PBS12 launching Generation GRIT

Original series to address societal issues and their solutions through the lens of Gen Z perspectives

Denver (September 23, 2021) – On October 1, 2021 at 7 p.m., PBS12 will launch Generation GRIT, an original series that focuses on the perspectives and voices of “Gen Z” and what this group of activist-minded people, born between 1997 and 2012, is doing to address hard-hitting issues that this generation is experiencing like homelessness, mental health & suicide prevention, gender identity, environmental inclusivity, cancel culture, and more. Generation GRIT will inspire and break down stereotypical generational myths and is a glimpse into a bright future ahead.

Conceived by the Emmy Award-winning team at PBS12 – including Director of Production Heather Dalton and Executive Producer Heather Domko – the series began to take shape in 2020 as societal issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter, diversity and equity, the MeToo movement, systemic racism, police brutality, and the housing crisis converged, creating an inflection point from which to build. The idea to create meaningful dialog with underrepresented, younger communities with a different – and hopeful – lens, was born.

A look into the minds of Generation Z is a look into our future. In filming Generation GRIT, the series creators learned that Generation Z is ready to grow, restore, inspire and transform in order to help build a better world.

“At PBS12 we are committed to supporting youth empowerment,”  said Heather Dalton. “We believe that it is essential to give voice to Generation Z by providing a safe space where youth can directly discuss the issues that concern and motivate them through sharing their unique perspectives.” 

This 12-part series invites individuals and nonprofit sector experts to come together to talk not only about specific issues, but also to discuss meaningful solutions.

“I’m so grateful that you are having this program because this is how we start our conversation,” added Jenna Clinchard, Executive Director of Rise Against Suicide. “I think It is so important to be willing to be vulnerable and honest with our peers because then we learn we are not alone.”

Each episode will air on PBS12.1 and stream on video.PBS12.org as well as the PBS Video app. Episodes include:

October 1, 2021
Episode 1: Healing Power of Music

  • Host: Elle Naef, Producer and Musician, PBS12
  • Guests: Edwina & Ariadnee
  • Expert: Amy Sweetin Music Therapist, Swallow Hill, Denver Children’s Home
  • Youth on Record, Girls Rock Denver

October 8, 2021
Episode 2: Gender and Identity

  • Host: Kerrie Joy, Poet, Educator, Activist
  • Guests: Bryn & Oliver
  • Expert: Jax Gonzalez, Coordinator for the Open and Affirming Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Support Program for Boulder County Public Health
  • Inside Out Youth Services

October 15, 2021
Episode 3: Mental Health & Suicide Prevention

  • Host: Kerrie Joy, Poet, Educator, Activist
  • Guests: Justy Robinson, MaKenna Charles
  • Expert: Jenna Clinchard, Executive Director, Rise Against Suicide
  • Creative Strategies for Change

October 22, 2021
Episode 4: Environmental Inclusion

  • Host: Parker McMullen Bushman, Founder, Ecoinclusive
  • Guests: Xitlaly, Samantha
  • Expert: Ean Thomas Tafoya, State Dir., GreenLatinos
  • Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK)

October 29, 2021
Episode 5: Youth Homelessness

  • Host: Elle Naef, Producer and Musician, PBS12
  • Guests: Mari, Hunter & Ayashe
  • The Place, Denver Homeless out Loud

November 5, 2021
Episode 6: Youth Activism

  • Host: Kerrie Joy, Poet, Educator, Activist
  • Guests: Aly Belknap, Ashley Garcia Torres in Studio
  • Expert: Tracie Trinidad, Program & Talent manager, YAASPA
  • YAASPA, New Era Colorado

November 12, 2021
Episode 7: Financial Literacy

  • Host: Brenton Weyi Writer, Thinker & Performance Artist, The Renaissance Mind
  • Guests: Stephanie Paz-Pena, Senior, CU Denver
  • Loara Morales, Leeds School of Business Graduate, CU Boulder
  • Expert: Amy Bertle, Financial Advisor CFP, CDFA
  • Boys Hope Girls Hope

November 19, 2021
Episode 8: Youth Leadership

  • Host: Rayven Irons
  • Guests: Lorena Munoz, Junior, University of Denver
  • Brooke Slaughter, Senior, Aurora Central High School
  • Ashley Hagen, Junior, Colorado Academy
  • Expert: Sam Battan, Founder & Exec. Dir., Colorado Youth Congress
  • Boys Hope Girls Hope
  • Colorado Youth Congress
  • Colorado Young Leaders

November 26, 2021
Episode 9: Special Needs and Differing Abilities

  • Host: Brenton Weyi Writer, Thinker & Performance Artist, The Renaissance Mind
  • Guests & Experts: TBD

December 3, 2021
Episode 10: Intergenerational and Community Healing

  • Host: Brenton Weyi Writer, Thinker & Performance Artist, The Renaissance Mind
  • Guests & Experts: TBD

December 10, 2021
Episode 11: Cancel Culture

  • Host Sedrick Avenue
  • Denver Urban Debate League

December 17, 2021
Episode 12: Critical Race Theory in Schools

  • Host: Sedrick Avenue
  • Denver Urban Debate League