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The Climate Change Story And A Book Club Breaking Barriers

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(HELENE) COMING UP ON NEED TO KNOW, PRESIDENT
BARACK OBAMA HAS REFERRED TO CLIMATE CHANGE AS THE GREATEST THREAT TO OUR FUTURE – MORE
SO THAN TERRORISM. A LOCAL LOOK AT THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE DISRUPTIONS IN MONROE COUNTY AND
HOW ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCATES SAY WE CAN HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE – THAT’S COMING UP NEXT. ALSO ON THE SHOW, A WAITING LIST IS GROWING
FOR A LOCAL CLUB. IT’S A PLACE FOR STORYTELLING, LAUGHTER, SOCIALIZING, AND A LOT OF READING.
HOW A BOOK CLUB IS BRINGING TOGETHER A COMMUNITY AND BREAKING STEREOTYPES. AND A TRADITION OF MURAL MAKING IN ROCHESTER
CITY SCHOOLS LIVES ON. WE’LL LEARN ABOUT AREA STUDENTS CONTINUING THE WORK OF A RENOWNED
ARTIST REFERRED TO BY SOME AS A MASTER LANDSCAPIST. IT’S ALL COMING UP RIGHT NOW ON NEED TO
KNOW. (MUSIC) (HELENE) THE ISSUE OF CLIMATE CHANGE HAS A
NUMBER OF ADVOCATES AND A FAIR SHARE OF SKEPTICS. BUT HOWEVER YOU SLICE IT, SEVERAL SCIENTIFIC
AGENCIES IN THE U-S, INCLUDING NASA, AGREE THAT CLIMATE CHANGE IS HAPPENING AND WE ARE
CONTRIBUTING TO IT. HOW? ACCORDING TO SOME ENVIRONMENTALISTS, IT’S HAPPENING THROUGH
DEFORESTATION WHICH IS THE CLEARING OF FOREST TREES TO CREATE CLEAR LAND AND THROUGH THE
BURNING OF FOSSIL FUELS. BOTH ACTIVITIES RELEASE CARBON DIOXIDE INTO THE ATMOSPHERE. SO WHAT
DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU? ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCATES SAY A LOT MORE THAN
YOU MAY THINK. JOINING ME TO BREAK-DOWN THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON EVERYDAY PEOPLE
AND COMMUNITIES ARE: SUE HUGHES-SMITH – CO-LEADER OF THE ROCHESTER PEOPLE’S CLIMATE COALITION,
MARK DUNLEA – PRESIDENT OF GREEN EDUCATION AND LEGAL FUND, AND TIM MCGOWAN – CO-LEADER
OF CITIZENS CLIMATE LOBBY OF ROCHESTER. WELCOME TO ALL OF YOU. THANKS FOR BEING HERE. (SUE HUGHES-SMITH) THANK YOU FOR HAVING US. (HELENE) SO, FIRST FOR VIEWERS WHO MIGHT ASK
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ME? HOW DOES CLIMATE CHANGE EFFECT EVERYDAY LIFE? SUE,
I’LL GIVE THAT TO YOU. (HUGHES-SMITH) WELL, PEOPLE AREN’T AWARE
THAT CLIMATE CHANGE IS ALREADY IMPACTING OUR AREA. THE NORTH EASTERN UNITED STATES HAS
HAD AN INCREASE IN HEAVY STORM EVENTS BY ABOUT 71% SINCE 1950. WHAT IT DOES FOR US IS IT
ERODES OUR WATER QUALITY BECAUSE WE HAVEN’T UPDATED OUR INFRASTRUCTURE TO HANDLE THE INCREASED
STORM WATER. (HELENE) I WANT TO GET REALLY TO THE BASICS
WHEN IT COMES TO THIS . HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE CLIMATE CHANGE. WE MIGHT HEAR THAT WORD USED
IN CONVERSATIONS, BUT MAYBE PERHAPS DON’T FULLY HAVE A GRASP OF IT. MARK, HOW WOULD
YOU DEFINE IT AND BREAK IT DOWN? (MARK DUNLEA) WELL, ONE WAY YOU WOULD DEFINE
IT IS THAT WEATHER BECOMES MORE SEVERE. SO WHEN HURRICANE SANDY ROARED UP THE EAST COAST
BECAUSE THE OCEAN WAS WARMER THE WIND SPEED AND THE STORM SURGE INCREASE WAS MUCH MORE
POWERFUL. WE SAWS THAT IN EUROPE ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO
WHERE 70,000 PEOPLE DIED DURING THE HEATWAVE DURING THE SUMMER, MAINLY SENIORS. IT’S
LIKE A PENDULUM. SOMETIMES IT PUSHES IT FURTHER OUT, SO IT BECOMES TOO HOT, AND SOMETIMES
IT PUSHES IT THE OTHER WAY SO IT BECOMES TOO COLD. WE’RE SORT OF MOVING AWAY FROM WHAT
IS AVERAGE AND THE PROBLEM IS A LOT OF OUR AGRICULTURE SYSTEM WAS DESIGNED TO OPERATE
WITHIN CERTAIN PARAMETERS AND NOW WE ARE MOVING OUTSIDE OF THOSE PERIMETERS. (HELENE) YOU TOUCHED UPON WARMING AND IT’S
A WORD I WANT TO ALSO TIE IN AS WELL. WHAT’S THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CLIMATE CHANGE AND
GLOBAL WARMING? PRIOR TO TAPING THIS YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT THIS A LITTLE BIT, TIM, HOW
STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT AMERICANS MAYBE CONNECT MORE TO THE WORD GLOBAL WARMING AS OPPOSED
TO CLIMATE CHANGE. TALK ABOUT THAT CONNECTION, THE RELATIONSHIP. (TIM MCGOWAN) SURE. IT’S A BIT MORE ACCESSIBLE.
