tv Good Day New York Street Talk FOX October 17, 2015 6:00am-6:30am EDT
>> hello and welcome to tbeek geek, alabama twang lieu -- antwan lewis reporting. we're working on a new play with a different take on the red scare of the 1950s and shedding the spotlight on sexual politics of that era. and a little bit later, helping high-risk urban youth in new jersey stay on the path to adulthood, an organization that is truly making a difference. first, the late tennis great arthur ashe was a sports legend, but he made a tremendous impact in the community. the arthur ashe institute for urban health is now honoring those who mimic his spirit. ruth brown is here as well as tim morehouse, good morning to both of you. first time meeting you both.
thank you for coming by. >> pleasure to meet you. >> tell us about the institute. >> so the legendary arthur ashe, tennis celebrity, humanitarian, started the tennis institute before he passed away -- >> like two months before he passed, right? >> literally, in 1993. the institute was started in december of 1992, and arthur passed on february 6th of '93. but this organization is totally focused on health and wellness and meeting people where they are in the community to try to get them to be more proactive without their own health, the help of their family cans and their neighborhoods. >> the inspiration behind it, he was dealing with so much, we lost him to aids through a blood transfusion. he was a role model to young african-american ares growing up, but what was it about it? he was battling and dealing with so much, transitioning from his family to his next chapter but
>> he came and did a tour in brooklyn. he came to the campus, and he saw many people in the hospital who really shouldn't have been there if they had had the right kind of preventive care. and it was, he was initially invited as a visiting lecturer, and then this idea of starting an institute that would be very community grounded to keep people out of hospitals was really what was the incentive for arthur. >> when you talk about serving, addressing health issues, you know, what are the ones that you are facing and dealing with right now, ruth? >> so the typical things that you see in urban communities around buy dietz, hypertension -- diabetes, hypertension, cancer. but we're also looking at how do you get to the most vulnerable communities, like people returning to their communities from are prisons and jails, and how do you get them to access services and link to people who can really help them manage their health. >> the demographics that you serve, are you centralized to one specific demo, or anybody and everybody that you're taking
care of? >> it's adults and youth. >> okay. >> the youth work that we do is trying to get more young people from the communities that we work in to come back and serve in their communities as health professionals. so we're really trying to encourage their interest in going into the health professions. >> a lot of the talk always centers around, you know, oh, we're going to show them new eating habits and, you know, reach for that and don't reach for this, you know, instead. replace butter with something else. is it that message, or are you going a little bit deeper? because you're talking about diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure. >> right. so we're not doing typical health education. >> okay. >> we're trying to get people to use what they know and take an action around their health. so how do you move people across a continuum that allows them to think about doing something about their health, take an action around it and maintain it? and that's literally, you know, if you know you have high blood pressure, how do you link to a service, a clinician, and how do you know your members and do
that you're making changes in your life and being proactive about your health. >> tell us about your ball. >> oh, my gosh -- [laughter] first of all, it is the best party in new york city. it's our annual black tie and sneakers gala. i have sneakers -- [laughter] but it's, it's about 400 people who are coming next wednesday, october 21st, from 6-10. tickets are still available. it is -- we are honoring the fabulous tim morehouse here. [laughter] we are honoring susan lucci, we're honoring astrazeneca, and we're honoring susan lucci for her commitment to united screen ball palsy and the iconic actress has used her celebrity like arthur. and tim morehouse we are honoring for introducing thousands of urban kids to the fabulous sport of fencing.
