Weekdays Noon-2:00 p.m. on WXXI-AM 1370 or WRUR-FM 88.5 in Rochester and WEOS 89.5 FM in Geneva

Evan Dawson talks about what matters to you on ConnectionsEvery weekday from Noon-2 p.m. Be part of the program with questions or comments by phone - 1-844-295-TALK (8255), email, Facebook or Twitter

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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:

  • Sexual assault and the dangers of victim blaming;
  • Ethics in business and the impact of lying;
  • Misconceptions about masculinity and how that can affect people struggling with mental illness;
  • What we can learn about Native American culture by studying Native objects.

Kathrine Switzer is best known as the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon. Her entry was controversial, and her story became known internationally when a race official tried to forcibly remove her from the competition. That was in 1967. She was back at the Boston Marathon this year at the age of 70, and finished the course just 24 minutes slower than she did 50 years ago. 

Switzer has been an advocate for female athletes for decades, and she is also outspoken about dispelling the myths about aging. She's in Rochester as the keynote speaker of Baden Street Settlement's annual gala, but first, she joins us on Connections to talk about shifting perceptions of aging, and how seniors are reinventing themselves as they get older. In studio:

  • Kathrine Switzer, author, activist, athlete, and commentator
  • Ron Thomas, executive director at Baden Street Settlement
  • Gladys Jordan-Holloman, director for emergency and family assistance efforts at Baden Street Settlement, and supervising coordinator for Baden Street Settlement's Mature Adult Resource Center
  • Ted Hardy, member of Baden Street Settlement's Mature Adult Resource Center and honorary member of the Baden Street Board of Directors

Lebanese poet Jawdat Fakhreddine wrote his collection of poems, Lighthouse for the Drowning, while living in exile in the United States during Lebanon's civil war. The book was published in Arabic in 1996, and in 2017, BOA Editions published the first English translation. 

Fakhreddine is in Rochester for a bilingual poetry reading organized by BOA, but first, we talk to him about the story behind the collection, how poetry can serve as a symbol of liberation for war-torn communities, and how universal truths resonate across cultures. Our guests:

  • Jawdat Fakhreddine, author of Lighthouse for the Drowning
  • Huda Fakhreddine, Jawdat's daughter and co-translator for Lighthouse for the Drowning
  • Peter Connors, publisher for BOA Editions

How is technology changing the way that we read? And how is social media changing how we tell stories? These are questions that will be addressed at an upcoming symposium hosted by the Monroe County Library System.

We discuss how emerging technology and trends will impact the future of reading, and how to make this kind of technology available to all readers. Our guests:

  • Bob Scheffel, librarian at the Central Library and member of the Emerging Technology Committee at the Monroe County Library System
  • Erika Lane, associate dean of University Libraries at Carnegie Mellon University, and co-chair of the American Library Association Digital Content Working Group
  • Eric Hellman, president of the Free EBook Foundation
  • Greg Benoit, director of the Gates Public Library

The development of the Port of Rochester has been the subject of hot debate for more than 20 years – think Fast Ferry and the unsuccessful 2016 proposal for mixed-use housing and retail development. After a number of controversial attempts at revitalizing the area, the City of Rochester is back to the drawing board, and it’s seeking community input.

We talk about an upcoming event aimed at generating ideas to improve the port and surrounding areas, build up transportation near the waterfront, create year-round activities near the beach, and more. Our guests:

  • Maria Furgiuele, executive director of the Community Design Center Rochester
  • Molly Clifford, member of Rochester City Council
  • Sue Roethel, chair of the Charlotte Charrette Day Steering Committee
  • Mike May, member of the Charlotte Charrette Day History Committee


First hour: Efforts to redevelop the Port of Rochester

Second hour: The future of reading

What kinds of stories can be told by studying material objects? In other words, what can we learn about a culture and its people based on the clothing, housing, tools, and art that they produce?

That’s the focus of an upcoming symposium at Ganondagan. We talk about what we can learn from Native materials. Our guests:

  • Michael Galban, curator and historian at the Seneca Art and Culture Center at Ganondagan, and organizer of the Symposium on Woodland Material Culture and Art
  • Mindy Magyar, assistant professor of industrial design at the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at RIT


First hour: What we can learn about Native American culture by studying Native materials

Second hour: The Landmark Society's 2017 "Five to Revive" list

We talk about the stigma of mental illness, and assumptions the American public has about mental health issues. This conversation comes just weeks after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. 

Mike Veny is a mental health advocate, drum circle facilitator, and motivational speaker. He tried to take his own life at age 10, and has struggled with depression, anxiety, and OCD since he was young. Now, he uses drumming to calm himself, connect with people, and break down the stigma associated with mental health challenges.

Veny is in Rochester as a guest of NAMI Rochester, but first, he's our guest on Connections. In studio:

  • Mike Veny, mental health advocate, motivational speaker, and drum circle facilitator
  • Kristina Mossgraber, events coordinator and walk manager for NAMI Rochester
  • Joy Kaminski, music therapist at Rochester Psychiatric Center

Do you trust capitalism? Do you trust the people behind the biggest corporate entities to be honest and protect the public?

Maybe those questions would have had different answers 10 or 20 years ago, but after scandal after scandal, public opinions have been shifting on capitalism – so much so that a Democratic socialist nearly won the presidency and could still run again.

The Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation believes capitalism can be a force for good, if businesses follow ethical practices. We talk about honesty, why we lie, and the lessons of business ethics with our guests:

  • Bob Whipple, Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation
  • Donna Dedee, CEO of Holy Childhood
  • John Keiser, professor of business management at the College at Brockport