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

First hour: Community groups unite against racism 

Second hour: Understanding road diets

The Red Wings are staying in Rochester. The county and the team announced a ten-year deal at a news conference on Monday. This comes as a relief to fans who were worried about the team’s future in Rochester, and the possibility of having two empty stadiums in the city.

We discuss the deal and how a team like the Red Wings impacts the community. Our guests:

A poll conducted in the aftermath of the Charlottesville rallies found that while few Americans will outwardly express support for white nationalism or racially-charged ideas, more than 30 percent say they think the country needs to “protect and preserve its White European heritage.”

A local filmmaker is hoping to spark engaging conversations about multiculturalism and how homogenizing groups can lead to violence. Mara Ahmed has been outspoken about borders and nationalism, and about Islamophobia in America. We discuss her work, and her reactions to the Trump administration’s policies on immigration and more. 

First hour: Filmmaker Mara Ahmed on borders and nationalism

Second hour: The impact of the Red Wings in Rochester

New York is ranked 30th in the nation for the lowest maternal mortality rate, and Governor Cuomo is introducing efforts to drive down the number of maternal deaths. He's creating a Maternal Mortality Review Board to analyze every maternal death in the state. He's also pushing to require all health insurance policies to cover maternal depression screening.

We talk to experts about how these efforts could help women, and we discuss how to combat the stigma of maternal depression. Our guests:

  • Dr. Chris Glantz, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and member of New York State's Maternal Mortality Review Board 
  • Dr. Jennifer Richman, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Lauren Deutsch, executive director of the Healthy Baby Network
  • Heather Bryant, local mother and former patient of Dr. Glantz

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul could face a new challenger for her seat – and he’s from her own party. New York City Council member Jumaane Williams is exploring a possible campaign. The Democrat calls himself an "activist-elected official” and has been outspoken about a number of social justice issues.

We talk to Williams about his possible run and how he would serve alongside a governor who might not agree with him.

jumaanewilliams.com

First hour: New York City Council member Jumaane Williams

Second hour: Maternal mortality and depression

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:

  • Abuses faced by women in Hollywood;
  • The Cadillac Hotel, and how to help Rochester's homeless population;
  • The Magical Negro;
  • The rock and roll scene in the 1970s and 1980s, with rock legend Eddie Money.

Would you ride in a driverless car? GM says its driverless car could be in fleets by next year. But some polls show Americans are still skeptical about the idea of this technology. Are driverless cars safe? Who would be liable in an accident? Advocates of driverless cars say they could benefit the environment and improve everyday lifestyles.

We talk about our future as drivers…or riders. Our guests:

On Friday, Reverend Denise Donato – the founding pastor at Mary Magdalene Parish in East Rochester – will become the first ordained female bishop of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion (ECC). The ECC broke off from the Roman Catholic Church over the issue of the pope’s infallibility in the late 19th century. In 1994, Pope John Paul II wrote, “I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.” Both of his successors upheld that statement.

What do parishioners think? A new survey by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University shows 60 percent of American Catholic women support the possibility of women being ordained. Does this signal change?

This hour, we talk about the modern Catholic Church and the role of women in it. Our guests:

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