Anthony Armstrong

Anthony Armstrong is Co-Founder and Partner at Make Communities.

Anthony provides planning, support, training, facilitation and technical assistance for non-profits, foundations, governments and coalitions working for systems change.

With a rounded skill set at the intersections of public policy, organizational strategy and community voice, he brings a cross-section of experience as a consultant and a practitioner regarding policy, programs, projects and operations.

His assignments and partnerships take many forms, including: racial equity training and coaching; equitable development strategy and implementation; constituent engagement and inclusion; organizational and urban planning; quality of life and placemaking.

He is often called on to advise during start-up, transition, and transformation phases of non-profits, social ventures and collaborative efforts committing — or recommitting — to improving their mission performance by living in to their shared values.

Recent and current projects include:

– Project management of The Riverline for the Western New York Land Conservancy. The Riverline will be a multi-use trail and greenway on the elevated former rail line adjacent to downtown Buffalo and the Buffalo River through the Old First Ward, Perry and Valley neighborhoods. Project includes including oversight of community based vision planning, international design ideas competition, equitable development planning, outreach and engagement and partner programming, conceptual and schematic designs.

– Coordinating public outreach and engagement for the Buffalo Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative. The Buffalo ESPRI project is a New York State sponsored community collaborative of stakeholders aligned to reduce poverty in the City of Buffalo. Outreach was focused on communities and individuals experiencing financial hardship. The project included survey and additional input method design, collection and analysis, demographic and precedent research, and compilation and summary of community experience and opinions to inform Buffalo ESPRI implementation strategy development.

– Project management, stakeholder engagement and lead authorship of a regional racial equity data analysis and tracking indicators report with the University at Buffalo Regional Institute for the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, culminating in an upcoming community report to inform the ongoing work of the emergent Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable.

– Oversaw development of regional housing and neighborhood development strategies as well as a comprehensive examination of opportunity and racial, ethnic and geographic inequality in the region and a set of programmatic and policy recommendations known as a Fair Housing Equity Assessment for the University at Buffalo Regional Institute as part of One Region Forward, a HUD Sustainable Communities regional planning initiative for Buffalo Niagara.

– Oversaw organizational and programmatic development, staff hiring, partner relationship formation and collaborative work plan and contract development, and helped guide strategy formation and community impact efforts through the transition and start-up phase of Open Buffalo, a multi-million dollar initiative funded by Open Society Foundations to establish an institutional home for local policy and systems change leading to a more open, just and free city.

– State of the field research, data modeling and validation of resident mobility patterns and attraction efforts to guide efficacy analysis and program design for a national foundation in partnership with Detroit’s New Solutions Group.

– Facilitated strategic planning and/ or organizational development work for a host of regional non-profits, including Open Buffalo, Clean Air, Grassroots Gardens of WNY, and Friends of Reinstein Woods.

Anthony has served as a program officer; project manager; board member, treasurer, and chair; coop founder; policy fellow; legislative constituent liaison; and government affairs representative. He holds a B.A. in Media Study from University at Buffalo Honors College, an M.S. in Urban Affairs from Hunter College and teaches Neighborhood Revitalization at Buffalo State College. He has been quoted on equitable and community development issues by media outlets such as the Buffalo News, Planning Magazine, Reuters, al Jazeera, StreetsBlog and USAToday. 

Anthony also is a confessed stat and map geek, relishing the occasion to curl up for a few hours with a good spreadsheet or heat map, a trait he – somewhat regrettably – seems to be passing along to his two young children. When not juggling their reluctant foray into youth sports, Anthony, his wife and their kids were frequent travelers, when that was still a thing. He is also a non-practicing indie-rock drummer, rides his bike a lot, runs a few times each year to maintain his end of he and his wife’s 18 consecutive year Turkey Trot streak, and will eventually finish rehabbing the family’s 19th century home in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood.

Anthony leads a tour of redevelopment on Buffalo’s west side for NYS-26 Representative Brian Higgins, HUD Secretary Sean Donovan, and US Senator Chuck Schumer.

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