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Buffalo, What's Next? | The Promise Neighborhood, And A Black Woman’s Grief

Today, Talia Rodriguez talks with Thomas O'Neil-White about her role as associate director of the West Side Promise Neighborhood, a group that works to create a vibrant and healthy West Side, with particular emphasis on getting children to reach their potential “wrapped in the education, health and social support they need, from cradle to career.” She also shares stories of her own life as a Latina in Buffalo. Then, a personal story from Tammy Simon-Baldon. She lost her husband to cancer two years into her marriage and will talk about what grief looks like for Black women. She has also done some work on DEI in Buffalo and Richmond Virginia and talks about the differences in culture and race in those two cities.

Latest Episodes
  • Jamestown Community College recently partnered with Collins Correctional Facility for a joint prison education program, headed up by Reid Helford. He’s made it his life’s work to teach incarcerated students, and he’s learned a lot about identity, perception, and value from those lessons. Helford joins Jay Moran on campus in Jamestown for a conversation tackling his experiences, how academic expression can allow for growth opportunities, and more.
  • Smoking rates are declining, but efforts to curb tobacco use keep ramping up. Rashawn Smalls, the program manager for Tobacco-Free Erie and Niagara through CAI Global, joins What’s Next? to talk about what it means to advance tobacco-free communities, including eliminating secondhand smoke and creating overall healthy environments. Then, we revisit a conversation with expert Dr. Gary Giovino about how tobacco use interacts with other factors like diet and income.
  • In light of a recent conference presented by the Western New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, What’s Next? features a conversation about Black caregiving. We welcome Robin Hodges, board member of the Alzheimer’s Association; Andrea Koch, the organization’s Director of Education and Training; and Dr. Carleara Weiss, Research Assistant Professor in the Office of Nursing Research at the University at Buffalo. The three join Jay Moran to discuss caregiving in communities of color and offer some context for the ongoing challenges to meet those needs.
  • Today on What’s Next?, we welcome Marie Patton, the vice president of the National Association of Women in Construction’s Buffalo Niagara chapter. Patton is also the director of operations and safety at Active Workforce, a job placement and training organization that helps workers in construction connect with contractors looking to hire. She sits down with Jay Moran to discussion how women still only make up a small fraction of total construction jobs – and how her organizations work to help change that through networking and resources.
  • What’s Next? welcomes returning guest Aitina Fareed-Cooke, a multi-disciplined artist who was recently named Buffalo’s second-ever poet laureate. Fareed-Cooke is deeply invested in the creative arts, as well as education through her work with the media company Get Fokus’d Productions. She joins host Holly Kirkpatrick for a conversation about plans for her new role and the importance of service, and she also reads an excerpt of her poem “Forever Serve.”
  • The Buffalo Courier-Express called him the “Jackie Robinson of Buffalo broadcasting,” and throughout his career on the air locally, the city’s first Black DJ Jimmy Lyons spoke with leading figures like Sammy Davis Jr. and Sam Cooke. What’s Next? travels to the home where he raised his family on Northland Avenue to speak with Gail, his daughter. She shares stories about Jimmy’s life, including his time as a performer, and makes a case for why Jimmy Lyons belongs in the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
  • Today’s What’s Next? features two conversations devoted to the state of New York’s legal cannabis marketplace. First, Thomas O’Neil-White sits down with Sheldon Anderson, the CEO and one of the co-owners of Public Flower, the first Black - and woman-owned licensed dispensary in the city of Buffalo. Then, producer Patrick Hosken speaks with Paula Collins, an attorney specializing in cannabis law and tax preparation, who is also running for New York's 21st congressional district this year.
  • Bree Gilliam is a visual artist whose portrait and mural work, in her own words, incorporates bold color and expressive brushwork to provoke emotion from her audience. Tiffany Gaines is the curatorial and digital content associate at the Burchfield Penney working on a project called “From the City: Exploring the Continuum of Buffalo’s Black Arts Scene.” Both join What’s Next? producer Patrick Hosken for separate conversations about creative expression and what that looks like locally, as well as upcoming work to look out for.
  • Today’s What’s Next? features a conversation with Marcus Watson, associate professor of Africana Studies and Individualized Studies at Buffalo State University. His research focuses on the Black freedom struggle globally as well as social activism in South Africa, Ghana, and the U.S. Watson sits down with Jay Moran for a conversation about his studies, his Peace Corps work in South Africa shortly after apartheid, what students find most resonant about Africana studies, and more.
  • Today on What’s Next?, Jay Moran sits down with Dr. Lori Quigley, professor and coordinator of the Ph.D. in Leadership in Policy program at Niagara University. Quigley’s academic research and her work as an education consultant has put social justice about Native issues at the forefront. This month, she will be a visiting professor at St. Bonaventure University, where she will speak about the relationship between Indigenous peoples and the U.S. today. Here, she previews those talks.