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tv   Inspiring America The 2022 Inspiration List  MSNBC  May 7, 2022 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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rita absolutely paved the way for many and every other latina. when i find so inspiring is your honesty, you say all the hard part out loud. >> but you know you have to, you have to be truthful. >> what made me decide to be a climate scientists, was my faith. a failure to act on climate change it is a failure to love. >> you are one of the most famous faces in the world, did you ever had thought that this would ultimately become your real mission? >> i was preparing for something more meaningful for a very long time. >> i did not imagine inspiring people on the scale. >> whatever you want to accomplish, youthful everything
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you possibly can into it. >> sometimes, you just need to get back up. >> we should put people on the surface of mars within a decade. a lot of things seemed impossible before we started doing it. >> do you think that this outpouring towards the ukrainian refugees is a template for a better us? >> we have all banded together to say, let's help these people who are in need. that is a powerful message for today. >> inspiring america, the 2022 inspiration list. here now are savannah guthrie, leicester mold and hold a gun free. >> hello and welcome to what has become our favorite traditions each year, shining a light on the people who inspires the most. >> everyone on a second annual inspiration list is someone who is on the way for all of us. it is a group of open hearts, remarkable mainz, general spirits. >> first up, the youngest
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nine-year-old you will ever meet, rita moreno. it is amazing to think of all she has accomplished, all she represents and all she is overcome. >> i like to be in america. >> [applause] may i have the envelope please? reena merino and west side story. >> it is one of the most famous moments in oscar history. >> riddle marinas ecstatic 1962 academy award for west side story. she was the first latino actress to everyone one. >> i cannot believe it! >> you know what i loved about the moment, it was your moment, but it was not just your moment. >> oh, i love you for saying that. >> it was not just your moment. >> it was for my people. >> they cheered in harlem. >> people yelling out the window, she did it, she did it! >> it was incredible mindset that there are saying we did it. >> you still don't know --
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>> rideau one of the ox cure for her performance as anita and west side story. if your career and their, she would still be famous. but the 61 years that followed on broadway, tv and hollywood and beyond had made her an icon and enduring inspiration. >> rita paved the way for me and every other latina and latino >> gloria estefan, herself a groundbreaking latina education or, i also thought of rideau once you try to make it in the music industry as an outsider. >> read it was our example, she inspired every generation for the moment she came on the scene, every run of the letter that she climbed, she pulled us all along with her. >> before all that, rita was rosa lawrence alfredo, a young insecure girl who moved from puerto rico to new york in 1936, and was struggling to find her
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place. >> -- was fearful, the unworthy, felt without value. >> did you like being hispanic? >> once i came to america, i perceived that it was not a good thing to be hispanic. >> did you ever tried to hide it? >> i tried very much to hide it? i tried to be american. all i knew is that i want to be elizabeth taylor. >> that is what you thought? >> yeah, we were the same age, more or less. and she was beautiful beyond reason. i thought, it was entirely possible. >> so she set up for hollywood, but right away, her dream crashed against the harsh reality of a studio system that cast are mostly in stereotypical, ethnic roles, like in the 1954 western, garden of evil. >> i kept having to learn how to do accidents and make myself darker and darker.
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i began to see a pattern emerge, and i began to get very sad. >> off screen, she was embroiled in drama to, this one starring marlene brando. you see the love your life? >> oh, he was the last of my life. that part of it was exceptional. >> but brando was also her downfall. she says that he lied, cheated and emotionally abused her to the point that she finally found herself staring at a bottle of sleeping pills. >> i thought, if you are going to do this, this is forever. i was in tears. i put about ten pills in my hand and swallowed them. i looked in the capital mirror and said, see, that was not so difficult. >> that just took my breath away, reena. >> it nearly took mine is way, as well, permanently.
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>> the silver lining in this horrific experience, says, was that her old insecure self was finally gone. if she needed any other prove that she was finally ready to brace her identity, she found it while auditioning for the film version of west side story. >> i really felt that it was my last chance to get something and do something that was meaningful. i wanted that part so badly i could taste it. i knew i could do it, i just knew! i was anita. >> rita moreno -- [applause] >> she bought the confidence the broadway, and in 1976, she became the first latina to win a tony for her portrayal of a flamboyant hispanic diva. >> when you gave your tony acceptance speech, you acknowledged not just who you had become both who you were.
