METROFOCUS: FEBRUARY 13, 2020

Suicide attempts among black teens are increasing at alarming rates. What’s driving this heartbreaking trend and how do we stop it? JustFix.nyc has developed an app that’s helping tenants all across the city turn the tables on their lousy landlords. We’ll speak with Brandon Stanton, the man behind the viral sensation.

Aired on February 13, 2020. 

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS.'

COMBATTING A SURGEON'S SUE SIDES.

THE NUMBERS OF BLACK TEENS TAKING THEIR LIVES HAS INCREASED.

WE'LL LOOK AT WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH THIS TREND AND HOW NEW YORK IS FIGHTING TO SAVE LIVES.

THEN A KNACK FOR HOUSING JUSTICE.

THE ADVOCACY GROUP JUST FIXED NYC HAS DEVELOPED AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO HELP NEGLECTED TENANTS TURN THE TABLES ON LOUSY LANDLORDS.

WE'LL SHOW YOU HOW.

PLUS, GARNERING ATTENTION AROUND THE WORLD.HO BEGIN?

THE MAN BEHIND THE VIRAL SENSATION IS HERE TO TELL US.

THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P. WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY --

WE MUST FIND OUT WHY BLACK CHILDREN ARE TAKING THEIR LIVES AT AN ALARMING RATE AND WE MUST CONTINUE TO COULD THAT TOGETHER AND DEVISE SOLUTIONS THAT WILL PUT AN END TO IT.

GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

THE STATISTICS ARE STARTLING.

A NEW STUDY SHOWS THAT SUICIDE ATTEMPTS AMONGAN ADOLESCENTS SU.

IT ROSE BY BY WHITE TEENAGERS DROPPED 7.5%. SO WHAT IS DRIVING THIS HEART BREAKING REALITY?

JOINING US, THE STUDY'S LEAD AUTHND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US TODAY.

TNK YOUORGME.

SO DOCTOR, YOU RECENTLY SAID THAT THESE KIDS ARE TELLING US SOMETHING WITH THESE HEART BREAKING SUICIDE ATTEMPTS.

ASIDE FROM THEM TELLING US THAT THEY'RE IN DEEP EMOTIONAL PAIN, WHAT ELSE ARE THEY TELLING US?

THE FIRST THING THAT I LOOK AT IS, A PRECURSOR ISSUE LIKE DEPRESSION.

WHAT I MEAN BY IS,ID ATTEMPTING SUICIDE MAY ACTUALLY HAVE UNTREATED DEPRESSION.

WHAT WE KNOW IS THAT BLACK UTOR DEPRESSION SYMPTOMS ARE OFTEN EXPRESS IN THE DIFFERENT WAYS THAN WE MIGHT NOT SORT OF BE, YOU KNOW, WISE ABOUT.

A STOMACH ACHE OR A HEADACHE, OR THEY MAY HAVE INTERPERSONAL CHALLENGES IN TERMS OF RELATIONSHIP QUALITY.

AND OFTENTIMES WE CAST THOSE SITUATIONS ASIDE.

WE DON'T CONSIDER THEM TO BE MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES.

SYMPTOMATIC, FOR EX DEPRESSION.

AND SO WE MIGHT IN SCHOOL, SUSPEND KIDS AS OPPOSED TO TREATING THOSE ISSUES.

SO I THINK THE KIDS ARE TELLING US THAT THEY WANT TO BE HEARD AROUND THE THINGS THAT MATTER TO THEN THE MOST OF THE.

WHAT DID YOURESDISCOVER ABOU THIS INCREASE IN DEPRESSION?

AMONG BLACK ADOLESCENTS, THAT IN TURN IS LEADING TO THE SUICIDE ATTEMPTS?

WELL, OUR STUDY WAS NOT ABOUT LOOKING AT WHATDSE IT WAS MORE ABOUT LOOKING AT THE TRENDS, ENGAGE NYPD SUICIDE BEHAVIORS OVER TIME.

SO AGAIN, AS YOU STARTED OFF WITH WITH RESPECT TO THE 73% RISE IN SUICIDE MP ESSENTIALLY, WE BELIEVE THAT IN PART, IT COULD BE RELATED TO THE FACT THAT KIDS ARE, PARTICULARLY BLACK KI A ENGAGING IN MORE IMPULSIVE DECISION MAKING AROUND SUICIDE BEHAVIOR.

