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Coming up on Connections: Wednesday, November 21

Fatimat Reid/Facebook

First hour: Hemp 101

Second hour: Fatimat Reid, Monroe County Family Court Judge-elect

How much do you know about hemp? The variety of the Cannabis sativa species is often mistaken for marijuana, but it’s very different. Researchers say hemp is among the world’s most useful plants, with more than 25,000 applications in the food, clothing, construction, and pharmaceutical fields. Leaders including Governor Cuomo say hemp could transform the way we live; he wants to make New York State the center of innovation for this emerging industry. This hour, we have a Hemp 101 class, of sorts. Our guests help us understand what hemp is, how it’s different from marijuana, and its potential impact on our lives. Our guests:

  • Zachary Sarkis, co-founder of Flower City Solutions
  • Jason Klimek, attorney with Boylan Code       
  • Jacob Fox, founder of Closed Loop Systems
  • Harold Smith, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • Bob Duffy, CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce

Then in our second hour, we sit down with Fatimat Reid, the first African American candidate in decades to win a Monroe County Family Court judgeship. Four candidates were in line for two seats on the Family Court bench, and it took an additional week to count all the ballots in the extremely close race. Reid, a Democrat, defeated Republican Nicole Bayly for the second seat (Republican Alecia Mazzo was also elected). Reid was born in New York City and moved to Nigeria as a child. She returned to the U.S. at age ten. As a young girl, she overcame language barriers and being separated from her sister when they were placed in foster care. Reid says her firsthand experience with Family Court shaped her view of the process and led her to want to improve it. We sit down with Reid to hear her story, discuss the court system, and talk about what she hopes to accomplish in her new role.

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.