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you acknowledged receipt the. >> rita moreno is thrilled, barraza from puerto rico is undone. >> she is the one that's the lives of me. i think i am fragile and certain situations still. >> you know what i am struck by is your directness, your honesty, you say all the hard parts allowed. you know >> you know, you have to. >> rita takes being a role model seriously. in the last decade, chief on the courage to go public about her suicide attempt and tell people there is always hope. once again, she learned that her voice has power, especially when she was approached by a stranger who heard or on tv. >> i was walking into the lobby of a building in new york, and i see somebody across the lobby. they were in tears. he said thank you, less his
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heart, he said, thank you. you saved my life. >> oh jeez -- >> now 90, she is inspiring all of us with her example on how to remain active and in the spotlight. >> you are in the middle of shooting a movie? >> yes! >> with jane fonda, lily tomlin, and sally field and you. >> are you doing the coffee grinder? >> yes, i am having the time my life. >> coming up, i am sure you climate change poses a threat or challenge to your children, to your home, to your future, to your food -- >> i am incredibly inspired by the way she can communicate and how we can all tackle it together. tackle it inspiring america is presented by target, a proud supporter of msnbc universal scenic all are serious.
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faith, that is a pretty inspiring way to look at the fight against climate change. it comes from a remarkable
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scientist who is showing the world what is possible when science and faith work together. here is josé diaz's millard of msnbc and telemundo. >> i don't want to change the world, i want to inspire everyone to change the world. >> doctor catherine ho is on a mission. she wants people to know that climate change is affecting all of us, here and now, and it will take every one of us to combat it. the only way a system is ever change -- >> bill knew a system as ever change is one individuals who are not wealthy, famous and powerful, but had the courage of their convictions to decide the world could and it must change. >> catherine is a renowned climate scientists at texas state university. she is offered some of the most significant climate studies over the last few decades. would surprise many who meter is that she is also an evangelical christian.
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>> what made me decide to become a climate scientist was my faith. >> how is that intertwined? >> a failure to act on climate change, it's a failure to love. if we truly believe that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, then we would be at the front of our line demanding climate action. >> through her book speeches and as a climate ambassador to the world evangelical alliance, catherine has persuaded hundreds of thousands to become climate activists. what makes her so effective is her ability to bridge the gap between science and religion, and show people how climate change is affecting every aspect of their lives. >> make a list of the top ten things you care about, at least nine out of the ten, usually ten out of ten, i could show you how today, climate change poses a threat or challenge to your in moscow, children, to your home, the military to your future, parade troops to your food marching and. >> tanks rolling in the catherine's red square. activism has it's a dress rehearsal galvanized other climate for when the country's victory day on scientists to
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speak up. >> monday, i am commemorating the soviet incredibly inspired victory over nazi by the way that she can germany in communicate about 1945. how climate change and russia is real at war once and again is bringing how we can all tackle back cold war concerns about the it together. threat of its nuclear arsenal. >> doctor jose cbs's ian lee reports. >> maria works at the -- she grew up in puerto rico and like this is how russia catherine, she is trying to gauge people and battles share her own cultural sabers. heritage and testing experience. >> a missile carrying there is not a place in a nuclear our country weapon more than 10,000 miles nearly twice the distance from moscow to miami. >> [speaking foreign language] russia's foreign minister minister called the risk of nuclear war considerable. and russian talk shows have debated how quickly a bomb could reach europe, even showing how one might create a nuclear tsunami to wipe out the uk. u.s. defense decorative a lloyd austin has tried to play down the threats. >> nobody wants to see a nuclear war. >> but as the war rages on in ukraine, a mushroom cloud
