On Saturday, December 17th, community justice partners from throughout Buffalo celebrated the graduation of the 2016 class of Open Buffalo Emerging Leaders. This is the second annual class of Emerging Leaders.
The 2016 Emerging Leaders are 26 dynamic community leaders, representing a diverse range of identities and from every corner of Buffalo. The graduates were recognized and celebrated for completing a rigorous three-month curriculum combining classroom training with hands-on field experiences.
The Emerging Leaders program equipped them with skills and inspiration to be effective agents of change in the Queen City. Local and national experts combined forces to instruct Emerging Leaders in community organizing, coalition building, media and communications, and cutting-edge research and policy.
"I am grateful for the opportunity and have learned so much from the program" said Rebecca Castaneda, who graduated from the program Saturday.
The graduates were also recognized by proclamations from the Erie County Legislature and Buffalo Common Council for their achievement of completing the program.
“All of us as Emerging Leaders have something that we’re very passionate about — something that tugs at our heart and weighs on us daily,” said Daniel Robertson, a 2016 Emerging Leader who works as a Scholar Mentor Supervisor for Say Yes Buffalo. “We all have an obligation to educate others and follow through on those things that we carry near and dear to our hearts.”