Local leaders sign "Opportunity Pledge" to promote diversity

Jul 15, 2015

Mayor Byron Brown is gaining support for his Buffalo Opportunity Pledge initiative. About 40 Leadership Buffalo members met at City Hall Wednesday to witness signing ceremonies involving Brown and Althea Leuhrsen, Leadership Buffalo’s CEO.

The pledge aims to reduce poverty, promote diversity and increase employment for people of all races, gender, sexual orientation and identity, religion, ethnicity, disability, nationality and socioeconomic status. It encourages the idea that diversity and inclusion are core values of Buffalo. Advocates underscored the need to make sure that all residents have the opportunity to benefit from revitalization efforts that are underway throughout the city.

Leadership Buffalo’s mission is to unite leaders with diverse backgrounds in order to gain different perspectives and lead others more effectively. More than 80 members have signed the pact.

Leuhrsen said group members are happy to sign the pledge.

Mayor Byron Brown and Althea Leuhrsen, Leadership Buffalo’s CEO, sign the pledge.
Credit Lian Bunny

“This is very aligned with what we do at Leadership Buffalo with our mission and our vision,” she said during the City Hall ceremony. “Mayor Brown, anything we can do to certainly help you with any initiatives you have in Western New York, in Buffalo, we’re here to help.”

Brown said the movement is the right thing to do, adding that it’s good for business. Another part of the pledge recognizes that embracing diversity will help Buffalo’s film industry, tourism and travel business thrive. Creating more inclusive workplaces will strengthen recruitment and allow others to see their potential.

Leuhrsen agreed and said cooperation is the key to promote the pact.

“We truly believe in making Buffalo better,” she said. “And by making Buffalo better, all of us have to work together. All of us have to have the same opportunities to be able to grow Buffalo and to make it a better place.”