raise consciousness about how you can, one, get fit through health -- through sport, but also introducing folks to a sport that is not typical in an urban community, just like tennis wasn't for arthur. >> tim, how does that make you feel knowing that you are being honored, you know, in the footsteps of this trailraising pioneer? >> it's very humbling. when you think of athletes who have had an impact in this country, you think of people like jackie robinson and people like arkansas thu ash, so even to be mention inside the same sentence is tremendous. people know the name, the obstacles he faced, the segregation, the racism just to get to where he got to, to win grand slams, even that by itself is unbelievable. and then he took all of that, and he started four organizations and really took
to change our country and, by the way, ruth is amazing as well. [laughter] if you know her story, really she's very humble. you know, he started this organization two months before he died. it was really an idea, and she was really person who wanted as many people -- one of the many people involved in helping but picked up the baton, saw his visioning and was inspired to carry it forward the same way i am. you see these examples like arthur ashe, and you're like i want to do half of what he's done. if i can, i'll have done something tremendous. >> and we love it that tim is so young, knows who arthur ashe is. you think about promoting the legacy of arthur ashe, you want more and more people who are younger and younger to remember the great tennis and celebrity -- >> every, every kid should grow up knowing who arthur ashe is. >> i totally agree with that. >> jackie robinson, these people who transcended -- it's more than just about sports. it's not just about fencing, it's about helping kids, giving
like fencing we have great role models. derek homer, how he came from the bronx and he's in the olympics now going to rio. tremendous power, there we go -- >> we're looking at the vid troh now -- video now. tell us more about fence anything schools before we get to your resume . >> fencing in schools.org is our web site. we want to teach kids life lessons. we were in 13 states last year, we've introduced over 20,000 kids to fencing. we're starting our first varsity teams this year, so the dragons are going to be making their premiere this year as a varsity team training up in harlem on 133rd street. we're really excited about that. it's just been amazing working with the kids and trying to provide them with an opportunity. i had the opportunity to find fencing when i was 13. i was just lucky my school had it, and i want every kid to have the opportunity to experience the sport. if they want to follow it, amazing.
if it's just something that they do for a little bit and enjoy it, that's great too. i just think kids should have the opportunity to try things out, really find whoo they're passionate about. one of my favorite programs is to actually bring kids into the hospitals, they have a lot of direct programs really are exposing and engage the kids. >> we want to remind everyone 2008 -- >> yes. 2008 silver medal, i competed -- >> beijing. >> yep. amazing moment of my high. >> there you go. [laughter] >> i have, you know, very fortunate. our event was 1948, we made the finals, just to see a dream coming true before your eyes. fencing's a great sport, there's so many great things out there. for our country to grow, it's all about reaching the kids and all about equipping them with tools to succeed, and i'm in that sort of -- that's my fight be, you know in and i use fencing as my vehicle to do that. >> now, ruth mentioned about you introducing it to kids who wouldn't otherwise have any way
of coming into contact. what's been the reception of those that you're sharing? what is this? this is fencing, we're not playing with sticks and swords here, you know, this is the art of fencing. >> and it's not around your school building -- [laughter] are we going to build a fence? no. [laughter] the reaction has been tremendous. kids lo it. -- love it. as soon as we pull out the foils and the sabers, they get it. oh, cool, sword fighting. 99% of our kids have never fenced before, and we always survey them after, and they all leave wanting to do more. that's why we have the varsity team now. the kids are saying, look, we want to fence more, how do we do that? so i'm out raising money for our cause and trying to get more kids involved. it's been amazing, and kids love, they love playing with swords. so if you ever see a school, elementary school, middle school is, when we do our little fencing demonstration from the first time, they're bouncing out of their seats. it's really fun to watch.
>> fencing in the schools.org. >> and the gala is under the 59th street bridge from 6-10, and our web site is arthurashinstitute.org. >> continued success with all you're doing, and thank you for representing our country in 2008. >> hope everyone comes down and joins us for a good party and a great cause. >> absolutely. >> stick around for us. up next we have a different take on the 1950s red scare that resonates on issues making headlines today, when we come we work weekends here. because it works for our patients. here, at cancer treatment centers of america in philadelphia, we give our patients the freedom to
>> so it's 1950, and the red scare has swept the country. but a new play has shifted the focus from communism to sex in a way that's very relevant even today. the play is called perfect arrangement. joining me to tell us more about it our playwright, topher payne, and actor kelly mcandrew. hello and welcome. >> good to be here. >> so perfect arrangement. >> perfect arrangement, it is -- >> interesting title. [laughter] >> the story of two couples that are doing absolutely everything they can to present lives as perfect as the 1950 sitcoms or a layout in "house beautiful." and the challenges of keeping that up. >> so we're talking, topher be, it's set in the midst of the 1950s during the red scare for those who may not know their
