We at Step Out Buffalo unequivocally denounce racism. So we’re highlighting some specific charities, non-profit organizations and initiatives in support of and founded by WNY’s Black community. These organizations are working to combat racial injustice and support the black community in a variety of ways.
Below we’ve included each organization’s mission in their own words, but we encourage you learn more by visiting their websites and social media pages. Plus, we’ve also included links for those who are interested in donating to these initiatives.
Did we miss one? Did one of these places close? Send us a note!
1. Black Love Resists in the Rust
In their own words: “Black Love Resists in Rust is the only intentional space for Black and Brown folks in Buffalo. We organize at the intersections of embodied leadership, healing justice, political education and transformational organizing. We envision a Buffalo where communities are sustainable and have what they need to thrive without external assistance. We know we cannot do this without a base who is engaged and without significantly shifting the material conditions for most of Buffalo’s residents, which is why our current work is focused on ending the oppression enforced by the state.”
In their own words: “For the past 20 years, Homespace Corporation has been successfully helping young, single women (age 14-21 years old) to forge a better life for themselves and their children. Homespace provides a safe, nurturing environment where these young women can learn the skills to enhance themselves and their families, and break the cycle of public welfare dependency. Residents receive training in job-readiness, budgeting, household management, nutrition, parenting, as well as comprehensive clinical services.”
3. Showing Up For Racial Justice – Buffalo, NY
In their own words: “SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing White people for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves White people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. We work to connect people across the country while supporting and collaborating with local and national racial justice organizing efforts. SURJ provides a space to build relationships, skills and political analysis to act for change.”
4. PUSH Buffalo
In their own words: “Aaron Bartley and Eric Walker founded PUSH in 2005. PUSH Buffalo (People United for Sustainable Housing) was established to: create strong neighborhoods with quality affordable housing; decrease the rate of housing abandonment by reclaiming empty houses from neglectful public and private owners and redeveloping them for occupancy by low-income residents; and develop neighborhood leaders capable of gaining community control over the development process and planning for the future of the neighborhood.”
5. WNY Peace Center
In their own words: “We are dedicated to enriching the quality of life of our local and global communities through the prevention of violence to people and the planet. Peaceful conflict resolution among people and within institutions, especially for youth, is central to our mission. We uphold human rights and challenge oppression, power imbalances, and systemic issues that hurt the quality of life for all. We strive for economic and educational justice and respect for people of all cultures.”
6. YWCA WNY
In their own words: “YWCA Western New York (Young Women’s Christian Association) is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Our vision is a thriving community without divide. Since YWCA WNY’s founding in 1870, we have been on the forefront of the most critical social movements. YWCA WNY does not back down from tough issues and our team is dedicated to forwarding our collective mission to eliminate racism and empower women. YWCA WNY is active in advocacy efforts and awareness campaigns that advance women’s economic empowerment, advance a work and family agenda, and educate people about domestic violence and what we can do to end the cycle of violence.”
7. African Heritage Food Co-op
In their own words: “Our vision is to create a world where inner city “neighborhoods” can become Communities. Where NO ONE goes without HEALTHY AFFORDABLE food options. Most importantly a world in which we can create Ownership and employment opportunities IN and FOR the COMMUNITY!”
8. Buffalo Go Green INC.
In their own words: “Mission Statement: Provides services and training to the underserved populations in our community. Create leaders in the Green Industry & Agriculture by meeting students & families where they are so that we can get them to where they need to be to have healthy, successful and sustainable families & careers.”
9. Open Buffalo
In their own words: “Our mission is to advance racial, economic, and ecological justice. We do so through skill building, network connecting, and activating leadership opportunities. Our goal is for all communities in Western New York to thrive free from discrimination and poverty.”
10. Fruit Belt Community Land Trust
In their own words: “Community land trusts (CLTs) are nonprofit organizations governed by a board of CLT residents, community residents and public representatives that provide lasting community assets and shared equity homeownership opportunities for families and communities. CLTs develop rural and urban agriculture projects, commercial spaces to serve local communities, affordable rental and cooperative housing projects, and conserve land or urban green spaces. However, the heart of their work is the creation of homes that remain permanently affordable, providing successful homeownership opportunities to lower-income families for generations to come.
Fruit Belt Community Land Trust is 1 of 225 CLTs in the United States. Fruit Belt Community Land Trust is made up of residents and business owners from the fruit belt community who:
- Acquire Property – FBCLT purchases vacant land and structures for the purpose of community centered development
- Develops housing, gardens, or commercial space – FBCLT develops CLT owned land and rehabilitates structures into permanently affordable housing, community, and commercial space
- Sells homes at a low cost – FBCLT brings the dream of home ownership to life for low to moderate income buyers. CLT homes remain affordable in perpetuity, so there is always a safe affordable place to call home for individuals and families in our community.
