Buffalo, NY – Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown is headed to New York City today to receive the Transformative Leadership Award from Acacia Network, Inc. at its 2022 Annual Gala on October 6th in Manhattan. Acacia Network is one of the leading community-based human services organizations in New York City and the largest Hispanic-led nonprofit in New York state, providing integrated, culturally competent, and trauma-informed programs in the areas of health, housing, social services, economic development, and cultural revitalization to more than 150,000 individuals annually including those who live in Buffalo. This year’s theme – Still, We Rise – is a salute to the resilience and strength of communities that continue to rise with dignity, even while facing the toughest challenges. The Transformative Leadership Award is being presented to Mayor Brown in recognition of his outstanding commitment and public service to advance the wellbeing of underserved communities in the City of Buffalo, with special acknowledgement of his commendable efforts following the mass shooting at the Tops on Jefferson Avenue on May 14th.
“I’m deeply humbled to receive this recognition from Acacia Network, whose work in the Buffalo community and in other cities I’ve long admired and respected,” stated Mayor Brown. “Acacia’s long-standing history of building strong communities has benefited so many people since its inception and I’m grateful for the resources and care Acacia provides to Buffalo to help ensure that all people get the services and support they need so that no one is left out, and no one is left behind.”
Raul Russi, the President of Acacia Network, is scheduled to present the leadership award to Mayor Brown, Buffalo’s 62nd mayor and the first Black mayor in the city’s history. Mayor Brown began his term in 2006 and, in addition to being Buffalo’s first Black mayor, he is also its longest serving chief executive. Over the course of his tenure he has successfully led Buffalo through a renaissance that has generated over $8 billion dollars in economic development investment, achieved record low-unemployment, demolished nearly 8,000 abandoned and dilapidated houses, improved the City’s credit rating, oversaw the construction of 4,000 units of affordable housing, streamlined city government, launched Buffalo’s first residential lead water-service line replacement program, and invested over $100 million in city parks, playgrounds, and green spaces in historically underserved neighborhoods.
Mayor Brown was first elected to the Buffalo Common Council in 1996 and remained a Councilmember until being elected to the New York State Senate to represent Buffalo at the State Capital in 2001. In addition to his leadership roles in Buffalo, Brown served as the chair of the New York State Democratic Party from 2016 through 2018, and he is currently the Treasurer of the African American Mayors Association.
In addition to Mayor Brown, other awardees include Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) Commissioner Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, who will receive the Government Leadership Award, and the Hispanic Federation, the 2022 recipient of the Orgullo Nuestro Award. For over 50 years, Acacia Network and its affiliates have been committed to improving the quality-of-life and wellbeing of underserved Latino communities by providing access to integrated health and housing programs, and by reinvesting in communities through innovative programming, employment opportunities and affordable housing ownership, among other initiatives. Acacia Network’s offices are located in New York City, Buffalo, Albany, and Syracuse in New York State, as well as Florida, Maryland, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Connecticut, and Puerto Rico. For more information, visit: www.acacianetwork.org.