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wouldn't suddenly appear on the horizon. >> the west would have intelligence >> it's. hard to even there would be process what warnings your eyes are that these warheads were seeing. it looks like the being deployed. aftermath of >> a nuclear retired commander war. >> andy core fit kept this is and two of uk's vanguard what they have worked for class submarines, all their capable of lives. >> look at delivering its the white trident nuclear picket fence, the missile. >> symbol of the how easy would it be for american dream. >> putin to launch look what is a nuclear weapon? behind it. >> >> my understanding gone. >> it's an image of the russian system is that of what we can it's very similar to the expect to see if british one. the climate authority to launch must come doesn't improve. from putin. if we don't fix although the decision rests climate change it will change. >> with the political she came leader, the here with us to ability to do meet this doctor and that doesn't. two other >> the world doctors to witnessed the destructive power of -- in their american nuclear bombs lives. >> this nearly 80 years doctor, the director ago in japan. of the cooperative he institute believes that one going and off in ukraine environmental would likely be institute at the many times university of colorado larger, but, and billy doesn't see that happening. >> masterson a firefighter who found the political and himself by strategic experts idling the don't think this is very fires in his own likely at all. neighborhood. >> this the problem will is an event for come if us, something went for me, my spectacularly
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family, that hit us to the wrong, and a really bad core. >> misjudgment. >> if it takes an event war is the realm of like that to be uncertainty a wake up call, then for a lot of a missed judgment people who are can't be ruled disregarding this out. information ian lee, or cbs news, who don't have access swindle, to the information. >> england. it's hard to talk still about these issues ahead, on the cbs because we weekend news, have a crucial city pushback service taken from the, significant navy. pushback from a victim of real estate people who want to development in a hot delay climate action at any market. cost. >> how do you confront that reality? >> if i cast somebody who feeds their family by working in a coal mine as the villain, i'm not doing a service to the cause. i think it's important to begin with that i value what you do, and when people sense that you are sensitive to their concerns, you have a far more productive conversation that can lead to solutions. >> something like climate change isn't a political issue, this is a human issue. i'm a husband, i'm a father,
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i'm part of this community, i'm a firefighter. if there are things that we can do in our lives to fight these fires without fighting fires, i'm all for it. >> when i hear stories of people who are making a difference, individual people who are using their voices to change their city, their organization, their world, that's what inspires me. >> the more we engage with other says catherine, the more our planet has a chance to get rising temperatures under control. it will require ingenuity, optimism, and being open minded. but, if we can't all work together children's future is in peril, and what greater reason is there to finally unite? catherine, for one, has faith. are you hopeful? >> i practice hope. by that i mean i go out and i look for it, and i find it. and when i find that i share it with people. in the bible it's us suffering
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produces perseverance, perseverance produces character and character produces hope, and it is ultimately based on love. >> coming up. >> a lot of people have some difficult habits in their lives, you turn it into a mission. >> the way that i've been able to work through that is diving in. i wanted to be better for the next mom. to be better for th next mom >> inspiring america sponsored by wayfair, no place like it. by wayfair, no place like it this week, the federal reserve enacted federal reserve enacte enacted federal reserve ♪ wayfair you got just what i need ♪
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model that we can all learn from >> she used a painful and difficult time in her live , she's a difficult time in her life -- inspiration is like turning the light on, sometimes you do not even know yourself, what you are capable of until someone turns l.a. down for you. >> for christy turlington burn, that lie came on when she suddenly found herself in a very dark moment. it came at the most unexpected time. she was on top of the world, a
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modeling superstar for more than a decade and about to give birth to her first child, a daughter named grace. >> i was in labor for about 12 hours. it was intense from what i imagined. when she was born, the energy was upbeat and wonderful. >> but suddenly, the mood in the room changed. chrissy was not delivering her placenta and started to have a potentially life threatening complication that required urgent medical intervention. >> you are in a birthing censure, there is a big wife angela, when the ob/gyn walks in, he is there for emergencies? >> he is there for emergencies. it was unsettling, confusing and painful. >> as she recovered, chrissy realized how blessed she had been. she had a great support system, including her loving husband, actor and director, ken burns. she wondered about women that did not have as much. >> you started to do homework, he started researching maternal
