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tv   Nikita Stewart Troop 6000  CSPAN  July 4, 2020 11:45am-12:41pm EDT

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for. sunday we are live with retired navy admiral james, he will answer your questions about career, global security and leadership. on afterwords, washington post reporter mary jordan discusses life and influence of first lady melania trump and we talk with two republican senators martha mcsally of arizona and ernst of iowa. >> as folks are beginning to arrive, i'm jessica, one to have owners of greenlight and we are excited to host tonight's event with makita stewart, the girl scout troops that began and inspired the world. she will be talking with giselle and daughter karina. you're in for an excellent time
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tonight. i want to say a huge thanks for everyone to make this happen to all of our participants for being here, greenlight store fronts are currently closed but our community is still here, all of us are still here and we really appreciate that. a couple of housekeeping things. log in now, you can see speakers, they can't see or hear you, they can see your names, they know that you are here. you can use the chat icon to share comments if you're here with girl scout troops, we want to hear with what troop you're with. if you want to ask a question, we will have q&a section and you can use the q&a icon. you can see others question and if you see a good one you can up load it to make sure we get to that question in the q&a. we are recording tonight's events, this might appear on c-span later on as well and it's importantly tonight's speech and
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book is available for sale. i put a link at the top there. if you care about supporting career of authors and independent bookstores, buying book is a good way to support. right now we are offering $5 off. you can use coupon code 6000 to apply discount tonight and march 27th. so let me introduce our speakers tonight. giselle burgess, girl scout program to help girls in new york city shelter system after becoming homeless and living with 5 children she saw great need and benefit for a program like this to be offered to girls and women living in the shelter system as well. she's been recognized for dedication by her community and her local councilmen as she's received proclamation from the
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city of new york for outstanding service and achievements for community and devoting empowering and uplifting women in queens. they'll be talking with markita stewart, coverage of homelessness, mental health and poverty, investigative reporters and editors award. joined this new york times in 2014 after working in the washington post. we are really proud and excited to have her with us here tonight. i've been excited about this book for a long time as i mentioned my daughter is a girl scout and this is such a great story about girl scout and new york city.
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true story of girl scout in shelter in new york and nationwide response that it sparked. reading from the book and talking with giselle and karina and then will take questions from you. take it away. >> thanks. well, first of all, thanks for having us tonight. hi, giselle and karina. so good to see you. one of the things that i want to talk about tonight is the story goes way back before 2017, although we first spotted each other across a room in 2015 and i had no idea that you all would experience homelessness and, you know, i would end up writing a book about your journey, so in 2015i had taken on the beat of social services and poverty for
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"the new york times" and i decided that i would go to any shelter anyone ever invited me to and so jimmy, council member in queens invited me to go to shelter in queens that had been made out of a hotel and so i showed up and i was surprised to see all of those girl scouts serving the thanksgiving lunch and, you know, karina and her sisters were there and giselle was there and i didn't write anything that day, i just left like, oh, i saw the inside of a shelter, i met women experiencing homelessness and wow, the girl scouts sure were cute. fast-forward and a year later giselle was in the shelter system and then she came up with
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an idea for troop 6000 and i will read to you a little bit from the chapter called 6000. the troops needed a name. giselle suggested troops 1101, the sleep-in's zip code although clever and easy to remember the name with traditions. girl scouts in the city were limited to 4 digits. the numbers always corresponded with the boroughs. in thebook the troops were numbered in the 1,000. brooklyn troops were 2,000, manhattan troops were 3,000, queens troops were 4,000 and staten island troops were 5,000, but this new troop was unique. it belonged to girls who did not know where they belonged. it wouldn't make sense to use the numbers normally applied to troops in any of the 5 boroughs
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given that its member had no fixed addresses wasn't this troop of girls no matter where it was located really like a floating borough in its own right or even a shadow borough because the society was ignorant or didn't want to acknowledge its residents. at some point girl scouts staff realized that the 6,000 designated years earlier for specialized troops like those for girls with special needs were no longer used and so the girl scouts of greater new york settled on the name troops 6000. you realize this is big, this is going to be amazing, meredith told giselle. giselle wanted to jump up and down but as usual worries dogged her. what if she couldn't recruit more girls? what if she couldn't recruit parent volunteers and what if she couldn't maintain momentum she had achieved? 3 days after troops were named giselle hit her anxiety as she
