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Lulu Garcia-Navarro leaves Weekend Edition

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

So this is it. We're coming to the end of our show and my time at NPR. It is so hard to say goodbye, especially because when I came to host this show, as the first Latina to helm an NPR flagship show, I wanted to start a conversation with you, our audience, and with NPR, a conversation that would take us to unexpected places, I hoped, make us think about the world in different ways and listen to different voices with new perspectives. Little did I know what would come.

I started when President Donald Trump had just been elected. That year, the #MeToo movement would transform the conversation around gender and harassment. In 2018, I was in Mexico covering migration when Trump's family separation policy was instituted. We would have hard discussions about who belongs in this country and why. 2019 became the deadliest year in decades for victims of hate crimes, including the 22 people, mostly Latinos, murdered at a Walmart in El Paso.

Then, of course, came the pandemic. That was followed by a racial reckoning with mass protests over the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. And this year, 2021, began with an insurrection and an inauguration. I'll spare you any more retrospectives because we are still in it all.

Yeah, it has been a lot. It kind of makes my mind spin to think about it. But my takeaway is that it's forced us to think deeply about who we are and what we are and what we want to be. And we also did have that big conversation I wanted. In fact, it was far more rich and complex than I could have imagined. We've changed, and I've changed.

What hasn't changed, though, is that the people who make this show will carry on bringing you lots of laughs and joy and stories about weird animals and great books and, yes, all the news in interesting and unexpected ways. I love them. It's been an honor to work with them during some tough times and some great times. These are the people you want after a year and a half of Zoom work life next to you, let me tell you.

And what I've learned in this chair, through them and through you, is that we all need each other to make sense of things and that sometimes we just need to stop and listen to what people have to say. I'll have a new place to do that from, but it has been a privilege to share our Sundays together.

Signing off for the last time, this is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lulu Garcia-Navarro. Thank you so much for listening these past five years and these beautiful 17 years at NPR. Gracias a todos. Happy Sunday. And next Sunday, I got to tell you, I'm going to sleep in.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "A SUNDAY KIND OF LOVE")

ETTA JAMES: (Singing) I want a Sunday kind of love, a love to last past Saturday night. And I'd like to know it's more than love at first sight. And I want a Sunday kind of love. Oh, yeah, yeah. I want a love that's on the square. Can't seem to find somebody, someone to care. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.