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health. what did you find? >> i learned that around the world, hundreds of thousands of girls and women die every year from pregnancy and childbirth complications. that shocked me that seemed like something that would happen in a different time. >> it does feel like some old fashioned victorian book you might read. >> exactly. >> knowing that she could've been one of those women, chrissy decided to travel the world and document out dangerous pregnancy and childbirth can be for women to not have proper maternity care. she visited this demand is communities in places like bangladesh and guatemala. she featured those trips in a 2010 film, no woman, no cry. one woman in the film left an indelible impression was janet, who she met at a health dispensary intense india. >> she walked nearly five miles to get to the dispensary. her pregnancy was not life-threatening, so the staff
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sent her home. >> chrissy's team sent would janet, when she needed emergency care at the center to the hospital for a c-section. >> she had not had the c-section, her baby would have died, she would have died, and the family would have lost a mother. >> it is stunning because it could be something assembly as a ride, the need could be that simple. >> it really can. >> spurred on by the film chrissy started a nonprofit called every mother counts, which is money to community based organizations helping mothers around the world and advocates for policy changes. since 2010, her non-profit as invested more than $24 million. >> this is joyce, she is a nurse that -- >> you also have a strong presence here in the u.s.? >> there is so much needed united states. not only rv one of two and australis coaches with the high mortality rate, we have really seen the numbers escalating and really impacting women a color, most inefficiently. in 2020, african american women
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and united states were about three times more likely to die from pregnancy related causes than white women. in recent years, chrissy says that her non-profit has doubled investments in programs here at home. >> these are organizations led by incredible women of color, who are midwives, they are dulles, they are justice activists. they are powerhouses. >> another key to chrissy's message is raising awareness. she recently paired up with canadian amy schumer, who suffered debilitating nausea during her pregnancy to release a rival stories, a collection of women's experiences on their journeys the motherhood. >> we wanted to be better for the next month, no our daughters, sisters and neighbors, everyone. >> a lot of people have something difficult happen in their lives, and they move on. you are different. you turn it into a mission. >> i think for me whenever i have had any kind of serious challenge in my life or loss, the way that i have been able
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to work through that has been to just dive in. that is the way that i process. >> chrissy also were aces awareness of money by doing something she loves, running. >> you are an avid marathon or. i even ran with you. >> i love you chrissy, but this might be the end of the road for me. >> i know you really have. >> not very far, at all, but how does your running matchup with their mission? >> distance is a big barrier for women to access care, so the idea running 26.2 miles, this was the difference that a woman will have to walk or have to be transported. my mantra became, every mile, every mother. >> last fall, chrissy completed the new york city marathon for the third time, running alongside her, that's someone who sparked her mission all those years ago, her daughter grace, now 18 years old. >> that is a full circle moment, too. >> it really is. to say her old mother is much
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faster. >> yes! >> she is so connected to the mission of the organization, she takes all credit for everything we do. >> it did start with her. >> 18 years, it is a life to think of carrying her as a tiny person and then to be basically the same size as her, side by side with her, woman to woman, it is really powerful. >> but you are faster? >> i am faster, and i always will be. >> coming up -- >> that disappointment was awful, but that is the risk that you take to achieve the great moments. >> you have to put everything you possibly can into it. >> i am forever grateful, just an amazing display of that real olympic spirit. stant moisture. biotrue uses naturally inspired ingredients. and no preservatives. try biotrue ♪♪
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inspiration in winning, but how about defeat? with the hold world watching? well a terrific trio of athletes showed us all how that is done this year. they turned stumbles into lessons in lifting yourself up. here is craig melvin. >> your success at the games, it was a historic moment, first black woman to win a medal in speedskating, has it settled in now? >> sometimes it's hard to believe that it has happened, but it has been wild. >> it was wilder than most of
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us knew at the time. 29-year-old aaron jackson's historic moment almost never happened. because of a big slip while claw-ifying for the beijing games. >> when i had that slip, there was a lot of stress, you know? a lot of nerves, a lot of uncertainty, wondering what would happen next. >> even though aaron was considered the best american in her event, that slip put her in third place and in danger of not making the team. >> am i going to get to go to the olympics? it would really suck to not go to the olympics, you know? >> erin still time was not good enough and she was off the olympic team. but then a lifeline from an old friend and teammate, brittani. >> brittani came in and said look, you can sleep easy tonight knowing that if there is anything i can do, you're not staying home. >> she sacrificed her 500 meter
