Breaking the Bubble

A Community Conversation Series

Breaking the Bubble is a community conversation series co-sponsored by the University's Office for Residential Life and Housing Services and the Center for Community Engagement. Breaking the Bubble seeks to burst the bubble that can envelop the University, separating it from the surrounding community. The series highlights timely issues of interest to both the University's community and the general Rochester community—particularly Rochester's southwest neighborhoods, adjacent to the University's River Campus. These events are free and open to the public.

Upcoming Events

Check back soon for news and upcoming events! 

Past Events

2023-2024 Series

Indigenous Conversations 

Ronalyn (Ronnie) Pollack, Executive Director of the Native American Cultural Center 

School Data Matters 

Dr. Shanai Lee, Founder and Executive Director of READY

2021-2022 Series

Building Community Control: How City Roots Community Land Trust is Combating Gentrification with Community Owned Land

Graham Hughes, City Roots Community Land Trust

Fostering Accessible Play Through Community Engagement

Calvin Eaton, 540WMain, Inc.

Suzan Hoffman ’22 (E5)

CampusROC & Helping Students Fall in Love with Greater Rochester

Click here for the CampusROC presentation

Barb Egenhofer, Director of Talent Strategy, ROC2025

Julia Pagano, Talent Strategy Coordinator, CampusROC

In the Spirit of Mandela: Advancing Human Rights in the United States (video available)

2020-2021 Series

From Words to Action with Lentory Johnson

Lentory Johnson, local activist

Breaking the Bubble: Pursuing Black Liberation in Rochester (video available)

Ashley Gantt, Free the People Roc

Becoming Better Neighbors: What Works, What Can Be Improved (video available)

Zola Brown, President of the 19th Ward Community Association

Dorian Hall, President of the PLEX Neighborhood Association

Moniek Silas-Lee, Principal at Dr. Charles T. Lunsford School No. 19

Promoting Voting Rights: From the 19th Amendment to the 2020 Election (video available)

Jean Pedersen, Associate Professor of History and of Humanities, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester

Annie Rosenow ‘22, Chair, Voter Outreach Subcommittee, Committee for Political Engagement, Rochester Center for Community Leadership

Barbara Grosh, Director of Voter Services, League of Women Voters of the Rochester Metropolitan Area

2019-2020 Series

From Space to Place: Reimagining Our Region Through Placemaking (video available)

Maria Furgiuele, Executive Director, the Community Design Center Rochester

Bridging Silos: Collaborating for Environmental Health and Justice in Urban Communities

Katrina Korfmacher, PhD, associate professor of environmental medicine, University of Rochester

Introduction to Addressing Structural Racism and Building Community

Loriane Ngarambe, RMAPI community engagement specialist

Community Engagement through the Lens of Barbershops and Salons

Wille Lightfoot, Rochester City Council vice president and owner, New Creations Unisex Shop

Wade Davis, owner, Wade & Me Barbershop

Andre Morrison, owner, Andre's Barbershop

Dr. Desjamebra Robinson, NYS cosmetologist

Working Towards Climate Justice in Rochester

Abby McHugh-Grifa, executive director of Rochester People's Climate Coalition

Calvin Eaton, Founding executive director of 540 WMain Inc.

Hridesh Singh, leadership member of Rochester Youth Climate Leaders


2018-2019 Series

Yoga 4 a Good Hood

Imani Olear, founder, and pastor, Reformation Lutheran Church

How to Run for Office

Gary Pudup, former political candidate and campaign manager

Refugees Helping Refugees

Sadiya Omar, Pio Moller, and Pam Adams, Refugees Helping Refugees, Inc.

Rochester’s Music Scene

Jeff Spevak, local arts writer and Rochester Democrat and Chronicle pop/rock critic

2017-2018 Series

Toward Urban Education Success: East EPO

Lorna Washington, assistant superintendent, East EPO

Re-Energizing the Legacy of Frederick Douglass

Carvin Eison, Rochester Community TV and SUNY Brockport, and Bleu Cease, executive director, Rochester Contemporary Art Center

Strengthen the Rochester Community through National Service

Panel of National Service Members including Matthew Trombley and Jeiri Flores

Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative

Dr. Leonard Brock, executive director

2016-2017 Series

Incarceration Nation: The US and Mass Incarceration

Joshua Dubler, University of Rochester assistant professor of religion, founder and director of the Rochester Prison Education Project

Join the Conversation: Health, Hunger, and Food Banks

Mitch Gruber, chief program officer at Foodlink

Re-Humanizing Rochester: The Past, Present, and Future of Rochester’s Transportation System

Mike Governale, Reconnect Rochester, and Erik Frisch, transportation specialist, City of Rochester

A Conversation with Mayor Lovely Warren: Believe in Rochester

City of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren