IN THIS MOMENT: Revolution Reckoning Reparation

2020-2021, published by VSW Press


  • In This Moment is a project for ten teams of Black writers and photographers to profile ten Black leaders from across the city of Rochester:

    • Samra Brouk, NY State Senator, 55th District, essay by Quajay Donnell, photographs by Andre Walker
    • Luticha André Doucette, Owner of Catalyst Consulting, essay by Irene Kannyo, photographs by Erica Jae
    • Shawn Dunwoody, Artist, essay by Christopher Thompson, photographs by Arturo Hoyte
    • The Gatekeeper Adrian Elim, essay by Jevon Cooper, photographs by Cocoa Rae David
    • Dorothy Simmons Hall & Dorian Hall, GrassRoots Community Builders, essay by Lu Highsmith, photographs by Ralph Thompson
    • Debora McDell-Hernandez, Senior Director of Public & Community Affairs Planned Parenthood of Central & Western New York, essay by Lisa Maria Rickman, photographs by Rashaad Parker
    • Dr. Celia McIntosh, DNP, RN, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC, SCRN, CEN, CCRN, CNRN, President of the Rochester Regional Coalition Against Human Trafficking, essay by Vanessa Cheeks, photographs by Olivia Bacot
    • Kathryn Mariner PhD, Wilmot Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Visual and Cultural Studies, essay by Erica Bryant, photographs by Christopher Cardwell
    • Danielle Ponder, Musician & Attorney, poem by Luticha André Doucette, photographs by Quajay Donnell
    • Herbert Smith, 3rd Trumpet Rochester Philharmonic Director of Jazz Bands RIT Composer, Recording Artist, Conductor, essay by Taurus Savant, photographs by Jackie McGriff

    The project demonstrates the breadth and scope of revolutionary work happening in the area. Each profile is a chapbook published by VSW Press and each of the ten books are available for free, distributed through 12 branches of the Monroe County Public Library system, the SUNY Brockport Intercultural Center, and VSW.

    The theme, In this Moment, is a challenge to a euphemism often used in lieu of talking about Revolution, Reckoning, and Reparations. We look to take the euphemism and ask it back to those most likely to use it: What is this moment? 

    See Smitri Jacob’s article on the project in the Rochester Beacon here.

    In This Moment is created by Amanda Chestnut, Curator, and Jeanne Strazzabosco, Coordinator. VSW is the fiscal sponsor, publisher, and collaborator.


  • This moment is a revolution, a reckoning, and a demand for reparation. 

    The intergenerational wound of racism in Rochester existed before the building of the Inner Loop and before the firebombing of Frederick Douglass’s home. Black people in this city have been working for freedom since before the city’s namesake, Nathaniel Rochester, financially invested in slave trading and brought the people he himself enslaved to the region.

    We acknowledge that this project capitalizes on the labor of Black leaders, writers, and photographers and we are raising funds to pay all of those involved in the project have been paid for their services. Each contributor is innovative in their own right: photographers are vanguards in Black Lives Matter; writers are at the forefront of equitable funding for arts and education in the city; every person has a vested interest in a successful and vibrant Rochester and we wish for you to invest in them, directly.

    You can help to tell stories that show how this moment is just one in a series of events that Black people have been facing, fighting, and determinedly prevailing over for generations.



  • We are very grateful to our donors and grantors:

    Publishers Jeanne Strazzabosco, Glenn Jackson, Daniel and Nancy Robbins Family Fund at Rochester Area Community Foundation, Pace Family Fund at Rochester Area Community Foundation, The Arts Prevail Fund at the Rochester Area Community Foundation, Drs. Dawn and Jacques Lipson Enhancing Life Fund at Rochester Area Community Foundation, Rochester Public Library, Joy of Giving Something, Inc., SUNY Brockport

    Team Builders Rome Celli, Chris Caretta, Nahoko Kawakyu, RocGrowth, M&T Charitable Foundation

    Patrons Ann Binstock, Jane Sutter Brandt, Tom Jacobs, Audrey James, Joan Lyons, SURJ ROC, Emily Colliss, Adam and Lindsay Thaine, Wynne-Strauss Fund for Racial and Social Justice at Rochester Area Community Foundation

