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Connections

Coming up on Connections: Tuesday, December 7

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Max Schulte/WXXI News
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First hour: Discussing vaccination "parties" and events

Second hour: An update on the state of the SIV program

As government leaders and medical experts across the country encourage people to get COVID-19 vaccines, communities are finding new and fun ways to facilitate vaccinations. Block parties, family-friendly events, and other incentives have helped many people get their shots. This hour, we discuss those kinds of efforts in Rochester. Our guests:

  • Rachel Barnhart, Monroe County Legislator
  • Freyda Schneider, co-founder and executive director of TYKEs at the JCC, which is hosting a family-friendly vaccine event
  • Steve Cook, M.D., pediatrician and associate professor of pediatrics at Golisano Children's Hospital

Then in our second hour, we're joined by Ellen Smith, executive director of Keeping Our Promise. The organization helps interpreters who served U.S. military forces in Afghanistan and Iraq resettle in America. The process can take years, and it has become even more difficult -- and critical -- since the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan. This hour, we examine the current state of the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, and how to help refugees in Rochester. Our guests:

  • Ellen Smith, executive director of Keeping Our Promise
  • Walid, Afghan native who served the U.S. military as an interpreter who is now living in Rochester
  • Billal, Afghan native who served the U.S. military as an interpreter who is now living in Rochester