(upbeat music) - Here's what's coming up next on You Oughta Know.
As we introduce you to America's first black female ringmaster.
Plus supporting black men in their pursuit of medical careers and a program that's giving patients the technique to groom, glow, and grow.
(upbeat music) - So much for tuning in.
I'm Shirley Min.
You know, as someone who works in front of the camera I can't tell you how much your hair and makeup can positively impact your self-esteem.
But for people recovering from traumatic brain injuries doing those daily grooming rituals can be challenging.
Well, MossRehab's Groom, Glow and Grow Program is helping with that.
- Groom, Glow and Grow, started with myself and Stephanie came into makeup when I was diagnosed with cancer.
So Stephanie and I would bounce ideas off of each other to our makeup books.
- Our program is open to any inpatient at MossRehab in Elkins Park.
So someone who has just been discharged from an acute care hospital they're here for rehab to get stronger, learn new skills, learn to walk again.
- [Announcer] Groom, Grow, and Glow started as a passion project between friends, teaching patients with disabilities how to apply makeup using adaptive tools.
- As an occupational therapist this really hits home whether it's physically therapeutic where you learn a new skill to make you more independent with your grooming, make you feel good about yourself and just to feel like you're regaining something after losing something from having a new disability.
So our mission is to have people realize, hey, you know this life event happened to you but you can still feel good.
You can look good.
- [Announcer] Dr. Tiffany Melissa Gill, was introduced to Groom, Glow and Grow after suffering from a debilitating stroke.
- The Groom, Glow, Grow Program was the highlight of my experience while at MossRehab when I told friends and family that there was a program that would help me to learn how to do my makeup while I was still paralyzed on my left side.
Everyone just cheered and was so excited for me because they know I'm the makeup girl.
Okay, so I'm just going to start in the inner Hold it while I make short strokes.
The main thing that the program did for me is that it reminded me of who I was, so much about the stroke just completely transformed who I even knew myself to be.
But makeup was something that I enjoyed doing before the stroke.
And so to even think that there was a possibility that I could still do that even while recovering was something that really excited me it gave me a dignity that I felt that had been stripped away from me with the stroke of wasn't even able to really care for myself but just having a moment where I could learn how to use my arm that was compromised and also be able to do something that I enjoy doing and made me feel like myself was really exciting.
- I provide recommendations for either arm weakness, impaired dexterity, or visual changes.
One way that I use Groom, Glow and Grow is to reconnect to a previous occupation.
Another way I use makeup is a modality for motor practice, a motor repetition after weakness.
I show people different techniques, either with one hand or now using their weaker side.
If someone has better vision in one eye versus the other.
I'll go over ways you can use your hand to replace your vision so you know exactly where to put the perfect stroke for filling in your eyebrows.
- [Announcer] So far, Groom, Grow and Glow has had over 50 one-on-one makeup consultations with patients.
They also collaborate with the Einstein Pride Program offering educational classes on skincare, makeup, shaving or anything related to grooming.
- So when I look at, from beginning to end with the patient you can tell through the transition of the session that their mood is brighter.
They love the way they look and especially when we take pictures of them, they say, I look beautiful.
- A new mentorship program is hoping to support black men as they navigate the challenging road to becoming a doctor.
I recently spoke with program coordinator Dennis Mashindi about this partnership between the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and Penn's Pearlman School of Medicine.
Dennis Mashindi, thank you so much for having us here.
- Thank you for inviting me.
It's a pleasure.
- We're here to talk about the Hinkson Holloway Mentorship Program and this is a program that's designed to inspire, encourage, recruit black men into the field of medicine.
- Why is a program like this needed?
- Since the 1970s, the amount of black physicians has not increased.
- The statistics are pretty grim in that I think it's only 5% of active physicians identify as black or African Americans.
I think it's very telling to see the amount of black students wanting to get into these professional spaces and the lack of progress really just speaks to, you know, the fact that we as a country, we as a community, as society have failed.
In designing a program like this, we're building solutions that are gonna be able to put physicians that reflect the communities that they serve.
There's a lack of resources for guys to even know that, hey, you know there are people that want to see you in this space and that do want to see you succeed.
- Why is it so important to, you know have that representation, particularly for a patient who may be black or African American?
