Life In The Balance | WYPR

Life In The Balance

Monthly, First Wednesday 1 pm and 9 pm

Life in the Balance is a monthly program that asks: What are the systemic issues in Baltimore that keep marginalized people from reaching their full potential – and what are the solutions to those problems?

Each episode is rooted in an individual’s story about overcoming a personal hurdle related to one of these systemic issues. It might be homelessness, drug abuse, or a post-incarceration employment struggle. This narrative engages the listener throughout the program as concerned stakeholders – local non-profits, academics, authors, and politicians – also hear the testimonial and offer their best solutions.

Life in the Balance offers listeners a thorough, nuanced analysis of the most prevalent issues in our city and beyond through the power of thoughtful analysis and engaging storytelling.

AP Photo/David Goldman

This month on "Life in the Balance," gangs and street violence in Baltimore is an epidemic. But what happens to those people who want to get out of gangs, what struggles do they meet on the way? We’ll meet Gardnel Carter, a former gang member who’s now helping others to avoid his past mistakes.  We’ll also talk with Media Chief T.J. Smith of the Baltimore City Police about the department’s efforts to stem gang violence, and we’ll hear the remarkable story of a 17 year old boy who’s trying to walk away from his own past with gangs.  The problem is his old associates are not happy about his decision. This hour, the uphill climb out of gang violence, the organizations trying to combat it, and the people whose lives hang in the balance. 

Ludovic Bertron

This month, we’re going to hear the story of someone who made a big personal decision, but quite late in life.  Autumn is a 61 year old trans-woman who transitioned just recently, after quietly struggling with her identity for decades…  We’ll hear how Autumn’s transition has impacted her work-life, her family relations, and her marriage.  Autumn’s personal story will also be the springboard for our larger conversation this hour about the unique, and often overlooked, challenges facing LGBT elders.

On the pilot episode of Life in the Balance, we meet Danny Miller, a man sentenced to thirty years in prison at the age of seventeen after a fight with a friend turned deadly. When he gets out early on parol, he struggles to find a job in a society that seems more determined than ever to keep him on the sidelines. Host Aaron Henkin listens to Danny's life story - along with a panel of experts on post-incarceration - and asks, how and why does a man find himself in this situation, and what can we do to help?