Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative

Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative The Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative strives to cultivate positive change in the lives of trailblazing youth of color living within WNY.
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The Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative (CGLI) was created in 2008. The CGLI is governed by multi-cultural, multi-ethnic group of community leaders who are trailblazers and recognize the importance of endowment building as a means of inspiring philanthropy for and within communities of color.

The Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative (CGLI) was created in 2008. The CGLI is governed by multi-cultural, multi-ethnic group of community leaders who are trailblazers and recognize the importance of endowment building as a means of inspiring philanthropy for and within communities of color.

Operating as usual

We offer our sincere condolences to the family of U.S. Magistrate Hugh B. Scott, a remarkable man who defined what it me...
02/23/2021
Western New York mourns Hugh B. Scott, its first Black federal judge

We offer our sincere condolences to the family of U.S. Magistrate Hugh B. Scott, a remarkable man who defined what it meant to give back to Western New York. He was a trailblazer in the legal community, and was the first African American to be appointed to the Federal bench in the Western District of New York in 1994.

The Honorable Hugh Scott also made an impact to Western New York through his commitment to the Community Foundation, where he served as a Board member from 2004 to 2014. He was a founding member of the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative, led the effort to develop free legal clinics for students and families in the Buffalo Public Schools through Say Yes Buffalo, and was a guiding force as a founding member of the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable.

The Honorable Hugh Scott will be dearly missed by all those who knew him, and his contributions will certainly be felt for generations to come as will his kindness live on in our hearts.

https://buffalonews.com/news/local/western-new-york-mourns-hugh-b-scott-its-first-black-federal-judge/article_24dae006-73e1-11eb-8720-b3876686c3df.html

"I try not to talk of it in those terms. But yes, there have been a number of firsts in my life, and yes, I'm proud of it," Scott told

Tanya Staples was introduced to the CGLI when she attended the inaugural information session when it launched. She follo...
01/12/2021

Tanya Staples was introduced to the CGLI when she attended the inaugural information session when it launched. She followed its work and impact for several years and joined the CGLI Council because she believed in its mission of cultivating positive change in the lives of trailblazing youth of color living within Western New York.

“The programs are designed to elevate the opportunities and voice youth have in changing the trajectory of their lives,” she said. “It provides a safe space for emerging leaders to understand and learn about the power of philanthropy and how their support will impact future generations.”

Michele Agosto, the Director of Arts, Department of Arts for Buffalo Public Schools, was introduced to CGLI by fellow Co...
01/04/2021

Michele Agosto, the Director of Arts, Department of Arts for Buffalo Public Schools, was introduced to CGLI by fellow Council member Oswaldo Mestre, who shared with her the great work CGLI was doing in funding, educating and investing in young professionals, future philanthropists, and youth in communities of color. “It was something I wanted to be part of because it is this type of organized, community outreach that is central to my own belief systems and is integral to the work I do in our Buffalo Public Schools,” Michele said.

The inaugural recipient of the Drs. Henry J. and Bonita R. Durand Scholarship— named after CGLI Council Chair Bonita Dur...
12/23/2020
Entrepreneur awarded Durand scholarship

The inaugural recipient of the Drs. Henry J. and Bonita R. Durand Scholarship— named after CGLI Council Chair Bonita Durand and her late husband, Henry— is a local entrepreneur and nontraditional student driven to be a role model for her two young children. Read more:

http://www.buffalo.edu/ubnow/stories/2020/12/durand-scholarship-winner.html

Charice Thompson is the inaugural recipient of the scholarship established by the late UB administrator and GSE faculty member.

12/21/2020
CGLI Grantees

Here at the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative we have a mission to cultivate positive change for trailblazing youth of color in WNY.

We are happy to support local students with the technology they need to be successful for remote learning...

