Rev. Dr. Joan Campbell
Cyria M. Lobo
Storytelling and the Search for Solutions
The Television Race Initiative (TRI) is a multi-year effort in which diverse, character-driven, high-profile television broadcasts create a spine for sustained community dialogue and problem solving around the issue of race relations. In partnership with national and community-based organizations, TRI uses storytelling-initially in the form of several public television broadcasts-to break the ice and encourage essential conversations that lead to constructive action.
TRI partners with public television stations in six pilot cities where customized activities and strategic plans are being implemented to use the broadcasts as opportunities to organize community events, sneak previews, and public forums that can help sustain civic engagement and promote the development of long-term coalitions.
The fall 1998 broadcasts focused on the implications of the history and legacy of American slavery, through P.O.V.s Family Name and WGBHs epic series Africans in America. Drawing on this historical perspective, the spring 1999 programs examine the difficult, often controversial steps towards solutions to racial injustices through the broadcasts of Beyond Black and White: Affirmative Action in America, a Fred Friendly seminar on affirmative action, and Facing the Truth with Bill Moyers, a Bill Moyers/Public Affairs Television special, which examines the stories behind South Africas Truth and Reconciliation Commission. These programs air on PBS on March 23 and March 30, 1999, respectively.
July 1999 brought the broadcast premiere of Rabbit in the Moon, a P.O.V./NAATA co-presentation. Programs that have been a part of this virtual strand include the American Playhouse series An American Love Story, the Frontline special Secrets of the SAT, the NAATA/P.O.V. broadcast of Barbara Sonneborns Regret to Inform, WGBHs Culture Shock, Born to Trouble: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and P.O.V.'s broadcast of Michael Camerini and Shari Robertsons Well-Founded Fear, among others.
Ultimately, a national audience and community coalitions will benefit from an exciting range of related, but extremely distinct, programs.
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Copyright 1999, Television Race Initiative