Nancy & Kate

When Nancy was 16, she gave birth to a baby girl who she was forced to give up for adoption. Nancy spent her life trying to cope with this loss. Then one day, she receives a cryptic letter about her long-lost daughter.

I produced this piece as a student in audio documentary production at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

"An uplifting update on one of my former inmate students, Nancy Whiteley, a contributor to Couldn't Keep It to Myself [...] Interviewed here by Kat Bawden, Nancy recounts the heartache of giving up her child and the joy of their eventual reuniting. It’s 17 minutes long, but worth your time." - Wally Lamb


A Drug User's Union is Reimagining Public Health in the South

As opioid overdoses skyrocket across the country, some of the highest mortality rates are in the South, where state laws pose significant barriers to safer drug use. In North Carolina, a bill to legalize syringe exchanges—programs that swap out used syringes for clean ones—has stalled in the Senate despite widespread support, even from law enforcement. In Scalawag’s debut podcast, Kat Bawden takes us inside the Urban Survivor’s Union, a support network and advocacy group for drug users which practices harm reduction, a controversial but inarguably effective approach to dealing with addiction.

Produced for Scalawag Magazine.


The Messiah Project: A Skid Row Choir

An audio/photo slideshow of a performance by current and formerly homeless people in Los Angeles and professional musicians. Photography, audio recording, and editing by me. Music by the Urban Voices Project and Street Symphony.