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Weekend Connections is a collection of some of the most noteworthy moments from the week on Connections with Evan Dawson. This episode includes conversations about:

  • What life is like in a refugee camp;
  • The Champion Academy and how to help students living in poverty;
  • Pride month and efforts to build a more inclusive movement;
  • Music and activism, with singer Bethany Yarrow.

As a child, singer Bethany Yarrow was surrounded by a family of activists who loved folk music. That's because her father is Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary. As an adult, her musical tastes drifted to other genres, but eventually, she went back to her roots and was inspired by how folk music can convey important messages.

She and her partner, cellist Rufus Capadoccia, have performed and participated in demonstrations all over the world in support of causes like the environmental movement, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and more.

Yarrow is in town for a performance in the Finger Lakes, but first, she's our guest on Connections. We talk to her about her activism and music with meaning.

Wonder Woman and feminism in film The newest superhero film from the DC universe has generated a slew of controversy. Even before Wonder Woman opened in theatres on June 2, it sparked conversations about feminism in film, the role of female superheroes, and yes, even debates over armpit hair. Wonder Woman dates back to 1941, and the origins of the character may surprise you.

We talk about Wonder Woman's history, how she has evolved, if she's a feminist icon, and the roles of women on screen and on stage.

  • Abby DeVuyst, librarian, comedian, and actor
  • Michelle Finn, deputy historian for the City of Rochester and Wonder Woman scholar
  • Jackie McGriff, administrative assistant for development at WXXI, and self-described film nut
  • Adam Lubitow, film critic for City Newspaper
  • Sady Fischer, queer Latina activist and diversity consultant
  • Alexa Scott-Flaherty, director of "Twelfth Night" at Blackfriars Theatre

NPR

First hour: Wonder Woman and feminism in film

Second hour: Singer and activist Bethany Yarrow

Colleen Flanagan

About 20 Rochester area disability rights activists were arrested in Washington, D.C. Thursday as they protested the U.S. Senate's health care bill.

The disability organization ADAPT staged a "die-in" at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office to protest proposed cuts to Medicaid.

Stephanie Woodward, director of advocacy for the Center for Disability Rights, said she and 19 other Rochester protesters were removed from the Senate Office Building and held by Capitol police for about nine hours.

The United Way of Greater Rochester has just announced the numbers from its latest campaign, and the organization exceeded its goal.

It raised $25.4 million dollars; the goal was $25.2 million. For the second year in a row the campaign results were an increase over the previous year’s goal.

Governor Cuomo says the state legislature fell down on the job by leaving town without passing an extension of mayoral control for the New York City schools, and he has not ruled out calling them back for a special session.

Cuomo says by not voting to extend the New York City mayor’s authority over the public schools, they essentially voted for a return to the dysfunction of the old system of multiple community school boards.  

“It is a dereliction of duty,” Cuomo said.

The annual Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival kicks off Friday.

Festival founder John Nugent joins us in studio to preview the acts, share some behind-the-scenes stories, and talk about how the festival has grown over the last 16 years. We also hear from two of this year’s performers: Laura Dubin and Mike Cottone.

June is Pride month, and celebrations, marches, and solidarity events are being held in cities across the country. Some of these events have been interrupted by protests from members of the LGBTQ community who feel the movement marginalizes minorities. A group called No Justice No Pride staged a protest at the recent Capital Pride Parade in Washington, D.C. Members issued a list of demands, which included adding more transgender women of color and indigenous people to leadership positions, more stringent vetting of the parade’s corporate sponsors, and preventing uniformed police officers from participating in the parade.

The concerns reflect the broader issues on which Black Pride groups throughout the U.S. are focused. Our guests discuss the state of the current Pride movement at the local level, intersectionality, and how communities can work to be more inclusive. In studio:

Karen DeWitt

A hearing on whether 2010 gubernatorial candidate and Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino should be thrown off his city’s school board began Thursday at the state education department in Albany.

Controversial comments that Paladino made about President Barack and Michelle Obama last December are not the subject of the hearing, but they nevertheless became an issue.

The hearing, convened by State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia, began with the attorney for the Buffalo school board explaining why the board is asking state officials to remove Paladino.

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