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Coming up on Connections: Friday, June 16, 2023

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First hour: Primary candidates for Rochester City Council's Northeast and South Districts

Second hour: Local efforts to commemorate Juneteenth 2023

We continue our series of conversations with candidates in the June 27 primary election. This hour, we hear from two candidates running for Rochester City Council on the People’s Slate. In our first half hour, we sit down with Chiara “Kee-Kee” Smith, a candidate in the Northeast District. Then in our second half hour, we’re joined by Barbara Rivera, a candidate in the South District. They discuss their platforms and priorities for their districts, and they answer your questions. Our guests:

  • Chiara “Kee-Kee” Smith
  • Barbara Rivera

*Note: Chiara "Kee-Kee" Smith's opponent, Michael Patterson, declined to join a conversation on this program. Barbara Rivera's opponent, LaShay Harris, was unavailable for a conversation.
Then in our second hour, we talk about local anti-racism work and events commemorating Juneteenth. The annual federal holiday marks the day in 1865 when Texas was notified that people who were still enslaved were free. That was more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Our guests highlight the work being done in this community to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. First, we hear from the team at E.R.A.S.E. (Eliminating Racism and Seeking Equity) in Irondequoit, and then we sit down with representatives of various local events who discuss how we should talk about and teach the history of slavery. Our guests:

  • Nick Robertson, member of the E.R.A.S.E. Steering Committee, and director of policy and research at E.R.A.S.E.
  • Noël France, member of the E.R.A.S.E. Education Task Force
  • Rev. Myra Brown, pastor of Spiritus Christi Church, and founder of the Spiritus Christi Church Anti-Racism Coalition
  • Gloria Johnson-Hovey, founder of the Roc Juneteenth Run/Walk, and retired Rochester City School District social worker
  • Robert Chalwell, Ph.D., executive director for family and student services, and inclusivity for the Webster Central School District
  • Mary Heveron-Smith, writer, retired English teacher, and member of the Spiritus Christi Church Anti-Racism Coalition
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.