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Across the River: Saving America's Inner Cities

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Across the River: Saving America's Inner Cities


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Hope is not what most Americans associate with the nation's inner cities, but this program, with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith, offers a rare series of powerful and encouraging portraits of urban heroes who are reviving once-dying neighborhoods. Filmed in Washington, D.C., the program offers an almost unknown face of the inner city-one that contrasts sharply with the typical images of crime, drugs, and violence seen on the nightly news.

The program features five different aspects of inner city development: a group of former drug users and criminals, who are now reaching out to juvenile offenders and fathers in prison, to show them how a life of drugs and crime is a dead-end; two school programs that use mentors and extensive job internships to achieve a graduation rate of 94% in an area where a 40% drop-out rate is the norm; a public housing project that is rehabilitating its tenants, not its buildings; a successful effort to attract the middle class back to an inner city area that was decimated during the crack epidemic of the 1980s; and an economic program that has led to the redevelopment of a shopping area, opening up new businesses, creating the services and jobs that anchor a community.

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