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July 01, 2016 at 6:28 pm

The Orlando massacre was a harrowing reminder of the legitimate safety fears that members of the LGBT community face every day. For LGBT youth, these alarming challenges of harassment, abuse, and bullying can be part of their daily lives as they go to school. Research shows that more than 81 percent of LGBT youth reported being harassed because of their sexual orientation. Now, New York City’s Department of Education has taken an important step in providing positive and supportive school environments for LGBT students. For the first time, the department is hiring an LGBT community liaison to facilitate making schools an inclusive space for these students and developing an LGBT curriculum for teachers. New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm spearheaded this initiative and he joins us tonight to talk about it.

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June 30, 2016 at 6:28 pm

The New York Aquarium in Brooklyn is the oldest continually operating aquarium in the United States. The Wildlife Conservation Society oversees it and four other zoos in New York, and now this beloved aquarium is getting a face-lift. So what can the city’s marine-life-lovers expect from the changes? Cristian Samper, President and CEO of The Wildlife Conservation Society gives us a preview.

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June 30, 2016 at 6:26 pm

From Coney Island to Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s varied and eclectic neighborhoods that have been home to names like Barbra Streisand, Jay-Z, and the Brooklyn Dodgers, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by which place to visit first. Luckily, Ellen Freudenheim is a veteran of the Brooklyn scene after living there for more than 30 years, and she’s written four comprehensive Brooklyn guides over 25 of those years. Now, she stops by to talk about the ultimate Brooklyn guide that covers the borough’s history, culture, and cutting edge in her new guide The Brooklyn Experience.

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Episode
June 28, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, Newsday political editor Jack Sirica takes us inside some of the most contentious primary races in the state taking place tomorrow, and explores the impact of their outcomes for New York ahead of the November election. We also discuss the proposal by Councilman Joe Borelli for Staten Island to secede from New York City. Next, Author & Journalist Tavis Smiley joins us to address the biggest political issues facing America currently. The host of the Tavis Smiley Show on PBS discusses his Ending Poverty Initiative and his thoughts on how President Obama has handled the poverty crisis plaguing the nation. Smiley, who in the past has termed Donald Trump a ‘religious and racial arsonist’, also offers his perspective on the 2016 presidential election and how the Republican nominee has resonated with a large swath of voters across the country. Finally, Marilu Henner, best known for starring on the hit sitcom ‘Taxi,’ joins us with her husband Michael Brown to discuss how they beat Brown’s bladder and lung cancer. And get this: they did it without chemotherapy or radiation. Together, they tell the story in Henner’s new autobiography ‘Changing Normal: How I Helped My Husband Beat Cancer.’

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June 27, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Marilu Henner, best known for starring on the hit sitcom ‘Taxi,’ joins us with her husband Michael Brown to discuss how they beat Brown’s bladder and lung cancer. And get this: they did it without chemotherapy or radiation. Together, they tell the story in Henner’s new autobiography ‘Changing Normal: How I Helped My Husband Beat Cancer.’

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Episode
June 22, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, whether you’re for it or against it, you can’t argue that firearms are a big part of America. But it’s also hard to ignore the fact that they are far too common and easy to obtain. That’s the dialogue that filmmaker Sheldon Candis is trying to start with his new documentary Who Will Survive America which follows his journey to legally purchase a gun. He talks to us about the film, its takeaway, and how he felt going through the gun-buying process. Then finally, according to statistics, 80 percent of teens and young adults have been kicked out of their homes because of their sexuality, and a staggering 60 percent of that demographic is African American. Former NFL player, Wade Davis has become an advocate for LGBT equality and acceptance after revealing he was gay after retiring from the football field. He takes us inside the struggle of being young, black, and gay, and explains how he’s helping these LGBT community members with his organization, the You Can Play Project.

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June 21, 2016 at 6:28 pm

According to statistics, 80 percent of teens and young adults have been kicked out of their homes because of their sexuality, and a staggering 60 percent of that demographic is African American. Former NFL player, Wade Davis has become an advocate for LGBT equality and acceptance after revealing he was gay after retiring from the football field. He takes us inside the struggle of being young, black, and gay, and explains how he’s helping these LGBT community members with his organization, the You Can Play Project.

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Episode
June 15, 2016 at 5:36 am

Tonight, it’s Gay Pride month, and while New York City is preparing to celebrate with an array of events, many people are paying tribute to those who lost their lives this weekend in Orlando. Since news of the tragedy broke, crowds of people have been gathered outside of the iconic Stonewall Inn to hold vigil and remember the victims. Last night, New York City Council Member Corey Johnson joined mourners to help them cope and grieve over the tragedy. Tonight, he’ll be with us to talk about the LGBT community and discuss how the city will continue to pay homage to the victims as they celebrate this month. Next, investigations of Sunday’s attack in Orlando have revealed that the gunman, Omar Mateen, was previously questioned by the FBI for making inflammatory comments to co-workers in 2013 and for having possible connections to an American suicide bomber in 2014. The agency closed both investigations, finding that Mateen was not a threat at that time. Now questions are swirling about what law enforcement might have missed leading up to the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Former Director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey joins us to explain the challenges facing investigators as they track suspected ISIS supporters, and how Mateen could have carried out an attack of this magnitude, undetected. Finally, we’ve all heard of smart phones but what about “smart guns”? So-called “smart gun” technology is actually not a thing of the future. It’s here already, and gun control advocates are continuing to push for more of it following the latest mass shooting in Orlando. Now New York City college students could play a role in improving the technology. As part of a competition rolled out earlier this year, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is asking students to help design a firearm with a trigger that can only be fired by an authorized user. Adams joins us tonight to talk about his plan and tell us why he’s pushing for “smarter” guns.

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MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, the Anderson Family Fund, Judy and Josh Weston, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The Dorothy Schiff Endowment for News and Public Affairs Programming, Jody and John Arnhold, Rosalind P. Walter, Ellen and James S. Marcus, the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, Laura and Jim Ross.

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