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Evan Dawson talks about what matters to you on ConnectionsEvery weekday from Noon-2 p.m. Be part of the program with questions or comments by phone - 1-844-295-TALK (8255), email, Facebook or Twitter

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Weekend Connections is a collection of some of the most noteworthy moments from the week on Connections with Evan Dawson. This episode includes conversations about:

  • A speech Frederick Douglass made about Abraham Lincoln in 1876;
  • How empathy can be taught;
  • Understanding dyslexia;
  • Hilda Rosario Escher's journey from growing up in poverty in Puerto Rico to becoming president of Ibero.

We sit down with the outgoing and incoming presidents of the Ibero-American Action League. Angelica Perez-Delgado has been named the organization’s new president and CEO. This comes after longtime president Hilda Rosario Escher announced she would be leaving Ibero to pursue other opportunities.

This hour, they join us to discuss Ibero’s present work and how they hope to see it evolve in the future. We also discuss a range of issues affecting the Latino community.

Late last month, five members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced what climate activists are calling the most significant climate change legislation Congress has seen in more than a decade – and the bill was introduced by members of both parties.

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act would apply a nationwide price on carbon emissions and return revenue to taxpayers each month. The goal: to lower greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent in the first 12 years.

We’re joined by local climate activists who discuss their hopes for this bipartisan climate plan and if it can work. In studio:

First hour: Discussing the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act 

Second hour: Angelica Perez-Delgado and Hilda Rosario Escher of Ibero

Can empathy be taught? Helen Riess, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard, said it can and she details how and why in her book, “The Empathy Effect.” While Riess’ book is new, the concept of teaching empathy – even at the elementary school level – is not.

This hour, we sit down with local education and nonprofit leaders to discuss how they are incorporating lessons of emotional intelligence in their work with students, and how empathy can play a role in modern day civic discourse. In studio:

Remember when Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg told women to “lean in?” This week, Michelle Obama said that stuff doesn’t always work, and she got a big round of applause when she said it.

We talk to a panel of women about the concept of “leaning in.” In studio:

  • Patricia Cruz-Irving, director of communications for Senator Rich Funke
  • Rebecca Leclair, former broadcast journalist now running her own communications consulting business
  • Jen Lunsford, attorney with Segar & Sciortino and former candidate for the 55th Senate District

First hour: Does "leaning in" work?

Second hour: Can empathy be taught?


First and second hours: NPR's special coverage of President George H.W. Bush's funeral services

Ronald Neumann has served as U.S. Ambassador to Algeria, Bahrain, and Afghanistan, as well as a U.S. political advisor in Iraq. Now, he’s the president of the American Academy of Diplomacy in Washington, D.C.

Neumann is in Rochester as a guest of the local chapter of the World Affairs Council. He joins us in studio to discuss foreign policy in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf.

How much do you know about dyslexia? About 40 million American children and adults are affected by the disorder, but research shows that not all pediatricians ask parents about signs of possible learning issues in their children.

On Wednesday, Starbridge is holding a free workshop for families about understanding dyslexia. It will also hold a conference on Thursday. We preview those events as we discuss what dyslexia is, misconceptions surrounding the disorder, and how schools and families can support children who are struggling with this invisible disability. In studio:

  • Courtney Hathaway, school social worker
  • Kara Olds, family education specialist at Starbridge

This story is reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk