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Buffalo Prep launches READI program, Youth Equity Academy

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Fri, Jan 22nd 2021 05:35 pm

Community members, high school students invited to participate in workshops that promote educational and racial equity

Buffalo Prep announced 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 press release said, “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 Jan. 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.”

The press release stated, “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 nine 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.”

To learn more about Buffalo Prep, visit http://www.buffaloprep.com. Students and families interested in applying for one of Buffalo Prep’s programs can visit buffaloprep.com/admissions.

Since its founding in 1989, Buffalo Prep has worked with thousands of underrepresented students to provide academic and social support in a rigorous and nurturing environment. Through this preparatory process, Buffalo Prep students are able to enter and excel in local private and competitive public high schools, colleges and universities.

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