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What's Next?
What’s Next?
Monday - Thursday 10am and 9pm, Sunday at 6pm

What’s Next? is a program that uncovers and discusses the issues and topics pertinent to marginalized and underrepresented populations of Western New York and Southern Ontario.

From inception, days after the racist May 14, 2022 shooting in Buffalo, the show has tasked itself to be a champion for social equity and justice. Moving forward we will continue to feature voices from all parts of our shared community to celebrate our individual differences as well as the commonalities.

The show is broadcast live on the air from 10am to 11am Monday through Thursday, and airs again at 9pm Monday through Thursday as well as Sundays at 6pm on WBFO. It is also available digitally through WBFO’s website, apps, and as a podcast.

Listeners can participate by using the "Talk to Us" feature in the WBFO mobile app, available on Apple and Android devices. Open the app and scroll to the bottom bar where the "Talk to Us" button allows listeners to send audio recordings straight to the newsroom.
You can also reach the production staff by e-mailing WhatsNext@wbfo.org.

Latest Episodes
  • We revisit a stand-out conversation with Stephanie Peete, Wil Green, and Rob Leteste, who all appeared on a recent panel themed around Carol Anderson’s book White Rage presented by Say Yes Buffalo. The event was moderated by Green, the director of outreach and community engagement at the University at Buffalo’s graduate school. Peete is Say Yes Buffalo’s workforce development director, and Leteste is the business intelligence and workforce manager at Invest Buffalo Niagara. The latter appeared as panelists, along with professionals in law, mental health, and other fields. A portion of that panel discussion can be heard in the second half of the episode.
  • On today’s episode, we welcome three guests whose work in veteran services and outreach has culminated in a new study concentrated on Buffalo’s East Side. Bob James, team leader for WNY Vets, and former service members Edwin Gadson and Marlene Roll join Jay Moran to discuss the findings of the East Buffalo Veterans Study, a years-long campaign designed to highlight the needs of Buffalo veterans who may not know about the services available to them, or how to find them.
  • Today’s What’s Next? welcomes guests associated with National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York: Mara Koven-Gelman, the senior director of Buffalo Jewish Community Relations Council; Rev. Dr. Todd Leach, the senior pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church; Tim Sember, Trocaire College’s vice president of mission and advancement; and Rene Petties-Jones, the president of NFJC of WNY, Inc. They’ll discuss their experiences with a grassroots organization called ROOTS, a self-described “network of local Palestinians and Israelis” who hold a series of dialogues and speaking engagements aimed at challenging the assumptions the communities hold about each other and build trust. The members speak with host Jay Moran about their work with ROOTS and share insights from these dialogues.
  • On a special episode of What’s Next?, hosts Thomas O’Neil-White and Jay Moran sit down with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, acclaimed author, professor, historian, and the founder and director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University. Dr. Kendi recently adapted Zora Neale Hurston’s tale of the Atlantic slave trade, Barracoon, into a children’s book, and he speaks about the necessity of bringing that story to young readers. He also offers his take on the continued spread of white supremacy and what Buffalo can keep in mind as the city continues its healing journey.
  • Today on What’s Next?, host Thomas O’Neil-White has two conversations about ongoing issues in the city of Buffalo. First, he sits down with Kelly Dumas of Healing Hub of NY, Inc. and Amanda Paul of Say Yes Buffalo for a discussion about a new program that empowers mental-health clinicians of color. Then, a conversation about anti-lead poisoning efforts with Janayia Capers, an organizer for housing justice at PUSH Buffalo, and Breana Hargrave, a program coordinator at LEAD716. Plus, more from our recent tour of the African American Center for Cultural Development in Olean.
  • 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.
  • In January, organizers from Saving Black Lives held a “menthol funeral” in Washington, D.C. to push the Biden administration to ban menthol tobacco products. On today’s What’s Next?, Thomas O’Neil-White discusses the reasons behind the idea of a ban, as well as quitting tobacco solutions, with two anti-tobacco campaigners: consultant and public health advocate Stan Martin and Sarah Pearson-Collins, Director of Training, Content, and Development at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Then, producer Patrick Hosken gets more history on Big Tobacco’s targeted advertising toward communities of color from Dr. Gary Giovino, of the University at Buffalo’s Department of Community Health and Health Behavior.
  • On today’s Producer’s Pick episode of What’s Next?, we revisit two conversations from recent episodes. First, Thomas O’Neil-White sits down with Najja Bouldin, whose company Phoenix Innovation Group LLC, helps individuals and achieve their goals through performance coaching, speaking, consulting, and facilitating creativity. And we close with Jay Moran speaking with the director of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University at Buffalo, Dr. Henry Louis Taylor, Jr., about the latter’s 2023 report titled, “How We Change the Black East Side,” which acts as a neighborhood planning and development framework for Buffalo’s East Side communities.
  • With Tops shooter Payton Gendron due back in court on February 2, today’s episode of What’s Next? features producer Patrick Hosken having conversations with legal experts around the issue of capital punishment. First, Megan Byrne, a staff attorney at the ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project, explains what to expect from the federal case against Gendron, and discusses the implications of race in relation to the death penalty. And William Easton, a partner at the law firm Easton Thompson Kasperek Shiffrin and former supervising attorney at the Capital Defender Office, traces the history of the death penalty in New York State and his experience defending against it.
  • On today’s What’s Next?, we welcome guests whose work in the health care field is concentrated in Chautauqua County. First, producer Patrick Hosken speaks with Lacey Keefer Wilson, the county’s newly appointed public health director, about the most pressing health issues in her communities and her plans to tackle them in 2024. Then, Jay Moran sits down with two leaders from the Evergreen Health system: Laurie Matson, the associate vice president of Southern Tier services, and Jessica Schanne, the associate vice president of facilities and emergency management. Both discuss the opening of a new Evergreen facility in Jamestown and the future of health care in the Southern Tier.
  • Today on What’s Next?, two conversations about programs based around giving children the best chance at a promising future. First, Jay Moran talks to Holly Fogle, co-founder and president of The Bridge Project, which provides new mothers with consistent, unconditional cash during the beginning of their child’s life. The program began in New York City and comes to Buffalo this year, with the first payments beginning in February. Then, Thomas O’Neil-White sits down with Mia Ayers-Goss, the executive director of MVP, Most Valuable Parents, an advocacy group founded to combat crime and violence through diversion programs like a new basketball league.
  • On today’s What’s Next?, we welcome four people involved with a landscape maintenance technician training program co-sponsored by three local organizations. Gina Burkhardt, the president and CEO of the Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology, and Jeff Lebsack, the director of The Riverline, speak about the origins of the program as well as its ideals. Two workers who have completed the training join to speak about their experiences: Patrick McIntyre, the golf superintendent for Cazenovia, Delaware and South Park Golf Courses; and Rickey Kearney Jr., a supervisor for operations at Delaware Park. All four speak with hosts Thomas O’Neil-White and Jay Moran about what those who complete the training can expect in the job market.
  • On this Producer's Pick episode of What's Next?, Jay Moran talks with Dean Seneca, public health expert and CEO of Seneca Scientific Solutions, who has spent years working with and supporting Tribal communities in their efforts to improve health and combat addiction through education and research. The two discuss how understanding history and intergenerational trauma is key to grappling with modern addiction issues within those communities.