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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More than half of Rochester's children live in poverty, and Rochester ranks No. 1 in child poverty rates among cities in comparably sized metro areas. The Urban Institute finds that Rochester is in the top 10, nationally, among cities for black-white disparity in employment and homeownership.

What is going to change those numbers? We examine several programs aimed at helping at-risk youth get their first job, keep that job, and graduate from school. Our guests:

In Rochester, the Caribbean community tends to feel forgotten. Its members are wondering: how much do you know about Caribbean geography? History? Heritage? As certain industries grow, such as tourism, others like human and drug trafficking threaten to destabilize that region.

We look at how the local Caribbean community is trying to connect and become more well known in Western New York, including through three upcoming events: Carifest, the Jamaican Independence Gala, and the Rochester Jerk Festival. Our guests:

Teen Empowerment

First hour: Getting to know the local Caribbean community

Second hour: Examining programs designed to help at-risk kids in Rochester

The Obama Administration announced last week that for the first time in more than 20 years, prison inmates will be able to receive financial aid for college. The "Second Chance Pell" pilot program will enable prisoners to take college courses using Pell Grants paid for by taxpayers. About 12,000 inmates are expected to participate.

The news re-ignites debate over funding for prison to college programs: supporters say the programs reduce recidivism, but opponents say they are a waste of taxpayer money and are unfair to college students who have not committed crimes.

We explore the impact of prison to college programs, including those in the Rochester area. Our guests:

At least 41 people are dead and at least 239 are injured after authorities say three suicide bombers carried out an attack on Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul on Tuesday. While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, the Turkish Prime Minister says he suspects the Islamic State is behind it. 

The attack has occurred during Ramadan, a holy month of fasting and prayer for Muslims. We talk about the impact of the attack on the Muslim community. Our guests:


First hour: The terror attack in Turkey and its impact on the Muslim community 

Second hour: The debate over prison to college programs

While RBTL continues to lobby for a new, 3,000-seat downtown performing arts center, other theater companies are trying to reinvigorate the local theater scene. From established companies to new groups, we explore the scene. Our guests:

How do Brits living in Rochester feel about Brexit? We discuss the impact of the departure from the EU on multiple fronts. Our guests:

  • Colin Coffey, co-owner of South Wedge Wellness LLC; immigrated to USA in 1994
  • John Ellson, stage manager for the Made in the UK Series, Rochester International Jazz Festival
  • Stephanie Finney, Rochester native living in London

First hour: Discussing Brexit

Second hour: Theater companies expand their audiences

The focus on poverty in Rochester has highlighted the struggle that many families have in simply getting around: to work, to child care, to school. Now we shift the focus to veterans living not in Rochester, but in rural parts of our area. They are in real trouble when it comes to transportation.

We hear some tough stories, while looking at how local organizations are working to change that. Our guests: