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First Person

A series featuring the leaders, innovators and other compelling characters who make the Bay Area unique.

Episodes

Forum | Monday, Jul 14, 2014, 10:00 AM

Hospice Doctor Finds Calling Through Near-Fatal Accident

While an undergraduate at Princeton University, BJ Miller was electrocuted and nearly died, and the accident left him a triple amputee. Today, as executive director of the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco, he has built his life work around the care of others who are approaching death. Miller joins us as part of our First Person series on local leaders and innovators.



Forum | Friday, Jun 20, 2014, 10:00 AM

First Person: Maker Faire's Dale Dougherty

On Wednesday, President Obama hosted the White House's first Maker Faire, where he played with a 17-foot robotic giraffe and a 3D pancake printer. Obama said he hoped reviving the spirit of making stuff by hand would help spur manufacturing and innovation in America. The first Maker Faire was held in the Bay Area in 2006, founded by Dale Dougherty. Dougherty joins us in-studio to talk about the future of the Maker Movement as part of Forum's First Person series profiling Bay Area innovators and leaders who make our region unique.



Forum | Thursday, Jun 19, 2014, 10:00 AM

Ramona Pierson: From Coma Patient to Silicon Valley Executive

Ramona Pierson was a 22-year-old Marine when she was hit by a drunk driver and landed in a coma. When she woke up 18 months later, she was blind and unable to walk or speak. She went on to become a champion cyclist and rock climber, while still blind. She later regained her sight and became CEO of a startup, Declara, which develops technology for customized learning tools. We talk to Pierson as part of our First Person series profiling Bay Area innovators and leaders who make our region unique.



Forum | Friday, Feb 07, 2014, 10:00 AM

Monsieur Butterfly: Liam O'Brien's Life in Lepidoptery

Liam O'Brien was a successful actor just back in San Francisco after years of performing in "Les Miserables" on Broadway when he became entranced by a butterfly fluttering in his backyard. That butterfly -- a Western Tiger Swallowtail -- sparked an obsession that would change the course of his life. O'Brien has spent the last few decades learning everything about local butterflies and moths, and championing their preservation. O'Brien joins us as part of our First Person series highlighting the leaders, innovators and others who make the Bay Area unique.



Forum | Monday, Feb 03, 2014, 10:00 AM

Sgt. John Carman: Preventing Suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge

In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the California Highway Patrol established a Bicycle Patrol Unit to improve security on the Golden Gate Bridge. But bicycle officers frequently encountered despondent people intent on jumping off the bridge, and suicide prevention became a vital part of the job. As part of our First Person series profiling notable people in the Bay Area, we'll talk with founding bike patrol officer John Carman about his 18 years working to save lives on the Golden Gate Bridge.



Forum | Monday, Jan 20, 2014, 10:00 AM

Rev. Glenda Hope: 40 Years of Ministering to San Francisco's Poor

For more than four decades, Reverend Glenda Hope has worked in San Francisco's troubled Tenderloin district, ministering to the poor, the homeless and prostitutes trying to get off the streets. She has conducted more than 1,000 memorial services for Tenderloin residents and homeless people from around the city. As part of our First Person series profiling notable people in the Bay Area, we'll talk with the 77-year old minister who has just retired from her work with San Francisco Network Ministries.



Forum | Wednesday, Jan 01, 2014, 10:00 AM

From the Archives: First Person: Rhodessa Jones

Performer, teacher and theater director Rhodessa Jones has spent her rich and varied career merging social activism and theater. In the late 1980s she founded the widely acclaimed Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women, which in recent years has been exploring the stories of women living with HIV. Jones was recently presented with the San Francisco Mayor's Art Award. We talk with Rhodessa Jones as part of our First Person series on the leaders, innovators and others who make the Bay Area unique.



Forum | Friday, Dec 13, 2013, 10:00 AM

Raj Jayadev: The Power of Community Journalism

Not all workers in Silicon Valley benefit from stock options and catered lunches. In 2001, Raj Jayadev and his friends founded Silicon Valley De-Bug, a local newsletter meant to give less affluent employees a voice. Today, De-Bug serves as a hub for community organizing and criminal justice reform, as well as a multi-platform media organization. Jayadev joins us as part of our First Person series on the leaders, innovators and others who make the Bay Area unique.



