March 2007

Grant Results

SUMMARY

Persephone Productions produced three segments of the television program To the Contrary focusing on the prevention and treatment of teen substance abuse.

To the Contrary is a weekly public affairs and news analysis program that appears on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

Key Results

  • The three programs featured one-on-one interviews with experts on teen substance abuse, followed by a panel discussion. The featured experts included:
    • James Prochaska, Ph.D, director of the Cancer Prevention Research Center at the University of Rhode Island. Prochaska addressed the high rates of alcohol and drug abuse and dependence among teens and how they recover from substance abuse.
    • Satya Krishnan, Ph.D, Associate Professor, Department of Health Sciences at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. Krishnan discussed innovative treatments for substance abusing teens.
    • Sandra Headen, Ph.D, a consultant on tobacco abuse prevention in North Carolina. Headen discussed how the principles of Kwanzaa might help reduce smoking among African-American teens.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided $46,000 in grant support from November 2002 through October 2003.

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THE PROJECT

To The Contrary, a weekly PBS public affairs and news analysis program that covers issues affecting women, children, families and communities of color, is hosted by Bonnie Erbe, the project director, and produced by Persephone Productions, a nonprofit company formed to produce To the Contrary for public television.

Three To the Contrary segments presented information on teen substance abuse and featured interviews with experts on the subject from among the award recipients and fellows of two RWJF programs: Innovators Combating Substance Abuse and Developing Leadership in Reducing Substance Abuse (for more information see Grant Results).

The first of these programs aims to recognize outstanding leaders in substance abuse prevention and treatment, and the second, to develop the next generation of leaders in that field. The five-minute, one-on-one interviews were followed by panel discussions. The experts interviewed and topics featured were:

  • James Prochaska, Ph.D, director of the Cancer Prevention Research Center at the University of Rhode Island, Kingston and 2002 recipient of the Innovators award. Prochaska addressed teen substance abuse, the continued high rates at which teens get hooked on alcohol and illegal drugs, and how teens recover from substance abuse.
  • Satya Krishnan, Ph.D, Associate Professor, Department of Health Sciences at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces and a fellow in the Developing Leadership in Reducing Substance Abuse program. Krishnan addressed innovative treatments for substance abusing teens.
  • Sandra Headen, Ph.D, a consultant on tobacco abuse prevention in North Carolina and 2000 recipient of the Innovators award. Headen discussed African Americans and smoking, and how the principles of Kwanzaa might help reduce smoking among African-American teens. The Kwanzaa principles promote such values as unity, self-determination, cooperative economics, creativity and faith to strengthen the African-American community.

Each segment followed the interview with a panel discussion among four or five panelists from a range of political perspectives and with expertise on various aspects of the topic under discussion. Panelists came from such organizations as the National Organization for Women, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education, that promotes the belief that faith and the free market are the key to curing poverty, the Family Research Council, that promotes marriage, the family and the Judeo-Christian worldview, and the Heritage Foundation, conservative policy think tank. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia, a Democrat, participated in the third segment.

The project director reported that 240 PBS affiliates aired these segments. To the Contrary typically has an audience of 1 million, according to the project director. The producers also sent the videotapes tapes to M. Booth & Associates, a Manhattan-based marketing firm, at RWJF's request.

Videotapes and transcripts of the To the Contrary segments are available for $19.95. To purchase, go online or call the Federal News Service at 1-888-343-1940. (Callers will need to give show date and title; see the Appendix for this information.)

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AFTER THE GRANT

RWJF did not renew the grant. Persephone Productions continues to produce To The Contrary for PBS.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Production of a Substance Abuse Prevention Segment of "To The Contrary" for Public Broadcasting Stations

Grantee

Persephone Productions (Washington,  DC)

  • Amount: $ 46,000
    Dates: November 2002 to October 2003
    ID#:  046780

Contact

Bonnie Erbe
(202) 973-0079
bonnieerbe@compuserve.com

Web Site

http://www.pbs.org/ttc

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APPENDICES


Appendix 1

(Current as of the time of the grant; provided by the grantee organization; not verified by RWJF.)

"To the Contrary" Segment Information

Title: Teen Substance Abuse
Date: April 4, 2003
Program Number: 1203
Interview: James Prochaska, Ph.D.

Title: Teen Substance Abuse
Date: July 18, 2003
Program Number: 1203
Interview: Satya Krishnan, Ph.D., C.H.E.S.

Title: Dr. Sandra Headen
Date: August 22, 2003
Program Number: 1223
Interview: Sandra Headen, Ph.D.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

Audio-Visuals and Computer Software

To the Contrary, one ½-hour video addressed teen substance abuse, the continued high rates at which teens get hooked on alcohol and illegal drugs, and how teens recover from substance abuse. Washington. Persephone Productions. Aired on PBS, April 4, 2003.

To the Contrary, one ½-hour video addressed innovative treatments for substance abusing teens. Washington: Persephone Productions. Aired on PBS, July 18, 2003.

To the Contrary, one ½-hour video addressed African Americans and smoking, and how the principles of Kwanzaa might help reduce smoking among African-American teens. Washington: Persephone Productions. Aired on PBS, August 22, 2003.

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Report prepared by: Barbara Matacera Barr
Reviewed by: Janet Heroux
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Dwayne Proctor

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