TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS

Natasha Alexenko was raped at gunpoint, but the evidence from the attack sat on a shelf for 10 years while her assailant roamed free. Instead of considering herself a victim, she became a crusader, and what she found on her journey was both startling and scary. Despite legislation meant to address the issue, a new study by North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center in Roslyn Heights, Long Island, has found that it’s increasingly difficult to find mental and addiction healthcare specialists who accept commercial insurance. But there’s hope. Find out about a new project designed to help those in need. Journey back in time for a view of prehistoric New York and how it left its mark on our city. To celebrate the emancipation of slaves in the United States, we’ll travel north of the city, to Auburn, New York to explore Harriet Tubman’s life and legacy, from the Underground Railroad to her final resting place.

Aired on June 19, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS, AFTER SHE WAS SEXUALLY ASSAULTED AT GUNPOINT, HER RAPE KIT SATE ON A SHELF TEN YEARS WHILE HER ATTACKER ROAMED FREE.

BUT INSTEAD OF A VICTIM SHE BECAME A CRUSADER AND WHAT SHE FOUND WAS STARTLING.

SHE IS HERE WITH HER STORY.

IT'S YOUR MONEY VERSUS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH ON LONG ISLAND.

FIND OUT WHY.

THE ICE AGE IN NEW YORK.

WE'LL TELL YOU HOW THE HISTORIC PHENOMENON IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SHAPING THE BUROUGHS.

AND TAKE YOU ON A TOUR OF THE NEW YORK WHERE THE REMNANTS CAN BE SEEN TODAY.

AND FROM SHACKLES TO FREEDOM.

IN HONOR OF HARRIET TUBMAN AND THE MORE THAN 300 SLAVES SHE HELPED TO FREE.

WE WILL TAKE YOU TO HER HOME IN UPSTATE NEW YORK.

THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS MOR FOCUS STARTS RIGHT NOW.

ANNOUNCER: THIS IS METROFOCUS, WITH RAFAEL PI RAMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY --

> WELCOME WELCOME TO METROFOCUS.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.

I'M JACK FORD.

IN 1993 NATASHA, A 20-YEAR-OLD SOPHMORE AT NEW YORK INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY WAS SEXUALLY ASSAULTED AT GUNPOINT IN HER BUILDING.

HER BODY WAS TAKEN TO THE RAPE KIT EXAM AND PROVIDING EVIDENCE TO HELP IDENTIFY HER UNKNOWN ASSAILANT.

THAT KIT WAS PLACED IN STORAGE ALONGSIDE 17,000 OTHERS THAT WOULD GO UNPROCESSED FOR YEARS.

NEARLY A DECADE LATER HER BACKLOG RAICH AT THIS TIME WAS TESTED AND THE RAPIST WAS BROUGHT TO JUSTICE.

NOW, NATASHA IS SHARING HER STORY AND HER NEW BOOK TITLE ADD SURVIVOR'S JOURNEY FROM VICTIM TO ADVOCATE, AS WELL AS HER VOU TO NO LONGER BE A STATISTIC BUT AN ADVOCATE WITH HER INITIATIVE CALLED NATASHA'S JUSTICE PROJECT.

AND WE'RE DELIGHTED HER HERE NOW.

THANKS FOR SPENDING TIME WITH US HERE.

I MENTIONED THE DETAILS OF YOUR CASE AND THE FACT THAT NEARLY A DECADE WENT BY BEFORE AN ARREST WAS MADE.

DURING THE COURSE OF THOSE YEARS, DID YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO THIS RAPE KIT YOU COOPERATED WITH AT THE HOSPITAL?

I ACTUALLY HAD NO IDEA.

I ASSUMED IT HAD BEEN TESTED.

AND I SHARE THAT OPINION WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE.

WE ASSUME IF WE HAVE GONE THROUGH THE PROCESS OF A RAPE -- RAPE KIT EXAM THAT THAT KIT HAS BEEN PROCESSED.

I WAS THEN RUNNING UNTHE ASSUMPTION THAT THE REASON MY PERPETRATOR HAD NOT BEEN FOUND WAS SOMETHING I HAD DONE WRONG.

IN SOME WAYS YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE TO BLAME FOR THIS, NOT FOR THE ASSAULT ITSELF BUT FOR THE FACT THAT THERE HADN'T BEEN AN ARREST MADE.