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stood on stage and accepted proclamation from jimmy who selected her to be honor at his annual blacklistry month celebration. giselle is proud of her heritage which included her father's block roots. included the faces of martin luther king, jr., rosa parks, we deboise and barack obama. giselle stood on a statement with her children and scouts on the troops. the proclamation made no mention of giselle's homelessness and reminder that people were expecting her to be great. she had to make troop 6000 bigger than 8 girls whereas
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giselle has had ripple effect and the girls go on the build a better community and giselle is incredible role model to not only her 5 children but children across queens and whereas giselle burgess has enriched all of us with service and worthy of esteemed of all new yorkers, now therefore be it known that jimmy bramer, majority leader of new york city council gratefully honors giselle for outstanding service and contributions to the community. expectations were now in writing. giselle gave herself 2 weeks to find volunteers and to recruit more girls. so, giselle, tell us what happened next. >> after that it was really time to like hit the road and keep on
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going, you know, i remember going back to the office, recruiting volunteers, recruiting girls, i printed them out, got home that day, put on my cleat uniform on and take flyers in the hallways and i remember the first flyer i was putting up, someone is like, what are you doing. i'm putting up flyers, well, you can't put anything up on the wall and i was like, i got permission, i spoke with this person, i spoke with the supervisor and they called supervisor to confirm, i'm standing in the hallway with all my papers and the tape just waiting, okay, you can go ahead and i just remember like i -- every single flyer, i took the elevator and on each elevator, there's two each elevators, i'm getting off on all floors and i'm taping off and breakfast
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area, common area where everyone would heat up their food and stuff like that. so, you know, we had the girls for that series that we did and i remember having big lunch, ordered food and i had all of this food and no one was there. i had spoken to corey and i told her i was going to do training the following day, please come and so i called her, hey, where are you, the training started 15 minutes ago. i need you to come downstairs. okay, i'm just getting up. i have food. i'm coming down. we are eating. i will go everything with you. she serves herself a plate and
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eating and then at least like, the training is done and answer a couple of questions. corey was not paying attention. [laughter] >> and we get to a lot of that in the book. i guess i'm also wondering so after that, you know, i showed up and what made you decide to let me follow you for more than a year and be in your face and show me inmate details of your life? >> it was hard in the beginning. i remember every time you'd come around i was like, just like being a skeptic, i don't know, every time i say something she's writing in the book, i don't know what she's writing in the notebook of hers but then just seeing you -- i think it really was when we went camping, we took the girls camping for the first time and seeing the way that you interacted with the girls too and the way you went with us, we started to feel really comfortable around you.
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we are like, you know, she's cool, she's all right, she's really genuine. i will read in the book that the trip was a trip to remember. >> yes, yes. so i guess it's your turn. >> karina and i came with questions. this one is -- >> well, i wanted i wanted to ke obviously a writer and you enjoy it but what attracted you to our story, what made you write about our story? >> from the very beginning at the time in early 2017 the mayor had just announced this plan that, you know, the city was going to try to open 90 new shelters around the city expand another 30 because there just wasn't -- and still isn't --
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enough capacity in the new york city shelter system to accommodate the thousands of people who are experiencing homelessness, and so there was a lot of -- a lot of people around the city were upset about homelessness and where shelters were being placed. some neighborhoods felt they were getting the short end of the stick and some neighborhoods that didn't have shelters didn't want any shelters and so there was a lot of conflict at the time over homelessness and shelters and when i heard about the truth in the shelter, i was like, oh, my goodness, this is like, it just feels different than everything else that i've been writing about homelessness in this moment in the city, and so i immediately jumped on it and it took me a while to get in
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touch with giselle but finally when i got in touch with her and did an initial interview over the phone i was like, oh, wow, this is going to be a terrific story but now i have to see like the scouts in action and i was obviously amazed at what i saw and i wrote the story and then it went viral and then i thought, hmm, i guess i should write a book and see what happens and, you know, i had no idea whether troop 600 was going to flourish or fail. i had sat down with giselle in breakfast room and i asked her would you be willing to allow me to be in your life and the life of your girls or i don't know how long.
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.. ..
