Susan B. Wilson

Host of KC Currents

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood.  However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.)  In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”

Wilson has a passion for people and wide ranging interests in world cultures, sports, the arts, science and politics.  She serves as the Associate Dean at the UMKC School of Medicine. She is also a treating clinician and consultant to the National Football League. A mother of two, in her free time Wilson enjoys gardening, traveling, drawing and live music. Wilson is a member of Kansas City Association of Black Journalists, the American Psychological Association and Delta Sigma Theta, a national public service sorority. 


KC Currents
4:56 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Preserving The History Of Black Kansas City

The new home of the Black Archives of Mid America.
Susan B. Wilson

The Black Archives of Mid-America recently completed renovations on a new exhibit and archive space and also welcomed a new executive director, Doretha Williams. Williams has a doctorate from the University of Kansas in American Studies and hopes to bring the community back to the archives.

Read more
January 15, 2012
5:00 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Black Archives, Missouri Immigration, Firefighter Louie "Scooter" Martin

The new home of the Black Archives in the 18th & Vine neighborhood of Kansas City.
Susan B. Wilson KCUR

The show for January 15, 2012. 

Read more
January 8, 2012
1:14 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

2012: The Myth Of The Mayan Calendar

Click above for the entire show.  See below for individual stories.

Debunking the End of the World

Read more
December 25, 2011
11:43 am
Tue December 27, 2011

KC Currents: Beginnings and Endings of 2011

Photo by Tim Hursley, courtesy of the Kauffman Center of the Performing Arts.

2011 brought new buildings and faces, an end to some long-standing institutions, and the passing of community leaders.  KC Currents listens back to some of the voices of 2011.

KC Currents
11:16 am
Tue December 20, 2011

New Housing Helps Homeless Women

The Freedom House opened last fall to provide a place for homeless women to get back on their feet.
Susan B. Wilson KCUR

A new transitional living program opened for women this fall, built almost entirely on small contributions and the work of volunteers.  The Freedom House on 31st and Charlotte in midtown will provide a home for four homeless women who are trying to get their lives back together.  KCUR's Susan B. Wilson paid a visit in early November, when the first residents moved in. For those two women, it was their first chance in a while to be a part of a real “home."

Read more
Narcotics in Kansas City
11:31 am
Tue December 6, 2011

New Maps Pinpoint KC As Major Narcotics Hub

The 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment put Kansas City on the map, but not in a good way. For the last four years, the assessment has compiled national trends about drug usage and distribution throughout the United States. The maps featured in this year's assessment show Kansas City as one of the major routes for the distribution of illegal drugs.

Read more
11:03 am
Mon December 5, 2011

New Maps Pinpoints KC As Major Narcotics Hub

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment put Kansas City on the map, but not in a good way. For the last four years, the assessment has compiled national trends about drug usage and distribution throughout the United States. The maps featured in this year's assessment show Kansas City as one of the major routes for the distribution of illegal drugs.

Read more
Refugees and Immigrants
4:05 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

New Program Helps KC Refugees, Immigrants

Visual Arts
9:09 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Romare Bearden's Prints At The Nelson-Atkins

Romare Bearden, American (1911?1988). Falling Star, 1980. Lithograph, edition of 175, 23 1/2 x 18 inches. Courtesy of the Romare Bearden Estate; art ? Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

Artist Romare Bearden was born in North Carolina, and he grew up in the middle of the Harlem Renaissance during the 1920's. Much of his work depicts African Americans, but Bearden said his real focus was the universal human experience.

Read more
11:29 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Hindu Festival Celebrates Interfaith Understanding

KANSAS CITY, KS – Only about 300 people speak Bengali in Kansas City, but nearly 300 million people speak the language worldwide. Bengali is mostly widely spoken in the West Bengal section of India and Bangladesh. Since local Bengalis are tied by geography and language, the Kansas City Bengali Association was formed to help them share cultural and social activities.

