Published February 29, 2020
Zachary Korosh is a senior double major in environmental design and political science at UB and an active force in the community. His goal is to become an advocate-planner, working to change systemic issues affecting communities.
Korosh is a member of the Food Lab research team at the School of Architecture and Planning, where he examines the relationship between community gardening and the built environment in Buffalo, NY, as a means of influencing policy. He was recently awarded the UB Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship for his high academic standards, leadership ability, and personal character.
He is also a student leader at UB, recently founding the African American Students of Architecture and Planning organization at the School of Architecture and Planning. AASAP seeks to build connections into the community and profession for students of color. Says Korosh: "Through AASAP we hope to bring that bottom-up approach to planning and design to the Buffalo community, specifically on the East-Side. The first steps are letting the community know we are here for them and learning what they want."
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When asked how urban planners can build inclusivity in the communities around them, Korosh says: 'Planners provide the structure for a community to fail or succeed in. Often the failures happen due to lack of foresight and communication with the community. Fully understanding the lives of those you hope to serve is necessary to serve them well. I want to tell the story of the people rather than impose my own vision on them."
Considering his own path forward, Korosh takes particular inspiration from Cooperative Jackson, a nonprofit organization in Jackson, Miss., that drives sustainable community development and economic democracy through cooperative networks of workers, businesses and education. "I believe their co-op approach can be adapted to uplift inner-city communities, keeping it for the people and by the people," Korosh says.