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with speed. that was the difficult part of connecting and not being able to help but knowing i would have to use my journalistic tools, the tool of journalism. >> what was your personal favorite part of the book to write? >> there were so many. i have several chapters that
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are heartbreaking, when i was writing them i was like oh my goodness. of course the opening of the book which almost didn't end up in the book and then ended up being the beginning, haley, karina's sister, one of my favorite chapters. the chapter about first deciding we are going to have a troop here and going about here, this was the first chapter i ever wrote. might have been the first chapter i ever wrote. that is dear to my heart and i love ugly christmas letter and i love man enough to be a girl
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scout. i love you are a powerful woman. read the whole thing, i love every chapter. everything is favorite. do you want to ask me a question? >> do i have more questions? what was the most difficult part to read about yourself or others? >> guest: i think the hardest part is reading the decisions i made in life. they are not all perfect, i don't regret any of them. a lot of mistakes and a lot of challenges, it really made me
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persistent and perseverance and determined, but being able to read everything i have been through and exposing my eyes is hard for me. >> what is your favorite part? >> probably when we are all to gather and establish the truth all at once and everything is good, seeing it all come together. a series of eventss happening to her and with us and it was a happy ending. >> that is my favorite part. the way the book ends is my favorite part. don't give it away!
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what is interesting about that is when i was first outlining the book it kept changing because i was always around even as i was writing, i was recording so you would think that obviously you are in a home and not in shelter. everybody knows that. there is no longer a shelter so that's not a surprise in the book but i thought that the book would end with when you all found a home but you found a home and more things kept happening. i actually think the events that occurred after finding housing were as important because it shows how fragile life can be and how everything,
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all of these unexpected things that happen in your life where you are like another obstacle and it is important for people to understand everyone needs housing and should have a right to housing but sometimes that's not the majority, you need more, you need more support. >> definitely true. i wanted to talk about the importance or the impact girl scouting his head for me. as a single mom, trying to find myself and trying to learn how to raise my children and care for them the best way i could
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without feeling like i wasn't worth much and it came at such an amazing time and i am so grateful for the women i had in my life to push me into girl scout and always making sure i was at these camping trips come into becoming a leader and seeing the changes they made and i made and into this situation in the shelter, taking hold of that and being able to tell my kids this is a journey, we are going to get past it and make sure everyone we came into contact with, that love and happiness, we wanted everyone else to feel it as well and definitely a sense of how important committee is, really shows and makes a difference, such a big change from walking into the shelter and everyone says no, i will
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not be here long enough to make friends and building that canadian saying hi to everyone. we were all sisters and family members and look out for each other and advocated for each other. i am grateful for that. >> i thought when i set out and sat you down and said i want to follow the truth, i thought i would be writing about homelessness through the eyes of girl scouts and what i ended up writing about was the community, the sense of belonging, this desire to want to give more even when you have the least. i wasn't a girl scout when i was a child. my family had to pick and choose what we could afford and at the time girl scout wasn't one of them, but i always
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admired the uniform, what that would be like, these past three years i learned a lot, learned all the songs, a great big moose and so the power of an organization, to bring joy to so many girls, i worry now we are in the pandemic, so many people lost their jobs, they are joining the new york city shelter system.
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troop 6000 is in 20 shelters but there are 450 shelters in new york city and 100 of those, more than half are for families with children, that should tell you there are many other girls who need to be served. >> what is happening if you join girl scouts, the different way too, donate as well, cookies, and of course, 12,000 kids at this point. >> 12,000 of girl scout age. it is a dream to reach these
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girls and i am grateful, we are trying to connect to them during this pandemic and it means family and we are making sure everyone we are following up with, even our founding girls are following up so it is important for people to know that this continues and this was something that started so small and turned into something so enormous. >> i we going to do some q and a? they are pouring in. see which ones people have up voted and we start with those. what are the ages of the girls
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from the original troop now? >> the oldest is now 18 and she is going to be graduating. her family is still in shelter, helping to go to college. we stay in touch and she gives me story ideas. one of the first stories during the pandemic was about remote learning and she reached out to me and said what am i going to do? my sister doesn't have it, this is going to be horrible for students and i am on it. i couldn't interview her. i found other children including a young man she
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didn't know who was in her shoulder which still doesn't have wi-fi. >> still talking about them. >> karen asks how many troop 6000s either? only in new york city or has expanded? >> it has expanded to others, similar to ours. we have maybe 7 or 8 other councils, might be more at this point, that have adopted similar programs. >> this might be for karina. what is the most meaningful for you and why? >> probably one of my badges
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for completing -- your cadet journey. that was a lot of work. reading the book and answering the questions. a lot of words then and working together. that is what i had. >> okay, laurie asks this project, does this project affect how you cover poverty in new york city? what lessons do you want readers to take away about our city and any quality or other lessons? >> i don't know if it changed, came in with a perspective of someone who didn't come up wealthy, someone on food stamps, free and reduced lunch, this was not foreign to me, but
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i think it reiterated what i wanted to get across. the public has a tendency to view homelessness as they man on the street with a cardboard sign and homelessness in new york city especially, people look like me, women, many of them black and hispanic who are -- so to me this book shows that and also people are people and sometimes there are obstacles. the economic, education, and it
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ends in homelessness. at this point, i think our government is going to have to really think about housing policies not just in new york city but around the country. >> this one is for giselle. allison asks what advice do you have for encouraging and recruiting female parent leaders like you in roles like this? >> good one. for recruiting i will always say food brings everything together. having a meal, breaking bread with someone, sitting down and being able to speak to someone, finding some type of mutual, having that conversation and opening up, this is important for me because it is a tough
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situation for girls and we need to have an outlet for them, offering them opportunities, when we are in a tough situation or a tough space we look for that person to lean on. to push back and realize as fast as we can, stressing on this to better futures. >> a couple questions for you. iris asks what girl scout level you are? >> i am a senior. >> heidi asks can karina talk about speaking out about her living situation and how it broke the stigma and stereotypes of who homeless people are.