WHY DID YOU FEEL THAT WAY.

WELL, YOU KNOW I HAD A A HARD TIME RECALLING THE FACE OF THE MAN THAT RAPED ME.

I THOUGHT I WASN'T A GOOD WITNESS AND IF I WAS ABLE TO DESCRIBE HIM BETTER THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO FIND HIM.

OR IF I WAS ABLE AT A TO KIND OF PUT THE DETAILS IN ORDER BETTER.

I WAS ASSUMING IT WAS MY FAULT.

AND I WAS REALLY JUST PLAGUED BY GUILT.

THAT SOMEHOW YOU HAD NOT DONE YOUR JOB AS A VICTIM.

NEARLY TEN YEARS LATER YOU -- I'VE SEEN YOU TALK ABOUT THIS -- A POLICE OFFICER SHOWS UP AT YOUR PLACE AND SAYS YOU NEED TO MAKE A PHONE CALL TO THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

AND WHAT DID THEY TELL YOU?

YOU KNOW, THEY -- THEY BASICALLY SAID WE HAVE GOTTEN AROUND TO TESTING YOUR RAPE KIT.

WE'RE NEARING A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.

WE HAD A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IN NEW YORK AT THAT TIME.

AND WE ARE HOPING TO DO A JOHN DOE INDICTMENT WHICH IS CHARGING THE DNA IN THE RAPE KIT WITH THE CRIME SO THAT EVENTUALLY WE CAN FIND THE MAN THAT RAPED YOU.

ESSENTIALLY WE'D STOP THE CLOCK ON THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.

HERE IS THE QUESTION.

WERE YOU SURPRISED ABOUT THE FACT THAT YOUR RAPE KIT HADN'T BEEN TESTED IN ALL THESE YEARS?

YOU KNOW, IT'S INTERESTING.

NOW THAT I KNOW ABOUT THE BACKLOG AND SO MANY KITS REMAINING UNPROCESSED I WOULD HAVE FELT DIFFERENTLY.

BUT AT THAT MOMENT THIS WAS ALL SO NEW TO ME.

I DIDN'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE IM JUSTICE SYSTEM.

ALL I KNEW WAS THAT SOMEBODY WAS CALLING ME TO TELL ME THAT THEY STILL REMEMBERED WHAT HAPPENED TO ME AND THAT THEY WERE LOOKING INTO JUSTICE FOR PAY.

SO I WAS JUST DWRATFUL.

ONE LAST QUESTION ABOUT THIS WHOLE SCENARIO.

THEY MAKE AN ARREST, AND YOU'RE IN COURT TO CONFRONT THE MAN WHO HAD SEXUALLY ASSAULTED YOU.

AND I'VE SEEN YOU SAY IT WAS BOTH THE HARDEST THING YOU EVER HAD TO DO AND THE MOST EMPOWERING THING YOU DID EVER.

EXPLAIN THAT TO ME.

YOU KNOW, UNK IT WAS THE MOMENT WHERE THE POWER WAS BACK IN MY HANDS.

BUT IT'S REALLY INTERESTING.

AND I KIND OF WATCHING THESE THINGS UNFOLD AS LIKE A BYSTANDER ALMOST.

BUT BEING IN THE COURTROOM WITH VICTOR RAMDAN THE MAN THAT RAPED ME.

MY RECOLLECTION OF HIM WASN'T EXACTLY WHAT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN MAYBE.

BUT INK INSTINCT TOOK OVER.

IT WAS AMAZING.

MY BRAIN WAS TELLING ME, GET OUT OF THERE.

AND I STARTED HYPERVENTILATING.

AND IT WAS COMPLETELY OUT OF MY CONTROL.

AND I PASSED OUT IN THE COURTROOM.

THERE WAS SOMETHING DEEP INSIDE OF ME THAT DIDN'T RECOGNIZE ALL THAT TIME HAD PASSED.

AND I WAS SOMEHOW RETURNED BACK THROUGH TIME TO THE MOMENT HE WAS RAPING ME.

WOW!

. THAT'S ENTIRELY UNDERSTANDABLE.

LET'S JUMP FORWARD TO WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

AND TALK ABOUT YOUR PROJECT.

WHAT IS IT YOU ARE DOING THAT HOPEFULLY WILL AID OTHERS THAT HELP THEM IN THE WHO ARE IN THE SAME DIFFICULT SITUATION YOU FOUND YOURSELF IN.

