> YPR Program Guide
Listings > Humankind
Program Website: http://www.humanmedia.org/
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
SEGMENT 1: A remarkable string of many illnesses since childhood sensitized Rev. Bob Massie to human distress and deepened his commitment to helping people and protecting the environment we all depend upon.
SEGMENT 2: The power of a patient’s self-reflection as a tool for coping with illness is explored by a nurse scientist who has studied health benefits of meditation, and by a cancer survivor who teaches other patients the value of therapeutic writing.
SEGMENT 1: Intense competition for college has produced an epidemic of stressed out students, with elevated rates of cheating, abuse of "study drugs", and sleep-deprived high schoolers. We probe ideas on how to restructure school life.
SEGMENT 2: Urban naturalist Mike Houck, based in Portland, Oregon, works to preserve the integrity of green spaces in cities because they provide access to nature "where people live" and also play an important ecological role.
SEGMENT 1: Best-selling author David Allen explores how a person's optimistic (or pessimistic) frame of mind can become a powerful "self-fulfilling prophecy" setting the stage for real-life experiences.
SEGMENT 2: Near Portland, Maine, people afflicted with chronic pain from medical conditions support each other in a group where attenders who are discouraged learn to take an active role in their life, and to see themselves not as a patient but as a complete person.
SEGMENT 1: We hear the moving story of Kathleen DiChiara, a suburban housewife who became very concerned about human hunger in the 1970s. Her Community FoodBank now serves nearly a million people each year.
SEGMENT 2: Robin Casarjian developed a breakthrough program to rehabilitate inmates, "Houses of Healing" that promotes personal change by prisoners who must work past habits of anger, resentment and childhood wounds in order to attain greater inner freedom, even while locked up.
SEGMENT 1: Although central to our democracy, the American right to vote has evolved only gradually, as freed slaves, women and civil rights activists slowly won the franchise. Includes the dramatic tale of a 1964 Freedom Summer volunteer.
SEGMENT 2: The struggle over voting rights continues to this day, with disagreements over the Voting Rights Act, partially struck down by the Supreme Court last year, voter ID laws and the question of allowing felons to vote.
SEGMENT 1: Although our world contains much to worry about, obsessive brooding and fretting can be a spectacular waste of time and energy, says California physician and author Martin Rossman, who offers worriers practical ways to interrupt this unproductive cycle.
SEGMENT 2: 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 1: When a gifted California artist and media producer is stricken with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), a community of friends gathers to support him as he develops ingenious ways to continue his art work, even without use of his limbs.
SEGMENT 2: Breaking through western society's dread of old age, pioneering physician Andrew Weil and gerontologist Craig Wilcox discuss healthy patterns of aging, including a look at lifestyle factors that allow some people to live past 100.
SEGMENT 1: Aiming to “transform the pain of grief into the elixir of hope”, a group called The Compassionate Friends, with more than 600 U.S. chapters, brings together parents who’ve suffered the loss of a child, to help them sort through complicated emotions among kindred spirits.
SEGMENT 2: Reflections on the universal message contained in a famous ancient prayer, and its relevance to people facing today's materialistic culture, are explored by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an attorney and eloquent environmentalist.
SEGMENT 1: We hear passionate views on nuclear power, seen by some as a low-carbon energy source essential to reducing greenhouse gases and by others as an accident-prone technology that produces long-lasting, highly radioactive waste.
SEGMENT 2: We visit with a spirited group of older women who have long practiced nonviolent civil disobedience at a nuclear reactor in Vermont, and who were pleased by the sudden announcement that the plant will be shut down this year.
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."
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.
SEGMENT 1: A movement known as “bolder giving” encourages people to make larger donations to charity and to intentionally make the process meaningful and nourishing to both recipient and donor.
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.
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.