- Yeah, I think people underestimate the power of having somebody that reflects your identity especially within the healthcare space.
- There is this mistrust within the black community towards those in healthcare, towards the medical field and for very good reason.
Do you feel like if black and African-American people see more representation, see more people like them that that can whittle away some of that mistrust?
- Yeah, it's a start for sure.
It speaks volumes when you see someone that identifies and comes from a similar background as you do.
And I think the healthcare space is one that's very vulnerable and speaking to someone that doesn't identify or doesn't understand your culture or your background or your religion, right.
That kind of alters the relationship.
So I think by placing people that are gonna be able to identify the communities that they come from, I think you make the relationship much easier.
- The program is a partnership between the College of Physicians and Penn Medicine.
So how will the mentorship program work?
- So we're going to be pairing medical students as well as established physicians with our program participants.
It's going to be, you know, mentorship but it's also gonna be brotherhood.
- Ideally, what will the mentors tell the program participants?
- I think the mentors are there to guide, advise, but also champion them on.
- How many students per group are we talking about?
This cohort's gonna be looking to add 10 to 12 on its first round.
- And this is for high school seniors and college freshmen?
We're doing our first round of recruitment right now for high school seniors graduating and matriculating into Philadelphia universities and our second round will be for college freshmen who are currently enrolled in Philadelphia universities and colleges.
Upon acceptance of the program, there will be a stipend that students will be given, you know, monthly seminars, networking opportunities, community service opportunities et cetera.
But it is free to anybody looking to join and be a part of it.
But I think if we can help one black man be able to get from his point A and his point B being medical school then I think we've done our job.
- Dennis Mashindi, thank you so much for your time.
- No, thank you for having me.
- The program is named after Dr. Edward Holloway and Dr. Dehaven Hinkson, the College of Physicians First Black Fellows in 1952.
Dennis says recruitment will start again in August.
This next story is about another history maker born right here in Philly whose claim to fame is being America's first black female ringmaster.
(bright music) - This is from a long time ago.
It says the 1980 edition of Circus Vargas.
And that was my first season at Circus Vargas as a showgirl.
I was there for four years.
I was with an original group of women that he had never had showgirls before on his show and we would call the (indistinct).
And on that show, I think that's when I just fell madly in love with my life in the circus.
(playful music) I started taking dance classes as a little girl.
I really knew that the path I wanted to be on was to be a dancer.
Started out wanting to be a ballet dancer, but then the mix of ballet and modern was just perfect for me.
At Temple, I did major and get my degree in dance performance and education and I was dancing full-time with Phil Danko.
I had a bug to travel and Ringling had had an audition.
That's how I ended up auditioning for the circus.
Oh, this is so great reminiscing.
This is wonderful.
It was when I moved onto Big Apple Circus in New York City, I became a company member there and a lot of the skillset that I had found at Circus Vargas I transferred when I went to Big Apple Circus.
This was a one ring show.
It made me feel the theater, the theatrical part of it, the artistic part, you know, stuff that I had learned When I was dancing.
I learned this act with two other women called Rolling Globes.
We went up a ramp, three feet, six feet, nine feet and then we got to the top.
Then we had to back down.
We were beach ball, balancing, bathing beauties.
I had been with elephants most often.
This is me spending the day with my elephant Anime laying underneath of her.
What was I thinking?
(gentle music) This is me and my elephants, Anime and Peggy.
I love this photo because this helped me learn and and use my ballet training.
This is Anime again.
She held a piece of metal with two rings and then I did a half split there.
- Tonight we invite you to see a classical circus of the-- - Paul Binder was an original founder of Big Apple Circus.
He was at every show.
Paul comes to me and says he's gonna do some more traveling to promote the show.
And he asked me if I would like to be the ringmaster while he was away.
I accepted and then I had to be able to or be myself in the ring.
I started to do some research 'cause I knew plenty of the ring masters.
I saw that there were some women, but there were no African Americans.
And so indeed I am the first African-American ringmaster in an American circus.
- From the outside, this building in West Philadelphia looks like any other old church, but on the inside, a new spirit is alive.
The spirit of the three ring show.
(playful music) - I founded the school about 20 years ago.
It was after I had come back from Europe.
I was doing some circus training myself over there learning to be an artist essentially.
