One of the questions I love asking people is what brought them to Rochester. Invariably, the responses have fallen into one of two categories: love or work.

For Steve Lange, editor of Rochester Magazine, money brought him here, but love kept him here. The money - an opportunity to be part of the fledgling magazine with expectations that it would be a two- or three-year gig. The love - Rochester turned out to be a pretty great place to live and raise a growing family and his love for the community has turned a two-year gig into a two- (and hopefully three-) decade gig.

A third answer to my question is starting to become more common: escape. That was the case for Andre Crockett, who came to Rochester to play basketball for [then] Rochester Community College and escape the inner city of Baltimore. Like Lange, Crockett has now called Rochester home, a place to raise his family and mentor youth through basketball, his faith, and social work for more than two decades.

The events of the past year, specifically COVID-19 and the death of George Floyd, were catalysts for change in how both professional and personal relationships are built and the need to be more intentional about those connections. That intentionality can lead to surprising opportunities to learn more about the lives and experiences and find commonality with those who seem different.

During his time in Rochester, Lange has met and interviewed many of Rochester’s leaders and told a lot of great stories. But it was not until last summer that, in an intentional effort to learn what it means to be Black in Rochester and give voice to those stories, he learned that one of our local leaders marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Detroit in 1961.

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For more on how Lange and Crockett’s paths collided, how Rochester brought together four very different people, and a behind the scenes look at how they are working together for a common goal that just may leave you with goosebumps, listen to our podcast, The Other Side of the Table, episode #11 Andre Crocket and Steve Lange (Part 1.)