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Addressing Youth Violence

Anthony Smith, CEO of Cities United, a national network of communities focused on eliminating violence related to African American males, talks about the violence-curbing initiatives he helped create in Louisville including the Right Turn program for teenagers 16 to 19 who have committed minor infractions that have landed them in the court system.
Season 11 Episode 16 Length 28:11 Premiere: 01/22/16

Turning the Tide Against Youth Violence

Metro Louisville experienced about 85 homicides in 2015. That represents a sharp increase over recent years and is more murders than the River City has had in decades.

“I think part of the conversation we as a community have got to have is to be realistic about who we’re losing to homicide, who’s being shot, who’s doing the shooting, and really start putting together strategies [to address it],” says Anthony Smith, the former director of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods for Metro Louisville.

Smith is now CEO of Cities United, a national network of communities focused on eliminating violence related to African American males. He appeared on KET’s Connections to discuss the effort.

Smith says economics is a key factor contributing to the high number of homicides. Although the nation has generally rebounded from the recent recession, Smith says blacks still experience disproportionately high rates of unemployment.

For example, Smith says the jobless rate for all of Metro Louisville averages around 4.5 percent. But for predominately African American neighborhoods in West Louisville, Smith says the rate ranges from 16 to 32 percent. And for young black males, the unemployment rate may be even higher.

“Violence is up in Louisville, just like it is in Baltimore and New York and all over the country, because people are still feeling disconnected and left out,” Smith says.

Couple high unemployment with easy access to drugs and guns, and Smith says you have a multi-layered problem that’s difficult to solve but absolutely crucial to address. He says 13 young black men are killed by gun violence every day in America.

“If we really cared about their lives, we would figure out something as a nation… to do something different,” Smith concludes.

“Young people are putting themselves in harms way because they don’t see another option – it’s not like anybody wants to die or they want to kill somebody,” Smith says. “Violence… has become part of who they are, part of their culture, and we have to help them see other things.”

A ‘Right Turn‘ Toward Mentoring in Louisville
In his work with Cities United, Smith helps mayors around the country design strategies for decreasing deaths among African American males in their communities. The group has the ambitious goal of reducing homicides in America by 50 percent by the year 2025.

One effort that Smith supports is called Right Turn, which provides at-risk youth with mentors and career and educational counseling to help keep them in school and out of trouble, and to show them the options they have for their lives. Smith says the intervention program is designed to help kids take responsibility for their actions without criminalizing them.

“It’s really putting a holistic approach around them to say that we know that you made mistakes but we’re going to help you get over that, and that a mistake does not determine how the rest of your life can look,” Smith says.

Right Turn hopes to help 500 young people in Louisville, and is backed by Mayor Greg Fischer’s office, which is giving city employees time off to serve as mentors. Smith says the program benefits from having a diverse pool of mentors, and that anyone can participate as long as they are committed to consistently spending a couple of hours each week with a child.

“What our kids are really looking for is people to care about them,” says Smith. “When you walk in and you see people from different backgrounds actually mentoring these kids and these kids having a relationship with [them], that builds their network out and builds their worldview out.”

Alternatives to School Suspension
Smith says education also plays a huge role in violence prevention. Instead of suspending problem students, he says schools need to find ways to help keep those children in the classroom. Smith contends that making school codes of conduct more restorative and less punitive isn’t being soft of problem kids. Instead, he says it focuses on providing them a different set of consequences for bad behavior.

Smith says Oakland, Ca., and Portland, Ore., are examples of city school systems that have innovative codes of conduct, and they are ones he hopes Jefferson County Public Schools will use as models. While simply expelling a student may be an easy form of punishment, Smith says it can also be a first step towards that child having a criminal record and serving prison time later in life.

