This summer, West Side Promise Neighborhood with support from PUSH Buffalo, Open Buffalo, the Buffalo State Center for Excellence in Urban and Rural Education and the Buffalo State Community Academic Center, will hold its inaugural leadership development program. Patterned after Open Buffalo’s training, fifteen dynamic, passionate leaders – representing a diverse range of identities and from the West Side – will complete a rigorous curriculum combining classroom training with hands-on field experiences in asset mapping, organizing, coalition building, media and communications, navigating systems, and housing law. Participants will be selected based on their proven track record of being leaders in the community.
Local partners from across the West Side Promise Neighborhood collaborative joined forces to deliver a three-month program that included a number of full-day and evening workshops that will begin to build a new leadership pipeline on Buffalo’s West Side. In addition, each participant was paired with a mentor/coach in order to further build bridges between communities and organizations in our city.
There are two to goals for the program. It is hoped these leaders will be better prepared to help their constituencies as well as work together to insure that all of West Side residents are able to reap the benefits of Buffalo’s current economic opportunities. Secondly, it is hoped that the emerging leaders will play an active role in helping the West Side Promise Neighborhood make sure that the people who live on the West Side have an active voice in the initiative.
All participants received a full scholarship to participate in the program at no charge. This will include the cost of food at the trainings. Each scholarship is valued at $1,100.