Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

Broadway Actor & Playwright Ruben Santiago-Hudson Helps Introduce “Success Looks Like Me” Role Model

May 07, 2012 | Posted in News

Broadway Actor & Playwright Ruben Santiago-Hudson Helps Introduce “Success Looks Like Me” Role Model Project to Buffalo Public School Students

Cultures of Giving Legacy Initiative project seeks to create access to new experiences for youth living in low-income communities of color.

(May 07, 2012; Buffalo, New York) “Success Looks Like Me” is the message we hope to gift to the children of Buffalo who live in low-income communities of color,” stated Jennifer J. Parker, President of Jackson Parker Communications and Chair of the Cultures of Giving Legacy Initiative (CGLI).

The CGLI, established at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, introduced its new signature program “Success Looks Like Me” on Monday, May 7, 2012 with two inspiring events featuring Tony and Obie award winning actor and playwright, Ruben Santiago-Hudson – a native of Lackawanna.

Acting on the CGLI’s goal of creating access to new experiences for youth living in low-income communities of color, Mr. Santiago-Hudson spoke to an audience of Buffalo students on the morning of May 7, at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts. Using state of the art technology equipment now available in the newly renovated schools, the presentation was simulcast to a number of other Buffalo schools including Bennett High School, School #30 and School #95. Students at those schools participated in an interactive question and answer with Mr. Santiago-Hudson using email, facebook and twitter.

In the evening, Mr. Santiago-Hudson will be the featured presenter at a gala reception and program at WNED studios. Tickets for the evening fundraising event are still available and can be purchased online at TheCGLI.org or by calling 716/852-2857.

“Success Looks Like Me” is the CGLI’s premier program that provides youth living in low-income communities of color with opportunities to interact with successful adults who reflect the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic richness of Western New York and our nation. Through this program, local and national leaders of color interact with youth through in-person and online
mentoring opportunities, panel and group discussions, tours of workplaces and college campuses, as well as one-on-one meetings. All with the goal of inspiring our youth to believe that they, too, can achieve greatness and recognize that “Success Looks Like Me.”

Parker added, “Having access to people, places and experiences can be a game-changer for many youth living in low-income communities of color. Hearing such simple words as “you can do it” from positive role models can motivate youth to aspire to achieve their own successes.”

Ruben Santiago-Hudson has embraced the CGLI’s mission of using our time, talent and treasure to pay it forward to help shape the lives of youth living in low-income communities of color. In June, the CGLI will once again send a group of ten WNY students to Washington, DC to participate in “Close Up”, a Civic Engagement program that educates and inspires young
people to become informed and engaged citizens. Students from across the United States have the opportunity to meet with lawmakers and fellow students, and tour Washington’s famous monuments and museums. Santiago-Hudson has agreed to sponsor two additional students from his hometown of Lackawanna to join the group.

“We are honored that Ruben will join us in highlighting the mission of the CGLI,” stated Alphonso O’Neil –White, President and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. “His journey from Lackawanna, New York to Broadway as an actor and playwright provides a motivating story that aligns with the CGLI’s new initiative”.

The Lackawanna, NY born actor is also an accomplished writer and director. This season Ruben starred on Broadway in Lydia Diamond’s play Stick Fly. Santiago-Hudson co-starred for three seasons as NYPD Captain Roy Montgomery on the hit ABC series, Castle. His screenplay debut, Lackawanna Blues for HBO, received the Humanitas Prize, a Christopher Award, National Board of Review Honors, a NAACP Image Award; in addition to Emmy, Golden Globe and WGA nominations. Lackawanna Blues is based on the true story of Ruben Santiago Jr. and his life growing up in Lackawanna, New York during the 1950's and 1960's. Santiago-Hudson received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Buffalo State College in 2006. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts from Wayne State University, an honorary Master’s from A.C.T. in San Francisco, and a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Binghamton.

About Cultures of Giving Legacy Initiative
The Cultures of Giving Legacy Initiative was established in 2008 at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and is led by of 20 multi-cultural, multi-ethnic civic leaders of color who recognize the importance of endowment-building as a sustainable means of inspiring philanthropy for and within communities of color. Members all share a desire to “pay it forward”
in honor of those who helped them succeed by creating a legacy of success that will encourage collective giving to support positive change in the lives of youth living in low-income communities of color. To find out more about theCGLI visit www.TheCGLI.org.

Tickets for the evening fundraiser can be purchased online at www.TheCGLI.org or by calling 716-852-2857.

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