Forum | Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013, 10:00 AM

Christopher Ategeka, From Ugandan Orphan to Non-Profit Entrepreneur

Christopher Ategeka lost both parents to AIDS by the age of seven. He went on to raise his four younger siblings in Uganda, before generous donations brought him to California, where he graduated from UC Berkeley and gave his engineering department's commencement speech. Today, he runs two nonprofits, one that provides bikes to rural Ugandans. Ategeka joins us as part of our "First Person" series on the people who make the Bay Area unique.



Forum | Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013, 10:00 AM

First Person: Susan Kennedy

In 2005, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger surprised many fellow Republicans when he appointed Susan Kennedy -- a former aide to Governor Gray Davis and one-time executive director of the California Democratic Party -- as his chief of staff. The Los Angeles Times has called Kennedy "the most enduring force in state government of the last decade." She joins us in-studio, as part of our "First Person" series of interviews with the leaders, innovators and others who make the Bay Area unique.



Forum | Tuesday, Aug 06, 2013, 10:00 AM

First Person: Inventor Saul Griffith

Saul Griffith is an inventor whose designs look like they're straight out of science fiction: wind turbines that float like kites, and inflatable robots that resemble walking animal balloons. The San Francisco-based co-founder of Squid Labs talks about his latest creations, his comic book for inventive kids, and his vision for the future of renewable energy. It's part of Forum's "First Person" series where we talk to the leaders and thinkers who make the Bay Area unique.



Forum | Wednesday, Jul 31, 2013, 10:00 AM

First Person: Mal Sharpe

Before "Borat" and "The Daily Show," there was "Coyle and Sharpe." The 1960s San Francisco radio comedy team of Mal Sharpe and Jim Coyle helped to pave the way for today's prankster comedians with their absurdist "man on the street" interviews for KGO radio. We talk with Sharpe about the art of the put-on, his long career in Bay Area broadcasting, and his Dixieland band Big Money in Jazz. He joins us as part of our "First Person" series on the leaders, innovators, and others who make the Bay Area unique.



Forum | Friday, Mar 22, 2013, 10:00 AM

First Person: Susan Wojcicki

Susan Wojcicki is a central player in the origin story of Google. In 1998 she rented her Menlo Park garage to Sergey Brin and Larry Page to start the company. She became Google's 16th employee and now, as the head of the company's advertising products, she brought in $43.7 billion last year - 95 percent of Google's revenue. As part of our First Person series profiling notable leaders in the Bay Area, we talk with Susan Wojcicki about the changing world of digital advertising, and about raising four children and a flock of chickens while holding one of the most powerful business positions in the world.



Forum | Thursday, Mar 21, 2013, 10:00 AM

First Person: Rose Pak

Rose Pak has been called the most powerful woman in San Francisco. Many credit the Chinatown political activist with being the kingmaker behind Mayor Ed Lee's election, and the person most responsible for the increasing political power of Asian-Americans in the city. Pak joins us as part of our First Person series, profiling the leaders, innovators and others that make the Bay Area unique.



Forum | Monday, Mar 11, 2013, 10:00 AM

First Person: Aileen Hernandez

For more than six decades, San Franciscan Aileen Hernandez has been working to make American society more equal. A native New Yorker born of Jamaican parents, she moved to California to work for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. She went on to become the only woman appointed by President Johnson to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and, soon after, helped found the National Organization for Women (NOW). She became NOW's second president, where she worked for more inclusion of women of color in the women's rights movement.



Forum | Monday, Feb 11, 2013, 10:00 AM

First Person: Rhodessa Jones

Performer, teacher and theater director Rhodessa Jones has spent her rich and varied career merging social activism and theater. In the late 1980s she founded the widely acclaimed Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women, which in recent years has been exploring the stories of women living with HIV. Jones was recently presented with the San Francisco Mayor's Art Award. We talk with Rhodessa Jones as part of our First Person series on the leaders, innovators and others who make the Bay Area unique.



