Buffalo Commons

Engagement Opportunities Library

There are many ways for students, staff, and faculty from Cornell University and Western New York colleges and universities to participate in engaged learning in Buffalo. 

Some of these opportunities include:

Visit the Be Informed page to find other libraries, tools, and sites where you can find additional WNY-focused research. 


Buffalo Commons Knowledge for the Public Good Series

Buffalo Commons offers three series that share knowledge for the public good on topics ranging from civic engagement and local policy to best practices in community-based research. Each series focuses on a unique purpose: Civic Engagement Workshops, Learning Labs, and Scholar-Activist Forums. Unless otherwise noted, each will occur in the Buffalo Commons classroom @ 617 Main Street, Suite 300


Civic Engagement Workshops

A series identifying and understanding what role individuals, organizations, and institutions can play in shaping policies and practices and making positive changes in our communities.

Policy  Advocacy 101                                                                                                                                      Tuesday, September 25, 2018 @ 5:30-7pm

Community-University Partnerships Dinner (geared toward researchers/academics/students)          Thursday, October 18, 2018 @ 5:30-7pm

Community-University Partnerships Breakfast (geared toward orgs/partners/groups)                      Friday, October 19, 2018 @ 9:00-10:30am

Running an Issue-Based Campaign                                                                                                       Wednesday, October 24, @ 5:30-7pm

Working with the Media 101: Get Your Message Heard                                                                      Date: TBA, November 2018 @ 5:30-7pm

  • If you want to get media coverage for your organization or campaign, it’s essential you’re seen and heard in the media on a regular basis. Journalists are constantly looking for interesting and engaging stories they can develop for their viewers and listeners so when you actively pursue and make yourself available for commentary in the media, you are positioning your voice as an expert commentator in your area of expertise. This workshop will go over how to speak in a way that people take notice and how clearly and concisely define your key message—particularly with facts and stories. It will cover how to prepare yourself to answer difficult questions, control the media interview, and to be less likely to get misquoted. Join local media personnel and RSVP to buffalocommons@cornell.edu.


Learning Labs

A series exploring community and researcher partnerships for progress in real civic issues through our core issue areas.

501(c)(3) Advocacy Lab                                                                                                                   Wednesday, September 12, 2018 @ 12:30-1:45pm. Lunch Provided

Innovations in Civic Education and Voter Engagement                                                        Date: TBA, October 2018 @12:30-1:45pm. Lunch Provided

  • This lab focuses on fostering civic engagement in the short and long term. With many efforts in registering voters in WNY, there is a need to now help these and other voters to navigate the voter participation and access process and to understand who is running and what their platforms are. We will describe innovative ways other organizations have helped create participation and voice for people who are not eligible to vote and to describe various issues in the Buffalo-Niagara region. 

Innovations and Partnerships in Arts, Activism, and Education                                        Date: TBA, November 2018 @ 12:30-1:45pm. Lunch Provided

  • How do different groups including young people find their voice and expression using art and artistic mediums to share their ideas and stories. Learn how others have helped to educate, uplift, motivate, and encourage youth who display dedication, and perseverance in their academics, arts, and/or their community.

Scholar-Activist Forums

A series developing a network between and amongst partners, researchers, and scholars by spotlighting diverse, innovative voices who are building more just, sustainable, and culturally vibrant communities.

 Would you like to attend or present at a learning lab, workshop, or forum? Email Kristin, contact us.