When a Sheriff Stumbles into the Point

The Prison System and Parole I should preface this by saying that I do not believe in the integrity of any United States justice or prison system. I have personally seen too many miscarriages of justice, and there is more than enough collected data to embolden my stance. The prison system filled with products of […]

For Anna and Rosetta: Representation through Public Art

Last year, I read a piece written by Rachel Y. DeGuzman about Anna Murray Douglass, the first wife of Frederick Douglass, titled “Another Look at Anna, the Other Douglass” here on the 540Blog. It was a thought-provoking read. DeGuzman wrote of a very familiar narrative – history minimizing the role and importance of the wife […]

2021: Our Year In Review

How are you holding up emotionally and mentally so far this year? We are a little over two weeks into 2022 and it feels like we have already lived through two years. The pandemic continues to rage. Schools are short-staffed due to COVID outbreaks and our systems continue to fail us in many ways. Then, […]

Antiracism Facilitator Fellowship Update!

Dear Community, It’s been several weeks since I came to you with an update about the Antiracism Facilitator Fellowship (AFF). We have had a whirlwind of activity since then! I am excited to share with you what the fellows have accomplished. As a reminder AFF, launched in 2021. The fellowship is a 12-month initiative to […]

A Community Update From the Director | Moving & Shaking

Dear Community, It’s hard to believe summer 2021 is almost over and even harder to fathom that we’ve entered the eighth month of 2021. Our second year of a global pandemic and life as we knew it continues to shift in ways most of us would’ve never imagined. It’s surreal to live through a pandemic, […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Ernest Flagler-Mitchell Needs to Resign

close up of letter of resignation with a pen

Ernest Flagler-Mitchell Needs to Resign Two phrases that stuck with me the most from a summer of marches and protests: All Black Lives Matter We throw no one under the bus. I felt these in my heart and soul. It is important to not dismiss anyone in our fight for equality, no matter what. And […]

540WMain Launches Membership Program for Antiracism Education in Team Environments

540WMain is pleased to announce the launch of an organizational membership program, providing essential social and racial justice training for team environments. This membership is open to organizations of any size and scope and provides virtual learning to the entire team enrolled, whether it be staff, board, student body, or members.  This education includes access […]

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 […]

**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 […]