THE ONLY WAY I CAN ZROIB MY NEED TO PURSUE JUSTICE, YOU KNOW, HELP JUSTICE FOR OTHERS -- IT WAS -- LIKE I WAS COMPELLED.

IT WAS NOT REALLY A CHOICE.

I FEEL THERE WAS JUST SOMETHING COMPELLING ME IN THIS DIRECTION.

I REALLY RECOGNIZE THAT I WAS JUST SO FORTUNATE TO GET JUSTICE.

I WAS FORTUNATE TO HAVE AMAZING PROSECUTORS ON MY SIGN, KEPT ME IN THE LOOP, TREATED ME AS PART OF THE TEAM, AS OPPOSED TO THIS POOR VICTIM WE'RE TAKING CARE OF.

AND AS I MET OTHER SURVIVORS, YOU KNOW, AND I RECOGNIZED THAT THEY DIDN'T HAVE ALL THE WONDERFUL THINGS I HAD.

AND I DIDN'T THINK IT WAS FAIR.

I WANTED TO MAKE CERTAIN EVERYONE GOT THE JUSTICE THAT -- THAT I WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE.

AND, YOU KNOW, IT'S INTERESTING HOW THIS JOURNEY HAS REALLY CHANGE MY LIFE, BECAUSE AS MUCH AS I THOUGHT I WAS HELPING OTHERS I FEEL LIKE I'VE ALMOST GOTTEN MORE OUT OF IT IN THE SENSE THAT IT'S REALLY HELPED MY HEALING.

AND I GENUINELY HAVE MET THE MOST INCREDIBLE HUMAN BEINGS THAT I COULD EVER DREAM OF KNOWING.

THE SURVIVORS, THE ADVOCATES FIGHTING FOR THIS.

YOU KNOW, IT'S A DARK, DARK SUBJECT.

WE'RE TALKING ABOUT SEXUAL ASSAULT.

I'M WORKING ON A PROJECT HOPING TO END THE STIGMA, TEST BACKLOG RAPE KITS.

IT'S A VERY SAD TOPIC.

BUT IT'S SO INSPIRING TO SEE THERE ARE PEOPLE GENUINELY ALTRUISTIC AND REALLY CARE.

AND I THINK OFTEN WE FORGET THAT.

WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT INSPIRING ENCOUNTERING PEOPLE I'M SURE THEY ARE SAYING THE SAME ABOUT YOU.

BECAUSE INDEED IN YOUR JOURNEY FROM VICTIM TO ADVOCATE YOU HAVE BEEN INSPIRING SO MANY.

YOUR BOOK LOOKS AT YOUR JOURNEY AND TEACHES US A LOT ABOUT IT.

I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR SPENDING TIME WITH US, AND THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE BEEN ABLE TO TURN THIS INTO THIS DIRECTION IN YOUR LIFE HAS -- HAS INDEED BEEN AN INSPIRATION FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

YOU BE WELL.

AND WE'LL TALK TO YOU AGAIN DOWN THE ROAD, ALL RIGHT.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

ALL RIGHT.

TAKE CARE.

YOU TOO.

> A NEW FRONT ON THE BATTLE AGAINST MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS AND DRUG ADDICTIONS EMERGES.

PARITY FEDERAL AND STATE LAW MANDATES FOR ADDICTION AND HEALTH CARE COVERAGE BUT HEALTH INSURERS MIGHT NOT BE FOLLOWING THE LAW.

RIGHT IN NEW YORK A LOCAL NON-PROFIT MENTAL HEALTH CARE AGENCY NORTH SHORE CHILD AND FAMILY GUIDANCE CENTER CONDUCTED A STUDY.

THEY FIND THAT MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION CARE IS GETTING DIFFICULT TO ACCESS.

THEY CLAIM THAT COMMERCIAL INSURERS ARE SHORT CHANGING THE INDUSTRY AND YOU, THE ONE PAYING FOR THE SERVICE.

JOINING US TODAY IS THE CEO OF NORTH SHORE CHILD AND FAMILY GUIDANCE CENTER WHERE THE STUDY WAS CONDUCTED.

ANDREW AND SOCIAL WORKER KERRY ELLER.

