freeimages.com/Tracey Gayle

Last May, after George Floyd was killed in police custody and nationwide protests for social justice began, East High School Superintendent Shaun Nelms challenged his colleagues across Monroe County to teach students about Rochester's history of segregation and disparity.

"I would also say that the death of Daniel Prude in Rochester was also a reminder that this work is critically important," Nelms added, referring to the man who died last March after Rochester police restrained him. 

Leaders at Action for a Better Community are gearing up to host a conference on racism, health, and the pandemic. It's called "Racism as a Public Health Crisis - Attacking the Two Pandemics." The multi-day virtual event kicks off this week. Speakers will address how to heal communities, how to boost hurting economies, and how to help families thrive during a global pandemic that is widening disparities in health, wealth, and justice. 

We preview the conference this hour with our guests:

We have a conversation with local Native American artists about Indigenous art and about anti-racist education.

Ganondagan's juried Hodinohsoni' Virtual Art Show is now online. It features award-winning paintings, sculptures, beadwork, and traditional artwork.

We talk with the artists about their craft and about a renaissance of Indigenous art. We also address recent anti-racism movements and if Indigenous communities feel included. Our guests:

  • Peter Jemison, historic site manager for Ganondagan
  • Jamie Jacobs, Tonawanda Seneca, Turtle Clan, and Best-in-Show winner
  • Leith Mahkewa, Oneida of the Thames, Wolf Clan, and first place winner in the Beadwork category
  • Natasha Smoke Santiago, Mohawk, Turtle Clan, and second place winner in the Sculpture category

It's a question we ask each year before the Thanksgiving: how can we have - or avoid - difficult conversations about politics or race-related issues around the Thanksgiving dinner table? A heated election season, political polarization, and tensions surrounding national news events have many families wondering how to handle disagreements or uncomfortable discussions during the holiday.

Our guests share tips for how to have productive conversations about difficult subjects or how to redirect those conversations. Our guests:

A local wine blogger recently decided to stop writing about wine. She explained why during a pair of recent dinners to raise money for African American-owned businesses. Maiah Johnson writes from the perspective of a wine lover, a travel enthusiast, and a Black woman who says she was often viewed with suspicion in upscale settings. She shares her perspective and experiences. 

Our guest: 

The United Way of Greater Rochester is heading up a 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge to help people in our community develop a deeper understanding of how racism affects their daily lives.

Our guests talk about the challenge and what they hope participants learn. Our guests:

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The death of Daniel Prude following his suffocation while in the custody of Rochester police last March has made headlines across the country.

A 1998 graduate of Brighton High School who is now living in Atlanta said the news hit her like a gut punch.

Jen Willsea wrote an online letter titled, "How a white girl learned white supremacy in a liberal suburb of Rochester, New York."

Community members in Irondequoit are gearing up for a town-wide discussion about Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynold's book, "Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You." It's a remix of Kendi's bestselling book "Stamped" that's written in a conversational way for young readers.

Our guests discuss the upcoming event and what they want readers to learn:

  • Patrina Freeman, Irondequoit Town Councilwoman
  • Brya Potter, 6th grade school counselor at East Irondequoit Middle School
  • Greg Benoit, director of the Irondequoit Public Library
  • Karen Finter, director of instruction for grades 7-12 at West Irondequoit Central School District