Forum | Thursday, Jan 31, 2013, 10:00 AM

First Person: Street Outreach With Kevin Grant

Kevin Grant knows about life on the streets. He used to be an Oakland gang member, and did time in and out of prison for robberies and selling drugs. Now he's back on the streets at night, but in a different role. He's breaking up fights before they escalate into violence or murder in Oakland -- and he's talking young people into putting down their guns. Grant won the California Peace Prize for his work in November. He joins us to talk about breaking the cycle of violence and retaliation in one of California's deadliest cities.



Forum | Monday, Oct 22, 2012, 10:00 AM

First Person: Joe Marshall

San Francisco's Omega Boys Club is marking 25 years helping at-risk kids lead lives free from violence and incarceration, succeed academically and make positive contributions to society. Omega has provided academic and life skills support to more than 1,300 boys and girls, and its violence prevention programs have reached more than 15,000 students. Co-founder and Executive Director Joe Marshall joins us as part of our First Person series on the leaders, innovators and others who make the Bay Area unique.



Forum | Friday, Sep 21, 2012, 10:00 AM

First Person: Bee Wrangler Norman Gary

Honeybee expert and former UC Davis professor Norman Gary spent 40 years moonlighting as a "bee wrangler" for TV shows and Hollywood films like "Fried Green Tomatoes," "The X Files" and "Candyman." Gary is also listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having 109 bees in his mouth for 10 seconds. He joins us to discuss his career as well as colony collapse disorder, the rise of urban beekeeping and his book "The Honey Bee Hobbyist."



Forum | Friday, Aug 31, 2012, 10:00 AM

First Person: Jennifer Pahlka

Jen Pahlka founded Code for America, a Bay Area non-profit working to reshape the way government works through the use of technology and public service. She joins us in the studio as part of our "First Person" series on the leaders, innovators and other compelling characters that make the Bay Area unique.



Forum | Thursday, Aug 09, 2012, 10:00 AM

First Person: Glynn Washington

Oakland's Glynn Washington beat out more than 1,000 competitors five years ago in an "American Idol"-type national talent search for a new public radio host. Washington created and hosts the NPR/PRX program "Snap Judgment" out of Oakland. He joins us as part of our First Person series on the leaders, innovators and other compelling characters that make the Bay Area unique.



Forum | Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012, 10:00 AM

First Person: Cecil Williams

Nearly half a century ago, Rev. Cecil Williams took over as the minister of a small Methodist church in San Francisco's Tenderloin. He went on to transform Glide into a diverse institution committed to inclusiveness and devoted to serving the poor and marginalized. Today, with a budget of over $15 million, Glide provides free meals, health care and other services to thousands of people each day.



Forum | Friday, Jun 08, 2012, 10:00 AM

First Person: Jim Fruchterman

Jim Fruchterman started his Silicon Valley-based company Benetech because he wanted to merge two things: the ambition of the tech industry with the ongoing needs of the disenfranchised. And so far, it seems to be working. As part of our First Person Series, we talk with Fruchterman about how he turned his inner geek into outer good.



Forum | Thursday, May 31, 2012, 10:00 AM

First Person: Philip Kaufman

Philip Kaufman, the San Francisco-based director of critically acclaimed films such as "The Right Stuff," "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and "Henry and June" joins us in the studio. We look back at Kaufman's career and discuss his newest release, an epic film for HBO about the marriage of writer Ernest Hemingway and journalist Martha Gellhorn.



Forum | Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012, 10:00 AM

First Person: Peter Coyote

Marin resident Peter Coyote may be best-known as an actor, film narrator and voice of the Academy Awards. But Coyote was also a major countercultural figure during the 1960s, a former chair of the California State Arts Council and a published author.



Forum | Thursday, Feb 02, 2012, 10:00 AM

First Person: Lera Boroditsky

Aboriginal people in Australia are better at finding their way around because they use compass directions instead of simply describing things as to the left or right. That's just one of several findings from Stanford psychologist Lera Boroditsky, who claims language greatly influences our thoughts and perceptions. It's a radical departure from modern linguistic theory.



