WBFO Racial Equity Project

The Racial Equity Project is funded by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

On the first anniversary of white nationalist rally that turned into an anti-police protest in Charlottesville, VA, around two dozen protestors turned out in Niagara Falls, marching to a now-closed white supremacist bar.

Pay gap for women even wider when race factored in

Aug 8, 2018
Equal Pay for All

Each year, Aug. 7 is observed as Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. It is the date in 2018 when a black woman catches up to what the average white, non-Hispanic man already earned by the end of 2017. In general, women make $0.80 to every $1 a man makes, but when analyzing race as well as gender, the gaps widen.

File photo: Chris Caya WBFO News

The video on social media of a black man being arrested in a Buffalo coffee shop - while the white man he was fighting with remained free - may not be the end of the story.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The New York State Health Department took its cancer study into the field Tuesday night, to the Delavan-Grider Community Center - in the middle of Western New York's cancer hot zone.

worldstarhiphop.com / Facebook

The Buffalo Common Council will be investigating the arrest of a black man seen in a video scuffling with a white security guard.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

After years of fighting over more affordable housing, one local developer has voluntarily set aside 15 percent of his new project for below-market-rate apartments - but are they really?

Errol Daniels / "Coming Home: Reentry After Incarceration"

What happens to people after they are released from prison? That is the challenge featured in a photo essay at Buffalo's CEPA Gallery called, "Coming Home: Reentry After Incarceration."

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The public fight over the 2016 death of India Cummings moved to the steps of City Hall Thursday, as activists increase their calls for criminal prosecutions.

In courtrooms across New York, the bail system helps guarantee defendants show up for their cases. But critics say the system hurts low-income families; if they can’t put up thousands of dollars, they have to sit in jail.

States like New Jersey, California and New Mexico have already reformed their bail structure. Now, reform in New York State is being looked at as well.


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

For two-and-a-half years, the death of India Cummings has  raised questions. Cummings died after spending 17 days at the Erie County Holding Center. Thursday brought another protest outside the Holding Center, in the wake of a state report that said homicide should be listed as the woman's cause of death.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Erie County Legislature Majority Leader April Baskin will hold a special session of the Public Safety Committee on Wednesday to review, line by line, the State Commission of Correction's Medical Review Board report on the death of India Cummings.

In 2006, Buffalo officials took a bold step by passing a law which expanded upon state and federal fair housing guidelines. The law prohibits landlords from discriminating against potential tenants who rely upon federal subsidies like Section 8 which is used by thousands in Buffalo.  On WBFO's Press Pass, Charlotte Keith of Investigative Post discusses her story which indicates city officials are doing little to enforce the statute                                                                        


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The state agency that investigates inmate deaths is out with scathing findings in the death of India Cummings, the 27-year-old Lackawanna woman who died in the custody of the Erie County Holding Center in February 2016.

When Calling The Po-Po Is A No-No

Jul 16, 2018

Melissa DePino didn't take the infamous April video that showed two black men being handcuffed and ejected from a Philadelphia Starbucks—but she agreed to post it.

"I know these things happen," the writer says, "but I'd never actually witnessed it myself. And when I saw it I thought 'people need to see this.'"

So she uploaded and pressed "send." It got millions of views, and people are still talking about it.

Mike Desmond

Affordable housing in Buffalo is an issue that affects thousands of people and it’s made worse by rising rents in some parts of the city. In the second part of a series, WBFO’s Mike Desmond asks: What can be done? 


Nick Lippa / WBFO

In Buffalo, the economy is improving and that’s generally good news, but it’s driving up rents in some neighborhoods. That’s bad for people who can’t afford to pay much. In the first of a two-part series, WBFO’s Mike Desmond takes a look at the issue of affordable housing.


National Public Radio

For 75 years, the state's Cancer Registry has been collecting detailed information about cancer among New Yorkers. The data has identified fours areas of the state where there are significantly elevated levels of certain cancers. Among those areas is Buffalo's East Side and adjacent western Cheektowaga.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is directing the state university system to continue policies that promote racial diversity among students after the Trump administration said the federal government will let schools leave race out of admission decisions.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

Across Western New York, farmers’ markets can be found in just about every community, and each one has its own style. In two Buffalo neighborhoods, markets cater to unique communities – ones without easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables.


Dept. of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation / University of Rochester

More than a century after his death, Frederick Douglass and July 4 remain profoundly intertwined.

A lawsuit is being filed in federal court now challenging the city of Buffalo's saturation traffic stops conducted in high crime neighborhoods.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Say Yes Buffalo is holding its ‘Countdown to College’ kickoff. Say Yes Scholars have been attending a two-day event of workshops to prepare for navigating college.  WBFO’s senior reporter Eileen Buckley met with one of the keynote speakers who guides underserved students of color.


Nick Lippa / WBFO

Buffalo has lots of old buildings and pipes. If not properly maintained, they could expose residents to lead. As part of the Lead Service Replacement Awards program, $567,492 is being pledged to help replace water service lines. With bills like the LEAD act already passing through the New York State Assembly and awaiting Senate approval, further steps could be taken in the future to combat lead exposure.

In Minneapolis, people are protesting the police shooting of a black 31-year-old man. Details are still hazy, but some see it as another racially-charged confrontation involving police. In Buffalo, some residents say they feel a race-based bias when it comes to policing.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Democratic Lt. Gov. candidate Jumaane Williams used this weekend to do some campaigning in Western New York. The Brooklyn Councilmember is challenging current incumbent Kathy Hochul, saying he will be an independent advocate for all New Yorkers.

Thomas O'Neil-White

On Buffalo’s East Side, a new job training center is taking shape. Officials and residents hope it will address the community's high unemployment rate, while boosting development in that area – and across the city.

City of Buffalo

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown says the city has lost a true pioneer. The Hon. Barbara Merriweather Sims has died.

Dorothy Cotton, a leader in the civil rights movement who educated thousands of African-Americans about their rights and the power of organizing, has died at 88.

She died at a retirement community in Ithaca, N.Y., the Ithaca Journal reports. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference confirmed her death to the Associated Press.

In the 1960s, just about all of the beaches on Long Island Sound in Connecticut were off-limits to people of color. Then Ned Coll came along.

In his book, "Free the Beaches: The Story of Ned Coll and the Battle for America’s Most Exclusive Shoreline," historian Andrew Kahrl describes Coll’s creative protests to smash the color bar and open the beaches to all children wanting to cool off on hot days.

This week, ABC cancelled Roseanne Barr’s TV show because of a racially charged tweet. It’s the latest in a string of troubling racial incidents – like the white woman who called the police on a black family barbecuing. But these are everyday realities faced by folks living in brown, black, tan, or just “not” white skin. Experts call this a troubling undercurrent of racism.


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