WXXI AM News

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The Black Healers Network of Greater Rochester is a newly organized group of Black health providers whose mission is to provide culturally competent care for Black patients. The group released a statement following the death of Daniel Prude, calling on local, state, and federal governments to adapt several recommendations for addressing mental health crisis intervention.

This hour, we talk with members of the network about their goals, their recommendations, and the impact that culturally competent care can have in physical and mental health outcomes. Our guests:

The CEO of Wells Fargo said this week that the company doesn't hire many Black workers because there isn't a large pool of Black talent. That set off conversations in offices and communities across the country. Where should companies look to find talent? Why is there a disconnect?

Our guests explore it:

  • Adrian Hale, senior manager of talent strategy, workforce development, and education initiatives at the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce
  • Simeon Banister, vice president of community programs at the Rochester Area Community Foundation
  • Mohammed Ahamed, CEO and chief diversity officer at Engaging Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

Free the People Roc has called for a temporary pause to daily or nightly protests in Rochester. Their goal is to rest and prepare for the next phase of work to enact significant and lasting change. So what is the end goal? Are their demands negotiable? Can they work with the mayor, after calling for Mayor Warren's resignation?

Our guest joins us for her first conversation on Connections since the story of Daniel Prude went public. Ashley Gantt was recently profiled by City Newspaper for her work in organizing, and now she's one of the most visible leaders in Rochester. Our guest:

We discuss the life and legacy of award-winning poet Lucille Clifton. Clifton was a Buffalo native whose work celebrated Black womanhood, identity, and resilience. She won the National Book Award for Poetry and was a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

BOA Editions is publishing a new collection of her work. Our guests discuss that collection – “How to Carry Water” – and how it intersects with current events. We also discuss BOA's upcoming Dine & Rhyme event honoring Clifton. Our guests:

  • Sidney Clifton, television and film producer, and daughter of Lucille Clifton
  • Cornelius Eady, poet and co-founder of Cave Canem Foundation
  • Peter Connors, publisher for BOA Editions
  • Alison Meyers, executive director of Writers & Books

Former Rochester Mayor Bill Johnson says the newly formed commission on Racial and Structural Equity (RASE) was not informed of Daniel Prude’s death. Johnson says the commission has important work to do and can help lead the city forward. He joins us to talk about the Prude case and what we should expect of city leaders.

Our guest:

  • Bill Johnson, former Rochester mayor and co-chair of the RASE Commission

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

21 years ago this month, the NAACP was advocating a boycott of the major television networks. That's because the networks had just released their fall schedules. 26 new shows would be hitting the airwaves that year, and not a single one of them featured a star or prominent character of color. For African American leaders in particular, enough was enough. The networks promised to change. In some ways, they have: there are more African American and Latino leads than ever before. But in many other ways, the industry has not changed much at all. As the LA Times reports, there are very few executives of color at the networks, and while the networks are pledging support of the Black Lives Matter movement, African American actors have their doubts.

This hour, we explore representation in media. Our guests:

  • Calvin Brown, Jr., executive producer of "The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder"
  • Tina Chapman, director of diversity theater at RIT
  • Chris Thompson, engineer, writer, comedian, and activist
  • Darnell Hunt, dean of social sciences, and professor of sociology and African American Studies at UCLA

Report: Monroe County awash in racist land deeds

Aug 4, 2020
Jeremy Moule/CITY

Thousands of deeds in Monroe County still bear clauses that restrict properties from being sold to or occupied by people of color, Jews, and other ethnicities, according to a report released Tuesday by the Yale Environmental Protection Clinic and the City Roots Community Land Trust.

We're joined by Bruce Jacobs, author of the book "Race Manners." His work explores how to have civilized, candid, and meaningful dialogues about race.

He'll be giving a presentation for the Harley School this week, but first, he joins us to discuss antiracism in today's political climate and during the coronavirus. Our guest:

  • Bruce Jacobs, author of "Race Manners"

Last week, Mayor Lovely Warren banned public gatherings of five or more people between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. in the City of Rochester. The move, made in coordination with RPD, is aimed at curbing recent violence. Protesters took to the streets Wednesday night; organizers say the curfew is anti-Black and discriminatory.

This hour, our guests debate the curfew and discuss their ideas for how to address violence in Rochester. Our guests:

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