Business leaders, including those at the Oishei Foundation and KeyBank Foundation, are reaching out to fellow executives, asking them to get onboard with a movement to address the city’s poverty and safety issues, by providing mentorship and alternatives to urban youth, among other strategies.
A strategic effort is now underway, supported by the Buffalo Peacemakers, that will help to find a solution to curtail crime, drug use, and gang violence. So often these grassroots efforts are approached from the ground up, with no real support from the business community. Without adequate resources, there is only so much that these efforts can achieve. By enlisting the help of Western New York’s senior business executives (CEOs, Presidents, etc.), alongside elected officials, and community leaders, a more top-down approach can also be strategized and implemented.
To date, the Buffalo Peacemakers have been making incremental progress in the following realms:
- Mentoring and redirecting youth into healthy lifestyles
- Building relationships
- Gathering information
- Mediating gang conflicts to prevent violence
- Responding to violent incidents
- Working with law enforcement and elected officials to build safe neighborhoods
Now, the Peacemakers are asking for help from business executives at such institutions as Oishei Foundation, Harmac Medical Products, KeyBank Foundation, and Independent Health, to elevate the success efforts that have been achieved since 2014 (when Peacemakers was founded). A number of these fruitful efforts have resulted in:
- Gang-related homicides have dropped from a high of 43 to 18 in 2019
- Gang-related violence also dropped sharply from a high of 112 incidents in 2014 to 36 in 2019
- In 2019 alone, the Peacemakers mentored over 400 at-risk youth, including 67 mediations which prevented gang violence
- Peacemakers ensures peace at over 100 community events such as Juneteenth, the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, sports events and movie openings
- Peacemakers conduct a “Safe Passage Program,” helping thousands of kids to make it home safely from school every day
With the right level of support from Buffalo’s corporate world, the unified effort could amplify the results, thus “guiding and mentoring our city’s adolescents, leading to safer, healthier communities.”
In the end, everyone wins – a safe, poverty-ridden city is a more prosperous city for all.
Tasking Business Executives with Strategic Fundraiser Efforts to Further Curb the City’s Poverty and Safety Issues
Join 70+ of Western New York’s senior business executives (CEOs, Presidents, etc.), elected officials, and community leaders, along with dozens of members of the Buffalo Peacemakers
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
5pm to 7 pm (Program begins at 5:30 pm)
Northland Workforce Training Center | Community Room (Enter via Building A) | 683 Northland Avenue, Buffalo NY
Lead image: Photo by Brad Neathery