Open Buffalo and partners kick off "Justice and Opportunity Week"

"Justice & Opportunity Week" Kicks off with Press Event
Open Buffalo Partners Outline the Agenda for Week of Citizen Empowerment, Report on Results of Groundbreaking Community Policing Survey.

BUFFALO - On Monday, July 18, Open Buffalo partners held a special press event to kick off the first-ever "Justice & Opportunity Week." This press announcement outlined a series of events taking place between July 18 and July 22, designed to educate, enrich, and empower the community around issues of public safety, incarceration, drug policy, access to justice, and more.

Against a backdrop of solidarity protests across the nation and here in the Queen City, the events of Justice & Opportunity Week can inspire needed progress and reconciliation - before Buffalo joins the list of cities with high-profile tragedies at the intersection of community and law enforcement.

Justice & Opportunity Week is five days of free community engagements in the city of Buffalo, featuring a keynote address by special guest D'Artagnan Scorza, Ph.D., the nationally renowned Founder and Executive Director of the Social Justice Learning Institute (Inglewood, CA), live performances by the talented Drea DNur, and interactive workshops and discussions.

"Our community policing survey and Justice and Opportunity Week are results of dozens of Buffalonians coming together to collaborate in new ways," said Franchelle Hart, Executive Director of Open Buffalo. "We want to be proactive and collaborative in Buffalo to prevent our city from becoming the next Ferguson or Baton Rouge. This survey and our upcoming community engagement series are critical steps to creating a healthy working relationship between Buffalo residents and law enforcement."

Monday's announcement also reported initial findings of Open Buffalo's groundbreaking community policing survey - which measured more than 2,000 Buffalo residents' confidence in the city police department - and explain next steps in collaborative efforts to improve safety, decrease tensions between city residents and the Buffalo Police Department, and reform outdated policing practices.

"Community policing is a philosophy of law enforcement that prioritizes positive interactions between police and the community by using problem-solving methods to prevent crime," said Steve Peraza, a Policy Analyst with Partnership for the Public Good (PPG). "In Buffalo, the police have taken positive steps to incorporate community policing practices, yet there is still a lot of work to do."

Among the survey most notable results:
· Approximately one of every two residents surveyed view police in a positive light.
· Fifty-one percent of respondents believe that Buffalo police officers will help them when in need.
· Approximately 50 percent have a favorable impression of the Buffalo Police Department (BPD).
· Thirty-five percent believe that police work well with their neighborhood.
· Twenty-seven percent of respondents think police will not help them when they need it.
· Forty-one percent of respondents have an unfavorable impression of the BPD.
· Forty-four percent say that police do a poor job working with the community to prevent crime.
· Thirty-one percent think the police do not respect women.
· Fifty-three percent believe police do not respect young people.
· Sixty percent claim the police do not respect people of color.

As the next phase of this research, PPG and other Open Buffalo partners are currently analyzing the policing survey data, conferring with city government, and launching a community engagement series, to produce a larger report detailing how the Buffalo Police Department could build upon its current community policing practices, as well as incorporate programs that have been successful in other U.S. cities.

This next phase of community engagement begins with the events of Justice & Opportunity Week, detailed below:

Justice & Opportunity Week
Monday 7/18
Special Press Event
Open Buffalo partners kick off Justice & Opportunity Week, and unveil the results of our 4-month community policing survey. Featuring a live musical invocation by Drea DNur.
Location: Greater Works Christian Fellowship, 210 Southampton St., Buffalo

Monday 7/18
"What it Takes to Get Free - Origins of Police in America"
A session discussing the origins of the police department and its development in the U.S., conducted by VOICE-Buffalo.
Location: SSJ Sister Karen Klimczak Center for Nonviolence, 80 Durham Ave., Buffalo

Tuesday 7/19
A Conversation with D'Artagnan Scorza
The pioneering Founder/Executive Director of the Social Justice Learning Institute (Inglewood, CA) visits Buffalo to talk about innovative ways to attack injustice and opportunity gaps. Featuring a moving musical introduction by talented singer/songwriter Drea DNur!
Location: Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo

Wednesday 7/20
"The House I Live In" (Documentary)
The Drug Policy Alliance joins us to show this documentary about the effects of the 40-year war on drugs. (Panel discussion to follow.)
Squeaky Wheel, 617 Main Street, First Floor, Buffalo

Thursday 7/21
"Know Your Rights" Workshop
We all know that we have rights after an arrest, but what can you do to protect your rights before things get to that point? Join us for a FREE training and conversation around your rights during a police encounter. We realize that knowing your rights will not stop a negative police interaction from happening, but we will help give you some skills to try and defuse a situation and protect your rights.
Presented in collaboration with the N.Y. Civil Liberties Union (WNY Office).
Location: Greater Works Christian Fellowship, 210 Southampton St., Buffalo

Friday 7/22
"Poetic Justice" - Creative Space
In culmination of Justice and Opportunity Week, please join us for this fun evening of community uplifting and celebration. We have some live performances planned, and are also saving space in hopes that those in attendance might be inspired to share talents of their own! Feel free to bring your own musical instruments, voices, dancing feet, poems, and stories to share.
Free and open to the public.
Location: Masten Park, 100 Masten Ave., Buffalo

(All events free and open to the public.)
For more details on these events, click here or contact

Justice & Opportunity Week is brought to you by:
Open Buffalo, Back to Basics Outreach Ministries, Citizen Action of New York, Prisoners Are People Too, SSJ Sister Karen Klimczak Center for Nonviolence, VOICE-Buffalo, Partnership for the Public Good, New York Civil Liberties Union (WNY office)

Panorama Hispano is the regional news and information newspaper for Hispanic and other diverse communities.

US Hispanics are now the largest ethnic minority in the United States numbering 54.2 million as of July 2014. Serving: Buffalo, Rochester, Fredonia, Niagara Falls, NY and Erie, PA. Outside our Market area: Visit our affiliate at:

Contact us:

Featured News

May 14, 2022
Pricey tortillas: LatAm’s poor struggle to afford staples

MEXICO CITY (AP) — No item is more essential to Mexican dinner tables than the corn tortilla. But the burst […]

Read More
May 14, 2022
Moon goes blood red this weekend: ‘Eclipse for the Americas’

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A total lunar eclipse will grace the night skies this weekend, providing longer than usual […]

Read More
May 12, 2022
Ola de colombianos vuela a México para llegar a EEUU

NUEVA YORK (AP) — Álvaro pensó en abandonar Colombia cuando la pandemia golpeó con dureza su negocio de venta de […]

Read More

popular categories

Copyright © 2022 Panorama Hispano News. All Rights Reserved.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram