Veteran news anchor Tom Brokaw is facing backlash for comments he recently made about Latinos and assimilation. In an appearance on “Meet the Press,” Brokaw said, “Hispanics should work harder at assimilation,” and called on Latinos to make sure their children are learning to speak English. He also said he has heard from conservatives who say they are pushing against Latin American immigration because they “don’t know whether [they] want brown grandbabies.”

Brokaw has since apologized for his comments, but they've led to conversations about how people of color are perceived and what white Americans misunderstand about assimilation. As Jemele Hill wrote for The Atlantic, "Even when people of color do very American things, they still aren't seen as being members of American culture."

Our guests this hour share their views and experience. In studio:

  • Annette Ramos, community connector at Geva Theatre Center and the new artistic director of the Latinx Arts & Culture Center & Association “LACCA”
  • Samantha Parisi, Latina lawyer practicing personal injury law at Parisi and Bellavia Law Firm
  • Tricia Cruz-Irving, long-time local media professional

We sit down with the outgoing and incoming presidents of the Ibero-American Action League. Angelica Perez-Delgado has been named the organization’s new president and CEO. This comes after longtime president Hilda Rosario Escher announced she would be leaving Ibero to pursue other opportunities.

This hour, they join us to discuss Ibero’s present work and how they hope to see it evolve in the future. We also discuss a range of issues affecting the Latino community.

The Trump administration has brought in six companies to build prototypes for a border wall on the US / Mexico border. The prototypes will be built over the next two months, giving Republicans momentum to build a long-discussed wall in some form.

That’s just one of the subjects that will be explored tonight, when the Rochester Committee on Latin America welcomes Daniella Burgi-Palomino, the senior associate for Mexico, border issues and migrant rights at the Latin America Working Group (LAWG) in Washington, D.C. First, she’s our guest on Connections. In studio:

One million Puerto Ricans live in New York State, and more are moving to the U.S. mainland every day. The island's population has fallen 4.7 percent since 2010. From its $72 billion debt to its health care crisis, Puerto Rico is in trouble. New York Assemblyman Marcos Crespo is the chairman of our state's Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force. He'll travel to the island next month, but first, he joins our panel to discuss why, in the words of Governor Cuomo, Puerto Rico's problems are New York's problems. Our guests:

Connections: Upstate Latino Summit Preview Part 2

Sep 12, 2015

We continue our preview of the Upstate Latino Summit that is coming on September 16. This hour we'll preview some of the conversations that will focus on education, health, and business with our guests:

  • Anthony Plonczynski-Figueroa
  • Anna Casserly
  • Sandy Fischer
  • Gladys Pedraza Burgos
  • Jim Sutton
  • Julio Saenz
  • Andrea Holland

Connections: Upstate Latino Summit Preview Part 1

Sep 12, 2015

The Upstate Latino Summit is on September 16, and will foster communications around the issues affecting the growing Latino population. We preview some of the conversations in this hour that will focus on politics and immigration with our guests:

  • Assemblyman Peter Lopez
  • Armando Musa
  • Mercedes Vazquez
  • Rafael Collazo
  • Luis Torres

Why are Latinos underrepresented in American politics, and in Rochester politics? Here, they're 17 percent of the population with roughly 3 percent of the elected positions. We look at what this means in western New York. With our guests: Julio Saez, former editor of ConXion Magazine through the D&CAnthony Plonczynski, political consultantMercedes Vazquez-SimmonsTrica Cruz, Director of Development and Communications at Ibero-American Action LeagueLuis Perez

In this hour we discuss if the media is serving a diverse population, specifically the Hispanic population. We convened a panel to dive into this issue and discuss the Latino Film Festival:

  • Jesus Vega, lead coordinator for the Latino Film Festival
  • Yesenia Ramos-Torres
  • Dave McCleary, President of Minority Reporter and La Voz
  • Annette Ramos, blogger for Huffington Post

Connections: Puerto Rican Festival

Jul 30, 2014

The Puerto Rican Parade and Festival kicks off this weekend. We chat with the organizers about the history of these events, and preview what will be coming up over the weekend. To sum up the hour, we’ll have a conversation about Latinos representation in the local media with our guests:

Geena Cruz, parade committee president

Orlando Ortiz, president of Puerto Rican Festival

Leslie Rivera, vice-president of Puerto Rican Festival

Julio Saenz, founder of ConXion, board member of Ibero-American Action League, and Author of “Rochester’s Latino Community”

Michelle Faust

Steve Howard is in good spirits, because today he qualified for health insurance for the first time in 37 years.  He’s one of 47 people who attended a two-day open house run by Monroe County’s largest navigator agency.