|For immediate release
May 4, 2005
Chad Campbell, 202.513.2304
Frederic Reamer of Providence, Rhode Island and Sarah Adams, Seattle, Washington, Join Colin Powell, John Updike, Norman Corwin and Isabel Allende as Broadcast Essayists On New NPR Series Exploring Personal Values, "This I Believe"
Two Essayists' Pieces to Air May 9 and 16
WASHINGTON, DC -- Since its April 4 launch, NPR's weekly "This I Believe" segment, a contemporary version of Edward R. Murrow's classic 1950s series of essays that launched a national dialogue about core values and beliefs, has featured the words of such influential leaders as former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Academy Award-winning director Errol Morris, authors John Updike and Isabel Allende and radio legend Norman Corwin.
On May 9 and 16, the three-minute essays will be provided, respectively, by Frederic Reamer, of Providence, Rhode Island, and Sarah Adams, from Seattle, Washington. Reflecting Murrow's original vision of incorporating points of view from Americans from all walks of life, these two are the first listener essayists chosen from over 1500 submissions that came into producers Dan Gediman and Jay Allison within the first month of the series' premiere.
According to Allison, who also hosts the segment, "We liked the essays from Frederic and Sarah because they were distinctive and surprising. They illuminated personal belief in unexpected ways."
Reamer was inspired to write his "This I Believe" essay when he heard the series' debut on April 4 on his local station, WRNI. A member of the Rhode Island Parole Board and a professor at Rhode Island College's School of Social Work, he voices his constant self-questioning of his beliefs as he decides a prisoner's fate. "Every time I walk into...hearing rooms, I retest my belief in justice. I do my best to balance my concern for public safety and my faith that some offenders truly have the ability to redeem themselves. And I can't ignore my wish to punish those criminals who willfully ruined another person's life.” Reamer adds, “Administering justice is not theoretical. There are real consequences every time I answer the question: What do I believe?" His essay will air on Morning Edition on Monday, May 9.
Adams is currently a professor at Olympic Community College, but has previously held jobs as telemarketer, factory worker, hotel clerk and florist's cashier; she listens to NPR on KUOW and KPLU. Her piece, which will air on All Things Considered on Monday, May 16, lightheartedly focuses on the need to be nice to the people who cross your path daily, such as "the pizza delivery dude." She notes, "“Coolness to the pizza delivery dude is a practice in equality. My measurement as a human being, my worth, is the pride I take in performing my job-any job-and the respect with which I treat others. I am the equal of the world not because of the car I drive, the size of the TV I own, the weight I can bench press, or the calculus equations I can solve. I am the equal to all I meet because of the kindness in my heart. And it all starts here-with the pizza delivery dude.”
"This I Believe" submissions have come from all across the U.S. and cover a broad spectrum of topics, such as compassion, faith, love, the power of change, the importance of knowledge, the value of family and tolerance. They have ranged from poignant to humorous, and provide unique insight into the core values Americans have identified as their own in the 21st century. The producers have learned that "This I Believe" has already been incorporated into schools, community groups, places of worship and even birthday parties and funerals. Additionally, blogs have been launched based on the concept by groups as diverse as college students, senior citizens and people affiliated with various religious and political associations. The segments air every Monday, alternating between NPR's signature newsmagazines Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
To date, all of the aired "This I Believe" essays have ranked among the top e-mailed stories on www.npr.org. To listen to past essays or to submit an essay, please visit www.npr.org/thisibelieve.
NPR is renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news and entertainment programming. A privately supported, non-profit, membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 23 million Americans each week in partnership with more than 780 public radio stations. International partners in cable, satellite and short-wave services make NPR programming accessible anywhere in the world. With original online content and audio streaming, npr.org offers hourly newscasts, special features and eight years of archived audio and information.