While Jim Anderson works as a national community organizer, the collaborative efforts and organizational service closest to his heart focus on his hometown of Buffalo. That’s why he is enthused about the goals of UB 2020.
“In this project, not only did I see what it would offer at the community level and the university level, but I also see a change in the dynamics of the city itself,” he says. “It will help fill up the hole that has been on the East Side and downtown for far too long.”
Anderson has been involved in the development of the Community Learning Exchange with the goal of enhancing the quality of life of Buffalo's residents. He sees such opportunity reflected in UB’s plans for a new home for its Educational Opportunity Center in downtown Buffalo and the new UB Institute for Healthcare Informatics.
“In most urban communities—particularly in African-American, Latino and Hispanic communities—there’s not a big presence that inspires young people to pursue medical careers,” he notes.
“What UB is bringing to the Downtown Campus inspires a young person’s hope. People need only imagine the opportunity for businesses that will spur from the education and medical research pursuits there, a mixture of venues that will have something for everybody.”
Anderson clearly sees the necessity for a unified show of support behind the UB 2020 strategic plan.
“This is the time to get on board and the time for the community to really hold the elected officials accountable. Mediocrity is not acceptable.”