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Collaborative Leadership, Empathy, and Equity: Women Leading Change in Buffalo's Nonprofit Sector

Updated: Sep 13, 2023


I’m Marli Parish, a NYSERDA Climate Justice Fellow. Throughout my time as the Partnership Development Lead at Shared Mobility Inc., a nonprofit focused on equitable transportation solutions, I have witnessed the invaluable contributions of women in Buffalo's nonprofit sector. In this project, I aim to amplify their voices, sharing their stories and insights to inspire others and promote a more inclusive and accessible transportation landscape. By highlighting the power of collaborative leadership, empathy, and equity, I hope to ignite meaningful conversations and drive positive change towards a sustainable and just future. This project represents my commitment to social justice, and empowering women in their efforts to create a more equitable society.



Buffalo, New York is home to many women who are driving change and making a positive impact on their community. These women are using collaborative leadership, empathy, and a commitment to equity to drive their organizations forward and create a more just and inclusive society.


Through a series of interviews with women leaders in Buffalo's nonprofit sector, we explore how collaborative leadership, empathy, and equity are being used to create positive change in the community. We hear stories of women working together to build strong partnerships, of listening to the needs and perspectives of community members, and of taking a bold stance on issues of social justice. All four of these women are also leaders in the NYSERDA Clean Neighborhoods Challenge project, bringing home ten million dollars to Buffalo's east side. Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Western New York Office’s proposal ‘Centering People, Place and Policy for Buffalo's Clean Mobility Future’ secured that grand prize for our city.


Overall, these women leaders demonstrate the transformative power of collaborative leadership, empathy, and equity in the nonprofit sector in Buffalo. Their stories provide a powerful example for others looking to make a positive impact in their communities, and highlight the critical role that women are playing in creating a more just and equitable society. The following questions and answers have been summarized responses after extensive interviews.




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