90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Gary, Indiana's Mayor On Young Men of Color

We’ll talk with the mayor of Gary, Indiana – Karen Freeman-Wilson – about schools, jobs, prisons, unemployment, and the President’s “My Brother’s Keeper” push to help young men of color.

Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, a distinguished senior fellow at the Harris School of Public Policy at The University of Chicago, meets with Gary, Ind. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson on campus, to announce the launch of an innovative collaboration between the University, Chicago Harris, and the City of Gary during a news conference, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012 in Chicago. (AP)

Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, a distinguished senior fellow at the Harris School of Public Policy at The University of Chicago, meets with Gary, Ind. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson on campus, to announce the launch of an innovative collaboration between the University, Chicago Harris, and the City of Gary during a news conference, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012 in Chicago. (AP)

President Obama got personal and, unusually, he got racial last week to call for more attention to the circumstances of many young men of color in America.  The statistics, he said – of poverty and more – “should break our hearts.”  And he announced a new push to help called “My Brother’s Keeper.”  We’re going today to Gary, Indiana and its outspoken mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson – who is trying to lift one of the most troubled cities in America and its young men.  Some days, she says, that job brings her to her knees. This hour On Point:  My Brother’s Keeper, and the view from Gary.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Andrew Wolk, C.E.O. of Root Cause, a Boston-based nonprofit research and consulting firm. (@AndrewWolk)

Karen Freeman-Wilson, mayor of Gary, Ind. Former CEO of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. Former Indiana Attorney General. (@karenaboutgary)

From Tom’s Reading List

Chicago: Can Karen Freeman-Wilson Fix Gary, Indiana? — “The median household income in Garyis $28,000—$20,000 less than the state median—and unemployment is nearly 16 percent. The city is bleeding money (its debt: $43 million and counting), bleeding population (178,000 residents in 1960; 103,000 in 2000; 80,000 in 2010), and just plain bleeding. According to FBI statistics, Gary was the murder capital of the nation for several years running in the 1990s and 2000s. ”

NBC News: Gary, Ind. mayor tries to revitalize town — “So how do you fix a broken city? According to Freeman-Wilson, you start by reminding the people who live there why it deserves to be fixed. No small task when you consider just how long Gary has been languishing along the nation’s rust belt. Two things locals will tell you about Gary – it’s the birth place of Michael Jackson and it’s a city you should probably avoid at night. The signs of neglect are everywhere. Driving into the formerly bustling downtown, you’ll see rows of abandoned buildings separated by overgrown lots.”

The Hill: Obama’s ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ initiative has promise — “Young men of color, especially black and Latino males, suffer from a host of injustices, including disproportionate poverty rates, school suspension and expulsion rates, poor health outcomes, and particularly incarceration rates.”

WBOI-FM: The Difference: Fort Wayne – “In Fort Wayne, there’s a large disparity in achievement between black males and their peers: we’re taking a look at the numbers and the stories behind them.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jan 29, 2015
Mike Johnson, a sales manager at a local Honda car dealership, walks past a row of Honda CRV SUVs Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, in Tempe, Ariz.  (AP)

Is it the next subprime scandal? Banking giants piling into high-interest auto loans for the poor. We’ll investigate.

Jan 29, 2015
This Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014 a street side memorial with a painted portrait of Ezell Ford near where he was shot when police confronted him on Aug. 11, 2014, on a street near his home in South Los Angeles. (AP)

The author of “Ghettoside” takes us deep into murder and law enforcement in minority neighborhoods. We want your story.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jan 28, 2015
tasty

Did our sense of taste make us human? From evolution to culture, a new book explores the science and perception of flavor.

 
Jan 28, 2015
Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Pellissippi State Community College Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP)

The promise of free community college. What it might mean for our economy and our fraying social contract.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: January 23, 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

New thoughts on Facebook, new analysis of State of the Union twitter activity and new weekend excitement. New! And exciting!

More »
Comment
 
Meet On Point’s Interns: Spring 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

Good news! We have interns, and they are wonderful, and here they are for the spring term. Meet them digitally, right here.

More »
2 Comments
 
Caller To Author Ron Rash: ‘You Cared About People Like Me’
Thursday, Jan 22, 2015

An unexpected caller from South Carolina brings back guest Ron Rash’s years as a community college professor in a movingly real way.

More »
1 Comment