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

The Trump administration has argued that laws covering bias at work do not include or cover LGBTQ issues. This is, to say the least, perceived as a significant threat in the LGBTQ community.

We focus on what the law does and does not do, and we talk about LGBTQ history in Rochester. Guests:

  • Rowan Collins, educator with the Out Alliance
  • Bob Crystal, founder of the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, now known as the Out Alliance
  • Matt Haag, member of Rochester City Council

Buzzfeed's Ben Smith, among other writers, are saying that Big Tech is in trouble. He says Facebook and Google are too big, too powerful, too complacent -- and soon, both consumers and Congress will come for them.

Is he right? Is Facebook primed for a fall? We discuss a future in which Facebook falls, Google shrinks, and everyone posts fewer status updates. Our guests:

  • Scott Malouf, attorney whose work focuses on the intersection between social media and the law
  • Mike Johansson, lecturer at RIT and social media consultant with Fixitology

First hour: Is Big Tech too big?

Second hour: How Title VII issues impact the LGBTQ community

Salva Dut is the founder of Water for South Sudan. He's one of the 17,000 Lost Boys of Sudan who fled his village when war ravaged the country between 1983 and 2005. Dut walked thousands of miles from his home to Ethiopia, and then to Kenya, where he lived in refugee camps for years. In 1996, he came to the United States as a refugee, and realized how many Americans take food and water for granted. Back in Sudan, villagers must walk miles every day just to gain access to clean water.

Dut made it his mission to help improve conditions for people in South Sudan. In 2003, he formally established Water for South Sudan, a non-profit which drills wells for villages. Dut is in Rochester for several events at Monroe Community College, but first, he shares his story on Connections. In studio:

  • Salva Dut, founder of Water for South Sudan
  • Lynn Malooly, executive director of Water for South Sudan

Be honest: When you think of a family in poverty, or a single mother in poverty, is it easy to think that you've made some good decisions in your life, and if people in poverty made better decisions, they would be where you are?

This hour, we explore how we understand -- or misunderstand -- poverty, and what we can do about it. Susan Dreyfus is the president and CEO of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. She's from Milwaukee, but she'll be in Rochester in the coming weeks to discuss how social sector organizations can address poverty. We preview that discussion and ask her how she views Rochester's efforts to combat poverty. Our guests:

It's the second Monday in October, and while many cities and states celebrate Columbus Day, others have officially changed the holiday to Indigenous Peoples' Day. There is a movement in cities across the nation to make such a change in an effort to celebrate Native Americans, their history, and their culture.

Many people who support Indigenous Peoples' Day say we shouldn't celebrate Columbus -- a man who promoted slavery and was responsible for the genocide of Native Americans. Yet, some Italian Americans who defend Columbus Day say scrapping the holiday would be an affront to their heritage.

This hour, we discuss the holiday, what it means, and how schools teach Native American history. We also talk about a new textbook, Native American: A History.

  • Peter Jemison, historic site manager for Ganondagan
  • Michael Oberg, distinguished professor of history at SUNY Geneseo, and author of Native America: A History

There's controversy in Henrietta, where Town Supervisor Jack Moore is being criticized for allegedly making racially-insensitive remarks. The EEOC investigated the complaints in late September and determined that several had merit. Now, some residents are calling for his resignation.

Moore's supporters say the timing is political with the upcoming election, and members of the Henrietta Roadrunners Association Union say 82 percent of their group supports Moore.

We discuss the complaints, how the EEOC works, and how discrimination filings impact the workplace. Our guests:

  • Reverend Ruben Goff, Henrietta resident
  • Larry Knox, organizer with SEIU
  • Iman Abid, Henrietta resident
  • Justin Cordello, employment law attorney with Cordello Law PLLC
  • Chuck Marshall, employee for the Town of Henrietta who supports Jack Moore

First hour: Controversy in Henrietta, the EEOC, and how filings about discrimination impact the workplace

Second hour: Should Columbus Day be changed to Indigenous People's Day?

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:

  • How we respond when we witness or hear about acts of violence, with Jeremy Richman, the father of a child killed in the Sandy Hook shooting;
  • White advantage and microaggressions, with Debby Irving, author of Waking Up White;
  • The benefits and challenges of living without a car;
  • The musical legacy and songwriting of Tom Petty.

The New York State Board of Regents named its "Teacher of the Year," and the winner is from our area.

Christopher Albrecht is a fourth grade teacher in the Brockport Central School District. We talk to him about his career, and his thoughts on the future of education and the teaching profession.

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