Activism in the Aftermath of Tragedy

Dennice, Francelle and Jalonda.

A panel discussion about confronting institutional racism

This event brings together three social justice activists who have been focused on improving the quality of life on the East Side of Buffalo to share of their experience.

They will discuss how the tragedy at the Tops Supermarket in May 2022 has impacted their ongoing efforts, as well as what the path might be to ameliorating conditions in the acute aftermath of tragedy and in the long run.

Wed., Nov. 16
6 - 7:30 PM
Hayes 403

Dennice Barr

Fruit Belt Advisory Council

Dennice Barr.

Dennice Barr is an organizer and community liaison for The Fruit Belt neighborhood in Buffalo, New York. An advocate for public education, public transportation, food equity and land appropriation. Dennice supported The Fruit Belt community in becoming the first residential parking permit system in Buffalo, co-founded The Fruit Belt Community Land Trust and works to fully fund a Black owned community food co-op. Dennice is a former Western New York delegate for The Poor Peoples Campaign, high school Parent Facilitator and hosted a successful mentoring program, as well as retired retail worker after 29 years. The mother of five birthed children, a multitude of inherited children and grandma of one.

Franchelle Parker

Open Buffalo

Franchelle Hart.

Franchelle C.H. Parker is the founding Executive Director of Open Buffalo. As the Founding Executive Director of Open Buffalo, Parker has led dozens of grassroots campaigns to win legislative victories on the local and state level. She has successfully trained over 500 leaders in community organizing and empowerment. Her leadership has helped to establish the FB Community Landtrust Trust, the legalization of marijuana and numerous changes to local policing practices in law enforcement. Parker is a regional leader, expert and thought leader in Just Transition and ecological sustainability. She leads a movement that links racism and the climate crisis and helps to create spaces for Black, Indigenous and People of Color leadership to advance policies and practices that advance racial, economic and ecological justice.

In her work, Parker draws upon two decades of progressive advocacy, communications, and capacity building to empower leaders to enact lasting changes in their communities. She earned her bachelor's degree in political science and African American Studies from Buffalo State College and a graduate degree in public policy from the University at Albany. 

Jalonda Hill

Colored Girls Bike Too

Jalonda Hill.

Jalonda Hill advances racial equity and justice in all she does, by striving to decolonize all spaces, including The Mind, Body, &  Soul, by rebuilding  our communities, and by creating safe spaces for Black, Brown and Indigenous folks to heal, liberate, and to move freely, fearlessly, and fairly in our public spaces. She is the founder and president of Colored Girls Bike Too, founder of Black Holistic Urbanism, and co-founder of the Fair Fines and Fees Coalition (FFFC).

She is currently pursuing her Master of Urban Planning degree at UB’s School of Architecture and Planning, where she is a graduate research assistant  in the Center for Urban Studies, researching alternative  approach/radical approach  to neighborhood redevelopment in the King Urban Life Neighborhood on the East Side. As the coordinator and co-founder of FFFC, she led two successful campaigns  around  mobility justice, one related  to the speed camera removal and excessive  fees on traffic tickets that were disproportionally  impacting black and people of color.

The panel will be facilitated by Hadas Steiner, UB associate professor of architecture and chair of the 2022-23 Public Programs committee. 

ryan t. phillips (MArch '23, BAED '18)


ryan t. phillips.

ryan t. phillips studied environment design (BAED, 2018) and is on track to receive his post-professional degree in the Situated Technologies Research Group (MArch, 2022) at the School of Architecture and Planning. ryan is also a part of the new mentor mentee program for incoming freshmen in architecture, a leading member for African American Students of Architecture and Planning (doubleasap). Outside of school, ryan is the architecture liaison for Black Holistic Urbanism, a collective of BIPOC architects, planners, engineers and researchers creating radical change through design in Buffalo, New York. Along with his work in the community, ryan also has the goal to get more local people of color to have the opportunity to shape their own environment. ryan’s work revolves around expanding the relationship between the body + architecture + technology by pushing technology beyond its limits and rethinking how our environment is considered. Holistic design + the energy of the body drives his work. Also, he seeks to use technology to advocate for the Black history that has been omitted from our story, elevating stories of Black designers who have made lasting impacts.