WXXI AM News

Evan Dawson

Connections Host

Evan Dawson 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.

Evan is also the author of Summer in a Glass: The Coming Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes and is the managing editor/Finger Lakes editor for the New York Cork Report, a web site that offers independent news, reviews, and commentary about the New York wine industry.

He has written freelance articles on topics including politics, wine, travel, and Major League Baseball.

Ways to Connect

Our Dialogue on Disability Week continues with a conversation about employment discrimination for people with disabilities. “The Good Place” star Jameela Jamil recently turned down a role to play a deaf woman, saying the role should go to a deaf actress instead. Jamil is one of several Hollywood stars speaking out about the need for more inclusion and representation of people with disabilities in the media and in the workplace.

In Rochester, a report released last year revealed that poverty and unemployment are disproportionately affecting people with disabilities. This hour, our guests discuss these employment disparities, discrimination in the workforce, and their ideas for how to create a more inclusive society. In studio:

Talking about race is difficult for many people. Jackie Campbell of the Children’s Agenda specializes in helping people sit down together and open their hearts and minds. Her approach has led to some emotional and powerful breakthroughs. We asked her to share how she does it.

Campbell joins us in studio for the hour with her colleagues from Table 23, a small group of community members who meet to discuss issues surrounding race. Our guests:

  • Jackie Campbell, director of ROC the Future at The Children’s Agenda, and member of Table 23
  • Alan Ziegler, member of the Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation, and member of Table 23
  • Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, president of the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation, and member of Table 23

First hour: How to have conversations about race

Second hour: Dialogue on Disability - Discussing employment Discrimination

We continue our Dialogue on Disability Week with an update on the state of early intervention (EI) services in Monroe County. In early December, county officials announced a temporary solution to what some local providers called a brewing crisis in EI services. A shortage in providers and funding would have led to about 1,200 children being waitlisted for programs, but the county has since allocated six Department of Health employees to coordinate intake services. Parents and providers say more support is needed.

This hour, we look at the current state of early intervention programs and discuss how they benefit children in need. In studio:

A new federal rule requiring hospitals to share rates for procedures and services is leading to debate. The rule requires hospital systems to post charges online in an effort to increase billing transparency, but some critics say the move will confuse consumers because those charges do not factor in insurance, other aid, and complicating factors. Those who support the rules say this is a step in the right direction in helping consumers make better-informed decisions about healthcare.

What do you think? Who should be able to tell you how much medical procedures cost? Hospitals? Insurance companies? Our guests discuss these questions and more. In studio:

  • Tammi Imm, vice president of front end revenue cycle at Rochester Regional Health
  • Carrie Fuller Spencer, chief financial officer for Strong Memorial and Highland Hospitals
  • Anna Ka, Rochester resident

Kurhan / freeimages.com

First hour: The debate over new hospital pricing transparency rules

Second hour: Dialogue on Disability - An update on early intervention services in Monroe County

It's Dialogue on Disability Week and we kick off our series of conversations on Connections with a discussion about inclusive recreation activities.

The film “Perfectly Normal for Me” tells the story of three children with disabilities as they prepare for a spring recital as part of their after school dance program. We preview the film and talk with local parents, teachers, and education coordinators about finding a balance between independence and structure for children with special needs, and what inclusion really means. In studio:

The new Congress is considering measures related to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The Palestinian-led campaign promotes forms of boycott against Israel with the goal of what it describes as ending Israeli violations of international law.

Our guests explain the debate over BDS and its potential impact. In studio:

  • Iman Abid, chapter director for the Genesee Valley Region of the ACLU
  • Larry Fine, former longtime CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester

First hour: The debate over the BDS movement 

Second hour: Dialogue on Disability - "Perfectly Normal for Me," and the value of inclusive recreation activities

A number of new and evolving technologies were discussed at last week's Consumer Electronics Show. Facial recognition technology and location mapping were among them. 

RIT professor Steve Jacobs attended the show and will share what he learned. We also discuss the ethical and legal implications of those controversial technologies. In studio:

  • Steve Jacobs, professor in the College of Computing and Information Sciences at RIT
  • Larry Torcello, associate professor in the Department of Philosophy at RIT
  • Scott Malouf, attorney whose practice is focused on the intersection of social media and the law

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