WE KNOW WHAT WARMER IS. IT’S SIMPLY MORE IN RANGE FOR PEOPLE’S PERCEPTION. GLOBAL
WARMING REFERS TO AN INCREASE IN THE TEMPERATURE OF THE EARTH AS A WHOLE. TEMPERATURE IS ONLY
ONE ASPECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN A BROADER WAY. CLIMATE CHANGE EFFECTS ALL KINDS OF SYSTEMS.
SO PRECIPITATION, SEASONS, THE LENGTH OF SEASONS, OBVIOUSLY WE ARE TALKING ABOUT SEA LEVEL RISING
ETCETERA, BUT FROM A SCIENTIFIC POINT OF VIEW, FROM A SYSTEMIC POINT OF VIEW, IT’S MORE
THAN TEMPERATURE. CLIMATE CHANGE IS INVOLVING A RANGE OF EARTH SYSTEMS. GLOBAL WARMING IS
FOCUSED ON TEMPERATURE. (HUGHES-SMITH) KIND OF TO ADD TO THAT, LIKE,
GLOBAL WARMING IS THE INCREASE IN THE AVERAGE OF THE EARTH’S TEMPERATURE, RIGHT? BUT HOW
THAT EXPRESSES ITSELF GLOBALLY IS VARIABLE. BECAUSE OF WIND PATTERNS, BECAUSE OF OCEAN
PATTERNS, BECAUSE THOSE ARE SHIFTING, SOME PLACES GET WARMER, SOME PLACES GET COLDER,
SOME PLACES ARE JUST GETTING MORE CHAOTIC. (HELENE) THE INTER-GOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE
CHANGE REPORTED IN 2013 THAT CLIMATE SCIENTISTS ARE 95% CERTAIN THAT HUMANS ARE THE PRIMARY
CAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE. I MENTIONED THIS BRIEFLY IN THE INTRODUCTION OF THIS SEGMENT,
BUT EXPLAIN IN MORE DETAIL HOW THIS IS HAPPENING, HOW WE’RE CONTRIBUTING TO THIS AND HOW LONG
THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON. (DUNLEA) WELL, THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION IS
ABOUT TWO CENTURIES OLD AND THAT’S WHEN WE BEGAN TO BURN FOSSIL FUELS. EVEN EXXON
15-20 YEARS AGO UNDERSTOOD WHAT WAS HAPPENING, BUT THEY DECIDED, FOR BUSINESS REASONS TO,
BASICALLY, MISLEAD THE PUBLIC. IT’S VERY GOOF THAT THE NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL
IS NOW INVESTIGATING EXXON TO SEE WHAT RESPONSIBILITY THEY SHOULD BARE FOR THE AMOUNT OF DAMAGE
THAT HAS OCCURRED BY NOT TELLING PEOPLE ABOUT IT. WE’LL BE HOTTER MORE OFTEN AND SO YOU’LL
HAVE MORE HEAT WAVES. INSTEAD OF MAYBE 6 OR 7 OR 8 DAYS DURING THE SUMMER, IT WILL BE
ABOVE 90 DEGREES MAYBE THAT WILL BE 20, 25, 30 TIMES. SCIENTISTS ARE ACTUALLY SAYING THAT
PARTS OF THE UNITED STATES, BY THE END OF THIS CENTURY, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GO OUTSIDE
FOR SIGNIFICANT PARTS OF THE YEAR. SURPRISINGLY, IT WOULD BE THE MIDWEST BECAUSE IT’S A COMBINATION
OF HEAT, BUT ALSO MOISTURE. (HELENE) IN TERMS OF HOW WE’RE PLAYING A
PART IN IN, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY? AND IN WHAT WAYS? BECAUSE I THINK THIS IS KEY FOR PEOPLE
TO BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND. (TIM MCGOWAN) IT REALLY IS THE BURNING OF
FOSSIL FUELS. SO COAL AND OIL AND NATURAL GAS AND THE FOCUS IS ESPECIALLY, IN THIS COUNTRY,
NOW ON COAL AS A MAJOR GENERATOR OR CARBON DIOXIDE. THE KEY PIECE THAT WE ARE LOOKING
AT HERE IS CARBON DIOXIDE AND IT’S BECOMING TRAPPED IN THE ATMOSPHERE. IT’S NOT RELEASING AS IT NORMALLY WOULD.