FIRST I WANT AN UNDERSTANDING HOW THE STFD CAME INTO EXIST ZBLOONS JUST TO PROVIDE A LITTLE CONTEXT IN 2008 THE MENTAL HEALTH PARITY AND ADDICTION EQUITY ACT PASSED.

IT WAS A BIPARTISAN BILL SPONSORED BY TWO SENATORS, ARCH CONSERVATIVE PETE ADMIN ITCHY.

AND PAUL WELL STONE.

BOTH OF WHOM EXPERIENCED THE IMPACT OF MENTAL ILLNESS IN THEIR FAMILIES.

AND SO THIS LAW PASSED IN 2008 MADE IT VERY CLEAR AND PROHIBITED TREATING THE CARE OF PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS OR ADDICTIONS DIFFERENTLY THAN PEOPLE WITH PHYSICAL HEALTH PROBLEMS.

AND WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT THERE WOULD BE A PROHIBITITION AGAINST LIMITING THE NUMBER OF VISITS WITH A MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE MIGHT HAVE.

PROHIBIT DIFFERENTIALS IN TERMS OF CO-PAYS OR DEDUCTABLES.

AND IT MANDATED THAT INSURANCE CARRIERS WOULD HAVE AN ADEQUATE NUMBER OF PROVIDERS IN THEIR NETWORK FOR PEOPLE SO THAT THEY COULD EASILY ACCESS AFFORDABLE CARE WITHIN THEIR GEOGRAPHIC AREA.

THAT'S IMPORTANT.

WHAT WAS IT THAT TIPPED YOU OFF THAT SOMETHING WAS AMISS.

ANDY ALAUDED TO CALLING THE INSURANCE COMPANY AND ASKING THEM, WHO TAKES MY PLAN, WHO IS COVERED BY MY INSURANCE?

THEY GIVE YOU A LIST OF NAMES.

AND YOU CALL THE PROVIDERS AND SOMETIMES THEY'RE NO LONGER IN THE NETWORK OR ONE OF THE FEW PROVIDERS THAT DOES STAY ON THE NETWORK AND SO THEY HAVE LONG WAITS FOR CLIENTS TO BE ABLE TO ACCESS THE CARE.

AT NORTH SHORE CHILD AND FAMILY GUIDANCE CENTER WE TURN NO ONE AWAY FOR INABILITY TO PAY.

UM-HUM.

WE DO HAVE OPEN ACCESS.

BUT WE KNOW THAT PEOPLE WITH THESE KIND OF ISSUES, MENTAL ILLNESS AND SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS ARE ALSO DEALING WITH STIGMA, WHICH MEANS THAT THEY HAVE A VERY DIFFICULT TIME PICKING UP THE PHONE, ASKING FOR HELP, WAITING DAYS, WEEKS AND MONTHS AND SOMETIMES YEARS.

AND SO WHEN THEY FINALLY PICK UP THE PHONE AND THE PERSON AT THE OTHER END SAYS I NO LONGER ACCEPT YOUR INSURANCE, THAT'S SO DEMORALIZING AND DIFFICULT THAT SOMETIMES PEOPLE RETREAT.

THAT'S INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT.

AND I WANT TO BUILD ON THAT FOR MY QUESTION FOR CARRIE.

BECAUSE AS A SOCIAL WORKER I'M SURE YOU'RE SEEING A LOT OF THE EFFECTS FIRST HAND.

WORK IN THE COMMUNE, ALL OF NASSAU COUNTY AND SERVICE MANY POPULATIONS WHO STRUGGLE TO ACCESS HEALTH CARE.

AND I HAVE A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE BECAUSE I'M ALSO THE SISTER OF A TEEN WHO STRUGGLED WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AS WELL AS CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY.

AND I CAN ATTEST THAT THE STIGMA ASSOCIATED TO THAT MAKES IT INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT FOR PEOPLE TO REACH OUT FOR HELP.

WHEN THEY FINALLY DO, YOU HAVE SUCH A SHORT WINDOW TO ENGAGE THE CLIENTS SO THEY FEEL COMFORTABLE AND READY TO ACCESS THEIR TREATMENT.

BUT UNFORTUNATELY THAT'S NOT THE CASE WHEN THEY'RE HAVING GREAT DIFFICULTY GETTING CONNECTED TO PROVIDERS WITHIN THEIR NETWORK.

SO, ANDY, WE'VE BEEN TALKING A LOT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE.

