HEDRICK SMITH’s PBS doc THE DEMOCRACY REBELLION celebrates grassroots reform victories

Written on January 9th, 2020

I talk with HEDRICK SMITH, Pulitzer-winning former New York Times reporter and Emmy-winning producer/correspondent, about THE DEMOCRACY REBELLION, his PBS documentary on grassroots movements who are winning political reform victories, state by state. Six states, six successful campaigns take on Citizens United, gerrymandering, voter suppression, etc. Learn more at reclaimtheamericandream.org Check here for PBS airdates.

60s.2.0 Meets OK Boomer – Necessary Allies

Written on January 9th, 2020

My 20-minute commentary calls for Millennials and Boomers with shared values to forge a movement large enough, creative enough, diverse enough, and powerful enough to successfully confront the critical problems we face. 60s.2.0 – 21st century tech in the service of the best of ‘60s values – meets OK Boomer – the impatience of the young with the failures of the old. “If the challenges we face are big enough to turn us against each other, then they must be big enough to bring us together.”

PAULA DANIELS – Transforming the American Food System One School District at a Time

Written on December 28th, 2019

I talk with PAULA DANIELS, Co-Founder, Chief of What’s Next, and Chair of the Board of the Center for Good Food Purchasing, about what it takes to pull together elements of politics, government, business, entrepreneurism, science, and more to move the needle on a huge and complex system. The Center uses the power of procurement to create a food system that prioritizes the health and well-being of people, animals, and the environment. As its’s goals and standards are adopted by a growing national network of major food purchasers such as school districts, the program exerts growing leverage on the larger food system in America. You can learn more at GoodFoodPurchasing.org

MICHAEL APTED, 63 UP – the unique documentary series 56 years in the making

Written on December 12th, 2019

In 1964, the original 7 UP – in which children talked about their hopes and dreams – was broadcast as a one-off special in the UK. Michael Apted (Coal Miner’s Daughter; Gorillas in the Mist), took over as director on 14 UP and has returned to interview these same 14 individuals every seven years since. Roger Ebert, A few months before his death, wrote of the series, “It is a mystery, this business of life. I can’t think of any cinematic undertaking that allows us to realize that more deeply.” 63 UP is in theatres.

How did we get here? HENRY LOUIS GATES, America Behind the Color Line (2004)

Written on December 9th, 2019

Here’s my conversation with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates on his 2004 television project America Behind the Color Line. Since the late 60’s, two distinct classes emerged within Black America: a Black middle class and what some argue is a self-perpetuating Black underclass. One glaring example: the percentage of black children in poverty was about the same as the day Martin Luther King was assassinated. Gates asks, how can we bridge this class divide?