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

Urban League/Zoom

More than 450 people attended the first day of Rochester’s Interrupt Racism Summit on Tuesday. The two-day virtual summit sponsored by The Urban League of Rochester educates people on how to dismantle racism at their workplaces and in their communities.

In her keynote speech to participants, Urban League of Rochester CEO Seanelle Hawkins said many organizations will speak out against racism without addressing systemic problems in their own organization.

April Franklin / WXXI News

About 100 people gathered at Susan B. Anthony Square in Rochester Saturda for the Rochester Women's March. 

The protest and march, part of a national call-to-action in solidarity with the Women's March organization, was held to oppose the appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. Participants are asking congressional members to vote against filling Justice Ruth Ginsburg's seat before the Nov. 3 election. The demonstrators were calling for members of Congress to support a woman's right to choose, Black lives matter, LGBTQ rights, and 'healthcare for all.'

April Franklin/WXXI News



On Sunday afternoon, La Marketa at the International Plaza made its long-awaited debut.

Hundreds of people weaved in and out of the outdoor marketplace, greeting friends as they purchased food and other items from vendors selling anything from fresh produce to jewelry.

The Latin-themed marketplace and event space is located on North Clinton Avenue, near St. Michael's church, the visual cornerstone to Rochester's largest Latinx community.


At a Black Doctors for Black Lives rally in memory of George Floyd in June, URMC President Dr. Mark Taubman stood with members of the Black Physicians Network. On that day, he made a public commitment to the University of Rochester's diversity efforts. What no one at the event knew was that months before, another man had suffocated while in police custody just hours after leaving the Strong Hospital’s emergency department. That man was Daniel Prude who died a week later.

April Franklin

C.A.R.E. Rochester, which stands for Community Action Resources Education, is a partnership between the Father Laurence Tracy Advocacy Center, Ibero-American Action League, and Trillium Health to address the opioid epidemic. One of the ways CARE is helping Rochester’s North Clinton neighborhood is by cleaning up discarded needles around the area. 


The City of Rochester and Monroe County have teamed up with several organizations and community groups to provide free COVID-19 testing and flu vaccinations in city neighborhoods. 

The initiative is intended to give Black and brown communities better access to health screenings and prevention. For two weeks, select Rochester churches will serve as the locations for the testing sites and flu clinics. 

provided photo

In a year commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and the bicentennial of Susan B. Anthony’s birthday, the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House also consulted on a new Barbie doll honoring the suffragist leader.

The Susan B. Anthony doll is part of Mattel’s Inspiring Women line of Barbies. President and CEO of the musem, Deborah Hughes, said that she was delighted when Mattel’s designed team reached out to staff at the museum who served as historical consultants on the doll’s wardrobe.


Over the weekend, UPrep, a Rochester charter school, opened its doors to staff and students for the first time since the pandemic. 

They came together to mourn the loss of Jarvis Alexander.  The 2019 graduate was a student-athlete, excelling in both football and track and field. He died this past weekend in a shooting that also took the life of 19-year-old Jaquayla Young and left 14 others injured.  

UPrep CEO Walter Larkin describes Alexander as a scholar-athlete. He says sports motivated him to excel in the classroom.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Some of America's first cowboys, Kentucky Derby winners and horse trainers were Black. But if you look at horse communities today, the legacy of African American horsemanship appears to be almost nonexistent.

Matthew Doward is trying to change the image and perception of the modern equestrian. 

For the past 16 years, his program -- A Horse's Friend -- has been providing kids access to their first horse experience.

The Batavia native says there's a lack of diversity in the upstate New York horse communities.


Art students and community members collaborated over the weekend on a mural honoring the centennial for the 19th Amendment. 

Located on West Main Street in the same area where Susan B. Anthony cast her then illegal ballot in 1872, the piece is a depiction of Anthony on a bicycle representing Rochester’s role in the history of transportation, suffrage, and women’s rights.

Lucy Ray, 16, designed the mural with her mother Jessica Leiberman. She said the mural is inspired by Susan B. Anthony’s admiration for the bicycle and its role in the emancipation of women.