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

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First hour: Former Rochester Mayor Bill Johnson on the Daniel Prude case

Second hour: Discussing the life and legacy of poet Lucille Clifton

When Rochester Police Chief La'Ron Singletary announced his retirement Tuesday afternoon, it came as a surprise to Mayor Lovely Warren and members of Rochester City Council. Members of Council learned of the resignation during the first of what will be regular public briefings with the mayor -- meetings that Council requested to discuss interactions between protesters and police officers. In a letter to the mayor last week, Council members called for officers involved in the Prude case to be placed on administrative leave, said charges against protesters should be dropped, and called for more funding for the Monroe County Forensic Intervention Team, which partners with the county's Office of Mental Health.

This hour, we're joined by members of Council to discuss all of this and broader issues surrounding the Prude case. Our guests:

Nationally renowned civil rights expert Eric Ward has spent years studying hate violence and its relationship to preserving democratic institutions. His work examines white nationalism, anti-Semitism, and police-community relations. Ward will be the keynote speaker for Jewish Federation's upcoming Summit to End Hate.

This hour, we preview that event and talk with Ward and his fellow panelists about the recent events in Rochester and how communities can work to eliminate structural inequality. Our guests:

  • Eric Ward, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, and executive director of the Western States Center
  • Kevin Beckford, director of staff diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University of Rochester, and co-chair of the steering committee for the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester's Levine Center to End Hate
  • Taj Smith, director of diversity education at RIT, and member of the steering committee for the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester's Levine Center to End Hate
  • Meredith Dragon, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester
  • Karen Elam, director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester's Levine Center to End Hate

https://www.splcenter.org/about/staff/eric-k-ward

First hour: Addressing hate violence with civil rights expert Eric Ward

Second hour: Members of Rochester City Council discuss the Prude case and recent events in Rochester

The notion of an "Elder Shield" got a lot of publicity Sunday night in Rochester, but it first came into effect during previous nights of demonstrations. However, police still fired pepper balls into the crowd. We talk to two of the community leaders who were on the front lines. They also discuss what nonviolence means during such tense times.

Our guests:

  • Rev. Marlowe Washington, pastor at Seneca United Methodist Church
  • Kit Miller, director of the Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
  • Melanie Funchess, member of the Greater Rochester Black Agenda Group, and director of community engagement at the Mental Health Association of Rochester

Protesters engaged in a tense standoff with Rochester police Monday night -- the sixth straight night of demonstrations. Organizers say they will be there every night until their demands are met. We discuss those demands, and we talk about what happens next.

Our guests:

Max Schulte / WXXI News

First hour: BLM organizers discuss local protests and their demands

Second hour: Community leaders discuss the role of nonviolence during tense times in Rochester

PRX

First hour: “And Nothing Less: The Untold Stories of Women's Fight for the Vote”

Second hour:  NPR Story Corps Special: “One Small Step”

The Rochester Fringe Festival is going virtual this year. We talk with festival producer Erica Fee about what it means to put together a festival during a pandemic, and we preview this year’s lineup.

Our guests discuss their performances:

Rochester City Council sent a letter to the mayor Thursday asking that protesters be allowed to peacefully demonstrate following the death of Daniel Prude. Thursday night, Rochester police fired many rounds of pepper balls, and a New York Times reporter described RPD as behaving more aggressively than police in other cities where protests have taken place.

We talk to members of Council about their oversight powers and what they expect to happen next. Our guests:

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