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Against The Odds

Against The Odds profiles people who have overcome significant obstacles in life; it has a particular focus on people from marginalized groups who don't typically get a lot of media play. Produced and hosted by Ellis Cose, Newsweek columnist, award-winning journalist, author, educator, and public radio commentator. Each program takes an in-depth look at individuals who have struggled against, and often triumphed over, tremendous odds. The series is designed to provide compelling coverage of people and communities often relegated to the margins of our globalized world and to stimulate thinking on how they, and their respective societies, can overcome that marginalization.

1. "Hope on a Pile of Bones" will introduce listeners to a range of people who are building the new Rwanda. We profile a young genocide survivor who escaped the slaughter by pretending to be a woman (his father and brothers were murdered).

Monday, April 6, AM820 8pm

2. "Beating the Foster Care Curse" profiles survivors of foster care, including two sisters who, this year, graduated from Smith and Virginia Polytechnic respectively. Their father was a drug addict who was incapable of caring for them after the mother ran off with her lover. And they witnessed an aunt commit suicide. After their parents abandoned them, the two girls were taken in by an aunt.

Tuesday, April 7, AM820 8pm

3. "Breaking the Bonds of Tradition" focuses on several remarkable people in India who have said "no" to prejudice and low expectations. We profile a Dalit (i.e., Untouchable) leader who is providing scores of young people from poor villages with their first chance ever at receiving an education with dignity. We also look at a group of women widowed by the Gujarat anti-Muslim riots of 2002.

Wednesday, April 8, AM820 8pm

4. "Nerds in the Hood" looks at kids from some of the toughest streets, on both coasts, who have managed, despite their dicey backgrounds, to become exemplary achievers.

Thursday, April 9, AM820 8pm