WXXI AM News

Coming up on Connections: Friday, February 14

Feb 14, 2020

Credit RMAPI

First hour: Discussing the success and outcomes of the Bridges to Success adult mentoring program

Second hour: Lessons from "Blues for Mister Charlie"

Representatives from the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative say the project’s adult mentoring programs are showing signs of success. The Democrat and Chronicle reports that one of the programs showed an average increase in employment of 110 percent, and that the average earned household income increase by 118 percent. Program leaders say the mentoring model is helping families find their way out of poverty. This hour, we sit down with one of the mentoring pairs who share their story. We also hear about the program’s broader impact and the lessons project directors have learned. In studio:

  • Francy A. Gonzalez, participant in the Bridges 2 Success Program
  • Leslie Mosman, mentor with the Bridges 2 Success Program
  • Shawn Futch, Bridges 2 Success program director 
  • Marlene Bessette, CEO and president of Catholic Family Center

Then in our second hour, a powerful play at the Multi-Use Community Cultural Center is generating conversations about race. “Blues for Mister Charlie” is an award-winning work by James Baldwin that’s loosely based on the assassination of Emmett Till. 14-year-old Till was lynched in Mississippi after being accused of offending a white woman in a store. In the play, Richard Henry returns to the deep South from New York City to find his segregated home town embroiled in racism and hate. Heated encounters with a local white store owner lead to his murder and his family’s quest for justice. The play explores brutal moments of truth. This hour, we’re joined by the director and members of the cast to discuss Baldwin’s work and their goals for the production. In studio:

  • Gary DeWitt Marshall, director of “Blues for Mister Charlie”
  • Almeta Whitis, actor who plays Mother Henry
  • Richard Kendrick, actor who plays Parnell James