Delivered December 12, 2019
I am delighted we have this opportunity to celebrate the launch of UB’s Community Health Equity Research Institute. It is wonderful to be marking the occasion with so many of you who have been instrumental in establishing this institute. I would like to begin by acknowledging and thanking our stakeholders, including our elected officials: Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes; Senator Tim Kennedy; and Mayor Byron Brown. Our community partners: Reverend George Nicholas; Reverend Kinzer Pointer; and Ms. Rita Hubbard-Robinson. And, our UB faculty: Professor and Institute Director Tim Murphy; Professor Susan Grinslade; Professor Heather Orum; Professor Henry Taylor; and Professor Alan Lesse.
I believe I speak for all of us when I say what a proud moment this is. Because today, we embark upon an initiative rooted in a concept of human rights that our university community—and, our broader community—holds near and dear. Namely, the conviction that all of our neighbors deserve the right to a bright, healthy future.
Leveraging our research and scholarship for the greater good is a cornerstone of our mission as a public research university. And while we are privileged to be playing a role in the rebirth of our region, we recognize that no renaissance can be considered complete if some are left behind.
Through their innovative research and expertise across the disciplines, our UB faculty are keenly positioned to confront one of Buffalo’s most deeply entrenched problems—that of race-based health disparities. In this endeavor, we are fortunate to be collaborating with dedicated community partners who are committed to: bringing this issue front and center; educating the public about it; and harnessing their time, talent and creativity toward solutions.
We appreciate the opportunity to work with you in our quest to make health disparities a relic of Buffalo’s past. By eliminating these disparities, we will help enhance the vibrancy of our city while making a positive, lasting impact on residents’ quality of life.
Further, by advancing a culture of equity across our region, Buffalo will be known not only as the “City of Good Neighbors,” but a city where each of our neighbors—regardless of skin color or socio-economic status—can achieve optimal health.
Again, many thanks to all of you for partnering with—and supporting—UB in this impactful initiative."