The State University of New York today announced a statewide collaboration involving 10 SUNY campuses and five not-for-profit organizations to establish a sustainable village and learning community in Akayè, Haiti. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation recently awarded SUNY a nearly $800,000 grant to support the project, which will develop educational, economic and social programs, resources, and other needed services on 40 acres of land donated by a Nassau Community College professor emeritus.
Students, faculty, and staff from SUNY campuses will bring specific expertise to the project as follows: University at Albany (international development for management), Binghamton University (public administration), University at Buffalo (social work), Buffalo State College (performing arts), SUNY Cobleskill (agriculture and fisheries), SUNY-ESF (landscape architecture), Nassau Community College (nursing), SUNY New Paltz (disaster mental health), Stony Brook University (health sciences), and Upstate Medical University (public health).
“Buffalo State College is honored to join together with our SUNY colleagues and program partners to support the wonderful children and people of Akayè, Haiti,” said Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner. “We are tremendously grateful to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for its belief in, and support of, this project. As we know so well through our powerful programs here at Buffalo State, theater, music, and other performance arts strengthen communities by nourishing the souls of citizens of all ages. Buffalo State welcomes the opportunity to share its passion for the arts, story-telling, and social justice with the people of Akayè, and in turn, I know our students and faculty will learn so much from the shared experiences and connections with the Haitian people.”
Buffalo State’s contribution to the project will be led by Drew Kahn, founder and director of the college’s Anne Frank Project.
“The Anne Frank Project is proud to represent Buffalo State in SUNY’s newest international endeavor, the development of a sustainable village and learning community in Haiti,” said Kahn. “Through the generous support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, multiple campuses and organizations will collaborate to build this multidimensional village. Buffalo State’s role will focus on the education sector where the Anne Frank Project will introduce its model of drama-based education to Haitian teachers and students. Our hope is, through this process, to remind the children of Haiti that their stories matter and provide them with the tools to surface, create and share these stories.”
To learn more about the new sustainable village and learning community in Haiti, please read SUNY’s press release.