understanding

EAST LAKE MEADOWS:
A Public Housing Story

 

Learn the history of East Lake Meadows, a former public housing community in Atlanta. Stories from residents reveal hardship and resilience, and raise critical questions about race, poverty and who is deserving of public assistance.

 

 

 

NATURE
The Whale Detective

 

A filmmaker investigates his traumatic encounter with a 30-ton humpback whale that breached and almost landed on him while he was kayaking. What he discovers raises far bigger questions about humans’ relationship with whales and their future.

 

 

 

FRONTLINE
Documenting Hate: New American Nazis

 

FRONTLINE reports on a neo-Nazi group that has actively recruited inside the U.S. military. The investigation shows the group’s terrorist objectives and how it gained strength after the 2017 Charlottesville rally.

 

 

 

Connecting through Storytelling

 

CEO Message

 

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEO

Over the course of 13 years as CEO of PBS Hawaiʻi, I’ve had ample opportunity to experience something very delightful about our viewers:

 

Many of them are every bit as compelling in communicating as our professional storytellers.

 

Good storytellers know their audience. They know how to connect with emotion and imagination. I think that’s why many of our programs evoke strong responses; and it’s why our viewers’ letters “get” to us.

 

In correspondence, some of our viewers relate family stories passed down through the generations, describing intimate conversations at pivotal times of history, such as the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, the Pearl Harbor attack and closely fought elections.

 

CEO Message: Connecting through Storytelling

 

It’s a wonderful exchange – viewers writing to amplify something they saw in one of our programs, or to add context, or to riff on a related thought. Often they’re telling of their own experience, after a story that aired on PBS Hawaiʻi has struck a chord in their life.

 

Responding to PBS NewsHour coverage of the crackdown on immigrants seeking shelter and work in the U.S., a Honolulu viewer wrote that more immigrants should be welcomed: “My grandfather, who came from Japan, worked from morning to night for three dollars a day. I am third generation and educated … I will not work at a job where I get dirty. I will not work at a job where I get smelly. I will not work at a job that requires me to carry more than five pounds. I am a typical third-generation immigrant.”

 

Another viewer reached out after seeing the American Experience episode about the Pacific search for Amelia Earhart. Just as if she were having an in-person conversation, she noted that the investigation didn’t seem to include the hypothesis that the ocean had swallowed all trace of evidence.

 

“I think that is really what happened,” she wrote. “But empirical research is never really satisfied with a ‘nothing’ outcome. There has to be something ‘real.’ And more importantly, there has to be ‘closure,’ which may not be true.”

 

As author Annette Simmons said, “Story gives people enough space to think for themselves. The story develops and grows in the mind of the listener …”

 

We’re all the richer for connecting through storytelling.

 

Mahalo nui,

Leslie signature

 

 

Chefs Marcus and Vivian:
A Taste of What’s Next

Chefs Marcus and Vivian: A Taste of What’s Next

 

Vivian Howard & Marcus Samuelsson have been traveling around the country to better understand immigrant foodways. While in Los Angeles, the two chefs visit Grand Central Market to meet new friends who contribute to the richness of L.A.’s food scene.

 

 

 

GREAT PERFORMANCES
Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration

GREAT PERFORMANCES: Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration

 

The songs of legendary singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell’s are among the most sublime musical landscapes of human emotion ever created. Mitchell’s unique musical and lyrical gifts are an unprecedented marriage of intimacy and universality, creating a sound that is incomparable, yet relatable to all.

 

Preview

 

 

 

After Data and Despair, What’s it Going to Take?

 

CEO Message

 

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEO

Live television is known for surprises – and we certainly experienced stunning moments during the very first of our What’s it Going to Take? forums.

 

What we learned is that key data – compiled by Hawai‘i Community Foundation in its CHANGE Framework and emblazoned across the PBS Hawaiʻi screen – struck a very deep chord in many viewers. They viscerally reacted, seeing that their longtime personal silent struggle with Hawaiʻi’s affordability had officially crossed the line into a state crisis.

 

As emotional calls jammed our phone bank during the live telecast, staff members heard crying, yelling and swearing. Never before, in our decades of live television programming, had we heard this level of sustained viewer pain and angst.