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>> when i went into the shelter system i was really young. it is the type of thing they don't really think about, they don't know what the meaning is. whenever you tell someone i am homeless they think you live on the street, because the stereotype in new york city and around the world, you see someone asking for money or going on the train doing something, at first for me i was never ashamed because i knew it was normal and natural, but what i went through was specific, that they were going to judge me because i was in a homeless shelter, i didn't want them to pity me but what i told them is there was an understanding, there was confidence to break the stereotype.
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>> this one is for megan, for all of you. what is your favorite scout song? >> my favorite, first song i ever learned i will never forget, meredith's daughter dorothy broke out singing. the coolest song i ever heard. >> which song had the worm and he ate the leaves and got big again? when i first joined girl scouts a lot of my older friends were there. we were saying the worm kept
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eating so it was the biggest thing like that, more and more kids. i am partial -- >> have to answer this. >> another person asked what did it mean to have this in your community and not asked or through the school? >> for me, why don't we have these programs in school. we do have a homelessness
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population that a lot of children experiencing homelessness and other types of programs can build these communities and so i wish they would have been as well but to be able to go where we lived and worked every day meant a lot to me. our safety so yes. >> one more here. i was curious about this. how is troop 6000 operating during the pandemic giving technology issues in shelters? >> the majority of girls to have devices at this time. hard to get the devices, we
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have issues where, in private school, they don't have that, we are fortunate enough to have donors and lenders who say a few need anything can we donate? we have monetary - it is a big issue and something we are working on. it is challenging. where could they be? to at least offer -- we make sure everything is okay. i need help and are able to find ways to provide it.
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>> we are winding down on audience questions and there are a couple more. a lot of folks want to share their favorite songs. can a woman -- i like that one. and here's one from allison. what events did your do you want to do with troops across the city? does troop 6000 have opportunities a want to talk about issues of homelessness with others? >> like other troops? >> interacting with other girl scout troops, did it feel like something you feel you were trying to get a message across? >> the event in the book, it was a lot court, the first camping trip when the girls
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were interacting with troops from around the city, giselle didn't want -- just wanted them to be girl scouts, that camping trip, the story went viral, everyone does not read the news and a lot of the girls and even leaders were like troop 6000, and i think now there has been more education about troop 6000.
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>> all-girls now they are in a shelter. we don't want them to feel, now you have a label on you and you go out there, we are able to speak with them, with older girls and let them express how they are feeling, and we want to advocate for other girls and what it means how important it is. they are in troop 6000, the committee around them, that is
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pretty much it. these girls are no different and we want them to feel that too. >> a connected question, how do girls stay connected to troop 6000. are you able to retain that? >> a transition coordinator, to keep in concert with families after a proud of shelter, sitting out, keep in touch with these. we send them a beautiful welcome to your home package, to decorate their rooms. where they are coming from,
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very few meeting there. to place them in traditional troops, where they moved to as well. we are keeping in contact with them and actually had the transitional transition girls, they will begin, out of troop 6000, the transition coordinator for this time. >> lindsay asks what would karina's message be to kids experiencing homelessness now and was would giselle's advice be to parents? >> to pity you, you don't like to be pitied.
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you know who you are and what you're going through in the reason behind it, people assume your reason is bad. >> my advice, i continuously tell my children homelessness, the fact that you have and being in a shelter, making sure it is scary. i was scared, and never been through the situation, don't know what to expect and you don't know what answers to give them. how you're expressing it, keep telling your kids it is a distant adventure, on a trip right now, just like the seasons they come and go and it will change and pass.
