Upcoming Initiative: America’s Children
• In pre-production development •
Project Rationale: How we CAN make our homes, schools, and neighborhoods a more nurturing and safe environment for ALL of our children is on everyone’s minds.
America’s Children, the proposed multi-hour PBS Series will devote itself —comprehensively—to different subject areas affecting the quality of life of our children. The project will highlight best practice solutions from around the country and the world. The key to the program are our children themselves, acting as on-location journalists or on-camera subjects.
For the first time MPC is using crowdsourcing to help underwrite one of our new projects, America’s Children. Please help support this most important public television series by donating at Indiegogo. Click here to donate and learn how you can help to turn our project into a reality.
Program topics will include:
- the role and importance of family, school, and community;
- access to medical care for all children;
- facing the challenges of unemployment and homelessness;
- good health through proper diet, nutrition and exercise;
- the challenge of childhood obesity;
- re-inventing the built environment to promote healthier and safer life-styles;
- reaching out to those suffering from the impact of violence, poverty, racial discrimination, abuse, unequal justice, and environmental injustice.
How, for example, can a ten-year old boy named Thomas, living near the port of Long Beach CA, be cured of the asthma that plagues his every breath and those of his classmates? His family cannot move; the surrounding transportation economy engulfing his community relies on further fossil fuel expansion; greater soot and carbon will be funneled into the air; more black tar will be wiped off the kitchen table hourly; Thomas will need greater medical intervention; and the state will cut back its education allotments? Even if there were a neighborhood park, wouldn’t it be more unhealthful for him to play there? Will his indoor sedentary lifestyle contribute to his growing obesity? Is Thomas a lone case? Or does his example, cloned across the country in millions of similar troubling instances, truly describe our nation’s situation? Are there alternative ways in which the young Thomases of our country can seek and find help and guidance? How do we as a community and as a nation stop this downward spiral?
Finding “best practice models” around the country that have dealt with these critical, integrated issues affecting our greatest natural resource will be the task of this broadcast, education, and community-based outreach project on the State of America’s Children. The future of our children cannot be forfeited. What can we tell them we are doing? What will they tell us they want?
Like Edward R. Murrow’s landmark documentary Harvest of Shame before it, America’s Children is meant to call attention to the crisis of indifference.
As with Designing Healthy Communities, And Thou Shalt Honor, and Edens Lost & Found, America’s Children will include educational and community-based outreach activities linked to local PBS affiliates; academic curricula meant for high schools (professional development), colleges, and medical schools; a PBS companion book; community action guides; interactive website; a national publicity and promotion campaign; a multi-volume video resource library devoted to all aspects of children’s health and well-being; and a series of regional and local televised town hall meetings to be aired as follow-up programs after the initial broadcast of the 4-hour national PBS series.
Our lead investigators and consultants for the project are Richard Jackson, M.D. Chair and Professor of Environmental Public at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health as well as host of public television’s Designing Healthy Communities; and Irwin Redlener, M.D. President of the Children’s Health Fund and Professor at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
Dr. Redlener is president and co-founder, along with singer-songwriter, Paul Simon, of The Children’s Health Fund, a philanthropic initiative created to develop health care programs in some of the nation’s most medically underserved urban and rural communities. He is also associate dean, professor of Clinical Public Health and Pediatrics, as well as director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. In his role as pediatrician-child advocate and president of The Children’s Health Fund, Dr. Redlener has published, spoken and testified extensively on the subjects of health care for homeless and indigent children, child abuse and neglect and national health policy.
Click here for America’s Children Executive Summary.
Click here to donate at Indiegogo.