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Programming Notes: September 2015

A celebration of Labor Day

I’m sad to say the summer has come to an end - the kids have tucked away their bikes and kick balls and gathered together their school supplies. Of course for us adults, it’s the same old routine. So, to break up the monotony and celebrate the people who have worked hard to make our world amazing, we have some great programming on Labor Day (September 7th, in case you were wondering.)

Kicking off the special programming at 9AM, we delve into The Mind of an Innovator. We’re told almost daily that we need innovation; that it drives prosperity and economic growth and is the engine of job creation. We’ll hear about these innovations all the time. But do we ever stop and wonder where the innovation comes from? What fosters it? How we keep it flowing? In this program, we’ll hear the stories of some of real-world change-makers, examine just where their big ideas come from and demonstrate exactly how innovators cultivate an environment of curiosity and experimentation.

At 10AM, we’ll hear an honest, intimate and informative portrait of an unusual occupation and the Native Americans who made it their own – the Skywalkers of Akwesane. For over a hundred years the Mohawks of Akwesasne, a reservation on the New York-Canada border, pursued the occupation of ironworkers, one of the most dangerous jobs in construction. Mohawks were on the high steel crews of every bridge and skyscraper in Manhattan, commuting between job and their 12-hour-distant home every weekend. They became famous for their skill, daring and major contribution to the skyline of New York. This is the story of men plying a difficult craft in the modern world while cleaving to tribal customs in an ancient world -- a balancing act that has taken its toll in lives and relationships.

Then at 10:30, we’ll hear how the types of workers in New Orleans have evolved in Changing Communities, Imminent Threats: Katrina's Legacy. On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina ripped through the Southern Gulf Coast. Ten years later, it’s estimated there are nearly 100,000 fewer African Americans living in the city of New Orleans. Drawn by reconstruction work, the number of Latino immigrants has nearly doubled. Reconstruction after Hurricane Katrina drew thousands of people from India, Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, and other Latin American countries. Workers were charged with pulling dead bodies from abandoned homes and rebuilding New Orleans. But the influx of migrant workers also increased immigration crackdowns. We talk to residents about how the city has transformed since Hurricane Katrina and the resulting friction.

11AM brings us to a topic no one likes to talk about, and it’s Fired: Tales of Jobs Gone Bad. Just ask actor and commentator Annabelle Gurwitch. Shortly after landing a part in a play directed by her idol, Woody Allen, she was fired because of so-called “creative differences” between her and the director. Gurwitch channeled her disbelief and bitterness into something more constructive, creating the show you’re about to hear. She began calling up her friends and colleagues, and found that everyone had a compelling and often hilarious story to tell. Please note that there is some explicit content in this program, and may not be suitable for a younger audience.

Closing out our day of special programming is Alan Chartock...In Conversation with William Adler, the author of The Man Who Never Died: The Life, Times and Legacy of Joe Hill, American Labor Icon.