 

The statistics seemed to crystallize for many Hawai‘i residents that they just can’t count on things getting better, especially in the area of affordable housing.

 

One of the sobbing viewers, who works as an administrative assistant, said she had just realized that “I’ve been the frog in the pot for 30 years, trying to maintain my life, as the water heated up. Now the water’s boiling and nobody in charge did anything for us frogs.”

 

Besides the stark data, that first live What’s it Going to Take? forum featured a remarkable gathering of top Hawai‘i business leaders from the Hawai‘i Executive Conference. Chair and business magnate Duane Kurisu brought them together to outline what execs have committed to do – step in, analyze and attack entrenched, complex issues. They plan to work collaboratively with government, unions and communities.

 

“…If we work side by
side, we’ll find a lot of our
answers a lot easier.”

Jack Wong
CEO, Kamehameha Schools

 

Left riser, from left: Colbert Matsumoto, Chairman, Tradewind Capital Group; Leslie Wilcox; Robert Nobriga, President, Island Holdings; Bob Harrison, Chairman and CEO, First Hawaiian Bank Center riser, from left: Micah Kāne, CEO and President, Hawai‘i Community Foundation; Duane Kurisu, aio Founder, Hawai‘i Executive Conference Chairman; Catherine Ngo, President and CEO, Central Pacific Bank; Jack Wong, CEO, Kamehameha Schools Right riser, from left: Ann Botticelli, Senior Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, Hawaiian Airlines; Rich Wacker, President and CEO, American Savings Bank; Elliott Mills, Vice President and General Manager, Aulani, Disney Resort and Spa

Left riser, from left:
Colbert Matsumoto, Chairman,
Tradewind Capital Group; Leslie
Wilcox; Robert Nobriga, President,
Island Holdings; Bob Harrison,
Chairman and CEO, First Hawaiian
Bank

Center riser, from left:
Micah Kāne, CEO and President,
Hawai‘i Community Foundation;
Duane Kurisu, aio Founder, Hawai‘i
Executive Conference Chairman;
Catherine Ngo, President and CEO,
Central Pacific Bank; Jack Wong,
CEO, Kamehameha Schools

Right riser, from left:
Ann Botticelli, Senior Vice President,
Communications and Public Affairs,
Hawaiian Airlines; Rich Wacker,
President and CEO, American Savings
Bank; Elliott Mills, Vice President and
General Manager, Aulani, Disney
Resort and Spa

 

I’m impressed that these executives appeared before the live cameras for two hours without the safety of scripts, canned speeches or handy public relations officers. In past years, this initiative of resolve from leaders with resources and influence might have been a rallying cry.

 

But seeing those deteriorating quality-of-life numbers had catalyzed residents’ already growing feelings of despair.

 

Callers weren’t much interested in talk about future relief. They asked urgently for bold measures NOW. This as the CEOs, familiar in business with complex issues and long-term planning, were training their efforts on serious, messy problems and medium and long-term solutions – not “band-aid fixes.”

 

It was a disconnect.

 

I believe that over the course of the forum, struggling citizens and earnest senior executives reached across the gulf that separated them and were hearing each other.

 

“I got a little hot under the collar but now I want to thank the business leaders for stepping up. Nobody’s making them do it,” a caller from West Oʻahu said.

 

“We are not okay with the status quo,” said Jack Wong, CEO of the Kamehameha Schools. “…If we work side by side, we’ll find a lot of our answers a lot easier.”

 

Said Micah Kāne, who heads the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation: “There needs to be a civic movement around this.”

 

This executive forum is available online on demand at www.pbshawaii.org/wigttforum

 

The quality of life data is available at www.changeforhawaii.org

 

So far, we’ve held the exec forum and three community-based forums. Our What’s it Going to Take? discussions continue next year, seeking needed change.

Leslie signature

 

 

 

NOVA
Animal Espionage

NOVA: Animal Espionage

 

Camera traps and drones are revolutionizing the study of wildlife by providing an up-close look at animals without disturbing them. See how these technologies are helping us understand everything from mysterious whale behavior to tiger migration.

 

 

 

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