100 River Rock Drive,
Suite 104, Buffalo, NY 14207
(716) 873-5833  
  807 W. State St. (C/O The United Way)
Olean, New York 14760
(716) 480.9614  |  fax: (716) 873.6350   |   info@beafriend.org

Our Mission

Big Brothers Big Sisters is the largest provider of one-to-one youth mentoring services in the United States. Our mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. In Western New York, we have been matching caring adults with local children for 45+ years and have impacted the lives of over 11,000 youth. These quality relationships are built on friendship and trust, and proven to be a significant positive influence in the life of the child, and the volunteer. Learn More

Latest News

September 10, 2020

Statement of Guiding Principles to Advance Racial Equity and Justice 

 
As leaders who are committed to equity and justice, as mission-focused organizations who are stewards of the public trust, and as a nonprofit sector with far-reaching impact on the national economy, the undersigned are committed to advancing racial justice and equity in all areas of civic and community life. We are deeply moved by the stark racial injustice that the intersecting crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and police violence toward people of color have once again revealed — racial injustice that is intertwined with America’s past and its present. The racial and ethnic disparities that persist across economic, education, healthcare, criminal justice, and other sectors of society make clear that systemic racism continues to undermine the foundations of well-being for communities of color by denying access to opportunity and making it more difficult to secure jobs, housing, healthcare, education, nutrition and equal treatment under law.
 
Faced with this moment of national urgency and entrusted by communities to lead in crisis, we affirm and commit to utilizing the following principles and values as a guide in our individual collective efforts to advance equity and justice:
 
We commit to dismantling systemic racism, redressing past discrimination, and advancing equity within our organizations, in our communities, and in our nation–through our organizational polices and practices in our programmatic work and by advocating for changes in public policy and law. Racial and ethnic disparities are a direct result of systemic racism today as well as past, unremedied discrimination that was often imposed or sanctioned by the government. Addressing these disparities requires our active engagement to change law, policy and practice.
 
We are committed to achieving a more comprehensive approach to justice and safety that invests needed resources in schools, child care, mental and behavioral health, affordable housing, job training and other supportive programs and services that contribute to healthy, strong, safe and vibrant communities. Societal goals of racial justice and public safety are best achieved when communities have the resources to match crisis situations with an appropriate response, whether that be mental and behavioral health, social service, police and other interventions
 
As we work to strengthen communities, we must listen to and lift up the voices and experiences of impacted people and communities, particularly the voices of young people in those communities who will lead future generations. Intentionally engaging impacted communities strengthens policies, strategies, and decision-making. When we center and address the needs of the most marginalized, we recognize their humanity and advance equity and opportunity for all.
 
As we evaluate our programmatic work as well as policy proposals and legislation, we will specifically examine the extent to which they decrease racial disparities and oppression, particularly in systems and settings known to disproportionately and negatively impact people of color and other marginalized groups; advance solutions that have been developed in collaboration with and have the support of impacted communities, incorporate an intersectional and multi-sector approach to community challenges; and include the investments needed to fully implement and achieve racial equity outcomes.
 
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
American Alliance of Museums
American Cancer Society
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American Heart Association
Americans for the Arts
Association of Art Museum Directors
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Catholic Charities USA
Council for Advancement and Support of Education
Covenant House International
Dance/USA
Feeding America
Girls Inc. 
Goodwill Industries International, Inc. 
Habitat for Humanity International 
Independent Sector 
Leadership 18
League of American Orchestras
Lutheran Services in America
Mental Health America
National Council on Aging 
National Council of Nonprofits 
National Human Services Assembly 
Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies
OPERA America 
United Philanthropy Forum 
United Way Worldwide 
The Salvation Army
The Arc of the United States 
Volunteers of America 
Welcoming America
YWCA USA

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