BUT I'M WONDERING IF YOU'RE UNINSURED HOW DOES THAT CHANGE THE DYNAMIC OF PEOPLE'S ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH CARE?

IF SOMEONE HAS MEDICAID OR APPLY FOR SOMETHING LIKE FOR EXAMPLE CHILD HEALTH PLUS, WHICH MANY DO, THOSE WOULD BE INSURANCES THAT WOULD ALLOW THEM TO ACCESS CARE.

THE PROBLEM IS BECAUSE OF SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN THE LAST TEN YEARS IN NEW YORK STATE WITH THE WAY THEY FINANCE OUTPATIENT MENTAL HEALTH AGENCIES, THAT MANY OF THOSE AGENCIES HAVE TURNED AWAY COMMERCIAL HEALTH INSURERS AND WILL ACCEPT ONLY MEDICARE, NOT UNINSURED.

AND NEW YORK STATE -- MOST OF THE FOCUS FROM THE GOVERNMENT IS ON MEDICAID P.

> A BRIEF STORY.

I WAS IN THE OCEAN AND I SAW THREE GIRLS DRIFTING TOWARD A JETTY.

I SWAM OUT AND MIGHT ARMS AROUND THEM IN IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME THE LIFE GUARDS HELPED.

CAN YOU IMAGINE IF I SWAM OUT TO THE THREE LITTLE GIRLS, 6, 7, 8 YEARS OLD SO CLOSE I COULD SEE THEIR FRECKLES.

INSTEAD OF PUTTING MY ARMS AROUND THEM I TREADED WATER AND ASKED THEM IF THEY HAVE MEDICAID.

THAT'S THE SITUATION IN THE NEW YORK STATE.

IT'S THE MIDDLE CLASS AND WORKING POOR THAT SUFFER MOST FROM NOT ACCESSING CARE THREW THE COMMERCIAL INSURANCE.

I WANT TO THANK YOU YOU BOTH FOR JOINING US ON THE PROGRAM AND OF COURSE FOR CONDUCTING THE STUDY THAT EVEN ALERTED TO US THE PROBLEM.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

> 2.6 MILLION YEARS AGO NEW YORK CITY LAY UNDER A SHEET OF ICE SO THICK IT WOULD HAVE BURIED TODAY'S TALLEST SKY SCRAPER.

AS THE ICE MELTED IT SHAPED OUR CITY INTO THE UNIQUE LANDSCAPE WE SEE.

IN FACT MANY NEIGHBORHOODS TAKE NAMES FROM LEFT OVER EMPHASISES FROM THE PHENOMENON.

FOREST HILLS.

PARK SLOPE, CROWN HEIGHTS AND PROSPECT HEIGHTS TO NAME A FEW.

JOINING TO US EXPLAIN HOW THE ICE AGE SHAPED NEW YORK, THIS IS THE SCIENCE ADJOURNIST AND SENIOR WRITER FOR 'THE NEW YORK TIMES,' WILLIAM J. BROAD.

WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

GREAT TO BE HERE.

BILL, THE LAST ICE AGE BEGAN OVER 2 THE.5 MILLION YEARS AGO BUT BEGAN TO MELT ONLY 18,000 YEARS AGO.

RIGHT.

WHAT CAUSED THAT GLOBAL WARMING?

WHAT CAUSED THAT CLIMATE CHANGE?

TO WE KNOW.

THOSE -- THEY HAVE- GEOLOGISTS HAVE LOTS OF INFORMATION ABOUT THIS.

BUT IT'S A VERY, VERY, VERY COMPLEX PROBLEM.

IT'S EASIER IN SCIENCE TO ZROIB THAN EXPLAIN.

OAK.

A LOT OF IT HAS TO DO WITH ORBITAL ISSUES, WHERE IT TILTS HOW MUCH SUNLIGHT FALLS ON THE PLANET AND THERE ARE COMPLEX CYCLES THAT THEY'RE WORKING OUT.

BUT THERE ARE FACTORS THEY STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND.

IT'S A HOT RESEARCH TOPIC.

THE REASON I ASK, TIME MAGAZINE CAME OUT WITH AN ARTICLE TALKING ABOUT OU ANTARCTICA'S ICE IS ICE IS MELTING SO FAST.

AND I WAS WONDERING IF THE SAME FACTORS MIGHT BE INVOLVED OR IS IT JUST CAN CARBON EMISSIONS.

