After five years in the social justice space working on everything from establishing the FB Community Land Trust in the Fruit Belt Neighborhood of Buffalo to graduating more than 100 Emerging Leaders from our signature program, Open Buffalo is set to begin our sixth year of nonprofit operations with a new strategic plan and mission that will solidify our presence in Western New York.
Established in 2014 to help advance a diverse set of social justice initiatives throughout Buffalo, while also working collaboratively with a number of others, our organization recently underwent a year-long strategic planning process that identified our leadership development programs and issues-based campaign organizing as our core strengths. These strengths underscore niche offerings in which Open Buffalo can take a leading role and fulfill its mission to advance racial, economic, and ecological justice.
“If we lift up individuals to combat pervasive inequities of the system through intensive skill-building, then we are creating a pipeline of leaders who can use their voice for community-based organizing, action and change,” said Executive Director Franchelle Parker.
As an example of a current and relevant issue facing the community and the nation, Open Buffalo is currently organizing a youth civic engagement initiative that will educate and engage 5,000 new young voters in advance of what will be a critical 2020 election cycle for social justice advocates.
Parker added that “2020 may be one of the most critical years of our lifetimes and it’s imperative to teach the upcoming generation not only their civic responsibility, but the relevance of their voice for shaping our world.”
A celebration of our first five years and rollout of our new mission is planned for the evening of January 9, 2020 at the Northland Workforce Training Center. The community can learn more about Open Buffalo at www.openbuffalo.org