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Community Activist Christopher 2X

Community Activist Christopher 2X

Community Activist Christopher 2X

Louisville activist Christopher 2X talks about his journey as a former convicted drug dealer who received government pardons for his crimes, to his community work helping young people stay on a better path through early childhood education initiatives.
S16 E18 Length 28:02 Premiere: 2.7.21

A Mission to Educate At-Risk Youth About Peace, Justice, and Respect

For activist Christopher 2X, redemption isn’t something that comes quickly or easily. It comes from a true commitment to improve oneself and to serve one’s community in ways that improve the lives of others.

“Redemption and second chances can be real,” says 2X. “It’s reachable, but you have to put the work ethic into it and understand, especially for young people, you were born for a better purpose than you might think.”

2X is a familiar figure in Louisville where he often serves as a mediator to calm tensions in the wake of racial violence. His peace, justice, and early childhood education work through his non-profit organization Game Changers has been hailed by citizens, politicians, and law enforcement on both sides of the political divide.

A Reset on His Own Life

The feelings of hope and redemption he seeks to encourage among both the victims and perpetrators of violence are rooted in what he describes as his own “dark journey” riddled with “a lot of self-inflicted wounds.” By age 13 Christopher Anthony Bryant was in juvenile detention for drug dealing. In the 1980s and 1990s, he served multiple stints in state and federal prison for drug possession, cocaine trafficking, and theft.

When he left jail for the final time in 1999, Bryant set about healing himself. He joined the Nation of Islam and took the name Christopher 2X. He also committed to working in the community to help ensure other young people didn’t fall into the same traps of crime and violence that he did.

“For me, it was more or less trying to reset,” says 2X, “and say, ‘Where can I place my energy best, and where would I feel comfortable the most in placing that energy in a good way to try to do some cleansing.’”

Part of that process involved changing his view of law enforcement. Instead of simply distrusting the police, 2X says he realized that they too were a part of the community and weren’t going away. He also realized that if he wanted to be respected by police, then he would also have to respect them. That epiphany gave 2X a new approach.

“I believe in having civil conversations to try to better relations.” he says.

Now even in some of Louisville’s tensest times, such as last summer’s demonstrations over the police shooting of Breonna Taylor, 2X has worked to facilitate conversations among protestors, police, and civic leaders.

Early Interventions are Critical

Whether he talks with high-powered politicians or up-and-coming activists, 2X offers the same message.

“We’ve got to figure out a way to coexist better for children to thrive in safe and habitable environments,” he says. “Not in a way that we have this lovey-dovey relationship that might be so artificial, but on the principles of respect.

“We can get there if we try hard,” he adds.

To help create those environments, 2X founded his Game Changers organization to create educational initiatives to help children who are exposed to violence in their homes and neighborhoods, and to keep them on a positive and productive path in life. He says the old model of trying to address youth misconduct among older children is outdated.

“We’ve got to intervene now, unfortunately, at the preschool level,” says 2X. “We’ve got to do strong intervention in elementary school and definitely middle school before they even take that next step into high school.”

Even the very youngest children can pick up negative influences that can put them on a bad road, according to 2X. Plus, he says the ones that are exposed to traumatic experiences like a neighborhood shooting can have a harder time focusing and learning in the classroom, which can also lead to a downward spiral He says when he was an at-risk youth, he didn’t get the help he needed.

“When you see a troubled kid in school, sometimes you have to be more patient with that kid,” says 2X. “Maybe give a little bit more attention to that kid to try to find out what is the bottom line on this behavior issue and how can we attempt to turn it around.”

2X says it is a mistake to think that a child will simply grow out of their behavioral problems. He says parents who see misconduct in a son or daughter should be as diligent in addressing it as they would if the child was diagnosed with a medication condition.

“Don’t give up on them because they have behavioral issues, work harder to try to correct those issues,” he says. “Parents don’t need to be ashamed or afraid to seek help.”

Using Your Blackness for Healing

Just before Christmas 2020, outgoing President Donald Trump granted a full pardon to 2X for his federal charges. Just a year before, former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin pardoned 2X for his state charges.

2X says that he did not seek those pardons, rather they were the work of retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Rod Givens, who is on Sen. Rand Paul’s staff. 2X says he and his daughters allowed Givens to proceed with the pardon requests to Bevin and Trump so long as they were done without fanfare.

Now that he has the pardons, 2X says he wants to use them as a tool to further his conversations about redemption and second chances.