And when I came back to the United States, there were no schools here.
I started teaching actually outta my backyard.
People had just heard of me and wanted to try the trapeze or try aerial rope.
That was where it started.
- [Announcer] For the past five years Shana Kennedy has run the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts.
Here students of all ages can take classes in basic disciplines like aerial work, acrobatics and juggling.
But there's another part to this institution of higher learning that combines both circus work with academics.
- Circadium is a sister school, which is a nonprofit organization that's here specifically so that students can get a diploma of circus arts.
So some of the students you see here today are those students they're here full-time wanting to be professionals.
(upbeat music) They need a full range of artistic classes, academic classes in career planning and business management to things like theater and dance and body work to maintain their health.
(upbeat music) - Full disclosure, I've actually always wanted to join the circus so I'm not just here to observe.
I'm actually gonna try some of these things.
Well, maybe not all of these things but I'm gonna attempt some of them.
- I've been teaching at PSCA for five or six years at this point.
I went to school for theater and then I went on to study Theatrical Clown.
This school had opened up.
I came to my first class.
I was like, this is gonna be easy.
I know what I'm doing.
I was wrong.
It was very hard, but I loved it.
- You're gonna be teaching me some of these moves.
I'm gonna be teaching you sling, trapeze and the tight wire.
- Hand over its top.
And think about, yeah, pulling it down towards the ground.
- And drop my arm.
- Not that.
- And you're gonna press down into my hand.
I never made it across that tight rope alone.
At circus school, it's more about the lessons you learn while trying.
What I love to see with our students when they leave the program is that they have learned how to work.
That if there is a problem in front of them that you can work hard at it.
You might not always get the trick you want, but you'll be closer and the longer you spend, you'll just get further down the road.
- I feel like Spider-Man.
- Ever since I can remember, I've been fascinated with aviation and space travel.
More recently, aviation artwork has caught my attention because my cousin, Gil Cohen, is a highly successful aviation artist whose work is displayed in museums and private collections around the world.
- You just saw a clip from a documentary series.
My guest, Jodi Goren-Rode is working to produce called The Art of Aviation.
Jodi, thank you so much for being here.
- Thanks so much for having me, Shirley.
I appreciate it.
- The subject matter alone is so interesting and eye-opening.
Let's first define what aviation art is.
- Aviation art encompasses a couple of things.
Combat artists were actually sent out into the field in wartime and still are to document what's happening on the ground in the air.
And then there are people who are just interested in aviation art in general, who are historians as well.
And they are documenting different times and places during various wars to show, you know what has been happening out in the field.
And then also documenting history for, you know the history books.
- I had no idea that wartime artists existed or that the military had an arts program.
Is this something you knew going into it?
- Not at all.
I had no idea.
Gil Cohen is my cousin and I knew he was an artist and had seen his work but I never really focused on what it was and or had, you know, he's 91 years old.
We have a lot of time in between us but when we really started talking about this, I was fascinated.
I did not know that there was a military program.
And actually the branches of the military have these programs where they're sending people out to document active wartime events.
- Even to this day, there are people that were in Afghanistan all over the world.
- How did Gil get into this?
- Gil graduated college with an art degree and then he was drafted into the army and he was just doodling, you know, using in his free time.
But he has a very deep interest in history particularly World War II.
He focuses a lot on the mighty eighth Air Force and a lot of his work is in the Air Force Museum, which is in pool, Georgia.
And he captivates each moment by showing the humanity.
That's what sets him apart.
A lot of aviation art you see is just about the airplanes or multiple airplanes whereas his work really focuses on the people and their emotion of being in that moment in time.
- And so will the documentary series focus on other artists like Gil?
There are a lot of people like Gil who are very talented.
They're getting older and I feel that it's so important to share their stories because they have firsthand, you know, information that they can share with us that will be lost if we don't, you know interview these folks and, and share that information.
- Yeah and their experience, you know, and some of their techniques would be wonderful if they could be handed down to the next generation.
I feel like aviation art is a waning art form.
Are there any efforts to kind of keep it going?
- There really are.
And this is a worldwide art form that you can go to museums and see a lot of these portrayals.
The American Society of Aviation Artists is a group that really focuses on building and keeping this art form alive and that they're gonna be the subject of one of the episodes in the series as well.
