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Coming on Connections: Friday, June 18


First hour: Discussing U.S.-Russia relations

Second hour: Juneteenth 2021President Joe Biden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. Biden described the talks as “good, positive,” and while they discussed their disagreements, Biden says the conversation “was not done in a hyperbolic atmosphere.” Critics say Biden was too accommodating of Putin and shouldn’t have taken the meeting at all. We hear from University of Rochester professor Randy Stone, who weighs in on U.S.-Russia relations. Our guest:

  • Randy Stone, director of the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies at the University of Rochester

Then in our second hour, today marks the first federal Juneteenth holiday in American history. President Joe Biden signed the legislation into law on Thursday. Despite it being originally celebrated in Texas in 1866, Juneteenth is still misunderstood. This hour, we discuss what Juneteenth is, how it is -- or should be -- taught, and we preview a local Juneteenth event. Our guests:

  • Reverend Myra Brown, lead pastor at Spiritus Christi Church
  • Mary Heveron-Smith, member of the Spiritus Christi Anti-Racism Coalition, communications coordinator for the Roc Juneteenth 5K Run/Walk, and retired Webster English teacher
  • Gloria Johnson-Hovey, founder and director of the Roc Juneteenth 5K Run/Walk, and retired RCSD school social worker
  • Simeon Banister, vice president of community programs at Rochester Area Community Foundation
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.