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One America - Reaching Out

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One America

Program: Reaching Out, Oakland, CA
Contact(s): Joseph Tieger, Executive Director: (510) 832-0444
Purpose: To inspire and promote community dialogue and collaborative action for racial and environmental healing

Background Program Operations Outcomes


Reaching Out is a unique participatory TV program that was produced following 10 weekly town-hall meetings that were held in Oakland, California in 1991. The program focuses on promoting racial dialogue, teaching community trust-building techniques and affording a healing process for participants. Reaching Out will be televised throughout the United States in spring 1998.

Program Operations

A sequence of seven 30-minute video segments, the Reaching Out television series weaves highlights from the Oakland town-hall meeting with remarks made by focus groups that were formed in conjunction with the town-hall meetings. Over 1,000 people attended the first town hall. During the focus groups, participants discussed experiences and strategies they have developed on how to address discrimination. These focus groups, called "wisdom circles," form the core of Reaching Out's television series, educating Americans about the growing issues of discrimination and racial separation.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

The television series is currently available to be purchased on video cassette. Home viewing groups are now meeting in the Bay Area and forming elsewhere in the country. Also, a 32-page viewer guide containing program highlights, questions for reflection and discussion, and suggestions on how to form and facilitate "wisdom circles" is also available for the general public. Reaching Out has a website, www.reachingout.org, which provides resources and a venue for an ongoing dialogue on race.

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