We are proud to share that we were named one of CCTV's Producers of the Year, awarded on April 29 at their 2020 Annual Meeting. Since July 2019, our team has produced more than 30 episodes featuring interviews with Problem Solvers across many sectors like suicide recovery, transgender health, homelessness, food security, voter protection, and much more. We have learned so much and met incredible people along the way. We look forward to sharing what's next for us soon. Thank you to everyone who has made this show possible.
Meet The Problem Solvers, hosted by Judy Perlman, brings experts from a wide variety of fields to help us dive into a pressing social problem and explore solutions, and to take action where we can.
Since March 23, we have shifted to remotely recorded episodes that focus on the impact of COVID-19 on systems, communities, and individuals. We continue to explore different topics that resonate with our audience and our goal is to be a source of information, communication, and peace during this difficult time.
The show also airs on most Mondays at 6:30pm ET on Cambridge Community TV (Channel 9). Live-stream at https://www.cctvcambridge.org/watch.
A message from Judy:
"This journey into exploring and unpacking some of our society's most difficult topics has been eye-opening, moving and touching.
Since our first COVID-19 focused episode on March 23, we have learned a great deal about which stories resonate most with our audience.
I have consistently been inspired by our intelligent, steadfast guests during this time. I am endlessly grateful for their work, their helpful insights, and their actionable advice.
I look forward to continuing to grow as an interviewer and as a citizen of the world through this work. Please contact me with the stories, guests, and topics that are most important to you during the pandemic.
Mutual Aid and Governmental Resources for COVID-19 Relief
In part one of our episode "Economic Disruptions During COVID-19: Resources for Relief and Recovery," Cecilia Wallace, AmeriCorps member serving as Case Manager with Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, walks listeners through applying for unemployment, food assistance and health insurance, and talks about drawing on local and grassroots supports for folks who have been financially impacted by the pandemic.
Reinventing Our Economy in a Post Virus World
In part two of our episode "Economic Disruptions During COVID-19: Resources for Relief and Recovery,” Professor Simon Johnson, MIT Sloan economist, lays out some of the impact the virus will have on a macroscale and envisions ways that the economy must change in our "new normal."
See Prof. Johnson's bio here: https://mitsloan.mit.edu/faculty/directory/simon-johnson
Supporting Ourselves and Others: Dealing with Isolation, Mental Health and Substance Use During COVID-19
*Note: The technical quality of our remote episodes is a work in progress. Thank you for bearing with us as we adjust to new recording challenges.*
This episode of Meet The Problem Solvers is centered on the emotional and psychological pressures of the COVID-19 outbreak. Judy talks with social workers Laura Hutson and Brittany Jones. Laura, who works at Boston Health Care for the Homeless, shares ideas and resources that folks dealing with acute or chronic mental health stresses might use, and she and Judy offer up compassionate ways we can offer support to people we are concerned about during these stressful times.
Brittany works with justice-involved individuals as part of a Los Angeles County supportive service/re-entry program. She describes challenges her clients have dealt with during the pandemic, including the sudden loss of connection and uneven access to technology, and isolation. She and Judy talk through several “lessons learned” that can strengthen social service systems and their ability to support clients through future crises.
COVID-19 Resources for Seniors &
Food Access and Resilience in Light of COVID-19
We round out Women’s History Month with a special episode featuring interviews with two incredible local women. First, Susan Pacheco, Executive Director of the Cambridge Council on Aging provides vital information and health resources for Cambridge’s vulnerable senior population. Then, Jessie Banhazl, Founder and CEO of urban farming solution Green City Growers, tells Judy about their work to help families and organizations increase control over their access to nutritious fresh food.
The second in our series of remote-recorded episodes, our goal is to provide useful, relevant information and insightful stories from the frontlines of this crisis that
will give audiences useful tools to make it through the pandemic.
The Cambridge Council on Aging website: https://www.cambridgema.gov/DHSP/programsforadults/seniorscouncilonaging
More Information for Cambridge seniors during COVID-19: https://www.cambridgema.gov/covid19/Seniors
Learn more about Green City Growers here: https://greencitygrowers.com
Green City Grower's Book: https://greencitygrowers.com/shop/the-urban-bounty-book/
Supporting COVID-19 Planning at a State-wide Level
Caitlin Frumerie, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, returns to Meet The Problem Solvers to talk through the challenges of designing and constructing COVID-19-related services for people living without homes, working in real-time. Caitlin outlines the importance of transparency, coordination, and advocacy, and highlight solutions such as outsourcing and system-level planning that have been successful and are replicable on a larger scale.