BECAUSE AT THE SAME TIME, WE SAW THAT SUICIDE IDEATION, IN TERMS OF THINKING ABOUT SUICIDE AND S DOWNWARD WHILE ATTEMPTS WERE GOING UP.

WHAT WE'VE ALSO SEEN, ONE MORE THING HERE.

WHAT WE'VE ALSO SEEN IS THAT BLACK KIDS TEND NOT TO BE CONNECTED TO TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION.

AND SO WE HAVE IN TERMS OF MY REAR IE L UP IN OF THINGS OVER THE YEARS THAT MAY BE RELATED TO UNTREATED DEPRESSION, INCLUDING STIGMA RELATED TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE IS FR NOT BEING ABLE TO GET ALONG WITH THE MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDER, OR THAT THE PROVIDER WON'T UNDERSTAND THEIR UNIQUE CIRCUMSTANCES.

AND GOING BACK TO WHAT YOU SAID, THESE TEENS, THESE AD LESS ENLTS, AREHIESBO COMMITTING SUICIDE AND ABOUT HOW TO GO ABOUT IT BUT THEY'R DOING IT MORE.

WHICH MEANS THAT IT IS MUCH MORE OF AN IMPULSE THING.

WHICH MAKES IT MORE TRAGIC, RIGHT?

IF IT IS AN IMPULSE THING, IF CAUGHT, YOULD SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

YEAH.

YOU KNOW, I WANT TO BE CAREFUL.

BECAUSE IT IS MY SPECULATION AND THAT OF MY FELLOW COLLEAGUES ON THE STUDY THAT IT COULD BE RELATED TO IMPULSEIVITY.

WE NEED TO DO MORE RESEARCH TOC.

IT IS SORT OF SCARY TO ME, RIGHT?

THAT KIDS ARE ACTUALLY, PARTICULARLY BLACK G TO AN ATTE WITHOUT PLANNING OR THINKING ABOUT IT.

SO IT REALLY BEGS THAT WE NEED MORE RESEARCH TO TRULY UNDERSTAND WHAT IS HAPPENING.

NOW, THE REPORT ALSO FOUND THAT AMONG AFRICAN-AMERICAN ADOLESCENTS, BLACK TEEN GIRLS ARETT HIGHER RATES THAN BLACK TEEN BOYS.

WHY?

I CAN POINT TO A NUMBER OF THINGS AS POTENTIAL REASONS.

ONE IS, WE KNOW ABOUT GIRLS TEND TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA ATHELEXP INTERPERSONAL STRESS-RELATED TO THE SOCIAL MEDIA USE.

IT HAS BEEN WELL DOCUMENTED THAT GIRLS ACTUALLY EXPERIENCE HIGHER LEVELS OF DEPRESSION.

IF SO, THAT MIGHT BE A CONTRIBUTING OR.

DHE IMBALANCE COULD BE A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR.

WE KNOW THAT GIRLS TEND TO EXPERIENCE HIGHER LEVELS OF TEEN DATING VIOLENCE.

I ALSO THINK, WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT BLACK GIRLS, THERE COULD BE A DOUBLE JEOPARDY GOING ONWI DISCRIMINATION BASED ON RACE AND GENDER.

YOU KNOW, THERE'S SOMETHING ELSE I FOUND VERY INTERESTING.

IN YOUR STUDIES.

THAT EVEN THOUGH BLACK TEEN GIRLS ARE COMMITTING, MAKING THESE ATTEMPTS AT HIGHER NUMBERS, WHEN BLACK TEEN BOYS ATTEMPT IT, THEY USE MORE LETHAL METHODS.

WHAT ARE THOSE METHODS THAT THEY USE AND WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS

I CASE.

WHAT THE FINDING ACTUALLY SUGGESTED WAS THAT BLACK BOYS ARE ENGAGING IN MORE, OR HAVING MORE INJURY BY ATTEMPT.

WHICH MEANS THEY COULD BE ENGAGING INOTET AN WHICH TO ATTEMPT SUICIDE.

YOU KNOW, I THINK A UP IN OF THINGS COULD BE GOING ON THERE.

ONE IS THAT WE'VE SEEN ACTUALLY OR ATTEMPTING SUICIDE BY HANGING OR ASPHYXIATION, AND SO I THINK WE NEED TO EXPLORE WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THAT.

