The battle to overcome racism, bias and discrimination is a fight every generation must wage.
And the National Federation for Just Communities is dedicated to that fight by building understanding, respect and trust through education, advocacy and community involvement.
Wednesday, the NFJC held its annual luncheon meeting, attended by about 100 people in the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, with the theme “The Human Spirit and the Work for Justice.”
The guest speaker was the Rev. Thomas H. Yorty, senior pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church, who said the fight for social justice is a long haul. “America is today the most ethnically and religiously diverse country in the world,” Yorty said. “But we’re only as good as the resolve of the present generation. We are only ever one generation away from the disappearance of freedom.”
During the meeting, Yorty and four other people were installed for three-year terms on the board of directors. The others were: Kenneth Franasiak, founding principal and CEO of Calamar; attorney Joseph M. Hanna, partner at Goldberg Segalla; Oswaldo Mestre Jr., director of citizen services for the City of Buffalo; and Tamara Alsace, the Public Schools’ director of multilingual education.
Seven others were approved for second terms on the board, including Gretchen Geitter, vice president of community relations for the Buffalo Bills; Dana Marciniak, manager of corporate communications at New Era Cap Co.; Michael Martin, executive director of Native American Community Services of Erie and Niagara Counties; Tod Martin, president of the Martin Group; Donna Mostiller, senior vice president of human resources at Girls Scouts of WNY; Gary Quenneville, Western New York district president of KeyBank; and Surjit Singh, director of public affairs for the Niagara Sikh Association.
Student board members are Brandon Cruz, a senior at WNY Maritime Charter School; and Reggie Nealy and Lyndsay Raymond, both freshmen at Buffalo State College.
The 2013 executive committee officers include: Quenneville and attorney Amy Habib Rittling as co-chairmen; attorney John Horn, chairman-elect; Daryl Rasuli, Laura Zaepfel, Sylvia Tokasz, Daryl Rasuli and Glenn Jackson as vice chairmen; Rosemarie Steeb, treasurer; attorney James Smyton, legal counsel and WNY representative to the NFJC National Board; Daniel Kantor, secretary; Catherine Schweitzer, foundation consultant; and Christopher Greene, immediate past chairman.