Weekdays Noon-2:00 p.m. on WXXI-AM 1370, FM 107.5, and WRUR 88.5 FM in Rochester, WEOS 89.5 FM in Geneva

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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Ways to Connect

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:

  • One family's experience with institutional racism;
  • How police-community relations can change;
  • How new words are added to the dictionary.

On the heels of primary night, we continue our conversations about New York State politics. Larry Sharpe, the libertarian candidate for governor, is in Rochester for a series of events.

Sharpe has been outspoken on a number of issues, including his pledge to repeal the SAFE Act and to push major reforms in the state education system. He joins us in studio for the hour to answer our questions and yours.

The College at Brockport is rolling out a new program alongside the Brockport Central School District, and it comes with a message: understanding how to teach and live in diverse communities is not limited to urban areas. In the past several years, Brockport has seen incidents involving students or families that featured racist, sexist, or homophobic comments. At both the high school and college level, Brockport leaders want to ensure everyone has equal access to opportunities.

The college is working with the public school district to offer a new diversity certification program. This hour, we learn what the program will offer, how it’s structured, and we discuss its goals. Our guests:


First hour: Brockport education leaders launch diversity certification program

Second hour: Gubernatorial candidate Larry Sharpe

We discuss workforce development in Rochester and the Finger Lakes. A local program has been highlighted by a statewide non-profit for its efforts to help young people gain valuable skills.

We discuss the Green Visions program at Greentopia and the state of workforce development in our area. In studio:

  • Morgan Barry, director of the Green Visions program at Greentopia
  • Tiani Jennings, site manager for the Green Visions program at Greentopia
  • David Miller, graduate of the Green Visions program at Greentopia
  • John Premo, director of community and business services for RochesterWorks
  • Bob Trouskie, director of field services for the Workforce Development Institute

With the start of the school year, we have a conversation standardized testing. Daniel Koretz is the author of "The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better." He joins us to discuss why he thinks standardized testing has negative impacts on student learning.

Our guests:

  • Daniel Koretz, professor of education at Harvard University who teaches educational measurement, and author of "The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better"
  • Dan Drmacich, coordinator for the Rochester Coalition for Public Education, and retired principal 
  • Eileen Graham, homeschooling parent  
  • Henry Padron, retired teacher in the Rochester City School District 

First hour: Author Daniel Koretz and his book, "The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better" 

Second hour: The state of workforce development in Rochester and the Finger Lakes

Local activist Miriam Zinter recently posted a Twitter thread about her family's personal struggle with institutional racism. The thread went viral.

Zinter joins us to share the challenges her father faced in the fields of education, the military, employment, housing, and more. We also discuss how and why recognizing and understanding institutional racism can lead to policy change.

When tennis superstar Serena Williams was penalized multiple times during the U.S. Open final on Saturday, her reaction led to controversy. Williams told the chair umpire at the match that a man would not be criticized for the comments and behavior that she displayed. Many people agreed; others said even if that is the case, it doesn’t excuse her behavior.

In the midst of this conversation, an Australian political cartoonist created an image of Williams stomping on her racket; her features were exaggerated and a pacifier was at her feet. Cartoonist Mark Knight and his defenders called it satire; others called it racist and sexist.

This hour, we discuss the role of satire in the current climate, and the controversy surrounding the image and the issues at the match itself. Our guests:

  • Amanda Chestnut, artist and communications coordinator at Flower City Arts Center
  • Dick Roberts, artist and former political cartoonist for the Democrat and Chronicle
  • Mara Ahmed, activist, artist, and filmmaker at Neelum Films

Herald Sun

First hour: Discussing satire, and the controversy surrounding the political cartoon depicting Serena Williams

Second hour: Local activist Miriam Zinter on the impact of institutional racism