Gina Kaufmann | KBIA

Gina Kaufmann

Gina’s background combines print and broadcast journalism, live event hosting and production, creative nonfiction writing and involvement in the arts. Early in her career, she followed a cultural beat for The Pitch, where she served as an editor and art writer in the early 2000s.

She also worked as a contributing editor of Heeb magazine out of New York, assisting with the Heeb Storytelling series and ultimately starting her own live storytelling event series in Kansas City. Gina got her public radio chops working first as an intern for KC Currents with Sylvia Maria Gross, then as a co-host of The Walt Bodine Show.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.

For gay men in Kansas City who lived through the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, the threat of COVID-19 is eerily familiar. That comes with anxiety and grief, as well as powerful lessons and perspective.

"It was like losing your entire family in one fell swoop," says Jon Barnett, whose AIDS activism here made him the public face of a largely invisible struggle for the resources needed to stop the disease from spreading, and to help those who already had it. 

Los restaurantes de toda la zona metropolitana han sufrido el cimbronazo por el estado de emergencia en Kansas City. Muchos han cerrado, lo que ha resultado en cientos de trabajadores despedidos. Y ahora, con el servicio limitado a comida para llevar y entregas a domicilio, los meseros están perdiendo tanto sus ganancias por horas como las propinas. Mientras tanto, los restaurantes mismos se están enfrentando a una amenaza existencial que aumenta cada día que la epidemia del coronavirus continúa.

Mental health experts say that even people who remain physically healthy throughout the COVID-19 epidemic are already experiencing high levels of trauma, which will be with them long after the spread of the virus is under control.

"This is a stressful time that we have little control over," says Kortney Carr, a local therapist and associate professor at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare. She worries that many of us are unaware of how we're processing that trauma. 

Los condados de toda el área metropolitana han emitido órdenes de quedarse en casa para proteger a los vecinos de la propagación del nuevo coronavirus. Pero los que abogan por familias vulnerables a los peligros de la violencia y el abuso se preocupan porque éstas tienen un mayor riesgo por el estrés de  tener que refugiarse en sus lugares. Ese riesgo se intensifica por la pérdida de puntos de contacto para la intervención dentro de la comunidad, como servicios religiosos, visitas de rutina a consultorios médicos y controles diarios en la escuela. 

Segment 1: How sports journalists are adapting to a lack of sporting events.

The coronavirus has proven to be a huge disruption in the world of athletics. Aside from professional teams suspending seasons (to the dismay of thousands), sports journalists are also facing a major shift in how they find and report stories.

Fourteen metro teens on a spring break mission organized by Platte Woods United Methodist Church are currently stranded, with non-parent chaperones, in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Parents, church leaders, and state representatives are working to bring them home, all without a clear sense of when that will be possible.

The teens were supposed to fly into KCI on Friday, March 20. Just days before, Guatemala closed its borders to foreign travel to prevent the arrival of COVID-19.

Segment 1: How sports journalists are adapting to a lack of sporting events.

The coronavirus has proven to be a huge disruption in the world of athletics. Aside from professional teams suspending seasons (to the dismay of thousands), sports journalists are also facing a major shift in how they find and report stories.

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Segment 1: Understanding the basics of what a virus is

With the increase in COVID-19 cases in this country, questions are swirling around the novel coronavirus. We thought this a good time for a Virology 101 primer. Gene Olinger described how viruses work, why they like humans, and why it is difficult to kill a virus once it enters our bodies.

Segment 1: Rye's Megan Garrelts is a semi-finalist for a James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef. 

While some pastry chefs make a name for themselves for crazy concoctions, a significant portion of Garrelts' success is the result of elevating standbys like pies and cinnamon rolls.

Segment 1: Can we really expect people to stay home from work when they're sick if they don't get paid sick leave?

In Missouri and Kansas, employers are not required to provide sick leave. What does that mean as we watch the coronavirus spread and workers are told to self-quarantine? 

Segment 1: How voters are feeling the day after the 2020 Missouri Democratic Primary.

Segment 1: In 1990, Deanna Dikeman took a photo of her parents waving goodbye to her as she drove away.

She continued to take these pictures for decades and today, what started as random keepsakes is now a series of photos spanning through her father’s death until her mother passed away. Since releasing “Leaving and Waving,” she has also received comments from people who can see moments from their own lives, reflected in hers.

Segment 1: Inequality in the story of lead contamination and lead removal.

Homes in Kansas City's oldest and one-time affluent neighborhoods are now lived in by people without the resources to remove the lead paint commonly used before its dangers were known. Plus, how the rise and fall of lead mining has affected a part of Missouri known as the Lead Belt. 

Segment 1: What if instead of the Confederate flag, the symbol of the Civil War was a worn out dish rag?

