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Tamara Banks Documents Humanitarian Group's Rescue of Slaves in Darfur and Sudan on 'Studio 12'; 3 hours of Darfur-related Programming to Air 7/16


DENVER – July 7, 2008 – Tamara Banks, longtime Colorado reporter, news anchor and Denver Neighborhood Liaison for the Mayor, has a passion for international news, politics and world relations.

Her latest mission – witnessing a small humanitarian group’s rescue of modern-day slaves in Darfur – will be reported in “21st Century Abolitionists” on Colorado Public Television. 

The “Studio 12” program hosted by Banks will air Wednesday, July 16, at 8 p.m. on channel 12 followed by two related PBS programs about Darfur, “Wide Angle: Heart of Darfur” at 9 p.m. and “Frontline: On Our Watch” at 10 p.m.


KBDI’s Spotlight on Darfur

  • 8:00 p.m. -  Studio 12 “21st Century Abolitionists”
  • 9:00 p.m. - “Wide Angle: Heart of Darfur”
  • 10:00 p.m. - “Frontline: On Our Watch”

All three programs repeat at 12:30 a.m., July 17, after “Eastenders”

“Heart of Darfur” and “On Our Watch” will repeat July 27

“21st Century Abolitionists” will be available via on-demand at www.kbdi.org July 21


Banks traveled to Sudan in May to document the issue of slavery and the humanitarian work of Christian Solidarity International (CSI).  She witnessed the liberation of 106 men and boy slaves who were returned to their communities and families in southern Sudan.  Her documentary will be released in the fall.

“I shot my own video because of the danger of the mission and not wanting to attract too much attention,” Banks explained.  In addition to the dangers of war, she experienced filming in temperatures that climbed to 120-degrees during the day as well as the lack of running water and other challenges of  living in a third world country.

Banks’ panelists for the “Studio 12” call-in program will include Pastor Heidi McGinness, the Denver-based Outreach Director of CSI-USA, who led the Sudan trip. Kur Kur, a Sudanese young man who escaped the atrocities of Sudan at young age, graduated Cum Laude from the University of Colorado and works now for a U.S. Representative from Colorado, also will be a guest. 

At 9 p.m. following “Studio 12,” “Wide Angle” host Aaron Brown will present “Heart of Darfur,” an eyewitness account of what the U.N. Secretary-General has called “the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.”  The film captures the desperation of daily life in a refugee camp as well as in rebel-held areas of Sudan where Sudanese get up every morning to face yet another day filled with threats of looting, murder and rape by Sudan’s pro-government Arab militias, known as the Janjaweed.  

At 10 p.m., “Frontline: On Our Watch” chronicles how genocide in Darfur was allowed to unfold.  It has been mapped by satellite, endlessly debated at the U.N. and allowed to proceed with 200,000 killed, 2.5 million driven from homes and rape used as a weapon of war.  As governments failed to act, private citizens and celebrities have raised awareness of the carnage. 

All three programs will repeat after “Eastenders” at approximately 12:30 a.m. July 17.  The “Wide Angle” and “Frontline” programs will be aired again July 27.  “21st Century Abolitionists” will be available via the on-demand feature on www.kbdi.org after July 21.


Additional Information:

Wide Angle "Heart of Darfur": http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/

Frontline "On Our Watch":  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/darfur/

Promotional photos for these two programs available upon request.

Photos for Studio 12 “21st Century Abolitionists” are available below.

About KBDI

KBDI has set itself apart with carriage of an unparalleled amount of local public affairs programming. KBDI "community voice" programming engages viewers in community-based discussions of state, national and global issues. KBDI delivers three digital channels: its flagship KBDI broadcast station with a strong mix of local, national and international programming; The Documentary Channel, featuring the works of independent filmmakers; and MHz Worldview, a channel providing diverse cultural perspectives for a globally minded audience.

Marcia Simmons
Director of Marketing and Communications
KBDI-TV, Channel 12 (PBS)
World View – Community Voice
2900 Welton St.
Denver, CO 80205
303-991-5020 (direct)
303-489-4012 (cell)

Photos Available for Download

Studio 12 "21st Century Abolitionists"
Studio 12 "21st Century Abolitionists"

Tamara Banks, center, talks to internally displaced Sudanese. The young boy in blue on the right served as an interpreter.

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Studio 12 "21st Century Abolitionists"
Studio 12 "21st Century Abolitionists"

Historian John Eibner, PhD greets community elders who have been returned to their homes.

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Studio 12 "21st Century Abolitionists"
Studio 12 "21st Century Abolitionists"

Gunnar Weibalck with CSI, distributes seeds for planting.

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Studio 12 "21st Century Abolitionists"
Studio 12 "21st Century Abolitionists"

Pastor Heidi McGinness visits with Michael, a young man she met years ago on an early trip to Sudan.

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