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Named the “Best News Series” for 2020 & 2021 by the Virginia Association of Broadcasters  What it Takes features experts and committed citizens to our studio to discuss timely issues affecting Southwest Virginians. Hosted by BRPBS Director of Educational Innovation Tom Landon, WIT embodies the spirit of our ECHO Channel, featuring topics on Education, Community, Health and Opportunity. 

WEDNESDAYS @ 7:30pm on Blue Ridge PBS 

Also, streaming on ECHO

Check out episodes online!

Coming Up:

October 25-  What it Takes to Give the Gift of Life
This week our topic is “What it Takes to Give the Give the Gift of Life”, and I’ll be joined by Carla Brindle, a local Realtor who decided to literally share a piece of herself with her stepfather Albert Williams by giving up one of her two functioning kidneys. We’ll talk about the decision and the process on this week’s edition of What it Takes.

November 1 -   What it Takes to Unlock the Secrets of Evolution
Dr. Shuhei Xiao is a Geobiology professor at Virginia Tech who has traveled the world to study the origins of life, and he’s one of three faculty members from our local research university who have been honored with membership in the Academy this year. Dr. Xiao’s work focuses on environmental changes and their impact on the evolution of species.

November 8 -  What it Takes to Harness a Fighting Spirit
La'Torie Woodberry grew up around boxing gyms and decided to give back through a program he calls Boxfit. He's recently opened a new facility in Roanoke and is dedicated to help reduce street violence by helping his young fighters to channel their aggression into positive behaviors.

November 15 -   What it Takes to Keep Cool in an International Emergency
Dr. Robert Jordan was living an academic’s dream as an anatomy professor at St. George’s University on the island of Grenada. He worked with American and international students pursuing their dreams of becoming doctors. But in October of that year he awoke to the news of a government coup followed by a massive intervention by American troops. That story is told from the American troop’s perspective in a new Blue Ridge PBS documentary produced by Blue Ridge PBS Executive Producer Lisa Fenderson called One Week in October, but that film understandably does not consider the events through the eyes of the civilians on the ground who lived through it. Dr. Jordan provides a local perspective on the American intervention as he remembers how students and faculty came together in the face of adversity.

November 22 -  What it Takes to Heal Through Music
Recent advances in neuroscience have proven what many have said for years – that music heals, and soothes, the soul. For people with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, music therapy has become an important tool to facilitate healing. Noel Anderson of Anderson Music Therapy and Jacole Thomas with the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative join host Tom Landon to shed light on innovative treatments for traumatic brain and spinal injuries.

November 29 -  What it to Help Students Lead Lives of Purpose
Ferrum College is a private liberal arts college founded in 1913, and it’s always been a place where students come to learn not only facts and concepts, but how to quote, “enter with promise and leave with purpose.” It’s a place that seems to embrace it’s rural origins while preparing students to succeed in the modern world. President Mirta Martin joins host Tom Landon to talk about how the college is striving to stay relevant and true to its mission.

December 6 -  What it Takes to Build Stability Through Housing
Habitat for Humanity has a sterling reputation for building houses for low income citizens through a program that depends on the participation of both volunteers and the eventual residents who will live in the homes they help build. But the organization does a lot more than most of us realize to help their clients learn a host of life skills that can help end the cycle of poverty.