WE'VE SEEN SOME DECREASES WITH RESPECT TO WEAPONS, LIKE FIREARMS, AS A METHOD OF SUICIDE AMONG BLACK YOUTH IN THE LAST COUPLE DECADES.

BUT I THINKORE RESEARCH NEEDS TO BE UNDERTAKEN TO TRULY UNDERSTAND WHAT'S HAPPENING.

SO ONE O AC Y LIKELY BE ADISTRIBUTE UTSD TO GREATER STRUCTURAL ISSUES AND I THINK WE CAN UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT MEANS.

ALONG WITH THE DECLINE IN COPING MECHANISMS.

ONE OF THOSE COPING MECHANISMS THEY HAVE, AND WHY ARE THEY IN DECLINE?

I THINK SUICIDE ATTEMPTS, THINKING ABOUT SUICIDE, PLANNING SUICIDE, ARE COPING MECHANISMS THAT COULD BE IN PLAY INSTEAD OG CONNECTED TO TREATMENT.

SO I THINK THAT UNDERSTANDING WHAT FACTORS ARE CONTRIBUTING TO WHY KIDS ARE NOT CONNECTED TO TREATMENT, AND YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE THINGS I'VE BEEN ADVOCATING FOR, MY COLLEAGUES, WE NEED MORE MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELLORS IN SCHOOLS TO GIVE KIDS GREATER PROXIMITY TO MENTAL HEALTH TR OFTEN, RAFAEL, WHAT WE FIND, IS THAT IN POOR COMMUNITIES, BLACK AND BROWN COMMUNITIES, KIDS ARE NOT ABLE TO ACCESS A MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELLOR, OR IF THEY HAVE A COUNSELLOR, THAT COUNSELLOR IS THERE ONE DAY OUT OF THE WEES SAY TUESDAY.

SO THAT MAKES NO SENSE IN TERMS OF WHEN PROBLEMS ARE LIKELY TO MANIFEST.

WE NEED MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELLORS IN SCHOOLS PROPORTIONATE TO THE NUMBER OF KIDS IN SCHOOLS.HI REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT FACTOR HERE.

WHAT IS THE ONE THING THAT YOU THINK MUST BE DONE THAT IS NOT BEING DONE NOW?

I THINK THAT WE'RE DOING, AND I APPLAUD THE WORK THAT IS HAPPENING IN NEW YORK CITY.

I'VE BEEN AROUND THE COUNTRY TO RECOGNIZE THAT WE NEED MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELLORS IN SCHOOLS.

I THINK THAT IS THE ONE THING THATNDO.

GET KIDS CONNECTED TO MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELLORS, AVAILABLE IN SCHOOLS, PROPORTIONATE TO THE NUMBER OF KIDS IN THAT SCHOOL.

AND I THINK THAT COUNSELLORS HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO ACTUALLY HELP TEACHERS UNDERSTAND THE NDO MAY BE STRUGGLING.

THEY CAN HELP PRINCIPALS AND OTHER ADMINISTRATORS IN THE SCHOOL UNDERSTAND.

THEY CAN WORK FAMILIES TO HELP PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS UNDERSTAND THE SUBE SIGND PRESENTATIONS THAT WE SHOULD BE PAYING GREATER ATTENTION TO.

SO I STRONGLY ADVOCATE, AND THAT OF MY COLLEAGUES, WE STRONGLY ADVOCATE T PROON SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES THROUGH THE AVAILABILITY OF COUNSELLORS TO KIDS WHO ARE IN NEED OF THOSE SERVICES.

WITH, DR. LINDSEY, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US AT EIGHT GLOK THIS AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR RK.

OUR TIME.

THANK YOU.

> HAVE YOU EVER HAD A BAD LANDLORD IN NEW YORK CITY?

IF YOU HAVEN'T, YOU PROBABLY KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS.FO TENANTS PAINT, LEAKY PIPES AND INSUFFICIENT HEAT IN THE WINTER CAN UNFORTUNATELY BE COMMON PLACE.

NEW YORK CITY'S RENT LAWS ARE SUPPOSED TO FAVOR THE TENANT OVER THE LANDLORD.

WHY ARE PEOPLE STILL LIVING IN SUBSTANDARD HOUSING?

AS PART OF CSIHE MISSION, WE'RE TAKING A LOOK AT JUST FIX NYC.

