PBS American Portrait: A Community Forum

November 30, 2020


How has this year impacted your life? Do you wonder what is going on for others in New York City outside your circle? 2020 is creating great change in NYC. Register now to join thought leaders to explore community vulnerability and sustainability across the five boroughs on Wednesday, December 2, 6-7:30 p.m.

Featuring video from everyday New Yorkers and conversation with community leaders, PBS American Portrait: A Community Forum takes a look at lives across New York City. Leaders from diverse groups will share and discuss the unique challenges facing New Yorkers today:

Tara DePorte, Executive Director and Founder, The Human Impacts Institute; Courtney Ffrench, Interim Artistic Director, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning; Aniqa Nawabi, Executive Director, Muslim Community Network; Elizabeth Bennett, Executive Director, Staten Island Arts; and Davon Russell, President, The Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco), will discuss the unique challenges facing New Yorkers today. Moderated by Jenna Flanagan, host of MetroFocus on THIRTEEN, the conversation will also look to solutions for community sustainability.

The online event will include highlights from PBS American Portrait, an ongoing public media initiative that creates a communal space where people can share and explore the real, complex, fascinating portrait of America.

PBS American Portrait asks people all over the country to submit their individual stories by responding to thought-provoking prompts. Event attendees will learn how to upload personal stories (text or video) and amplify authentic narratives about the communities they represent.

This event is presented by THIRTEEN in partnership with Human Impacts Institute, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JACL), Muslim Community Network, Staten Island Arts, and The Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco).

Register now for the free event.


Panelist Organizations

The Human Impacts Institute uses arts and culture to inspire environmental action for social good. We do this through: Amplifying under-represented voices through creative communications; Developing leadership skills through hands-on learning and community service; and Exploring local solutions with diverse audiences in inspiring settings. We envision a world in which each one of us is an active agent of social and environmental change. Where culture and nature converge, not compete. Where our communities have equal access to resources needed for dignity, happiness and health. Learn more at HumanImpactsInstitute.org.

Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL), founded in 1972, is a multidisciplinary arts center based in the diverse community of Southeast Queens. Its mission is to offer quality visual, performing, and literary arts, and to provide accessible education programs to encourage participation in the arts.

Muslim Community Network is a civil-society based non-profit organization that works to develop the civic leadership of Muslim Americans in an effort to help shape the public narrative about how Muslims are perceived in America. Through youth education, diversity education and interfaith partnerships, MCN helps build bridges between different faith communities and builds on the collective efforts of our diverse communities to advance justice for all.

Staten Island Arts is the arts council for Richmond County. Staten Island Arts cultivates a sustainable and diverse cultural community through support to local artists and organizations through Regrant and capacity building funding, professional development, programming and services that make the arts accessible to all community members and visitors.

The Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco) is a community-based multi-service organization, founded on the radically simple idea that all people deserve to live in healthy, vibrant communities. To that end, WHEDco builds award-winning, sustainable, affordable homes – but our work is not over when our buildings are complete. WHEDco believes that to be successful, affordable housing must be anchored in strong communities that residents can be proud of with resources that support family stability and growth. WHEDco’s mission is to give South Bronx families, access to all the resources that create thriving neighborhoods: from high-quality early education and after-school programs, to healthy food, cultural programming, and economic opportunity.


Stream the prior WNET community event: Criminal Justice in America.

New Yorker’s Stories on PBS American Portrait

See all episodes and clips from around the country on the PBS American Portrait program page. The two below are under one minute and you can see more New Yorkers’ stories, here.

Food Delivery to the Hungry


Judith runs food and housing programs for seniors in Times Square. She makes it her duty to attend to each of her clients and make sure they receive the food they need to make it through the day.

A NYC Doctor on the Frontlines


Dr. Janish K. shares his personal and professional struggles while tending to his patients in New York City, the epicenter of the COVID pandemic.