A New Vision for Building Community

The New Buffalo Institute (NBI) at Canisius University aligns research, service and educational programming toward the many neighborhoods on Buffalo’s East Side, including our own Hamlin Park neighborhood. The NBI affirms our commitment to social justice, provides a welcoming place for community partners to convene, voice concerns and exchange ideas.

Informed by our Catholic, Jesuit tradition, the NBI is committed to finding new ways to address the challenges confronting the neighborhoods of the East Side and to work in solidarity with all of our community partners.

Learn About Mission and Goals

Opportunities to Help Our East Side Community

View Ways to Help

Areas of Focus

The NBI focuses on set strategic priorities, each of which has significant implications for the East Side of Buffalo.

Community Connections

Whether it’s education, food justice, healthcare or another area of need, NBI is proud to partner with schools, nonprofits and grassroots organizations to work toward solutions. Explore our many opportunities and see how you can get involved, too.

Additional Resources

The resources below will give you more information about the New Buffalo Institute as well as other ways Canisius is serving the community:

2021 Annual Report

2018 Community Impact Report

About the Director

shana richardson

Shana Richardson is a proud Buffalo native, born and raised on the city’s East side. From an early age, Canisius University has been a part of her story. Shana grew up within walking distance of the KAC, and walked there every summer for 5 consecutive years to participate in the National Youth Sports Program, housed on the Canisius University campus. It was this early exposure to the institution that led Shana to choose Canisius to pursue her undergraduate degree in English. Shana received the Urban Leadership and Learning Community (ULLC) scholarship, known at that time as the McGowan Scholarship, a full 4-year scholarship, to attend Canisius, and her time was greatly enriched by her participation in this community of scholars. 

Shana went on to earn her BA in English from Canisius in 2006, and her MA in English from the University at Buffalo in 2008. She returned home to Canisius upon completion of her graduate degree as an adjunct in the English department, while also teaching at Bryant & Stratton College and Medaille College. In 2013, Shana accepted the position of Coordinator for Academic Support Services for the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) at Canisius University, and proudly served in that role until July 2019. During her time in HEOP, Shana earned an additional graduate degree in the Higher Education Student Affairs Administration program in May 2019. In July 2019, Shana was granted directorship of Medaille College’s HEOP, as the first Director of the inaugural program. She has also served as the Director of Student Support Services for the Buffalo Educational Opportunity Center, which serves historically marginalized adult students.

Throughout her professional career, one thing that continued to stay with her was the ULLC’s call to pour into local youth so that one day its graduates would do the same for their Buffalo community. It was this call that led her to her current role as the Director of the New Buffalo Institute here at Canisius, and that has also kept her closely connected to the institution over the years. In addition to this new role, Shana continues to serve as an adjunct instructor in the HESAA program and is also an active member of the ULLC Alumni Council. She is excited to take over the work of the New Buffalo Institute! 

Shana resides in the historic Hamlin park area with her husband, Marques, and their 3 children, Micah, 11, and Zoey and Zaryah, both 7.