Racial Justice

The WNY Peace Center works to combat institutional racial inequality in WNY. Join the Racial Justice Taskforce on Facebook.

Travelers’ Insurance Diversity Program for Black History Month (February 2021)

The WNY Peace Center, in celebration of Black History month, invites you to participate in activities to support women in the intersection – Women of Color (and/or who are part of some other marginalized group), a key demographic in our efforts.

Please join us in that– check out our taskforces, our event calendars, our Weekly News; and/or become a member. Also, please spread the word!

In the spirit of fighting the evils of poverty as identified by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the WNY Peace Center also asks that you donate in-kind items any of the following:

Reading List for the Intersection:  Black History Month / Women’s March

  1. Kendall, Mikki. Hood Feminism. Viking, 2020. A potent and electrifying critique of today’s feminist movement announcing a fresh new voice in Black feminism.
  2. Brooks-Bertram, Dr. Peggy. Dear Kamala. Indiana University Press/Red Lightning Books, 2021. Local author/educator’s new book of letters to Vice President Harris; 20 Buffalo women among those featured, including Betty Jean Grant, Eva Doyle, Sandra Williams Bush, Sharon Holley, Vonetta T. Rhodes, Joan Simmons, Shirley Sarmiento. Zawadi Books, 1382 Jefferson Ave, Buffalo 14208; 12-4pm Weds, Fri, Sat or call 716-903-6740.
  3. Morrison, Toni.  The Source of Self-Regard. Penguin Random House, 2019. Arguably the most celebrated and revered writer of our time now gives us a new nonfiction collection—a rich gathering of her essays, speeches, and meditations on society, culture, and art, spanning four decades.
  4. Grant, Betty Jean. Falling Through the Crack. XLibris Publishing Co,, 2008. WNYPC Board Member, We Are Women Warriors Leader, and Former County Legislator Betty Jean Grant’s poetry. Zawadi Books, 1382 Jefferson Ave, Buffalo 14208; 12-4pm Weds, Fri, Sat or call 716-903-6740.
  5. Jones, Martha S. Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All. Basic Books, 2020. The epic history of African American women’s pursuit of political power — and how it transformed America.
  6. Carruthers, Charlene A. Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements. Beacon Press, 2019. A manifesto from one of America’s most influential activists which disrupts political, economic, and social norms by reimagining the Black Radical Tradition.
  7. West, Cornel. Black Prophetic Fire. Beacon Press, 2014. An unflinching look at 19th and 20th Century African American leaders and their visionary legacies. Including Ella Baker and Ida B. Wells.
  8. Oluo, Ijeoma. So you want to talk about race. SealPress, NYC, 2019. Guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American live.
  9. King, Dr. Bernice A. Hard Questions, Heart Answers. Broadway Books, Bantam Doubleday Dell, NYC, 1996. the youngest daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Coretta Scott King, is an ordained minister, an attorney, and one of this country’s most admired speakers. As this remarkable collection of her sermons and speeches makes clear, she shares with her father a rare gift for oratory and the wisdom and compassion to inspire others.
  10. Tubbs, Anna Malaika. The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation. Coming out shortly. BurningBooks.com
  11. Kendi, Ibram x. Four hundred souls. One World Press, 2021. Coming out shortly.
  12. Kendi, Ibram X. How Ro Be An Antiracist. One World Random House, NYC, 2019. A bracingly original approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in our society, and in ourselves.
  13. Baldwin, James. The Fire Next Time. Vintage Books Random House, NYC, 1962/1992. A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin’s early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two “letters,” written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as “sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle…all presented in searing, brilliant prose,” The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of our literature.

Please join us at the to work on: our Better Policing Campaign, including more Community Policing, De-escalation and Diversity Training, LEAD Program, LLEP , and ___ your suggestion here ____. More on these below the following note.

Note: If you are willing to participate in a study of the impact of increasingly visible state violence on young black and Latino adults, the info is at the bottom of this page.

Better Policing Campaign: Including more Community Policing; Enhanced Training (incl De-escalation, Diversity trainings); LEAD – Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion – Programs, ie, diverting to community providers when poverty, substance abuse, and/or mental health are causal factor(s); making marijuana the Lowest Law Enforcement Priority for local police; and more.

Speak Out for Ethical Police Officers: Community sessions have been held repeatedly in each of Buffalo’s five police districts, bringing together local residents and police officers to work toward ethical law enforcement. We’ll now be attending the Police Districts’ community meetings to further the conversation in that setting. Please email assistant@wnypeace.org if you’re interested in helping us make sure we’re covering all the Community Police District Meetings.

Public Demonstrations: Rallies and public responses to specific incidences of injustice, including deaths at the Erie County Holding Center and at the hands of local law enforcement.

More information on local racial justice issues and actions:

Of note: NCLEJ and WNY Law Center have established a telephone number that people can confidentially call to share their personal experiences with BPD checkpoints. That number is 646-680-8906. Call them if you’ve been through a checkpoint and please share far and wide!

Study of visible state violence on young black and Latino adults

Our names are Judelysse Gomez and Lauren Reid, we are female Assistant Professors of color at Connecticut College and Arcadia University, located in New London, CT and Glenside, PA respectively. We invite you, and those in your network, to participate in our online survey. With our study, we aim to understand the relationship among direct and/or social and news media-based exposure to racially-motivated violence, mental health and coping among Black and/or Latinx/Hispanic young adults. Specifically, we want to identify the impact of increasingly visible police, federal, and alt-right violence against Black and Brown communities, and what might promote individual and collective well-being.  The study has been approved by the Connecticut College and Arcadia University’s Human Subjects Research Office (CC IRB# 2017.18-44).

We would hope that you could participate and/or forward this study to anyone who you think might be interested. Feel free to share the study link via social media.

Participants must between 18 and 26 years of age, self-identify as Black or Latinx/Hispanic, use social media, and have access to a computer.

If you meet these criteria you can click on this link where you will be directed to the online survey and more information: https://conncoll.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_ctDnYJl7RYoMS2h

Participation is anonymous and participation can be withdrawn from the study at any time. Study completion is expected to take approximately 30 minutes.

If you have any questions, you may contact us at jgomez2@conncoll.edu or reidl@arcadia.edu.

Thank you for your time,

Judelysse Gomez & Lauren Reid