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
Mar 3, 2015
A group of community activists in San Francisco, CA celebrate that city's February 2014 embrace of the Fair Chance Campaign's efforts to alter background checks on employment and housing for convicted criminals. (Courtesy All of Us Or None)

Is it time to stop asking job applicants if they’ve been convicted of a crime? We’ll look at employment and unemployment after prison.

Mar 3, 2015
This July 21, 2014 photo shows strawberry banana chia breakfast smoothie in Concord, N.H. Breakfast habits in America are changing, leading to dramatic shifts in business strategy. (AP)

Food guidelines are changing. So is what we eat for breakfast. Cereal? Out of favor. Eggs? Maybe OK. And all kinds of new menus. We’ll look at Americans and breakfast.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 2, 2015
This image provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center shows an artists rendering on how a gamma ray burst occurs with a massive star collapsing and creating a black hole and beaming out focused and deadly light and radiation bursts. Astronomers and space telescopes in April 2013 saw the biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed, a large gamma ray burst. (AP)

A super-massive black hole, newly discovered, deep in space. We’ll peer into the realm of the black hole.

 
Mar 2, 2015
In this Tuesday, March 4, 2014 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife Sara, right, speaks before the screening of the television documentary "Israel: The Royal Tour" at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. (AP)

On the eve of Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s controversial address to Congress, we look at the US-Israel falling out over Iran nuclear negotiations.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

More »
Comment
 
Two Congressmen Weigh In On DHS Funding
Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland present their views on the ongoing Congressional budget fight over Department of Homeland Security funding. (Spoiler: They do not agree on a resolution of the crisis).

More »
1 Comment