In 2021, we rolled out our 8th edition of No Boundaries magazine. The futuristic articles depicted Buffalo in 2051, as the Pan American Exposition returned to celebrate its 150th anniversary. Our authors were given a 12 page report compiled by area professors, researchers and non profit leaders about the city we might have by then, if we get to work now. Those authors then let their imaginations run wild.
The entire production was presented by West Side Promise Neighborhood alongside dozens of other local businesses and agencies.
WSPN was so instrumental in making this production a reality, that we ran a 4-page spread in the magazine that highlighted the work they do in the community. We’ve broken that out here so that they’re also recognized digitally alongside the articles.
We asked them to speak with some of their program beneficiaries about the work they do and what vision they have for Buffalo in 2051. We used what we learned as inspiration for characters in the stories that unfolded in the magazine. Meet the real-life future of Buffalo below:
At Say Yes Buffalo, our mission is to remove barriers to educational attainment and economic mobility for ALL students attending Buffalo public and charter schools. By providing tuition scholarships to postsecondary institutions, we are building a bridge to opportunity. By offering a growing number of supports, from birth through grade 12, we will bring a growing number of young people to the threshold of that door.
By 2051, we will accept no less than a Buffalo that reflects this investment, which can be objectively measured by vastly reduced childhood poverty rates and gaps in educational attainment between ZIP codes, as well as equitable opportunity access for all residents. We aim to be the envy of the nation, a community where every child born feels lucky to call Buffalo home.
Every year, hundreds of Buffalo youth come to Compass House with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. For nearly five decades, our Emergency Shelter, Resource Center, Safe Place Program and Rapid Re-Housing Program have provided runaway and homeless youth aged 12-24 with a safe shelter and resources to better their lives. We recognize our roles as youth advocates and strive to create positive relationships between youth and their families when possible.
Our ability to work alongside our clients in a non-authoritarian and non-judgmental manner has empowered thousands of local youth to grow into stable, independent, and productive members of the community. In the future, we will continue to care for our community, passionately partner with the youth we serve, and ultimately assist our clients in creating a new direction for a better life.
WSPN supports partners like these by matching opportunities and resources to advance neighborhood priorities and benefit children
and their families on Buffalo’s west side.
Originally from the Chin state in Burma, Kap Thang fled when he was 21 years of age to Malaysia. He lived there for over 10 years, working various jobs, including as a chef at his restaurant, Thang’s Family Japanese Bistro. In 2009, he came to Buffalo where he began working in food prep at Lexington Coop for the next 8 years. His restaurant opened at the Bazaar in 2017. He is married, the father of three boys, and a proud Kenmore homeowner.
WEDI’s vision is that all residents of Western New York can succeed and thrive in a culturally inclusive community. We work to strengthen communities through a continuum of educational and financial resources, removing systemic barriers to economic equality for all of us. Our focus areas of Education and Economic Development tackle inequality that affects underserved residents, many of whom are people of color. By supporting English Language Learner students to succeed in school and empowering entrepreneurs with microloans and business support programming, WEDI creates a more equitable region. Right now, we’re planning to quintuple the size of our small business incubator, the West Side Bazaar (WSB). By fall of 2022 we’ll be on Niagara Street with more shops, restaurants (and seating), professional services, classrooms, and event spaces.
We’re looking for volunteers and mentors to help us make Buffalo a prosperous, equitable, multi-cultural city of the future. Go to WEDIBuffalo.org to get involved or find out more about the WSB expansion.
Buffalo String Works strives to ignite personal and community leadership through accessible and youth-centered music education. Whether we’re working with a 5-year-old violinist or a 15-year-old cellist, we know that our young musicians are poised to lead us forward. Playing an instrument teaches musical skills that will carry our youth far but even beyond that, music education imparts skills that will extend into our students’ academic classrooms, their homes, their future offices, and their future board rooms.
Our program is offered completely free to all families and we currently serve 100 youth from Buffalo’s refugee, immigrant, and historically marginalized communities. Our dream is to unite all of Buffalo’s neighborhoods by empowered young musicians. To learn more, visit us at buffalostringworks.org.