Throughout its history BILT has held 4 Public Meetings and a Buffalo School Board Candidates Forum as a means of training and developing refugee and immigrant leaders to be active in the public arena addressing issues that impact their lives and the lives of their families. Over 1300 people have attended these gatherings, along with the elected and public officials who have the power to act on the issues being addressed.
One of BILT’s Public Meetings was held at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church on May 11, 2017. The purpose of the meeting was to advance issues regarding culturally sensitive teachers and extension of the hours and services offered at Lafayette International High School as a local community school, serving the surrounding immigrant and refugee community. More than 250 people attended the meeting.
Congressman Brian Higgins recognized the importance of immigrants and refugees to the Buffalo community. Buffalo School Board President Barbara Seals-Nevergold, Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent for Student Support Services Dr. Eric Rosser, and Lafayette International Principal John Starkey all responded positively to the concerns raised by BILT presenters, and committed to work with BILT in the future on meeting our objectives.
Photo of Gertrude Jones speaking at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church during BILT Public Meeting.