Sandhya Dirks is the race and equity reporter at KQED and the lead producer of On Our Watch, a new podcast from NPR and KQED about the shadow world of police discipline. She approaches race and equity not as a beat, but as a fundamental lens for all investigative and explanatory reporting.
Dirks covers policing, housing, social justice movements, and the shifting demographics of cities and suburbs. She's the creator and co-host of the podcast American Suburb, about the transformation of suburbia into the most diverse space in American life. She was the editor for Truth Be Told, an advice show for and by people of color. Her stories about race, space, and belonging were part of KQED's So Well Spoken project, which won RNDTA's Kaleidoscope award, honoring outstanding achievements in the coverage of diversity.
Prior to joining KQED in 2015, Dirks covered the 2012 presidential election from the swing state of Iowa for Iowa Public Radio. At KPBS in San Diego, she broke the story of a sexual harassment scandal that led to the mayor's resignation. She got her start in radio working on documentaries about Oakland that investigated the high drop-out rate in public schools and mistrust between the police and the community. Dirks lives in Oakland and believes all stories are stories about power.
NPR's Ailsa Chang talks to KQED reporters Sukey Lewis and Sandhya Dirks about the second episode of the podcast, On Our Watch, which explores how police departments handle on-duty sexual misconduct.
In California, members of First Congregational Church of Oakland says it's a reaction to white people using law enforcement as a first resort when interacting with people of color.
The search continues for victims of a fire that swept through an artists' collective in Oakland, Calif., killing at least 30 people. The toll is expected to rise.