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Coming up on Connections: Friday, March 10, 2023

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First hour: How to better support survivors of crime and gun violence in New York State

Second hour: Discussing the role of satire and the play "Russian Troll Farm" at Geva Theatre

What kinds of resources and support are most needed and valued by survivors of crime and violence? It’s a question that Assemblymember Demond Meeks has been exploring with local survivors and non-profit organizations. We discuss what’s available for survivors when it comes to mental health care, assistance with medical bills, housing, lost wages, and more. We also discuss the barriers to these resources and how to make them more accessible, especially to underrepresented groups. Our guests:

  • New York State Assemblymember Demond Meeks, District 137
  • Alice Hamblett, senior policy manager at Common Justice
  • Porche Powell, gun violence survivor, and peer group host
  • Jordan Thomas, gun violence survivor

Then in our second hour, how do you know if the social media posts you read are generated by real users or “trolls”? “Russian Troll Farm” is a workplace comedy now on stage at Geva Theatre about the staff at Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA). The IRA is the Kremlin-backed team of professional “trolls” that interfere with U.S. political and social discourse. We’re joined by the team behind the play to discuss their work and how satire can help us understand real-life events. Our guests:

  • Elizabeth Williamson, artistic director of Geva Theatre Center
  • Renata Friedman, actor who plays Masha in “Russian Troll Farm”
  • John Lavelle, actor who plays Steve in “Russian Troll Farm”
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.