IT HELPS PEOPLE NAVIGATE THE IN WOUSI EASIER FOR TEN ANTS TO KNOW AND EXERCISE THEIR RIGHTS.

HERE TO TELL US MORE, ONE OF THE CO-FOUNDERS.

GEORGE, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

THANK YOU FORAV SO OF COURSE NOW IN THE WORLD WE LIVE IN, IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM OR A QUESTION, THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT.

SO GIVE AS YOU LITTLE OF THE BACKGROUND OF JUST FIX NYC.

AS YOU TOUCHED ON, NEW YORK CITY HAS A SERIOUS AFFORDABILITY PROBLEM.

50% ARE RENT BURDENS.

ALMOST A QUARTER ARE SEVERELY RENT BURDENED PAYING 50% OR MORE OF THEIR INCOME ON RENT.

THAT DOESN'T TRANSLATE TO QUALITY INHA IN FIVE RENTING HOUSEHOLDS IN NEW YORK LIVE IN APARTMENTS WITH THREE OR MORE MAINTENANCE DEFICIENCIES AT ANY TIME.

SO TRE ROACHES, RATS, LEAD PAINT, MOLD.

SO WHEN I MET MY CO-FOUNDERS A FEW YEARS AGO, WE WERE REALLY INTERESTED IN HOW WE COULD SUPPORT THE RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN NEW YORK.

AND WE WERE COMING FROM BACKGROUNDS IN TECHNOLOGY WILL AND DESIGN AND WE WANTED TO SEE IF THERE WERE WAYS TO USE THOSE.

AND SUPPORT TENANTS AND REALLY OUR NEIGHBORS THAT WERE AT RISK OF THE.

SO WHEN IT COPS TO AN APP LIKE THIS, BECAUSE I WAS GOING THROUGH IT.

AND IT SEEMS U OF, I GUESS, CROWD SOURCING FOR LACK OF A BETTER DESCRIPTION.

GETTING PEOPLE TO GLOM AND SHARE WHO THEIR LAND LORD IS.

WHATASN'TNNT IS IT TO GET AS MANY NEW YORKERS AS POSSIBLE TO BE ENGAGING WITH THIS KIND OF A PLATFORM TO GET AS MUCH INFORMATION TOGETHER?

TABSOLUTELY.

WE DO A LOT OF WORK TO ANALYZE ALL THE INFORMATION THAT TENANTS ARE SUBMITTING THROUGH THE VARIOUS TOOLS THAT WE OFFER.

AND WE ALSO LOOK AT A LOT OF DIFFERENT DATA FROM THE CITY ITSELF.

SO DIFFERENT AGENCIES ARE PUBLISHING OPEN DATA ABOUT HOUSING VIOLATIONS, FINANCES OF BUILDINGS.

WE'RE LOOKING AT THAT TO IDENTIFY WHAT ARE THE BUILDINGS IN NEIGHBORHOODS THAT ARE MOST AT RISK.

AND ALSO, WHO ARE THE LANDLORDS THAT HAVE TRACK RECORDS OF BEING BAD ACTORS ACROSS THEIR WHOLE PORTFOLIO?

SO IT IS REALLY CRITICAL AS WE TRY TO DO THAT KIND OF IDENTIFICATION, SO THAT THE WORK THAT ADVOCATES ARE DOING, THAT THE CITY IS DOING, CAN BE REALLY TARGETED OF THE IT IS O WHERE IF AN 80/20 OR 90/10 PROBLEM OF 10 OR 20% OF THE LAND LORDS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR 80 OR 90% OF THE ISSUES.

D WHO THE EALLY TARGETED WORK LANDLORDS, THE CORPORATE LANDLORDS, THE MANAGEMENT COPIES THAT HAVE BAD TRACK RECORDS, IDENTIFYING WHO THOSE COMPANIES ARE SO THAT THE ENFORCEMENT AND THE OUTREACH CAN BE REALLY TARGETED AT THE BUILDINGS EAN P.

OF COURSE, YOU DID JUST STAY CORPORATE LANDLORDS.

SO MUCH OF THE CONVERSATION WE'VE BEEN HAVING, ESPECIALLY LATELY ABOUT PUBLIC HOUSING AND INSUFFICIENCIES WITH THE PUBLIC HOUSING.