Join our Listening Session! Thursday, December 17 at 5:30 p.m. The Communities of Giving Legacy (CGLI), a fund of the Co...
12/16/2020

Join our Listening Session! Thursday, December 17 at 5:30 p.m. The Communities of Giving Legacy (CGLI), a fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, exists to support trailblazing youth of color in Western New York. We invite you to engage in this guided conversations with youth participants from programs supported by CGLI. Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIkfuuvrTkjHtUC3wCiaAb2KBFGeYkJpwlu

Congratulations to Honorary CGLI Council member Hon. Hugh Scott, a founding member of CGLI and the 2020 winner of the Ja...
12/16/2020
Judge Hugh Scott to receive UB School of Law’s highest honor - Buffalo Business First

Congratulations to Honorary CGLI Council member Hon. Hugh Scott, a founding member of CGLI and the 2020 winner of the Jaeckle Award, UB School of Law’s highest honor. He exemplifies the mission of CGLI, which is to cultivate positive change in the lives of trailblazing youth of color living within Western New York.
https://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/news/2020/12/07/legal-briefs-hugh-scott-jaeckle-award.html

One of Western New York’s most distinguished legal professionals will be the recipient of the University at Buffalo School of Law’s highest award. #attorneys #lawyers #Buffalo #NewYork #WNY

12/15/2020
CGLI Grantee: BCAT

Here at the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative we have a mission to cultivate positive change for trailblazing youth of color in WNY.

In 2019, Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology (BCAT) received a grant from CGLI's The Young Philanthropists...

Derrick Parson, CGLI Vice Chair, first learned of the CGLI while volunteering on the fundraising committee for Close Up,...
12/11/2020

Derrick Parson, CGLI Vice Chair, first learned of the CGLI while volunteering on the fundraising committee for Close Up, an annual eight-month journey for youth into civic education, culminating in a trip to Washington, D.C. “It was there that my interest was piqued, and I knew I wanted to give my time, talent and treasure to push CGLI’s mission forward,” Derrick said.

Having served as Chair of CGLI’s Emerging Philanthropists of Color (EPC), Derrick readily accepted the invitation to become CGLI’s Vice Chair. The vision of CGLI, he said, deeply affects the youth, volunteers and members involved. It seeks to cultivate positive change in the lives of trailblazing youth of color living within Western New York through access to civic leaders and philanthropists of color. “Its value is immeasurable yet its reach is felt near and far,” Derrick said.

12/08/2020
CGLI Grantee: Amiyah

Here at the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative we have a mission to cultivate positive change for trailblazing youth of color in WNY.

We are happy to support local students with the technology they need for remote learning, including college freshman, Amiyah Pope...

The Communities of Giving Legacy (CGLI), a fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, exists to support trail...
12/04/2020

The Communities of Giving Legacy (CGLI), a fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, exists to support trailblazing youth of color in Western New York. We invite you to engage in these guided conversations with youth participants from programs supported by CGLI. Register here: https://forms.gle/7jcZQ9NMd6Yys6qT6

Danis Gehl is a founding member of the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative (CGLI). She had just started her tenure o...
12/02/2020

Danis Gehl is a founding member of the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative (CGLI). She had just started her tenure on the Community Foundation Board when it began to explore the notion of establishing an initiative that works to cultivate positive change in the lives of trailblazing youth of color living within Western New York.

“I am honored to be able to work together with CGLI colleagues to deepen and strengthen the financial and social capital in our communities so that we can have a greater positive impact on our trailblazing youth,” Danis said. “I am committed to raising the profile of the power of endowed giving to my community. Serving on the Council is a way for me to do this.”

Danis feels strongly that our children are our future. She is committed to CGLI because it opens opportunities for our youth of color by connecting them with people, places and experiences that help them as they blaze trails through life. “What makes CGLI unique is striving to leverage the power of endowed giving with developing new generations of philanthropists in our communities of color. These are central to the CGLI mission,” Danis said.

12/01/2020
CGLI Grantee: Away Out, Inc.

Here at the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative we have a mission to cultivate positive change for trailblazing youth of color in WNY.

We are happy to support local students with the technology they need for remote learning, including the young women at Away Out, Inc...

11/24/2020
CGLI Grantee: Nasim

Here at the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative we have a mission to cultivate positive change for trailblazing youth of color in WNY.

We are happy to support local students with the technology they need for remote learning, including Nasim, a student at Cheektowaga High School...

