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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.

Christopher McGinn

Photo: Christopher McGinn
Buffalo, NY
WNY Council on Occupational Safety and Health
  • Conducted a survey to identify prominent worker issues in Buffalo and to gage where WNYCOSH should focus its advocacy efforts. Trained people to conduct the survey, participated in canvassing and entered all data. This information will be very valuable in maximizing the impact of the worker center.
  • Helped to conduct workers’ rights trainings and planned Organizing for Power event – an hour and a half long event intended to motivate working class Buffalonians to adopt an attitude of standing up for their rights and pushing for change rather than an attitude of dormancy.
  • Established social media accounts and strategy to strengthen organization’s publicity, communications, advocacy efforts. 

"I chose the High Road because I wanted to spend the summer making a valuable contribution to a social cause while gaining work experience that will help me pursue a career involving social justice. I am working with the WNY Council on Occupational Safety and Health (WNYCOSH). WNYCOSH is currently engaged in an effort to launch the Western New York Worker Center, a non-traditional labor organization seeking to improve working conditions and ensure the protection of workers’ rights in the region. My role is to help WNYCOSH with its advocacy, education, and organization efforts. Right now, I’m canvassing working class neighborhoods to identify the most pertinent issues that the Worker Center should address. I’m also planning an event to educate Buffalo about the new Worker Center, the process of organizing, and the rights on the job to which they are entitled.

The High Road method is all about accomplishing economic development through grassroots initiatives and ethically conscious methods. In my studies at ILR in Ithaca, I have learned about how members of the working class can come together to obtain justice. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to put this knowledge into practice by reaching out to real workers who will tangibly benefit from my help. I truly feel that I have my own valuable role to play in the larger initiative of building a better Buffalo, and that is a wonderful feeling. "