The Sum of Us

E6 | Minden, NV: The Last Sundown Siren

In 1921, the small town of Minden, Nevada began sounding a “sundown siren” that warned Indigenous people to leave the city limits or face violent consequences. Over a hundred years later, the alarm still blares daily. Why? It depends on who you ask. In a town full of historic markers, there’s nothing about the Indigenous history; local officials now say the siren is a tribute to first responders. Marty Meeden, a descendent of the local Washoe Tribe, had fought to end this traumatic daily reminder to no avail—until he met a pair of unlikely allies: a passionate white bicyclist and a teenage all-star runner. Together, they are working to silence the sundown siren forever, and show how remembering our history can help us all heal.

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Host and Creator: Heather McGhee

Original Music and Theme Song by: Thee Sacred Souls 

Producers: Cassim Shepard, Ryan Kailath, Emilce Quiroz, Joaquin Cotler and Juan Diego Ramirez, with help from Liliana Ruiz, Sophia Lo, Susanna Kemp and Alissa Vladimir

Senior Producers: Nicole Rothwell, Jeanne Montalvo, and Fernanda Echavarri

Editors: Sandy Rattley and Maria Garcia

Mix Engineers: Stephanie Lebow and Julia Caruso

Researchers: Lynn Kanter and Carolyn Lipka

Executive Producer for Futuro Studios: Marlon Bishop

Executive producers for Higher Ground: Mukta Mohan, Dan Fierman, Anna Holmes, and Janae Marable

Editorial assistant for Higher Ground: Jenna Levin

Executive producers for Spotify: Daniel Ek, Dawn Ostroff, Julie McNamara and Corinne Gilliard

Traditional Paiute and Shoshone songs performed by Stacey Burns, Alisha Numan and Lauren Mauwee.

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