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

How has the pandemic affected small farms? According to many local farmers and their customers, the past year has highlighted the importance of sourcing local food. The annual “CSA Day” expanded to “CSA Week.” It wrapped up last week. CSA stands for Community-Supported Agriculture.

This hour, we discuss how local farms have adapted to COVID-19 restrictions and challenges, and how CSAs have been impacted by the pandemic. Our guests:

Here's something that would surprise many Americans: Rochester is one of the most reliable places to live if you want to avoid extreme weather. No hurricanes. No wildfires. No drought. Fresh water. Yes, snow, but manageable. As parts of the country deal with extreme weather and the effects of climate change, cities like Rochester and Buffalo are poised to become what Buffalo mayor Byron W. Brown called “climate refuges.” This hour, we talk with climate experts about Rochester as a destination for climate migrants. Our guests:

James Brown / WXXI News

First hour: Rochester as a climate refuge city

Second hour: Discussing how farmers and CSAs have been impacted by the pandemic

When it comes to racial justice in the United States, historian Bruce Levine argues that there is one historical figure that is often left out of the conversation. His new book aims to be the definitive biography of Congressman Thaddeus Stevens. Stevens is best known as a Radical Republican who thought Abraham Lincoln was moving too slowly on emancipation and civil rights.

Levine joins us to set the record straight about a historical figure who he says has been long misunderstood. Our guest:

First hour: Author Bruce Levine on the legacy of Thaddeus Stevens

Second hour: Special rebroadcast - How well do public schools teach climate change?

Research finds that girls with disabilities have significantly lower high school graduation rates and higher unemployment rates than their nondisabled peers. An organization called the Disability EmpowHer Network aims to provide mentoring and guidance to girls with disabilities. The goal is to "empower disabled young women to live to their fullest potential and have the confidence to lead."

Our guests share their stories of mentoring and overcoming the various obstacles facing young women with disabilities:

  • Stephanie Woodward, co-founder of the Disability EmpowHer Network
  • Jill Moore White, inclusive play specialist
  • Maddie Kasten, 14-year-old mentee

This story is reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk

During a lesson on the civil rights movement and Rosa Parks, a young Latino boy asks, "Where did we sit on the bus?" His teacher couldn't answer the question. That boy is now an adult, and he's performing a one-man show about his experience as a first generation American. Brian Quijada's performance, available through Geva Theatre, is a remarkable and entertaining blend of music, dance, storytelling and truth.

We preview his performance and talk about growing up in two cultures. Our guest:


First hour: Brian Quijada, star of "Where Did We Sit on the Bus?"

Second hour: The Disability EmpowHer Network 

A new vaccination site in Rochester has limited openings for residents of underserved zip codes. State leaders join us to discuss the urgency of getting more people vaccinated in Rochester. They also discuss the Daniel Prude case and state issues.

Our guests:

While President Biden continues to tout the Affordable Care Act as a strong foundation for American health care, a growing number of state lawmakers support a single payer system here. What's the latest? How viable is the system? Why do they disagree with national leaders who prefer to strengthen the existing system?

Our guests:

  • Michael Marshall, volunteer with Rochester Poor People's Campaign, Rochester Homeless Union, and Metro Justice
  • Mahima Iyengar, medical student and co-chair of the Rochester Campaign for New York Health