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spots so irin could have a shot at history. >> when you think about that moment, why was it so inspirational for so many strangers? >> it was just an amazing display of selflessness and character, and a real olympic spirit. >> irin's gold medal victory meant the two friends are forever linked. >> i'm forever grateful and i feel like we share the gold medal, for sure. it was really cool for people to see what an amazing person britney's. >> irin jackson wasn't the only olympic athlete that had something to prove. is it true that in 2018 you put a great deal of pressure on yourself in four years later this was when you decided that you could have fun with it, is that what happened? >> definitely, when i finished 2018, all i remember were the tough times and how much pressure i felt, a dream come true to compete at the olympics, but then i felt like it was so overwhelming, so challenging
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that i wanted to go home. >> that's a shocking admission from 22-year-old nathan chen. but how did the precocious skater known as the quad game succeed and win gold for years after the fall? he resolved to use the experience as motivation. did that come with age? how were you able to take that pressure off yourself? >> it was a mix of being able to have the experience of 2018 and saying you know what, my thoughts will create my actions, essentially. constantly reminding myself that even though it feel pressure, stress, even those challenging to sleep and i was over thinking things, putting things aside and fighting those thoughts and fighting those worries with positivity, with thoughts of gratitude. >> it also helps that nathan chen never forgets where he came from. >> i think it's coming from an immigrant family and having parents that were very work oriented, whatever you want to
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accomplish, you had to put everything you could into it. >> good advice from another olympian who when losing it all showed everyone it is not your worst day on the mountain that matters most, it is all of the days after that. mikaela shiffrin expected to be standing on the podium shuffle times in beijing, but she went over six and instead she found herself off her skis, on the side of the mountain multiple times. >> i've had three olympics now in the first two i've won medals, but this third one not so much. i'm sitting on the side of the hill and i'm like i would much rather melt off the mountain. >> it was a feeling both uncomfortable and unfamiliar. >> you know it's not something i've experienced a lot in my career, and it was dumbfounding. >> all those eyes on her and all those questions, but, in defeat and disappointment, mckayla got up and wowed the world, not with a victory but
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with her grace. >> going through that disappointment so publicly was awful, but that's kind of the risk you take in order to achieve the great moments. >> it wasn't exactly the way she wanted to be it inspiring but mckayla's pain was relayed -able and her response to it admirable. >> you get back up there and put one foot in front of the other again and no matter what the disappointments are that you face. >> and that is precisely what mckayla did. one short week after her olympic disappointments, she won the world championship. congratulations, you are officially the best skier in the world, how does that feel? >> that is the dream, i guess. >> what do you mean, you guess? what is this? you guess. >> i know, i know it feels amazing because that is what i dreamt of since i was little,
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but somehow you feel the highs and the lows from the season. >> and in the long run, those lows are what will inspire mckayla going forward. >> i know how many people out there are probably feeling the same thing that i did or am, maybe not as publicly, but the feelings don't diminish how it feels in that moment, but connecting with other people who feel that, i mean, you realize you are not alone and you are never alone. >> and like erin and like nathan, mckayla inspired by showing that it is okay to fall, especially when you show the entire world how to get back up. >> coming up -- >> i think about going to the supermarket, you think about going to mars. you think there will come a time when all of that mindset will be all of ours? >> absolutely. life is far more exciting if you are out flying among the
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ships to mars, that kind of thinking is out of the world inspiring. it is gwynne shotwell job to make it happen. in a rare interview, she tells me how they are reaching for the stars every day. here is shepard smith of cnbc. >> we are building rockets in spaceships here in burbank california. >> gwynne shotwell it one of her favorite places on earth -- >> it sounds to me like you know how to do everything in here. >> i don't know how to make rockets, by two large you know what goes on here. >> she is the president and chief operating officer of spacex. he started out years ago as a mechanical engineer, her first love, and it shows. >> what is happening here? >> we call this -- is where we take sheets of metal, rolled them, while them together, that's a barrel, it's like a sausage, really. moved to thank, of another barrow, then you have a rocket.
