April Franklin

Weekend Edition Host

Before her current role as the local host of WXXI's Weekend Edition and reporter at WXXI News, April spent 12 years working in the Emergency Department at URMC.

Her passion for community and storytelling led her to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Broadcast from SUNY Brockport.

April is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the current Vice President of Rochester Association of Black Journalists.

Ways to Connect

James Brown / WXXI News

The national moratorium on evictions ended on July 31 but tenants and landlords in New York state still have a little less than a month before their eviction protections are lifted.

As the deadline approaches on August 31, they’re preparing for next steps.

Joe LaBarbera owns and manages more than a dozen properties in Rochester. He said the eviction moratorium has made it financially crippling for some landlords, yet no one is looking forward to the eviction process once it's lifted.

Center for Youth / WXXI News

Organizers of Fashion Week Rochester will roll out the runways in October for the first time in two years.

James Brown / WXXI News

Black music, poetry, art, and entrepreneurship will be celebrated during this weekend's second annual Black Culture Festival. 

The first event, held last year in Genesee Valley Park, was created to support Black businesses during the pandemic. Organizer Will Power said it was supposed to be a one-time event, but it was so well-received, they were inspired to do it again.

“Everybody that attended was really happy, '' Powers said. “And the people who missed it were asking if it was just one year or if it was going to be a continual thing.” 

April Franklin / WXXI News

 A new housing project by the Urban League of Rochester will help low-income renters become homeowners. L2P Westside is the first development of the project, consisting of 41 brand new homes on Rochester’s Southwest side. 

The way the program works is that eligible tenants making below 60% of the median income in the city of Rochester can rent a single-family home, with the option of purchasing the home after 15 years.

Javannah Davis / WXXI News

The words “safe zone” still frame the windows of the empty Out Alliance building on College Avenue, but Bianca Castro wouldn’t describe her experience there as safe.

“We went to one of the trans groups and it literally was divided," Castro said. "There were white folks on one side and brown folks on the other, and it didn’t feel safe.”

Castro briefly attended programs at the organization, which was then called the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, but she said she never found a community there.


For 12% of adults living in the U.S., an unexpected expense of $400 or more would be a financial hardship, according to a 2019 study by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.

Studies have shown that financial literacy — learning about budgeting, debt management, and banking — can prevent financial hardship. Those are some of the topics offered at Wednesday’s ROC Your Money financial literacy workshop, hosted by State Sen. Jeremy Cooney and the Financial Empowerment Center.


Teachers at Rochester's School of the Arts were surprised Wednesday when a particularly well-known alumnus dropped by in a virtual call for a special announcement.

Greater Rochester Black Business Alliance / WXXI News

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, research shows about 40% of Black-owned businesses closed across the United States.

Rochester wasn't spared, according to David Powe, the new leader of the Greater Rochester Black Business Alliance. But while Black-owned businesses in the region were hurt badly, he's seeing it turn around.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

According to a study by a national urban planning organization, Smart Growth America, pedestrian deaths have increased by 45% in the last decade. Reconnect Rochester and its partners are hoping to improve the safety for pedestrians and bicyclists in Monroe County and are calling on the community to nominate intersections and trouble areas for the Complete Streets Makeover project.

April Franklin / WXXI News

People trickled into the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester on Tuesday with hopes that they may be entitled to even a little bit of the $17 billion of unclaimed funds held by New York state.

On hand to help people find out if they were owed some money were State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Assemblymember Demond Meeks. 

Staff from DiNapoli's office helped people search the electronic database containing millions of records of unclaimed funds.