THE HEAT THAT IS BUILDING UPS SO IT’S KIND OF FORMING A BLANKET. THE FOCUS, REALLY, IS
ON THE C02 EQUIVALENT OF COAL AND OIL AND NATURAL GAS AS CAUSATIVE, AS REALLY GENERATIVE
OR THIS RANGE OF PHENOMENON THAT WE ARE SEEING. (DUNLEA) ON OF THE GROUPS I WORK WITH IS 350.ORG,
BILL MCGIBBONS GROUP, IS PROBABLY THE BEST KNOWN CLIMATE GROUP IN THE COUNTRY AND THEY
ARE NAMED BECAUSE IF THE PARTS PER MILLION IN THE ATMOSPHERE OF CARBON GETS ABOVE 350,
THAT’S WHEN YOU’RE REALLY GOING TO GET THE SEVERE CLIMATE CHANGE, AND FOR THE LAST
YEAR, WE’VE BEEN OVER 400 PARTS PER MILLION. TIM MENTIONED CARBON, BUT THE REALITY IS ALSO
NATURAL GAS OR METHANE, SHORT TERM, IS ABOUT 87 TIMES WORSE THAN CARBON. IT’S A REAL
PROBLEM IN NEW YORK STATE THAT NEW YORK STATE IS ACTUALLY BUILDING OUT THE AMOUNT OF NATURAL
GAS WE USE, BECAUSE, SHORT TERM, THAT’S MORE POTENT AS SOMETHING THAT’S GOING TO
WARM UP THE CLIMATE. SO IT WAS REALLY GOOD THAT GOVERNOR CUOMO SAID NO, WE ARE NOT GOING
TO ALLOW FRACKING OF NATURAL GAS, BUT REALLY WE HAVE TO STOP NATURAL GAS OVERALL. NOT JUST
ONE EXTRACTION METHOD. (HELENE) WHEN THE NEW YORK TIMES REPORTS THAT
THE 10 WARMEST YEARS ON RECORD HAVE ALL OCCURRED SINCE ’97, WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA SAYS HE’S
CONVINCED THAT NO CHALLENGE POSES A GREATER THREAT TO OUR FUTURE AND FUTURE GENERATIONS
THAN CLIMATE CHANGE, WHY ARE THERE CLIMATE SKEPTICS? WHY DO WE HEAR ARGUMENTS THAT THIS
IS A HOAX, WE CAN’T PREDICT THESE THINGS AND OTHER ARGUMENTS? IN YOUR OPINION DO YOU
BELIEVE THERE’S ANY TRUTH TO THIS TOO? (HUGHES-SMITH) IN MY OPINION, THE SCIENCE
ON CLIMATE CHANGE HAS BEEN SETTLED FOR A VERY, VERY LONG TIME. WE HAVE HISTORICAL EVIDENCE,
GEOLOGICALLY, OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND THERE ARE MANY PARALLELS TO WHAT WE ARE DOING TO
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE PAST AS A RESULT OF NATURAL CAUSES. WE KNOW, WE CAN ELIMINATE THOSE NATURAL CAUSES
FOR BEING THE REASON FOR CLIMATE CHANGE TODAY. THERE’S LOTS OF DATA, THERE’S LOTS OF
EVIDENCE THAT SHOWS IT’S OUR BEHAVIOR, OUR DEFORESTATION MOSTLY IN THE TROPICS RIGHT
NOW AND OUR USE OF FOSSIL FUELS THAT IS INCREASING THE AMOUNT OF CARBON THAT IS IN THE AIR AND
THAT KEEPS HEAT IN. IT’S ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THAT IT IS CAUSED BY PEOPLE AND OUR BEHAVIORS. (DUNLEA) AND ALSO REMEMBER THAT, UNFORTUNATELY,
THE UNITED STATES IS PROBABLY THE SINGLE MOST GUILTY PARTY IN TERMS OF CAUSING THE CLIMATE
CHANGE AND IS REALLY ONLY ONE COUNTRY ON THE PLANET WHERE THERE IS ANY CLIMATE DENIAL AND
THAT’S THE UNITED STATES. THIS ISSUE DOES NOT GET DEBATED ON THE REST OF THE PLANET.
