Get To Know Rev. Rachelle Robinson
What does Black History Month mean to you?
It means remember, responsibility, rejoice, and recognize.
Remembering those who fought for my rights
Responsibility that is mine, to commit to educating little black and brown children on our fore fathers and mothers.
Rejoice that I’m a part of such a rich culture.
Recognize that I am a beautiful black woman with unique features and walk proud to be who I am, even if I’m the only one in the room.
What moments in Black history are meaningful to you?
To many to name but will mention a few. One of the most memorable moments in my history is when President Barack Obama became the first black President of these United States. Listening to him speak was always so powerful. He was poised and dignified. He and his wife Michelle were examples of professionalism, greatness, and love. As much as it was tried to destroy/defile them it never happened. They were the epitome of strength in the midst of adversity. When folks went low they went high!
Secondly and personally: When the United Way choose to ask me and another woman of color to co-chair the UW campaign. The first time in history that this occurred. I’m proud that this is my first “first” and I look forward to my next “first”.
Can you talk about one or two of the many contributions that Black individuals have made in our community?
Mayor Byron Brown was the first black Mayor of Buffalo. He started his first term in 2006. Since being voted into office he has created over 7 billion dollars in economic development. He has been voted into office for 4 terms. He has employed more minorities than any other Mayor in history. His senior cabinet of twelve is comprised of three minority males and four women. He is committed to this City. He serves it with pride, perseverance, and passion. He has created a Commission for Police reform with a diverse group of community members and charged us to assist in the policy changes needed to the police department. He is a leader that we desperately needed to create a more equitable and resilient City.
How do you think having Black leaders and staff members impact an organization’s success?
I believe that an organization is only as good as its leadership. If your leadership doesn’t represent everyone in the community then your work won’t.
What work needs to be done to make Buffalo & Erie County a more equitable and inclusive place for Black individuals?
Remaining focused on what we are and where we need to go. Uncompromising leaders who operate with integrity. Ending white silence. If you are not a minority and you sit silent in racist conversations that are disparaging to people of color your silence is just as bad as their words...