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Bill Hader to Appear on Finding Your Roots January 26
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The third season of the critically acclaimed series FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR. continues Tuesday, Jan. 26 on the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA)’s OETA HD channel. The Tragedy + Time = Comedy episode airs at 7 p.m. CT and features Tulsa native Bill Hader. In the episode, Jimmy Kimmel, Hader and Norman Lear learn they share a gift for comedy; they also share a history of family tragedies.

Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, continues exploring the mysteries, surprises and revelations hidden in the family trees of 28 of today’s most intriguing cultural trailblazers.

“There is something essential in human nature that drives us to wonder where we came from,” said Gates. “We can’t truly know ourselves until we know something of our origins. With new DNA technology we can learn more about this past and go further back than ever before, and we hope that the new season will inspire people to find out more about their own personal family stories, and spark an interest among young people in genetics, anthropology, history, and the pursuit of science.”

“By looking at the ancestral narratives of these 28 individuals who have played significant roles in shaping our contemporary culture, the third season of FINDING YOUR ROOTS reveals how we are all connected to larger stories that have played a role in shaping who we are as people,” said Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president and CEO of WETA Washington, D.C., the flagship public broadcaster in the nation’s capital and the producing station for the series.

In conjunction with the broadcast, Gates, in collaboration with professors Nina Jablonski (Pennsylvania State University) and Aditi Pai (Spelman College), has designed The Finding Your Roots Curriculum Project, a new education curriculum based on the series that uses genealogy and genetics to teach science. The program is targeted to disadvantaged middle school students and minority college students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The Finding Your Roots middle school project will develop a new curriculum with evolutionary biology and health lessons as well as hands-on activities for middle-school students attending summer camps in 2016 and 2017 at three different sites of established science summer camps: Penn State, University of South Carolina, and the American Museum of Natural History. The middle school and college programs are made possible through $826,000 in grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.