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Jia Lian Yang

Jia Lian Yang

We Live Here Host/Lead Producer

Jia Lian Yang holds both a Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary. She is the co-founder of the St. Louis-based Who Raised You? podcast, which explores culture and family with a focus on stories from people of color. The show won the Arts & Education Council of St. Louis’ 2018 stARTup competition. And this year, St. Louis Magazine’s editors named it the best local podcast.

Previously, Jia served as the Public Programs Manager at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

  • This year, we produced a season that put a racial equity lens on the COVID-19 pandemic and a season about the current uprising for Black lives. As a collective we have faced this season's challenges head first and continue to press on by producing meaningful and impactful stories, which is why we wanted to know what experiences have other journalists in our region experienced during this time. In this episode we’ll hear from a correspondent for Kaiser Health News about the importance of telling the stories of everyday people during this time and a reporter from the St. Louis American will share what it’s like to work on a year-long fellowship to produce stories about COVID-19 affecting the Black community.
  • Over the past months, we’ve seen civil unrest across the country in a renewed uprising for Black lives and the fight to hold police accountable. But we should not forget the painters, poets, musicians, and more who have decided that through their art they can motivate people to move into action. In this episode, we’ll hear from a young man who found beauty in destruction and created a group for local Black artists, the founder of ART House will share about how she is building a place for artists of color to thrive in their own community, and the founder of UrbArts will teach us about art’s ability to uncover systemic racism and how we can create a marketplace to support Black artists in a more meaningful way.
  • The call to defund the police has gained steam as activists and advocates bring attention to police budgets that they believe could be better allocated to education, healthcare, and social services. At the heart of this call is the question of whether or not police increase public safety. Growing numbers of people are joining a movement to abolish the current system of policing and imagine new structures for responding to mental health crises, domestic violence, and social problems created by poverty and racism. In this episode, we talk to the co-chairs of St. Louis’ Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression about police accountability and the tension between efforts to reform and desire to abolish the current system of policing.
  • Many schools have started hybrid in-person and online learning, even as coronavirus cases keep rising and students continue to experience disparities in accessing technology, meeting their daily needs, and learning at home. So in this episode, we’ll hear from a first generation college student who has been helping her community navigate the education system and an executive director of a local education-based nonprofit will share what parents and families face when navigating the St. Louis Public Schools system and how that impacts students’ experiences with higher education. And then, we’ll zoom all the way out to examine why St. Louis’ educational landscape remains uneven and segregated over six decades after the Brown vs. Board of Education decision.This episode was produced with the help of Lindy Drew, Lead Storyteller and Co-Founder of Humans of St. Louis, which is a paid content partner of Navigate STL Schools and Forward through Ferguson. As always, We Live Here’s coverage remains independent.
  • Back in early March, we were collecting stories from first generation college students about their experiences on campus. Since then, COVID-19 hit college campuses across the country and we’re seeing a rising number of cases since students have returned for in-person classes. So in this episode, we hear from a first generation college student about navigating post-grad life during a pandemic, a health reporter will share what it’s like to report about the virus at a university, and a student activist will tell us about how they are fighting to uplift the demands of Black students on campus.
  • Back in 2014, after the police killings of Michael Brown Jr. in North St. Louis County and VonDerrit Myers Jr. in South St. Louis City, the St. Louis University Clock Tower became a site for Occupy SLU: six days of teach-ins, community conversation, and an occupation by community activists and students, which resulted in the creation of 13 Clock Tower Accords to advance racial equity at the school. This year, after a grand jury in Kentucky declined to indict three Louisville police officers for shooting and killing Breonna Taylor, students gathered at the Clock Tower again to hold a vigil for Breonna Taylor and make new demands to change culture and policies at St. Louis University.
  • The uprising for Black lives has amplified the names of Black people who have been killed by police and in racist attacks. But the names of people who are Black and trans are lesser known due to transphobia and a lack of understanding from media and society. In St. Louis, organizers have been uplifting the name of Kiwi Herring, a Black trans woman who was known by her loved ones as a playful nurturer, adored by neighborhood kids and her own children, who she taught to value education and hard work. In this episode we’ll hear more from organizers who are supporting people who are Black and trans, using art to promote social change, and staying inspired through the uprising.
  • The pandemic, changes to the postal service, and the increasingly polarized political climate will impact the upcoming general election in major ways.
  • As we enter the fall and back-to-school season, we wanted to know: what does education look like in the midst of a pandemic and how can we keep students, educators, and workers safe?
  • Black at Mizzou: Confronting Race on Campus provides a window into the community of Black students at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the impact of the Concerned Student 1950 movement. In this episode, we hear about the process of hosting and producing the documentary from someone that you already know but are about to get a whole lot more familiar with: Lauren Brown
  • As layoffs and furloughs continue through the coronavirus-induced recession and eviction moratoriums are being lifted, the U.S. is facing a major housing crisis.
  • The pandemic, state violence, and racist attacks all have devastating physical consequences, but there is also a mental toll. In this episode, we hear from a Black healing practitioner and two Black psychologists about how the pandemic and the uprising are impacting the mental health of African-Americans and how Black people can maintain and promote their mental wellness during these stressful times.