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Coming up on Connections: Friday, July 23


First hour: Discussing the benefits of nature with the team from Inclusive Woods & Us

Second hour: What kind of ethics reform is needed in Monroe County?How can nature play a role in fostering physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing? Lucienne Nicholson says the outdoors offer remarkable benefits in those areas. She founded an organization called Inclusive Woods & Us in 2019. The goal is to provide people from all backgrounds a chance to experience nature. Nicholson says race and income are the two most significant factors blocking equitable access to the outdoors. This hour, we talk about the mission of her organization, and about how nature can empower those who spend time in it. Our guests: 

  • Lucienne Nicholson, founder and executive director of Inclusive Woods & Us 
  • Clifton Harcum, director of the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at SUNY Potsdam 
  • Chandra Pointer, event chair at the REI Inclusion Network at REI in Rochester 

Then in our second hour, this week, ethics reform crashed and burned before it could take off in Monroe County. Republicans pulled back from a bill that could have forced Monroe County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza to resign. But what, exactly, is the kind of ethics reform that the county needs? Recently one legislator was accused of various kinds of harassment and sexual misconduct by roughly a dozen women, and there is no ethics standard that could trigger his removal. So, what's next? We discuss it with various lawmakers. Our guests:

  • John Baynes, Monroe County Legislator
  • Rachel Barnhart, Monroe County Legislator
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.