Florida Community Band Delays Trip to London

An update about the community marching band that we featured in March. The Florida-based group is keeping children safe from violence around them. And they were even invited to perform in London this summer. But the Sounds of Success is now delaying their trip to next year. Soledad O’Brien talks with the group’s director, Antoine Miller, about a new obstacle to getting to the UK.

Florida Community Band gets Invitation to Perform in London




Ford Foundation President on Funding fight for Equality

The Ford Foundation is one of America’s largest charities, giving hundreds of millions of dollars in grants each year. Darren Walker has lived experiences that guide how he leads the organization in backing social justice groups. Soledad O’Brien meets with Walker to discuss the Ford Foundations’ mission for change.

April 29, 2023

This week Matter of Fact goes to west Texas where expectant mothers are short on options for maternity care, with the closest labor and delivery units hours away.  Plus, we talk with Darren Walker, the Ford Foundation’s president, on how philanthropy can support social justice and movements for change. And an update about a Florida community marching band with a new hurdle blocking their trip to perform in the United Kingdom.

Concern over Rail Safety after recent Train Accidents

One hundred and forty thousand miles of track are used to carry freight across the U.S. The trains and track are largely operated by private companies, which are facing increased scrutiny after three recent derailments. In the last decade the industry has had between 10 and 20 train derailments every year, involving hazardous materials. Correspondent Dan Lieberman is in Pittsburgh to talk to safety advocates, rail workers, and residents to find out what it will take to keep our rail lines safe.

APRIL 22, 2023

This week Matter of Fact heads to Pittsburgh to talk with advocates and rail workers worried about train safety after recent derailments in other states. Plus, a community group teaches community members how to treat gun victims in Chicago neighborhoods with slow emergency response times. And we look at how rising sea levels are turning stretches of Maryland land into “Ghost Forests.”

Artist Transforms Guns into Bells of Hope

An artist in Maryland is trying to create something healing out of tragedy and loss. Sculptor Stephanie Mercedes cuts, melts and hammers deadly weapons into works of art. She tells us how turning guns into bells can offer hope on the issue of gun violence.

School Protects Students from Lunch Debt after Federal Program ends

Students are racking up lunch debt at schools after Congress ended a COVID-era subsidy for school meals.  And only a few states have passed bills to step in where the federal government left off. Correspondent Laura Chavez goes to a school in Pennsylvania where cafeteria workers and teachers are working  to keep all students fed at no charge.

APRIL 15, 2023

This week Matter of Fact goes to a Pennsylvania school helping students and their families avoid owing school lunch debt, after Congress ended subsidies for free school meals. Plus, more states join Louisiana in withdrawing from ERIC, an organization that helps to track and share  voter data across state lines. Plus, we meet the artist transforming guns into bells to address the horrors of gun violence.

Honoring Woodworking Legacy of Black Craftspeople

On display in a Smithsonian museum is a bed that’s carved with not only a great design, but also an origin story that needs to be told. It was crafted by Henry Boyd, an enslaved Black inventor who manufactured furniture in the 1800s. Now, there are crafts people, makers and storytellers reviving techniques and history to inspire more African Americans into the trades.

APRIL 8, 2023

This week Matter of Fact explores lawsuits by school districts blaming social media giants for a growing teen mental health crisis. Plus, with major cities struggling to solve homelessness, an expert tells us which ideas can work or don’t. And a new generation of craftsmen and storytellers are reviving the woodworking history and techniques of enslaved African Americans from the 1800s.