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E. H. Butler Library, Buffalo State, The State University of New York

Student Civic and Community Engagement: Videos

Watch. Listen. Learn... and Take Action!

We will continue to add more resources to this section.  If there is a topic you'd like us to cover, please let us know!

TED Ed: How to Understand Power

Every day, we move and operate within systems of power that other people have constructed. But we’re often uncomfortable talking about power. Why? Eric Liu describes the six sources of power and explains how understanding them is key to being an effective citizen. Lesson by Eric Liu, animation by KAPWA Studioworks.

Because Bengals Care Workshop: Increasing Mental Health Awareness and Erasing Stigma

The Student Civic Leadership Board, Civic and Community Engagement, and the Counseling Center are pleased to co-sponsor the “Because Bengals Care Workshop: Increasing Mental Health Awareness and Erasing Stigma,” moderated by Dr. Jack Mark, Assistant Clinical Manager, Buffalo State Counseling Center and Hannah Kalmeyer, senior, psychology and chair of the Student Civic Leadership Board. Panelists include Jessica Pirro, CEO of Crisis Services, Missy Stolfi, WNY Area Director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and Jillian Dombrowski, Director of Transitional Services, Inc. on Elmwood Avenue.

Bengals Dare to Care 2020: Voting, Civil Rights, and Racial Justice

Franchelle C.H. Parker and Todd Timmons of Open Buffalo talk about the history of voting in the United States, the 716Votes project, and walk attendees through creating a voting plan. This workshop is part of SUNY Buffalo State's Bengals Dare to Care 2020 racial justice program.

Engagement Materials:

  • Buffalo State CCE voter engagement: The CCE has extensive resources including videos to help students understand the voting process. 

  • Open Buffalo 716 Votes!: 716 Votes! is a civic initiative of Open Buffalo to engage, educate and activate people of color, ages 16 to 25, to increase voter registration and participation in elections.

  • NYS Voter Rights: Understand your rights! Multiple federal and state laws prohibit discrimination based on race, national origin and disability status.  There are also laws requiring that bilingual assistance and materials be provided to voters who are limited English proficient. 

  • Elections Protection Hotline: The national, nonpartisan Election Protection coalition was formed to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process. Made up of more than 100 local, state and national partners, Election Protection works year-round to advance and defend the right to vote.

  • Voting Rights - Looking to Our Past to Understand Our Present: Listen to Vote! The Podcast to learn more about voting rights history and how the 2013 Supreme Court case resulted in the rise of voter suppression. Then join for a conversation and reflection on the topic on Friday October 30 from 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm. Register to participate.  

  • Listen: Democracy Matters - Election Emotions & What We Can Do About Them. Are you feeling anxious, fatigued, worried, angry or hopeful about the election? In this episode we talk with Dr. Benjamin Blankenship, assistant professor of Psychology at James Madison University about what drives election emotions and what we can do to cope.

  • Block the Vote: Voter Suppression in 2020: Suppression efforts range from the seemingly unobstructive, like voter ID laws and cuts to early voting, to mass purges of voter rolls and systemic disenfranchisement. And long before election cycles even begin, legislators can redraw district lines that determine the weight of your vote. Certain communities are particularly susceptible to suppression and in some cases, outright targeted — people of color, students, the elderly, and people with disabilities. 

  • Purges: A Growing Threat to the Right to Vote: Voter purges are an often-flawed process of cleaning up voter rolls by deleting names from registration lists. Done badly, they can prevent eligible people from casting a ballot that counts.

  • Podcast: Desmond Meade and Dale Ho on restoring the right to vote: The 14th Amendment, ratified exactly 150 years ago, promises equal protection to everyone. But it’s also used to strip the right to vote from millions of Americans who have been convicted of felonies. How did this happen, and who’s affected?

  • Stacey Abrams: I Know Voting Feels Inadequate Right Now: Across America, would-be voters continue to turn away or opt out, discouraged by the permanence of inequality, the persistence of voter suppression. Their fear is again and again made real by stories of neighbors denied provisional ballots in Georgia and lines that wind around city blocks in Milwaukee because polling locations are shut down and alternatives never arrive…And those who are most vulnerable to suppression become the most susceptible to passing on that reluctance to others.

Take Action Materials:

Bengals Dare to Care 2020: Education and Racial Equity

Join Daniel Robertson from Say Yes Buffalo for a conversation about the Boys and Men of Color Initiative and how its coalition of young men are working to advance issues of concern within the local education system, including suspensions and access to Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

Engagement Materials: 

  • The Racial Equity Dividend: Buffalo’s Great Opportunity: Developed by the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable, made up of more than 30 community leaders from public, private, nonprofits and faith institutions, this report seeks to identify the gaps in racial equity to create a map forward to advance racial equity and promote the change required to accelerate a shared regional prosperity.  

  • Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable: The Racial Equity Roundtable includes more than 30 community leaders from public, private, nonprofits and faith institutions convened to advance racial equity and promote the change required to accelerate a shared regional prosperity. 

  • WNY Conversations about Race: Daniel Robertson and Jeremy Besch on youth and education 

  • Breaking Barriers:  Breaking Barriers is an initiative of the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable’s Boys and Men of Color that is aimed at accelerating positive outcomes for boys and young men of color across the cradle-to-career continuum. In partnership with the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable, the City of Buffalo and Buffalo Public Schools, and Say Yes Buffalo, “Breaking Barriers” will expand the capacity of boys and young men of color to improve life outcomes and empower them to become agents of change in our community. Areas of focus may include: early childhood; college access and readiness; career pathways and economic opportunity; and criminal justice and public safety. A tenet of the “Breaking Barriers” movement is the Youth Leadership Council that will elevate youth voice to advocate for social justice, racial equity and policy change in our community. The ultimate mission of the MBK-Boys and Men of Color initiative is to strengthen and improve life outcomes for young males of color in the greater Buffalo community. Blog | Podcast

  • Explore this interactive tool that shows you what your local school district would like if it was more integrated.

  • Listen: Nice White Parents serial. We know American public schools do not guarantee each child an equal education. Two decades of school reform initiatives have not changed that. But when Chana Joffe-Walt, a reporter, looked at inequality in education, she saw that most reforms focused on whose schools were failing: Black and brown kids'. But what about who the schools are serving? In this five-part series, she turns her attention to what is arguably the most powerful force in our schools: White parents.

  • How Milliken v. Bradley Supreme Court Case Made School District Lines A Tool For Segregation

  • A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention.

  • Stop Talking in Code: Call Them Black Boys- A Black educator challenges colleagues to consider the school-based and societal implications of calling Black boys “Black males.”

Take Action Materials:

  • Join the “Breaking Barriers” Youth Leadership Council: This is a group of young men of color, 12-24 years in age, creating a unified voice that advocates for racial equity, social justice and policy change. The Council will address the practices and systems that hold back males of color. Through civic leadership training and direct lobbying opportunities, Breaking Barriers participants will learn the importance of advocacy and will develop their personal and collective leadership skills to be able to influence positive change, strengthening and improving life outcomes for boys and young men of color. 

  • Read and/or review the 1619 Project and discuss one of the articles with a friend or colleague this week.

  • Contact your local school board and find out how they are helping their students access technology during remote learning or how Covid-19 is impacting the school district's budget. 

  • Volunteer with Compeer Buffalo or Big Brothers Big Sisters and be a positive role model in a child's life.

  • Volunteer with Say Yes Buffalo to help students succeed.  

  • Explore this interactive tool that shows you what your local school district would like if it was more integrated (U.S. Residents).

  • Efforts to remove police officers from schools are happening in cities across the country. Search to see whether those conversations are happening in your community, and how you can offer support (whether signing a petition, making calls, etc).

Bengals Dare to Care 2020: Diverse Perspectives within Racial Justice: LGTBQ+ and Differently Abled

Join Kirby Briggs from Kirby's Korner, Inc. and Alexandre Burgos from MOCHA Center for a conversation about various voices within BIPOC. Diversity is not just superficially satisfied by having conversations about race; there are various voices and statues within those who have been racially oppressed that need to be shared. Ms. Briggs will discuss perspectives within the differently abled community and her lived experiences as a child of color who has different physical abilities. Mr. Burgos will discuss his dual identities and lived experiences as a member of the Latino community, the LGBTQ+ community, and his work in the community.

Engagement Materials:

  • Learn about the local nonprofits who are advocating for a more inclusive educational environment for children with disabilities, including Kirby's Korner and the Neurodiversity Network of WNY.

  • Learn about the local nonprofits who advocate with members of the LGBTQ+ community through their mission and services, including MOCHA BuffaloGay Lesbian Youth Services, and Evergreen Health Services. Search for a support group in the Western New York region that is right for you or someone you know. Nationally, learn about GLSEN

  • Gain an understanding about Black women's experiences as leaders in anti-slavery, anti-lynching, and civil rights movements, such as Ida B. Wells, an investigative journalist, civil rights leader, and anti-lynching advocate who fought for equality and justice; Sojourner Truth, a woman born into slavery who became known as a powerful orator and outspoken activist; Rosa Parks, a civil rights activist who worked with the NAACP and on bus boycotts; and Mamie Till Mobley, who was thrust into a lifetime of advocacy, starting with seeking justice for the death of her son, Emmett.

  • Hispanic Heritage Month: Learn more about the diverse cultures and experiences of Hispanic and Latino Americans. Explore a special collection of stories that highlight their voices and contributions.

  • Get connected to our local Native American Community Services organization. Covid-19 has taken a large toll on many Native American communities, including the Navajo.

