On May 3 and 4, the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE) held its Northeast Regional Conference in Niagara Falls, New York. The event was hosted by the UBE's Bishop James Theodore Holly Chapter, based at St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Buffalo.
At the conference luncheon, Bishop Bill Franklin was awarded the inaugural Racial Healing and Transformation Award from the Bishop Holly Chapter. Franklin, who was instrumental in organizing the diocese's Commission to Dismantle Racism and Discrimination, retired in early April.
Justice Rose Sconiers, dean of the conference, commended Franklin for his leadership on racial justice issues. " I could really see the difference between when Bishop Franklin stepped into this diocese and when he left," she said, citing his participation on the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable and his support of the diocesan commission.
In addition to Sconiers, organizers of the conference included Wayne A. Blassingame, president of the Bishop Holly Chapter of the UBE; Michael Hughes and Kim Green, conference co-chairs; and Ann Burroughs, Josephine Cross, Deacon Lillian Davis-Wilson, Herman Wilson, and Paul Nevergold.