THIS IS VERY WELL SETTLED. THAT IS WHY THE NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL
IS INVESTIGATING EXXON. THEY LIED KNOWINGLY IN ORDER TO PROTECT THEIR FUTURE BUSINESS
INTERESTS . THE REALITY IS THAT INTERESTS THAT WANT TO CONTINUE TO BURN FOSSIL FUELS
HAVE FUNDED SCIENTISTS TO PROMOTE THE SKEPTICISM, BUT THE REST OF THE PLANET DOES NOT ALLOW
THAT TYPE OF MISINFORMATION. (HELENE) IN ADDITION TO THE US, I WOULD SAY,
CHINA AS WELL IN TERMS OF THE GUILTY PARTIES, IF YOU WANT TO USE THAT PHRASE. (DUNLEA) YEAH, BUT JUST, THE PER CAPITA…
THE AMOUNT OF POLLUTION PER PERSON IS SO MUCH HIGHER IN THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE PLACES
LIKE INDIA, AND CHINA ARE BIGGER THEY ARE CONTRIBUTING. RIGHT NOW, PROBABLY, INDIA IS
GOING TO BE THE BIGGEST PROBLEM BECAUSE THEY ARE USING THE MOST COAL MOVING FORWARD, BUT
THERE’S ALSO THE PROBLEM THAT THE UNITED STATES HAS MOST BENEFITED FROM THE INDUSTRIAL
REVOLUTION. WE HAD THE BEST, IN TERMS OF GROSS NATIONAL
PRODUCT AND A LOT OF THE OTHER COUNTRIES ARE SAYING WELL YOU HAVE WREAKED HAVOC ON THE
PLANET IN ORDER TO DEVELOP YOUR ECONOMY AND IF WE NEED TO NOT FOLLOW THAT PATH IN ORDER
TO AVOID CLIMATE CHANGE THAN YOU MUST COMPENSATE US AND HELP OUR COMMUNITY, OUR PEOPLE INCREASE
THEIR STANDARD OF LIVING BECAUSE YOU HAVE BASICALLY TAKEN THE WHOLE CARBON BUDGET AND
USED IT FOR NORTH AMERICA. (MCGOWAN) I JUST WANT TO RESPOND TO YOUR EARLIER
QUESTION AS WELL IN TERMS OF WHY PEOPLE SEEM TO PERSIST IN EITHER DENIAL OR… AND IT OBVIOUSLY
CAN BE FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS. IT CAN BE FOR POLITICAL REASONS, IN TERMS OF IDEOLOGY.
IT CAN BE OUT OF FEAR. THE STUFF CAN BE OVERWHELMING. IT CAN BE OUT
OF A CHOSEN IGNORANCE TO NOT LOOK AT THE SCIENCE OR NOT ENGAGE IN THE INFORMATION THAT’S
COMING OUT ON IT. IT’S COMPLEX. I THINK THE KEY THING HERE, REALLY, IS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY,
AS INDIVIDUALS, AS FAMILIES, AS COMMUNITIES, AS A NATION AND AS A SPECIES. (HELENE) AND HOW DO WE DO THAT? I’M INTERESTED
IN HOW WE, AS A COMMUNITY HERE, HOW DO YOU MOBILIZE INDIVIDUALS TO DO JUST THAT? TO TAKE
RESPONSIBILITY WITH SOMETHING LIKE THIS? (MCGOWAN) I THINK THE FIRST THING IS PEOPLE
NEED TO LEARN. PEOPLE NEED TO BE OPEN TO EXPLORING INFORMATION ON WHAT’S HAPPENING AND WHAT
THE SCIENCE IS, WHAT THE IMPLICATIONS ARE AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR US AS INDIVIDUALS, AS
FAMILIES. SO THE FIRST PIECE REALLY IS OPENING UP TO… THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING. THE SECOND
PIECE COMES INTO LOOKING AT, AGAIN FOSSIL FUELS, ESPECIALLY CARBON FOOTPRINTS. SO WHAT IS MY CARBON FOOTPRINT? BY THAT I
MEAN HOW MUCH CARBON AM I LEAVING AS A RESULT OF MY PURCHASING DECISIONS AND MY LIFESTYLE?
