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

First hour: Debating cancel culture

Second hour: Discussing Monroe County's "anti-annoyance" law

The Rochester City School District has sent letters informing dozens of teachers that they will lose their jobs, or be shifted to different positions. Board president Van White has said that cuts have to be made, but they must be made as far from students as possible. This week, hundreds of students and parents have protested the proposed cuts, which would take effect in January. Our guests discuss next steps:

  • Willa Powell, longest-tenured member of the Rochester City School Board
  • Stevie Vargas, community organizer for Citizen Action of NY

A growing number of American cities are losing their newspapers. One result, as noted by the New York Times, is that some cities only have student journalists offering print coverage. It puts pressure on students who are supposed to be learning the craft, but who might not have established professionals to guide them. The Times reports, "Student journalists across the country have stepped in to help fill a void after more than 2,000 newspapers have closed or merged, leaving more than 1,300 communities without any local news coverage. And several young reporters have broken consequential stories that have prodded powerful institutions into changing policies." Our guests discuss it:

  • Wil Aiken, editor-in-chief of the Campus Times at the University of Rochester
  • Cayla Keiser, editor-in-chief of the Reporter at RIT
  • Kasey Mathews, print managing editor of the Reporter at RIT
  • Mike Johansson, former print journalist

freeimages.com/Griszka Niewiadomski

First hour: The impact of student journalists filling news deserts

Second hour: Discussing the Rochester City School District cuts


Connections is preempted Monday, as WXXI News brings you NPR’s coverage of the public hearings of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

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:

  • Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas? How to handle holiday greetings;
  • The goals of local youth climate activists;
  • The legacy and impact of LGBTQ rights icon Edie Windsor;
  • The debate over the risk and reward of sharing nude photos.

We discuss the growth and impact of International Baccalaureate (IB) programs in schools. The programs aim to develop students’ intellectual, emotional, personal, and social skills for a globalizing world.

We talk with local program coordinators and students about their experiences and what an IB education looks like. In studio:

  • Barbara M. Surash, assistant superintendent for instruction at Hilton Central School District
  • Robert Chaffee, junior in the IB program at Hilton Central School District
  • Asad Muhamed, 2014 graduate of the IB program at Wilson Magnet High School, and 2018 graduate of the University of Rochester
  • Jason Cao, senior in the IB program at Wilson Magnet High School
  • Dwayne Hall, junior in the IB program at Wilson Magnet High School

Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter recently wrote an op-ed for the Democrat and Chronicle in which he called for the state to reverse its bail reform measure. Baxter says the legislation could lead to unintended consequences when it comes to issues related to safety, addiction, and more. But public defenders and activists disagree, and say bail reform is a necessary part of criminal justice reform. Our guests debate the issue. In studio:


First hour: The debate over bail reform legislation in New York State

Second hour: Discussing the growth and impact of International Baccalaureate programs 

LGBTQ activist Edie Windsor was in the process of writing her memoir, "A Wild and Precious Life," when she died at the age of 88. Windsor's landmark 2013 Supreme Court case -- which took on the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 -- expanded the definition of "spouse" to include some-sex partners, and made them eligible for federal benefits previously limited to heterosexuals. In her book, Windsor shares her journey from hiding her sexual identity to becoming an outspoken LGBTQ activist.

Her widow, Judith Kasen-Windsor is in Rochester to discuss Windsor's book and her impact on history. She joins us in studio, along with local activists. In studio:

  • Judith Kasen-Windsor, LGBTQ activist and Edie Windsor's surviving spouse
  • Assemblymember Harry Bronson (D), District 138
  • Evelyn Bailey, executive producer of the Shoulders to Stand On Documentary