Two years, two hundred stories – all under the banner of Two Americas.
Our team set out to produce a report that expanded the America you know and illuminated the America you might not have heard of. But part of it was recognizing how much we didn’t know.
Journalism is an imperfect science. In any story, we turn a complex topic into a Cliffsnotes summary. We can sum up a person’s life’s work in one paragraph. We try to express what we experience in full view on the ground in a few square feet on a TV monitor or a few square inches on a cell phone.
It is not exhaustive, but it is necessary.
need to perform Free Food Fridge in Albany, New Yorkto watch a group session kinship carers in Tucson, Arizona, and to meet individuals struggling with homelessness, addressing PTSD, or growing up in a time of extreme possibility and extreme challenge.
These were people we hadn’t met, places we hadn’t visited – or, if we had met, not in that way.
I’ve been to every state in the continental US, but I can’t say I’ve ever experienced Florida like I did earlier this year when I sat with black business owner in Port St. Lucie and talked about how their small town has become a success story for equity. I haven’t traveled through Mississippi like I did when my partner took me to my hometown, a city hungry for business Being cut off from the main highway. I never spent time in Kentucky like I did after tornado ravaged mayfield,
What we saw at these sites was the most we’ve ever seen, yet it’s still only a small fraction of the full spectrum. But within their stories there were – and are – broader stories of America. These are stories that emphasize why it’s so important to keep learning, to challenge our assumptions, to resist the urge to stay stuck in what we think we know.
According to this story, the banner of the two Americas is fading away. Replacing it is a new charge with a similar mission.
It’s called America Forward.
From September we will focus on solutions. We are surrounded by complex challenges in our communities, cities and country. Who is working to address them? What’s going on already? What works – and what is a work in progress?
Wherever we turn, we see people making efforts. We will take him and his efforts forward.
There will always be a lot we all don’t know – from the farthest coast to the nearest block. Our goal, every two minutes, two stories – two years – is to advance the complexity and humanity of two Americas.