Trey Kay

Independent Producer

Trey Kay
Credit Current.org

Radio journalist Trey Kay is host and producer of "Us & Them," a podcast devoted to telling stories from all sides of the Culture Wars. He co-produces the podcast with West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Kay also produced the 2009 radio documentary The Great Textbook War, which was honored with a George Foster Peabody Award, a national Edward R. Murrow Award, and a duPont-Columbia Silver Baton. He also collaborated on a traveling exhibit called Books and Beliefs, a companion piece for documentary. In 2005, Kay shared in another Peabody for his contribution to Studio 360’s “American Icons: Moby Dick” program.

His work has been recognized with two New York Festivals Awards: “I’m Not A Doctor, But I Play One At The Holiday Inn” (This American Life) and “A Beautiful Symphony of Brotherhood: A Musical Journey in the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.” (WNYC and NPR). He has been an associate producer for “News Wars: Secrets, Sources and Spin,” a two-hour report for PBS Frontline. Kay produced segments for Marketplace, Weekend America, Day to Day, Morning Edition, and The Next Big Thing.

 

When conservatives and liberals fight about school curriculum, the disagreements aren’t just about science and history. Even math has been a battleground in the culture wars. 

Sunday dinner is a big deal in Deanna McKinney’s family. Deanna’s a de facto mom to her three sisters and two brothers -- when she moved to West Virginia from New York City, they came too.  These Sunday dinners are to remind the siblings that someone’s always got their back.

Deanna’s told the story of her son’s murder so many times, that she can recount it to me -- a relative stranger with a microphone -- while she picks out cornbread mix at the grocery store. His name was Tymel and his senseless death is an experience that has defined her life and informed who she is.

Us & Them: Amazing Grace

Jul 13, 2017

Everyone knows the song "Amazing Grace." People who don’t even consider themselves spiritual or religious find it meaningful. And while John Newton penned the hymn to connect with Christians, it has transcended that and become a folk song and an anthem for civil rights. But the origins of the song are just a bit more complicated...

Us & Them

Not that long ago, you could get locked up for being gay. 

Us & Them

We’re at the end of graduation season. Over the past few weeks, young grads donned in hard-earned caps and gowns, have gathered on college greens to pose for an endless number of photos with proud family members, fellow co-eds … and professors.

Us & Them, Gentrification
Us & Them

I’m standing at 3rd Avenue and 8th Street in Brooklyn, NY. Some would call this neighborhood Park Slope, but it’s really a hike from the beautiful Prospect Park, and it’s where things don’t really “slope” anymore. The neighborhood is actually called Gowanus and it’s very close to the infamous Gowanus Canal, which is recognized as one of the most polluted bodies of water in America. I lived here for a long time in the '80s and '90s.

Empathy. It’s a word we’ve heard a lot in the past year. Whether woven in the closing arguments before a jury, or from elected leaders’ appealing to the better angels within us, somebody, somewhere, is calling for empathy. Even President Barack Obama, in his first public appearance since the inauguration of Donald Trump, shared his experience of practicing empathy while running for the US Senate.

Us & Them

North Carolina repealed its notorious bathroom law, but not necessarily for the better. Transsexuals remain outside NC’s equal protection laws—whether in the bathroom or in the workplace. All of this has got me thinking about my friend Anne Kelly.

Us & Them

"In the beginning of the so-called revolution, there was no talk of overthrowing the regime. When it started, there was some political oppression by the government, the shah. But socially, there were a lot of freedom, people could do anything, even you could criticize the government, but not the shah himself."

Us & Them

 

"I know there’s a risk. There are people who are going to hear this and they are going to change the way they feel about me. They are going to make assumptions about me. They’re going to automatically label me with certain words, the common narratives about Donald Trump [like he] hates women, hates immigrants, and so on. And they are going to assume that I am the same in that regard... and that’s a danger."

Reporting from America’s cultural divide, this is the Us & Them podcast from West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Over the past few years, we’ve noticed that some Americans take offense when people say “Happy Holidays” as opposed to “Merry Christmas.” A here’s a clip from an episode we call “War On Christmas… Really?”

From West Virginia Public Broadcasting, this is “Us and Them,” the podcast where we tell stories from America’s cultural divides.

Us & Them

"I think the only way to have useful conversations across these intense differences is to be able to just tolerate the other person’s position, but not have an agenda about changing them."

In this episode, I reconnect with Dimitri Mugianis, a friend that I met nearly a quarter century ago when we were both playing in the New York City music scene. He was the front man of a fantastic band called “Leisure Class.”  Dimitri was a dynamic performer, charismatic, poetically eloquent and brimming with the energy of a possessed mad man.  He also had a pernicious heroin addiction.

Us & Them: Femme Voice

Feb 29, 2016

  Back in the fall of 2014, I read an article in the Gazette about, Anne Kelly Skinner, a Charleston lawyer -- formerly Greg Skinner -- who was transitioning from male to female.  The story piqued my interest because having grown up as a son, nephew, brother and friend of many of Charleston’s attorneys, I knew with almost absolute certainty that this was new territory for many in that Kanawha Valley legal community.  I expected that I’d produce a story that would be about the tension of transitioning in a conservative “old boy” community, but we didn’t end up talking about any of that stuff. What we ended up talking about… was the way Anne talks.

Ron Pennington playing quarterback for the Charleston Rockets.
Courtesy of Ron Pennington

Long before Doug Williams and those who followed blazed their paths as black quarterbacks in the National Football League, another African America play-caller graced Lailey Field in Charleston, West Virginia.

Ron Pennington played for the Charleston Rockets during the 1960s. He spoke with Us & Them podcast producer Trey Kay about his time in the Mountain State.

At 5-foot-nine and 155 lbs, Pennington used his strong arm and scrambling ability to carve out success on the field.

Us & Them: Shack!

Feb 5, 2016

The 2016 Super Bowl was the 7th time in the history of the game that an African American had started at the quarterback position. This podcast tells the story of the civil rights struggle of African Americans advancing at the quarterback position in the NFL.  James “Shack” Harris was the first black player in history of NFL to earn a job as starting quarterback.

Trey Kay

On Friday, January 22nd, I was in New York City preparing to head to West Virginia. So was a blizzard called Jonas.

The blizzard that took the East Coast by storm hadn’t hit by the time I rolled into in Harrisburg, PA.  I was assured by meteorologists that I shouldn’t try driving down I-79 to Charleston, but that I could make it to Pittsburgh without encountering snow. This podcast tracks my experience on the Pennsylvania Turnpike between the Bedford and Somerset exits and the TWENTY-SEVEN AND A HALF hours I remained there, trapped in snow.

The crisis of people flooding out of war torn Middle Eastern countries and taking refuge in Europe has become a hot culture war topic in America.  Should we help these people?  What about the possibility of terrorist being imbedded in this group?

For this episode, I reached out to my Facebook friends to hear their thoughts on the alleged “War on Christmas.” Is this a real thing? 

Us & Them: Islamophobia

Dec 14, 2015

Are you afraid of Muslims? Not just those in ISIS - but the ones who live among us?

One Christian friend of ours is so worried, he refused to meet with Muslims over biscuits at Bob Evans as part of our "Us & Them" podcast.

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