DOES THIS APP ADDRESS THAT AT ALL?

ABSOLUTELY.

FOR AN INDIVIDUAL TENANT, AND THIS IS TENANTS LIVING IN RENT REGULATED HOUS I NYCHA OR MARKE ANY OF THOSE TENANTS CAN GO TO THE WEBSITE.

THEY ENTER IN THEIR ADDRESS.

YOU ENTER IN THE N OR HOUSING ADDRESS WITHIN THE FIVE BURROUGHS AND YOU'LL GET SOME DIFFERENT DATA ABOUT YOUR BUILDING.

RIGHT?

SO IF THERE ARE CURRENT VIOLATIONS, IF THERE HAVE BEEN EVICTIONS IN THE PAST FEW YEARS.

AND THEN YOU'LL GET A SERIES OF ACTIONS THAT YOU CAN T B SITUAT DEALING WITH.

SO THIS MIGHT BE EVERYTHING FROM ORDERING YOUR RENTAL HISTORY TO SEE IF YOUR APARTMENT IS RENT STABILIZED OR IF YOU'VE BEEN OVERCHARGED.YOSEETR MP A OFFICIF COMPLAINT VIA CERTIFIED MAIL DIRECTLY TO YOUR LANDLORD.

AND YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING UP TO ACTUALLY CREATING THE COURT FILINGS TO BRING YOUR LANDLORD TO HOUSING COURT.

FOR TENANTS FACINGVIEY CO EVICTC AND SEE IF THEY'RE ELIGIBLE FOR A FREE ATTORNEY FOR THE UNIVERSAL ACCESS PROGRAM THAT THE CITY HAS RUDE OUT IN THE PAST CAN YOU PLEASE YEARS.

AND SO MOST OF THESE SERVICES ARE GOING T REGARDLESS OF THE TYPE OF HOUSING THAT YOU'RE LIVING IN.

CERTAINLY TENANTS IN PUBLIC HOUSING.

IT HAS BEEN HIGHLY PUBLICIZED.

IN SO MANY OF THOSE DEVELOPMENTS.

SO IT IS REALLY CRITICAL TO OOS WELL OF THE.

WHEN I WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR APP, YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT HOW IT WILL GIVE YOU SUGGESTIONS FOR ACTIONS THAT COULD BE TAKEN, A LOT OF THEN ARE WITH NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN DOING TEN ANTS' RIGHTS WORK FOR A LONG TI.MEERE ADVOCATING FOR LAND LORDS, AND THE LAND LORD ORGANIZATIONS, WILL SAY THESE GROUPS HAVE ALWAYS EXISTED.

THE LAWS ARE ON THE SIDES OF THE TENANTS OF THE THE ORGANIZATIONS THERE TO HELP THE TENANTS HAVE ALWAYS EXISTED.

SO WHAT ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO BE GETTING AT?

YOU'RE JUST CREATING MORE ISE, WITHIN THE SYSTEM THAT'S ALREADY OVERLOADED WITH A LOT OF COMPLAINTS FROM TENANTS.

RE.TH OS THIS LINE ABOUT THE LAWS IN NEW YORK CITY ARE VERY TENANT FRIENDLY BUST THE LAWS ARE ONLY GAS AS THE ENFORCEMENT.

SO IT IS REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR TENANTS TO ACTUALLY ENFORCE THEIR RIGHTS.

AND SINCE THE BEGINNING OF OUR WORK, WHEN THIS WAS JUST SIMPLY VERY, VERY CLOSELY WITH ORGANIZING GROUPS, LEGAL AID PROVIDERS ACROSS THE CITY WHO TO YOUR POINT HAVE BEEN DOING THIS WORK FOR DECADES AND DECADES.

AND REALLY, WE'VE WORKED ALONG ONSIDEM TO BUILD THESE TOOLS TO SCALE UP WHAT THEY'VE BEEN OFFERING.

AND ABSOLUTELY NOT REPLACE ANY OF THE EXISTING SUPPORT TT'THER.

BUT INSTEAD AUGMENT IT AND HOPEFULLY MAKE THEIR WORK AS ADVOCATES OR ORGANIZERS, MAKE THEIR WORK MORE CIT,ALLOW THEM OUTREACH INSTEAD OF DOING WORK AT A DESK, TRYING TO FILE THE PAPERWORK.

THAT SORT OF THING.

