Ethnicity and Gender

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - The trip to Mount Hope Cemetery seems to be a tradition in recent years, for women to leave flowers and thank you's on the well-known suffragist's grave.

Mayor Lovely Warren and New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul left their stickers at the site, celebrating the centennial of women’s suffrage in New York State.

Hochul said she’s already looking towards the next 100 years.

Alex Crichton, WXXI

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - There are billions of dollars in state contracts that are going to be available to minority and women owned businesses, or MWBE's, in New York State. 

That's according to Lourdes Zapata, Executive Director of Minority and Women's Business Development at Empire State Development.

Zapata is working to develop programs and policies which are designed to increase contracting opportunities for that group.

Lt. Gov. Hochul "not happy" over Hoyt situation

Nov 2, 2017

Sam Hoyt, former Buffalo-area assemblyman and regional head of economic development under Gov. Andrew Cuomo, resigned his post one day before it became public that he’d paid a woman $50,000 in exchange for her ending accusations of sexual harassment against him. Hoyt admits in a statement that he made “mistakes,” but says the woman’s charges are untrue.

A recent report from a civil rights organization for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community shows Pennsylvania has room to improve when it comes to equality. 

Forty-four Pennsylvania communities have passed ordinances to protect members of the LGBTQ  community from discrimination. But, not all of them offer the same level of protection, and the legislature has failed to pass a statewide nondiscrimination law for LGBTQ people.


ROCHESTER (WXXI) - A SUNY Geneseo professor is at the center of a controversy regarding a presentation slide about transgender individuals he reportedly used in class. 

The slide posted and shared on social media was titled "Female or Shemale? Can you tell?" and featured 16 photos of women. Sociology professor David Sorbello then allegedly asked students to label which women on screen were trans women.

Governor Cuomo's Office

ALBANY (WSKG) - Governor Andrew Cuomo weighed in on the controversy over Christopher Columbus when he  marched in New York City’s annual Columbus Day parade.  

Cuomo, who referred to the day’s celebration not as Columbus Day but as Italian- American Day, was asked by reporters about the growing movement to pull down some statues of Christopher Columbus in New York.  The governor says he “rejects the negativity” behind the cause. And he says honoring Columbus and honoring indigenous peoples are not two opposing viewpoints.

Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

KEYSTONE CROSSROADS - Speaking to more than 12,000 women as if she were their wise, down-to-earth and funny girlfriend, former first lady Michelle Obama advised those at the 14th annual Pennsylvania Conference for Women to use their place at the table to speak up for themselves and their communities. 

"Don't waste your seat, " she said. "If you're not going to use your voice, give it to somebody who will."


GREAT LAKES TODAY - I meet Kim Smith-Woodford on a rainy day at Euclid Creek Reservation east of Cleveland.  It’s a big wooded area, with a trail lining the creek and shelters for birthday parties.

The park is an urban oasis – where folks from all backgrounds go for exercise or a picnic.  And it means a lot to Smith-Woodford.  It’s where she became more interested in the outdoors.

Environmental Groups Slow To Seek Out Minorities

Sep 25, 2017

Part 1 of a series

GREAT LAKES TODAY - The environmental movement started more than a century ago.  Theodore Roosevelt was known as the conservation president, and there’s a famous 1903 photo of him with the Sierra Club’s founder. 

Campuses Across PA Reeling From Racist Incidents

Sep 22, 2017

KEYSTONE CROSSROADS - Students at Cabrini University are reeling after two more bias incidents were reported on campus this week, days after an African-American student discovered a racial slur written on her dormitory door. 

Tianna Manon/WXXI

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - The National Women's Hall of Fame inducted 10 women Saturday, celebrating their pioneering efforts in areas that include medicine, entertainment, the military and politics. There was also a luncheon and ceremony to celebrate 100 years since suffragists gained the right to vote in New York.



ROCHESTER (WXXI) - A woman who helped shine the light on the unique abilities of an autistic mind will be inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls next week. 

AP Photo/Richard Drew

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - A new Siena poll shows that a majority of New York State voters do not think that Confederate statues or memorials should be taken down. 

Protesters Push PA Republicans To Stand With DACA

Sep 7, 2017
Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Magdalena Perez is undocumented. Her 23-year-old daughter, who arrived in the United States 15 years ago, received nearly all her education in the country. For the past few years, the young woman has been protected from deportation under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. 

Veronica Volk, Great Lakes Today

GREAT LAKES TODAY - Last year, 72 dams across the US were demolished; hundreds more were removed in the past ten. Most dam removals are part of an effort to restore rivers and the animals that live there. 

Several members of New York's Congressional delegation are expressing concern over comments from the nation's treasury secretary about the proposed Harriet Tubman $20 bill.

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Transgender New Yorkers should now have a greater chance of getting medical services covered by insurance. New York State has issued a letter that says insurance companies cannot deny a claim because a consumer identifies as a gender not typically associated with a service.

Katie Meyer

CARLISLE (WSKG) -- Violent clashes between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia set off a nationwide firestorm over race relations this week. 

AP Photo/Steve Helber

Violence between white supremacists and counter protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend left three people dead and dozens more injured. Now some Pennsylvania lawmakers are calling for tougher hate crime laws in the commonwealth in response. Pennsylvania passed a more comprehensive hate crime law in 2002, but it was struck down on a technicality in 2008. Bills now in the House and Senate would restore the protections. 

AP Photo/Regina Garcia Cano

HARRISBURG (WSKG) - After a painstaking exhumation in Cumberland County, the remains of two Native American boys who died in the 1880s have been returned to their next-of kin in Wyoming.    But all did not go as planned.  

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Governor Cuomo on Sunday released the following statement calling on President Trump to denounce white supremacists and is asking all concerned New Yorkers and others to sign a petition

Hundreds rallied in downtown Syracuse Sunday for a Black Lives Matter vigil, responding to the events that unfolded in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. 

Photo via Carlisle Historical Society

CARLISLE (WSKG) -- A team of Army officials and anthropologists is working in Cumberland County to exhume the remains of three Native American boys from the Northern Arapaho Native American Tribe. 

Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) - Protesters around Pennsylvania spent Wednesday urging the commonwealth's Republican US senators and congressional representatives not to support a budget bill that routes significant dollars toward enforcing immigration laws--including $1.6 billion to build a wall on the Mexican border.  

Payne Horning, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Two replicas of Christopher Columbus ships sailed into the Oswego harbor this weekend offering visitors a chance to learn about the famous explorer's voyages, but some say the ships only tell half of the story. 

tedeytan / Flickr


Sunday was Oneonta's first pride festival. It took on special significance one year after a gunman killed dozens of people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

Participants read the names of everyone killed, stood silent for a moment, and hung up a white banner, according to organizer Elayne Mosher Campoli.

Payne Horning, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Officials working on the Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn, which Congress established as a national historical park in January, say there's a lot in store for the facility over the next few years.  

Report Shows Trans People Aren't Treated Equally

Jun 2, 2017

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- A recent report shows transgender people in Pennsylvania--and across the country--face significantly higher-than-average rates of unemployment and poverty. The numbers are part of a country-wide study by the National Center for Transgender Equality. 


Governor Cuomo is announcing a new campaign designed to promote tourism at historic sites  related to equal rights. The campaign is being rolled out in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York State.