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Coming up on Connections: Thursday, May 23, 2024

First hour: Discussing the role and image of CSAs for farmers and community members

Second hour: Problems with the American child welfare system

The number of farms in the United States continues to slowly decline. Meanwhile, food insecurity is rising dramatically. A report released by the USDA earlier this year shows there were 1.89 million U.S. farms in 2023 – down seven percent from 2.04 million farms in 2017. Local farmers say one way they have kept their work viable is through CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture). In addition to the benefits for farms and farmers, they say CSAs can also address food insecurity. According to Foodlink, the rate of food insecurity in the non-profit’s 10-county service area climbed more than 3 percentage points from 2021 to 2022. This hour, we discuss CSAs: their image and the reality that farmers describe. Our guests:

  • Elizabeth Henderson, founder and original farmer at Peacework Farm, member of the Rochester Food Policy Council, and author of “Sharing the Harvest”
  • Ruth Blackwell, owner of Mud Creek Farm

Then in our second hour, a University of Rochester professor argues that the American child welfare system lost its way. Her new book examines decades of policy that led to – in her view – biased viewpoints regarding race, class, and gender. Dr. Mical Raz joins us to discuss her book, “Abusive Policies.” We also hear personal stories from community members and nonprofit leaders who have navigated the foster care system. Our guests:

  • Mical Raz, M.D., Ph.D., Charles E. and Dale L. Phelps Professor in Public Health and Policy and professor of history at the University of Rochester; professor of clinical medicine in the URMC School of Medicine and Dentistry; and author of “Abusive Policies”
  • Ashley Cross, Ed.D., founder and executive director of HOPE585
  • Sherell Harris, young adult currently living in HOPE585's Community Supported Foster Home, who is preparing to age out of foster care in June
  • Veronica Hay-Boler, mother of six children
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.