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>> rockets at this stuff a big dreams here, and big dreams are gwen's bread and butter. >> when will we go to mars? >> we should be putting people on the surface of mars in his decade. >> in this decade? >> it is that gate, yes. people on the moon, sooner. >> i think on his sub market, you think about going to mars, do you think they're all come a time when we are all in that mindset. >> oh, absolutely. we need to get a large delivery to the surface of mars, and then people will start digging harder on it. i think within five or six years, we will see that is a real place to go. >> two decades ago when gwynne became employee number 11. >> that's glenn -- >> space skeptics -- you are musk rockets almost one bank weren't, but stay the course. ten years ago, spacex delivered cargo to the international space station for the first
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time. two years ago, it delivered astronauts there. along the way, it shook up the industry. >> what is the area and which his company has disrupted the space trade? >> reasonability is absolutely key. that is the most disruptive technology. we came in with far more efficient rockets so that more customers can afford to fly their pay loads to space. that made part of the industry very mad at us. >> any like that? >> i love that. >> gwynne works for the world's richest man and one of its most controversial. he is also demanding. >> it is up to gwynne to make it all work. >> it is never, we can't do that? >> oh, i might think that, but he says, zip it, when you see something that sounds too crazy. because he has been right in the past, and you figure out to do it. >> three, two, one, ignition, then lift off. >> gwynne was in mission
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control, as she often is, when spacex launched last month. >> the scariest days for me at spacex right now is when we fly crew. you have souls sitting on the top of the rocket hurtling through the atmosphere, getting to space and their lives are in my hands, our hands. as a company, that's pretty terrifying. >> but there is joy when it goes well. today, gwynne leads the company of more than 10,000 employees, worth more than 70 billion dollars. she is a legend in the aerospace world. even though she tries to deflect attention from herself -- >> the best part of my job is being able to work with these extraordinary people. >> it is clear that she has inspired a generation of women to reach for the stars to, like these five, all leaders in their own right. >> this is the coolest class ever. >> yeah! >> she is one of the main reasons i came, if nothing else,
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i get to work with gwynne, that is really cool. >> senior space operator, anna -- is gonna space herself later this year. her husband, and astronaut to, will follow her. >> well you when you beat your husband's base, how will that go? >> honestly, i think the job of the parent that remains on earth is actually the harder role. i am incredibly grateful for his support. >> crazy, i mean, you are both going to space. whoa -- >> we also think that's crazy. >> spacex is not testing this giant, a star ship, a spacecraft designed for interstellar travel. >> shannon is the engineer. >> i can't even get to work on this every day, this is so often. i cannot get it done fast enough. >> let's go to the moon! i want to go to the moon! >> jessica jensen is the most senior management expert at spacex. you want to make the ideas of colonies and space seem real,
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she sees the star base in south texas. >> once you go to star base, you will believe in women in more spaces. >> tell me why. >> the scale of the ships, the scale of the booster, these at the spaceships there are going into planetary. you have no doubt want to see them. >> gwynne says international travel will be humans next great adventure. >> she says you are born for. >> if you don't push us out to do really hard things, then i think achieving them is kind of less. i think it is incredibly important that we are exploring other planets. i think life is far more exciting if you are out flying amongst the stars. >> one day, gwynne shotwell says that she will get out there herself. >> when gwynne shotwell is on the moon, but will she do? >> she will look back at planet earth, look up at the stars from a completely different way, jump around, have fun, do flips.
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>> you want to stay for a while? >> i would love to stay for a while. >> coming up -- >> did you think for a moment that this would be a crisis that would land in your neighborhood, essentially? >> not in 1 million years. >> we see these stories of things going on in the world, but you never expect to be a part of helping change it. be a be a part after just 2 doses. skyrizi may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. before treatment, your doctor should check you for infections and tuberculosis. such as fever, sweats, chills, muscle aches, or coughs, or if you plan to, or recently received a vaccine. ♪ nothing is everything ♪ talk to your dermatologist about skyrizi. learn how abbvie could help you save.
