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Coming up on Connections: Monday, May 22, 2023

 American flag Horton

First hour: Discussing local efforts to honor veterans and their families this Memorial Day

Second hour: Jessica Renee and Valerie Dimino on their memoir, "The Man Behind the Curtain"

Local veterans are preparing for an event Memorial Day weekend that will honor fellow veterans and Gold Star Families. This hour, we preview the event and discuss the meaning of Memorial Day with our guests:

  • John White, U.S. Marine Corps veteran
  • Eric Wheeler, U.S. Army and Navy veteran, and director of veterans services at Monroe Community College

Then in our second hour, a Western New York woman is sharing her story of survival. In “The Man Behind the Curtain,” Jessica Renee and co-author Valerie Dimino call attention to the years of trauma Jessica has endured as a result of her stepfather raping and sexually assaulting her. Jessica was 11 years old when her stepfather raped her for the first time. It was a pattern of abuse that continued until Jessica was 15, when her boyfriend learned the truth and reported it to adults. Her stepfather was eventually convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison. Now in her 20s, Jessica is happy and thriving, and says she is using her voice to help others searching for hope. She and Dimino are our guests this hour:

  • Jessica Renee, survivor, and co-author of “The Man Behind the Curtain”
  • Valerie Dimino, co-author of “The Man Behind the Curtain”
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.