Reflections on Crisis Funding, We Cannot Do More with Less

people seated in a circle having a discussion

Last summer 540WMain raised over $10K in less than 24 hours. Folx from near and far were checking in and writing checks, sending money via Cashapp and requesting our services, education rooted in antiracism. Our work was deemed “essential.” We made the most of this generous support We grew our team two fold, hired full […]

Introducing The Antiracism Facilitator Fellows

Dear Community, “Remember when you wanted what you currently have” It is hard to believe that it has been over two years since I first put pen (maybe pencil) to the pages of my journal and sketched out the initial vision of a facilitator training program that came to me during a late night/early morning. […]

Society Doesn’t Care About Black Mental Health

Young African American woman is on the balcony at sunset

As Memorial Day weekend came to a close and the conversation about Naomi Osaka deciding to forgo press after the French Open went viral, I vividly remember loudly screaming out “YESSS SIS” to the news. I live for anyone and everyone taking a stand and pushing back against the capitalistic and “grind”culture that tells us […]

Reflections On Living with Fibromyalgia On Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

Dear Community, Today is Wednesday May 12, 2021 and it also happens to be National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. It’s been 11 years since I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in the fall of 2010 and my life has never been the same. 11 years of ups and downs. 11 years of learning how to live a […]

Anti-Black Racism Is As American As Apple Pie

The dehumanization of the Black body in life and death is as “American as apple pie,” the saying goes. In life or death the Black body is not human so there will always be justification on why WE and OUR lives are worth less and worthless. Nothing new here. White supremacy will always find a […]

Be The Kind You Wish to See in the World

close up photos on different color rocks in the sand

540WMain was founded literally with no outside capital, lots of goodwill, personal sacrifice, family support, volunteers, blood, sweat and tears. Many of you have joined me on this journey over the last four years and supported in ways that are simply priceless. I continue to be thankful and grateful for the countless messages, cards, and […]

Reflections From the 2021 Gentrification Conference

Dear Community, We did it! Our fourth annual gentrification conference has come and gone. After months of planning and meeting (so many meetings), 540WMain and City Roots Community Land Trust put together a hybrid conference for which we are extremely proud. The months and weeks leading up to the conference are almost a blur of […]

Everything You Need to Know About the 2021 Gentrification Conference

Dear Community, The 2021 540WMain-City Roots Community Land Trust Gentrification Conference is just seven days away and I am a ball of excited, anxious and nervous energy. We have been busier than ever since last year’s conference was postponed and then canceled altogether due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then the 540 team and colleagues […]

540WMain Receives #PlayEverywhere Design Challenge Grant

We’re proud to share that ROCket to Imagination was selected as a #PlayEverywhere Design Challenge grantee! We’re creating a playspace to help kids imagine pathways to opportunities through play, their own curiosity and accessible design that will transform an everyday space and help infuse more equitable play opportunities in Rochester! Excited to start this journey […]

Adultification Bias and Brutality Against Black Girls Must Stop

Adultification Bias and Brutality Against Black Girls Must Stop Rochester almost got through the entire first month of the new year without an incident of the Rochester Police Department (RPD) using excessive force on a citizen in mental distress. This time the victim of that brutality is a 9-year-old Black girl who based on reports […]

All The Books I Read in 2020

a stack Books on desk in modern design office

All The Books I Read in 2020 This has been quite the year to say the least. Between navigating a global pandemic, sheltering in place, living and working from home, and trying to balance emotional and mental health amidst a sea of bad news and civil unrest. Reading and consuming content has in many respects […]

Everything Will Be Ok | A Year In Review (2020)

Child's pictures in a window in response to the COVID-19 virus lockdown

Everything Will Be Ok | A Year In Review (2020) Dear Community, Writing this year-end recap has probably been one of the most challenging tasks that I have had to complete in the last few weeks. Every time I started to write I just couldn’t seem to find the appropriate words that articulated the emotional […]

540WMain’s Essential Reading List (Books You Must Read) in 2021

book collage

540WMain’s Essential Reading List (Books You Must Read) in 2021 Every year we love sharing the books that inspire our mission and programming. One of the first steps to dismantling structural racism is understanding the past and how the past affects the present. It is also important to prioritize the content of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, […]

Top 10 Most Viewed Blog Posts of 2020

A young black beautiful woman is using a laptop in the living room at home.

Dear Community, Our blog was buzzing with a diverse array of content throughout the year. When we kicked off 2020 we had a goal and tagline to “Scale Up 2020”. Little did we know how much the world would change in a way that we could have never predicted. We scaled up in 2020 and […]

There’s No Such Thing As Black on Black Crime

There’s No Such Thing As Black on Black Crime In case you didn’t know There’s no such thing as Black on Black crime The “term” and ideology behind “Black on Black crime is inherently racist Most crime is proximal and directly related to poverty and not race Most violent crime across races is intraracial and […]

I Don’t Feel Like Performing

Smiling Sphere Balloon in the middle of grey crowd

it’s all a performance and I don’t feel like performing today The following message was originally sent to students in my Exploring African American Food Culture Through Food: 1619 to Present at St. John Fisher College. It encapsulates my overall feelings over the past few days. Hello Students, I am sending this note as I grapple […]

As a Black Entrepreneur, Ownership and Equity Matters

In case you missed it, 540WMain is transitioning to a virtual organization. This move is both bittersweet and incredibly exciting. In the spirit of openness and transparency I wanted share more insights on what influenced me to lead our organization in this direction and what it means for 540’s future.  As a Black Entrepreneur, Equity and […]

**Announcement** 540WMain Transitions to A Virtual Organization

540WMain is excited to announce its transition to a virtual organization effective August 1, 2020 Dear Community, After months of operating remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 540WMain, Inc. is embarking on a new era of growth and development by becoming a virtual organization. This pivot will allow the organization to grow its reach as […]

Existing While Black at The University of Rochester

Existing While Black at The University of Rochester The University was my first “career” job out of college (PWI; RIT) way back in 2006 and like so many other BIPOC ( Black , Indegenous, People of Color) people. I have stories of overt racism and covert microagressions during my tenure as a staff member of […]