Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

A&E Network’s critically acclaimed and award-winning original docuseries Born This Way returns for a second season featuring 10 brand-new episodes on Tuesday, July 26 at 10 PM ET/PT. 

The show, which is produced by Bunim/Murray Productions, follows a group of seven young adults born with Down syndrome along with their family and friends in Southern California. In its first season, Born This Way grew steadily across all demos, with adults 25-54 up 84%, adults 18-49 up 64% and total viewers up 67%. Recently, the series was chosen as one of six honorees for the 2015 Television Academy Honors, an award that recognizes television programming that inspires, informs and motivates.

The show is a favorite of A&E programming head who says  Elaine Frontain Bryant who says it “exemplifies the quality original programming A&E strives to bring to our viewers…By honoring and embracing diversity on television, Born This Way is uniquely redefining the art of honest storytelling and altering the way society views individuals with differences.”

Meanwhile, A&E will continue its partnership with the global non-profit organization Best Buddies International in support of promoting opportunities and increasing awareness for people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

According to the U.S. Census, one-in-five Americans have a disability. Currently 70 percent of working-age people with disabilities are not working – even though most of them want jobs and independence.  The numbers are even worse for people with Down syndrome.  There are many studies that show that people with disabilities, including those with Down syndrome, can work successfully and live relatively independently.

“Born This Way” is produced by Bunim/Murray Productions (I Am Cait, The Real World).  Executive producers for Bunim/Murray are Jonathan Murray, Gil Goldschein and Laura Korkoian. Kasey Barrett serves as Co-executive producer. Executive producers for A&E Network are Elaine Frontain Bryant, Shelly Tatro and Drew Tappon.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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