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For immediate release
July 25, 2005
Contact:
Chad Campbell, NPR:
ccampbell@npr.org | 202.513.2304

Jackie Lantry of Rehoboth, MA to be Broadcast Essayist On August 1 Edition of This I Believe, NPR Series Exploring Personal Values

Essay Capturing the Power of Love and Importance of Adoption Chosen From More Than 4200 Entries

Lantry Joins Colin Powell, Director Errol Morris and John Updike Among Contributors to Series


WASHINGTON - This I Believe, the NPR® (National Public Radio) weekly series of personal essays about core values and beliefs - a contemporary version of Edward R. Murrow's landmark 1950s project - will feature the thoughts and words of Jackie Lantry, who lives in the Boston suburb of Rehoboth, MA on the August 1 edition of Morning Edition®, which airs weekdays locally on WGBH-FM/89.7 and WBUR-FM/90.9.

Lantry, whose essay was chosen from among 4200 submitted since the series launched three months ago, praises the importance of adoption, based on her own experience with her four children adopted from China. Speaking about her son, Luke, she writes, "When I think back, I am amazed at what transformed this abused, terrified little creature. It was not therapy, counselors or medications. It did not cost money, require connections or great privilege. It was love: Just simple, plain, easy to give."

Lantry joins an impressive list of essayists who have contributed to the series since it made its national premiere April 4; participants have included former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Academy Award-winning director Errol Morris, authors John Updike and Isabel Allende, psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison, and physicist Brian Greene. This I Believe also features the work of NPR listeners from around the country who have responded with essays on a variety of subjects.

According to Jay Allison, who hosts the segment, "Essays stand out when the writer's experience gives them particular authority. Jackie's experience - having adopted four children from China - gave her a kind of authority when she writes about the remedial power of love. Plus, her writing is honest and full of heart."

Lantry decided to try her hand at a This I Believe essay after hearing Kay Redfield Jamison's on WGBH-FM, Boston, her local NPR Member station, and reading additional ones online at www.npr.org/thisibelieve. She began by asking her children what they believed, and was inspired by their responses.

NPR and its member stations have always had a strong connection to its listeners, and with This I Believe, listeners have the opportunity for their personal beliefs to be heard on more than 600 public radio stations across the country, reaching nearly two million people. Essays from listeners comprise at least half of the pieces broadcast.

During its original run in the 1950s, Murrow's This I Believe launched a national dialogue about core values and beliefs. The contemporary version covers a broad spectrum of topics such as compassion, faith, love, the power of change, the importance of knowledge, the value of family and tolerance. The essays range from poignant to humorous, and provide unique insight what Americans believe in the 21st century. This I Believe essay writing has already been incorporated into the activities of schools, community groups, places of worship and even birthday celebrations. This I Believe essays have been read or played at weddings and funerals. Additionally, blogs have featured the concept from 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, This I Believe essays have ranked among the top e-mailed stories on npr.org. To find your local station, 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 26 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.

This I Believe is a collaboration between NPR and This I Believe, Inc., Dan Gediman and Jay Allison, producers.

This I Believe is partially funded by Farmers Insurance Group of Companies®, which is the nation's third largest Personal Lines Property & Casualty insurance group.