2:15 – 3:00 pm

SESSION TWO: Systems Change

Rochester:  A Tale of Two Cities

Do you wonder why poverty is so much more entrenched in Rochester than in other communities? Are you perplexed at the degree of racial segregation in the region? Join this workshop to learn about Rochester’s history and discover the urgent opportunities to create a more equitable and vibrant community.


Workshop GoalsParticipants will come away from this workshop with a deeper understanding of the historical foundations of Rochester's segregation and entrenched poverty and an exploration of some of the solutions that can lead to a more equitable community.



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.