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tv   Beyond the Headlines  ABC  October 27, 2013 10:00am-10:31am PDT

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hello. for the past 25 years through our profiles with excellence series we've been highlighting bay area residents who made important contributions to our community. today we are celebrating the bay area cultural diversity, using the cultural center as a back
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drop for our special program. the cultural center in san francisco celebrates arts on a community level. currently on display is a dead of the dead exhibition called imagining time gathering memories, experiences 2013. it offers a wide variety of elaborate and traditional memorial altars and multi dimensional art installations. more than 80 artists are featured, many of them inspired by charitable events, cherished relationships and day of the dead sell b rituals. experiencing timely and powerful pieces through november 9th. our first profile highlights a playwrite dedicated to exploring the complexity of middle eastern culture and identity. he is the founder of golden thread productions, a local theater company working to cross political and cultural boundaries through art.
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>> we spent -- >> the latest piece examines the historic 1979 iranian hostage crisis where 90 people were held in tehran for a total of 444 days. >> for me, the hostage crisis has obviously left a huge mark in my memory, because i was a teenager in the u.s. while it was happening, and i really was just watching what was happening to the country that i was born in was really horrific for me during those days. >> she put her pen to paper to work through these emotions. >> anything that i want to learn in life, i deal with it through theater. what kind of play can i write so that i can understand this better, right? so that's the thing. and so i created this imaginary situation where an ex-hostage and an ex-hostage taker actually fall in love. >> this desire to blend politics
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and theater with middle eastern culture led her to create "golden thread productions." >> my identity and my cultural heritage is part of who i am. politics is also part of who i am. and i think once i started golden thread i met other theater artists from the middle east who live in the u.s., who have similar stories that they want to share, that in a way they're really not middle eastern stories. they are american stories told through a middle eastern lens. >> hear ye! case the case of animal vs. man. >> the plays from golden thread have connected with a wide variety of audiences. >> for us, every play is a way to connect with different communities, but also overall to change the way we talk about the middle east. right? and question our own assumptions as well as everyone else's. >> golden thread has been able to broaden their reach and their
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focus by hosting a festival of short plays known as reorient. >> it seems kind of crazy to claim to represent all of the middle east when y producing one or two plays. and so we wanted to create an evening where multiple voices and multiple perspective could be experienced in one place. >> diverse actors, directors, and playwrites converge to create exciting stage w lead to lead to important discussions. >> in 2009 we adlong forum, wee long forum, which was a series of panel discussions, because one of the interesting feedbacks we kept hearing was that people found the conversation around the plays as interesting as the play, itself. ♪ >> audience feedback also led
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her to create a series of educational theater performances for kids based on the culture and stories of the middle east. >> these are stories that take you on a journey, and they're colorful and dynamic and fun and they are rooted in performance traditions of the middle east. >> her audiences -- age -- for audiences of every age golden productions is opening people's minds to the beauty of human drama. >> over the years we've had many of our audience members who are not middle eastern, and many of them were surprised that they actually connect with these stories, that they, you know, hear the iranian family having dinner on stage and it is exactly like their family having dinner on -- you know, the plays are actually human stories that all of us can relate to. >> our gratitude to teranj for using her voice, humor, and
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creative vision to create new conversations for bay area audiences. next, we'll meet a woman who turned personal tragedy into a mission to help others.
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welcome back to "p in excellence." our next profile is the story of a woman who lost two sons to gun violence. through this horrific tragedy lorraine taylor has found her own mission in life -- to help other families through their grief and healing. >> one, two, three. ♪ >> first i'll check with the kids. i'll play with the kids to find out how they're doing, and that will tell me a lot about how the parents are doing. >> made it has made it her life's work to help families heal when homicide invades their world. local police often contact her
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through her 1000 mothers to prevent violence organization. >> i never know what that next call is going to be. normally i get a call like saturday from oakland police department, taylor, we had two murders last night. would you please be on stand by? once they go visit the family, they'll ask me if i can go to the family, so i of bag of groceries to this family and sit there and just let them know that i'm just here. i'm here to help you. >> lorraine recognizes the pain and grief these families feel. she tragically lost two of her own children to gun violence in 2000. >> my twin sons, 22-year-old college students, had been murdered while they were working on a car in oakland. that event changed my life forever. >> using her own experience as inspiration to help others, lorraine has created a support group called "cope." >> families and friends of homicide victims can come
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together, sit in a circle, check in, talk about how we've been impacted by grief. >> and there's an after school program called "project smart" that focuses on the children left behind. >> we realized that children are feeling this, too, and the grandparents who are finding themselves in a role of parenting are just not ready, let alone able to discern that these kids are grieving. >> each year the group also hosts a walk known as the morning mothers walk to prevent violence. >> we try and raise awareness to the ongoing impact of violence where the community can actually get involved in this. it's a health walk, walk for peace, a walk to prevent violence. >> lorr on her working on her next big idea to help local families. >> i have a vision for a trauma recovery center, which will be a one stop shop for families and friends of homicide victims. they need more levels of services than just a complement to get through the funeral.
