Release Date: January 27, 2016
BUFFALO, N.Y. — University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi and several members of the UB community today pledged to help build a culture of inclusiveness and equity in the City of Buffalo.
Joined by Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, the UB group signed the City of Buffalo “Opportunity Pledge” during a brief ceremony in Capen Hall’s Kaveeshwar Gallery. More than 5,400 individuals from 223 businesses and organizations have signed the pledge since it was initiated in 2015 by Brown to foster a culture of equity and inclusion as key to the city’s economic prosperity.
UB’s signatories included student leaders, members of the university’s senior leadership team and representatives from a new Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council, established to help create an ambitious campus strategy for equity and inclusion at UB.
In making the pledge, Tripathi said the university reaffirmed its commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in the hiring of faculty and staff, in the enrollment of students and in creating a safe and welcoming campus environment for all people.
The university, Tripathi said, also is committed to advancing new business, job and educational opportunities resulting from the university’s growth in downtown Buffalo and from the city’s economic renaissance. For example, minority- and women-owned businesses have been awarded more than $55 million in contracts for work on the UB medical school building under construction on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
“The UB community is very proud to partner with Mayor Brown and the City of Buffalo in this important initiative,” Tripathi said. “UB shares the mayor’s commitment to expanding the educational, economic, social and cultural opportunities generated by the knowledge-based economy we are building in our region.
“Together, we can ensure that the great opportunities we are creating in Buffalo today are available to all — now and in the future.”
Pointing to the university’s tremendous economic impact on the Buffalo region — totaling more than $1.76 billion annually — Brown said that as Buffalo’s economy continues to grow and create new opportunities, “it is important that all residents and business owners benefit from the city’s rising prosperity.”
“UB is one of our area’s fine higher educational institutions and I thank President Tripathi, his senior staff and student leaders for signing the Buffalo Opportunity Pledge. It is a reflection of UB’s continued commitment to helping us build a vibrant culture of diversity, inclusion and equity in Buffalo and Western New York.”
In November, the mayor’s pledge was signed by Julius Gregg Adams, director of UB’s Educational Opportunity Center, who noted that the EOC “is dedicated to providing an educational environment that addresses the needs of an increasingly diverse student population.”
The EOC serves about 1,900 students ages 17 and older annually. It offers tuition-free programs in literacy training, English as a second language education, high school equivalency, allied health and vocational programming, and college preparation, as well as career training in health care, information technology and the service industry.