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Coming up on Connections: Monday, October 21

First hour: The role of forgiveness and restorative practices in the justice system and more

Second hour: What is passion-based learning?

Earlier this month, jurors found a Texas police officer guilty of murder for fatally shooting a St. Lucia native in his Dallas home. Officer Amber Guyger was off duty when she killed Botham Jean in 2018. During the conclusion of the murder trial, Jean’s younger brother told Guyger that he forgave her and gave her a hug. That move shocked many people, and has led to conversations about the role of forgiveness. It’s a central theme of the upcoming Western New York Restorative Practices Conference at St. John Fisher College. This hour, we preview that conference and discuss the effectiveness of restorative practices in schools, the justice system, and more. In studio:

  • Shira May, executive director of the Partners in Restorative Initiatives
  • Danielle Ponder, criminal defense attorney, and keynote speaker at the Western New York Restorative Practices Conference
  • Ronalyn Pollack, member of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Eagle Clan, executive director of the Native American Cultural Center, and host of "Two Canoes with Ronnie Pollack" on WYSL 92.1 FM

Then in our second hour, we discuss “passion-based learning” with the co-founder of the MUSE School in Calabasas, California. Rebecca Amis says MUSE encourages children to pursue learning what they love – from wilderness survival training, the fashion design, to wolves – while incorporating concepts like math, science, and writing. The school also emphasizes sustainability and global stewardship; its goal is to be zero net energy, zero net water, and create zero waste. Amis is in Rochester with Jeff King, the head of the school, for an event at the Rochester Institute of Technology. This hour, we sit down with them to explore MUSE’s teaching philosophy and its outcomes. In studio:

  • Rebecca Amis, co-founder of the MUSE School
  • Jeff King, head of the MUSE School
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.