LOOKING AT HOUSEHOLD REALITY IN TERMS OF, IS MY HOME PROPERLY INSULATED? WHAT KIND OF
MILEAGE AM I GETTING FOR MY CAR? AND THEN FINALLY PEOPLE NEED TO BECOME ACTIVE BECAUSE
IT DOESN’T HAPPEN JUST BY INDIVIDUALS OR SMALL… WE NEED ALL TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
FOR THE FUTURE FOR OUR KIDS. (DUNLEA) AND I SAY STILL, THE LAST PART IS
THE MOST IMPORTANT BECAUSE WE CANNOT INDIVIDUALLY SOLVE THE PROBLEM. WE NEED TO MOVE TO 100%
RENEWABLES. IT IS CHEAPER. IT IS HEALTHIER AND IT GIVES THE PLANET A FUTURE. THERE’S
NO REASON NOT TO DO IT. (HELENE) IS IT COST EFFECTIVE? (DUNLEA) IT IS COST EFFECTIVE. IT WOULD LOWER
ELECTRIC RATES BY 50% COMPARED TO CONTINUAL RELIANCE UPON FOSSIL FUELS. IN NEW YORK STATE
AN ESTIMATED 3,000 PEOPLE DIE ANNUALLY FROM THE BURNING OF FOSSIL FUELS. (HELENE) TIM MCGOWN, MARK DUNLEA, AND SUE
HUGHES-SMITH, THANK YOU FOR JOINING ME TODAY AND FOR YOUR INSIGHT ON THIS ISSUE. TO LEARN
MORE ABOUT THE CAUSES AND IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS AFFECT ON AGRICULTURE, HUMAN
HEALTH, POVERTY, INFRASTRUCTURE AND MUCH MORE – CHECK OUT THE WEBSITES ON YOUR SCREEN: CITIZENS-CLIMATE-LOBBY-DOT-ORG,
ROCHESTER-CLIMATE-ACTION-DOT-ORG AND G-E-L-F-N-Y-DOT-ORG. THE BARRIERS ARE IMMENSE WHEN IT COMES TO
INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES SEEKING EMPLOYMENT. ACCORDING TO THE U-S BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS,
17-PERCENT OF PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY WERE EMPLOYED IN 2014. THAT’S COMPARED TO NEARLY
65-PERCENT OF INDIVIDUALS WITHOUT A DISABILITY. ONE OF THOSE BARRIERS TO THE LABOR FORCE IS
A LACK OF CERTAIN EDUCATIONAL SKILLS. TIED TO THAT, FOR SOME, IS A LACK OF LITERACY TRAINING. BUT A LOCAL BOOK CLUB CONNECTED TO A NATIONAL
BOOK CLUB MOVEMENT, IS NOT ONLY TEARING DOWN SOME OF THESE BARRIERS, BUT ALSO BREAKING
STEREOTYPES AND BUILDING A SENSE OF COMMUNITY FOR ADULTS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES.
JOINING ME NOW TO SHARE MORE ABOUT THE ARC OF MONROE COUNTY’S BOOK CLUB ARE: CLUB PARTICIPANTS
JOE HILL AND DAMON THOMAS ALONG WITH TIBBANY HO – A SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST FOR THE
ARC OF MONROE COUNTY. IT’S GREAT TO HAVE ALL OF YOU HERE. (TIBBANY HO) THANK YOU FOR HAVING US. YOU’RE WELCOME. (HELENE) JUST TO BEGIN, TIBBANY, I UNDERSTAND
THAT YOU ARE ESSENTIALLY THE MAJOR FORCE BEHIND THIS CLUB, AND IT’S SOMETHING YOU BEGAN
RESEARCHING WHILE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE. I’M CURIOUS TO KNOW, AT THE TIME,
WHAT WERE YOU HOPING TO DEVELOP AND WHY AND HOW DID IT MORPH INTO A BOOK CLUB? (TIBBANY HO) SO I’VE ALWAYS, FIRST AND FOREMOST,
ALWAYS LOVED LITERACY, ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN LITERACY, ESPECIALLY WITH THIS POPULATION.
WHEN I WAS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE I WAS ASKED TO BE INVOLVED IN THIS LEADERSHIP
PROGRAM AND AS PART OF OUR CHARGE WITHIN THE LEADERSHIP PROGRAM, WE WERE ASKED TO DEVELOP
AN ACTION PLAN TO UTILIZE SOME OF THE RESOURCES AND TOOLS THAT WE WERE PROVIDED TO BUILD MORE
COMMUNITY INCLUSION AND EXPERIENCES FOR THIS POPULATION. SO I THOUGHT HERE’S MY CHANCE
TO TIE IN LITERACY AND DEVELOP AN INCLUSIVE BOOK CLUB. SO I HAD THIS WHOLE ACTION PLAN
AND WHEN I CAME TO THE ARC, IT JUST SEEMED LIKE THE PERFECT VENUE TO LAUNCH SOMETHING
LIKE THIS. (HELENE) I’M CURIOUS TO KNOW, JOE, WHEN
YOU FIRST HEARD ABOUT THIS BOOK CLUB AND THIS OPPORTUNITY, WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS? WHAT
WERE YOU THINKING? (JOE HILL) WELL, ONE OF MY THOUGHTS WAS I
ENJOY BOOK CLUB AND THINGS LIKE THAT. WHEN I GO OUT ON THE BUS WITH DAMON AND STUFF LIKE
THAT. (HELENE) SO, IN TERMS OF THE ASPECT, THE IDEA
OF SOCIALIZING AND MEETING NEW PEOPLE AND READING, IT SOUNDS LIKE IT WAS PRETTY MUCH
A SLAM DUNK. (HILL) YEAH. (DAMON THOMAS) YEAH. IT’S SO FUN, BUT YOU
MEET PEOPLE, GET COFFEE, IT’S MORE THAN BOOKS. (HELENE) AND WERE YOU INTERESTED… I GUESS
WERE BOOKS AND READING SOMETHING YOU INTERESTED IN PRIOR TO BOOK CLUB OR WOULD YOU SAY THIS
INCREASED YOUR INTEREST EVEN MORE. (THOMAS) MORE. (HELENE) IT INCREASED IT EVEN MORE? (THOMAS) YEAH. (HELENE) WHAT ABOUT FOR YOU, JOE? (HILL) IT’S LIKE THAT I DO MORE THINGS.
