PathStone to present event on devaluation of Black-owned homes

The PathStone Foundation will host its Provok!ng Thought event this year in a free, virtual format on Nov. 9 on the topic of “The American Dream and the Devaluation of Black Homes.”

The keynote address will be made by Andre Perry, senior fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, a scholar in residence at American University and a columnist for the Hechinger Report. His research focuses on race and structural inequity, education and economic inclusion. Perry is a regular contributor to MSNBC, and has been published by the New York Times, the Nation, Washington Post and more.

The event’s discussion will examine the impact of racial bias on homeownership opportunities. Perry’s research has identified Rochester as one of the most devalued cities for Black homeownership with an average loss of 65 percent, more than $53,000 in absolute price difference. Perry’s latest book is titled “Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities.”

Provok!ng Thought will feature a panel discussion moderated by Tiffany Manuel, president and CEO of TheCaseMade. Panelists include Robin Wilt, co-chair of the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors Black Caucus; Aqua Porter, executive director at Rochester Monroe
Anti-Poverty Initiative; Daniel Randall, vice president and community investment officer, Federal Home Loan Bank; and Arline Santiago, senior vice president and general counsel, ESL Federal Credit Union, and co-chair of the Commission on Racial and Structural Equity (RASE).

This is the nonprofit organization’s fifth Thought Leader event, which attracts more than 500 people. In 2018, the event featured Matthew Desmond, the author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. The following year, Bernice King presented a very strong critique and vision of her life’s work to bring out the best in all of us and follow in the footsteps of her father. Also in 2019, Richard Rothstein presented a critique of his book “The Color of Law.” Last year, the group held a virtual bankers’ panel and a keynote address by Rev. Marvin McMickle. The event addressed the question of what is required for us to become a beloved community and eradicate the structural racism that plagues our community.

To register for the event, visit

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

City, county complete analysis of RASE report

The city of Rochester and the County of Monroe have completed their initial analysis of the recommendations made by the Commission on Racial and Structural Equity (RASE) report, which was presented to the community six weeks ago.

“The completion of this initial analysis allows us to assign responsibility for each of the recommendations to ensure that they are implemented for the benefit of our entire community,” said Cephas Archie, the lead for RASE Report implementation and chief equity officer for the city of Rochester. “We can now move forward and build the teams of community stakeholders necessary for success and create the benchmarks needed to measure our progress.”

Archie serves as the city’s lead representative, with Candice Lucas leading the county’s efforts, on a cross-governmental team to provide staff support and resources for the commission. RASE is comprised of 21 community members and is co-chaired by former Mayor William Johnson Jr.; Muhammad Shafiq, executive director of the Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue at Nazareth College; and Arline Santiago, senior vice president and general counsel for ESL Federal Credit Union.

Completion of the first “principle review” phase of the Commission’s work will guide the city and county’s development of an implementation plan for the report’s recommendations. The identification of which respective government would own specific recommendations and which ones would be jointly shared was conducted by leadership teams from both the city and the county.

The final implementation plan will include the identification of key stakeholders and benchmarks in support of the report’s six overarching themes. The review process encompassed an assessment of the recommendations made by the Commission’s nine working groups. The review also identified internal and external partners, required resources, tentative timelines for completion and principle personnel responsible for facilitating implementation efforts, monitoring progress and providing updates.

The six themes identified in the report include:
• Inequitable and inadequate access to essential resources and systems critical to closing equity gaps.
• Structures and protocols inequitably impact and disadvantage Black, Indigenous and other People of Color (BIPOC).
• Structures and personnel lack cultural/linguistic competencies critical for effective engagement.
• Systems create and perpetuate disadvantages.
• City/county structures lack reliable transparency and accountability operations, negatively impacting trust among BIPOC.
• Current city/county/state systems possess insufficient economic investment in structures and resources critical to attaining equity.

The commission developed five systemic solutions and nearly 40 specific recommendations. Solutions include creating and investing in sustainable economic opportunities in Black and
Latinx communities to promote and maintain self-sufficiency, entrepreneurship and career advancement; implementing and incentivizing practices and programs that increase the racial/ethnic diversity and cultural competence of employees, vendors and contractors; ending practices that disproportionately drain resources from Black and Latinx communities; Decentralizing services and embedding them in trusted agencies throughout the community; and embedding accountability measures in all policies to ensure equity and fairness across all services, programs and delivery models.

In their letter to the mayor and county executive that accompanied the 271-page report, Johnson, Santiago and Shafiq said that while they found few laws in the city and county that created and sustained racist policies, “we have found practices and conditions where diversity of race, ethnicity and gender are nearly non-existent; where people of color are unable to fully participate and are implicitly or explicitly excluded from opportunities that could enhance their economic, social and mental health; and where people of color are denied the opportunity to participate in the rule-making and decision-making that shapes our lives, from birth to death.”

Over the next several weeks, the city and county will compile their recommendation responses and provide a community update on implementation efforts.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

Arline Santiago named Hispanic Business Person of the Year

The Rochester Hispanic Business Association (RHBA), a Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce affiliate, has named Arline Santiago its 2018 Hispanic Business Person of the Year.


Santiago is senior vice president, general counsel, and legal director at ESL Federal Credit Union.

Santiago is Foodlink board chair and she serves on the boards of the Rochester Area Community Foundation, Volunteers of America Upstate New York, SUNY Brockport LEAP, and is a member of the PathStone Corporation’s personnel committee.

Prior to her current position at ESL, Santiago worked for the Eastman Kodak Co. legal department as a member of its corporate and regulatory legal group.

Santiago is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.