BUFFALO- This week, Mayor Byron W. Brown and Buy Black Buffalo kickoff a lineup of February events that focus on Black entrepreneurs and highlight careers in advanced manufacturing in Buffalo. The events are a series of virtual and live programs that come as a spinoff to Buffalo’s first Buy Black Buffalo Week, which encouraged city residents and visitors to support Black-owned businesses in Buffalo during the holiday season. Buy Black Buffalo’s Black History Month series aims to honor Buffalo’s Black history by contributing to Black workers’ and entrepreneurs’ future.
Mayor Brown said, “My administration has always been committed to diversity, equity, opportunity, and inclusion. My partnership with Buy Black Buffalo is another example of our commitment to these values. Through strategic partnerships, we are leveraging the opportunities available in our region to help communities that need it most.”
This month’s events kicked off on Wednesday, February 10, with a virtual workshop about tax preparation and accounting to assist small businesses hosted by Nakeia Cook, owner of NCA Accounting and Consulting Solutions, and Matt Revere, Deputy Director of The Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center.
On February 17 at 6 PM, Google Digital Coach, and founder of Shinehard Foundation, Johnny Bailey, will host the “Growing with Google” virtual workshop. Bailey, a social entrepreneur and marketing strategist will discuss ways entrepreneurs can use Google products to grow and scale their business. Guests can visit buyblackbuffalo. com to register for these events.
Shatorah Donovan, Chief Diversity Officer for the City of Buffalo, said, “Buy Black Buffalo is a community-driven initiative that began out of the Mayor’s Office of Diversity, Opportunity, and Inclusion. The committee’s focus is to bring education and resources to historically disinvested communities. This month we are thrilled to work with so many amazing groups and corporations that truly prioritize equity and inclusion.”
In addition to small business educational programs, Buy Black Buffalo has revived its original Facebook Live talk show, “The Lounge”, with a two-part townhall and fireside chat series. At 6 PM on Monday, February 22, American electric vehicle and clean energy company, Tesla, will present “Building Diverse & Equitable Talent Pipelines into Advanced Manufacturing”, with a focus on Tesla’s commitment to building diverse talent pipelines
in Buffalo. Guests can attend the panel discussion virtually. Representatives from Tesla, the City of Buffalo, and Northland Workforce Development will discuss the ecosystem it takes to support building this pipeline.
“Northland Workforce Training Center is excited about the outstanding partnership we’ve developed with Tesla and the City of Buffalo to raise awareness and prepare local residents for exciting careers in advanced manufacturing and clean energy. As we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, we must be intentional in ensuring that racial equity is central to how we rebuild critical talent pipelines. This partnership does that by creating a clear career pathway towards upward mobility”, said Stephen Tucker, President & CEO, Northland Workforce Training Center.
On February 24, Buy Black Buffalo, and Leadership Buffalo will present “Black Business Leadership Perspectives: Reimagining the Culture of Doing Business”. This virtual town hall will be February’s final episode of “The Lounge”. It will feature a panel of Black small business owners who will address the needs and concerns of Western New York’s small Black businesses, followed by a Q&A session.
“Leadership Buffalo is pleased to be partnering with The City of Buffalo and its Office of Diversity for our February town hall featuring Black-owned small businesses,” said Althea Luehrsen, CEO of Leadership Buffalo. “The values of Leadership Buffalo include service, diversity, inclusion, and openness to change, and we believe it is important to reimagine the culture of doing business and how we can support one another. During these challenging times, it is vital for us to learn about our history so we can grow a better future for all.”
Buy Black Buffalo is also partnering with Buffalo Bills’ running back Zack Moss, the Police Athletic League, and the Albright Knox Art Gallery to spotlight our youth’s voices. Through Instagram, Moss asks Buffalo Public and Charter School students in grades 6-12 to submit a video up to 60 seconds, digital artwork, or up to a 100-word written expression about what activism in sports means to them and the culture. For more information about the contest, please visit buyblackbuffalo.com or Instagram @buyblackbuffalony and @pal_buffalo. Albright Knox Art Gallery will judge the entries and select three winners. The first-place winner will enjoy a ten-minute virtual meet and greet with running back Zack Moss. All three winners will receive memorabilia from Zack Moss and the Buffalo Bills.
“Amplifying the youth voice is vital to building a strong community. I enjoy seeing how young people express themselves through art; It always inspires me,” Zack Moss, running back for the Buffalo Bills said. “I hope this contest will spark conversations about how each of us can inspire change in our communities, no matter our age. Thank you to Mayor Brown, Buy Black Buffalo, and PAL for partnering with me on this contest for Black History Month.”