Street Soldiers

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Street Soldiers TV: Education Game Changers

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Millions of students rely on our public schools for their education. While systems often get blamed for not measuring up, the fact is many educators and teachers are going above and beyond.

The “I Know I Can” hook in Nas’s classic song applies to Dr. Marcia Lyles, the first female African-American superintendent of Jersey City public schools. Armed with an Ivy League doctorate, she learned how to overcome stereotypes in her own career.

Under her leadership, graduation rates rose, and she initiated new interactive learning programs. She also insisted that her staff place high expectations on every single child in the diverse school system.

At P36K in East New York, Brooklyn, the more than 400 special-needs students range in age from pre-kindergarten to 21 and are facing a wide variety of life challenges. Principal Kevin Lenahan says the attitude of his dedicated staff is always “You can do it.”

Dr. Chris Emdin, the founder of Hip Hop Ed, uses hip hop beats to close the science and math education gap that can trap urban students. His programs produce measurable results and change lives. Emdin is also a professor at Columbia University Teachers College.

LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers

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Street Soldiers TV: NYCHA at the Crossroads

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The countdown clock is ticking. Big changes are ahead for the New York City Housing Authority. But will the changes bring improvements for long-suffering residents?

I sat down with HUD Regional Administrator Lynne Patton for her take on recent developments. Patton is known for talking directly to residents and seeing conditions first hand. The disturbing images that scream neglect—no heat, lead and mold, and rats running wild are all too familiar to her and fuel her determination to make positive changes.

Patton’s boss, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, toured the Queensbridge Houses in advance of a meeting with Mayor Bill de Blasio and a congressional delegation. The mayor needs HUD on his side to convince federal judge William Pauley that NYCHA can climb out of a multibillion-dollar budget hole and give residents what they deserve. The mayor sounded hopeful after the meeting.

If Carson declares NYCHA in default, it triggers a housing law from 1937 that allows him to put the city agency in federal receivership, hire and fire, and even choose who runs it. It would be a political embarrassment for the mayor.

Patton said the U.S. attorney for the Southern District is still conducting criminal investigations into NYCHA employees and management. Some have been arrested for embezzling tenant rents and falsifying repair records, and more are expected.

—LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer



Street Soldiers TV: “Hip Hop On Drugs” Feat. Wendy Williams

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This music video for the title track of Future and Juice Wrld’s album “Wrld on Drugs” could not be more clear in its message. The high school setting and slick production add to the allure for the age group too young to legally buy alcohol.

There’s a human toll behind these grim statistics: one person dies every 8 minutes in the United States from an overdose. That’s a big concern to Wendy Williams, who battled substance abuse early in her career.

“These pills and the K-2—what are people doing?” Williams said. “It’s almost like were losing a whole generation of people to drugs.”

The autopsy report just released for hip hop artist Mac Miller lists the cause of death as accidental from mixed toxicity of fentanyl, cocaine and ethanol. He started on lean, which is codeine cough syrup mixed with soda. The album cover for Juice Wrld shows lean poured over the globe, with pills everywhere.

“I feel like it’s being so glorified right now that it’s making it OK and it’s permission,” Williams said.

Up-and-coming artist Guwii Mitch, whose latest video is “King of New York,” agrees. He said there is no question that the drug lyrics in music are a powerful influence.

“Music encourages people to do everything,” he said. “Any lyric going to encourage people.”

Williams is so concerned about she created a foundation with her husband, Kevin Hunter, called the Hunter Foundation. They’re determined to save lives, especially with the K-2 problem that we see on city streets but is often hidden in the suburbs.



LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers
https://twitter. com/lisaevers

WENDY WILLIAMS, Television Superstar


DR. ARABIA MOLLETTE, Emergency Department Physician