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Champion a Change in YOUR Community!

Interested in challenging the powers that be? In changing the status quo? In building something better for your community? In creating a more sustainable region? Think about becoming a Champion for Change through One Region Forward‘s Citizen Planning School this spring!

Often times, we come up with a great idea on how to solve a problem in our own communities, but don’t know how to get it off the ground. That’s the reason that University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, Blackstone LaunchPad, and It Takes A Village Action Organization, are hosting the Spring 2019 Champions for Change program. The course will be co-instructed by Robert G. Shibley, FAIA, AICP, and Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning.

Starting February 26, groups of sustainable change makers will receive free hands-on technical support and learning opportunities to help grow their project idea toward implementation. The opportunity is open to residents of Erie and Niagara counties.

The 2018 cohort of Champions for Change with their faculty, staff, and student mentors.
Download the flyer for more info and to spread the word!

As a Champion for Change, you will:

  • Bring your vision to life, from an idea to a clear action plan
  • Refine your idea with a research & technical support team
  • Network with other Champions for Change, professionals, UB students & community leaders
  • Present your project idea to the public and potential supporters at the Idea Summit
  • Identify funding to support your project

If you believe that you can make a difference in the Buffalo-Niagara region, and you want to apply to the program, the deadline is January 25th. This is an incredible three-month opportunity to learn how to become a change-maker in your community. This is not just about brainstorming, this is about being proactive, to be a leader, to alter the course of a city, to bring about constructive and long-lasting change.

“We never know how our small activities will affect others through the invisible fabric of our connectedness. In this exquisitely connected world, it’s never a question of ‘critical mass.’ It’s always about critical connections.” – Grace Lee Boggs

The fifth semester of the One Region Forward Champions for Change program takes place at University at Buffalo, Hayes Hall starting on Tuesday, February 26th.


Written by Darren Cotton

Darren Cotton

Darren Cotton works as Director of Community Development & Planning at the University District Community Development Association (UDCDA). His work primarily focuses on housing rehabilitation, small business development, and community capacity building in the neighborhood's surrounding the University at Buffalo's South Campus. Prior to this, Darren served as an Associate Planner at the UB Regional Institute working on a regional sustainability initiative, the remediation of industrial brownfields, and an overhaul of Buffalo's zoning code. As a graduate student at UB, Darren founded the University Heights Tool Library in response to his experience renting from an absentee landlord. With a Bachelor's Degree in International Studies and Linguistics and a Master's Degree in Urban Planning all from UB, Darren works to bridge the gap between research, policy, and grassroots activism and is a firm believer that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

View All Articles by Darren Cotton
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