Open Buffalo is back. After one year of planning a new three-year strategy, the local non-profit organization is entering 2020 with new goals.
Open began in 2014 with a mission to collaborate with other non-profits in pushing for long-term systemic changes in underserved communities.
This year, Open Buffalo Executive Franchelle Parker said community feedback has helped to shift their focus.
“We talked to over 100 people in the community,” she said. “Community partners, and what emerged from that process is a hyper-focus on leadership development.”
Part of the development is building a communities ability to organize and do advocacy work.
On an individual level, Parker cites organizer India Walton as someone who benefitted from taking Open’s Emerging Leaders class.
“Through the process of leadership development and working through the Emerging Leaders program,” she said. “She is now the Executive Director of the Fruit Belt Community Land Trust.”
Parker said that is just one example of how Open Buffalo can affect change on an organizational level while also building up leadership skillsets for community members so they can decisions for their communities themselves.