Read more
12:38 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

Child's Drawings Connect Modern-Day Waldo To The 1930s

Virginia Davis and Ellyn Butler. Photo by Susan B. Wilson/KCUR.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – This story begins with a secret in the attic, like any good mystery should. Ellyn Butler is a 27-year-old graduate of UMKC with a BA in art. She's lived in an old house in Waldo for the past three years. One night in June, as the clock neared midnight, Butler and her new roommate decided to explore the attic.

Under the floorboards, they found a stash of crayon drawings, done by a child, probably more than 50 years ago.

Read more
5:36 pm
Mon September 26, 2011

KCMO Parents React to Loss of Accreditation; State Board Member Defends Action

Lincoln Preparatory Academy students Franky George and Nayeli Mendoza came to a forum to find out about possibly transferring to a different school district. Photo by Kayla Regan/KCUR.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Missouri school district received one more disappointing blow this week, when the state board of education stripped it of its accreditation. And that was just weeks after Superintendent John Covington resigned unexpectedly to take a job in Michigan.

That leaves families in the district wondering what kind of trajectory Kansas City's schools are really on.

Leading Up to the Loss

Read more
12:51 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Controlling the Flirting Game

Professor Jeffrey Hall studies the science of flirting. Photo courtesy of the University of Kansas.

KANSAS CITY, MO – Stop by any popular spot for singles, and you've no doubt seen the behavior in some prowling bachelors: single guys coming on strong to women with unbelievable pick-up lines, teasing and very direct eye contact. And sometimes, it works!

But aggressive flirting may also signal the potential of a sexually violent relationship, according to University of Kansas communications professor Jeffrey Hall.

Read more
5:15 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

New Vision for KC Development

10:55 am
Mon August 29, 2011

Parent Responsibility in Spotlight after Plaza Shooting

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Fewer kids have gathered on the Plaza the past two weekends. It's probably because of the new curfew, or perhaps school starting. Mayor Sly James said he was disappointed with local parents who dropped off their kids unattended at the Plaza. So Susan Wilson asked Amy Gragg, a social worker at the Family Conservancy in Kansas City, Kansas, "Is this fair criticism of KC parents?"

Read more
1:41 pm
Mon August 22, 2011

What IS that? Tiny Wind Turbine off of I-435

Windjet 5, a silent but eye-catching model of energy efficiency, rotates next to I-435 in Overland Park. Photo by Susan B. Wilson/KCUR.

KANSAS CITY, KS – Driving through Overland Park on the southern end of the I- 435 loop, KCUR's Susan B. Wilson noticed a large rotating object protruding into the sky. Curious, she took the highway exit and brings you this story about the Windjet 5, a small wind turbine that is showing Johnson County what the future of sustainable building design might look like. And sounds like.

Read more
1:30 pm
Mon August 22, 2011

The Johnson County Sun Sets for Good

KANSAS CITY, MO – For over 60 years, the Johnson County Sun covered suburban news. But on Tuesday, August 16, its parent company, NPG Co., told the staff of 20 that the paper would be coming to an end.

Read more
1:40 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Teachers and a Legislator "Chat" About Missouri Facebook Law

Photo from user NinJA999 (used by KCUR under a Creative Commons License.)

KANSAS CITY, MO – A recently-signed Missouri law caught the attention of techies and teachers around the country this week. The Amy Hestir Student Protection Act takes effect on August 28, 2011. It was named after a woman who says she was sexually abused as a child by a teacher in Missouri. Most of the bill sets up tighter safeguards for identifying predatory teachers or school personnel, and preventing them from moving to other districts. .

Read more
10:23 am
Mon August 8, 2011

Finding a Future for Old Quindaro

Photo by Elana Gordon / KCUR.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A local historian says the old Quindaro ruins are the largest existing underground railroad site in the country. But today, it's mostly covered in vegetation. To find out more about what's happened to the site, and what might come of it, KCUR's Susan Wilson spoke to Nathan Barnes, Wyandotte County's Commissioner for the first district, which includes Quindaro.

Read more
What IS That?
10:15 am
Mon June 27, 2011

What IS that?: Statues on Summit

Kansas City, MO – KC Currents is bringing you the stories behind some different Kansas City landmarks, curiosities and architectural anomalies in the new series "What IS That?"

