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Connections: YWCA Program Seeks To Bridge Cultural Divides

In 2014, the YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County initiated a program called Person2Person to try to improve race relations, reduce prejudice, and bridge cultural differences. Here's how it works: individuals participate in a nine-month experience during which they're paired with someone from a different racial and ethnic background. These "partner pairs" meet every two weeks, discussing each other's perspectives, interests, challenges, and more. If the program works, then the partner pairs will better understand other perspectives, and learn to confront their own prejudices.

We talk about the program and its impact with our guests:

  • Jean Carroll, president and CEO of the YWCA of Rochester & Monroe County
  • Aaron Wicks, director of planning and evaluation at Action for a Better Community, and facilitator in the Person2Person program
  • Louise Spinelli, legal administrator at Leclair Korona Giordano Cole LLP, and current participant in the Person2Person program
  • Elena Nescio, B2B marketing manager for Gannett, and current participant in the Person2Person program
  • Reverend Michael Ware, pastor at Webster Baptist Church and current Person2Person participant
  • Shelly Tochluk, author of Witnessing Whiteness and Living in the Tension: The Quest for a Spiritualized Racial Justice
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.
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