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Sunday > YPR Program Guide > Program Listings > Humankind


Tuesdays, 7pm

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Humankind presents riveting stories of everyday people who have found real purpose in life. Living by their principles—compassion, service, generosity, spirituality, equality and integrity—they make a profound difference in the quality of life in their communities. Hosted by award-winning producer David Freudberg, Humankind helps listeners examine some of humanity’s biggest questions and illuminates the lives of ordinary people who, by their example, can inspire us all.

August 5
SEGMENT 1: Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the renowned Stress Reduction Clinic at the Univ. of Massachusetts Medical School, discusses how the technique of "mindfulness" helped him cope with a major surgery.
SEGMENT 2: Ground-breaking research into "mindfulness" as a non-pharmacological technique to counteract anxiety, depression, pain and other conditions is reviewed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, best-selling author of "Coming to Our Senses."

August 12
SEGMENT 1: For many able-bodied retirees, the experience of an "endless vacation" can lead to loneliness and depression. Thus, some seniors are opting for an "encore career" where they find additional income and new satisfactions in continuing to contribute to society.
SEGMENT 2: After John Wood trekked through Nepal and saw under-educated children, he quit his job as a Microsoft executive and founded Room to Read, a nonprofit that has now established thousands of libraries aimed at spreading literacy in developing nations worldwide.

August 19       
SEGMENT 1: Stacy Palmer, long-time editor of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, discusses the nonprofit sector (which employs one in ten Americans) and current trends in charitable giving, from individual small donors to multi-billion dollar foundations.
SEGMENT 2: Jim Wallis, best-selling author and theologian; Cathe McKenna, who has worked with street people for more then forty years; and Paul Schervish of the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, explore the motivations –and  challenges – of helping those in need.

August 26
SEGMENT 1: Renewable energy (including low-carbon sources like solar and wind) is rapidly shifting to a higher profile sector of the way Americans derive electricity to power homes and workplaces.
SEGMENT 2: Former Obama administration "green jobs" expert Van Jones offers his vision of an economy where workers are trained in fields that provide sustainable energy, opening up new sectors of employment while combating global warming.

September 2
SEGMENT 1: Given the often raucous reputation of Congress, it may seem unlikely that one of its members regularly partakes in the silent practice of meditation. But for years Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) has sat in daily sessions of quiet contemplation.
SEGMENT 2: Former Washington Post writer Bill Powers believes our instant communication technology has a potential downside: people get so absorbed in their “devices” that it may impair focus on family relationships.

September 9
SEGMENT 1: Two young activists in the movement of children with incarcerated parents tell what it is like to grow up when the only access to a parent is by going through the scary gates of a correctional institution.
SEGMENT 2: We examine the unintended consequences – emotional, financial, domestic, educational – on innocent children who are left behind when their parents are imprisoned.

September 16
SEGMENT 1: The carbon footprint of tonight’s dinner is considered by mother-daughter authors Anna and Frances Lappe, and we examine the “Meatless Monday” movement, championed by Paul McCartney, for health and environmental benefits.
SEGMENT 2: With just 2% of Americans now working on farms, many of us have only mythical images of how our food is produced. Now a new movement brings together people in small urban farms and gardens, to grow tasty, nourishing food.

September 23
SEGMENT 1: An American pediatric brain surgeon describes his remarkable recent journey to Africa, where he volunteered to perform highly specialized operations on poor children in Uganda, and also met inspiring medical local colleagues.
SEGMENT 2: Based on his recent memoir, Northwestern Univ. law professor David Scheffer recalls his years of behind-the-scenes negotiating to establish human rights tribunals, including the UN’s International Criminal.

September 30
SEGMENT 1: The relentless assault of modern communication, from smartphones to overloaded email in-baskets, has left many people feeling utterly overwhelmed – and in need of rigorous ways to clear both their desks and their minds.
SEGMENT 2: David Allen, best-selling author of “Getting Things Done,” recounts his remarkable personal journey from early-in-life chaos and crisis to his current role as as an advisor to organizations needing focus.

October 7
SEGMENT 1: People who’ve battled alcohol problems describe the rewards and tricky ongoing challenges of moving from addiction to booze and other drugs, and toward a life of healthy personal growth.
SEGMENT 2: We profile a dynamic Harlem educator and martial artist, Geoffrey Canada, whose outreach to underprivileged children and families now encompasses fifteen centers serving more than 7,500 at-risk youth.

October 14
SEGMENT 1: Because transportation vehicles are a major source of global warming emissions, we compare the carbon footprint of private cars, which are typically driven solo in the US, with the environmental impact of buses and trains.
SEGMENT 2: A look at the clash between efforts to strengthen America’s infrastructure, including  a transit system sorely in need of repair, and strong pressure to restrain government spending and reduce budget deficits.

October 21
SEGMENT 1: We consider a fascinating, but often overlooked dimension of the history of World War I – the role of Conscientious Objectors who refused military service on moral grounds, and in some cases were harshly punished.
SEGMENT 2: A look at the moral implications of scientific research, especially when the aim is to develop military arms. Are the scientists involved morally responsible for the use of these weapons on civilians?

October 28
SEGMENT 1: Seeking to comfort people who may feel afraid, angry and alone, we hear moving stories from chaplains at hospitals, who serve patients and their families facing a medical emergency, and even a life-threatening condition.
SEGMENT 2: Millard Fuller, the lawyer and raconteur who founded Habitat for Humanity, tells of the amazing movement dedicated to building homes for indigent people in the United States and abroad.

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