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On February 10th, 2021, more than 1,600 members of our community registered for this special online event produced in collaboration with TEDx Rochester, and presented by Simeon Banister, VP of Community Programs for the Rochester Area Community Foundation and local educator and researcher Shane Wiegand.

Building on separate workshop sessions first presented during our BRAVE SPACES event in September 2020, Simeon and Shane joined forces to deliver an incredibly thorough, insightful, and challenging history lesson on the often overlooked social policies that have shaped our home city of Rochester, New York.



Simeon Banister is Vice President for Community Programs at the Rochester Area Community Foundation. He is a former member of the Rush-Henrietta Board of Education. Additionally, he serves as President of the Greater Rochester Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission and on the boards of the Congressional Award Foundation, the Hillside Children’s Foundation, The Children’s Agenda, and the Genesee Land Trust. His career spans the public and private sectors, including positions in the New York State Senate, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, the State University of New York, and several private commercial real estate firms. Simeon earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science at North Carolina Central University and his Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary.

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Shane Wiegand is a fourth grade teacher in the Rush-Henrietta School District. He has researched, compiled, and taught Rochester's history of structural racism and resistance in his classroom for the past eight years. Starting with ten fourth grade teachers in his school district, Shane has now trained over two hundred teachers in anti-racist curriculum across five districts: Pittsford, Rochester, Rush-Henrietta, Webster, and West Irondequoit.

Based on the research and interviews conducted to develop this curriculum, Shane also created a lecture on the local history of redlining and has given hundreds of presentations to local civic organizations, non-profits, congregations, and student groups.

Shane is a board member of Connected Communities, Beechwood Neighborhood Coalition, The Police Accountability Board Alliance, and City Roots Community Land Trust. He is an adjunct faculty instructor in the URMC Department of Neurology, where he lectures, leads workshops around white fragility, and consults on equity work. He and his wife live in the Beechwood neighborhood of Rochester.  

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