Is it important to you to shop locally? Did you know bats play a really important role in the production of tequila and chocolate? Find out more about what’s coming up on Focus and join our conversation.
Monday, March 11 - My Name is Jody Williams
Have you been an activist? What causes matter to you?
Jody Williams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her campaign to eradicate landmines. But she wasn’t always an activist. Monday on Focus, we’ll talk with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams about her new memoir, “My Name is Jody Williams.” She’ll tell us about her life as an activist, why she’s spent her career advocating for freedom and human rights and what she really means when she uses the word “peace.”
It’s been 65 years since the US Supreme Court Case McCollum v Board of Education made Vashti McCollum of Champaign one of the most notorious atheists in the country. During this hour, host Jim Meadows talks with filmmaker Jay Rosenstein about his awarding winning documentary “The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today” and Ken Paulson of the First Amendment Center about the case, it’s continuing implications and the now famous phrase “separation of church and state.”
Jim Meadows talks with Professor of Journalism at the UIUC and filmmaker Jay Rosenstein about his Peabody and Emmy-Award winning documentary “The Lord is Not On Trial Here Today.” The film takes a never-before-seen look at a landmark First Amendment case that has become famous for the phrase “separation of church and state.” We’ll talk with Rosenstein about the case and how he went about researching and producing the film. Ken Paulson, former editor and Senior Vice President of News for USA Today and President and CEO of the First Amendment Center also joins the conversation.
Attitudes towards and about the gay community are changing rapidly. At the ballot box this fall, voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington voted to support same sex marriage. Many organizations have anti-discrimination policies that include language regarding sexual orientation. Younger people seem more inclusive than previous generations when it comes to sexuality. And yet, there are still people in the gay community who feel they are not fully a part of the wider community around them. And there are those in that wider world who aren’t ready to accept gay people as full citizens.
Since the beginning of his career in journalism eight years ago, Jose Vargas has written hundreds of stories — including covering the 2008 presidential campaign for The Washington Post; profiling Al Gore for Rolling Stone and Mark Zuckerberg for The New Yorker; writing and producing a documentary on the AIDS epidemic in the nation's capital; and winning a Pulitzer Prize for helping cover the Virginia Tech massacre. A little over a year ago, Vargas wrote a groundbreaking essay in the New York Times Sunday Magazine revealing his "undocumented immigrant" status. Since then, he founded Define American and has worked to facilitate dialogue about the DREAM Act and immigration issues.
This is a repeat broadcast from Friday, October 26, 2012, 10 am
For years, Frederick Hoxie asked students to name three American Indians and almost universally, the names mentioned were the same: Geronimo, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. Many Americans see Indians as occupying a position outside the central narrative of American history. It’s almost a given that Native history has no particular relationship to the conventional story of America. Indian history may be seen as short and sad, one that ended a long time ago.
In This Indian Country, Hoxie creates a counter-narrative; Native American history is also a story of political activism, with victories in courts and campaigns rather than on the battlefield. For more than two hundred years, Indian activists have sought to bridge the distance between their cultures and the republican democracy of the United States through legal and political debate. Over time their struggle defined a new language of “Indian rights” and created a vision of American Indian identity, engendering a dialogue with other activist movements.
Among the people discussed in “This Indian Country” is Sarah Winnemucca, who was the first American Indian woman to publish a book in the U-S. Follow the link below to read Winnemucca’s “Life Among the Piutes.”
On March 16, 1970, Newsweek published a cover story on the fledgling feminist movement entitled “Women in Revolt.” The same day, Lynn Povich and other women filed a class action lawsuit––the first by women journalists–– against their employer, the very same Newsweek magazine.
Maro Chermayeff, Executive Producer and Director
Edna Adan, Founder, Edna Adan Hospital of Somaliland
Host: Craig Cohen
Inspired by journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's book of the same name, Half the Sky - Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women is a four-hour television series for PBS that documents women and girls who are living under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable — and fighting to change them. Their intimate, dramatic and immediate stories of struggle reflect viable and sustainable options for empowerment and offer a blueprint for transformation. We'll talk with two guests - Maro Chermayeff, Executive Producer and Director, as well as one of the activists featured in the film, Edna Adan, founder of the Edna Hospital in Somaliland. Half the Sky airs on WILL-TV in two parts, on October 1st and 2nd at 8 pm.
Two hundred thousand black soldiers were sent to Europe to fight in World War I. Historian Adriane Lentz-Smith says that experience gave many black people their first taste of life outside of the American racial system. She says it led them to imagine a different world, one that they worked to make real when they returned home. In a program from the archives, we’ll look at the ways that World War I shaped the civil rights movement in the United States. That’s the subject of Adriane Lentz-Smith’s book "Freedom Struggles."
This is a repeat broadcast from Thursday, January 14, 2010, 10 am
In 1998, two Houston men were arrested and charged with having sex…a violation of Texas law. Gay rights activists took up the case and when it was all over…the US Supreme Court had overturned the law…and similar laws in twelve other states. That is the standard story of Lawrence v. Texas but there is much more to the story than that. Our guest will be Dale Carpenter professor of law at the University of Minnesota and author of Flagrant Conduct. The book presents some surprising features of the case including the willingness of the two men charged to admit to something they didn’t do in order to challenge an unjust law.
With Ed Yohnka (Director of Communications and Public Policy, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois)
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