Mark Talley, whose mother, Geraldine Talley, was one of the 10 African Americans killed during the May 14, 2022, mass shooting at Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo, N.Y., will speak about how that tragic event motivated him to launch his non-profit organization, Agents for Advocacy, during a presentation hosted by Niagara University’s Vincentian Center for Justice in coordination with the Niagara University Black Student Union, the Intercultural Engagement Center, and the Peace & Justice Studies Association. The event, which is free and open to the public, takes place on Thursday, Feb. 22, at 4:30 p.m., in the Gallagher Center’s Multipurpose Room. It will also be presented virtually via Zoom. (https://niagara-edu.zoom.us/j/87296967087).

During the presentation, entitled, "Awakening Advocacy: A Personal Tale Against Systemic Racism," Talley will discuss why he established Agents for Advocacy, which seeks to create a world where every individual, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or background, can live free from fear and inequality.

“The inception of this nonprofit was fueled by a personal tragedy that forever changed my life,” Talley said. “On May 14, 2022, my beloved mother fell victim to an act of domestic terrorism at Tops Market. This senseless act, orchestrated by a white supremacist, claimed the lives of 10 innocent people and left three others wounded.  In the face of unimaginable grief, I found the strength to transform pain into purpose. Agents for Advocacy was born out of a deep desire to fight for social and economic justice, to challenge systems of oppression, and to ensure that no one else endures the pain my family and countless others have experienced."

The Social Justice Speaker Series presents activists, educators, and resisters across a spectrum of political and social issues to engage the campus and the broader community in these struggles by introducing the ideas of the individuals who have been active participants and who have led them.