Make Communities helps develop accessible, equitable and empowered places, organizations and networks that are equipped with the frameworks and tools they need to realize their visions.

Accessible… We facilitate new ways for our partners to transform places, systems and operations to be more open, responsive and meaningful.

Equitable… We build understanding and capacity to align good intentions with equitable impact through tools, practices and policy, reducing disparities and improving outcomes across the board.

Empowered… We help turn local knowledge into actionable power, supporting people and organizations that deliver tangible results.

An equity based approach requires understanding the underlying systems, structures and dynamics that produce the disparate outcomes we aim to overcome — both internally and externally — in order to take meaningful and measurable action for change.

We offer a spectrum of transformation-focused services from individual, to organizational and social impact:

    • training and technical assistance;
    • organizational analysis, development, and mission alignment;
    • community engagement capacity building;
    • place based planning, welcoming and access approaches.

Our racial equity work is primarily done in partnership and in cross-racial teams. However, an equity approach also requires understanding how we are individually positioned within the work and the world, including explorations of power, privilege and access. For individuals and organizations seeking to deepen their internal understanding and application of racial equity in concept and practice, we also offer:

    • trainings, workshops and presentations deconstructing forms of privilege;
    • white allies affinity group facilitation;
    • customized coaching to white-identified leaders.

For organizations seeking coaching and affinity group facilitation for BIPoC leaders and teams, please contact us for referrals to our BIPoC-led partner organizations.

Learn about some of the projects we’ve been involved in:

– Planning for equitable public spaces development: The Riverline

– Racial equity research, reports, messaging, training and coaching: The Racial Equity Roundtable 

– Policies and practices for equitable communities: One Region Forward

– Equitable development analysis and recommendations: Deconstructing Segregation in Syracuse?

– Strategic planning and organizational development: Open Buffalo

– Project based planning and community engagement: Vision Plan for the Stella Niagara Preserve

– Community planning and development: A Vision for Black Rock Harbor – West Scajaquada

– Community based outreach and engagement for initiative planning and prioritization:  Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative for United Way Buffalo and Erie County