Buffalo State has been connected to the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) since the mid-1980s, primarily due to the leadership of Gail Wells, currently the Director of Student Life. Her previous efforts were sponsored by Student Affairs and programs were run primarily for students across campus. In 2007 a new effort was launched. Based on the BSC Strategic Plan the new effort combined Student Affairs and Academic Affairs as Gail Wells teamed with Kevin Railey, currently Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School. This partnership sought to combine the efforts of the campus Coalition Building Team with efforts organized by the CEURE (Center for Excellence in Urban and Rural Education) Curriculum Task Force. The new initiative broadened the scope from previous efforts and sought to develop a team of faculty and staff who could work together on developing programs that would have as their goal institutional change over a period of time. The initiative "Leadership for Diversity" is directly connected to NCBI, receives guidance and mentoring from the national office, and is organized according to NCBI principles. It was successfully launched in the fall of 2007.
In fall 2007, 12 faculty and staff members began to meet to develop their coalition building skills and to plan for campus outreach. In January 2008, the number grew to 21, and in January 2009, after a second train-the -trainer workshop, the latest team was formed - The Buffalo State, NCBI Coalition Building Team.
The Coalition Building Team (CBT) is a campus affiliate of the National Coalition Building Institute and a standing Buffalo State committee of professional staff and faculty. The team is a diverse group representing many ethnic and racial backgrounds and job titles and collectively working toward the human understanding of one another as professionals and human beings.
Members of the Coalition Building Team have undergone diversity education and training by the National Coalition Building Institute and are therefore certified to conduct "Welcoming Diversity" and "Prejudice Reduction" workshops. They also have affiliation with the International Chapter of NCBI located in Toronto, Ontario as well as the national office in Washington, DC. Most of the financial support for NCBI training comes from the Provost's Office as one manifestation of the Provost's commitment to faculty and staff development.
Since 2008 the Coalition Building Team has led eighteen Welcoming Diversity and Inclusion workshops on campus. Following the NCBI format, our trained leaders have welcomed over 374 people into these workshops and have opened the doors to conversations about race and identity all across campus. Various people from each workshop have gone on to join the Coalition Building Team and contribute to future planning for the campus. Coalition Team members come from all across campus - faculty from various schools and staff from various departments.