    Supporters Megan DeFranco x 3, Joel Burges, Jenna McDavid, Julie Fiske, Sean Dobbin, Patricia Uttaro, Megan Sullivan, Elizabeth Murray, Alison Feser, Rome Celli, Ginnie Maier, Kimberly Pier, Bleu Cease, University of Rochester Special Collections, Kathleen Braman, Kelly Cheatle, Beth Larter, Jesse Lanser, Sharon Hildebrand, Gwendolyn Davies, Mara Hazzard-Wollingford, Mona Seghatoleslami, Thomas Mitchell, Elizabeth Stauderman, Brian Murphy, Matthew DeTurck, Megan Borruso, Lindsey Brown, Tate DeCaro, Mike and Lynn Boucher, Adele Anderson and Evan Meccarello, Callie Babbitt, Margaret Joseph, Kristen Balliet, Meredith Davenport, Kristin Hocker, Anonymous, Harriet Gibbs, Kathleen Jordan, Deborah Ronnen, Carmel Merrill, Louie Palu, Jacklyn Das, Scott Barrows, Joyce Strazzabosco, Sejal Shah, Chris Fanning, Patricia Ceravole, Katherine Stathis, Michael Brisson, Dennis Skinner, Lytton Smith, Marc Hartwig, Walter Colley, Barbara Van Kerkhove, Liz Brown, Jennifer Barth, Kate Meyers Emery, Michelle Dunn Marsh, Sharon Turner, Lisa Hostetler, Hannah Lightbody, Susan Matuck, Margaret Demment, Sara Oliveiri, Sarah Spano, Karen Soanes, Karen Ferrara, Matthew Bernius, Ashley Doerzbacher, Kathleen Sweetman, Aubrey MacIntyre, Laura Ballou, Mary Jo Bonin, Kristen Seversky, Debi Monsour, Chris Fanning, Ruth McNamara, Jeremiah Parry-Hill, Benjamin Kieran, Lisa McCarty, Courtney Shouse, Jessica Winterhalt Wanner, Erica Neuburger, Melissa Boyack, Beth McCoy, Emily Minerva, Tia Blassingame, Jennifer Ghidiu, Lara Jacoby, Kristina Conklin, Tracey Melville, Kari Horiwicz, Mindy Hillenbrand, Laura Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Mark Fitzstevens, Lauren D. Frank and Annette H. Miller, Denise Junker, Deborah Pierce, James Schnell, Bleu Cease

  • Backers Mark Watts, Hettie Barnhill, Jeremy Tjhung, Amanda Tucker, Lisa McCarty, Linda Maroney, Erica Neuberger, Mitch Gruber, Deborah Pierce, Quajay Donnell, Maya Abtahian, Jon Gary x 2, Benjamin Kieran x 2, Bethany Velante, Rachel Oatridge, Melissa Chinnock, Charles Goodman x 2, Cathy Sweet, Chris Nolan, Kitty Hubbard, Michael Darcy, Kathryn O’Brien, Jennifer Canning  x 2, Crystle Slavy x 2, Melissa VanHeukelum, Carla Halstead, Holli Englerth x 2, Benjamin Kieran, Mary Jo Bonin, Nancy Kehoe, Mark Hartwig, Meg Colombo, Nick Marshall, Ann Rosen, Caitlin Meives, Sara Kozak, Meredith Smith, Hannah Lynch, Ustina Tawadros, Jennifer Strazzabosco, Chris Lindstrom, Melissa Milhalyov, Pia Cseri-Briones, Chris Gernon, Emily Robin Minerva, Annie Niederpruem, Kristen Dolan, Lee Nordhaus, Scott McCarney, Jeri Wilcox, Meghan Murphy, Laura Chekow, Susan Spencer, Kathleen Sweetman, Joan Hendrick, Dan Varenka, Mark Strong, Mark Denaci, Kirby Pilcher, Ceilia McIntosh x 2, Christine Norris, Hinda Mandell, Christopher Dolgos, Jennie Papkin, Christin Green, Matthew Ehlers, Steph Davis, Nancy McCrave, Thomas Greenfield, Steven Jarose, Mary Lupien, Kimberly Kane, Erica Fee, David Paul, Magnus Apollo Champlin, Meg Eaton, 540 W Main, Daniel Herd, Linda Vanartsdalen, Karen Faris, Felicia Smith, Heather Dulisse, Francesca Padilla, Michael Nyerges, Chantal Corriveau, Ria Tafani x 2, Sheila Fustanio, Chris Dolgos, Michael Darcy

    Contributors Kara Finnigan, Miranda Mims, Julia Maddox, Fran Broderick, Ngozi Udo, Rachel DeGuzman, Erica Englert, Michael Brisson, Steve Carter, Beth Larter, Michael Hunton, Maria Guzenko, Milo Obourn, Michael D’Avignon, Sarah Webb, Jenna Weintraub, Rachel Laber, Chelsea Flint, Rachel Barnhart, Karen Moses, Michelle Macirella, Renee Duquette, Kristy Mapes, Maryanna Mueller, Brian Halligan, Ty Gagnon, Eboni Jones, Sally Cohen, Kai Von Doom, Richard Colon, Colleen El-Bejjani, Dexter Smith, Rebecca Rafferty, Hannah Davis, Christine Green x 2, Jacklyn Ricard x 2, Emily Carpenter, Lane Campbell, Erin Dwyer