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Coming up on Connections: Tuesday, November 27


First hour: How are world events impacting travel abroad?

Second hour: The film, "Back to Natural," and the natural hair movement

How are world events impacting travel and study abroad? The current political and social climate have led to calls for universities to stop sending students to countries like Iran. These critics say students face real threats in countries experiencing unrest, and it’s reckless for colleges to ignore them. At the same time, a new interactive travel map highlighting risk levels across the globe shows Iran is low risk, and as safe as the UK. This hour, we sit down with international travelers and security experts to discuss the current state of foreign travel and what we need to know. In studio:

  • Heidi Friederich, professional volunteer and world traveler who just returned from Iran
  • Shahin Monshipour, director of the International Culture and Arts Network, and adjunct instructor of anthropology and sociology at RIT
  • Jane Gatewood, vice provost for global engagement at the University of Rochester
  • Alan Ryon, manager for international travel and security at the University of Rochester

Then in our second hour, a documentary called "Back to Natural" explores the relationship between politics, hair, and racial identity in black communities. It will be screened later this week at The Little Theatre as part of the Black Cinema Series. The film’s director, a clinical psychologist, says her documentary is a call for healing in a society that polices black hair. She joins us to preview the film and discuss the natural hair movement and its history with our guests:

  • Gillian Scott-Ward, Ph.D., director of “Back to Natural”
  • Reenah Golden, founder and artistic director of The Avenue Blackbox Theatre, host of the Goddess Hour on WAYO FM, and co-creator of Kuumba Consultants 
  • Kaci Jones, reporter at News10NBC, and member of the Rochester Association of Black Journalists
  • Ericka Wilson, producer at News10NBC, and treasurer of the Rochester Association of Black Journalists
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.