Evidence of hate is percolating in America and around the world. According to the American Psychological Association, the FBI reported more than 7,000 hate crimes in the United States during 2017. In Wisconsin, there were 17 religion-based hate crimes that same year.
Enter Masood Akhtar, PhD, who realized his dream of coming to the United States in 1984 when he won a scholarship in India to come here and complete his education. He stayed in America, became a citizen, and committed to give back, in India and the United States, and to help every person, regardless of their religion, color, and ethnicity, change their lives through education, just as his life was changed.
His goal of fighting hatred and promoting tolerance became increasingly daunting. Following the 2016 election, when suggestions of a “Muslin registry” surfaced, Dr. Akhtar spontaneously announced on local television that he was going to start an “anti-hate registry” to bring people together. This declaration has turned into the WE ARE MANY UNITED AGAINST HATE Coalition.
On this program, Masood Akhtar is joined by Mike McCabe, now executive director of the coalition. They describe how their movement is growing, how it has intervened in specific incidents of intolerance in Wisconsin communities, and how it is receiving calls from other states and countries. The coalition is currently working with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and higher educational institutions to accomplish three goals: study the root causes of hate, develop education programs to address them, and incorporate these programs into the K-12 curriculum.
Dr. Masood Akhtar is the recipient of the 2019 Manfred E. Swarsensky Humanitarian Service Award presented by the Rotary Club of Madison. This award recognizes a person whose leadership has built bridges and sought reconciliation between groups and persons to promote inclusivity. Dr. Akhtar also received a Certificate of Achievement from Governor Tony Evers and the prestigious national FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award in Washington, DC from FBI Director, Christopher Wray.
WYSO, the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra, which began over 50 years ago, has grown to provide a full array of orchestral training and performance opportunities to over 400 young musicians between the ages of 8 and 18. Three full orchestras, two string orchestras, a chamber music program and a broad selection of ensembles and workshops make up the core of the WYSO program.
On this All About Living program, you will be treated to an amazing performance by one of the WYSO string quartets. Members of the quartet are local high school students Anne Sophie Brilla, Meera Bradley, Monona Suzuki, and Andrew Siehr. Sharing the WYSO story are Bridget Fraser, Executive Director, Cyrena Pondrom, a longtime WYSO supporter, and Karl Lavine, Director of the WYSO Chamber Music Program.
Performances are integral to the WYSO program. Unless otherwise indicated, concerts are held on the UW-Madison campus. For more information about upcoming WYSO performances, go to wysomusic.org.
Someday will never come, until it does! The birthdays are adding up, and you begin to wonder what those final chapters are going to look like. Enter AgeBetter, Inc,, the parent organization of SAIL (Sharing Active Independent Lives). SAIL’s mission is to enable members over 55 to live secure, engaged lives on their own terms. SAIL strongly adheres to the philosophy that “It takes a village” and is designed to help people stay independent by staying connected – and definitely enjoying the journey. SAIL is a members-driven organization that offers a full range of connections to people, resources, fun, support and healthy relationships.
On this program, Ann Albert, founding Executive Director of AgeBetter, Inc., and SAIL, describes how SAIL has evolved since its beginning days in the early 2000s and how it is embracing the village model to counter the effects of loneliness on health and independence and to enhance opportunities to live a purposeful life. Joining Ann is Dana Warren, a SAIL member volunteer. She is a former city Realtor, a master gardener and passionate about universal design. In her retirement years, she focuses her time on using her skills to give back to the community, having her voice heard, and building diversity within the SAIL membership.
Peggy Trojan published her first poem in 2010. She was seventy-seven years old. Her inspiration came from a class on poetry writing she decided to take in her mid-seventies. After reading one of her poems, her instructor encouraged her to submit it for publication. That was the beginning. Since then she has been published in a wide variety of journals and anthologies and has written several books of poetry.
Peggy Trojan grew up in the north woods of Wisconsin where she enjoyed her life as an educator, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. It is from this history that she has drawn the content of her poems. Her latest book of poetry, ALL THAT MATTERS: Collected Poems 2010-2018, depicts, in the gracefulness of the words she’s chosen, stories of real life and the tender, sensitive moments she experienced.
Peggy shares her personal story and how she has woven her observations of life into the poetry she has written. Enjoy also some of the poignant poems included in her latest collection, ALL THAT MATTERS.
No one knows better than Jane Earl how important it is to create an environment that makes it easy for everyone to live in, regardless of age, size or ability. Jane has muscular dystrophy and uses a scooter to maneuver herself through rooms and spaces. She and her husband, former Wisconsin Governor Tony Earl, want to stay in their own home, to age in place, like so many of us do. Already a Certified International Color Consultant, Jane expanded her environmental expertise to include how spaces can be designed to be convenient, flexible and exude great style – not just for her and her husband but for all living environments as we move forward.
On this program, Jane asks us to ponder such questions as, “Have you ever returned home from grocery shopping with both hands full and unable to open the front door? Have you ever struggled to reach something in the back of the top shelf in your kitchen cupboard? Have you searched to find a convenient place to plug in your device charger? Do you have difficulty getting into your bathtub or shower? Do you have trouble hanging up or reaching your clothes hung in your closet?” These are barriers to “aging in place,” and Universal Design offers the solutions.
Tune in as Jane Earl and her husband describe how they have designed their own living environment to be “universal,” and how Jane is working with architects and builders to incorporate the guidelines of Universal Design into projects currently on the drawing board.
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