic? How are the leaders we elected approaching their duties now? How are activists applying what they’ve learned to push their causes forward? How are the people who experienced hardship pre-pandemic adapting to a possible post-pandemic life? No More Normal reflects on last year while keeping our focus on the future.

Creative Commons, Wiki

 

New Mexico is one of the fastest-warming states in the country, according to a 2016 report issued by the Union Of Concerned Scientists. In this year’s legislative session several bills addressing climate change were introduced by lawmakers. Not all of the measures were rejected. They didn’t all pass, either.  KUNM caught up with environmental reporter Laura Paskus from New Mexico PBS about the urgency of climate change problems in our state and how local elected officials are responding .

taberandrew via Flickr CC

Storefront lenders offering payday loans or title loans are a quick way to get money for people who are often in dire straits financially. And it can be a slippery slope when the interest rate on these loans can be as high as 175 percent in New Mexico. Around the country, other states have passed laws to make those rates lower. But a bill that would have capped that rate at 36 percent here didn’t make it through the legislative session. KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona spoke to Fred Nathan, a proponent of the bill and the executive director of Think New Mexico.

New Mexico PBS

After months of protests against racism and police brutality, legislators passed a bill late Tuesday night that ends qualified immunity in state court, allowing police officers and other local elected officials to be prosecuted for civil rights violations. The state Senate voted in favor of the New Mexico Civil Rights Act shortly after midnight, and if amendments are approved by the House, it will head to the governor for signature. KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona spoke to Jeff Proctor of the Santa Fe Reporter about this and other measures aimed at police reform.

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