IT'S A COMPLEX PROBLEM.

YES.

PEOPLE TALK ABOUT OCEAN RISE.

IT'S A REAL ISSUE.

ESPECIALLY IN NEW YORK, RIGHT.

RIGHT.

FROM ANDY AND ALL THAT.

BUT HOW LONG HAS THE OCEANS BEEN RISING, SINCE THE END OF THE ICE AGE.

18,000 YEARS AGO.

THE COAST USED TO BE OUT THERE, ANOTHER 100 MILES BEFORE YOU GET TO THE OCEAN.

THE OCEAN HAS BEEN RISING A LONG TIME.

HOW ABOUT THE MELTING BEGINNING 18,000 YEARS AGO CREATE THE LANDSCAPE OF NEW YORK AS WE KNOW IT TODAY.

THIS ENORMOUS GLACIER -- YOU NAILED IT IN THE OPENING.

THE HUNL THING, HIGHER THAN THE FREEDOM TOWER.

THAT'S AMAZING.

I KNOW WHEN I WAS WALKING AROUND WITH GEOLOGIST HE SAID BY THE WAY THE ICE WOULD HAVE COVERED THE FREEDOM TOWER.

AND I'M SLACK-JAWED AND SAYING THAT'S PRETTY GOOD.

YES.

THESE GLACIERS THAT WERE DOWN HERE ACT LIKE CONVEYOR BELTS, HAULING RUBBLE, PEBBLES, BOULDERS OVER THOUSANDS OF MILES.

AND SOME OF THE BABIES CAME FROM WAY UPSTATE.

THE GLACERS STARTED IN CANADA.

THERE WAS A CONDUIT FROM CANADA THAT WENT THROUGH LAKE CHAMPLAIN REGION, DOWN THROUGH THE HUDSON RIVER GORGE, RIGHT DOWN TO WHERE WE ARE.

THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN THE BIG MELT COMES.

AND WHAT DO YOU HAVE AT THE FRONT AT THE LEADING EDGE WHERE THE GLACIER WAS IS A HILL.

WHAT GEOLOGISTS CALLED A TERMINAL MORAINE.

AND THAT MORAINE AS IT TURNS OUT WEAVES THROUGH QUEENS, BROOKLYN, THROUGH STATEN ISLAND.

IT'S ON AVERAGE IT'S ABOUT 200 FEET HIGH.

AND LO AND BEHOLD YOU CAN SEE IT TODAY.

RIGHT.

TELL US SOME OF THE PLACES ARE THAT WE CAN STILL SEE THE WALL TODAY.

THE WAY I GOT ONTO THIS STORY WAS I WAS UP ON TOP OF OUR ROOF UP ON 110th STREET LOOKING AS I USUALLY DID PAST THE ST. JOHN TO BE -- THE CATHEDRAL, ST. JOHN THE DIVINE.

OFF IN THE DISTANCE I HAD SEEN A HILL.

AND I SAW A MAP THE PREVIOUS DAY.

AND IT TURNED OUT THE HILL I'VE BEEN LOOKING AT FOR A LONG TIME WAS PART OF THE TERMINAL MORAINE.

YOU CAN SEE IT WHIPPING THROUGH ALL THE BUROUGHS, OUTER BUROUGHS.

WHEN THE CITY WAS DEVELOPED.

THEY WENT FOR THE ESZ THINGS FIRST, FLATLAND.

RIGHT.

AND THAT'S EASY.

AND THERE IS NOT THE WEIRD MIX OF ROCKS AND PEBBLES AND THAT STUFF.

THEY DIDN'T USE THAT.

AS A RESULT THIS MORAINE TODAY IS A STRING OF PARKS, GOLF COURSES, CEMETERIES, REALLY OLD CEMETERIES, GREENWOOD CEMETERY IN BROOKLYN.

BATTLE HILL, THE HIGHEST POINT.

YES.

IN BROOKLYN IS PART OF THIS TERMINAL MORAINE.

ONCE I STARTED, YOU KNOW, GETTING ONTO THIS -- PIE WIFE SAID I HOPE THE STORY RUNS SOON BUSY CAN'T HEAR YOU BABBLING ABOUT IT ANY LONGER.

AND THEN THEY FIGURED OUT WE COULD BILLED ON IT TOO.