In this installment, KCUR's Susan B. Wilson asks about the statues of three mariachi players on the corner of 17th and Summit, on Kansas City's Westside.

Hear other stories and suggest ideas for the What is That? series on the KC Currents page.

Read more
2:14 pm
Mon June 20, 2011

'Outraged' About Teen Dating Violence

Blue Valley Northwest student actors make up part of the cast of The Outrage, accompanied by advisor Allison Basinger (right). Photo by Susan Wilson/KCUR.

Kansas City, MO – Dating violence among teenagers is a touchy and often overlooked subject. But a domestic violence shelter in Johnson County has developed a play to educate teenagers about the issue, and it's receiving some national attention.

Read more
3:55 pm
Mon June 6, 2011

Sports Columnist Joe Posnanski Leaves Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A unique voice in Kansas City sports commemtary will be leaving town this week. Joe Posnanski was born in Cleveland, went to high school and college in North Carolina, and came to Kansas City in 1996 to be a sportswriter for the Kansas City Star.

Then in 2008, Posnanski became a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, and this year, he decided to move with his family back to North Carolina.

Read more
9:40 am
Fri May 27, 2011

The Dakar: Luis Belaustegui

Kansas City, Mo. – Every New Year's Day, the 15-day Dakar race begins. The first race took place in 1979 and went from Paris to Dakar, Senegal. Today, it winds through 6000 miles of mostly deserts in Argentina, Chile and Peru, and it involves motorcycles, cars and trucks.

Read more
11:41 am
Mon May 16, 2011

Country Club Plaza is Destination for Local Teenagers

The Country Club Plaza.
Photo courtesy of Charvex.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Spring is here, and Kansas City teens are gathering--once again--in large numbers on the Country Club Plaza. The Kansas City Police Department was hoping to prevent what happened last April, when some 700 to 900 teens were involved in what was called a "flash mob." Fights broke out, patrons were intimidated and one teen was beaten up.

The police formulated a crowd control plan, city officials met with teenagers to brainstorm activities.

Read more
4:06 pm
Tue May 10, 2011

New Ownership at The Pitch

Scott Wilson, The Pitch editor. Photo courtesy of The Pitch.

Kansas City, Mo. – Kansas City's alterative weekly newspaper The Pitch recently changed owners. Village Voice Media sold the paper to the small newspaper chain SouthComm based in Nashville, Tenn. Last month, the paper named Scott Wilson, previously the paper's copy editor since 2001, as the new editor. KCUR's Susan B. Wilson sat down with Scott Wilson to talk about the recent changes.

Read more
11:32 am
Mon May 2, 2011

Nixon Vetoes Act Revising Workplace Discrimination Laws

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – On Friday (April 29, 2011), Governor Jay Nixon vetoed a bill that would modify the Human Rights Act, and make it harder for workers to sue for discrimination. He said that modifying the Human Rights Act would scale back protections that took decades to gain.

"Making it easier to discriminate against people with disabilities, or cancer, against women, older workers and minorities, against those of different faiths and ethnicities will not help us create jobs or become more competitive in a global economy," Nixon said.

Read more
11:53 am
Mon April 25, 2011

Prepared for Disaster

Marty Augustine
Photo courtesy of

Read more
8:59 am
Tue April 19, 2011

Local Cave Canem Poets Perform at Jazz Museum

Glenn North
Photo courtesy of

Kansas City native Glenn North is well known locally for creating regular outlets for poetry and spoken word.

Read more
KC Currents
3:35 pm
Mon March 28, 2011

Remembering Gospel Composer, Choir Leader Michael Charles

Photo courtesy of Samuel Jordon II, Royal Photography, LLC.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – This month, Kansas City said goodbye to a local leader in gospel music and education. Michael Charles passed away suddenly on March 9, 2011 at the age of 64, of liver cancer. 

Throughout his career, Michael Charles performed around the country with gospel greats such as James Cleveland, Richard Smallwood and the Mighty Clouds of Joy. He worked in the Kansas City Missouri school district, and served as minister of music at Saint James United Methodist Church for 23 years.

Read more