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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

We talk with candidates for Rochester City Council. Nearly 20 candidates have signed petitions to run for five open at-large seats. We aim to talk with all of them over the next several weeks. It's an opportunity to hear from the candidates about their platforms and priorities for office, and for listeners to ask them questions.

Our guests:

We welcome the chairs of the RASE Commission. The commission recently released its final report, detailing a variety of ways that Rochester and Monroe County can address racial any quality. Some of those ideas are economic, while others focus on policing and other areas. The commissioners are hoping that their report is the catalyst for change.

Our guests:

  • Bill Johnson, co-chair of the RASE Commission, and former mayor of Rochester
  • Muhammad Shafiq, co-chair of the RASE Commission, executive director of the Brian and Jean Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue, and professor of Islamic and religious studies at Nazareth College

https://rocrase.com/

First hour: RASE Commission chairs discuss the recent RASE report

Second hour: Candidates for Rochester City Council, part 1

An upcoming education series is focusing on the injustice that is a cause and effect of climate change. “Climate of Change: 22 Days of Learning and Action for Intersectional Climate Justice in Rochester and Beyond” will address how environmental injustice harms the region.

This hour, we preview the series and discuss the broader issues of climate justice with our guests:

The superintendent of Brighton schools wrote an open letter, urging state leaders to greenlight the return of students to school five days a week. Kevin McGowan wrote that Governor Andrew Cuomo and state health leaders need to take action based on the new CDC guidance. McGowan wrote, "Your continued inaction smacks of detachment, complacency, or a lack of understanding regarding the impact of your failure to act. There does not seem to be any reason for your delay and in the absence of one, we are left to think that movement on this issue simply isn’t at all a priority for you. Children need to be in school five days per week."

McGowan joins us to discuss the impact of hybrid and remote learning on students, and his desire to see students back in classrooms full-time. Our guest:

  • Kevin McGowan, superintendent of Brighton Central School District

Megan Mack / WXXI

First hour: Brighton Central School District Superintendent Kevin McGowan on reopening schools five days a week

Second hour: Previewing the "Climate of Change" series

Imagine growing up thinking that you're an only child, only to discover that you have 30 siblings. That was the story for an entire family of brothers and sisters, four of whom went to high school together without knowing that they were related. They continue to discover new siblings, and they might never know how many there are. That's part of the reason they've moved into advocacy: they are the story of a donor-conceived family. Fourteen of the siblings were born in 1994 alone. But the law does not require that donor-conceived children ever receive information on their biological parents, their siblings, or the size and location of their families. This large and growing group hopes to change that.

We talk to multiple siblings, starting with the one member of the family who grew up in the Rochester area:

  • Lindsey Wrobel, one of 28 donor-conceived siblings in the same family

Is Rochester ready to finalize a plan for reparations? Mayor Lovely Warren said on Friday that she wants to see reparations for Black residents and residents of color who have long suffered from the multi-generational impact of redlining and economic dispossession. How would this work?

Last week, the RASE Commission released its own report and recommendations for action, but two members of the commission dissented, because they wanted to see a recommendation for reparations. We've invited them to join us, to explain how they think this could be done. We've also invited Rochester's two mayoral candidates to join us.

Confirmed guests:

  • Damond Wilson, RASE Commissioner and member of Spiritus Christi Prison Outreach
  • Danielle Ponder, RASE Commissioner and attorney
  • Malik Evans, candidate for Rochester Mayor

Note: Mayor Lovely Warren was unable to join the conversation.

First hour: Is Rochester ready to finalize a plan for reparations?

Second hour: The story of one donor-conceived family

When COVID-19 vaccines first became available, a local doctor noticed a gap in access when it came to people with disabilities. Dr. Tiffany Pulcino and her team work with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities and complex medical conditions. They set up mobile vaccine clinics throughout Rochester for their patients. So far, they have helped more than 2,000 patients receive vaccines.

This hour, we discuss the challenges the pandemic has presented for people with disabilities – from access to health care and vaccines, issues related to isolation from support systems, and more. Our guests: 

  • Tiffany Pulcino, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and medical director of the UR Medicine Complex Care Center 
  • Michelle Labossiere-Hall, associate vice president of customized support at Heritage Christian Services 
  • Stephanie Ramos, advocate and patient of Dr. Pulcino

This story is produced by WXXI's Inclusion Desk, focusing on disabilities and inclusion.

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