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Buffalo Extreme: Base

Ayanna Williams Gaines is the coach and founder of Buffalo All-Star Extreme, a Black competitive cheerleading and dance team from Buffalo, New York. Williams Gaines started the gym as a space for Black girls to feel safe and to thrive in the predominantly white world of cheer. But on May 14, 2022, a white supremacist came to a predominantly Black neighborhood on the east side of Buffalo and killed ten Black people at a grocery store just a few blocks away from the gym. In the wake of the massacre, feeling like a target, Williams Gaines and her cheer families are faced with the challenge of making sure their cheerleaders feel safe and confident, on and off the stage.

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