Understanding the Revolutionary Potential of Abortion Pills
Susan Yanow, the founder of Women Help Women, joined Judy in the studio to talk about her vital and revolutionary work for reproductive rights. She teaches people how to safely self-administer abortion pills and is an advocate for the bodily autonomy of women and all people who can get pregnant. Check out the Women Help Women website here:
Video Activism: Mobilizing for Planetary Health
Judy chats with Kameel Nasr, the ebullient host of CCTV’s "New England Authors" series and the person who first introduced her to the world of TV interviewing. An author and activist, Kameel talked about his long-standing support for artists and his deepening commitment to addressing the climate crisis. Kameel and Judy reflect on ways they each have learned and become more confident through hosting their respective shows and agree that this experience has allowed them to grow in their capacity as leaders and change-makers.
Thrust into Leadership: Facing Neurofibromatosis Head-on
Although Neurofibromatosis affects more people than muscular dystrophy or cystic fibrosis, its unique symptoms and difficulty to diagnose have made it a less-known rare disease. Karen Peluso, the Executive Director of Neurofibromatosis North East, shares her journey with NF – from caring for her daughter to supporting thousands of families locally and nationally and winning millions for federally funded research. She has committed her life to making sure NF patients and their loved ones have the support, research, and community they need. Learn more about neurofibromatosis here:
Anthony Njigua of Foodies Without Borders joins Judy to discuss his non-profit, which is committed to revolutionizing opportunities in the food industry in his home country of Kenya. With an eye on sustainability and his love for food, Anthony's work is bringing more economic opportunity to underserved populations.
Learn more more about their work and see how you can get involved here:
Protect The Vote
Quentin Palfrey joins Judy for a prescient conversation about his work to protect voter rights in the 2020 election cycle. A former Obama White House Senior advisor, Palfrey now heads the Voter Protection Corps, an organization committed to ensuring free and fair elections in the US. Learn more about their work here:
Rethinking Treatment: Collaborative Community Approaches to Substance Abuse
People dealing with addiction and recovery are among the most vulnerable patient populations and often receive the least amount of care. The rates of relapse and death are dire and only growing. Dr. Chris Fischer of the Cambridge Health Alliance shares how community care can transform health outcomes for people living with addiction.
Charting A New Path: Women and Entrepreneurship
Alina Lopez Thomas, Creative Director of The Greater Resource of Women Networks (G.R.O.W.N.) joins Judy for the first Meet The Problem Solvers episode of 2020. She shares the importance of transferrable skills and connection as a fundamental part of her work – she helps women articulate and work through a grief processing and rebuilding process needed to free up energy for entrepreneurship.
Activism in the Family - Decades of Organizing for Community Change
Kate Byrne and Bill Cavellini join Judy in the studio to share about their years of activism as a family. Hailing from the Midwest and the Bronx, respectively, Kate and Bill were drawn to each other’s passion for community organizing, starting with their meeting in 1990 at a takeover and squatting action at a building on Broadway in Cambridge. Throughout the years, their work has ebbed and flowed, and both their activism and professional work has been driven by social justice and community care.
Advocacy and Survival - The Many Hats of Transgender Leadership
In this episode, Judy is joined by Sara Reid, a founding member of Massachusetts Transgender Women Leadership and trans rights advocate who shared how she works to protect, uplift, and empower other trans women. Her work includes speaking engagements at national healthcare conferences, facilitating a weekly support group for trans women who have experienced homelessness, and serving on several healthcare boards.
Helping During The Holidays: Cambridge Cares for its Residents
With the holidays quickly approaching, Judy chats with Adam Patten from Cambridge PD and Cambridge firefighter Corey McGrath about two upcoming charity drives. Cambridge Fire joins the Marines in their annual Toys-For-Tots Drive, collecting new, unwrapped toys at the Cambridge Fire Station through December 12th. Cambridge PD enters their 13th annual Secret Santa For Seniors drive, running through December 18th. For more info, click here.
Climate Strikes: Young People Organize for their Future
Judy talks with Emi Jacobsen, one of the young leaders of the upcoming Boston Climate Strike, about her passion for climate justice and the background of the march. Young people across the planet are rising up to fight climate change and this episode provides insight into what drives them. Activists will meet in Copley Square on Friday, 12/06/19. For more information, follow them on Instagram @climatestrikema.