I LIVE IN PROSPECT HEIGHTS I CAN'T COMPLAINT.

BEAUTIFULLY LANDSCAPED, ALL THE TREES.

AS YOU SAID IN THE OPENING A LOT OF THE NAMES COME FROM THE WOODINESS AND THE HILLINESS.

BAY HIJ, WHO KNEW.

AND ALSO SOMETHING LEFT -- THERE ARE THINGS CALLED ERRATICA THAT WERE LEFT.

TELL US WHAT THEY ARE AND WHERE THEY SEE THEM.

THESE ARE MOTHER BOULDERS CARRIED DOWN BY THE GLACIER.

THEY GET DROPPED ALL OVER THE CITY.

BUT LO AND BEHOLD CENTRAL PARK HAS THESE THINGS.

AND THE CLUE IS THAT THEY TEND TO BE ROUNDED.

YES.

BECAUSE THEY GOT GROUND AROUND BY THE GLACE YEARS.

LIKE LITTLE PEBBLES.

YEAH, EXCEPT THEY'RE HUGE, RIGHT.

RIGHT.

AND THEY DON'T LOOK LIKE THE LOCAL ROCK.

YEAH.

THAT'S BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT.

THEY CAME FROM 100 MILES UPSTATE.

YES.

AND AS THE GLACE YEARS MELTED KERPLOP.

AND A GEEIST -- I SAW IT THROUGH THEIR EYES- DSH TO THEM CENTRAL PARK IS AN ICE AGE MUSEUM.

THEY GO AROUND AND SAY, BING, BING, BEGINNING.

THANKS FOR WRITING THE ARTICLE.

MY PLEASURE.

INTERESTING TO TALK ABOUT.

ABSOLUTELY MY PLEASURE.

THANK YOU.

> BEFORE WE LET YOU GO TONTD, TODAY IS JUNETEENTH, INDEPENDENCE DAY.

FOR SOME NOT IN THE KNOW IT'S KNOWN AS FREEDOM DAY.

A UNIQUELY AMERICAN HOLIDAY THAT KMEM RATES THE JUNE 19th, 1865 ANNOUNCEMENT THAT SLAVERY WOULD BE ABOLISHED IN THE U.S. STATE OF TEXAS, AND CELEBRATES THE EMANCIPATION OF ENSLAVED AFRICAN-AMERICANS THROUGH THE CONFEDERACY.

JUNE 19th IS A SPECIAL DAY OF OBSERVANCE IN 45 STATES.

ONE OF THE LEADERS OF ABOLITION MOVEMENT AND FORMER SLAVE HARRIET TUBMAN MADE 13 MISSIONS TO RESCUE APPROXIMATELY 70 SLAVES, FAMILY AND FRIENDS FROM BONDAGE, PULLING TOGETHER A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO WERE FIERCELY PASSIONATE ABOUT ENDING SLAVERY.

WITH THEIR HELP, TUBMAN USING A NETWORK OF SAFE HOUSE OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD BECAME KNOWN AS THE MOST HE IS OF HER PEOPLE WHO NEVER LOST A PASSENGER ON THEIR WAY TO FREEDOM.

BUT FEW KNOW TUBMAN'S HISTORY HERE IN NEW YORK.

SPECIFICALLY, AUBURN, A PLACE JUST 4.5 HOURS NORTHWEST OF MANHATTAN THAT EVENTUALLY BECAME HER HOME.

IT'S THE TOWN WHERE SHE LIVED OUT LATER YEARS, CONTINUED TO HELP OTHERS AND BECAME AN ACTIVE MEMBER OF THE ZION CHURCH AND THE LOCATION THAT WOULD BECOME HER FINAL RESTORING PLACE.

BUT HER LEGACY CONTINUES LONG AFTER HER PASSING.

WHEN SHE PASSED IN 1913 SHE LEFT THE PROPERTY TO THE CHURCH SHE LOVED, THE TUB MANY HOUSE WAS TLARD A LANDMARK IN 1974 WITH THE AME ZION CHURCH SHOURLDING THE BULK OF THE MAINTENANCE.

THEN IN 2014, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SIN SIGNED A MEASURE MAKING THE HOME AND THE TUBMAN HOMESTEAD PART OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE.

THIS IS THE ONLY AREA IN THE NATION -- A LOT OF PLACES CLAIM HARRIET TUBMAN.

