Chasing the Dream

Air date: 05/07/2015

When EVERYONE Around You Is Poor: Concentrated Poverty in America “Chasing the Dream” Initiative Takes an In-Depth Look in a Special Week-Long Series On WNET/WLIW/NJTV and on the Web May 7 to May 9


Concentrated poverty – areas where the poverty level is over 40 percent – has become a hot-button topic, no more so than in the wake of racial unrest in Baltimore. This week, Chasing the Dream, WNET’s multi-platform initiative on poverty, income inequality, and opportunity, takes an unprecedented week-long look at this issue across multiple programs including, MetroFocus, PBS NewsHour Weekend, and NJTV NewsEach program will be airing a segment on concentrated poverty as part of their regularly scheduled broadcast.  In addition, original digital content on the topic will be presented on the web.



Airs Thursday, May 7: WLIW21 at 7 p.m.; THIRTEEN at 8:30 p.m.; and NJTV at 10:30 p.m.

In WNET’s weekly public affairs program, anchor/reporter Jack Ford looks for answers in a probing conversation with Patrick Sharkey, NYU associate professor of sociology and author of the provocative Stuck in Place: Urban Neighborhoods and the Ends of Progress Toward Racial Equality. Sharkey explains that when poverty is concentrated in a single place, the challenges go well beyond simply individuals being poor, it can affect generation after generation and underscore the racial divide. Ford and Sharkey also look for answers in innovative programs such as the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City that aims to end child poverty.


PBS NewsHour WeekendA Tale of Two Atlantas

Airs Saturday, May 9: THIRTEEN at 6 p.m. and WLIW21 at 6:30 p.m.

PBS NewsHour Weekend’s Megan Thompson travels to Atlanta, GA, for an up-close look at two very different parts of the city: the city’s south side, where many neighborhoods are struggling, and East Lake, once considered one of the city’s worst neighborhoods.  The model used to turn East Lake around is now being replicated in other cities by Purposed Built Communities, an organization co-founded and supported by legendary investor Warren Buffett, who explains how and why the program is working.

These stories are the first of eight poverty-themed topics to air in the months ahead as part of Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America, WNET’s multi-platform public media initiative providing programming across all THIRTEEN, WLIW, and NJTV platforms, as well as original digital reporting at Seeking to bring insight and context to the complex issue, Chasing the Dream aims to provide a deeper understanding of poverty’s impact in America: what life is like below the poverty line, its impact on our economic security and on our children, and the current state of our age-old dream of striving for a better life.

Major funding for Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America is provided by The JPB Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Ford Foundation.




About WNET

As New York’s flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore App where users can stream PBS content for free.