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For immediate release
April 17, 2000

NPR News Explores The Changing Face of America

Nationwide Live Forum Broadcast From Minneapolis-St. Paul On MPR 91.1 FM News, April 27, 2000

Minneapolis, MN - At the turn of the century, there could be no better time to explore and report on the many changes taking place in America today. National Public Radio®, renowned for its definitive news coverage and unique exploration of important issues, embarks on another journalistic journey through its newly launched series, "The Changing Face of America."

As part of the series, Talk of the Nation will hold its third live broadcast forum on Thursday April 27, 2000 from Washburn High School in Minneapolis, MN. Talk of the Nation can be heard on all Minnesota Public Radio news and information stations, including 91.1 FM News in the Twin Cities.

Talk of the Nation host Juan Williams and special guests will engage in a lively, two-hour discussion with today's teenagers - the largest generation since the Baby Boom, and one that is expected to influence American culture and economy for many years. Demographers, marketers and experts are defining them, but how do they define themselves? Is this an accurate reflection of who they are? These and other questions will be the focus of the town hall forum's first hour. The second hour will tackle many sensitive issues as guests talk about the Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts' outreach to gay and lesbian students and how teens feel about discussions of their sexuality.

"Born 1982 and after, Millennials are not like Gen Xers, and they are not like boomers. And over the next decade, they will revolutionize what it means to be young in America no less than Boomers did in the 1960s," says William Strauss.

Strauss, a prominent generational historian and author of several books including Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069 and the up-coming Millennials will join Juan Williams as a forum panelist. Also joining Williams will be Christine Fruechte, Vice President and General Manager of Minneapolis-based CME KidCom, the youth research division of a national marketing company; and Pam Olson, Student Activities Coordinator for Minneapolis Public Schools.

Students and residents from Minneapolis and St. Paul will attend the live broadcast forum at Washburn High School and participate in a national discussion with callers from around the country about who these young people really are and how they are reshaping the way society relates to youth.

Feature segments of "The Changing Face of America" will also appear on Morning Edition® with Bob Edwards and All Things Considered®, NPR's premiere news magazine programs.

In a visit to Champlain Valley Union High School in northern Vermont, NPR's Margot Adler discovers how students empowered with high-tech skills relate to their parents, their teachers, and what happens between youth and their elders when roles are reversed and the playing field is leveled. Margot Adler's report will be heard on Wednesday April 26 on All Things Considered.

In two Morning Edition reports, Michele Serros author of Chicana Falsa and Other Stories of Death, Identity, and Oxnard and the soon-to-be-released How to be a Chicana Role Model, explores the idea of "blendedness" through the lens of her own upbringing and marriage. In the first of her NPR reports airing Thursday, April 27, Serros canvasses family and friends about their marriages - mixed and otherwise, successful and not - and tries to explore why her own marriage, to a man outside her ethnic group, seems to be foundering. In the second report, airing Friday, April 28, Serros profiles two of her friends, both from racially blended families.

"The Changing Face of America," is an 18-month-long series that tells the stories of regular, everyday Americans and the issues they face at a time of dramatic and rapid change. NPR News correspondents explore and report on such diverse issues as immigration, inter-generational conflict, economic development, urban growth, education, technology and leisure, all within the context of a changing America. As part of this series, NPR's midday call-in program Talk of the Nation® is traveling to cities and towns across America for monthly broadcast forums before live audiences. Previously, Talk of the Nation has visited Prince George's County, Maryland and Austin, Texas.

The series is supported by a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts. The Pew Charitable Trusts invest in ideas that fuel timely action and results. It is focusing a significant portion of its resources on supporting programs that stimulate participation in civic affairs. These include initiatives that foster a citizenry more engaged in local, regional and national public issues and that provide information resources for the media, the public and policymakers.

Renowned for its journalistic excellence and standard-setting news, information and cultural programming, NPR serves a growing audience of 14.6 million Americans each week via 625 public radio stations. NPR Online is available at www.npr.org. NPR also distributes programming to listeners in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa via NPR Worldwidesm, to military installations overseas via American Forces Network and throughout Japan via cable.