Race, Privilege, and Perspective
Thursday, January 28, 2021
Thursday, January 28, 2021
10:00 am to 2:00 pm

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Online via Zoom


In collaboration with the WNYLYRC Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Task Group, Open Buffalo presents "Race, Privilege, and Perspective," an informative and interactive exploration of our society's complicated relationship with race -- from a Western New York perspective. Topics will include: implicit bias, microaggressions, confronting difficult situations (being a “safe space”), diversity vs. equity, privilege, and roots of American white supremacy. This training will be facilitated via Zoom by Jillian Hanesworth and Max Anderson of Open Buffalo and is being offered exclusively to WNYLRC members. Participants should come prepared to take notes, listen, share, reflect, and learn in a safe (virtual) space. A 30-minute lunch break will be provided.

About Open Buffalo: Our mission is to advance racial, economic, and ecological justice. We do so through skill building, network connecting, and activating leadership opportunities. Our goal is for all communities in Western New York to thrive free from discrimination and poverty.

WNYLRC has been working with Open Buffalo, a local social justice organization. Ahead of this workshop, WNYLRC asked its members to fill out a survey regarding their perspectives on race and other issues. The results from the survey helped inform this workshop.

Registrants will receive a zoom link prior to the workshop.

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Max Anderson and Jillian Hanesworth
Speaker Bio:

Max Anderson is a first-generation American and lifelong New Yorker. Growing up at an intersection of ethnic identities and social systems, Anderson developed a passion for personal growth through linguistics, communication, and cultural mash-ups.

As Deputy Director, Anderson focuses on strategic planning, building community partnerships, training up-and-coming leaders, and oversight of administrative and financial matters.

Prior to joining Open Buffalo in 2014, Anderson spent about 10 years working at daily newspapers, most recently covering city governance, economic development, and criminal justice (focusing on community-police relations) as an editorialist for Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle newspaper. He is proud to have helped create that newspaper’s award-winning Unite Rochester project.

In his spare time, Anderson volunteers as a board member for Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center, which provides cutting-edge multimedia education, equipment access, and powerful art exhibitions. He also occasionally takes on freelance communication and promotional projects (writing, editing, and graphic design) and enjoys teaching kickboxing.

Anderson has a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and French from the State University of New York: College at Geneseo, and a master’s degree in Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.



Jillian Hanesworth was born and raised on the East Side of Buffalo NY. She developed a passion for advocacy and justice at a very young age, and although she did not know what career path she would end up following, she was certain that the only way she would be fulfilled is by doing work that would help people in her community.

As the Director of Leadership Development, Jillian focuses on programming designed to equip people in the community with the necessary tools to help create sustainable community change. Jillian feels that developing leaders in the City of Buffalo is a crucial key in advancing racial, economic, and ecological justice.

Prior to her role at Open Buffalo, Jillian worked as a counselor and advocate for survivors of interpersonal violence. Jillian also worked in the Dept. of Social Services, the Domestic Violence Shelter, Erie County Integrated Domestic Violence Court, and at Trocaire College managing a Department of Justice grant. Her work as an advocate has strengthened her ability to identify systemic issues, advocate for change, and provide individuals with the skills to self-advocate.

In addition to her role at Open Buffalo, Jillian is also a social justice spoken word artist and the 2020 inaugural Poet Laureate of Juneteenth on Jefferson. Jillian uses her poetry to not only advance social justice, but to educate and inspire listeners to be an active participant for the advancements we need in the city, state, and country.

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