The current exhibit at H&R Block Artspace is about the little-known Confederate Flag of Truce, a dish towel used by Confederate forces to surrender the Civil War in Virginia in 1865. It's a counterweight to the more controversial Confederate flag, seen by many as a symbol of racism.

Young Voters 2020

Mar 5, 2020

Less than a week before the Missouri preisdential primaries, on the day that the Democratic field narrowed to a final two candidates, Kansas City area voters under 25 years old shared their journeys watching the process unfold so far. What are the issues that matter to them the most, and why? What do the candidates look like through that lens? Our roundtable includes two democrats, one republican, and two unaffiliated voters. A political science professor adds context to the young people's stories at the end of the hour.

Guests:

Segment 1: A new exhibit at the Fed highlights a surge of businesses owned by black women.

Between 2002 and 2012, the number of businesses owned by black women in America increased 179%, while overall business ownership only increased by 20%. A report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City dug into the data to understand the phenomenon. What inspired these business owners? What pushed them?

Segment 1: A former Kansas City journalist living in China reflects on life under partial lockdown.

As the Coronavirus becomes a bigger threat in the U.S., we hear dispatches from someone who has been in China this whole time. Kendrick Blackwood and his wife, Krista, are now teachers living with their teenage son in a partially quarantined Shenzhen, where their lives have been upended.

Segment 2, beginning at 20:47: The rise of secondhand shopping and Facebook groups that give things away for free.

Segment 1: How Title IX applies to transgender students.

With the background of a couple of court cases currently in progress, a KU law professor has created a guide for using Title IX to protect transgender students from discrimination in schools. 

There are a lot of options for Asian cuisine in Kansas City: banh mi sandwiches, tasty curries, Thai noodles, ramen, hot pot, fried rice, shrimp and sweet potatoes, fresh sushi. And that's just a taste! Our food critics share their recommendations for the best Asian dishes in town. Plus, we get some advice on cooking Thai food at home from someone who grew up with it.

Segment 1: UMKC political science professors give us a lesson in what socialism is, and what it isn't.

With a democratic frontrunner who doesn't shy away from being labeled a socialist, the need to understand the term (and its baggage in US politics) is more crucial than ever. We start with the basics and take it from there.

Hidden Figures (Repeat)

Feb 26, 2020

Segment 1: Local musician AY has a new song out about his experience as a male victim of domestic abuse.

When he was going through the experience, he didn't know where to turn for help or how to talk about it. Now he's sharing his story to open up the conversation about who gets abused by who. Researchers and support organizations say that while intimate partner violence can happen to anyone, it's harder to get help and find the right resources if you're a man.

Segment 1: A Lawrence poet is coming out with the first book of fast food poetry.

Danny Caine's new book reviews chain restaurants with poetry, touching on parenting and how they shaped his identity as a Midwesterner along the way. We'll also hear Caine's feelings on Amazon. As a local bookstore owner, he has recently become a central voice in the movement against its influence.

In February 1920, the owners of eight independently owned black baseball teams met in Kansas City at the Paseo YMCA and the Negro National League was born. It was not the first all-black baseball league, but it's the one that modernized the negro leagues and it was the last before integration.

The Negro Leagues Baseball centennial is being celebrated this year all over the country. But if it weren't for a Kansas City man who grew up in the same neighborhood as a handful of former players for the Kansas City Monarchs, we might not even know this history.

Phil Dixon is more than an expert on the Negro Leagues. He's an ambassador for stories that might've been lost without him. 

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues, we're taking some time to get to know one of the people who knows more about its history and players than anyone else. Before Phil Dixon was the author of nine books and a cross-country traveler, he was just a kid playing baseball in segregated Kansas City, Kansas obsessed with baseball cards.

Here's the deal with potholes in Kansas City and beyond.

It feels like potholes are everywhere in Kansas City, especially if you listened to Mayor Quinton Lucas' recent speech. That's why we're devoting a full hour to studying the pothole from different angles with people who are taking matters into their own hands. After all, potholes may be universally hated, but they don't impact everyone in the same way.

Screentime: The Good Place

Feb 19, 2020

The comedy about moral philosophy just wrapped up its fourth and final season.

NBC's The Good Place captured the imaginations of people across all kinds of faiths because of the way it imagined what happens when we die. It also touched on existentialism and what it means to be human. After all, what does it mean to be a "good" person in our morally compromised world? What does it mean to be a "medium" person? (Listeners beware: spoilers will be aplenty).

Seg. 1: The famously dry comedian is coming to Kansas City and we're here for it.

You might remember her as the comedian who did a set about getting cancer, but there's a lot more to her awkward sense of humor, which she'll be bringing to the Uptown later this month.

Seg. 2, beginning at 14:49: The restaurant owner/chef is mixing things up in the Kansas City food scene.

Segment 1: What does it mean to be presidential?

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