WBFO Racial Equity Project
WBFO Racial Equity Project

Local organization promotes youth leadership

Twice a month, a group of young black and brown men, all from different parts of Buffalo, come together to learn about themselves and each other.


In recent years, the Buffalo region has had a significant revival, but some question whether all neighborhoods are benefiting.

WNED | WBFO is exploring that broad issue through the lens of racial equity. We’re examining the ways discrimination can leave some residents out of the resurgence – in areas such as education, public safety, housing and the economy.

By telling personal stories from across Buffalo, we can spark community discussions and help develop solutions. We’ll also highlight local groups that are working to close these gaps.

So look for our reports on radio broadcasts, Facebook Live events and digital platforms.

WBFO Racial Equity Project

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

WBFO Racial Equity Project

Tough upbringing drives civic educator to activism

31-year old Orlando Dickson, who has come a long way from abject poverty to becoming an activist and working on social justice reform.

WBFO Racial Equity Project

If you can see it, you can be it

The Muhammad School of Music’s continuing mission to provide inner-city youth with an instrumental education has led to generations of Buffalo-bred professionals.

Community Conversations

"Housing in Black & White," broadcast on Facebook Live, brought together experts to discuss red-lining in Buffalo, affordability and other important issues.

They called for making the city's housing more livable, reforming housing court and addressing the serious health problems that result from lead paint, dust and cockroaches.

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Latest Stories from the WBFO Racial Equity Project
More on Racial Equity from Public Media
The Takeaway

African American Babies are Three Times More Likely to Die

While black babies are two times as more likely than white babies to die before their first birthday, in LA County, the rate is tripled. We've known about this crisis for decades.

The TAkeaway

Public Health Outcomes at the Intersection of Race, Place

According to this year's Key Findings Report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's County Health Rankings, race and place are driving factors for health outcomes.

The TAkeaway

Black Lives at the Multiplex

This week's culture roundup looks at "Sorry to Bother You," "Blindspotting," and "BlacKkKlansman," three new films explicitly focused on issues of racism and black life.

Fresh Air

Oakland Gets A Starring Role Films About Race and Inequality

Blindspotting and Sorry to Bother You are two inventive, genre-busting independent features, each one about a young black man on a strange and harrowing quest for survival.

All Things COnsidered

How Video Games Can Help Us Explore Ideas About Race

A gaming conventions targets people of color with a theme of how they can create games that incorporate — and teach others — ideas of politics and race.


Amid A Hispanic Boom, Conflicting Feelings On Immigration

We went to rural southwestern Virginia, which has one of the fastest-growing Hispanic populations in the state. There, we found a community that holds many of the complicated view

All Things Considered

Asian-Americans Facing Staggering Levels Of Income Inequali

Asian-Americans have displaced African-Americans as the most economically divided group in the U.S., according to the Pew Research Center. Food pantries are seeing growing needs a

Morning Edition

White People Calling The Police On Black People Is Not New

White people have called the police on African-Americans during everyday activities. We look into the historical reasons authorities are called when white people felt uncomfortabl

PBS NEwshour

These 16 songs broke ground for ‘This is America’

A black man is shot in the head. The refrain: “This is America.” A gospel choir goes silent in a hail of bullets from an even bigger gun. “This is America,” Donald Glover, stage n


Why Are Cities Still So Segregated? | Let's Talk | NPR

In 1968, Congress passed the Fair Housing Act that made it illegal to discriminate in housing. Gene Demby of NPR’s Code Switch explains why neighborhoods are still so segregated today.

PBS NewsHour

How the home loan process drives gentrification


Blacks and Latinos say they have trouble getting home loans in Philadelphia. Here's why.

PBS NewsHour

How disadvantaged neighborhoods amplify racial inequality

Rating: NR

How disadvantaged neighborhoods amplify racial inequality

PBS NewsHour

Strides made, but black-white equality chasm remains

Rating: NR

Marc Morial about why “equality index” for blacks stands at just 72% of that of whites.

PBS NewsHour

What we’ve learned about racial inequity in Ferguson

Rating: NR

What we’ve learned about racial inequity in Ferguson

PBS NewsHour

Thriving, affordable Twin Cities have racial inequality gap

Rating: NR

Even in the Twin Cities, there’s a sharp racial inequality gap.

Code Switch from NPR-

explores overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture, how they play out in our lives and communities, and how all of this is shifting.


Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable

Breaking Barriers - Boys & Young Men of Color

Cities United

Race Forward - The Center for Racial Justice Innovation

Policy Link

W.K. Kellogg Foundation - Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT)


Intersection of Structural Racism and Structural Violence: Understanding Implications for Structural Change in Cities, Webinar #1
Focus: Structural Racism
Link: https://caseyfamily.adobeconnect.com/p4xakt05fo4/

Intersection of Structural Racism and Structural Violence: Understanding Implications for Structural Change in Cities, Webinar #2
Focus: Structural Violence
Link: https://caseyfamily.adobeconnect.com/p3qr9x9xyz0/

Intersection of Structural Racism and Structural Violence: Understanding Implications for Structural Change in Cities, Webinar #3
Focus: Structural Change
Link: https://caseyfamily.adobeconnect.com/p8bxvncu1og/


PBS three-part documentary entitled The Power of an Illusion
Link: http://www.pbs.org/race/000_General/000_00-Home.htm

Redlining Overview Clip from PBS documentary The Power of an Illusion
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmMs8eQP4T0

PBS documentary about the conversation taking place between parents of color and their children, especially sons, about how to behave if they are ever stopped by the police entitled The Talk- Race In America
Link: https://www.pbs.org/show/talk-race-america/

PBS Digital's The Origin of Everything explores The Origin of Race in the USA
Link: https://www.pbs.org/video/the-origin-of-race-in-the-usa-wbm41s/

Weekly NPR podcast that covers race, ethnicity and culture entitled Code Switch.
Link: https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510312/codeswitch

Weekly podcast about changing the narrative for boys and young men of color in Buffalo, New York entitled Breaking Barriers.
Link: https://www.breakingbarriersbuffalo.org/podcast


The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America
Author: Richard Rothstein

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Author: Michelle Alexander

Between the World and Me
Author: Ta-Nehishi Coates

The Other Wes Moore
Author: Wes Moore

Author: Matthew Desmond

Tales of Two Americas
Author: John Freeman


Profile of the Native American Population in the Four-County Region of Western New York
Author: Terry L. Cross, MSW, PhD

Racial Equity Tools


Racial Equity Impact Analysis Training - Click to learn more

Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable

Buffalo's Great Opportunity

The Racial Equity Roundtable includes more than 30 community leaders from public, private, nonprofits, and faith institutions convened to advance racial equity and promote the change required to accelerate a shared regional prosperity.

The WBFO Racial Equity Project focuses on issues of diversity and inclusion. Through radio reports, digital content, Facebook Live events and other community conversations, we aim to explore a variety of issues. We will examine challenges in education, employment, public safety, housing and other arenas that are impacted by racial inequity. The goal: to engage our community, raise awareness and help to guide discussions toward solutions.

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