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RASE Commission Wants to Hear About Your Experiences with Social Service Agencies

Staff reports

The Commission on Racial and Structural Equity will host a listening sessions from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14.

The Human and Social Services working group of RASE invites people to share their experiences with agencies that provide financial assistance, nutrition assistance such as SNAP, Medicaid, child protective services or foster care.

RASE is working to identify policies, laws, and practices that promote institutional and structural racism. Commission members will recommend actions to the city and Monroe County. The listening session gives people the opportunity to influence local laws and policies.

Commissioners want to know which policies and practices work well and which need to be changed.

“Local governments spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year on human and social services,” RASE Commissioner Mitch Gruber said in a news release. “Our working group is eager to examine these programs to ensure they meet the needs of our community, and do so in a racially equitable manner. That requires us to hear from individuals who have lived experience with human and social services.”

Commissioners Karen Elam, director of the Levine Center to End Hate at the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester; Mitch Gruber, City Councilman and chief program officer of Foodlink; and Bruce Popper, retired vice president of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, will lead the session, which will be held via Zoom.

People wishing to speak can sign up at Spanish language and ASL services will be provided.

The session will livestream on the RASE Facebook page at