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Buffalo Co-Lab

skyline of Buffalo

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

Matthew Scherer

Buffalo, NY
Buffalo First! and Ujima Theatre Company
  • Communications, media strategy and outreach for Buffalo First activities
  • Assist in local business networks projects
  • Communications and marketing for 2009 theatre season
  • Web development for Ujima

Buffalo First!, an affiliate of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), is a local advocacy group that works to build long-term economic empowerment and community self-reliance through local business ownership, economic justice, cultural diversity, and environmental stewardship. Our mission is to: Promote the growth and development of community-based business; Encourage local purchasing by consumers and businesses; Create opportunities for business leaders to network and share best practices; Devise strategies to help underemployed individuals become more actively engaged in the economy; Advocate for public policies that strengthen independent local businesses, promote economic equity, and protect the environment.

Ujima is a Swahili word that means "Collective Work and Responsibility" and it is from this tenet that we derive our purpose. We are a company of actors, actresses, theatre technicians, theatre arts administrators, choreographers, playwrights, teachers, and vocalists. Over the last 28 years we have built a solid reputation for producing excellent theatre in WNY. This reputation comes from hard work, dedication and the creative vision and leadership of our founder, Lorna C. Hill. As a multi-faceted, multi-cultural organization, Ujima Company, has the unique ability to help facilitate connections in our community that will affect the necessary changes to bring prosperity to our region. Ujima offers a season: of plays; training for youth in theatre, music and dance; concert series & poetry slams; serves as a resource to persons, community agencies, and institutions serving non-violence, cultural diversity, at-risk youth and positive values necessary for the development of the community.