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Coming up on Connections: Thursday, March 2, 2023

Students in a classroom

First hour: How the state's looming teacher shortage is impacting local districts

Second hour: Discussing the rise of religious nationalism

New York State has a looming teacher shortage. That’s according to groups like the New York State Union of Teachers (NYSUT). According to NYSUT data, the state will need 180,000 new teachers in the next ten years, with big city and rural districts reporting severe shortages in many subject areas. What does the situation look like at the local level? And how can districts recruit and retain qualified teachers? Our guests this hour discuss those questions and more:

  • Adrienne Loftus, coordinator for the Teacher Immersion Fellows (TIF) Program at Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES
  • Ned Dale, assistant superintendent for human resources in the Hilton Central School District
  • Cedrick-Michael Simmons, director of equity for the Greece Central School District, and Ph.D. candidate

Then in our second hour, investigative reporter Katherine Stewart joins us to discuss her book on the rise of religious nationalism. She talks about the concept of “spiritual warfare,” as well as the definition of religious nationalism. She’s coming to Rochester for an event later this month. This hour, she’s joined by fellow panelists for that event. Our guests:

  • Katherine Stewart, investigative journalist and author “The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism”
  • Rev. Jimmy Reader, retired minister and blogger
  • Monica Gebell, director of community relations at the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester
  • Laurie Mahoney, community organizer and activist at Third Presbyterian Church, co-chair of Third Presbyterian Church’s Anti-Racism Task Group, co-chair of Rochester Clergy and Community United, and board member of Family Promise (formerly RAIHN)
  • Rev. Rebecca Segers, pastor and head of staff at Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester
  • Sareer Fazili, local attorney, member of the board of trustees for Barakah Muslim Charity, and past president of the Islamic Center of Rochester
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.