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>> for families like alicia jackson, whose 1-year-old baby boy, drew, and the baby's father, andrew, were recently gunned down while they slept, the pain and loss is still fresh and hard to express. >> the chain that i have on is a picture of my son and my baby's daddy. it makes me feel a little better that they're still with me even though i can't see them or touch them. they're still here. so i represent them all day. this is them living through me. >> lorraine's calm presence and continual support has had a big impact on this family. >> if i needed to call and talk or whatever, lorraine is always there. she is just so awesome. like i really appreciate her coming in and helping. >> wanting to make sure that entire families aren't lost when a violent tragedy hits, lorraine taylor hopes to be a resource for everyone that needsher,her,d 1000 mothers to prevent violence. >> you can imagine what it's like for little kids to lose
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someone so close and not -- and have to live with this the rest of their lives, not knowing why, and the mother who is saying, i'm going to be strong. i'm not going to think about this. well, one day it's going to surface, and she needs someone to be there. we're going to be there. we're going to be there with them every step of the way. >> our kudos to lorraine taylor for her commitment to providing the growing support system that bay area families urgently need. stay with us. when we come back, we'll introduce you to a man who helped shape the oldest flamenco dance company in the united
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our next profile is of the man who led the second oldest dance company in san francisco for more than 20 years. miguel santos has been a dancer, choreographer, artistic director, and is now the president of the board of directors for theater flamenco. >> i've done ballet. i've done flamenco, primitive dancing, i've done some jazz. i've had it all. >> for a dancer who has won as many accolades as miguel santos, you wouldn't believe he started formal dance training as an
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adult, and when he began his classes, he threw his heart and soul into learning. >> i said to myself, that's what i want to do. ♪ >> flamenco gives you the feeling that there's a deepness in it, and that you can express your feelings the way you want to feel it. >> his natural talent for flamenco took him to spain to study with some of the greatest flamenco teachers. when he returned home, his new skills appealed to a small bay area dance company. it was 1968, and he's been with theater flamenco of san francisco ever since. >> flamenco is really a beautiful art, and it makes the men more macho and there's the beautiful woman always dancing
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around you. >> theater flamenco is the second oldest dance company in san francisco, and it is the first american resident dance company to stage full productions of spanish dance in the u.s. in addition to regular performances, theater flamenco offers a variety of workshops for different skill levels and even school lecture programs. miguel has watched the classical traditions of the dance evolve over the years from shifts in rhythm to clothing accessories and attire. >> the male has the traditional pants, high waisted and everything is gone. now the man is wearing suits, dancing, and the women are dressing so beautifully, so elegant. >> while its modern day interpretation is different, audiences still enjoymezmerize
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ing and explosive performances on stage. >> the nice thing about flamenco is you can dance until you die. and so, see, my last dance i finished dancing when i was 80. i am 88 now. >> running a vibrant performing arts organization isn't without its challenges. donor and volunteer recruitments is an ongoing effort. theater flamenco hopes its dramatic shows help draw for support. >> they go see a performance and come on and say i'd like to meet the performers. we do that. we have the dancers go and circulate among the people, and that's very important. we also say if during performance anybody who wants to volunteer or donate money, we'd be happy to have it.