“Keeping kids in school all the way through graduation and giving them the best education possible allows kids to have hope in the future,” Smith says

KET’s education coverage is part of American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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Season 11 Episodes

Businessman Phil Wilkins

S11 E43 Length 26:31 Premiere Date 08/19/16

Training Business Leaders

S11 E42 Length 26:21 Premiere Date 08/12/16

NBA Great Dominique Wilkins

S11 E41 Length 27:47 Premiere Date 08/05/16

DEA Agent Gary Tuggle

S11 E40 Length 27:47 Premiere Date 07/29/16

Addiction and Public Health Reform

S11 E39 Length 29:11 Premiere Date 07/22/16

Addiction and the Criminal Justice System

S11 E38 Length 28:21 Premiere Date 07/15/16

Addiction in Rural Communities

S11 E37 Length 29:26 Premiere Date 07/07/16

Addiction and Mental Health

S11 E36 Length 29:06 Premiere Date 07/01/16

Recovery Services for Inmates

S11 E35 Length 28:26 Premiere Date 06/24/16

Veterans Treatment Court

S11 E34 Length 28:22 Premiere Date 06/17/16

Opioid Epidemic in Northern Ky.

S11 E33 Length 27:21 Premiere Date 06/10/16

Treatment Models for Addiction

S11 E32 Length 27:51 Premiere Date 06/03/16

Jazz Vocalist Jessie Laine Powell

S11 E31 Length 28:11 Premiere Date 05/27/16

Kentucky Oral Health Coalition

S11 E30 Length 28:21 Premiere Date 05/20/16

Dr. Kishonna Gray on Gaming

S11 E29 Length 28:06 Premiere Date 05/13/16

Advocating for Victims Rights

S11 E28 Length 28:46 Premiere Date 05/06/16

Advice for Parents on Coping Techniques

S11 E27 Length 28:06 Premiere Date 04/29/16

Author and Poet Crystal Wilkinson

S11 E26 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 04/22/16

Secretary Grimes on Voting Access

S11 E25 Length 28:31 Premiere Date 04/15/16

Child Abuse and Neglect

S11 E24 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 04/08/16

Overcoming Eating Disorders

S11 E21 Length 28:59 Premiere Date 02/26/16

Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton

S11 E19 Length 28:16 Premiere Date 02/12/16

Remembering Georgia Davis Powers

S11 E18 Length 29:31 Premiere Date 02/05/16

Giving Students a Voice

S11 E17 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 01/29/16

Addressing Youth Violence

S11 E16 Length 28:11 Premiere Date 01/22/16

Professor Wayne Lewis

S11 E15 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 01/15/16

Ed. Commissioner Stephen Pruitt

S11 E14 Length 28:06 Premiere Date 01/08/16

State Sen. Julie Raque Adams

S11 E13 Length 28:31 Premiere Date 01/01/16

Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear

S11 E11 Length 28:57 Premiere Date 12/11/15

Miss Kentucky Clark Davis

S11 E10 Length 29:03 Premiere Date 11/20/15

Ari Berman on Voting Rights

S11 E9 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 11/13/15

Poet Allison Joseph

S11 E8 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 11/06/15

Journalist Dorothy Gilliam

S11 E7 Length 28:41 Premiere Date 10/30/15

Author Jacinda Townsend

S11 E6 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 10/09/15

Kellie Blair Hardt

S11 E5 Length 28:16 Premiere Date 10/02/15

Childhood Cancer

S11 E4 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 09/25/15

Kentucky African-American Encyclopedia

S11 E3 Length 28:11 Premiere Date 09/18/15

Manny Caulk

S11 E2 Length 28:09 Premiere Date 09/11/15

25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

S11 E1 Length 28:31 Premiere Date 09/03/15

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Murray State University is celebrating its centennial birthday this year. Renee Shaw talks to the president of MSU, Bob Jackson, about his presidency, career, and a new book he has co-authored, entitled "The Finest Place We Know: A Centennial History of Murray State University, 1922-2022."

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Anthony Smith

Premiered On: 01/22/2016

Anthony Smith, CEO of Cities United, a national network of communities focused on eliminating violence related to African American males, talks about the violence-curbing initiatives he helped create in Louisville including the Right Turn program for teenagers 16 to 19 who have committed minor infractions that have landed them in the court system.

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Renee speaks with Andrew Brennen, national field director for Student Voice, a for-students-by-students nonprofit organization spearheading a social movement to integrate student voices into the global education conversation. He is also co-founder, director of the Student Voice Team at the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.

