WXXI AM News

Megan Mack

Connections Executive Producer

Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming. She joined the WXXI News team from WHEC-TV, where she produced newscasts and "The Olympic Zone," and from the University of Rochester, where she served as an assistant director of public relations. Her background extends to television sports and entertainment, and to communications and social media management for non-profits.

Megan earned her B.S. in Television-Radio-Film from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and her B.A. in Italian Language, Literature, and Culture from the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University. She is also a graduate of The Second City’s Conservatory program.

Ways to Connect

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:

https://www.brianquijada.com/actor.html

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

https://www.facebook.com/CampaignforNewYorkHealth

First hour: Discussing a single payer health system with members of the Rochester Campaign for New York Health

Second hour: Senator Jeremy Cooney, Assemblymember Demond Meeks, and Professor Yvette Conyers on equity in vaccine access

University of Rochester

Rochester researchers will study how a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine could play a role in protecting recipients from COVID-19 and its variants in the long term.

What is qualified immunity for police officers? Activists in Rochester have joined a growing chorus – including some members of Congress –  calling for an end to qualified immunity. A local panel of legal experts had already planned to host a public discussion on the issue before the announcement this week that no Rochester police officers would face charges over the death of Daniel Prude. The discussion becomes even more timely, as the panel addresses the legal issues related to criminal and civil liability of law enforcement.

Our guests:  

The grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officers involved in death of Daniel Prude has sparked outrage, emotion, and conversation throughout the community. During her press conference on Tuesday, Attorney General Letitia James shared her recommendations for police reform.

This hour, we discuss the results of the grand jury’s investigation, the reaction, and what our guests would like to see in terms of police reform. Our guests: 

  • Natalie Ann Knott, assistant public defender 
  • Danielle Ponder, attorney and musician

WXXI/Max Schulte

First hour: Reactions to the grand jury's decision in the case of Daniel Prude

Second hour: What is qualified immunity for police officers?

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