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Buffalo Co-Lab

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Buffalo Co-Lab advances an equitable economy and democratic community, collaboratively integrating scholarly and practical understanding to strengthen civic action.

High Road Fellows

David Cai

David Cai
David Cai
David Cai

Anastasia Assenso

I believe in working for the people and the high road is all about that.
Anastasia Assenso
Anastasia Assenso

Yanenowi Logan

I learned that bringing resources and tools back into your community is the most important part about taking on new opportunities.
Yanenowi Logan
Yanenowi Logan

Adam Dietz

The principles of High Road Economic Development insist that public investment should result in equitably distributed economic growth. For this to occur, people must work on the ground and be in direct contact with individual community members.
Adam Dietz
Adam Dietz

Carson Taylor

Labor organizing is an incredibly rewarding job, but labor law in the United States makes workers far less protected than they should be.
Carson Taylor
Carson Taylor

Izzy Warren

I learned about economics, collective organizing, and about museum curation.
Izzy Warren
Izzy Warren

Aima Ali

The most important thing I have learned is that Buffalo is an amazing city full of love and life.
Aima Ali
Aima Ali

Lincy Chen

I learned how to create graphics catered towards public use. I am leaving with insight on how to use Tableau, a powerful data viz software.
Lincy Chen
Lincy Chen

Spencer Thieme

I have a more nuanced understanding of community based change
Spencer Thieme
Spencer Thieme

Emile Bensedrine

There were many takeaways from this summer including the importance of consistently showing up for the people you work with. High Road taught me that I want to do more on-the-ground work with people, hearing their stories and working to change the city for the better.
Emile Bensedrine
Emile Bensedrine

Finley Williams

I am leaving Buffalo with new knowledge about what it means not only to know a place and its people, but to work with those people toward sustainable community change.
Finley Williams
Finley Williams

Abby Sachar

I leave Buffalo inspired by the community leaders and activists working to leverage people power to fight against systemic injustices. While the challenges to create meaningful change seem insurmountable, they continue to persevere and hope and work to make a difference in their community.
Abby Sachar
Abby Sachar

Eliza Gifford

I’m leaving Buffalo with a much better grasp on community organizing. I’ve learned so much about the importance of building genuine relationships and a coalition of allies to support a network of change. I also have a new love for the city itself (and custard).
Eliza Gifford
Eliza Gifford

Daniela Rosiles Torres

Buffalo was a good place to explore and made me want to explore more of my own hometown and community.
Daniela Rosiles Torres
Daniela Rosiles Torres

Delilah Hernandez

It's ok to have many passions. Encourage yourself to explore them and view them as "projects" that will lead you to other passions. There is no need to commit to one sole task for the rest of your life.
Delilah Hernandez

Delilah Hernandez

It's ok to have many passions. Encourage yourself to explore them and view them as "projects" that will lead you to other passions. There is no need to commit to one sole task for the rest of your life.
Delilah Hernandez
Delilah Hernandez

Darshana Subramaniam

I took the high road because people need to have their voices heard in their community. So often, policies are created without listening to those in the community that are being affected. People matter and their voices need to be elevated.
Darshana Subramaniam
Darshana Subramaniam

José Pérez-Zetune

The people united will never be defeated.
José Roque Pérez-Zetune
José Pérez-Zetune

Jacob Blizard

I learned a sleuth of skills ranging from running a mobile market to the process of grant-writing. I feel grateful being a jack-of-all-trades this summer and exploring my skills and passions with such an impactful organization.
Jacob Blizard

Jacob Blizard

I learned a sleuth of skills ranging from running a mobile market to the process of grant-writing. I feel grateful being a jack-of-all-trades this summer and exploring my skills and passions with such an impactful organization.
Jacob Blizard
Jacob Blizard

Muhammad Zaib

This summer, I learned what it truly meant to take the High Road: serving your citizens and embodying public service. That civic participation and community involvement is imperative for social justice victory
Muhammad Zaib
Muhammad Zaib

Vindhya Kathuria

This summer I learned of the importance of developing programs that are person-centered and prioritize long-term sustainability.
Vindhya Kathuria
Vindhya Kathuria

Sakiel Ruff

This summer, I worked on a directory to help formerly incarcerated people find housing. I researched rental opportunities for Peaceprints’ clients and interviewed landlords to see if they rented to individuals with criminal records. If they did not, I would facilitate dialogue to educate them about Peaceprints’ reentry services.
Sakiel Ruff
Sakiel Ruff

Laila Rahbari

My most meaningful takeaway is that talking to people in the community, relating to them, and understanding the issues they might face on a deeper level is a very powerful first step to change.
Laila Rahbari
Laila Rahbari

Noah Berg

I wanted to gain experience working with public interest organizations, and to see what it is like to be a part of such a great community that is striving for so many different types of change. 
Noah Berg
Noah Berg

Sydney Browne

This summer, I was blessed with experiences where I was able to participate in hands-on advocacy and coalition building. I was able to witness the beauty, challenges, and strength of communities and contribute toward real change in the city of Buffalo.
Sydney Browne

Sydney Browne

This summer, I was blessed with experiences where I was able to participate in hands-on advocacy and coalition building. I was able to witness the beauty, challenges, and strength of communities and contribute toward real change in the city of Buffalo.
Sydney Browne
Sydney Browne

Cameron Walsh

Work Highlights

This High Road Fellow worked with law faculty and law students in a project to form a land bank (a mechanism to recycle vacant land and buildings) with the City of Buffalo. They researched successful urban land bank projects such as Flint, Michigan, and assist in identifying priority properties for the Buffalo land bank.

Student Insights

Having grown up on the outskirts of the city, I was not fully aware of the non-profit culture that is so alive and well in Buffalo. In addition to that, I was also not as cognizant of the community-based organizations that are thriving and expanding in the Buffalo region. Seeing organizations come together to sponsor community-based events such as Shakespearean Idol was extremely riveting and enlightening, affording all of the High Road fellows a chance to see how vested powerful individuals were in the community and turning it into a better place to live, work, and play.

 

Photo of Cameron Walsh
Cameron Walsh

Gregory Tonarelli

Work Highlights

In a structural reorganization of Business First’s outreach to align with the nine Buffalo Common Council districts, this fellow conducted research and design the structure and role for new District Directors, in collaboration with nonprofit partners, member businesses and the staff of Buffalo First.

 

Phot of Gregory Tonarelli
Gregory Tonarelli

Lucas Pittman

Work Highlights

This High Road fellow conducted a comprehensive study of foreclosures and mortgage defaults in Erie County, creating a database and map of foreclosure and pending foreclosure locations, and identifying clients in need of services for foreclosure prevention.

Student Insights

I learned that are more public interest organizations than I could have ever imagined. I also have learned that Buffalo is going through an immensely difficult transition economically but I definitively believe that in the next couple decades some stabilization and growth will occur especially within the fields of medicine with projects such as the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Impact

I helped Belmont Housing by putting together a study they would not have otherwise done. The study demonstrates how effective their services are which in turn helps them receive funding which ultimately helps more suffering people in the Greater Buffalo community.

Photo of Lucas Pittman
Lucas Pittman