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What can the history of Clarissa Street teach us about impact of urban renewal?

Jaylen Wims and Katherine Sprague-Dexter on "Connections"
Emmarae Stein
Jaylen Wims and Katherine Sprague-Dexter appear on "Connections with Evan Dawson" on Friday, June 3, 2022.

Black-owned businesses, neighbors supporting neighbors, and a world-class nightclub featuring famous jazz and pop musicians: that was the reality in Rochester's Clarissa Street neighborhood in the 1950s and 1960s. But urban renewal essentially tore that neighborhood apart.

A new exhibit at RIT City Arts Space tells a powerful story through photographs, archived video, personal stories, and interactive maps. Teen Empowerment and the Clarissa Street Reunion Committee put together the exhibit to challenge our city to think more deeply about the impact of policies. We discuss it with our guests:

  • Katherine Sprague-Dexter, Clarissa Street elder and realtor
  • Mekko Griffin-Mongeon, exhibit project manager, educator, and fourth generation Clarissa Street neighbor
  • Jaylen Wims, youth history ambassador and senior at Pittsford Sutherland
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.
Emmarae Stein is the production assistant for "Connections with Evan Dawson."