black lives matter

James Brown / WXXI News

Rev. Lewis Stewart and the United Christian Leadership Ministry were joined by more than a dozen community leaders for a solutions-focused discussion on police reform and community relations Thursday night. Roughly 50 people were on hand for the discussion at First Church of God on Clarissa Street.

The forum included members of law enforcement such as Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary, activists from Rochester’s local Black Lives Matter movement, Rochester City Council and others.

We’re joined by members of the United Christian Leadership Ministry to discuss police reform in America. The ministry was founded in 2010; since then, members have advocated for police accountability and policies regarding body worn cameras. Our guests share their perspectives on Rochester City Council’s recent budget vote as it relates to defunding police, and their priorities and recommendations for police reform both locally and nationally. Our guests:

  • Reverend Lewis Stewart, president of United Christian Leadership Ministry
  • Alex White, co-chair of the United Christian Leadership Ministry Community Justice Advisory Board
  • Kerry Coleman, chair of community police relations of United Christian Leadership Ministry

Last week, Rochester City Council passed the city budget, and the subject of defunding police was a hot button issue. We're joined by members of Council who discuss their votes and their perspectives on the best ways to address police reform from a government level.

Our guests:

James Brown / WXXI News

The Nathaniel Rochester statue on South Avenue was defaced about a week ago, and a group in the South Wedge neighborhood is grappling with what to do next. 

The statue was tagged with Black Lives Matter, its hands were painted red and the word "shame" was written on its forehead. Rochester, who the city is named after, owned slaves.

City spokesperson Patrick Flanigan said the statue will be cleaned as soon as possible, “in a manner that will not damage it.” The city has a program called the Defacer Eraser that removes graffiti around the community.

Provided by Vertical Entertainment

"Miss Juneteenth" is one of the current virtual offerings at The Little Theatre, part of the Black Cinema Series. It's about a single mom, Turquoise Jones, a former Miss Juneteenth winner, preparing her rebellious teenage daughter to follow in her footsteps and compete in the pageant.

"One message is pride, one message is teaching history," Richard McCollough says.

Michael Tomb

Local religious leaders gathered outside City Hall on Tuesday calling on elected officials and community members to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Rev. Lane Campbell is a minister with the First Universalist Church of Rochester and chair of the religious leaders caucus of the Rochester Alliance of Communities Transforming Society. She said that it’s time to divest from police departments, uphold the Police Accountability Board, and invest more in community and youth services.

We’re joined by Eddie Moore, Jr., a speaker and educator who provides diversity and cultural competency trainings around the world. One of his key programs is the White Privilege Conference, which brings together people from different backgrounds to discuss issues of privilege, including race, gender, sexuality, and more.

Moore joins us this hour to talk about his teaching methods, and his 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge. Our guest:

  • Eddie Moore, Jr., Ph.D., speaker, educator, and director of the Privilege Institute and the National White Privilege Conference

Gino Fanelli/CITY Newspaper

Organizers of the local Black Lives Matter movement are calling for the Rochester Police Department budget to be cut by 50 percent next fiscal year. Members of the City Council said Monday that it was not going to happen.

The call to “defund the police,” as advocates here and elsewhere refer to it, predates the protests that have erupted across the country in the weeks since the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. But his death has given it new traction.

How much do you know about Juneteenth? Our guests say it’s likely the answer is “not enough.” Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, and there have been calls to make June 19th a federal holiday.

This hour, we discuss the history of Juneteenth, its importance – especially during this current moment in our country – and the Black Lives Matter movement. Our guests:

This hour, we talk with three local friends who share some of the difficult and productive conversations they’ve had about race. A white local racial justice advocate says she’s had humbling discussions with African American friends about the impact of social media posts made by white allies like herself. She says she didn’t realize how certain images or content can be traumatizing, and it’s important for white people to listen and not shy away from uncomfortable conversations. 

We dive into those conversations with our guests:

  • Johnita Anthony, Brighton resident
  • Norman Simmons, Rochester resident
  • Megan Clifford, Brighton resident