Weekdays Noon-2:00 p.m. on WXXI-AM 1370, FM 107.5, and WRUR 88.5 FM in Rochester, WEOS 89.5 FM in Geneva

Evan Dawson talks about what matters to you on ConnectionsEvery weekday from Noon-2 p.m. Be part of the program with questions or comments by phone - 1-844-295-TALK (8255), email, Facebook or Twitter

How are mental health and homelessness connected? The Spiritus Christi Mental Health Center is preparing for its annual Riverwalk, a fundraiser which will help provide mental health care to people in need, regardless of their insurance or income status.

Our guests talk about the impact of homelessness on mental health. In studio: 

Willow Domestic Violence Center is marking 40 years of serving local families. We're joined by representatives from the Center who discuss Willow's and Monroe County's role in protecting survivors and helping them heal. We also talk about why rates of domestic violence are high -- is it due to greater awareness, better reporting, or a higher prevalence? Our guests share their data.

In studio:

  • Meaghan de Chateauvieux, president and CEO of Willow Domestic Violence Center
  • Phyllis Korn, founder of Alternatives for Battered Women, now Willow Domestic Violence Center 
  • Vincent Butler, social worker who worked with Alternatives for Battered Women, and founder of the organization's MEN's Program


First hour: Willow Domestic Violence Center on 40 years of service

Second hour: How are mental health and homelessness connected? 

We discuss “passion-based learning” with the co-founder of the MUSE School in Calabasas, California. Rebecca Amis says MUSE encourages children to pursue learning what they love – from wilderness survival training, the fashion design, to wolves – while incorporating concepts like math, science, and writing. The school also emphasizes sustainability and global stewardship; its goal is to be zero net energy, zero net water, and create zero waste.

Amis is in Rochester with Jeff King, the head of the school, for an event at the Rochester Institute of Technology. This hour, we sit down with them to explore MUSE’s teaching philosophy and its outcomes. In studio:

Earlier this month, jurors found a Texas police officer guilty of murder for fatally shooting a St. Lucia native in his Dallas home. Officer Amber Guyger was off duty when she killed Botham Jean in 2018. During the conclusion of the murder trial, Jean’s younger brother told Guyger that he forgave her and gave her a hug.

That move shocked many people, and has led to conversations about the role of forgiveness. It’s a central theme of the upcoming Western New York Restorative Practices Conference at St. John Fisher College. This hour, we preview that conference and discuss the effectiveness of restorative practices in schools, the justice system, and more. In studio:

  • Shira May, executive director of the Partners in Restorative Initiatives
  • Danielle Ponder, criminal defense attorney, and keynote speaker at the Western New York Restorative Practices Conference
  • Ronalyn Pollack, member of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Eagle Clan, executive director of the Native American Cultural Center, and host of "Two Canoes with Ronnie Pollack" on WYSL 92.1 FM


First hour: The role of forgiveness and restorative practices in the justice system and more

Second hour: What is passion-based learning?

Weekend Connections is a collection of some of the most noteworthy moments from the week on Connections with Evan Dawson. This episode includes conversations about:

  • The legacy of the late Maryland Congressman and civil rights leader, Elijah Cummings;
  • The potential impact of state funding cuts to local organizations that help homeless families;
  • Pregnancy discrimination;
  • The impact of stillbirth on families.

Somewhere in your hometown, there is probably a historic building that you hope will be protected – a home, and old church, a beautiful barn. Each year, the Landmark Society of Western New York publishes a list called the Five to Revive. The goal is to raise awareness – and perhaps funding – for revitalizing these historic sites.

Our panel helps us explore the 2019 selections, and we discuss how adapting and revitalizing historic spaces can impact neighborhoods. Our guests:

The United States lost a civil rights leader this week, with the passing of longtime Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings. We discuss does his legacy, as well as the importance of African American representation in government.

Our guests:

  • Larry Knox, political and community engagement coordinator for 1199 SEIU 
  • Michelle Daniels, super Democratic volunteer
  • Paul Hypolite, political strategist
  • Tianna Mañón, publicist, journalist, and political analyst
  • Robert Hoggard, doctoral student at the Warner School of Education, and development associate at Rochester Regional Health


First hour: Discussing the legacy of Elijah Cummings

Second hour: The Landmark Society of Western New York's 2019 Five to Revive