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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.

John Sullivan Baker

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Whitehouse, OH
Partnership for the Public Good
  • Contributed to a team research report explaining organized labor's role in promoting economic justice, racial justice, and environmental sustainability in the Buffalo region. Interviewed a number of leaders from historians to public officials to media professionals about how organized labor has helped build a more equitable local economy.
  • Conducted primary research for a report about low wage occupations in WNY.
  • Updated a Buffalo Brief publication that provide a snapshot of information about Buffalo demographics with regard to employment.

“I was struck by the fact that Assembly Member Sean Ryan, a prominent community leader without much free time on his hands, spoke with me at length as if I was a friend. Going into the meeting, I expected that he would rush the interview, only staying as long as was necessary to give PPG, an organization with which he works closely with, the information that its executive director sought. Instead, he let me pick his brain about subjects far outside of the scope of PPG’s, study, treated me as an equal, and showed genuine interest in what I had to say—even pushing back a later meeting to continue our conversation. I’m grateful that my High Road Fellowship has given me the opportunity to have meaningful conversations both with my interviewees and the community leaders who speak with us every Friday on subjects as diverse as education policy, workforce training, historical restoration, and economic development.”

--From John’s Reflection Journal

“It has been a pleasure working with John at PPG this summer. John is extremely capable as a researcher and writer, and brings both political analysis and communication skills to his work. John carried out in-depth interviews with some of Buffalo’s political and community leaders this summer, and was well up to the task! He made great connections with these individuals and skillfully captured their experience and insights for our study on organized labor. Given all of this, and the outstanding game of Jeopardy! that he curated for our team, we will certainly miss having John in the office.”

--Andrea Ó Súilleabháin, Deputy Director