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how important they are even though they are in a rough situation they have each other and families to lean on, import your self to treat others with the kind of love you would want to attract. >> what areas you found in your research as a reporter, households of women need to strengthen and guard against homelessness such as financial literacy. >> we talk about financial literacy and budgeting, having money to budget, we have to start with demanding, i say we, people should demand higher wages. it starts a with people making
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a living wage. when you make -- $15 an hour and your rent, the average rent is like -- gives you a voucher for 1300 something dollars, it can go a little higher. i would ask any of the renters in new york city if they can find more than a studio apartment for some of the prices, it is just impossible. when we talk about arming households, households led by single mothers or single fathers, we have to start with
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talking about what people are worth. >> i want to close out by asking what is next for you. talk about your goals and ambitions for troop 6000 and talk about what you are working on next or what you are talking about now. >> my goals are to reach all girls, that fermi is the biggest goal, to ensure that is something that happened and we are able to support these girls. i dream big sometimes, people tell me that but why not. making sure the team was able to expand. donations go a long way, build a stronger and bigger theme to
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support the program for the girls and for myself as much as i would love to be a part of growth for the rest of my life, will always be a leader. i am running for city council in my district, working on that now. >> what about you? >> a couple stories, see you soon, looking at food lines that have been stretched around the city, so many people never thought they would be in food lines, working on a story about what is happening with child
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welfare in the pandemic with parents who are trying to get their children back who were removed before the pandemic and how children, some children are experiencing abuse at this time and they don't have teachers and coaches that would usually have an eye on them. that is pretty heavy and you will read about this. >> thank you for the amazing work that you do, so glad you got to know each other so you could get this book out of this. "troop 6000: the girl scout troop that began in a shelter and inspired the world" through greenlight books or anywhere you get books, to support the work of the troop and nikita stewart's wonderful reporting so thanks again, have a great evening. >> you are watching booktv on c-span2 on this independence
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day holiday weekend, television for serious readers. here are programs to watch out for. we are live with retired navy admiral james devrietas and then mary jordan discusses the life and influence of first lady milania trump and we talk with two republican senators martha mick sally of arizona and joni ernst of iowa about their new members. find a complete holiday weekend schedule online, or check your program guide. >> journalist janice kaplan highlighted women geniuses who have gone unrecognized by society. and his portion of the program she discusses lease minor who discovered nuclear fission. >> amazing woman in the 1930s who discovered nuclear fission. the first person to understand
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when you split the atom, the nucleus of an atom of the uranium there's a big explosion of energy. that leads to nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, but it turned physics on its head. it was really important and it won the new york prize his nobel prize. meitner did not win the nobel prize. it went through her lab partner, otto hahn who is a chemist. he was a very nice man and a very good chemist and maybe he deserved the nobel prize for something else but he sure didn't deserve it for nuclear fission because he didn't really understand nuclear fission but the men and they were men on the nobel committee just couldn't wrap their heads around the idea that it could have been a woman responsible for the enormous breakthrough. they fell back into what they
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were talking about before, confirmation bias, must be the woman behind the man. the man who does it and gave the nobel prize, many years later the findings were released, a certain number of years and a group of physicists look at that, the most egregious and indefensible oversight ever. there was a lot of competition. many physicists since, tried to make it up and there is now an asteroid named for her, statues of her all over berlin where she did her work and my favorite, the periodic table, the elements of the periodic table -- >> to watch the rest of janice
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kaplan's talk visit the search box at the top of the page. >> here's a look at books being published this week. the life of senator joe mccarthy, say about it, vital to american democracy. julie kelly offers her opinions on the never trump movement in disloyal opposition. also being published in the end of white politics, selena maxwell examines the success and failures of liberal politics. a j bain provides a history of the 1940 election and its importance for the political course in dewey defeats truman. kurt selector argues against claims about donald trump and his voters in the 21 biggest
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lies about donald trump. and let them eat tweets political scientist jacob happening paul pearson argue conservatives make populist claims while actually benefiting the elites. find the cycles this coming week where books are sold and watch for many of these in the future on booktv on c-span2. >> >> host: joining us on booktv father and political activist ralph reed. his next book is "for god and country: the christian case for trump". what is that case? >> guest: the case in a nutshell is that as christians we are called not only to be citizens of the kingdom of god which is here, now and yet to come, we are also called to be citizens on earth of whatever polity or society or nation we happen t


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