Buffalo Commons

Library

View

Western New York Census Toolkit

Anna Blatto — Jan 14, 2020

This toolkit provides information and actionable steps for getting involved with education, outreach, and support for Census 2020. It also offers specific information about local challenges and solutions .

View Resource

Census 2020: Making Western New York Count

Anna Blatto — Jun 10, 2019

This policy brief offers an overview of the 2020 Census: what it is and why it matters for Western New York.

View Resource

Immigrants, Refugees, and Languages Spoken in Buffalo

Partnership for the Public Good — Feb 28, 2018

Buffalo has a low proportion of foreign born residents compared to other cities. But an unusually high percentage of the region’s foreign-born are refugees. Buffalo has become a top location for refugee resettlement in the nation.

View .PDF

Access to Justice in Buffalo and Beyond: Making the Justice System More Welcoming for Refugees

Fidèle Menavanza — Jun 23, 2016

As an essential human right, much has been written about access to justice. Still, too many poor people lack this essential access all over the world when they face major life challenges. The issue confronts people experiencing poverty around the globe, as well as close to home. Access to justice for the most vulnerable is as encompassing as our country is diverse, affecting all races, ethnic groups, and ages. Victims of domestic violence, people with disabilities, homeowners facing …

View Resource

Bangladeshi Immigrants in Buffalo

Anthony Hilbert Jun 1, 2016

Bangladeshi immigrants have relocated to Buffalo, New York, at a pace that has surprised many.  The size of Buffalo’s Bangladeshi population is unknown.  The U.S. Census estimates that 316 Bangladeshis live in Buffalo, but Liberty Yellow Taxi alone employs about 367.  Most Bangladeshi praise Buffalo, but some worry that social and religious intolerance is growing.  A number of men in the mosque have expressed concern about anti-Muslim rhetoric on local talk …

View .PDF

Ba Zan Lin Interview

The Public Good Radio — Jul 14, 2015

The Public Good Radio interview with Ba Zan Lin of the Burmese Community Support Center on WUFO AM 1080.

View Website

Immigrants, Refugees, and Languages Spoken in Buffalo

Deandra Fike, Subin Chung, Emily Riordan — Jul 14, 2015

According to 2000 Census Data, Buffalo ranked last of 48 major metro areas in gaining immigrants, and the percentage of Buffalo residents born in foreign countries remains relatively low.  However, from 2000 to 2010, the Buffalo-Niagara Metro Area saw a 33% rise in foreign-born population, growing from 4.4% of the total population in 2000 to 6.0% in 2010.  The main reason for this increase is the number of refugees being resettled in Buffalo.  Refugees are people fleeing war, …

View .PDF

Eritrean Refugees in Buffalo

Sam Magavern, Daniel Cadzow Jul 8, 2015

Eritrea was once part of Ethiopia, but began a struggle for independence in the 1960s and finally became established as a separate country in 1993.  The civil war that preceded the separation lasted for approximately 30 years, beginning while Eritrea was still considered part of Ethiopia and continued until 2000, even after independence was granted.  Three waves of migration from Eritrea to the US occurred in the 1980s and 1990s, as refugees escaped the violent civil war, finding …

View .PDF

From Central Africa to Buffalo: Refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Rwanda, and Burundi

Sam Magavern, Daniel Cadzow Jul 8, 2015

For the past several decades Central Africa has been wrought with conflict, including both civil wars and international conflicts.  Many different ethnic groups are involved in various capacities, creating tensions within and between countries.  Do not assume that individuals from the same country are of the same ethnic group or religious affiliation.  There are important differences among the ethnic and tribal groups, and because of the longstanding tensions among some of the …

View .PDF

Nepali Bhutanese Refugees in Buffalo

Sam Magavern, Daniel Cadzow Jul 8, 2015

Bhutanese refugees have a complicated history.  In the late 19th and early 20th century, an influx of undocumented Nepali immigrants into Bhutan occurred.  These individuals were settled in the southern region of Bhutan and referred to as Lhotshampas, meaning “southerners”.  The Bhutanese government enforced the Bhutanese Citizenship Act of 1958 as an effort to more closely control the immigration.  The government wished to promote cultural and national unity …