Further Thoughts on Domestic Violence and Ways To Respond
November 25, 2019
Host Judy Perlman talks again with Stephanie Brown, CEO of Casa Myrna, digging deeper into the issues of domestic violence. The work has changed in recent years as the field tries to reach younger people and help them develop healthy relationships. Stephanie goes on to provide strategies and coaching for those "who worry something's not right" but haven't known how to help.
Sustaining Joy At Holiday Gatherings How To Navigate Sticky Conversations
November 18, 2019
Prof. Alain Lempereur, an international conflict zone negotiator, joins host Judy Perlman to strategize about ways to sustain joy and maximize connection during holiday gatherings -- even under treacherous conditions such as family dinners and office parties.
Interrogating Local Food in a Multicultural Context
November 4, 2019
Professor Julian Agyeman joins host Judy Perlman to ask, who gets to determine what is considered "local food?" People come here and cultivate and eat foods from their previous homes -- is this then local food? What is "local,' actually, anyway?
Are PACs and political donations the missing link for social justice movements?
Caitlin Frumerie joins Judy to expand our understanding of ways that we, as a caring society, can support social justice movements and activities. As Executive Director of the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, Caitlin is guiding her group, and urges other advocacy organizations, to take up long-held tactics from other sectors where major things happen by groups using collective political muscle to advance their interests. It's time for human rights leaders to claim that same stage.
Innovative Support Group Mixes Survivors
September 30, 2019
Co-creators of the Peer to Peer Wellness Check workshops Tracey Medeiros and Annemarie Matulis share their out-of-the-box approach to suicide prevention -- bringing "attempt" survivors and "loss" survivors together with a focus on peer support and empowerment. International interest in this approach is growing rapidly!
Structural Racism as a Root Cause of Homelessness
September 23, 2019
Advocate/activists Jamila Bradley and Jeff Olivet talk with Judy about the historic components of racism and the ways that these create a greater likelihood for people of color to become homeless and creating barriers to regaining housing. They challenge us to take on tough conversations and to include the voices of people of color in developing services and solutions.
Policing With Compassion, Purpose, And Results
September 16, 2019
Cambridge Police Deputy Supt. Rob Lowe and Judge Roanne Sragow talk with Judy about the department's commitment to compassionate, preventive policing, and describe the unusual Homeless and Mental Health court sessions which help some of the city's most vulnerable residents.
Should You Still Be Driving?
September 9, 2019
In this call-in episode, gerontologist Beth Dugan of UMass Boston works through some myths and truths about when older drivers should stop driving, and suggests ways for family members to bring up this difficult topic.
Stabilizing Housing in a Red-Hot Market
August 26, 2019
Ellen Shachter and Lydia Lopez talk with Judy about ways that Somerville's Office of Housing Stability supports individual households as well as focusing on changing regulations to protect tenants' rights.
Reduce the Use of Fossil Fuels AND Save Money? Going Solar NOW
August 19, 2019
Jocelyn Tager of Neighborhood Solar explains how solar power can reduce the use of fossil fuels, and the "group buy" program approach that brings down costs and optimizes returns after installation -- AND describes creating municipal regulations requiring solar installation.
Connexion: A Progressive Faith Community
August 12, 2019
Pastor Jordan Harris shares his own path toward a life of faith, and speaks with Judy about the ways his inclusive and welcoming Somerville congregation brings comfort and company to many in need.
Ending Domestic Violence - It's Your Business, Too
August 5, 2019
Stephanie Brown, CEO of Casa Myrna, a domestic abuse nonprofit, talks with host Judy Perlman about ways that each of us needs to be aware of and concerned to prevent or end domestic violence.
Community Engagement in Responsive Planning
July 29, 2019
Wendell Joseph from the City of Cambridge highlights the City's commitment to hearing diverse voices in creating Envision, a planning document for the City.
Addressing Family Homelessness in MA
July 15, 2019
Libby Hayes of Homes for Families talks with host Judy Perlman about the challenging economic picture for homeless and low-income households in MA, where costs for rent and child care are among the highest in the US.
Rural Economies in Massachusetts
Dave Christopolis, Executive Director of Hilltown Community Development talks with host Judy Perlman, describing rural life, community spirit, the arts and some challenging economics in the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts.
Physical Therapy as a Crucial Part of Health and Wellness
July 1, 2019
In the inaugural Meet The Problem Solvers show, Physical Therapist Dr. Holly Herman talks with host Judy Perlman about ways that Physical Therapy can help people having issues with bowel, bladder or sexual functions. She's helped hundreds and taught thousands.