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Connections

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

Some students in the Rochester City School District are back in the classroom, in-person, despite pushback from the Rochester Teachers Association.

Parents in favor of in-person learning join us to talk about why they feel it's essential for their young learners. We're also joined by RTA president Adam Urbanski and RCSD School Board member and parent Amy Maloy, who share why they support the RTA's position on learning remaining virtual until 70 percent of teachers are vaccinated.

Our guests:

  • Gipsy Escobar, RCSD parent who supports in-person learning at this stage
  • Leslie Knox, RCSD parent who supports in-person learning at this stage
  • Adam Urbanski, president of the Rochester Teachers Association
  • Amy Maloy, RCSD School Board member and parent

New legislation could make quality childcare more affordable for working families, especially those who are low-income. Freshman New York State Assemblymember Jen Lunsford has introduced her first three bills to the Assembly.

This hour, we discuss the bills, what working families need to know, and how Lunsford views the state of childcare costs during the pandemic. 

  • Jen Lunsford, New York State Assemblymember  for New York’s 135th District 

First hour: NYS Assemblymember Jen Lunsford on affordable childcare legislation

Second hour: Discussing the RCSD's reopening plan with parents and the RTA

The University of Rochester Medical Center is ending its Executive Health and special patient services programs, which provide exclusive and extensive care to wealthy patients. The decision came after widespread outrage that major donors were allowed access to a vaccine clinic meant for employees. Among those calling for change were members of the Strong Hospital Ethics Committee. They wrote a letter to UR and URMC leadership, calling for an end to programs of privilege.

This hour, we’re joined by members of the committee to discuss equity in health care. Our guests:

  • Marjorie Shaw, J.D., Ph.D., member of the Strong Hospital Ethics Committee, and associate professor in the Department of Medical Humanities and Bioethics
  • David Kaufman, M.D., member of the Strong Hospital Ethics Committee, and professor in the Departments of Surgery, Medicine, Urology, Medical Humanities and Bioethics, and Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
  • Jessica Shand, M.D., member of the Strong Hospital Ethics Committee, and associate professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Medical Humanities and Bioethics
  • Rev. Lawrence Hargrave, community member of the Strong Hospital Ethics Committee, and American Baptist Pastor

Local Democrat Malik Evans is running for mayor. The City Council member is challenging incumbent mayor, Lovely Warren.

We talk with Evans about why he wants to be Rochester’s next mayor. Our guest:

malikevans.org

First hour: Malik Evans, candidate for Rochester mayor

Second hour: Members of the Strong Hospital Ethics Committee on equity in health care

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has a new music director. Andreas Delfs is a native of Germany and has held chief artistic posts with orchestras in Europe and North America. He has been a frequent guest conductor of the RPO.

Delfs joins us this hour to discuss his work, his priorities for the RPO, and the orchestra’s 2021 season – one of its most diverse. Our guests: 

  • Andreas Delfs, music director for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Jeff Tyzik, principal pops conductor for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Juliana Athayde, concertmaster for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

Students in the Rochester City School District no longer see police officers in their schools. As part of the approval of the city’s budget in June, all 12 school resource officers were removed from RCSD campuses. The call to remove police officers from schools is being made by districts across the country; those calls escalated following the killing of George Floyd. Advocates for removal say officers make students feel unsafe and they  can criminalize students – especially students of color. Those who support the presence of police in schools say well-trained officers can help students diffuse conflicts and address issues like drug and alcohol use.

Our guests this hour discuss the issue: 

James Brown / WXXI News

First hour: Debating the presence of police in schools

Second hour: Discussing the RPO's 2020-2021 season with new music director Andreas Delfs

The seventh season of PBS' "Finding Your Roots" with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. offers another series of compelling stories about well-known people tracing their family ancestries. The episode that airs tonight features music artist Pharrell Williams, who learns some painful truths about his ancestors. Like many African Americans, Williams was unable to find much information about his genealogy due to a dearth of records before emancipation.

This hour, we talk with the lead genealogist from "Finding Your Roots" about the new season, about the challenges African Americans face in tracing their ancestries, about resources available in the process, and we hear from two women who found their roots. Our guests:

  • Nick Sheedy, lead genealogist for “Finding Your Roots,” season seven 
  • Cheryl Wills, award-winning journalist, anchor for Spectrum News NY1, and author of “Emma,” “The Emancipation of Grandpa Sandy Wills,” “Emancipated: My Family’s Fight for Freedom,” and “Die Free – A Heroic Family Tale” 
  • Teej Jenkins, host of WXXI’s “Arts in Focus,” and producer for WXXI-TV 

For more information about "Finding Your Roots" and resources to help trace your ancestry, click here.

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