View .PDF

Refugees from Iraq in Buffalo

Sam Magavern, Daniel Cadzow Jul 8, 2015

The country of Iraq suffers from war and terrorism on a daily basis.  Currently the population of Iraq is approximately 28 million, of whom about 75% are Arab, 17% are Kurds and the remainder mostly Armenians, Assyrians and Turks.  The turmoil in Iraq includes violent disputes among Sunni Muslim and Shi’ite Muslim; persecution due to political allegiance; and targeting of vulnerable populations, such as women, by militias and insurgents.  Over two million Iraqis have …

View .PDF

Refugees from Somalia in Buffalo

Sam Magavern, Daniel Cadzow Jul 8, 2015

Somalia is a country that has been divided by civil war since the 1980s.  It began due to resistance to the regime of Siad Barre.  Once he was overthrown in the 1980s, the resulting power vacuum led to violence.  Peace efforts from multi-national groups, neighboring countries, and the United Nations have been attempted, but violence continues and has forced many to flee the country for safety.  Somalia is one of the most homogenous countries in Africa.  Approximately …

View .PDF

Refugees from Sudan in Buffalo

Sam Magavern, Daniel Cadzow Jul 8, 2015

Sudan is ethnically diverse and physically vast.  It has endured many years of violent civil war between the Arab/Muslim North and the Black/Christian South.  In 2011, South Sudan gained its independence from the North so that two governments now rule; however, the conflict has continued.  There are at least 10 different ethnic groups among the refugees from Sudan that have resettled in the United States.  Since 2003, New York State has resettled 897 Sudanese refugees, with …

View .PDF

Yemeni Immigrants in Western New York

Sam Magavern, Daniel Cadzow Jul 8, 2015

The country of Yemen came into being in May of 1990 when North Yemen merged with South Yemen.  Sanaa, the former capital of the North, became the political capital, and Aden, the former capital of the South, became the economic center.  Because of the less-developed economy in Yemen, many Yemenites (predominantly males) have emigrated out of the country seeking employment, often to send money back home.  In addition, a brutal police force and government have led to violence and …

View .PDF

Afghan Refugees in Buffalo

Sam Magavern, Daniel Cadzow Jul 7, 2015

Afghanistan is a diverse country with many different ethnicities, often differentiated by language or religious beliefs.  Many of the groups can also be found in the nations that border Afghanistan: Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and China.  Since 2003, New York State has resettled 395 Afghan refugees, including 63 in 2013.  Many of these have settled in Erie County.  Many recently resettled individuals from Afghanistan have come with “SIV” …

View .PDF

Burman, Karen, and Chin Refugees: From Burma to Buffalo

Sam Magavern, Daniel Cadzow Jul 7, 2015

Burma, officially known as the Republic of Myanmar, is a small nation in Asia, bordering Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand.  For many years, the nation has suffered military dictatorship, inflicting violence and torture on various ethnic groups.  Burma is one of the most diverse countries in the world.  The largest ethnic groups, making up approximately 68% of the nation’s population, are the Burmans, also called Bamar.  Other ethnic groups include the Chin, …

View .PDF

From Puerto Rico to Buffalo

Jun 22, 2015

Puerto Rico is currently an unincorporated territory of the U.S.  There is much debate over the future of Puerto Rico, usually focusing on three major choices; statehood, independence, or remaining a U.S. territory.  Since 1917, its people have been U.S. citizens, and their movement throughout the states is therefore officially termed internal migration.  However, the transition made by Puerto Ricans who move to the continental U.S. can involve the same changes and challenges …

View .PDF

Gamileh Jamil Interview

The Public Good Radio — Jun 2, 2015

The Public Good Radio interview with Gamileh Jamil of ACCESS on WUFO AM 1080.

View Website

From Mandalay to Nickel City

Craig Centrie — Mar 6, 2013

After independence from British colonialism in 1948, Burma, once part of the Raj system and one of Southeast Asia’s largest countries, became engaged in one of the longest civil wars in the region’s history. A democratic republic from 1948 to 1962, Burma experiencing the turmoil of nation state building in a post colonial world was unable successfully to incorporate its ethnically, linguistically, and religiously diverse population into one national identity, forcing hundreds of …

View .PDF

Immigrants and Refugees in Buffalo

Louise Calixte — Nov 20, 2008

Many of the refugees were living in refugee camps until migrating to Buffalo.  In these camps, time was not regulated.  In working for an employer, many immigrants find the time-orientation very challenging. A similar problem involves calling employers in situations where the worker is going to be late or will not be able to make it in that day.  In many of the foreign countries that the immigrants come from, a worker needs only come in late or the next day and explain what had …

View .PDF