Franchelle ParkerExecutive Director of Open Buffalo Buffalo, NY Award Year: 2023
Franchelle Parker is the founder and Executive Director of Open Buffalo, a civic initiative to make major long-term improvements in justice and equity in the City of Buffalo, New York. She has led dozens of successful grassroots campaigns at the local and state level and has trained over 500 leaders in community organizing and empowerment. Prior to Open Buffalo, she served as a Fellow for the Congressional Black Caucus as well as working for 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, where she managed the union’s communication, political and community outreach efforts. She also leads a movement that links racism and the climate crisis and helps to create spaces for Black, Indigenous and People of Color to advance racial, economic and ecological justice. Through Delta Sigma Theta, she is involved in numerous efforts to create pathways to college for African-American youth across Western New York. She has also traveled the country organizing for health care reform and numerous political campaigns. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and African American studies from Buffalo State College and a graduate degree in public policy from the University at Albany.