I DO STUFF. (HELENE) WELL, ONE THING I WANT TO FIND OUT,
I WANT YOU TO EXPLAIN A LITTLE BIT, TIBBANY, THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATING A WAY TO SUPPORT
LITERACY OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE SERVED BY THE ARC. AND FOR THOSE WATCHING WHO MIGHT
SAY, AREN’T THESE TYPES OF SKILLS SOMETHING THAT WE GET EARLY ON IN OUR EDUCATIONAL CAREER?
HOW WOULD YOU RESPOND? (HO) I THINK FOR A LOT OF THESE FOLKS, LIKE
DAMON AND JOE, WHEN THEY ARE GOING THROUGH THE SCHOOL SYSTEM, A LOT OF THE EMPHASIS IS
PLACED MORE ON, LIKE, PHYSICAL NEEDS AND MAINTAINING MEDICAL NEEDS AND THOSE KINDS OF THINGS. LESS
EMPHASIS ON THE LITERACY AND OTHER EDUCATIONAL SKILLS. NOW, WITH REFORM, WE ARE SEEING MORE
AND MORE OF THESE FOLKS JOINING THE COMMUNITIES… (HILL) I TAKE THE BUS OUT THERE TOO. (HO) EXACTLY. (HELENE) SO YOU TAKE THE BUS THEN THERE? (HO) YUP, SO YOU KNOW, TAKING THE BUS, RESIDING
IN LOCAL NEIGHBORHOODS WITH MANAGED CARE COMING UP. WE’VE GOT MORE FOLKS ENTERING THE WORK
FORCE, AND THOSE ARE IMPORTANT SKILLS TO HAVE OUT IN THE COMMUNITY, OUT IN THE WORK FORCE. (HELENE) JUST TO CLARIFY, THIS IS CONNECTED
TO THIS NATIONAL BOOK MOVEMENT, NEXT CHAPTER, CORRECT? (HO) YES. SO, NEXT CHAPTER BOOK CLUB ORIGINATED
OUT OF OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY NISONGER CENTER, HEADED BY A GENTLEMAN NAMED TOM FISH. HE DESIGNED
THE PROGRAM BASED ON A DISCUSSION ABOUT THE PREVAILING ASSUMPTION THAT ADULTS WITH DISABILITIES
AREN’T PRESUMED AS READERS OR PURSUING LIFELONG LEARNING. EITHER THE PROGRAM WAS DEVELOPED
TO KIND OF BREAK MORE OF THESE EXPERIENCES TO THESE FOLKS. (HELENE) SO, DAMON AND JOE, I WANT TO GET
A SENSE, FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW WHAT THE EXPERIENCE IS LIKE, WHAT HAPPENS? I KNOW THE
BOOK CLUB OPERATES TWICE A WEEK. JUST, KIND OF, BREAK DOWN WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GET THERE. (THOMAS) OKAY. WE GO IN THERE, WE GET COFFEE
WITH PEOPLE. (HILL) I GET A POP, BECAUSE WHEN I GO IN THERE
I GO UP THERE TO GET POP UP HERE SO I CAN HAVE IT FOR LUNCH. (HELENE) GOOD CAFFEINE TO GET YOU GOING TOO. (HILL) YEAH. IT’S GOOD KIND OF STUFF THAT
I LIKE TO DRINK TO HAVE, SO YOU KNOW. (HELENE) IN TERMS OF WHEN YOU ARE READING,
ARE YOU READING INDIVIDUALLY? ARE YOU READING WITH YOUR PEERS? HOW DOES IT WORK? (HILL) WITH MY PEERS AND I READ WITH HIM. (HELENE) AND HOW DOES IT WORK FOR YOU DAMON? (THOMAS) ME, MYSELF, HELP JOE WITH WORDS. (HELENE) I WANT TO KNOW, BECAUSE I HEAR THERE’S
THIS WAITING LIST FOR THE BOOK CLUB, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? THAT SEEMS LIKE A MESSAGE
TO ME FOR THE COMMUNITY. I DON’T KNOW IF YOU WOULD LOOK AT IT THE SAME WAY, BUT IS
THAT A MESSAGE WHEN YOU HEAR THAT PEOPLE WANT TO BE A PART OF THIS AND THERE’S NOT ENOUGH
SLOTS AVAILABLE? (HO) ABSOLUTELY. WHEN WE DEVELOPED THE PROGRAM…
THE HALLMARK OF THIS PROGRAM IS THAT YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO HAVE LITERACY SKILLS TO BE A
PART OF IT. YOU JUST HAVE TO HAVE AN ENJOYMENT OF READING, A DESIRE TO WANT TO READ, AND
