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Democracy Now! July 25, 2002

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Program Title:
Democracy Now! July 25, 2002
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 
PZ0450.214
Description: 

ONE FAMILY'S FIGHT TO GET THEIR CHILDREN BACK FROM THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM, A CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL FRANTI

MUSICAL GUEST: Michael Franti, the lead singer of the group Spearhead and a spoken word poet Contact: www.spearheadvibrations.com 9:00-9:01 Billboard: "A STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE": Today, the story of one family's fight to get their children back from the foster care system. And then, singer Michael Franti. All that and more coming up. 9:01-9:06 Headlines: 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20 "A STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE": ONE FAMILY'S FIGHT TO GET THEIR CHILDREN BACK FROM THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM President Bush held a nationally televised press conference Tuesday where he proudly announced a new adoption campaign, urging American families to adopt children in foster care. He unveiled the first ever national web site on adoption, www.usadoptkids.org, and announced a series of PSAs featuring Laura Bush and actor Bruce Willis. As the Associated Press reported, the adoption event in the White House's grand East Room allowed Bush to appeal to his voter base of Christian conservatives by promoting an alternative to abortion and to burnish his credentials as a "compassionate conservative" by extending a government hand to at-risk children. Video clip: George Bush at a news conference on 07/23/02 launching a national adoption campaign In: "adoptive parents have a special calling" Out: "that's our hope" Contact: www.usadoptkids.org Speeding up adoptions may sound on the surface like a good idea, but today we're going to go below the surface, and we're going to look at foster care, and what it means when biological parental rights are severed. W.E.B. DuBois wrote in The Souls of Black Folk,' "The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line." This is one of those dividing line stories. Here in NY, there is an agency called ACS the Administration for Children's Services. The vast majority of white people don't even know this acronym. But a good number of African-Americans and Latinos know it all too well, and fear it. Today we're going to tell you one story-- the story of the Pena family. Lucy and Jose Pena live in the Bronx. Ten years ago they had a son. Lucy tested positive for drugs when she delivered their second child . ACS put both children in foster care over seen by St. Dominic's Home , a Bronx private non-profit . A few years later, Lucy gave birth to Stacey, and was allowed to keep her. Lucy and Jose have been clean for nine years now. But ACS will not return their children. In 1995 the Penas parental rights were terminated, they were told they could no longer see their two older children. While they were devastated, they were slightly comforted by the belief that the children had been adopted together. Last year, in an unprecedented lawsuit, six year old Stacey sued to assert her birthright to meet her older brother and sister. It was only then, in a closed family court hearing that the Penas learned that the family that adopted Nancy had rejected Joseph, sending him back into the system. Yet, both St. Dominic's and ACS claimed at that hearing they didn't know where Joseph was. Though the Penas have continually asked for Joseph to be returned, he remains in foster care. While ACS would not join us for today's program, a spokesperson said Joseph is now in a residential facility. Today we are going to hear a documentary about the Pena family. It's called "A Struggle for Justice" It is produced and narrated by Woody Henderson MDV Tape: "A Struggle for Justice" Contact: www.astruggleforjustice.com Photo of Joseph ww.ocfs.state.ny.us/adopt/internet/InternetPhotoinq.asp Number c-745 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40 "A STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE": ONE FAMILY'S FIGHT TO GET THEIR CHILDREN BACK FROM THE ADMINISTRATION OF CHILD SERVICES AND THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM Guest: Woody Henderson, filmmaker and narrator of "A Struggle for Justice." He is also president of the New York chapter of the National Action Network Contact: 212 222 7490 www.ajuststruggle.com www.nationalactionnetwork.org Guest: Hank Orenstein, social worker, director of the Child Welfare Project and a lawyer with the New York City Public Advocates office IN STUDIO 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 ADOPTED BY A WHITE FAMILY: A CONVERSATION WITH HIP HOP SINGER AND SPOKEN WORD POET MICHAEL FRANTI For nearly a decade hip hop artist and activist Michael Franti has been a leading progressive voice in music. Franti grew out of the Bay Area music and political scene in the early 1990's. In 1986 he founded the drum n bass duo the Beatnigs, paving the way for his next musical endeavor, the Disposable Heroes of HipHoprisy. His most recent musical project is the musical collective Spearhead, begun in 1994. Franti's distinctive style is infused with hip hop, soul and jazz influences and driven by his eloquent political lyrics. He has always used music to push social boundaries. He speaks out against sexual violence, encourages his community to prevent the spread of HIV, and sings about the hypocrisy of the US government. Franti's latest album, "Stay Human," proposes that grassroots community activists infiltrate, overthrow, and take the media into their own hands to get important political messages out to a wider audience. The album also takes on the politics and racism of the death penalty. Michael Franti is in the middle of a major national tour, where he is playing to crowds of thousands all over the country. But what people may not know about Michael Franti, as we talk about foster care, adoption and race today, is that Michael was adopted. Born to a white mother and black father, he was adopted by a white family. Guest: Michael Franti, lead singer of Spearhead and spoken word poet Contact: www.spearheadvibrations.com 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
July 25, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
July 25, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
Keywords: 
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Distributor: 
WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. July 25, 2002
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