September 16, 2016: Reform the Debates? Sneak Peek: American Graduate Day. Giving Back: Stuffed with Love. Harriet Tubman: The Moses of Her People.

September 17, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, the debates this election season have been unprecedented in modern politics, but imagine if they looked a little different, and the candidates actually discussed the issues on Americans’ minds rather than scream over each other and hurl insults. Intelligence Squared U.S. is an organization that seeks to restore civility and constructive public discourse to today’s media landscape, with their ultimate goal being to provide a new forum for intelligent debates of opposing viewpoints. Now they’ve set their sights on this election with a Change.org petition called “Fix America’s Presidential Debates!” to implement their style of informed debate for the current nominees. Intelligence Squared U.S. moderator and ABC News Correspondent John Donvan joins us to discuss intelligence squared and how their model may influence future presidential debates.

Next, PBS’ Spotlight Education Week nears it’s close, just in time for tomorrow’s American Graduate Day! We’ll have a preview of the public television project that aims to help local communities find ways to keep students on the path to graduation. What can you expect from the program and how does WNET hope to revolutionize learning? WNET’s Vice President of Education Carole Wacey joins us to answer those questions and offer more insight into American Graduate Day.

Then, what started as a Connecticut family’s birthday tradition evolved into a non-profit that’s given thousands of children the chance to make another kid smile. Growing up, Maya and Layla Wofsy made teddy bears on their birthdays to donate to children in need. Now teenagers, the girls and their parents host community and school events where children make stuffed animals and care packages through their organization Kidz Give Back. MetroFocus’ Andrea Vasquez was there for one of the “Stuffed With Love” events at a Harlem school, and shows us what a difference these toys make for the kids who get them, as well as those who make them.

Finally, this week in history, a young, black woman was able to run from the shackles of 19th century slavery to freedom and forever changed the world. Known as “The Moses of Her People,” Harriet Tubman continued to travel into the southern states and liberated more than 300 slaves through the Underground Railroad over the course of 11 years. Tonight, in honor of this American legend, we’ll take you to her home in Upstate New York, which has become a historic site run by the National Park Service.

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Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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