Buffalo Prep Launches READI Program, Youth Equity Academy
Community members, high school students invited to participate in workshops that promote educational and racial equity
BUFFALO, N.Y., Jan. 22, 2021 —Buffalo Prep is excited to announce the launch of two new programs, READI (Realizing Equity, Access, Diversity, and Inclusion) and Youth Equity Academy, to provide opportunities for the community to learn more about issues of racial, educational, and economic equity. A nationally recognized leader in educational access programming, Buffalo Prep has evolved as a social justice and civil rights organization to encompass an increasingly wide-ranging menu beyond academic preparation.
READI is a series of workshops, trainings, and presentations facilitated by Buffalo Prep staff that promote educational and racial equity. Starting January 25, Buffalo Prep will offer a virtual Community READI Series to the public featuring six workshops that explore topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion, including “The ABC’s of DEI” and “Historic Aspects of Systemic Racism: Poverty Myths of WNY”. These workshops will provide opportunity for individual and collective reflection, as well as potential action plans that can be utilized to strengthen and maintain an inclusive and equitable climate. Community members can choose to attend an individual workshop or commit to the entire series. To view the full schedule or register for READI today, visit buffaloprep.com/readi.
Companies, schools, organizations, peer, and networking groups can also work with Buffalo Prep staff to customize a training/series of trainings to further their understanding of these issues and topics.
“The recent events of the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest have shone a spotlight on systemic and historic inequities that have existed for centuries. Buffalo Prep’s work to be an antiracist organization and promote racial and educational equity is more critical than ever. We are thrilled with the response we have received in the community for trainings and resources to foster understanding and practices to support educational justice and racial equity,” said Patti Stephen, Robert G. Wilmers Endowed Executive Director of Buffalo Prep.
For younger audiences, Buffalo Prep’s Youth Equity Academy (YEA!) is a civic engagement program for high school students who want to transcend racism and inequality. Participants will engage in a seven-month series of workshops to promote antiracism and racial equity. The program is open to all high school students who attend one of Buffalo Prep’s 19 partner high schools. Over 60 students will be participating in YEA! from 9 different schools.
Alexys Swygert, director of Buffalo Prep’s College Prep program, reflected on launching YEA! “We spend so much time at Buffalo Prep having deep dialogue and critical conversations with our scholars and families, and I kept thinking, would it be worth inviting their peers to the conversation? Does it make sense to keep having these social justice conversations with our Prep scholars without inviting their allies?”
Students had to apply to the YEA! program and write why they were interested in participating. One student wrote “Through inclusion, we could unite together as one to further the bettering of ourselves and the people around us. The best way to see change in the world is when we set aside our differences and unite under a common purpose to support one another.”