One month later, we are still collectively grieving and working to heal ourselves and those we hold dear.
Thanks to the many individuals and organizations that have reached with support in the wake of the devastating May 14 terrorist attack against our Jefferson Avenue community. You have filled us with gratitude and resolve in our mission to bring “racial, economic, and ecological justice” to Buffalo and Western New York. In this moment, and in the years to come, we have an opportunity to honor the lives and legacies of our friends, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, elders, and leaders whom we have just lost.
Open Buffalo is working to build a better future for our city and region by building power, connecting networks, equipping the next generation of leaders, and thinking big about what a thriving Black community could look like here – and moving from thinking to action. Since May 14, we have prioritized assessing and rapidly responding to the immediate needs of our community. Here is a glimpse of our impact over the last few weeks:
We have hosted six pop-up barbeques, four of which encompassed giveaways, including: fresh produce, non-perishable foods, feminine products, diapers, baby formula and wipes, and even pet food. We have distributed more than 1,000 bags filled with these items.
This past Friday, June 10, marked the start of our first baby club, where we distributed baby supplies to 30-plus community households. The next giveaway is scheduled for Friday July 8. For those who register online OB Baby Club Registration Form, we will provide a month’s supply of formula, diapers, and wipes. As long as there’s a need, the club will continue occurring at our office the second Friday of every month.
We have engaged 500-plus community members and we have had about 60 volunteers.
In partnership with Black Love Resists in the Rust (BLRR), on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays we’ve been canvassing our Cold Springs neighborhood to hand out resource guides and survey people’s needs. So far, we have deployed about 40 canvassers.
In the coming weeks, Open Buffalo is:
· Tabling at Juneteenth (Saturday, June 18, table 98) where we will offer giveaways, and, more importantly, survey community needs, register voters, and providing more information to help community members access their power!
· Looking for candidates to fill two job positions: Director of Racial Equity and Justice and Director of Leadership Development.
Our community is a site of strength, resilience, and innovation. IT IS POSSIBLE for us to move forward and work together to advance a more sustainable and secure future for ourselves, our families and neighbors. Stay tuned for future opportunities to get involved.
The Open Buffalo Team