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Nana Ama Aya Bullock and Muriel Harris

Nana Ama Aya Bullock and Muriel Harris

Nana Ama Aya Bullock and Muriel Harris

University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences doctoral student Nana Ama Aya Bullock and Prof. Muriel Harris talk about Bullock's Fulbright fellowship to to study HIV/AIDS in Ghana. They also discuss racial disparities that impact health outcomes in the United States.
S16 E5 Length 28:26 Premiere: 10.11.20

Recognition and Funding for Important Public Health Research

Even as a young child growing up in Ghana, Nana Ama Aya Bullock understood the terror associated with an HIV/AIDS diagnosis.

The first AIDS case in the west African nation was reported in 1986. In the years that followed, cases would increase by as much as 600 percent annually, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. By 2000, about 350,000 Ghanaian adults and children were infected with HIV, which is the virus that causes AIDS.

“It was just a lot of stigma, it was a lot of fear, it was a lot of a lack of knowledge... It was just like a death sentence,” says Bullock, who lost an aunt to AIDS.

Those childhood memories inspired her to pursue a career in public health. Now her efforts have landed the University of Louisville doctoral student a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program Fellowship this year. Even as HIV/AIDS cases dwindle worldwide, Bullock says the virus remains a problem in Ghana.

“Literature suggests that women are affected the most when it comes to HIV,” she says. “In Ghana women are twice as likely to contract HIV or are living with HIV.”

Bullock says most transmission comes through heterosexual sex, so her Fulbright research will focus on understanding the personal, social, and cultural factors that influence high-risk behaviors among the men who ultimately pass HIV on to their female partners.

“Being able to understanding these things will be very effective in programming and policy in getting the word across when it comes to HIV or just any other health issue that we need men to be on board,” she says.

The Long Road to a Fellowship Award

Bullock came to America when she was a teenager. After attending a Catholic high school in Chicago, she got a bachelor’s degree in health education at Southern Illinois University and a master’s in public health at Michigan State University before moving to Louisville to pursue her doctorate.

“U of L actually found me,” says Bullock. “They wanted to get to know me and what I wanted to do... And they were giving me funding, and that was really nice.”

In the health promotion and behavioral sciences program at U of L’s School of Public Health and Information Sciences, Bullock met Associate Professor Muriel Harris, who is director of the PhD program. The two women found they had a unique connection: Harris had travelled to Ghana a few years ago on her own Fulbright fellowship.

“So it was a real joy when Nana came and said she was interested in applying for the Fulbright Fellowship,” says Harris, “That’s always been my goal, is to have students be exposed to all these opportunities... and just get a world view that is so different.”

Bullock started the application process in June 2019. She had to find a sponsor, get letters of recommendation, compile her transcripts, and complete a personal statement and statement of purpose for her research. After multiple reviews by Fulbright officers and officials in Ghana, she got word this summer that she had been selected for Fulbright-Fogarty Public Health Fellowship. That’s administered through the Fogarty International Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Harris says Bullock is the first public health student at U of L to receive a Fulbright.

But how do you do research abroad during a global pandemic?

“With COVID right now everything is in limbo,” says Bullock. “We’re doing what we’re supposed to do [for] our pre-departure stuff but we’re not sure when we’re going to leave yet.”

Understanding Systemic Issues that Impact Public Health

Exploring the role of men, especially men of color, who are often reluctant to visit doctors, is a key part of addressing racial disparities in public health, says Harris.

“We really do need to understand different perspectives and the root causes of our disparities,” the professor says. “One of the things we don’t understand quite oftentimes is how people want to be treated and how people want care, and that’s something we need to get at.”

Harris contends that blame for poor health outcomes usually falls on the patient. While personal choices and habits are key to a healthy lifestyle, Harris says we can’t overlook the systemic issues that contribute to health problems among certain groups of people. She says people of color can feel excluded from health care if they aren’t comfortable talking with providers who don’t look like them or share the same cultural background. Accessibility to care is also an issue if services aren’t available nearby or if there is limited time or transportation to travel to providers.

“Once we begin to understand the disparities at that level, what’s happening institutionally and what’s happening systemically in order to exclude people from health care and access to health care, then I think we begin to address the issue of disparities,” says Harris.

Race-based systemic challenges aren’t limited to health care. Harris says they are also present in education, where children as young as elementary school may get a message that they can’t or shouldn’t attend college. So it should be no surprise, she says, when there are so few students of color in degree programs like medicine that would benefit from greater diversity. Harris says that’s left U of L and other universities to play catch-up in helping those students overcome the barriers they face.

“We’ve made a concerted effort to recognize that not all students start at the same place and we have to be willing to go that extra mile in order to make sure that they can be successful,” says the professor. “Every student has a place, every student has an opportunity to learn, and we have a responsibility to make sure that happens.”

Program Details

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Each week, host Renee Shaw and a variety of interesting and engaging people - including business leaders, entertainers, authors, celebrities, and more - explore a broad array of topics impacting Kentucky and the world.

