A fashion show emphasized communication rather than couture.
the digital age—email, text messaging, social media,” says Neiler.
“The NFJC talks a lot about respect and understanding, and a lot
of that gets lost in those forms of conversation. With the events
we’ve supported, conversation becomes more real; it’s face-to-
face and allows people to really understand one another.”
Last summer, after a white supremacist rally in
Charlottesville, Virginia, left a young woman dead and dozens
injured, Unite by Night mobilized quickly to organize a flashlight
walk through North Buffalo.
“We wanted to do something collectively to show this is
not who we are as a community, as Buffalonians. It was a great
night, walking up and down Hertel, to show our support and
that our community would not tolerate this type of bigotry,” says
Nii Sowah, who also coordinated with the NFJC to introduce a
diversity training program at his workplace.
At press time, the founders were determining their 2018
partner organization, but say their overall goal will remain the
same—to unite people of diverse backgrounds, bridge gaps in our
community, and support another organization that’s making a
“After the election, a lot of people were saying, ‘How did this
happen?’ And the truth is, the fact that you don’t understand,
and that we’ve stopped having conversations with people
with different thoughts, is the problem,” Samantha Sowah
says. “We’re still defining what diversity means to us as an
organization, and being open to new thoughts and opinions is a
huge part of that.”
Nii Sowah continues: “Respecting people’s experiences and
perspectives, having an open dialogue, and being willing to have
those conversations even if they’re uncomfortable—that’s the
start of really, truly understanding what diversity is.”