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A Tribute to Georgia Davis Powers

Premiered On: 02/05/2016

In this special episode, Renee and her guests Raoul Cunningham, president of the Louisville NAACP, and State Sen. Gerald Neal celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights pioneer and former Kentucky Sen. Georgia Davis Powers, the first African-American and first woman elected to the Kentucky Senate. Powers died January 30, 2016 at the age of 92. The program features never-before-seen footage of an interview Renee conducted with Powers two years ago.

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Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention

Premiered On: 04/08/2016

Jill Seyfred, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, discusses efforts to increase awareness and prevention of child abuse in the state.

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Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes

Premiered On: 04/15/2016

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes talks about her legislative agenda and the new online voter registration portal.

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Crystal Wilkinson

Premiered On: 04/22/2016

Affrilachian poet and author Crystal Wilkinson talks about her first novel, "The Birds of Opulence", that tackles the issue of mental illness and the plight of the African American female experience in the South.

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  • Thursday September 29, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 29, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 29, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 29, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Jay Williams - S10 E33

  • Wednesday September 28, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 28, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 28, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 28, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Pellom McDaniels - S10 E30

  • Tuesday September 27, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 27, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 27, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 27, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Kiley Lane Parker - S10 E29

  • Monday September 26, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 26, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 26, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 26, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 26, 2022 5:29 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 26, 2022 4:29 am CT on KETKY

David Adkins - The Council of State Governments - S18 E3

  • Saturday October 1, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday October 1, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 11:59 am ET on KET
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 10:59 am CT on KET

Kevin Chapman - S10 E28

  • Friday September 23, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 23, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 23, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 23, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 23, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 23, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Kendell Nash - ECHO - S10 E27

  • Thursday September 22, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 22, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 22, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 22, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Dorothy Edwards and Diane Fleet - S10 E26

  • Wednesday September 21, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 21, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 21, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 21, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Elaine Chao - S10 E23

  • Tuesday September 20, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 20, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 20, 2022 2:06 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 20, 2022 1:06 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 20, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 20, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Diabetes Epidemic - S10 E20

  • Monday September 19, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 19, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 19, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 19, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 19, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 19, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Melynda Jamison - CASA of Lexington - S18 E2

  • Sunday September 25, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday September 24, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday September 24, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 11:00 am CT on KET

Mary Gwen Wheeler, 55,000 Degrees - S10 E16

  • Friday September 16, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 16, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 16, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 16, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 16, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 16, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

15K Degrees Initiative - S10 E13

  • Thursday September 15, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 15, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 15, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 15, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Sister Helen Prejean - S10 E12

  • Wednesday September 14, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 14, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 14, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 14, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Jefferson County Veterans Treatment Court - S10 E11

  • Tuesday September 13, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 13, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 13, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 13, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 13, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 13, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Bill Farmer - S10 E8

  • Monday September 12, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 12, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 12, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 12, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 12, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 12, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

State Treasurer Allison Ball - S18 E1

  • Sunday September 11, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday September 11, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday September 11, 2022 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday September 11, 2022 11:00 am CT on KET

Reporter Jonathan Bullington - S17 E23

  • Sunday September 18, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday September 17, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday September 17, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 11, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 11, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY

Diane Follingstad - UK Women's Circle Endowment Chair - S10 E6

  • Friday September 9, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 9, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 9, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 9, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 9, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 9, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Kevin Chapman - S10 E5

  • Thursday September 8, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 8, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 8, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 8, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 8, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 8, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Soreyda Benedit Begley and Chris Begley - S10 E3

  • Wednesday September 7, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 7, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 7, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 7, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 7, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 7, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Bloggers on Personal Development - S10 E2

  • Tuesday September 6, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 6, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 6, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 6, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 6, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 6, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Chris Rabb - S10 E1

  • Monday September 5, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 5, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 5, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 5, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 5, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 5, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Nikki Lanier - Harper Slade - S17 E22

  • Sunday September 11, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 11, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday September 10, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday September 10, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 11:00 am CT on KET

Delanor Manson - Kentucky Nurses Association - S17 E36

  • Sunday September 4, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY

Tanya Torp and Holly Houston - S9 E46

  • Friday September 2, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 2, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 2, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 2, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 2, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 2, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY
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