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Connections

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

Rock legend Tom Petty died on Monday, and this hour, we talk about his life and work. Petty has been acclaimed for his “rootsiness,” even though he performed in sold out arenas. His songs have been praised for being soaring and sad. 

How should we define Tom Petty's musical legacy? We listen to some of his music and discuss that question with our guests:

  • John Covach, director of the Institute for Popular Music at the University of Rochester
  • Dave Drago, producer and owner of 1809 Studios
  • Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, music journalist
  • Sarah Hart, Tom Petty fan and “American Girl”

KAREN DEWITT / WXXI NEWS

First hour: The legacy of Tom Petty

Second hour: Christopher Albrecht, New York State's "Teacher of the Year"

It may seem unusual to have conversations about preserving our water bodies after major weather events like hurricanes or the flooding on the Lake Ontario shoreline, but excessive runoff is a major source of pollution. It’s a problem in our area — one that the H2O Hero initiative hopes to combat.

The program is celebrating its tenth anniversary, and this hour, we talk to the team behind it about its progress. Have the goals changed as a result of weather events? How do we prepare for future issues? And what can we do, on an individual level, to protect Lake Ontario and the Genesee River? Our guests help us understand the science and the mission. In studio:

  • Todd Butler, president and CEO of Causewave Community Partners
  • Dan Menelly, president and chief science officer for the Rochester Museum and Science Center
  • Paul Sawkyo, coordinator for the Water Education Collaborative (WEC)

  • Caroline Kilmer, WBE-certified stormwater consultant, and chair of the Water Education Collaborative (WEC)

How do Americans view the racial divide in this country? According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center, 58 percent of Americans say racism is a “big problem” in society. That’s up eight percentage points since 2015. But it leads to the question, why isn’t that number higher? 

Debby Irving is a white woman from New England who says she didn't fully understand the racial divide in this country until her adult life. Growing up in a wealthy Massachusetts family, she says she couldn’t see outside of her privileged bubble. That all changed when she took a graduate level course about racism and explored her own bias. Now, she’s a racial justice educator and author of the book, Waking Up White. Irving is in Rochester to share her story and offer workshops, but first, she joins us on Connections. Our guests:

*Note: Debby Irving's event has been cancelled for the date and time mentioned in this podcast. The event will be rescheduled for a future date.

First hour: Debby Irving, author of Waking Up White

Second hour: How to protect and preserve Lake Ontario and the Genesee River

The idea of walkable communities and multi-model lifestyles gets a lot of hype, but are we really getting rid of our cars? Many millennials say they are living without automobiles. We talk to one young woman, Sara Jenks, who says she got rid of her car more than two years ago. She says living without it has informed her view on Rochester as a city, how our community is structured, and how employers view employees who don't have cars. Jenks is our guest for the hour.

We have a discussion about a racist tweet written by a student at MCC. The student doesn't represent MCC, its student body, or its faculty, but he is part of the MCC community. 

The tweet raises a number of questions: What is free speech and what isn't? What is the responsibility of MCC or other institutions that have faced similar issues? If such issues are matters of free speech, do institutions have any power to act? Should they? Our guests weigh in. In studio:

  • Anne M. Kress, president of MCC
  • Lloyd Holmes, vice president of student services and chief diversity officer at MCC
  • Demario Brantley, sociology professor and Latin American Academy Fellow at MCC
  • Daniel Skerritt, president of the MCC Student Events and Governance Association 

The ImageOut Film Festival is back. It showcases films and other creative works that promote LGBT arts and cultural experiences.

We preview this year’s films and talk to the organizers. Our guests:

Jeremy Richman is a neuro-pharmacologist, but after his six-year-old daughter, Avielle, was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, he and his wife shifted their focus to preventing violence and building compassion through brain research and education.

He is a guest of St. John Fisher College, but first, we talk to him on Connections about the impact of mass shootings on communities. Our guests:

aviellefoundation.org

First hour: Jeremy Richman on preventing violence and building compassion

Second hour: 2017 ImageOut Film Festival

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