history, you know, we're talking about when the country was going through identifying communists -- >> communist threats. >> mccarthy and those likes. so transition us to what's going on, sir. >> so they were very successful in their enterprise, in rooting out, first, people who were definitely members of the communist party, then people who sympathized with the communist party, then people who seemed like they sort of sympathized with the communist party and on down the line. and thousands of government employees were removed from their positions from that. and senator mccarthy in the spring of 1950 expanded the definition of security threat to include drunkards, loose women and suspected homosexuals. and so then they started looking for those. in the story of our play, we have bob and norma who are members of the personnel security board for the state department -- >> okay. >> -- and they have been tasked
now they are tasked with this new hunt for protecting our national security. what people don't realize is that bob is gay, norma is a lesbian, and they have married each other's partners as the perfect cover. and they live in a duplex in closet. [laughter] and so they can present the exact lives that they need to present to the world and then have the legitimate lives that they choose to have behind closed doors. and for a new years, that works great until they're hunting for themselves. >> oh, wow. kelly, you play barbara -- >> i play barbara grant. i am not one of the couples. i am somebody who also works for the state department as a translator and discover that i am on the list, my character is on the list, because i am, quote-unquote, a loose woman. >> oh. >> meaning single. >> meaning single. >> and dating. >> and dating. and it's very interesting
because we learn about my character that i keep to myself, i'm very private about my affairs. but everybody talks about me. it's actually an amazing thing to play somebody who is spoken about more than actually speaks. >> wow. >> in the play that people talk about how many lovers i've had and what i, you know, where -- that i speak six languages and that the first phrase i learned in all of them was don't get me pregnant. [laughter] and it's, it's a way into sort of looking at the women's movement in the midst of looking at this lavender scare that's happening. >> so it also speaks to the early stages of the american gay rights movement -- >> absolutely. >> and the connection. >> one of the interesting things about this time is this was the first moment when the united states government recognized homosexuality as an inherent trait rather than just behavior. prior to that point, you know, i
military service for homosexual acts, but in defining suspected homosexuals, it was considered now an immutable trait. it was something effectively that could not be fixed. and that's why you were ineligible for government service, because at the time homosexuality was still a criminal act -- >> in london they were still arresting people at the time, right? >> in america they were still arresting people. of course, i live in georgia, so we arrested people for a lot longer -- [laughter] but the -- it's one of those interesting moments where the tactics of your oppressors end up being the very thing that motivates you. >> okay. >> because in removing all of these well-educated, articulate american citizens are government service and making, rendering them, effectively, unemployable because of what they were fired for, they created a mass of
people with nothing left to lose. and that's when great change can actually happen. when you've got nowhere to go but up, that's the moment when you organize. >> true. >> so we start to see the first stirrings of that in the play. >> was it hard to get into character, you know? more you, barbara? >> i will say this, topher has written an extraordinary play, and he has written me an extraordinary part. i really love this role, i love wrapping myself around her language, the way she moves, the way she dresses, and i feel a great empathy for her. i think she's a very full character, three-dimensional and not what she appears to be at first. and also becomes -- but what's so exciting about barbara is she becomes part of the vanguard of the gay rights movement while not even identifying as any sexuality. >> right. and that, and her statement is just consistently that it's none of anyone's business. and -- >> meaning if she's single and -- >> yeah. whatever she's doing.
>> quiet, speaks six languages, it's her right to be that person. >> right. but if the moment arises where she has to stand up and take ownership of who she is and what she believes is right versus what she believes is undeniably wrong, then she'll do it, and she'll start recruiting allies in that cause. >> because -- oh, sorry. >> no, you go. >> because what barbara is going, there is nothing wrong with what barbara's doing. she's living her life. >> as a single woman to. >> and she's being shamed for that, and that happens a lot even today. very telling, exactly. >> barbara -- kelly -- [laughter] you're in character. [laughter] >> such poise. >> the play runs through -- >> november 6th at primary stages. >> quick resume , what else have you been in? >> most recently i was in a production at column thumb, abundance at the tact, i played a cat on broadway.
>> oh, wow there's a role. >> you broke some hearts. >> oh, yes, that's right. i was amish on "orange is the new black." thanks for remembering. [laughter] >> november 6th. primary stages. >> yes. we open october 15th, run through november 6th. >> so nice to meet you both. >> great to meet you. thanks for having us. >> have a safe trip back to georgia. >> thank you. >> coming up next, helping preserve high-risk urban youth take a look at these bbq trophies: best cracked pepper sauce... most ribs eaten while calf roping... yep, greatness deserves recognition.
