WXXI AM News

Megan Mack

Connections Producer

Megan Mack the producer of Connections with Evan Dawson and Unleashed: The Pet Show. She joined the WXXI News team from WHEC-TV, where she produced newscasts and The Olympic Zone, and from the University of Rochester, where she served as an assistant director of public relations. Her background extends to television sports and entertainment, and to communications and social media management for non-profits.

Megan earned her B.S. in Television-Radio-Film from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and her B.A. in Italian Language, Literature, and Culture from the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University. She is also a graduate of The Second City’s Conservatory program.

Ways to Connect

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:

  • Music, history, and culture, with cellist Rufus Cappadocia;
  • The heroin epidemic and one former addict's story;
  • The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council;
  • The Arnett Cafe's success story and the co-owner's thoughts about growing up in Rochester;
  • A new CSA charter.

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:

  • Rochester's status as a sanctuary city, and perceptions of immigrants;
  • The Dakota Access Pipeline, and Native American rights; 
  • Black Lives Matter Day in the Rochester City School District;
  • How senior Republicans are addressing climate change by proposing a carbon fee and dividend.

In this month's episode of Unleashed, we hear from a dog owner who is working to turn her heartbreak into action. Denise Krohn's two dogs were killed during a home invasion, and now, she's fighting for legislation that would make it a crime to hurt a pet during the commission of another crime. Read the petition here.

We also talk to a Wayne County woman whose dog, Derby, took to the national stage, competing in the Masters Obedience Championship at the Westminster Kennel Club Show. We talk to Leanne Capozzi about the experience of a lifetime.

And, Dr. Edward Gschrey from South Towne Veterinary Hospital will be in studio to answer your questions about pet health and behavior. Our guests:

First hour: Unleashed - The Pet Show

Second hour: Second Opinion LIVE discusses heart health

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:

  • The new documentary, I Am Not Your Negro;
  • If altruism is truly possible;
  • How advancements in trauma care are saving more gunshot victims; 
  • Near-Earth Objects, and trusting experts in the sciences.

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:

  • The March for Life in Washington, D.C.; 
  • A banker-turned-journalist, and his work with "forgotten communities;"
  • How journalists cover Donald Trump;
  • "Inspiration porn."

How can art be used as a tool to inspire change? We discuss how visual and performance art, satire, and other forms of creative expression can raise awareness of social and political issues. Our guests:

  • Allison Roberts, artist and co-founder of Impact Interactive
  • Dick Roberts, artist and former political cartoonist for the Democrat and Chronicle
  • Jonathan Ntheketha, actor, performance educator with Impact Interactive, and senior assistant director of the Multicultural Center for Academic Success in RIT's Division for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Arleen Thaler, socially-engaged photojournalist

Have you heard the term, “inspiration porn?” A recent episode of the sitcom Speechless on ABC explored the subject. It refers to when able-bodied people characterize people with disabilities as objects of inspiration or one-dimensional saints because they live with physical or developmental differences.

People with disabilities and disability rights activists say the term can be harmful and insulting because examples of “inspiration porn” are usually meant to benefit able-bodied people. They point to memes like the one featuring a swimmer with one leg and the phrase, “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” Critics also say the term shifts focus away from challenges faced by people with disabilities – accessibility, high unemployment rates, and more.

We explore different perspectives on the issue, and discuss how to create more inclusive environments. Our guests:

  • Brendan O’Riordan, communications officer for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office who was born with cerebral palsy
  • Dresden Engle, PR professional, actress, and mother of a 5th grader with cerebral palsy
  • Dr. Cyndi Kerber-Gowan, faculty member in the School of Education at Nazareth College, and faculty liaison for the LifePrep@Naz program
  • Bob Ike, superintendent of Palmyra-Macedon School District

This program is presented as part of Dialogue on Disability Week – a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies – in conjunction with the Herman and Margaret Schwartz Community Series. Dialogue on Disability is supported in part by The Golisano Foundation with additional support from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation.

https://www.ted.com/talks/stella_young_i_m_not_your_inspiration_thank_you_very_much

First hour: "Inspiration porn" and how to create more inclusive environments

Second hour: Art as a tool for social change

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:

  • A local professor's trip to Iraqi Kurdistan and how she views oil as a human rights issue;
  • The dangers and realities of human trafficking;
  • SNAP and food options for people living in poverty;
  • The value of art.

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