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Buffalo, What's Next?: Friday Producers’ Picks

Our weekly "Producers' Picks " program features highlights of earlier interviews. In our feature interview, Jay Moran and Thomas O’Neil White speak with Fatima Morell, Buffalo Public Schools Associate Superintendent of culturally and linguistically responsive initiatives. Dave Debo is with Antoine Johnson, director of the Fatherhood program at the Buffalo Prenatal Perinatal Network. Thomas also interviews Melodie Baker, National Policy Director at Just Equations, a group that advocates for more equality in math and STEM. And Brigid Jaipaul-Valenza speaks with Buffalo-based author Desiree Williams (and her son Cortland) on her book "Beautiful Brown Babies."

Latest Episodes
  • What’s Next? returns to Olean for a conversation with Della Moore, the founder and executive director of the African American Center for Cultural Development. She first came to Olean 52 years ago and has since become a fixture of the community. Her center is full of artifacts from the local black history of the Southern Tier, including items from her own personal collection. Moore joins host Jay Moran and producer Patrick Hosken for a tour of the center and a discussion about its mission and history, and what she’s learned from a half-century in Olean.
  • Today’s What’s Next? welcomes two people from the Buffalo Latino Village, a local publication that bills itself as “the progressive voice of the Latino community.” Alberto Cappas is the publisher, and Solomon Joseph is the editor. Together with columnists who cover arts, economic development, local advocacy and more, the two organize and distribute the monthly publication primarily on Buffalo’s West Side. Cappas and Joseph sit down with Jay Moran for a conversation about the vibrancy and diversity of the Latino community, the affiliated Buffalo Online Latino Art Gallery, redevelopment on the West Side, and more.
  • Our guest on What’s Next? today is Hagar Hafez from the New York Immigration Coalition, where she is the Manager of Organizing and Strategy in Western New York. The coalition represents over 200 immigrant and refugee rights groups throughout the state. Hagar’s advocacy involves language access, and she has also worked as a translator and has navigated resettlement herself. She joins Jay Moran to discuss this work, as well as lobbying for policy change in Albany, the future of immigrant communities in Buffalo, and more.
  • Today’s What’s Next? is devoted to discussing a proposed state bill that would equip teachers with a guide and resources for incorporating climate education into their classrooms. Joining Jay Moran for this conversation are Dr. Alexandra Schindel, Associate Professor of Learning and Instruction at the University at Buffalo; Dr. Don Haas, Director of Teacher Programming at the Paleontological Research Institution in Ithaca; Tendaji Ya’Ukuu, Ecological Justice Coordinator at a Buffalo non-profit and a UB student in the Environmental Design B.A. program; and Valerie Juang, Climate Justice Student Assistant at UB Sustainability.
  • What’s Next? ventures down to Olean to speak with Dr. Genelle Morris, superintendent for the Olean City School District. Before assuming that role in 2022, she spent years in the Rochester and Buffalo schools in a variety of roles, including working in accountability. Her education work has balanced both the data and the people it represents. Dr. Morris joins Jay Moran in her office at Olean High School for a conversation about the state of education in the Southern Tier, how important the data is for making effective changes, COVID’s impact on the classroom, and more.
  • An upcoming arts event is the focus of today’s episode of What’s Next? Chad Williams and Cain McDermott, two co-founders of Buffalo Fashion Runway, join Jay Moran to discuss their upcoming Black Carpet event and how it blends local fashion and design with Black culture and history, as well as Buffalo’s emerging creative economy.
  • Today’s What’s Next? welcomes Donna Robinson, a Buffalo community organizer for the advocacy campaign Releasing Aging People in Prison, or RAPP. Robinson joined the group in 2017 but has been advancing the rights of incarcerated people since long before. Her approach to the work is wide-ranging, and she knows firsthand what the carceral system can do to families across generations. She speaks with Jay Moran about parole reform, clemency, what it looks like for people who are still behind bars after decades, and what changes might be coming.
  • Today’s Producer’s Pick episode of What’s Next? revisits standout conversations from recent episodes. First, Thomas O’Neil-White speaks with Northland Workforce Training Center President and CEO Stephen Tucker about the center’s recent development grants and new clean technology lab in addition to returning Buffalo to its place as a major manufacturing area. Then, Jay Moran sits down with Thomas Beauford Jr. and Darnell Haywood Jr. from the Buffalo Urban League to examine trends impacting people of color, including assaults on democracy, book-banning, the erosion of voting access, and suppressing history.
  • Carol Anderson’s 2016 book White Rage is the inspiration for an upcoming panel discussion sponsored by Say Yes Buffalo. Ahead of that event, What’s Next? welcomes two of its panelists: Stephanie Peete, Director of Workforce Development at Say Yes Buffalo and panel organizer; and Rob Lesteste, Business Intelligence and Workforce Manager at Invest Buffalo Niagara. Moderator Wil Green, Director of Outreach and Community Engagement at the University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education, joins the two for a conversation with Jay Moran about how systemic inequality impacts education, professional development, and labor and workforce needs here in Buffalo.
  • Today on What’s Next?, Thomas O’Neil-White speaks with Juanita McClain, an author and sickle cell disease activist, and Dr. Steven Ambrusko, the director of the Sickle Cell & Hemoglobinopathy Center of Western New York. The three discuss recent promising breakthroughs in treating sickle cell disease and what roadblocks still remain. Then, Jay Moran sits down with former Congressman Brian Higgins in Washington, D.C. at the tail end of his time in office. Higgins looks back at his 19 years serving New York’s 26th congressional district ahead of his future as President and CEO of Shea's Performing Arts Center.