Forum | Friday, Nov 11, 2011, 10:00 AM

First Person: Mitch Altman

Mitch Altman may be best known for inventing a one-button universal remote control called TV-B-Gone, used for turning off TVs in public places. But he's also the co-founder of Noisebridge, a hacker-space in San Francisco. He joins us as part of our "First Person" series featuring the leaders, innovators and other compelling characters who make the Bay Area unique.



Forum | Tuesday, Oct 18, 2011, 10:00 AM

First Person: Marc Bamuthi Joseph

Celebrated hip-hop performance artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph joins us as part of our "First Person" series, profiling the leaders, innovators and other compelling characters who make the Bay Area unique. A national poetry slam champion, Joseph is artistic director of San Francisco-based Youth Speaks.



Forum | Monday, Aug 22, 2011, 10:00 AM

First Person: Tom Luddy

We talk with Berkeley-based film maven Tom Luddy, co-founder and co-director of the prestigious Telluride Film Festival. We'll find out about the festival, his early work as curator of Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive and his three decades of collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope.



Forum | Friday, Aug 12, 2011, 10:00 AM

First Person: Maurice Lim Miller

We continue our "First Person" series featuring the leaders, innovators and other compelling characters who make the Bay Area unique. Host Dave Iverson checks in with social entrepreneur Maurice Lim Miller, founder of the Oakland-based Family Independence Initiative, a national center for anti-poverty innovation.



Forum | Friday, May 20, 2011, 10:00 AM

First Person: James Kass

Fifteen years ago, James Kass founded Youth Speaks in San Francisco to introduce poetry and creative writing to young people. Since then, the group has helped tens of thousands of young people nationwide express themselves -- and it's helped launch a vibrant youth poetry movement.



Forum | Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 10:00 AM

First Person: Dr. Nadine Burke

From what she sees at her clinic in San Francisco's Bayview district, Dr. Nadine Burke has come to believe that childhood stress, trauma and poverty can lead to physical changes and illness in adulthood. Burke joins us to talk about her practice -- and her groundbreaking theories -- as part of our "First Person" series on the leaders, innovators and others who make the Bay Area unique.



Forum | Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011, 10:00 AM

First Person: Jill Vialet

Some studies suggest that recess and physical education are on the decline in many school districts. But Oakland-based social entrepreneur Jill Vialet is working to keep play in the nation's school playgrounds.



Forum | Monday, Jan 24, 2011, 10:00 AM

First Person: Angela Glover Blackwell

Social Justice advocate Angela Glover Blackwell joins us as part of our "First Person" interview series, profiling the leaders and innovators who make Northern California unique. For almost 35 years, Blackwell has been promoting public policies aimed at advancing opportunities for disadvantaged and impoverished communities. She's the founder of PolicyLink, an Oakland-based non-profit.



Forum | Friday, Jan 14, 2011, 10:00 AM

First Person: Berkeley Rep's Tony Taccone

Berkeley Rep has been "on fire" in recent years, in the words of the New York Times, sending a stream of shows to Broadway and beyond. We continue our "First Person" series of conversations with local leaders with Berkeley Repertory Theatre's artistic director, Tony Taccone.



Forum | Friday, Jan 07, 2011, 10:00 AM

First Person: Architect Craig Hartman

We continue our "First Person" series of one-on-one interviews with the local innovators, leaders and notable characters who make our region unique. Dave Iverson talks with Craig Hartman, the architect behind such high-profile local projects as the SFO International Terminal, the St. Regis Hotel and the towering Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.



Forum | Monday, Dec 27, 2010, 9:00 AM

Forum First Person: Tony Serra

Forum launches a new series, "First Person," a local interview feature spotlighting community leaders, unsung heroes and world-class innovators who make our region unique. In our inaugural program, we speak with Tony Serra, the legendary civil rights attorney who has represented members of groups as diverse as the Black Panther Party, the Hell's Angels, and Earth First! in high-profile cases.



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