“I don’t want individuals to think a pardon is the truly redemptive qualities of a person,” he says. “Doing the work and finding satisfaction in doing something that you know was worthy to do in a positive way to impact others is the biggest applause you can get in life.”

That’s a message 2X frequently delivers to young people, especially Black youth. He says he wants them to have hope as they realize they were born for a purpose. They can make a positive difference in the world, he says, as long as they do it with taste and distinction.

“Be proud of your blackness but use your blackness in a universal way for healing the planet,” says 2X. “Real blackness for me is using it in way to get healing and justice to anyone you have interactions with.”

Program Details

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Tanya Torp and Holly Houston - S9 E46

Community Activist Tanya Torp, program director for Step by Step, a mentoring ministry for at risk single mothers, and Holly Houston, a family court lawyer and co-founder of GLOW - Greater Louisville Outstanding Women, discuss social justice, youth empowerment, leadership development, and girl power.

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Chris Rabb - S10 E1

Chris Rabb, author of Invisible Capital: How Unseen Forces Shape Entrepreneurial Opportunity, explores how behind-the-scenes factors - human, cultural, and social capital - affect whether a business will be successful.

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Bloggers on Personal Development - S10 E2

Meet two women who share their personal journeys through life's challenges by writing blogs. Writer Emmie Sandford is a corporate marketer who owns a social media consulting company. She has been chronicling her journey to a healthier weight on her blog, authenticallyemmie.com. Sheryl Withers Woolverton, a Lexington clinical social worker and therapist, is a former grief counselor with Hospice of the Bluegrass who has shared her journey of grief over a miscarriage and the death of her mother and grandmother. Her blog is called How to Make a Life.

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Honduras native Soreyda Benedit Begley is dressing up Lexington's fashion scene by showcasing the blossoming talents of designers, like herself, right here in the Bluegrass. Her one-of-a-kind originals have graced runways in New York, Chicago, and Atlanta.

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Caroline Randall Williams

Host Renee Shaw talks with Nashville-based writer, educator and activist Caroline Randall Williams about race, identity, Confederate monuments and more. Southern Living magazine named Williams "One of the 50 People Changing the South."

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Beth Howard and Michael Harrington; Devine Carama

Host Renee Shaw speaks with Beth Howard and Michael Harrington from Southern Crossroads and Rednecks for Black Lives, an organization dedicated to building community power and multi-racial alliances among the poor and working-class in the South. She also follows up with activist and hip hop artist Devine Carama, who walked hundreds of miles across Kentucky to promote voter awareness and racial justice.

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Kevin Chapman - S10 E5

Renee speaks with Kevin Chapman, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist who provides evidence-based treatment for anxiety and related disorders to clients in his private practice in Louisville. Dr. Chapman also specializes in Exposure and Response (Ritual) Prevention for OCD and Prolonged Exposure for PTSD.

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

Renee speaks with Diane Follingstad, Ph.D., who became the inaugural Women's Circle Endowment Chair at the University of Kentucky Center for Research on Violence Against Women in 2008. Dr. Follingstad discusses her research in the area of intimate partner violence.

  • Tuesday March 9, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Bill Farmer - S10 E8

Bill Farmer, president and CEO of the United Way of the Bluegrass, talks about the agency's BIG BOLD GOAL for Central Kentucky: 10,000 more Bluegrass families will be self-sufficient by 2020.

  • Wednesday March 10, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Jefferson County Veterans Treatment Court - S10 E11

Jefferson County's Veterans Treatment Court, which began operating in the fall of 2012, helps military veterans seeking treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues. Jefferson County District Court Judge David Holton talks with Renee about the court, the first of its kind in Kentucky.

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Sister Helen Prejean - S10 E12

Sister Helen Prejean, author of the New York Times bestseller Dead Man Walking which became an Academy Award-winning film, discusses her awakening to justice and quest to abolish the death penalty.

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Inclusivity in Fashion - Frankie Lewis; RaeShanda Johnson - S15 E13

Renee speaks with two Kentucky fashion designers who are promoting inclusivity in fashion. Frankie Lewis, a former contestant on season 17 of Project Runway, talks about her new fashion line, Frankie Lew, built on the ethos of body positivity. Next, RaeShanda Johnson, a stylist and the owner of the Louisville boutique All is Fair in Love and Fashion, advocates for diversity on the runway and uses fashion to help others.