CGLI Council Chair Bonita Durand was introduced to the CGLI through former Community Foundation Board member Alphonso O’...
11/19/2020

CGLI Council Chair Bonita Durand was introduced to the CGLI through former Community Foundation Board member Alphonso O’Neil-White. “The mission and vision of CGLI aligned well with my personal philosophy and life’s work,” said Boni. “CGLI provides opportunities and support to talented youth and young adults who may not otherwise be able to realize their full potential.”

11/17/2020
CGLI Grantee: Cam

Here at the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative we have a mission to cultivate positive change for trailblazing youth of color in WNY.

We are happy to support local students with the technology they need for remote learning, including Cam, a local college freshman...

On November 5, the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative (CGLI) hosted its 2020 Pay It Forward Awards. We congratulate...
11/11/2020
Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative's 2020 Pay It Forward Awards Celebration

On November 5, the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative (CGLI) hosted its 2020 Pay It Forward Awards. We congratulate the 2020 honorees - Zandra Cunningham, Tommy McClam, Daniel Robertson, Renee Mapp, and Marilyn Young. They exemplify the mission of CGLI - which is to cultivate positive change in the lives of trailblazing youth of color in Western New York. Click the link to watch the entire celebration!
https://youtu.be/XhoA6xBn5tc

The Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo hosted the 2020 Pay It Forward Awards on November 5, 2020. This a...

Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative's cover photo
11/04/2020

Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative's cover photo

CGLI Council member Robert Lowery was introduced to CGLI in 2011, when he chaperoned students on the first Close Up trip...
11/02/2020

CGLI Council member Robert Lowery was introduced to CGLI in 2011, when he chaperoned students on the first Close Up trip to Washington, D.C. During that time, he was able to see the impact of the program— students traveling for the first time, meeting others with different views and backgrounds, and watching how youth developed because of it.

Having grown up in a neighborhood with limited resources and opportunities, Robert knows how one program can change a youth’s trajectory. “When you witness the growth of so many students in the CGLI program through leadership development, positive peer interaction, educational opportunities and increased awareness of philanthropy, it changes the narratives of many of our youth of color,” Robert said. “To now have the opportunity to be a Council member and play a pivotal role in helping to create change in the lives of youth of color means so much to me. CGLI allows me to pay it forward.”

Over the next several weeks, we will be featuring some of our Council members who are dedicated to carrying out the miss...
10/22/2020

Over the next several weeks, we will be featuring some of our Council members who are dedicated to carrying out the mission of CGLI to cultivate positive change in the lives of trailblazing youth of color living within Western New York. Meet Ruth D. Bryant!

CGLI Council member Ruth D. Bryant was introduced to the concept of the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative at a national Council of Community Foundations meeting in Denver, Colorado. A few years later, in 2009, she was happy to receive an invite for the newly formed CGLI by Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.

Today, Ruth continues to pay it forward. “My involvement with CGLI is about giving; helping youth of color to realize that dreams and a brighter future are attainable,” Ruth said. “Making an impact on the lives of youth is about sharing your knowledge and resources for the greater cause.”

Join us in congratulating CGLI Council Secretary Tanya Staples for receiving the 2020 Mayor's Youth Award.
09/30/2020

Join us in congratulating CGLI Council Secretary Tanya Staples for receiving the 2020 Mayor's Youth Award.

Good news! CGLI Council Vice Chair Derrick Parson was featured in The Buffalo News earlier this week for his participati...
09/25/2020
Graspie CEO sees Black Founders Exchange as chance to grow Buffalo startup

Good news! CGLI Council Vice Chair Derrick Parson was featured in The Buffalo News earlier this week for his participation in the Black Founders Exchange, currently focused on helping Black-owned startups cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Click the link to read the full piece...
https://buffalonews.com/news/local/graspie-ceo-sees-black-founders-exchange-as-chance-to-grow-buffalo-startup/article_2bc3ff48-fcdf-11ea-9607-67604d968da3.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share

The annual national Black Founders Exchange promotes development of Black-founded startups, with input from experts and investors.