AN INTEREST IN GOING OUT AND BEING A PART OF THE CLUB, SO WE HAVE TWO FACILITATORS THAT
WILL STILL COME WHICH MEANS WE NEED STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS TO HELP SUPPORT THE CLUB. (HILL) YEAH, CAUSE WE NEED HELP TO GET HELP
NOW. (HELENE) SO IT SOUNDS LIKE NOW IS A GOOD TIME
FOR VOLUNTEERS TO JUMP ON BOARD AND CONTRIBUTE THEIR TIME. (HO) YES. (HELENE) I WANT TO CLARIFY ONE THING. THIS
IS SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST ABOUT READING BOOKS, BECAUSE AS THEY BOTH MENTIONED THEY ARE TALKING
WITH PEOPLE, THEY ARE MEETING PEOPLE, AND YOU ARE ALSO BREAKING BARRIERS AND STEREOTYPES.
IF YOU CAN, JUST TOUCH ON THAT A LITTLE BIT IN TERMS OF HOW THAT’S HAPPENING WITH THIS
CLUB. (HO) SURE. I THINK WHEN WE ARE OUT IN THE
COMMUNITY, WE MEET, FOR EXAMPLE, AT BARNES AND NOBLE CAFÉ AND THE COMMUNITY MEMBERS
I’LL SEE THEM COME CLOSER. IT’S SOMETHING THAT THEY HAVEN’T SEEN BEFORE AND I THINK
IT’S BREAKING SOME OF THOSE PRESUMPTIONS OF SEEING ADULTS WITH DISABILITIES AS READERS
AND CHANGING PEOPLE’S PERCEPTION OF THAT. IT’S A GREAT THING. OUR GUYS LOVE INTERACTING
WITH THE BARISTAS. (HILL) I ALWAYS INTERACT. (HO) YEAH. THEY ARE DEVELOPING SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS
WITHIN THE COMMUNITY AS WELL, WHICH IS HUGE. (HELENE) VERY GOOD. WE LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING
MORE AND AGAIN, A CALL TO ACTION, IT SOUNDS LIKE, FOR VOLUNTEERS TO STEP UP AND WE’VE
GOT THAT INFORMATION AVAILABLE. TIBBANY HO, DAMON HILL AND JOE THOMAS – THANK YOU FOR
JOINING ME AND FOR YOUR TIME. (HILL) JOE HILL, DAMON THOMAS.
(HELENE) DAMON THOMAS, EXCUSE ME! THAT’S WHAT I GET FOR GOING TOO FAST. IF YOU’D
LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ARC OF MONROE COUNTY’S BOOK CLUB , CALL THE NUMBER ON
YOUR SCREEN: 585-672-2202 OR GO THE WEBSITE: ARC-MONROE-DOT-ORG. THIS SEGMENT WAS PART
OF WXXI’S MOVE TO INCLUDE. IT’S A PARTNERSHIP OF WXXI AND THE GOLISANO FOUNDATION – WORKING
WITH THE COMMUNITY TO LEAD CHANGE TOWARD THE INCLUSION OF PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL AND
PHYSICAL DISABILITIES. AND WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHAT YOU JUST HEARD – VISIT
MOVE-TO-INCLUDE-DOT-ORG. THERE’S A CHANCE YOU’VE SPOTTED THE WORK
OF RENOWNED LANDSCAPE ARTIST AND GENRE PAINTER CARL PETERS WHEN VISITING A ROCHESTER CITY
SCHOOL. HIS MURALS DATE BACK TO THE GREAT DEPRESSION WHEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FUNDED
SEVERAL ART PROJECTS INCLUDING ROCHESTER’S “WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION” HOSTED
BY THE MEMORIAL ART GALLERY. PETERS, WHO LIKE OTHER ARTISTS AT THE TIME,
HAD TROUBLE SELLING HIS PAINTINGS, SO HE ENROLLED AS A MURALIST FOR THIS FEDERAL PROJECT. HE
PAINTED 13 MURALS MOST OF WHICH STILL EXIST IN ROCHESTER. RECENTLY THE MAG PARTNERED WITH
STUDENTS AT WILSON MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL TO STUDY PETERS WORKS AND TO CARRY ON HIS LEGACY. CHECK
IT OUT. (SUSANNE CURTICE) MY NAME IS SUSANNE CURTICE.
