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“I don’t know how many more times we can say thoughts and prayers for these families when there’s tangible steps that we can take that actually change the outcomes of some of these things. How many more lessons do we have to learn? How many more lives do we have to lose? How much more trauma do we have to take on until we say this is enough and actually do something?”
– Kathryn Franco, LMSW, MPH

Phylicia Brown & Kathryn Franco

An avowed white supremacist researched Buffalo’s East Side and the Tops supermarket located there and on May 14, 2022, drove 200 miles to kill Black people. Ten community residents were murdered and many others injured and traumatized in the supermarket that also serves as a community hub for the overwhelmingly Black community there.

As we approach one year later, we have invited two women who live and work within the East Side community and have personal and professional histories there. The two friends are in a good position to give voice to the ongoing needs of their community and to tell us what has changed, what hasn’t and how people on the East Side are doing one year later.

Join Phylicia Brown and Kathryn Franco to learn, reflect, and to acknowledge the ongoing reality and consequences of racial trauma in the lives of Black people in our city and Black people everywhere.

Phylicia Brown

Phylicia Brown, MEd, (she/her) is executive director of Black Love Resists in the Rust (BLRR). Born and raised on Buffalo’s East Side, Brown has worked at the intersection of education and social justice as a general and special education teacher, an advocate for students with disabilities, and a school administrator. Brown’s most notable work involved teaching young children about justice, specifically food apartheid. Prior to assuming the role of executive director in 2020, Brown served as the chair of BLRR’s advisory board and a member-leader. Brown is committed to healing justice, base-building and political education for the sake of Black liberation in Buffalo and beyond.

Kathryn Franco

Kathryn Franco, LMSW, MPH, is an adjunct professor at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. Franco brings a depth of clinical and macro experience to her Community Social Work classes. She is a fierce social justice advocate for health equity and HIV/AIDS education in Buffalo neighborhoods, where she has worked to provide access to testing and counseling. During her time as chair of the Buffalo Niagara Community Reinvestment Coalition, Franco engaged in community-level advocacy while working to create and push for policy to advance social and economic justice in Western New York.

Show Notes

Black Love Resists in the Rust (BLRR)

Cite this podcast – Sobota, P. (Host). (2023, Apr 18). Reflections on a shattering year for Black people in Buffalo, New York (No. 316)[Audio podcast episode]. In inSocialWork. University at Buffalo School of Social Work.

Join the discussion

1 comment
  • I appreciated listening to this topic on your podcast. I am a coach/consultant for ITTIC through the Trauma Institute of UB. Although I live in Rochester I spend a great deal of time in the Buffalo/ Niagara Falls area working. I encourage you to please continue to shed light on how our trauma is a direct result of the lack of DEIB which is driven by structural racism ( white supremacy)

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