Alan Smith spent 14 years teaching philosophy and literature to violent criminals in a prison in England until he realized he was changing, slowly "becoming more of the prison than I wanted to be," and had to walk away.
Sarmad Ali grew up in Baghdad dreaming of coming to the U.S. His dream came true in 2004, when he came to New York to study journalism. Baghdad was volatile then, so it was hard to leave home - but now his decision is even harder to bear. Sarmad's father went missing in Baghdad in December 2006. Also on the show: a daughter tries to get her aging father out of prison.
But in Indianapolis, one patient’s determination to recover and a therapist’s willingness to reach out brought about a miraculous outcome. Manoj Rana came to the U.S. from India in 2004 to study computer engineering. But one month from graduation, Manoj was caught in a devastating apartment fire that burned 90 percent of his body.
Willie Birch has always reveled in New Orleans culture. As a child in his New Orleans housing project, Willie could hear the sounds of BB King and Sam Cooke being performed at the nearby Dew Drop Inn. But instead of music, Willie was drawn to the canvas. Now, he's using his art to make sense of Katrina and to spur cultural renewal in the city he loves. Also in this episode: working in a FEMA recovery center after Katrina.
People around the world have watched and speculated about the street protests in Iran. The images have been particularly interesting for Wolfgang Kleinwachter. He was a part of the crowd in East Germany in October 1989, when protests helped lead to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall.
Carlos Moran was born in Mexico, crossed the border at age 4, and landed in the hands of social services by age 11. His parents drank and fought at home. Social workers took Carlos and his 4 younger siblings away and put them in foster care. After Carlos graduated high school, he saw his younger brothers and sister go through the trauma he experienced in foster care, and he got the idea that he could be their legal guardian.
There’s a wall in Seattle that’s constantly changing. It’s the back wall of Unexpected Productions, a theater in the Pike Place Market. Artistic Director Randy Dixon says that while his troupe is known for improv, the audience also stops by to see the show in the alleyway. It’s 54 feet of gum -- 250,000
Teara Banks and her family are among those still waiting for an economic recovery. They wound up homeless and had no choice but to live and sleep in their minivan. Mom and dad were up front, two children slept in the middle seats, the littlest one slept on the floor. Thirteen year old Teara had the backseat.
Today, Dick talks with Sam Woods about his experience with the health care system, both as the husband of a patient, and as a doctor. Sam's wife Beatrice died of breast cancer in 2001, and despite his professional connections, his experience almost broke him financially.
Kane Smego is a spoken word artist in Durham, N.C. He wrote a poem about the end of his grandfather's life, expressing his own questions and regrets. We'll be hearing more from Kane and his group Sacrificial Poets on this program.
As Ghana marks its fiftieth year as an independent country, more and more African Americans continue to travel there, and in some instances, settle there.Saidiya Hartman was born with a different first name, Valarie. She changed it in part to spite her parents, and also because she wanted to be and feel more African. Yet when she traveled to Ghana years later, she found that she was an outsider to people she'd previously hoped would be like long-lost members of her family. Also in this episode: Marcus Mann has a parallel, but different story than Saidiya's. He found his true home in Ghana.