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FROM THIS EPISODE

A Detroit auto worker suffers a massive head injury on the job, leaving her crippled by severe nerve damage. At 50, she's forced to re-learn everything: how to speak, brush her teeth; how to be in the world. Doctors tell her she'll never again hold a job. But after two and a half years of recovery, Gloria Lowe has gone back to work, though not at the auto plant. Lowe is one of the leaders of a new movement taking shape in Detroit. Block by block, residents are reclaiming communities long ago written off. Lowe started a group that trains Detroiters in how to rebuild the homes that will create neighborhoods and eventually, Lowe believes, revive her beloved city. She knows first-hand what it's like to come back from a devastating blow. Now she's at the leading edge of a movement -- call it DIY urban policy -- that's taking a stand for Detroit, and without a whole lot of outside help. Independent producer Zak Rosen brings us Work in Progress, the story of how Gloria Lowe and a small army of dry-wallers, community gardeners, bakers, philosophers and other true-believers are working small miracles all over Detroit.

 

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Former auto worker Gloria Lowe is the founder of We Want Green, Too,
an organization that teaches Detroit residents the skills needed
to restore homes and neighborhoods

 

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Edward Collins is Shift Manager at Detroit's On The Rise Bakery,
which offers a culinary arts training program for Detroiters
reclaiming lives derailed by unemployment, crime and substance abuse.

 

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At age 96, philosopher and political activist Grace Lee Boggs has lived through
-- and had a part in -- nearly every major social justice movement of the
last seven decades. She lives and works in Detroit.

Note: This program originally aired on September 2, 2011.

Producers:
Bob Carlson

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