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>> our congratulations to miguel santos and the team at theater flamenco for continuing their legacy of dance and culture. our next profile spot lights the work of a community doctor who has seen 20,000 patients in more than four decades in san francisco's china town. dr. rollins lowe has been more than just seeing patients in his office. he has served the low income and has been an inspiration to minority doctors across california. >> my parents wanted me to be a doctor and i didn't really know what else i wanted to do, so i said, okay. >> young rollins lowe was precocious, a voracious reader. he finished high school at the age of 15, graduated from uc-berkeley at 18, and finished medical school at ucsf at 22. >> to me, medicine was a way to help people, but sort of like
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the doctor said, you know, the founder of the republic of china, he, too, recognized that to help people you need to get more involved in the community fiber. >> a trained vascular surgeon, dr. lowe was courted by prestigious clinics, but his passion was to help the under served in china town. he opened his family practice just down the block from the nursery school he attended. >> doctors sometimes they feel like god, so they tell more than listen. and i think it's more important the patients feel that you hear them. >> dr. lowe's impeccable bed side manner was matched by his work outside of the exam room when he was board chair at chinese hospital, he helped create a revolutionary chinese community health plan to offer high quality, affordable, and culturally competent care. rollins lowe also gave voice to
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asian pacific islander health issues on a national level. he helped start the asian pacific islander health forum for health advocacy and was invited to the white house to speak on several occasions. but he isn't resting on his laurels, even at 80 years old and having battled his own health scares, he still goes out to address the unmet needs in the community. >> you have to have a willing heart. if i'm just following conditions they don't need my time. >> the challenge he now embraces is building a chinese american foundation which aims to match donors with innovative organizations which create impact. he was born with activism in his blood. his parents often spoke out against injustice and raised their only son to have a strong moral compass. the lessons he learned were shared with his own children. >> i tell them, i don't care
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what profession you go into. you do it well. i'd rather you be a good garbage man than to be a crooked lawyer. >> on the surface, the job his wife kathy embraced was mother and homemaker, but she was equally dedicated to community work. she volunteered on boards of progressive groups herself and stayed by his side the entire journey as a supporter and partner in community activism. >> i give my wife credit that way. i could not do all of those things if my wife didn't raise the family, take care of the household. >> our thanks to rollins and kathy lowe for their life long work in community activism and philanthropy. we wish them all the best in the years to come. stay tuned. we're going to meet a stop scientist and educator
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our final profile features a man whose time in the lab has produced life saving medicine and more efficient fuels, while his time on the scientific world stage has made him a role model to many young scientists. he runs the joint bioenergy institute in emeryville. >> these are microbes that have been engineered, and they're growing here on sugar. >> jay keys lg is a synthetic biologist and chemical engineer working to change the world by literally growing new solutions to old problems. specifically, malaria treatments and transportation fuels. >> we'll typically grow them up in these small flasks or in the tubes that are there and analyze how they've done the process, if it's working or not. >> established in 2007 by the u.s. department of energy, the joint bioenergy institute is one
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of only three bioenergy research centers in the country. jay keasling serves as chief executive officer. >> the research we do is paid by the taxpayers. so, in many ways, it's their research. we always have to go back and relate to them what we've done with that money and try to tell them and excite them about the science. >> the world first took notice of jay's scientific leadership when he and his team developed a synthetic version of a plant based antimalarial drug. >> right now there are about 250 million people on the planet that have malaria. roughly a million people die every year from malaria. the process, now, to make the antimalarial drug is you grow it up in a vat just like brewing beer. except rather than beer coming out you get this very valuable antimall aerial drug. we'll be able to reduce the price and stabilize the price and availability so anybody can get it whenever they want to.
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>> a company licensed the process his team developed and is currently producing over 30 tons of the medication with the hope to produce enough to treat over 100 million people every year. >> you're expressing this -- >> for me it's really gratifying to see that putting that team together and doing the science with the team we could get a product out that would really help people and save a lot of children. >> from this major medical discovery, jay and his staff realized there could be another benefit. >> we had engineered this yeast that would produce this antimalarial drug that is a hydro carbon very similar to the fuels we put in our cars and our trucks and our planes. so we reasoned that with a few changes to that yeast we could actually get that yeast to produce these fuels. in fact, we've done that. >> through all of his scientific work, jay has established a reputation as the mentor to many.
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>> mentorship is important to me, because coming from a farm, and very small town in the middle of nebraska, and finding a love for science made me realize that it was down to a couple of teachers just being good mentors that made a huge difference. we're able to attract the best people from all over the world who want to come here and do the kinds of science that we're doing, and so i feel really fortunate to work with all these people. when everybody in your lab is smarter than you are, that's a really great thing. >> and as an out gay man on the world stage of scientific discovery jay keasling feels an even greater sense of responsibility. >> in coming out, it not only is it more comfortable for me because i don't have to hide who i am, but it also allows me to be a role model for others. >> our many thanks to jay keasling and his team as their exciting research into biofuels continues. we hope you've enjoyed meeting
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our "profiles of excellence" each one of them making an important contribution to the bay area. from the cultural center in san francisco, thanks for watching. [ birdsong ] [ birdsong ] it fills you with energy... and it gives you what you are looking for to live a more natural life. in a convenient two bar pack. this is nature valley. nature at its most delicious.
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. right now -- harrison ford gets schooled. julianne moore, house of horrors. >> so scary and so human. there how hollywood does halloween. >> i don't even like scary movie, but this is it amazing. >> we're rolling out the red carpet now. from headquarters of the scare of the night in downtown l.a., i'm rachel hit. just in time for halloween, this one of a kind horror experience is based on this summer's sci-fi thriller. and it's not for the faint of heart. >> we were trying for make a new experience that was not a haunted house, something that


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