11. Project Mona’s House
In their own words: Project Mona’s House is a program of Ramp Global Missions, a Christian Humanitarian organization that helps the homeless, orphans, and those exploited through Human Trafficking. Project Mona’s House exists to shed light on the terrible crime of Human Trafficking and to restore those who have been victimized. We accomplish this goal through: MONA’S HOUSE. Mona’s House is designed to help women 18 and older who have been victims of any type of human trafficking. Our programs are designed to bring healing to the whole woman through our 12 month program that is specifically designed for victims of human trafficking. It will provide holistic healing for the mind, body, and soul of each woman who enters our doors.”
12. Rooted In Love Inc.
In their own words: “We are a nonprofit organization that was formed on a shared passion of helping those around us who are in need. We assist people who are homeless or less fortunate by providing them access to fresh produce items and hygiene products.”
13. Durham’s Baby Cafe
In their own words: Mission Statement – To offer comfortable space and knowledgeable support for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and their babies and families, as well as to raise public and community awareness on issues of health, wellness, safety and nutrition through the provision of meals and workshops, maintenance of a community garden, and other community projects.
14. National Federation For Just Communities
In their own words: “The NFJC stands for: The National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York, Inc. All of our programs promote understanding and respect among people of all races, religions, and cultures through advocacy, conflict resolution, and education. In accomplishing our work, we seek first to raise awareness and then to educate and empower our youth, as well as emerging and community leaders to become agents of change in transforming our society.”
15. African American Cultural Center
In their own words: “Since 1958, the African-American Cultural Center, Inc. has enabled spirits to soar and offered sanctuary, validation and celebration for the duality of being African and American. From the multi-disciplinary AACC Cultural Enrichment / Educational Directives After School Program and Jumpin’ Jambalaya Summer Program, to the soul-stirring AACC Dance and Drum Performance Company (its cornerstone component), inspirational Paul Robeson Theatre and entertaining Pine Grill Jazz Reunion, the African American Cultural Center stands firmly committed to promoting a positive sense of self among the community it was founded to serve. Its programs and services are still structured to motivate personal growth, stimulate untapped potential and facilitate a better understanding of cultural diversity among all people.”
16. Feed Buffalo
In their own words: “Healthy and Halal, Buffalo Food Pantry. We aim to heal, educate, and transform food deserts into thriving communities. We work to provide access to free locally-sourced, healthy, and halal food in a loving, judgement-free community space.”
17. Love Supreme School of Music and Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective
In their own words: “In 2001, James “Pappy” Martin founded the Love Supreme School of Music as a continuation of his commitment to honor the legacy of music study and appreciation. He was inspired by the discipline that studying the science of music can bring to increased academic performance, particularly in mathematics, as well as its overall enrichment of life. Over the next several decades, LSSM taught hundreds of young people and, as a result, launched the careers of many successful musicians who now enjoy worldwide recognition. This is in addition to positively affecting the academic success and general well being of many other of its former students. Sadly, with the passing of Mr. Martin in 2015, LSSM closed its doors. The LSSM reopened in July 2019 with the embracing of a new generation of music students. It is also proud to welcome Marcus Lolo as its new Director.”
18. The MOCHA Center
In their own words: “The MOCHA Center offers social events and other programs focused on improving the health and wellness of LGBTQ people of color—in mind, body, and spirit. We are a place where every voice is heard, the staff knows where you are coming from, and all are welcome.”
19. Calming Nature Doula
In their own words: “Calming Nature Doula Services opened in 2014 as an independent Doula service. I founded this organization after giving birth to my own children. I did not receive the personalized assistance I needed in my own birthing experience. Soon I learned that several others in my community shared the same story. This started my journey assisting multiple friends and family members with their births. This is when Calming Nature Doula Services was birthed. In 2017 I added the component of the non-profit Doula Center. This allowed me to provide assistance to those in the community that desperately needed Doula support, but were not financially able to afford the service. Our full and partial scholarship Doula services are income based and available to Erie and Niagara county residents. We aim to assist women in obtaining quality care with a focus on achieving a happy healthy birth experience.”
20. International Child Advancement, Inc.
In their own words: “International Child Advancement is a non-profit organization with a mission to empower orphans and underprivileged children worldwide through education, vocational training, livelihood provision and mentoring. We are passionate about providing a more promising future to both children who have no families of their own or whose families have no means to support the cost of education. We do this not solely by sending them finances but also by creating and implementing programs that will allow them to become self-sufficient, leaders in their communities and have an equal chance at success.We lean on Philippians 4:13 which states: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.”
21. Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
In their own words: “We are making a difference all over Western New York and maximizing impact in education, racial equity, the environment and arts and culture.”
Did we miss one? Did one of these places close? Send us a note!
This post was originally published in June 2020 and has been updated.