Evan Dawson

Connections Host

Evan Dawson joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.

Evan is also the author of Summer in a Glass: The Coming Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes and is the managing editor/Finger Lakes editor for the New York Cork Report, a web site that offers independent news, reviews, and commentary about the New York wine industry.

He has written freelance articles on topics including politics, wine, travel, and Major League Baseball.

Ways to Connect

We continue our interview series with the candidates for Rochester mayor. Our guest is retired city school teacher Lori Thomas, who believes her experience and ideas will shake up the race.

Chidike Okeem is a writer, and an outspoken black conservative. He argues that mainstream American conservatism often traffics in anti-black rhetoric, and it forces black conservatives to join that refrain. But Okeem also argues that liberal policies have been destructive, and he finds a distinct home for black conservatism that is solution-oriented.

First hour: Chidike Okeem on black conservatism

Second hour: Lori Thomas, candidate for Rochester mayor

It has been almost two weeks since President Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. What will it mean for our country?

Our guests weigh in on how the decision will affect the environment, the economy, diplomacy, and the future of alternative energy. In studio:

In an interview last month, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson made some comments about poverty that have led to intense backlash. Carson called poverty “a state of mind,” saying some people are poor because they have the wrong attitude. But that wasn’t all. He continued to say that efforts to help people in need may backfire if those people don’t have the right outlook on life.

His comments ignited debate about grit theory and what people in poverty truly need. Our guests discuss the facts, the misconceptions, and local efforts to reduce poverty. In studio:


First hour: Reactions to Ben Carson’s comments about poverty

Second hour: The impact of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement

How can we combat the stigma of mental illness? Negative perceptions of mental health issues can have deleterious effects for patients: the stigma often inhibits them from seeking treatment and can create barriers in the workplace, social circles, and the legal system.

Healthcare is evolving to better serve the mental health population and reduce this stigma. We discuss new practices, a film series aimed at improving perceptions of mental health, and an art project that’s putting a “human face” on the issue. In studio:

  • Dr. Larry Guttmacher, M.D., clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and co-director of the Reel Mind film series
  • Patrick Bailey, peer advocate in the forensic unit of the Rochester Psychiatric Center
  • Charmaine Wheatley, artist-in-residence at the University of Rochester Medical Center

We continue our series of conversations with candidates for Rochester mayor. Former journalist Rachel Barnhart is in studio to kick off round two of these discussions.

Barnhart recently filed an ethics complaint against Mayor Lovely Warren and her former chief of staff for an Uber job fair held at City Hall. We discuss her position, along with several of her priority issues: property taxes, a citywide fiber internet network, and more.

Rachel Barnhart

First hour: Rochester mayoral candidate Rachel Barnhart, part two

Second hour: Combating the stigma of mental illness

You've probably heard the term "settlement house," but do you know what it really means? Three Rochester settlement houses have teamed up to create a foundation, aimed at making their work stronger and more effective. They are central in the fight against poverty, but that's only the start.

Baden Street Settlement, Charles Settlement House, and Community Place of Rochester are working together, and our guests explain how they're trying to improve the city. In studio: