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Buffalo, What’s Next? | Slam Poetry, Women of Color Summit, and Basanta Utsav

On today’s three-part episode we first speak with the slam poet team of Pure Ink Poetry. They made time to speak to us before heading down to Tennessee where they’ll be representing Western New York in the 2023 Southern Fried Poetry Slam. Next, Sara Taylor of Eleversity joins the show to promote her organization’s Women of Color Summit which begins this week Friday and continues throughout the Summer. In it, participants will hear from influential women of color who are making strides and breaking barriers in their respective professional fields. And finally, with Spring in the air, the Sanskriti Bengali Cultural Group of Western New York will be celebrating Basanta Utsav this weekend and their member Shuhartho Ghose comes on to break down the traditions and meanings around the festive celebration of renewal.

Latest Episodes
  • On this week’s Producers Picks, we revisit some stand out conversations from the last few episodes from our show’s prior iteration - Buffalo, What’s Next? We hear conversations from: Yanhong Baranski - Asian-American and former President of the Chinese Club of Western New York, Ryan Howze - Founder of Conscious Environment Creation and Say Whaaat? Podcast, and Nicholas Ramirez - Civil Rights attorney with the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo.
  • On this episode of What’s Next?, we hear how one Buffalonian took her passion for storytelling and animation and turned it into a Hollywood career. Mia Kai Simonne Moody joins Jay Moran to detail the lessons she learned and skills she honed to land a dream job working on one of television’s longest-running animated shows – “Family Guy”.
  • Today on What’s Next? our Disability Reporter Emyle Watkins talks to paratransit activist, Stephanie Speaker, about the need to revamp some of the regulations around NFTA Metro Bus Paratransit Access Line service. The service provides origin-to-destination transportation to individuals eligible for it under the American with Disabilities Act. Afterwards, Lorenzo Rodriguez speaks with Shara Armprester an author and the creator of Natural Beauty Cuties. Shara’s mission is to promote self-care and the unique beauty that comes with being a black and brown girl. We also discuss the growing concerns with Period Poverty – the lack of access to sanitary products, education, and hygiene facilities for the part of our population that menstruates.
  • On this episode of What’s Next?, we focus on The Exchange at Beverly Gray. For some time now, the Exchange has been serving as an incubator for BIPOC entrepreneurs and business owners in the Buffalo area. Jay Moran heads down to the center to speak with The Exchange’s Executive Director, Derrick Parson, to discuss the services and resources they’re providing business owners trying to get their business ventures off and running. Afterwards, Lorenzo Rodriguez talks with a number of vendors and entrepreneurs at the Black Business Month Block Party hosted by The Exchange.
  • Tucked away in the suburbs of Depew, NY is the 292-acre ecological gem that is the Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve. On this episode of What’s Next?, Lorenzo Rodriguez takes a tour of the preserve with Marcus Rosten - an Environmental Educator with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Marcus describes the many sights there are to see at Reinstein Woods as well as throughout the Western New York area. They also discuss the Black Birders movement that has helped to highlight and inspire a whole new group of avid avian admirers.
  • On this week’s Producers Picks, we revisit some stand out conversations from the last few episodes from our show’s prior iteration - Buffalo, What’s Next? We hear conversations from Todd Vaarwerk, the Chief Policy Officer for Western New York Independent Living, Ben Hilligas, the Executive Director for Buffalo Educational Opportunity Center, and Christine Carr-Barmasse, Executive director of Mission: Ignite.
  • The Buffalo fashion scene takes center stage later this month on September 30th at the inaugural fig Fashion Show. On this episode of What’s Next?, we put artist and leather craftsman, Dame Powell, on display. Born and raised in Buffalo, we discuss his inspirations, how he discovered his passion, and his hopes for the City of Good Neighbors to someday become a city of high fashion.
  • On today’s episode of What’s Next?, we tackle one of the leading causes of death in this country – tobacco use. Lorenzo Rodriguez speaks with the Director of The New York State Smokers’ Quitline, Dr. Andrew Hyland, as well as one of the program’s participants, Herman. They discuss the unique ways the Quitline is aiding tobacco users in kicking the habit and how it successfully helped Herman. They also discuss the tactics employed by tobacco companies to target black communities.
  • Dr. Keith Burich, history professor emeritus at Canisius College and author of “We Remain: Race, Racism and the Story of the American Indian”, joins Jay Moran to discuss the many indigenous groups of the United States and their collective history. Dr. Burich shares his extensive knowledge about their struggle to attain equality and the unjust set of rules that Native Americans have been made to follow in this country.
  • On this first episode of the newly-named What’s Next? we bring you a story that has been a part of the regional news landscape for months. A discussion that has been ongoing in this country for decades: what to do with our immigrant population? Producer Lorenzo Rodriguez had the opportunity to speak to one of the immigrants who were bussed to Western New York from New York City back in June of this year. This is the story of “Alberto”, a Nicaraguan national who immigrated to the United States with his wife. They left their home and daughters behind in order to flee persecution from the Sandinista National Liberation Front and the oppressive government of Daniel Ortega.