Phone: (716) 853-1101 | 960 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14202

Buffalo Poverty Research Workshop X

The Tenth Buffalo Poverty Research Workshop offers everyone concerned with Buffalo’s poverty the chance to hear about new and ongoing research, promising strategies, and opportunities for collaboration. The workshop is designed for local scholars, social service agencies, advocates, government leaders and staff, among others.

You may register HERE. As always, admission is free!

Friday, April 5, 2019
9:00 am – 12:30 pm
(Registration from 8:30 am)
Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
Auditorium (enter from Clinton St)
1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY 14203

Welcome: Dale Zuchlewski, Executive Director, Homeless Alliance WNY

Introduction: Jillian Hanesworth


Session 1: Reducing Lead Exposure for Buffalo’s Most Vulnerable Citizens
Katie Pieri, Director of Community Impact, Community Foundation For Greater Buffalo

Ms. Pieri project manages leadership initiatives designed to promote the Community Foundation’s goals of advancing education, racial/ethnic equity, the environment and arts and culture. She coordinates grant making, the Foundation’s policy work, and research and evaluation projects, including the WNY Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning and Buffalo’s Green & Healthy Homes Initiative. Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Ms. Pieri served as Director of the Social Services Division for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office in Chicago, where she focused on issues of eviction, homelessness, and mental health. She has also worked at Crisis Services in Buffalo and Hopevale, Inc. in Hamburg.

Session 2: Racial Disparities and Homelessness in Western New York
Kexin Ma, Director of Federal Program, Homeless Alliance of WNY

Kexin has a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University at Buffalo and has been with the Homeless Alliance since 2011. She oversees both the Homeless Management Information System and the Continuum of Care program, which is a $12.8 million dollar grant that provides housing and services to individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness within 5 counties in WNY. She coordinates services among service providers and government entities, evaluates program performance, determines gaps for services, and create policy and procedure to improve coordination among homeless services. In 2015, she was awarded by Business First, 30 under 30 for her outstanding contribution to the community.

Session 3: Food Access, Options, and Barriers in Western New York
Lucia A. Leone, PhD, Assistant Professor, SUNY University at Buffalo, Department of Community Health and Health Behavior
Christina Kasprzak, MS, Research Assistant, SUNY University at Buffalo, Department of Community Health and Health Behavior

Lucia A. Leone, PhD, is community-based researcher with a focus on addressing disparities in cancer and obesity prevention behaviors. Her research involves designing, implementing and evaluating multi-level and community-based interventions to increase access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity among underserved populations. Current research projects include: (1) development and evaluation of a mobile produce market (The Veggie Van) to bring fresh, local, affordable food to lower income and under-served communities; (2) working with the YMCA to develop an exercise program to increase exercise enjoyment among women with obesity; collaborating with the Mobile Safety Net Team in the University district to develop and evaluate a Buffalo Healthy Corner Store Initiative; and (4) understanding the grocery shopping experience of participants in the WIC program with a goal of addressing policy and retail-level changes to the program.

Christina Kasprzak, MS is a second-year Doctoral student in the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions. Christina holds a Master’s of Science in Nutrition Science from the University at Buffalo. She has worked in the public health field since 2008 in a variety of settings including a cancer research hospital, health care, and non-profit. Her interest in community-based interventions to improve the nutritional status of low-income populations is rooted in years of experience a nutritionist for the federal nutrition assistance programs WIC and SNAP. Her research interests involve evaluating and establishing best practices for community-based health initiatives in urban and underserved communities, particularly in schools.

Session 4: Housing in Buffalo
Orlando Dickson, Research Associate, Partnership for the Public Good

Orlando Dickson is a research associate at PPG and a third-year student at University at Buffalo Law School. A native of Chicago, Mr. Dickson is a nine-year Army veteran whose penchant for social justice and activism landed him in the 2017 Buffalo Emerging Leaders program. He graduated with a BA in Legal Studies from Brandman University and is a board member of the Plymouth Crossroads: an organization that provides a safe and stable living environment to empower abused, runaway, and homeless youth.

The Buffalo Commons: Community Research Resources
Kristin Szczepaniec, Collaboration and Research Specialist, Cornell in Buffalo

Advocacy and Networking

Sponsored by: The Homeless Alliance, Partnership for the Public Good, Buffalo and Erie County Library, and Buffalo Commons.