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inspired by the courage we are seeing in ukraine. i was there this spring, and i will never forget the stories of the families that i met. here at home, there are powerful stories to, people rising to be their best when a crisis is at its worst. >> mama, mama, mama -- >> in the chaos of the lviv train station, i met so many of the moms and children, overwhelmed and uncertain. >> you know where you will live? >> no. >> these were just some of the millions of ukrainians to that been forced from their homes, refugees seeking safety anywhere they could find it. >> hello, san diego, i am here, we have three vans going -- >> film metzger wouldn't star break to. as soon as the war started, he and his family to flew to
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ukraine to assist that refugees. >> we wanted to get them out of the country because for a lot of them, they were trapped. we try to get them out as quickly as we could. >> but when pastor phil got home, he found the crisis had come to his backyard. >> did you think for a moment that this would be a crisis that would have land in your neighborhood, essentially? >> not in 1 million years, i had no clue that a pathway into the united states would be from the mexican border in our hometown and chula vista. >> pastor phil runs calgary san diego, a church in school disappear miles from the border. mexico allowed ukrainians to enter the country without a visa. thousands want there to try to enter the u.s. temporarily on humanitarian grounds. mostly, they wanted a return home as soon as they can. >> we zipped down there, we meet a few ukrainians that are coming across, come a totally disoriented, and we said, come over to our church, we bought
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six air mattresses. we will have about a few people, we thought. within a few hours, 100 people were at a church. it kept spiraling, more and more, hundreds every day. >> he mobilized his congregation. >> what inspired you to get the church involved? >> it takes a village. you just can't do this on your own. our church and our whole community rallied very fast. >> pastor phil organized volunteers on both sides of the border. he helped establish shelters in mexico. >> 60 people will sleep in here, roughly, at any given moment of the day. >> and welcome stations on the american side. >> thanks in part to phil and his congregation, a legion of other southern californians got involved. we met fastfood workers who traveled to mexico on their day off to bring supplies. >> we want to support people in difficult times. >> volunteers who handed up food and water, and people like
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la resident, burke shepard really. >> we have a ukrainian family that we followed from kyiv to warsaw to l.a.x.. >> thousands of californians embraced total strangers with open arms and open hearts. >> everybody jumped in and did what they could do. >> susan and roy sidell hosted several families, including this family of four, who went through a grueling journey. they stayed a week, and the kids finally got the smile. >> the kids were having a good time. we took them out to sunsets, to come to ice cream, introduced them to salaries. >> other san diegans shipped into by plane tickets. they are now with relatives back east. >> former nfl player, nick roach, and his wife, anne-marie, felt like history paid a visit. >> we watch the news and see these stories of things going on in the world, but you never expect to really be a part of helping change it, let alone
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having it literally show up on her doorstep. >> they asked us to excuse the mess, they had 20 unexpected you can guess the night before. they have six kids of their own, yet still made room for more refugees. >> i think it is a part of being human. there is that innate desire to act like we are actually one species. >> pastor phil says the kindness that we shown to ukrainians inspires us to reach out to other refugees, who have not been treated as warmly. >> i think the way that the world is responding to the ukrainian crisis could be a great template for how we can respond to other people in their own crisis. >> in recent days, think says season up for the pastor. ukrainians can now enter the u.s. directly from europe. as we welcome them, we can see that ukrainians have also given us a thing or two, the chance to rekindle our national pride
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and make a safe haven for the persecuted, and a chance to unite a common effort. >> these are really divided times, do you think that what we are seeing, this outpouring towards ukrainian refugees is a template for a better us? >> i hope so, i really do. we have all banded together to say, let's help these people who are in need. that is such a powerful message for today. i hope and inspires us all. >> beautiful words to end on. we hope some of the stories you heard tonight will stay with you. >> and maybe inspire you to lead the way for someone else. >> we will keep up the tradition next year, and we will also keep telling inspiring american stories on nbc nightly news. if you have someone you think we should know about, reach out to us at nbc slash inspiring america. from all of us at nbc, msnbc, cnbc and telemundo, goodnight.
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