WXXI AM News

race

Hulu has removed an episode of "The Golden Girls" from its platform over concerns about blackface. In the episode, "Mixed Blessings" from 1988, Dorothy's son announces his engagement to an older African American woman. In a scene where the two families meet, roommates Blanche and Rose enter the room wearing mud masks, prompting Rose to say, "This is mud on our faces. We're not really black." Critics of Hulu's decision called it an over correction.

This hour, we discuss sensitivity and over sensitivity when it comes to entertainment. Our guests:

Long lines and malfunctioning voting machines in Georgia's primary election renewed conversations about voting rights, especially those for disenfranchised voters. The New York Times called the issues a "full-scale meltdown of new voting systems." Those systems were put in place after claims of voter suppression in 2018.

Discussions about voter suppression are happening throughout the country, with concerns about what could happen in November. This hour, we're joined by RIT professor Donathan Brown to discuss voting rights and policies. His research focuses on race and public policy, and he's the co-author of "Voting Rights Under Fire: The Continuing Struggle for People of Color." He helps us understand voting issues throughout the country, both past and present. Our guest:

  • Donathan Brown, assistant provost and assistant vice president for faculty diversity and recruitment, and professor in the School of Communication at RIT

We continue our series of conversations about how to discuss race and racism. Companies across the country are grappling with how to have those conversations internally. Some have coordinated dialogue circles, town halls, and listening sessions, where employees share their experiences with racism, white privilege, and discrimination.

WXXI staff members recently participated in listening sessions. We've invited members from one of the breakout groups on Connections to share what they discussed, their responses to recent events, and their thoughts on the value of having uncomfortable conversations. Our guests:

  • Mona Isler, executive assistant and staff liaison to the board at WXXI
  • Tashanda Thomas, director of human resources for WXXI
  • Laura Garrison, vice president for development at WXXI and the Little Theatre

We’re joined by Eddie Moore, Jr., a speaker and educator who provides diversity and cultural competency trainings around the world. One of his key programs is the White Privilege Conference, which brings together people from different backgrounds to discuss issues of privilege, including race, gender, sexuality, and more.

Moore joins us this hour to talk about his teaching methods, and his 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge. Our guest:

  • Eddie Moore, Jr., Ph.D., speaker, educator, and director of the Privilege Institute and the National White Privilege Conference

How much do you know about Juneteenth? Our guests say it’s likely the answer is “not enough.” Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, and there have been calls to make June 19th a federal holiday.

This hour, we discuss the history of Juneteenth, its importance – especially during this current moment in our country – and the Black Lives Matter movement. Our guests:

This hour, we talk with three local friends who share some of the difficult and productive conversations they’ve had about race. A white local racial justice advocate says she’s had humbling discussions with African American friends about the impact of social media posts made by white allies like herself. She says she didn’t realize how certain images or content can be traumatizing, and it’s important for white people to listen and not shy away from uncomfortable conversations. 

We dive into those conversations with our guests:

  • Johnita Anthony, Brighton resident
  • Norman Simmons, Rochester resident
  • Megan Clifford, Brighton resident

We continue our series of conversations about combating racism. This hour, we focus on efforts in local suburbs. Our guests say racism in the suburbs is often not discussed or is overlooked. Earlier this week, two men in Fairport destroyed an art gallery supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement. One of the men was an employee of Fairport Brewing Company who has since been removed from his position. The village denounced racism, and beer enthusiasts planned an anti-racism rally in Fairport on Saturday. It's one of several protests set for the weekend.

This hour, our guests discuss the efforts they are organizing in local suburbs and what they hope to accomplish:

  • Craig Carson, Rochester resident
  • Cherriese Marie, Hilton resident
  • Rashana Greene, Hilton resident
  • Julie Domaratz, mayor of the Village of Fairport
  • Megan Clifford, Brighton resident

We’re joined by members of the Greater Rochester Black Agenda Group. Late last month, they issued a proclamation declaring racism a public health crisis. Research shows racial health disparities are prevalent and growing.

This hour, we discuss the data, the impact of the disparities in the short and long term, and the steps the group says need to be taken to achieve health equity. Our guests:

  • Melanie Funchess, member of the Greater Rochester Black Agenda Group, and director of community engagement at the Mental Health Association
  • Jackie Dozier, member of the Greater Rochester Black Agenda Group
  • Jerome Underwood, member of the Greater Rochester Black Agenda Group, president and CEO of Action for a Better Community, and co-chair or RMAPI
  • Michael Campbell, member of the Greater Rochester Black Agenda Group, independent consultant, and co-owner of North Star Rites of Passage, LLC

On Monday, local public defenders marched in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. As reported by WXXI's Noelle Evans, it was one of many public defender-led protests across the nation that called attention to systemic racism and police violence.

This hour, we're joined by four local African American public defenders who discuss the systemic racism they say they see in the justice system, and the reforms for which they are advocating. Our guests:

  • Danielle Ponder, diversity and inclusion officer for the Monroe County Public Defender's Office
  • Natalie Knott, assistant public defender with the Monroe County Public Defender's Office
  • Katherine Ejimadu, assistant public defender with the Monroe County Public Defender's Office
  • Rob Turner, senior assistant public defender with the Monroe County Public Defender's Office

What does a "just city" look like when it comes to urban design? It's a question Toni Griffin of the Harvard Graduate School of Design explores in her work. She leads the Just City Lab, which "examines how design and planning contribute to conditions of justice and injustice in cities."

She joins us this hour to discuss her work. It's a preview of her upcoming presentation for the Community Design Center Rochester's Reshaping Rochester series. Our guests:

  • Toni Griffin, professor in practice of urban planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, leader of the Just City Lab, and founder of Urban Planning and Design for the American City
  • Nana-Yaw Andoh, board member for the Community Design Center Rochester
  • Maria Furgiuele, executive director of the Community Design Center Rochester

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