NPR logo A Long Road Traveled, A Long Road Ahead

Behind the Curtain at TMM

A Long Road Traveled, A Long Road Ahead

Lee Hill, here. Today, I'm happily passing the virtual mic to TMM producer Jasmine Garsd. She produced much of today's program. After twisting her arm a bit (don't worry, in a friendly way), Jasmine agreed to share her behind-the-scenes perspective of today's program. So, Jaz, take it away ...

Thanks, Lee. Jasmine Garsd, here ...

Today's show was a discussion about how far minorities have come in the U.S., yet how much backlash there continues to be.

Our opening conversation was with Tony Asion, executive director of El Pueblo, and Kevin Johnson, Dean of Law at UC-Davis. This conversation gave us a window into how civil rights activists continue to deal with threats against their life. And it's not just activists. As we heard on the show today, hate crimes against Hispanics have been on the rise.

Why do you think this trend, confirmed by the FBI, is happening? And how should it be combated?

We also featured a discussion with John Rogers, an example of how far minorities have come in the U.S. Rogers heads Ariel Investments, the nation's first African-American owned mutual fund. His investment philosophy is grounded in patience, discipline and independent thinking and was recognized this month by the National Council on Economic Education.

Something that struck me about the conversation is what an important role Roger's parents had in making him who he is today. His father encouraged him to become involved in the world of financing. This reminded me of a conversation I had the other night, with a friend of mine who is working at an elementary school in one of Washington, D.C.'s most socio-economically depressed neighborhoods.

My friend's biggest question (she just started at this job): how to instill this type of thinking in young, talented students who come from broken homes, where basic survival trumps school work every day?

And speaking of role models, we visited with Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan, hairstylist Anthony Dickey, and historian Catherine Allgor, for a discussion on future First Lady Michelle Obama, her unique style (hey, don't forget to check out our fashion slideshow) and what type of role model she will be.

Overall, what type of impact do you think Michelle Obama will have as First Lady?