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

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First hour: What would a new U.S. Constitution look like?

Second hour: Carlotta Walls LaNier on desegregating schools

Oscar Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin will be the keynote speaker at East House's annual Hope and Recovery Luncheon in Rochester. We talk to Matlin about her own battle with substance abuse, and how we can help others. Matlin is now more than 30 years sober.

Our guests:

  • Marlee Matlin, Academy Award-winning actor, author, and activist
  • Greg Soehner, president and CEO of East House
  • Walter, individual who is living in recovery from addiction
  • Sarah, individual who is living in recovery from addiction

A man captured in a viral video shaving while on a public train in New Jersey said he was trying to look "presentable" to his brother after spending several days in a homeless shelter.  The man was widely mocked for shaving in public, before his circumstances were revealed. Now his story is a cautionary tale about judgment and struggle.

Our panelists share their own stories.

  • Patrick Braswell, community member who was formerly homeless 
  • Cornell Davis, community member who was formerly homeless 
  • Donald "Preacher" Adams, community member who was formerly homeless
  • James Murphy, Catholic worker at St. Joseph's House of Hospitality
  • Harry Murray, professor of sociology at Nazareth College, and coordinator of the Peace and Justice major


First hour: Discussing homeless shaming

Second hour: Actor and activist Marlee Matlin on her journey to recovery

What makes a political ad effective? A recent ad endorsing Democrat David Brill for Congress in Arizona has gone viral. It features a series of testimonials from voters who say Brill’s opponent, Republican Congressman Paul Gosar, won’t work for his constituents. Here’s the catch: those voters are Gosar’s siblings.

The ad has garnered a lot of attention, and is one of several that has sparked conversations about how to engage voters. This hour, our panel weighs in on political ads: what works, what doesn’t, and which ads stand out and why. In studio:

  • Adrian Hale, activist, veteran, and senior manager of workforce development/economic development and education initiatives at the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce
  • Don Riley, vice president of Mark IV Enterprises

The sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have led to renewed conversations about the #MeToo movement. President Trump recently tweeted his belief that any person who is sexually assaulted will immediately report it to authorities. That led to the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport, with women across the country sharing why they chose not to talk to authorities when they were sexually assaulted or raped.

This hour, we hear from local survivors who are sharing their stories. In studio:

  • Ilhan Ali, intersectional feminist, standup comedian, and proud immigrant
  • Rachel Pazda, medical secretary and Navy veteran
  • Meaghan de Chateauvieux, CEO for Willow Domestic Violence Center

First hour: Sexual assault survivors discuss #WhyIDidntReport

Second hour: What makes political ads effective?

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:

  • Dress codes and implicit bias;
  • The sex abuse scandals in the Catholic church;
  • The future of classical music;
  • Trends in the beer industry, and the craft beer scene in Rochester.

St. John Fisher College has launched a new major: students can now graduate with a degree in sustainability. The program links the campus to the community in an effort to ignite conversations about sustainability across industries.

We discuss the program, what it means to graduate with a sustainability degree, and how students can apply that knowledge after college. In studio:

  • Michael Boller, Ph.D., associate professor in biology, and director of the sustainability program at St. John Fisher College
  • Patricia Donahue, senior pollution prevention engineer, and manager of the sustainable supply chain program at the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute
  • Julia Greene, St. John Fisher College graduate with a degree in psychology and a minor in sustainability
  • Evan Bourtis, senior at St. John Fisher College majoring in biology and media communications and minoring in sustainability

The leader of a local nonprofit says her group is fixing a barrier that stands in the way of meaningful criminal reforms: a data gap.

Measures for Justice President Amy Bach says America’s justice system needs better data to determine if the money spent on the system is effective in reducing crime and improving fairness. Bach joins us to discuss her research.