I’M THE INTERNATIONAL BACCHALORIATE ARTS TEACHER HERE AT WILSON MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL
IN ROCHESTER, NY AND I HELPED COORDINATE THE CARL PETERS MURAL PROJECT. (JESSICA) SO THIS HERE IS THE STUDY THAT THE
STUDENTS AT WILSON MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL MADE FOR THEIR MURALS WHICH ARE IN RESPONSE TO
THE PETERS MURALS IN THEIR SCHOOL AND THEIR IDEA, I THINK THIS IS ENTITLED A WORLD OF
OUR OWN… AND THE CONCEPT BEHIND THEIR MURAL WAS THEY WERE RESPONDING DIRECTLY TO THE PETERS
MURALS IN THEIR SCHOOL AS WELL AS THE MURALS IN THE SCHOOL DOWN THE STREET FROM THEM IN
WILSON FOUNDATION ACADEMY. IT’S WHAT WE HAD ALWAYS HOPED WOULD HAPPEN, THAT THEY COULD
BRING THIS TRADITION OF MURAL MAKING AND LEAVING A LEGACY FOR FUTURE STUDENTS AS WELL. (PECH) MY NAME IS PECH. I AM ONE OF THE STUDENTS
WHO PARTICIPATED IN CREATING THE PIECE BEHIND US. IT’S SO MUCH MORE EXTENSIVE THAN JUST
A PAINTING PROCESS. WE HAD TO EMULATE A GREAT ARTIST AND THAT WAS CARL PETERS. HIS TECHNIQUE
WAS JUST SO ABOVE OUR LEVEL AND THROUGH THAT IT JUST BECAME SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST A PAINTING. (JESSICA) CARL PETERS IS KNOWN AS A REGIONAL
LANDSCAPE ARTIST. YOU KNOW, SORT OF, BEAUTIFUL WINDING STREAMS GOING THROUGH SNOWY FORESTS.
WHAT PEOPLE DON’T REALLY KNOW ABOUT CARL PETERS IS THAT HE OVER THE COURSE OF ABOUT
SEVEN YEARS, FROM 1937 TO 1942, HE WAS PAINTING MURALS FOR THE WPA. (JENNA) CARL PETERS DOCUMENTED ALL OF HIS
PROJECTS SO WE THOUGHT IT WAS IMPORTANT TO DOCUMENT OURS. MY ROLE WAS TO BASICALLY CHRONICLE
EVERYTHING WE DID WHEN WORKING ON THE MURAL. LIKE, TAKING PICTURES AND WRITING CAPTIONS
FOR THE PICTURES AND BASICALLY JUST WRITING THE WHOLE PROCESS.
TECHNOLOGY WAS IMPORTANT TO PUT INTO THE MURAL BECAUSE THIS SOCIETY THAT WE LIVE IN, THE
MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN IT, THEY BASE THEIR LIVES OFF OF TECHNOLOGY. (PECH) WE TRIED OUR VERY BEST TO LIKE, INCLUDE
AS MUCH DIVERSITY AS POSSIBLE. I THINK IT’S A PRETTY GOOD DEMOGRAPHIC OF THE SCHOOL. (SUSANNE) TECHNOLOGY, HOPE FOR THE FUTURE,
GAY MARRIAGE, DIVERSITY, IT WAS VERY IMPORTANT TO THEM THAT THEY REPRESENTED THE DIVERSE
STUDENT POPULATION THAT WE HAVE HERE AT WILSON AND THAT WE HAVE HERE IN ROCHESTER. SO I THINK
THAT THEY DID A REALLY GREAT JOB INCORPORATING ALL OF THAT. (JENNA) WHEN PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE LOOKING
AT IT 100 YEARS FROM NOW, LIKE WE DID WITH CARL PETERS, WE WANTED THEM TO KNOW WHAT WE
DID AND WHO WE WERE. (HELENE) THAT STORY WAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY
W-X-X-I TELEVISION’S ARTS IN-FOCUS PROGRAM. LEARN MORE ABOUT ARTS AND CULTURE IN THE ROCHESTER
REGION AT: ARTS-IN-FOCUS-DOT-TV. AND THAT’S IT FOR THIS EDITION OF NEED TO
KNOW. I’M HELENE BIANDUDI HOFER. THANK YOU FOR JOINING ME. I’LL SEE YOU NEXT WEEK,
RIGHT HERE, ON WXXI-TELEVISION. (MUSIC)

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