  • LGBTQ+ Resource Center: The mission of the Buffalo State College LGBTQ+ Resource Center is to provide a safe, inclusive, and celebratory environment for LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff. We seek to provide members of our campus community with resources that will support and affirm each individual’s process of self-discovery and identity development and facilitate connections between our campus and the Buffalo community. The LGBTQ+ Resource Center will provide access to informative media, training, professional development, and advocacy.

  • Read studies on the erasure and resilience of LGTBQ+ students of color. Read the Native and Indigenous Youth study, Black Youth study, or watch the webinar highlighting findings from the report. 

  • Learn more about the services available to families in Buffalo and WNY for students with disabilities.   

Take Action Materials: 

  • Participate in GLSEN's Solidarity Week activities.

  • Donate to the local mutual aid fund Families to Families Ajooba’ Hasin, a grassroots mutual aid fund organized by ThunderVoice Eagle and his sister Alicia to support in the Bodaway / Gap area of Navajo Nation. 

  • Facilitate an Allyship in Action workshop with members of your student organization, athletic team, block club, or group of friends/family. Facilitating an Allyship in Action training is a great way to encourage people to take action and make schools safer for LGBTQ students. Use this guide to help you facilitate your own training to engage participants in activities that will get them thinking critically about further actions they can take as allies.

  • Get involved and volunteer with MOCHA BuffaloKirby's Korner, and Evergreen.

Bengals Dare to Care 2020: Food Security, Housing, and Racial Justice

Join Ada Garcia-Poll, Hannah Kalmeyer, Elyse Burgher from FeedMore WNY, and Stephanie Lawson and Preciouss Patterson from Habitat for Humanity Buffalo for a conversation about food security, housing, and racial justice.

Engagement Materials: 

Take Action: 

  • Support Milligan's Food Pantry and take action on college student food insecurity.  Learn more about SUNY's Food Insecurity Task Force

  • Support Feed Buffalo, a nonprofit in Buffalo with the aim to heal, educate, and transform food deserts into thriving communities. Feed Buffalo works to provide access to free locally-sourced, healthy, and halal food in a loving, judgment-free community space. Support their work with a donation or sign up to volunteer.

  • Volunteer to sort and package food donations at your local food bank or deliver meals to seniors and other homebound community members. If you are in Buffalo, volunteer with FeedMore WNY

  • Check out Grassroots Gardens WNY and support over 100 local community gardens in the network.

  • Volunteer at Compass House or Little Portion Friary to give assistance to our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness.

  • Help build affordable housing with Habitat for Humanity Buffalo.  You can also support Habitat ReStore by buying or donating gently-used furniture, household appliances, building materials, and home accessories.

  • Volunteer with organizations working on food and housing issues like the Matt Urban Center and the Buffalo City Mission

  • Check out this resource provided by National Coalition for the Homeless to learn how to lobby elected officials.

  • Bengals Care Collection Drive: November 17, 9:00am-5:00pm In observance of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, the Student Civic Leadership Board and Civic and Community Engagement will host a Bengals Care Collection Drive to support the work of local community partners, Friends of Night People and Transition Services Inc. (TSI). This collection will take place on Tuesday, November 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the South Wing breezeway. Food, hygiene products, and new clothing items can be donated. See the full list of donation requests.


Bank Smart! Why CDFI's Are Better for Both Your Wallet and Your Community

Learn about why banking with CDFIs is beneficial for your wallet and your community.

Civic Engagement Week: Food Security in the Wake of Covid-19 in 14207

Join Talia Rodriguez, J.D., Associate Director of West Side Promise Neighborhood (WSPN) to learn how WSPN and a coalition of community groups and neighborhood food pantries have organized around food security issues during the pandemic to impact residents in 14207 zip code, adjacent to campus.

Civic Engagement Week: Innovation During a Global Pandemic

Join Juweria Dahir, Assistant for External Affairs for the City of Buffalo’s Division of Citizen Services, as she talks about the ability of the city government to strengthen processes during the pandemic while upholding a vision of equity and justice. She also touches on the benefits of serving the community through AmeriCorps VISTA programs and specifically details the opportunities of the City of Buffalo's AmeriCorps VISTA program, Project M.O.V.E

Civic Engagement Week: Education Access for Multi-Lingual Learners

Join Jennifer Serniuk, Program Coordinator of the Community Academic Center (CAC) to learn how the center provides equity and access for youth and families on Buffalo's west side pursuing educational goals. Jennifer will discuss in more detail the programs the CAC that impact refugee, immigrant, and multi-lingual children and adults.

Exploring Social Issues: How Can I Make a Difference?

We talked with two community partners, Marco Notaro, Habitat for Humanity, and Sierra Johnston, Jewish Family Services, on how students can make a difference when they volunteer with community organizations.

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