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Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk - S11 E2

Renee speaks with new Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent, Emmanuel "Manny" Caulk. Caulk was previously superintendent of Portland Public Schools, Maine's largest school district. His experience includes working as a special education teacher in a juvenile detention facility, an elementary principal, and a high school principal. He was also a former assistant prosecutor for the state of New Jersey.

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The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia - Gerald Smith - S11 E3

Renee's guest is Dr. Gerald Smith, an author and history professor at the University of Kentucky, and co-editor of The Kentucky African-American Encyclopedia: Life and Culture in the Commonwealth. The reference book contains entries on the individuals, events, places, organizations, movements, and institutions that helped shape the state's history and cultural diversity.

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Childhood Cancer - S11 E4

September is childhood cancer awareness month. Renee talks with survivors and parents about their experiences and the research on the rare maladies striking youth.

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Kellie Blair Hardt - S11 E5

Renee speaks with special education teacher Kellie Blair Hardt, who overcame homelessness, an absent mother, an alcoholic father and school expulsion to earn her GED. She received the National Education Association Foundation's 2013 Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence as one of the nation's top educators. Hardt is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in higher education at George Mason University. She was featured in KET's series Dropping Back In.

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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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Jacinda Townsend - S11 E6

Author Jacinda Townsend discusses her critically acclaimed novel, Saint Monkey, a coming-of-age story set in 1950's Eastern Kentucky. The book won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for historical fiction. Townsend is a former Hurston-Wright Award finalist and currently teaches creative writing at Indiana University.

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Dorothy Butler Gilliam - S11 E7

Renee speaks with journalist Dorothy Butler Gilliam, who was the first African-American female reporter at The Washington Post. She retired in 2003 after a 35-year career with the paper.

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Allison Joseph - S11 E8

Allison Joseph is the author of six poetry books. She teaches at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, where she helped found {Crab Orchard Review}, a literary journal, and the Young Writers Workshop, a co-ed residential summer program for teen writers.

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Ari Berman - S11 E9

Renee's guest is Ari Berman, a contributing writer for The Nation magazine and an Investigative Journalism Fellow at The Nation Institute. He has written extensively about American politics, civil rights and the intersection of money and politics. The title of his new book is Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America.

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Miss Kentucky Clark Davis - S11 E10

Renee speaks with Miss Kentucky Clark Davis, a sophomore at the University of Kentucky majoring in vocal performance, with a minor in political science. Davis was diagnosed with dyslexia in elementary school. Her pageant platform is dyslexia awareness.

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Former Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear - S11 E11

Renee speaks with Jane Beshear, former first lady of Kentucky, about her policy initiatives and programs during her time in the Governor's Mansion.

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Wayne Lewis - S11 E15

University of Kentucky professor Wayne Lewis, Ph.D., author of The Politics of Parent Choice in Public Education and the forthcoming, Black Choice, talks about charter school legislation in Kentucky and its effectiveness in other states in narrowing the achievement gap.

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Anthony Smith - S11 E16

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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Andrew Brennen - S11 E17

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 - S11 E18

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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Connections

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Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention - S11 E24

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

  • Monday November 9, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes - S11 E25

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

  • Tuesday November 10, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Crystal Wilkinson - S11 E26

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.

  • Wednesday November 11, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Dr. Erin Frazier - S11 E27

Renee's guest is Dr. Erin Frazier, a pediatrician with Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville. She also serves as medical director at Children's Hospital Foundation Office of Child Advocacy and chair of the Partnership to Eliminate Child Abuse. Dr. Frazier discusses coping techniques for parents that can prevent child abuse. She specializes in educating parents and caregivers about the dangers of shaking infants and strategies for dealing with persistent crying babies.

  • Thursday November 12, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Gretchen Hunt - S11 E28

Renee's guest is Gretchen Hunt, who heads the Office of Victims Advocacy within the Office of the Kentucky Attorney General. She talks about recent legislative successes in protecting women from violent crime. Hunt was a leader in helping to advocate for passage of Kentucky's Human Trafficking Victims Rights Act.

  • Friday November 13, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Kishonna Gray - S11 E29

Renee's guest is Dr. Kishonna Gray, assistant professor in the School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. She is also the founder and director of the Critical Gaming Lab housed in the School of Justice Studies. Dr. Gray also holds a joint position in Women & Gender Studies and is an affiliate faculty in the African/African-American Studies Program. Her research and teaching interests incorporate an intersecting focus on identity, culture, and new media.

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Oral Health Care In Kentucky - S11 E30

Renee and her guests Lacey McNary, a health policy consultant and principal of McNary and Associates and Dr. Laura Hancock Jones, a dentist working with the UK College of Dentistry Public Health Division's Western Kentucky Dental Outreach Program and chair of the Kentucky Oral Health Coalition, discuss the state of oral health in Kentucky. Part of KET's "Inside Oral Health Care" initiative, funded in part by a grant from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

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Jessie Laine Powell - S11 E31

Lexington-based national recording jazz artist Jessie Laine Powell performs and discusses her new album, Fill the Void. Powell talks about how her teenage daughter inspired the song, "You're Okay."

