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 of Rochester

The Urban League of Rochester has announced a new $300,000 program to support small businesses in Monroe County. 

The Sustaining Small Businesses and COVID-19 Relief Grant Program will help selected woman- and minority-owned businesses. 

The Urban League has been providing education and training for startups and small minority-owned businesses through its entrepreneurial assistance center for 25 years. It recently partnered with the ESL Federal Credit Union Charitable Foundation to provide the relief program for those affected by the pandemic 

United Christian Leadership Ministry

In response to Gov.  Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order on police reform, The United Christian Leadership Ministry has announced their proposed recommendations for changes to policing in Monroe County.

The organization says they want to change the culture within the police department and have submitted five proposed recommendations for Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren to consider. Cuomo wants plans for reform from police departments around the state.

Max Schulte/WXXI News

 The effort to save St. Michael’s Church on North Clinton Avenue continues. A second proposal recently submitted has given the diocese another option to consider.

Friends of St. Michael's is a group of community members, some of them non-Catholics, who all want to keep the doors of the church open. The group submitted a proposed five-year plan to partner with the diocese.

Common Ground Health


 We’re still months away from the COVID-19 vaccine being available to the general public but local organizations are already making efforts to alleviate public skepticism.

Common Ground Health has been doing outreach targeting specific communities since the start of the pandemic. The organization’s president Wade Norwood leads the Monroe County COVID-19 Vaccination task force outreach efforts.

Max Schulte/WXXI News

St. Michael’s Church has been a cornerstone in the city of Rochester’s North Clinton Avenue neighborhood for over a century.

The future of the historic church has come into question in recent years because of low attendance and financial troubles within the Roman Catholic diocese of Rochester.

In an attempt to save St. Michael's community members have submitted a plan to church and diocesan leadership to take over the campus. Now, they’re putting pressure on the diocese to make a decision.


 In the wake of a recent protest against the eviction of a Rochester woman and her family that ended with several arrests, tenants rights activists are pushing for a universal eviction moratorium.

One of the people arrested was New York state Assembly member Demond Meeks. Meeks' arrest was captured live on Facebook while he filmed officers at the eviction of Clianda Florence Yarde from her Glasgow Street apartment. 

Monroe County

To help with community education and equitable vaccine distribution, Monroe County leaders have announced a COVID-19 vaccination task force. 

The task force will collaborate with community leaders and organizations to share accurate information as more vaccines are made available.

Dr. Nancy Bennett, director of the Center for Community Health and Prevention, and Wade Norwood, CEO of Common Ground Health, will help lead the efforts alongside county health commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza.

April Franklin

 Although Majestic Hair Design is open for business, owner Debbie Wise hasn’t spent much of the week doing hair at the Irondequoit salon.

Instead, she has been screening calls on behalf of Catholic Family Services, helping people who are applying for rental assistance through the Eviction Prevention Pilot Initiative. 

United Way of Greater Rochester

More than 2,000 people were tested for the coronavirus in Monroe County this past week, and city officials want to keep up the momentum.

The United Way of Greater Rochester is looking for volunteers to assist with testing at four Rochester high schools.

The free, rapid tests are happening through the end of the month at East, Wilson, Franklin and Jefferson high schools.

Lisle Coleman is a program associate for the United Way, and she said volunteers have been essential in helping to double the number of people tested.

Accessible Adventures

The coronavirus pandemic has delayed plans for a partnership to provide recreational sports opportunities for people with disabilities in western New York.

In March, Rochester Accessible Adventures partnered with Greater Buffalo Adaptive Sports to form the Western New York Adaptive Inclusion Collaborative. The goal of the collaborative is to develop a regional adaptive and inclusive sports system.