IT DOESN'T JUST END WITH AN VINDIVIDUALS GET CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY ORGANIZING THE GROUPS IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD?

SO THEIR EXPERIENCE CAN BE A CATALYST FOR OTHER PEOPLE TO JOIN IN ON THE FIGHT, AND THAT IS REALLY WHERE THEY CAN BUILD ROSCITY.

WE CAN START ADDRESSING THE CITY AT THE SCALE OF THE PROBLEM.

LISTEN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EXPLAINING JUST FIXNYC.

IT SEEMS LIKE SOMETHING THAT SHOULD HAVE ALWAYS EXISTED OF THE WEE BE WATCHING TO SEE WHAT DO YOU KNOW TO HELP THESE TENANTS BE ABLE TO USE A SINGULAR SOURCE TO SOLVE THEIR HOUSINPROBLEMS.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, YOU CAN VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT METROFOCUS.ORG.

> BRANDON STANTON TRADED SECURITIES FOR THREE YEARS UNTIL THINGS WENT IN HISRDEA BAD.

AFTER HE LOST HIS JOB, HE MOVED TO NEW YORK CITY WHERE HE STARTED THE BLOG, HUMANS OF NEW YORK IN 2010.

FAST FORWARD TO 2015 AND BRANDON STANTON IS A NUMBER ONE 'NEW YORK TIMES' BEST SELLING AUTHOR WITH OVER 50 MILLION FWE ON FACEBOOK.

HE HAS PHOTOGRAPHED AND INTERVIEWED THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ON THE STREETS OF NEW YORK CITY.

HE'S BEEN INVITED TO THE OVAL OFFICE BY PRESIDENT OBAMA AND HAS BEEN NAMED ONE OF THE 30 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET BY 'TI BRANDON'S BOOK IS HULS OF NEW YORK STORIES, AND HE JOINS ME NOW.

THANKS FOR COMING.

THANK YOU.

YOU'RE GEORGIA BOY.

YES, SIR.

WHY DID YOU COME TO NEW YORK CITY AFTER YOURGNND INCHICAGO?

IT WAS QUITE RANDOM.

I WAS TAKING SOME TIME OFF.

I GOT FIRED AND I WAS GOING TO TRAVEL TO A FEW DIFFERENT CITIES AND PHOTOGRAPH FOR ENJOYMENT.

AND NEW YORK CITY WAS ABOUT THE FOURTH CITY I HAD GONE TO.

I HAD NEVER BEEN THEI ABOUT TW AFTER I SAW NEW YORK CITY FOR THE FIRST TIME, I WAS HERE WITH THE GOAL OF PHOTOGRAPHING 10,000 PEOPLE ON THE STREETS OF NEW YORK.

THAT WAS YOUR ORIGINAL GOAL.

SO THERE WAS A VERY QUICK ACCELERATION OF MY RELATNSTH T ABOUT TWO YEARS.

I HAD NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT.

I JUST LEFT WITH NOTHING.

SO I DECIDED I WOULD SPEND THE NEXT PERIOD OF MY LIFE JUST FOCUSING ON NOTHING BUT MY TIME AND SPENDING MY TIME ANY WAY I WANTED TO.

WHAT I ENJOYED DOING AT THE TIME WAS TAKING PHOTOS.

SO MY FIRST GOAL WAS TO FIND A WAY TO MAKE JUST ENOUGH MONEY WHERE COULD I PHOTOGRAPH ALL DAY LONG.

HSEIEA.

I'LL DO THIS MASSIVE PHOTO PROJECT.

I'LL TRY TO PHOTOGRAPH 10,000 PEOPLE IN NEW YORK CITY AND PLOT THEIR PICTURES ON A MAP.

AND THAT IS NOTHIEAN INOR IS TODAY BUT THAT WAS THE FIRST IDEA THAT GOT ME TO NEW YORK CITY AND GOT ME ON THE STREETS EVERY DAY DOING THE WORK.

YOU WOULD THINK THAT NEW YORKERS, WITH OUR REPUTATION OF BEING SO RUDE AND SO DIFFICULT, TO CONTINUE.

IT'S HARD.

BACK WHEN I FIRST STARTED, I HAD NO SUCCESS, IT WAS REALLY HARD.

NOBODY WAS PAYING ATTENTION MIFAHOASY.

