The Cornell Chronicle has published a fascinating look at the school’s close ties with Buffalo, starting in 1946 via the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR), the birth of the Partnership for the Public Good (PPG) in 2007, and the launch of the High Road Fellowship program (in Buffalo since 2009 – centered in the Market Arcade).
In recent years, Cornell has been entrenched in roles that include policy development, advocacy, and research for enhanced environmental sustainability, cultural vibrancy, social justice (workforce training, fair housing, health issues), and even land trusts.
In 2018, ILR rolled out Careers in Public Service program which deals with studying public policy in Buffalo.
All of this would not be possible if it were not for the partnerships that Cornell has struck up with over 280 organizations in the Buffalo-Niagara region.
Having Cornell in Buffalo means that each year there are around 50 students from all over the world, who spend a little over two months working alongside organizations such as People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH), and Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP). The symbiotic relationship means that the Cornell students get the life lessons that they need to truly understand the studies at hand, while Buffalo’s non-profits get a helping hand from bright young minds that are dedicated to problem solving the complex issues.
When it comes to issues such as green infrastructure, water quality, food desserts, etc., it all starts with research. Once the research is underway, and the reports are released, word gets out that there are indeed efficient ways to tackle the problems, which ultimately helps to attract the funding needed to strategically implement projects.
When WNYers think about education in Buffalo, of course higher education institutions such as University @ Buffalo and Buffalo State come to mind. But for 72 years, Cornell has closely aligned with this city, through good times and bad, to provide additional resources that have fortified Buffalo in its determination to overcome mounting obstacles.
From analyzing social and economic justice issues, to advocating for Green Development Zones, Cornell has positioned Buffalo as a learning laboratory that will propel this city forward for years to come. Now, that’s something that we should all be thankful for.
Read more at The Cornell Chronicle.
Lead image: West Side resident Bob Jahnke, a longtime member of the PUSH Community Development Committee, walks through one of the community gardens in his neighborhood. Photo: Jason Koski / Cornell Brand Communications