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Scott Hesseltine - S11 E32

Scott Hesseltine, vice president of addiction services at Seven Counties Services, discusses new models of treatment to help those with opioid abuse disorders recover. He also talks about a new facility that serves expectant mothers with addiction throughout their pregnancy with wraparound services to get them on the path to recovery. Part of KET's "Inside Opioid Addiction" initiative, funded in part by a grant from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

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Dr. Lynne Saddler - S11 E33

Dr. Lynne Saddler, district director of health at the Northern Kentucky Health Department, talks about the heroin epidemic in Northern Kentucky. She discusses current community efforts and the impact of a syringe exchange program. Part of KET's "Inside Opioid Addiction" initiative, funded in part by a grant from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

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Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk - S11 E2

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Kinship Care - S10 E46

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Beth Howard and Michael Harrington; Devine Carama

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Faith Politics - S10 E45

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JoAnne Wheeler Bland - S10 E44

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Andre Taylor - S10 E43

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Infant Nutrition and Breastfeeding - S10 E42

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Cathe Dykstra - Family Scholar House - S10 E41

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Nana Ama Aya Bullock and Muriel Harris

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Gigi Butler - Gigi's Cupcakes - S10 E39

  • Friday October 9, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday October 9, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday October 9, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday October 9, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday October 9, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday October 9, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Cathy Zion - Zion Publications LLC - S10 E38

  • Thursday October 8, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday October 8, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday October 8, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday October 8, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday October 8, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday October 8, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Josh Nadzam and Tanya Torp - S10 E37

  • Wednesday October 7, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday October 7, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday October 7, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday October 7, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday October 7, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday October 7, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Aaron Thompson - S9 E26

  • Tuesday October 6, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday October 6, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday October 6, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday October 6, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday October 6, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday October 6, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Susan and Morgan Guess - S10 E34

  • Monday October 5, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday October 5, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday October 5, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday October 5, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday October 5, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday October 5, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Betsy Johnson, Saundra Ardrey

  • Sunday October 11, 2020 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday October 11, 2020 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday October 10, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday October 10, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday October 7, 2020 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday October 7, 2020 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday October 7, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday October 7, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday October 4, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday October 4, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday October 4, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday October 4, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday October 4, 2020 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday October 4, 2020 11:00 am CT on KET

Jay Williams - S10 E33

  • Friday October 2, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday October 2, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday October 2, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday October 2, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday October 2, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday October 2, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Pellom McDaniels - S10 E30

  • Thursday October 1, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday October 1, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday October 1, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday October 1, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday October 1, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday October 1, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Kiley Lane Parker - S10 E29

  • Wednesday September 30, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 30, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 30, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 30, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 30, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 30, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Kevin Chapman - S10 E28

  • Tuesday September 29, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 29, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 29, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 29, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 29, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 29, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Kendell Nash - ECHO - S10 E27

  • Monday September 28, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 28, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 28, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 28, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 28, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 28, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Fabian Alvarez, Leyda Becker and Mercedes Harn

  • Sunday October 4, 2020 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday October 4, 2020 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday October 3, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday October 3, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 30, 2020 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday September 30, 2020 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday September 30, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday September 30, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday September 27, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday September 27, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday September 27, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 27, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 27, 2020 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday September 27, 2020 11:00 am CT on KET

Dorothy Edwards and Diane Fleet - S10 E26

  • Friday September 25, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 25, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 25, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 25, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 25, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 25, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Pastor Edward Palmer - Racial Bias and Juvenile Justice Reform - S15 E2

  • Thursday September 24, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 24, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 24, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 24, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Elaine Chao - S10 E23

  • Wednesday September 23, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 23, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 23, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 23, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Diabetes Epidemic - S10 E20

  • Tuesday September 22, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 22, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 22, 2020 2:26 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 22, 2020 1:26 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 22, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 22, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Mary Gwen Wheeler, 55,000 Degrees - S10 E16

  • Monday September 21, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 21, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 21, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 21, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 21, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 21, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Devine Carama; Marjorie Guyon and Barry Darnell Burton

  • Sunday September 27, 2020 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 27, 2020 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday September 26, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday September 26, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 23, 2020 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday September 23, 2020 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday September 23, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday September 23, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday September 20, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday September 20, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday September 20, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 20, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 20, 2020 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday September 20, 2020 11:00 am CT on KET

Marsha Weinstein

  • Sunday September 20, 2020 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 20, 2020 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday September 19, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday September 19, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY

15K Degrees Initiative - S10 E13

  • Friday September 18, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 18, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
Top

Season 16

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

Explore KET