CGLI Council members Oswaldo Mestre, Jr., Michele Agosto, M.Ed., and Tamara Alsace, Ph.D., are all panelists on this upc...
09/24/2020

CGLI Council members Oswaldo Mestre, Jr., Michele Agosto, M.Ed., and Tamara Alsace, Ph.D., are all panelists on this upcoming conversation about Colorism and Race in the Latino/a/x Community. Join them and other community leaders on October 6.

We are honored to share this story of Bonita and Henry Durand, who have set an example of paying it forward and generosi...
07/07/2020

We are honored to share this story of Bonita and Henry Durand, who have set an example of paying it forward and generosity through their work with CGLI.

#100StoriesFor100Years

➤ Story 95 of 100: Henry and Boni Durand

It was the 1960s and Bonita Cobb was in her middle school modern history class in Cincinnati, Ohio. She sat in front of a shy, athletic student named Henry Durand. Little did she know then that she had found her soulmate.

The high school sweethearts were awarded scholarships to separate colleges – Boni to Kent State and Henry to Denison University, where he was one of only five black students to enter the college in 1966. Henry was a varsity team starter playing offense and defense for his four year career and holds the distinction of being the first black captain of the otherwise all-white Denison University football team.

After college, Boni and Henry married and started a family, moving to Western New York in 1990 when Henry was offered a job at the University of Buffalo as director of its Educational Opportunity Program. Boni later secured a position as Chief of Staff to the President at Buffalo State College. Seeing the need to provide cultural support to students of color, the Durands began to help in any way they could, such as hosting Thanksgiving dinners for students that could not afford to return home for the break.

Boni was introduced to the Community Foundation by Board member Alphonso O’Neil-White and learned about the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative (CGLI). “I found it fascinating that there was an initiative like CGLI that was committed to the group that Henry and I worried about all the time,” Boni said.

She joined the Community Foundation Board in 2015, and the Durands began contributing to the CGLI endowment. “It is kind of an extension and a more formal way of continuing to do the work that we always did,” explained Boni.

Henry passed away in 2018, but Boni knows that through the Community Foundation, the good he always did will live on forever. “People took a chance on us. People saw potential when we did not see it ourselves, and now it is our time to do that for someone else,” she said. “It is important to pay it forward.”

The Communities of Giving Legacy (CGLI), a fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, exists to support trail...
06/10/2020

The Communities of Giving Legacy (CGLI), a fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, exists to support trailblazing youth of color in Western New York. We invite you to engage in these guided conversations with youth participants from programs supported by CGLI. Register here: https://forms.gle/GcCJDg9YUCP3XbpC8

The Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative (CGLI), a Fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, is committed...
06/10/2020

The Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative (CGLI), a Fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, is committed to cultivating positive change in the lives of trailblazing youth of color living within Western New York.

The CGLI family includes high school students, emerging professionals and experienced leaders of color who are intentional about empowering our youth and young adults to be agents of change in our community, the country and the world. We accomplish this through collective giving and the sharing of our experiences and connections.

We are heartbroken and enraged as we live through the most recent series of injustices, sickness and loss of life. We stand in solidarity to put an end to hundreds of years of oppression and injustices disproportionately felt by African Americans and other communities of color.

As we continue to mourn the most recent losses of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, we also continue to stand in solace with our African American community. We pledge our resources toward addressing the needs of our youth of color in Western New York to help them get through both current crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are hopeful that the frustration, anger, anxiety, hurt, harm, hopelessness, and fear being experienced during this time gives way to equitable justice and meaningful, sustainable social and economic change for communities of color everywhere.

The CGLI Council is currently assessing needs with organizations serving youth of color in our community to find meaningful ways to support them during these challenging times and we will share an update on our actions in the coming weeks.

Bonita R. Durand, Ph.D.
Chair, Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative

“We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes”
-Ella Baker 1903-1986

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726 Exchange St, Ste 525
Buffalo, NY
14210

General information

CGLI affiliated youth become productive adults intentionally using philanthropy to improve the lives of new generations of trailblazing youth.

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Monday 08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 08:00 - 17:00
Thursday 08:00 - 17:00
Friday 08:00 - 17:00

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It’s Close Up Week for CGLI. Follow us as we explore our nations capital.