uh, yeah... well, uh, well there's this one. best insurance mobile app? yeah, two years in a row. well i'll be... does that thing just follow you around? like a little puppy! the award-winning geico app. download it today. this morning, people on medicaid who might otherwise be struggling to care for themselves won't have to. because homefirst, a product of elderplan, is there... helping them with bathing, dressing and meals so they can remain safely at home. homefirst, a product of elderplan continuing the work of the four brooklyn ladies caring in so many ways. call 1-866-386-4180
>> welcome back. transitioning to adulthood remains a big issue facing high-risk youth, and a new jersey organization is making great strides to see that these kids do, in fact, have a future. margaret woods and bryan lee of independence: a family of services, are here to say how they're making a difference. you said i can call you marge. tell us about independence: a family of services. >> it's a community-based agency that has been around for almost 45 years. >> wow. >> yeah, it's a long time for a community agency. and our commitment is to work with young people and families who most people call high risk who are are struggling, and our goal is to help them to develop the skills that they need to be independent and to have positive, functioning lives. >> you said, you made it very pointed when you say they are considered high risk. when we think of high risk
risk, marge? >> they are young people who are underweeducated, could be unemployed, are struggling with emotional and mental issues, they could have been involved in the child welfare system which means that they've been in foster care, a lot of them. they don't trust easily because every adult who says i love you, i'm there for you, i'm going to take care of you has abandoned them. >> okay. >> because they're challenging and difficult to work with. our commitment at independence is to work with any family or young person who's referred to us as long as we have the funds to pay for them. so that means somebody has to pay for the services. but so we have a no-reject policy which means we take anybody who's referred to us, and it's next to imonly to leave us. -- impossible to leave us. >> you're based in new jersey. >> we're based in newark. >> and the kids come from, are they single-parent households or both parents? >> the majority are single-parent households,
usually female-led. >> okay. >> they are at or below the poverty line, and their parent is struggling to make ends meet most of the time. >> so, bryan, when you say the services that marge is talking about, tell us some of things you're doing. you're providing them with, is it further educational training? >> yeah. we have seven different services we provide. we have educational services, we have high school that we have, we have a partner who provides services, but we have high school services, life skills services. and life skill services are transitioning all the youth that you just talked about. we have -- >> you partner with the police i thought i read too, right? >> yeah, i was going to say, we have a anti-violence, nonviolent program that we're working at with rutgers university. and with that program one of the things that we do is we try to
provide these same social services and supports to the gang members in the community. >> to deter them from going along that path or to actually get those involved in gangs already out of that system? >> it's actually both. >> both? okay. >> we work with what are called wannabes, the young people who are trying to get into gangs. we work with gang members. the project's goal is to reduce the gun violence in the city of newark. so we work with the gang members to help them understand that they have to stop killing us, that -- and that we can help them turn away from the streets and from the life of gang involvement. and what we find is that a lot of the young men really want to turn their lives around. they want to take another path, but they usually find doors closed in their face because they're stereo types.
and people run in the opposite direction when they see them rather than embracing them and saying, you know, there are some things that we can help you achieve in your life. >> i think a lot of it, and correct me if i'm wrong, it has to begin with self- esteem. i imagine one of the first things you're addressing is in little them know there is self-worth within you. is that right, b.? >> correct. again, we often believe that every gang member is someone who has no skills, no abilities, nothing good about them. and what we do is instill in them that you're part of this community and that you bring things to the table. and what we want to do is to support those things and add to that so you can become a better person and a member of our society. >> marge, if someone wants to donate, what information should we make sure that we want to put out there? your web site? >> our web site is www. www.ifsnj.org, and they can donate on the web site. we have a fundraiser that is
coming up on october 29th. >> tell us about it. >> it is going to be atalgira gallery in newark -- >> tickets still available? >> tickets are absolutely still available. >> so nice to meet you, marge. now, i called you b.. you didn't tell me it was okay. >> it was great. that worked out for me as well. [laughter] >> to learn more go to fox5ny.com, like us on facebook and follow us on twitter.
thanks for joining us for street ah, yes! you can't stop it! aww...your mom liked my post. you're friends with my mother? whoa. another episode? definitely. we all use it differently. same way? call time warner cable to get the internet speed you need. are you guys texting each other? whether it's 3 megs or 300 megs, yeah. for the right price. internet, to 300 meg ultra-fast internet, we have you covered. even with wifi at home and on the go. plans start at $14.99 per month. call 1-855-want twc to switch today.