Al Letson

Host, Executive Producer, Idea Man, and Top Dog of State of the Re:Union, Al Letson has received national recognition and built a devoted fan base with soul-stirring, interdisciplinary work. He established himself early in his career as a heavyweight in the Poetry Slam Movement, which garnered artistic credibility and renown. Performing on a number of national, regional and local stages including HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, CBS’s Final Four PreGame Show and commercial projects for Sony, the Florida Times Union, Adobe Software, and the Doorpost Film Project, Al has honed his professional voice and artistic sensibilities into a unique brand that is all his own. After winning the Public Radio Talent Quest, Al received a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to create three episodes of his public radio show concept State of the Re:Union. His company finished their first grant in August of 2009 and has just been awarded one of the largest public radio grants every given to a single project to produce a full season of shows.

12:00am

Sun November 25, 2012
Cultural, Community, Information

State of the RE: Union - Comics - With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Airs Monday, November 5 at 8:00 p.m.  In this episode we explore a community where when evil rears its head, someone finds a way to set things right, even if they have to make sacrifices and defy the laws of our universe to do it. In this hour we tell the stories of real-life battles between good and evil in the world of comic books, where underdogs often come out on top and fantasy merges with reality. From creators and whistle blowers to real-life superheroes who've brought comics to life, putting on their own capes and costumes to fight for justice in their cities. The episode kicks off with host Al Letson talking about his secret ‘nerdy’ side. Then, a passionate Superman fan gets taken advantage of, and the comics community pitches in to help. Comics Alliance editor Laura Hudson causes an uproar in the comics community over an editorial about the portrayal of women in comics. Then, Cowabunga Dude! We visit the town that birthed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 

A letter from an unlikely comic book fan. We learn about Cosplay, then meet a man who transformed himself into a superhero. Finally, an emotional story about a boy’s wish to become a superhero.

10:57am

Mon November 12, 2012
Cultural, Community, Information

State of the RE:Union - Baltimore - Outsiders In

Row Houses in Baltimore

Airs Monday, October 15 at 8:00 p.m.  Baltimore is a city of many neighborhoods, of intense divides--racial, class, and otherwise--not easily overcome. It's a city bogged down by a reputation for crime, poverty and dysfunction--a reputation not entirely undeserved. But all of that overshadows the passion and dedication many Baltimoreans have for their city, and for taking on what's wrong with it in ways small and large. In this episode, we tell stories of people who are working from outside the system to take on Baltimore's problems and shepherd its promises into fruition.

8:00pm

Mon November 5, 2012
Cultural, Community, Information

State of the RE:Union - Vermont, The Small Town State

Airs Monday, November  at 8:00 p.m. Quaint storefronts along Main streets, covered bridges over clear streams, cows from dairy farms dotting green valleys: across the state, these are the iconic images of Vermont. But beyond its pastoral beauty, this is a place that prides itself on its independent spirit. This is truly a place where individual communities are self determining, where geographic isolation has forced people to get creative, and take their town's destiny into their own hands. In this hour, we'll hear a range of stories of the way Vermont's 'small town state' identity manifests.

5:29am

Sun June 24, 2012
Education

A Year Without Mexican-American Studies In Tucson

Originally published on Sun June 24, 2012 6:51 pm

Protesters are seen in June 2011 in support of the Tucson Unified School District's Mexican-American studies program. A new state law effectively ended the program saying it was divisive.
Ross D. Franklin AP

An Arizona law that went into effect last year essentially ruled that the Mexican-American studies program offered in the Tucson public school system was divisive and should be scrapped. At the end of the first semester without the classes, hard feelings still linger.

For eight years, until this past January, Lorenzo Lopez taught Mexican-American studies at Cholla High in Tucson, Ariz., the very school from which he graduated in 1992.

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