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Need to Know

Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. & Sundays at 11:00 a.m. on WXXI-TV & on City 12

It is time to pass the baton. That’s according to James Norman the President and CEO of Rochester’s Action for a Better Community. For 25 years Norman has continued the organization’s work to provide support and opportunities to low income residents in an effort to help families achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. As of December 31, that work will be in someone else’s hands. But before he officially steps down Norman joins this edition of Need to Know to talk breakthroughs, challenges and what you need to know, but likely don’t about the Rochester region’s poverty crisis. 

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A well-known name in the fight to tackle poverty in our region is stepping down from his post. But before he goes, we’ll hear his message for Rochester. A conversation with James Norman of Action for a Better Community on this edition of Need to Know.

For Barack Obama it’s playing basketball and pool. For Congresswoman Frederica Wilson it’s collecting hats. For George W. Bush it’s painting. These are some of the hobbies of political leaders in our nation that give us just a little insight into the person behind the politician. But what about our local political figures in Rochester? It can be rare to get a behind-the-scenes look of their lives….until now. A special segment on Need to Know this summer will take us inside the lives of candidates in the race for Rochester mayor. The focus: getting to know them through one of their favorite pastimes. First up, Democrat Rachel Barnhart.

While school kids in Rochester are gearing up for summer break, the leader of the Rochester City School District is keeping her sleeves rolled up. For Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams much-needed change within the city school system doesn’t happen with words, but actions. So what does she plan to do exactly? 

Also on the show, it’s rare for voters to get a glimpse inside the personal lives of politicians. However, that’s about to change. A special segment gives viewers a unique look at the person behind the politician in this year’s mayoral race in Rochester.

New Rochester City School District Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams says building trust isn’t about words, but actions. We’ll learn how she plans to act to improve relationships, mind-sets, build trust and enforce change in the city school system. 

Also, a new series introduces us to the person behind the politician in this year’s mayoral race in the City of Rochester.

Somalia. Bhutan. Nepal. The Democratic Republic of the Congo. Burma. These are a handful of the many nations represented among Rochester’s refugee population. While their ethnic and cultural backgrounds are quite different, their stories of survival and their paths to Rochester have similar themes. And on World Refugee Day, those stories will come together in an effort to advocate for refugee rights and build bridges when there may be misunderstanding. 

News coverage including the youth voice, gauging the youth perspective, and digging into issues affecting our youth are of importance to WXXI. Part of that coverage includes identifying and connecting with young people, in this case high school students , who are not only working hard in the classroom, but also want to make our community and our world a better place.

Need to Know’s “Top of the Class” series introduces you to these amazing young people. On this edition of the program viewers meet Tori Hoefen, the 2017 valedictorian at East Rochester Junior-Senior High School. 

There’s an opportunity gap that exists in urban education. For those who live in Monroe County, but outside the City of Rochester, this gap matters to them too. How? The fate of our suburbs is deeply connected to the livelihood of our cities, including our public schools. But closing that opportunity gap can happen. On this edition of Need to Know we learn how.

Guests include: Pedro Noguera, Ph.D., a renowned expert on public education in America, a sociologist and a Distinguished Professor of Education at UCLA and Shaun Nelms, Ed.D., an associate professor at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education and Superintendent of East High School.

There’s a question that has plagued the Rochester community for decades: What will it take to improve educational outcomes for city school students? On this edition of Need to Know we’ll learn how one thing, equity, could change everything.

Also on the show, they’ve escaped war, violence, persecution and natural disasters. And some who now call Rochester “home” are still living with uncertainty. We’ll learn why World Refugee Day has a new meaning.

And meet a local valedictorian with a heart for others and a mean forehand as our Top of the Class series continues.

Renowned sociologist, professor and education commentator Pedro Noguera is in Rochester to explain what it takes to bring equity and excellence to schools. He’ll join East High School Superintendent Shaun Nelms in our studio for this timely conversation on Need to Know.

Need to Know airs Thursday night at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

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