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15K Degrees Initiative - S10 E13

The 15K degrees initiative in the Greater Louisville area seeks to increase the number of college diplomas of African-Americans. Some of the partners in this effort join Renee to discuss it. Guests include: Benjamin Richmond, President and CEO of the Louisville Urban League; Reverend Vincent James Sr., Senior Pastor of Elim Baptist Church in Louisville; and Dr. Rita Greer, a veteran P-12 educator and administrator, who served for over 38 years in Jefferson County Public Schools.

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Mary Gwen Wheeler, 55,000 Degrees - S10 E16

Renee's guest is Mary Gwen Wheeler, executive director of 55,000 Degrees, a public-private partnership in Louisville whose mission is to add 40,000 bachelor's degrees and 15,000 associate degrees by 2020.

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Diabetes Epidemic - S10 E20

Gilbert Friedell, MD, and J. Isaac Joyner, MPH, discuss their book, The Great Diabetes Epidemic: A Manifesto for Control and Prevention. The book advocates taking a public health approach to addressing diabetes, emphasizes prevention of diabetes-related complications, and encourages more community responsiveness.

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Elaine Chao - S10 E23

Renee sits down with Elaine Chao, former U.S. Labor Secretary and wife of Sen. Mitch McConnell, in an interview filmed in Washington, D.C.

  • Thursday March 18, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Roszalyn Akins - S9 E3

Roszalyn Akins is dean of the Carter G. Woodson Academy in Lexington. The college preparatory school for promising males opened in 2012 and this year is serving young boys grades six through 10.

  • Friday March 19, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Connections

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Dorothy Edwards and Diane Fleet - S10 E26

Renee's guests are Dorothy Edwards, executive director of Green Dot etc., a violence prevention training program for individuals, schools, and other organizations, and Diane Fleet, assistant director of GreenHouse17. They discuss the training Green Dot is providing to GreenHouse17 and the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center on domestic violence prevention and intervention techniques.

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Kendell Nash - ECHO - S10 E27

Kendell Nash, executive director of ECHO (Exploited Children's Help Organization), joins Renee to discuss issues of child exploitation, neglect, and abuse. ECHO provides education, advocacy, and support services to the children and families of Metro Louisville and surrounding areas.

  • Tuesday March 23, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Kevin Chapman - S10 E28

Clinical psychologist Kevin Chapman of Louisville discusses anxiety disorders and an innovative approach called virtual reality exposure therapy to help ease those conditions.

  • Wednesday March 24, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Kiley Lane Parker - S10 E29

Filmmaker Kiley Lane Parker discusses her film, Raising Ms. President, about raising the next generation of female political leaders.

  • Thursday March 25, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Pellom McDaniels - S10 E30

Pellom McDaniels, faculty curator of African-American collections and assistant professor of African-American studies at Emory University in Atlanta, talks about his book, The Prince of Jockeys: The Life of Isaac Burns Murphy.

  • Friday March 26, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Connections

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Connections

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Jay Williams - S10 E33

From the recent SOAR summit in Pikeville, Jay Williams, the U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for economic development and the former mayor of Youngstown, Ohio, talks with Renee about how Youngstown recovered from the decline of the steel industry, and how those lessons can apply to Eastern Kentucky areas distressed by the sharp downturn in coal jobs.

  • Monday March 29, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Susan and Morgan Guess - S10 E34

Susan Guess and her daughter, Morgan, began the Guess Anti-Bullying Foundation nearly four years ago after Morgan experienced bullying. They have raised $50,000 to bring a variety of anti-bullying programs to the region. Susan Guess was appointed by Gov. Steve Beshear in 2014 to serve on the Kentucky Bully Prevention Task Force, which will make recommendations to the governor in fall 2015.

  • Tuesday March 30, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Miss Kentucky Ramsey Carpenter - S10 E35

Renee speaks with Ramsey Carpenter, Miss Kentucky 2014, who was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and has catalyzed her experience into greater awareness of the disease.

  • Wednesday March 31, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Josh Nadzam and Tanya Torp - S10 E37

Renee speaks with community activist Josh Nadzam, a former University of Kentucky track athlete, who in 2014 ran from Lexington to Frankfort to raise awareness for domestic partner violence. Then, Renee talks with Tanya Torp, program director of Step by Step, a non-profit organization that improves the lives of young single moms and their children through support, encouragement, faith, and education.

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Cathy Zion - Zion Publications LLC - S10 E38

Cathy Zion became owner and publisher of Zion Publications in 1996, after a long career in banking. Her company publishes Today's Woman, and added new magazines, Today's Transitions and Today's Family.