HER NAME IS POPULAR NOW.

BUT THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE WHERE HARRIET TUBMAN LIVED WORKED AND DIED.

ALL OF HER ART FACTS ARE HERE IN THIS AREA IN CONJUNCTION WITH SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY WE ARE TRYING TO RESTORE FOR A LARGER MUSEUM.

WE WILL BE RIGHT HERE IN AUBURN, NEW YORK, MAKING SURE THAT THE LEGACY AND THE LAND ON WHICH SHE SERVED AND WORKED AND DIED WILL BE PRESERVED FOREVER.

IT WAS NEW YORK THAT GAVE SOLACE, COMFORT, RESOURCES, MONEY AND PHYSICAL HELP.

THE JOHN BROWN WAS A MEDICAL CENTER ON THIS SAME PROPERTY THAT HARRIET TUBMAN STARTED SO THAT PERSONS COULD RECEIVE THE KIND OF MEDICAL TREATMENT THAT THEY HAD BEEN DENIED THE TIMES THAT THEY WERE IN SLAVERY OR THE MALADIES AND ILLNESSES THAT THEY MAY HAVE THE CONTRACTED COMING THE GREAT DISTANCE BY FOOT, MOST OF THE TIME, THAT THEY HAD TO MAKE IN ORDER TO GET TO NEW YORK.

NEW YORK WAS THE LAST BASTION OF REST FOR THEM BEFORE MAKING THAT FINAL PUSH INTO CANADA.

1859, THE PROPERTY WE ARE ON RIGHT NOW WAS ACQUIRED BY TUBMAN.

NOT ONLY TO LIVE OUT HER FINAL DAYS BUT TO BUILD A PLACE WHERE PERSONS WHO WERE AT RETIREMENT, BEFORE SOCIAL SECURITY COULD FIND A PLACE WHERE THEY COULD PEND THEIR FINAL DAYS.

THIS IS SACRED GROUND.

YES.

THIS IS HOLY GROUND.

WE ARE TRYING TO RESTORE NOW THE OLD BRICK HOUSE THAT YOU SEE UP HERE.

THAT'S IN THE PROCESS NOW OF RESTORATION.

GOVERNOR CUOMO HAS PROMISED FUNDS FROM THE STATE AND THE LEGISLATURE HAS BEEN VERY COOPERATIVE IN ASSISTING US SO THAT WE COULD RESTORE THE HOME AND THE BARN, HER BARN.

THEY CAN EXPECT SOME PICTURES AND ART I FACTS OF HISTORY THAT THEY HAD NOT SEEN.

THEY WILL BE ABLE TO SEE SOME OF THE ACTUAL FURNITURE, THE ACTUAL BIBLE OF HARRIET TUBMAN.

THEY HAVE ALL OF THESE SMALL MEMENTOS OF HER LIFE IN SNIPPETS.

WE ARE IN THE PROCESS HOWEVER OF PROPOSING A MUCH LARGER WELCOME CENTER WHEN WE HAVE THE NECESSARY FUNDING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

SHE GOT UP EARLY.

THAT'S RIGHT.

BEFORE THE BREAK OF DAY.

WHEN I HEARD ABOUT HARRIET TUBMAN, SHE WAS A BAD SISTER.

OH, YES, SHE WAS.

BECAUSE HARRIET TUBMAN HAD A WAY IN WHICH SHE WOULD LEAVE ON SATURDAY NIGHT.

BECAUSE IF SHE LEFT ON SATURDAY NIGHT NEWSPAPERS WOULD NOT REPORT RUN AWAYS UNTIL MONDAY MORNING.

[ APPLAUSE ]

THIS PROCESS, COME TO THIS PLACE, BEING ON THE GROUND, LOOKING AT AT ARTIFACTS HAVE GIVE AND REED SENSE OF CONNECTION WITH THIS PERSON WHO WE THINK OF BEING LARGER THAN LIFE.

BUT HARRIET TUBMAN WAS ONLY 4'11'. SO MAJORITY LUTHER KING JUNIOR NOT GREAT OF STATURE PHYSICALLY BUT GREAT OF PROMINENCE AND GREAT OF CHARACTER.

ANNOUNCER: FUNDING FOR IN PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY --

ANNOUNCER: CORPORATE FUNDING FOR METROFOCUS WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY, AND BY PSE&G, SERVING CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.

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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