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Coming up on "Connections:" Tuesday, July 9, 2024

A smiling man with short dark hair, a grey mustache, wearing a dark suit and tie
WXXI Public Broadcasting
WXXI Public Broadcasting
Domingo Garcia

12:00: Longtime activist and Ibero co-founder Domingo Garcia

1:00: Understanding Tourette syndrome and how to eliminate the stigma

When a nine-year-old boy from Puerto Rico moved to Rochester in 1949, he knew no one but his immediate family. He says he was bewildered by the English language and often fell behind in school, eventually dropping out at the age of 17. And as an adult, he was turned down for jobs due to his ethnicity and was a victim of police brutality. But despite these challenges, this man would become one of the most well-respected activists and leaders in the community. Domingo Garcia is perhaps best known as one of the founders of Ibero-American Action League. Colleagues and mentees call him a trailblazer, and his list of accomplishments is long. Garcia now lives in Florida, but is back in Rochester this week for a special event. This hour, we sit down with Garcia and two of his mentees to discuss his life and legacy. Our guests:

  • Domingo Garcia, longtime activist and community leader, and co-founder of Ibero-American Action League
  • Eugenio Marlin, executive vice president of Ibero-American Development Corporation
  • Julio Vázquez Sr., current chair of the board of trustees for Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School, and former president and CEO of Ibero-American Action League

Then in our second hour, local author Kyle Semmel is no stranger to publishing work, but a recent piece for Huffington Post took him out of his comfort zone. Semmel says throughout his childhood and adulthood, he has worked to hide vocal and motor tics characteristic of Tourette syndrome (TS). As a kid, he wasn’t familiar with the condition, and neither was his family. It wasn’t until adulthood—when a severe bout of tics led him to rear-end a car—that he received an official diagnosis. According to the CDC, about 1 million Americans have Tourette syndrome or another tic disorder. Semmel says he doesn’t want other people to experience the shame and humiliation he has felt as he has tried to suppress tics throughout his life. His goal is to help normalize TS by talking and writing about it. This hour, our guests share their stories as we discuss what TS is and how to eliminate the stigma. In studio:

  • Kyle Semmel, local author and translator, and Tourette syndrome patient
  • Peter Morrison, D.O., assistant professor in the Department of Neurology, Movement Disorders, at UR Medicine; and Tourette Syndrome patient
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.

Connections with Evan Dawson

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