- The series, you are still trying to put together the funding to complete it.
Where do you stand with the project now?
- So we're approximately 80% done our first episode which is about Gil Cohen.
And some of what we've already done will also go into other episodes and at this point I've been self-funding the whole way so it's taking a little longer than I'd like it to.
But, you know, we are really pretty far down the road and very excited about, you know sharing all of this with the world.
- And it'll be five episodes in the series?
- That is correct.
- Culminating in space.
The fifth episode will be about space travel.
- Okay, Jodi.
Well, the Greater Philadelphia Film Office I know is your fiscal sponsor.
You all can donate to the project through the Greater Philadelphia Film Office to help fund the project.
We will have a link for you on our website, whyy.org.
Jodi Goren-Rode, thank you so much for being here.
- Thank you so much, Shirley.
I appreciate it.
- Welcome to the SS United States.
The most famous ship that didn't sink.
This is America's flagship.
The fastest ship in the world embarked on her maiden voyage in 1952 and smashed the Trans-Atlantic speed record.
- An American flag vessel hadn't held the Trans-Atlantic speed record for a hundred years, but the United States took the mythical blow ribbon with eve.
Headlines around the world.
Acclaimed the new First Lady of the Sea, an American one.
- My grandfather, William Francis Gibbs, who actually grew up here in Philadelphia, was the ship's designer.
He was really obsessed with this project and with what he called the perfect ship.
Not just a fast ship or a big ship, but the perfect ship.
He oversaw every aspect of the ship's design, construction and then subsequently, her service career was his baby.
(gentle music) She was fast.
She could go faster in reverse than the Titanics could go forward and still holds the transatlantic speed record.
After her maiden voyage, literally paint had been blasted off her hole from the force of suppressing through the water.
The SS United States had a dual purpose.
He was a luxury liner, so of course shuttled people back and forth across the Atlantic from four US presidents, celebrities.
Underneath this luxurious veneer, she had battleship bone.
She was designed to be a convertible troop ship in time of war, but was never deployed for that purpose.
No expense was spared into making this the most indestructible ship.
My grandfather liked to say, you can't set her on fire, you can't sink her, and you can't catch her.
Just steal aluminum, double hued, just meticulously designed.
As we can see, she has stood the test of time.
I mean, there have been an assessments done of her haul strength showing 92% original remaining and just extraordinary.
I mean, the paint may be peeling and there's a bit of surface disrepair, but she is still structurally sound.
In the ship's service career in the 1950s and 60s, she was really like just the who's who would travel a border from US President's other heads of state literary figures.
When you look at menus, for example from her first class restaurant there are things like, you know, kangaroo tail soup and Iranian caviar and just these very luxurious items.
One very special voyage or maiden voyage, there was an incredible celebration because when she smashed the transatlantic speed records in the wee hours of the morning and where we're sitting here on the promenade deck, people were literally, you know, in (indistinct) and in Congo lines and drinking whiskey out of the bottle.
And just this incredible celebration because it was so exciting that the SS United States pulled it off and was the fastest ever.
The ship just really embodies, yeah, pride and celebration and certainly on the maiden voyage.
But really, you know, throughout her service career.
The reason she was withdrawn from service in 1969 was the advent of jet aircraft, high fuel costs.
By that time, even as fast as she was, she couldn't compete with a six hour flight to Europe.
(gentle music) After the ship was removed from service, she had a number of different owners who had hoped to bring her back to sea.
All of her contents were auctioned off by an owner back in 1984 in an effort to raise funds for her resurrection.
One of these former owners had hoped to bring her to Boston but it didn't work out.
So, this was really intended actually to be a kind of temporary parking spot.
She's still here, she's still waiting.
She tells a much deeper story.
There was a time when we all came together and we all could dream really big and we could fulfill those dreams.
It's sad to see her like this and to see her largely forgotten.
But on the other hand, the fact that she's still here, we and people here in Philadelphia all over the country, and frankly all over the world have been fighting to keep her afloat and give her a new future is remarkable.
That's my dream.
This ship will transform in the coming years and be dazzling and bright and thousands of people will walk her decks and she will reemerge as something absolutely unbelievable.
- Thanks so much for watching everyone.
Have a good night.
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