WXXI AM News

diversity

The College at Brockport is rolling out a new program alongside the Brockport Central School District, and it comes with a message: understanding how to teach and live in diverse communities is not limited to urban areas. In the past several years, Brockport has seen incidents involving students or families that featured racist, sexist, or homophobic comments. At both the high school and college level, Brockport leaders want to ensure everyone has equal access to opportunities.

The college is working with the public school district to offer a new diversity certification program. This hour, we learn what the program will offer, how it’s structured, and we discuss its goals. Our guests:

It's been 25 years since Hollywood released a film featuring an all-Asian lead cast that wasn't a martial arts film. "Crazy Rich Asians" is making big money at the box office, and while it's a rather standard rom-com, it's also a significant moment for representation in film. But that's also what many people said about the Joy Luck Club in 1993.

What makes this time different? Our guests:

  • Eleanor Lenoe, sophomore at the University of Rochester
  • Linh Phillips, creator of the Sir Rocha Says blog, and consumer insights manager at Constellation Brands Inc.
  • Joanne Bernardi, professor of Japanese and film and media studies, and head of the Japanese program at the University of Rochester
  • Regina Buralli, sophomore at Brighton High School

The Democrat and Chronicle is launching a new project aiming at the inequity in our public school system. What have they found, and what might change it?

Our guests discuss those questions and more:

  • Julie Philipp, senior engagement editor for the Democrat and Chronicle
  • Justin Murphy, education reporter for the Democrat and Chronicle

What can small, grassroots groups do to stand up to corporate interests, especially when it comes to environmental issues? Fred Tutman is the riverkeeper and CEO of the Patuxent Riverkeeper organization. It's a nonprofit whose mission is to conserve, protect, and replenish the Patuxent river basin. Tutman calls himself a "grassroots troublemaker:" his work focuses on protecting the river from corporate pollution, and helping smaller, nonprofit groups ban together to fight corporate interests.

He'll be in Rochester next week as a guest of the Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, but first, he joins us on Connections. Our guests:

  • Fred Tutman, riverkeeper and CEO for the Patuxent Riverkeeper
  • Kit Miller, director of the Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
  • Dorian Hall, member of the PLEX neighborhood

Danielle Bainbridge never thought she would be a YouTube star -- in fact, she never thought she'd even like YouTube. But now, the Yale doctoral student is the host of "The Origin of Everything," a popular series from PBS Digital Studios. The show traces the roots of different traditions, methods of communication, historical myths, and more.

Bainbridge joins us to discuss her show, education in American schools, the importance of diversity in media, and more. 

Dove has faced backlash in recent months over what some critics say is cultural insensitivity in its ads. It's not the only brand that has faced this kind of criticism.

Our panel discusses why corporate America so often misses the mark, and how that might change. Our guests: 

  • Juanita Washington, editor-in-chief of BreakThru Magazine
  • Andrea Holland, public speaking and communications coach
  • Anne Esse, creative director and change strategist
  • Marie-Adélina de la Ferrière, creative arts advocate

An increasing number of African American families are turning to homeschooling. Parents say they want to protect their children from institutional racism, and they want their children to learn African American history outside of a Eurocentric curriculum. According to an estimate by the National Home Education Research Institute, the number of African American children who are home-schooled grew by about 10 percent between 2012 and 2016. That estimate puts the total number of black home-schooled students at more than 200,000.

Our guests share their experiences with homeschooling and unschooling:

Journalist Nikole Hannah Jones has become a leading voice in the conversation about schools and equality. She's coming to Rochester as a guest of Great Schools for All, an organization dedicated to improving schools and increasing diversity in the classroom. In fact, Great Schools for All is leading an effort to create a cross-district diverse magnet school.

Our guests preview Nikole Hannah Jones' event, and discuss the related issues. In studio:

  • Regent T. Andrew Brown, managing partner of Brown Hutchinson LLP, and vice-chancellor of the NYS Board of Regents
  • Dr. Andy Aligne, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at URMC
  • Mark Hare, Great Schools for All

Elizabeth Miller / Ideastream

Final part of a series

I meet Kim Smith-Woodford on a rainy day at Euclid Creek Reservation east of Cleveland.  It’s a big wooded area, with a trail lining the creek and shelters for birthday parties.

The park is an urban oasis – where folks from all backgrounds go for exercise or a picnic.  And it means a lot to Smith-Woodford.  It’s where she became more interested in the outdoors.

Elizabeth Miller / Ideastream

Part 2 of a series

You don’t have to look very far for events redefining the environmental movement – in terms of who works for advocacy groups and who they work for. Just go back to 2014.

In April of that year the city of Flint, Mich., switched its source of drinking water from the Detroit River to the Flint River.  Soon residents were complaining about the water, saying it was discolored and smelled.  And the media seized on the crisis.

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