American Spirit

American Spirit with Mary Parks.

A passion for storytelling

Television journalist and communications professional Mary Parks is perhaps best known for her many years of Los Angeles news reporting.  

Today, not only does she write for WestCoast Magazine, but Mary is creator and host of the weekly PBS television series American Spirit with Mary Parks.   American Spirit is distributed on a variety of television outlets, including the California Channel (which reaches over 6 million homes), Charter Channel 188, and PBS affiliate KVCR.  Individual stories are also seen via the web and television on Voice of America in nearly 100 countries worldwide. 

To watch American Spirit anywhere in the nation, you can subscribe to:

Closing the Gap

As soon as Amber Fassnacht’s son, Xander, was born, she had trouble breastfeeding. The hospital gave him formula milk, much to the young mother’s dismay. For the next eight weeks, Amber struggled to get her son breastfed while he continued to lose weight. “...

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From the Heart

This is an important day for 55-year-old Steve Irigoyen. As he walks into his doctor’s office, he greets the doctor and they exchange a handshake and warm hello. It’s time for Steve’s medical checkup after a series of near fatal heart attacks. He had his first...

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Eagle-Counts… Looking for Jack

Two hours east of Los Angeles, a vast blanket of white hangs heavy over the San Bernardino National Forest. Rolling clouds of moisture and mist cloak the treetops and can be seen for miles. The aroma of the beautiful trees surrounds us and the air is ice cold,...

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Espiral – A Community Project

On a warm summer afternoon, we made our way down a crowded, pothole-laden street in Havana toward a restored red and white building. Wild ficus tree roots buckled the pavement leading up to the colonial-era building that was surely once home to a well-to-do fa...

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CUBA – In the ‘NAME’ of Social Justice

Just before summer vacation, an invitation arrived to travel to Cuba with a group known internationally as NAME – National Association for Multicultural Education. NAME is a nonprofit organization with a mission of social justice and equity in education. This ...

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Queen of Hearts

Horses and humans have been interacting for years. Candy is a Palomino and Dodie is a thoroughbred who were adopted after the San Diego fires. In the horse stall next to them is Diesel, a quarter-draft horse whose special skills include Equine-Assisted Therapy...

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Forever Wild

Every year, thousands of captive-bred exotic animals are euthanized; it’s an ugly truth behind the exotic animal market. Abandoned, abused, neglected, and in many cases illegally obtained, these animals all needed the same thing: a home. We met a man in Cal...

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Random Act of Kindness

On a warm day in June, the volunteers gathered in a school cafeteria just off Interstate 215 to help the growing list of families that had signed up for assistance. “I need a blue backpack – anyone seen that?” asked volunteer Megan Reyes. For the fourth yea...

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SoCal Women’s Cancer Conference

Cancer flat-out stinks. Most people who receive a diagnosis of the “C” word spend a fair amount of time crying, and who could blame them? Yet after the tears dry, there is often an overwhelming desire to stand up to cancer and rally for patient support and com...

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Kozy Toez

Shoes: part of the basic wardrobe for most of us; but for children in need, a proper-fitting pair of shoes may be a luxury. “I need a size one and two size threes for a girl,” says Amber Moore. Just by looking at a pair of children’s shoes, she can tell you w...

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