STOP PEOPLE ON THE STREETS TO TAKE THEIR PICTURES AND THEY'RE BEING RUDE.

YOU'RE A PHENOMENAL SUCCESS.

15 MILLION FOLLOWERS, MORE THAN THAT.

I DON'T KNOW HOW FAST IT CHANGES ON FACEBOOK.

A 'NEW YORK TIMES' BEST SELLER WHU ATTRIBUTE THIS SUCCESS?

WHY DOES YOUR WORK SEEM TO RESONATE SO MUCH WITH PEOPLE?

I THINK IT IS THE COMBINATION OF TAKING A RANDOM PERSON ON THE STREET AND TAKING THEIR PHOTOGRAPH.

SO BEING A PICTURE OF A COMPLETE BU I SPEND ABOUT 30 OR 45 MINUTES WITH THAT PERSON.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST STRUGGLE?

WHAT DO YOU FEEL MOSTLT OU AT SADDEST MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE?

AND THROUGH THE PROCESS OF THE INTERVIEW, I FIND OUT VERY PERSONAL STORIES AND DETAILS ABOUT THAT PERSON.

THEN LATER WHEN I SHARE IT WITH THE AUDIENCE, I THINK THE REASON THAT SUCH A LARGE GROUP OF PEOPLE HAVE GATHERED AROUND THI POWERFUL ABOUT SEEING SOMEBODY THAT YOU DON'T KNOW, BUT THEN HEARING A STORY OR SOMETHING THAT WAS SO PERSONAL THAT THEY MIGHTED IT TO THEIR BEST FRIEND OR THEIR WIFE.

LET'S SEE IF I CAN ASK IS THE SADDEST STORY AND THE SADDEST PHOTOGRAPH YOU'VE TAKEN?

THAT IS DIFFICULT.

IT IS SO FUNNY.

I ALWAYS ASK PEOPLE, ULTIMATUMS, WHAT WAS THE SADDEST MOMENT, THE HAPPIEST MOMENT.

THEY'RE HARD QUESTIONS TO SWWOULD SAY PROBABLY THIS RECENT TRIP I DID.

I JUST GOT BACK FROM EUROPE WHERE I WAS INTERVIEWING SYRIAN REFUGEES.

THE SAME PROCESS.

I WOULD ASK THEM SAME QUESTIONS.

WHAT'S THE SADDEST MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE?

S ARE PARTICULARLY ndWA HEART BREAKING.

> AND KIDS?

KIDS ARE UNINTENTIONALLY FUNNY.

THEY'RE 100% SINCERE WHILE THEY'RE SAYING THE MOST RIDICULOUS THING YOU EVER HEARD.

RE DOWN, THAT A THIRD YOU M OF THE PEOPLE TURN YOU DOWN.

NOW THAT YOU'RE FAMOUS AND A LOT OF PEOPLE RECOGNIZE YOU, DOES THAT CHANGE DYNAMIC?

IT DOES.

WAS ABOUT IT.

WHEN IT WAS GROWING VERY FAST I ASK, HOW WILL IT AFFECT THE PROCESS?

WILL PEOPLE BE TOO SELF-AWARE?

WILL THEY HAVE SCRIPTED ANSWERS?

I FELT THE NAME RECOGNITION OF HUMANS INK ALLOWS ME ZOOS MORE PEOPLE.

A LOT OF TYPES, A GRUMPY OLD MAN.

I DON'T WANT TO TALK TO YOU!

THAT WOULD BE ME.

YOU'RE NOT OLD AND YOU'RE NOT GRUMPY.

I WOULD STOP SOMEBODY, OKAY,T A.

CHECK IT OUT LATER.

WHAT DID YOU SAY?

OH, MY GRANDSON TOLD ME ABOUT THAT.

SO I'M ABLE TO INTERVIEW A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT I WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO INTERVIEWBE I FOUND EVE KNOW THAT 15 MILLION PEOPLE WILL READ THAT NIGHT, YOU KNOW, THERE IS STILL AN AMOUNT OF COMFORT YOU CAN ACHIEVE IF YOU'RE JUST TALKING WITH THE PERSON E--O A I WGCONVERSATION.

I FIND IF YOU TALK LONG ENOUGH, THEY FORGET THEY'RE BEING INTERVIEWED AND IT JUST BACK'S CONVERSATION.

THANK YOU.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P. WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY --

Funders

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

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