  • Friday April 2, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Frontier Nursing University - S9 E45

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SWAG - Sisters and Supporters Working Against Gun Violence - S9 E44

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Dr. Robert Hilgers - S9 E41

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Mental Health and COVID-19

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African Americans and Mental Health - S9 E39

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Charisse Gillett - Lexington Theological Seminary - S9 E38

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  • Thursday February 18, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 18, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 18, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 18, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 18, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Dr. Timothy M. Houchin - S9 E37

  • Wednesday February 17, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 17, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 17, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 17, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 17, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 17, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Mental Health Courts - S9 E36

  • Tuesday February 16, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 16, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 16, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 16, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 16, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 16, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Rape Culture - S9 E35

  • Monday February 15, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday February 15, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday February 15, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday February 15, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday February 15, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday February 15, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Christopher 2X

  • Saturday February 20, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday February 20, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday February 14, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday February 14, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday February 14, 2021 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday February 14, 2021 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 10, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday February 10, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday February 7, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday February 7, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday February 7, 2021 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday February 7, 2021 11:00 am CT on KET

Colene Elridge - S9 E34

  • Friday February 12, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 12, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 12, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 12, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 12, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 12, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Ted Strader - COPES - S9 E33

  • Thursday February 11, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 11, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 11, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 11, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Prison Reform In Kentucky - S9 E32

  • Wednesday February 10, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 10, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 10, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 10, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Hasan Davis - S9 E31

  • Tuesday February 9, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 9, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 9, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 9, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Djuan Trent - S9 E30

  • Monday February 8, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday February 8, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday February 8, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday February 8, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday February 8, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday February 8, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Keith Jackson

  • Saturday February 13, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday February 13, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday February 7, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday February 7, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday February 7, 2021 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday February 7, 2021 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 3, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday February 3, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday January 31, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday January 31, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday January 31, 2021 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday January 31, 2021 11:00 am CT on KET

Dr. Janet Taylor - S9 E29

  • Friday February 5, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 5, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 5, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 5, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 5, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 5, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

MaryLee Underwoood and Chastity Ross - CCDD - S9 E27

  • Thursday February 4, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 4, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 4, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 4, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Aaron Thompson - S9 E26

  • Wednesday February 3, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 3, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 3, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 3, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

50th Anniversary of the March on Frankfort - S9 E22

  • Tuesday February 2, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 2, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 2, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 2, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker - S9 E21

  • Monday February 1, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday February 1, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday February 1, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday February 1, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday February 1, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday February 1, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

A Mission to End Institutional Racism in Kentucky

  • Saturday February 6, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday February 6, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday January 31, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 31, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday January 31, 2021 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 31, 2021 7:00 am CT on KETKY

Celebrating the Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County

  • Saturday January 30, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday January 30, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY

Vershawn A. Young - S9 E20

  • Friday January 29, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 29, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
Top

Season 16 Episodes

Mental Health and COVID-19

S16 E19 Length 28:39 Premiere Date 2.14.21

Community Activist Christopher 2X

S16 E18 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 2.7.21

Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Keith Jackson

S16 E17 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 1.31.21

A Mission to End Institutional Racism in Kentucky

S16 E16 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 1.24.21

Celebrating the Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County

S16 E15 Length 28:33 Premiere Date 1.17.21

Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman

S16 E14 Length 27:06 Premiere Date 1.10.21

Caroline Randall Williams

S16 E13 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 12.20.20

Amy Luttrell and Adria Johnson

S16 E12 Length 28:12 Premiere Date 12.13.20

Kentucky Education Commissioner Jason Glass

S16 E11 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 11.22.20

Louisville Metro Police Interim Chief Yvette Gentry

S16 E10 Length 28:11 Premiere Date 11.15.20

Jecorey Arthur and Quintez Brown

S16 E9 Length 27:31 Premiere Date 11.8.20

Terrance Sullivan

S16 E8 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 11.1.20

2020 Election Preview with Colmon Elridge and Tres Watson

S16 E7 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 10.25.20

Beth Howard and Michael Harrington; Devine Carama

S16 E6 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 10.18.20

Nana Ama Aya Bullock and Muriel Harris

S16 E5 Length 28:26 Premiere Date 10.11.20

Betsy Johnson, Saundra Ardrey

S16 E4 Length 28:41 Premiere Date 10.4.20

Fabian Alvarez, Leyda Becker and Mercedes Harn

S16 E3 Length 28:06 Premiere Date 9.27.20

Devine Carama; Marjorie Guyon and Barry Darnell Burton

S16 E2 Length 28:46 Premiere Date 9.20.20

Marsha Weinstein

S16 E1 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 9.11.20

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