BNMC Director of Inclusion & Community Initiatives Featured in New Book

A powerful opinion piece by Kyria Stephens, Director of Inclusion & Community Initiatives, was recently selected for publication in a new e-book compilation, Resilience Matters: Collective Action for Healthier Communities

The essay, “People in need don’t want your pity,” explains why we need to rethink how we think about charity. As Stephens explains, people in need do not want pity; they need “solidarity, respect, and loving support.” These people are teachers, professors, CEOs, police officers, nurses, and artists. They save lives, drive the economy, and create culture. And they are successful, notes Stephens, “in spite of the obstacles placed (often intentionally) in our path.” By sharing time and resources, says Stephens, “you are not simply helping the less fortunate—you are nurturing the powerful.”

As a well-known speaker and thought leader on diversity and inclusion, Stephens is glad to see his message being shared with an even wider audience. “This is such an important time in our history,” said Stephens. “It’s going to take all of us, working together, to build a more equitable future. We must be detailed and strategic in how we move forward.”

At the BNMC, Stephens helps promote collaboration and inclusivity throughout the organization and community. His efforts have helped establish the BNMC as a regional and national model for diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Resilience Matters, published by the Island Press Urban Resilience Project, features contributions from dozens of leading authors, and is available for free online thanks to grant support from the Kresge and JPB Foundations. 

Island Press is a well-known publisher of critical ideas on both the natural and built environment. In 2022, they published City Forward: How Innovation Districts Can Embrace Risk and Strengthen Community, which highlighted the BNMC’s commitment to equity.

BNMC’s Pledge for Racial Equity

BNMC’s Pledge for Racial Equity

During this heartbreaking time for our city and country, standing together as one community is more important than ever. We believe strongly in the need for diversity and the importance of inclusion. We are firmly against any form of racial injustice and hatred, and we pledge to speak up and speak out when we see this hwp-contentening in our community and beyond.
The BNMC has always believed that by continuing to build a welcoming and inclusive environment, people are inspired and empowered to be their most creative and innovative selves. And yet, we’re ever so aware that we’re always learning, always growing, and always challenging ourselves to be better tomorrow than we are today.
Today, we are reaffirming our strongly held beliefs in promoting justice for all people.
The BNMC’s pledge:
  • We will engage our community to enhance diversity, inclusion, and respect for every person.
  • We will break down barriers, push boundaries, and work as advocates for change.
  • We will create an inclusive environment that will seek cooperative collaborations and community-based solutions.
  • We will commit to an intentional and ongoing dialogue about racial injustice among our staff, partners and stakeholders.
We stand with you because you are a part of us. If you do not receive justice, neither do we. We promise to continue working together with our partners to create a better and more inclusive Buffalo.

IC Success: Back to School Business Academy Virtual Series Begins Oct. 6th

IC Success: Back to School Business Academy

This free, eight-week webinar series will help you build and grow your business. Now is the time to invest your time and effort in yourself!

The BNMC’s IC Success: Back to School Business Academy webinar series runs every Tuesday from October 6th – November 24th from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm via Zoom. See below for the topic each week.

Register now for the entire series.

Zoom links will be shared after registration. We recommend attending all 8 sessions to get the most out of this series.

IC Success is an education series started by the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC) in 2019 as way to create pathways and building blocks for success in the small business community. BNMC is committed to helping all small businesses, including women, minority, and Veteran-owned businesses and enterprises to reach their full potential.

Attend all eight sessions and receive one free month at dig at the Innovation Center, the region’s best co-working space!

October 6th – So You Want to Start a Business – Now What?

20 questions to ask yourself, including: Who is my customer and how can I make them feel valued?; What is my product(s)/service(s)?; and What type of legal structure would be best for me to operate my business?

October 13th – Working through Start-up Costs

To properly understand if this will ultimately be a profitable business, we must do an analysis of all of the costs you will encounter to start and run your business. We will work through those on a provided worksheet. This will ultimately help us to determine what the price should be for your various product(s) and/or service(s).

October 20th – Creating Pricing and Revenue Projections – Will This Company Be Able to Make Money?

We will use provided Excel worksheets to determine fixed costs and variable costs to set a price for your products and services. From there, we can create revenue projections. Also, if the company is profitable, what are some investment options to manage the excess cash flow?

October 27th – Putting It All Together and Creating Pro-forma Financial Statements

We will use our Projected Revenue worksheets created in Excel and our Fixed and Variable cost worksheets to create the major pro-forma financial statements including an income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow projections.

November 3rd – Marketing and Building Parts of the Business Plan

We will create a marketing plan including a definition of your customer and how to make those customers feel valued through customer satisfaction. We will include a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Opportunities, Weaknesses and Threats) for your specific business.

November 10th – Management/Operations/Human Resources, Completing the Business Plan, and Legally Filing Your Business in Erie County

We answer questions such as, “Do I need a license to operate my business,” and “How do I file a business name in Erie County?” And, operationally, “What software packages can help me operate my business?” In addition, we will go over the “Guide to doing Business in Erie County” that is on the Erie County website. We will cover the major laws that you will need to know about if you hire employees, and how to retain and motivate those employees.

November 17th – Local Guest Speakers who have had Business Success

Open questions for entrepreneurs in our area who have already had success! Ask them what you would like to hear about! Perhaps, “How do you manage the life/work balance with this business operation taking up so much of your time.” Ask anything!

November 24th – Panel of Subject Matter Experts, Including CPA, Attorney, Insurance and a Banker

We will cover basics of taxes and the legal structure of your business. And, “Do I need an insurance agent, an attorney and a banker?”

This series will be led by Kerry Collard, MBA, a former banking executive who has taught in the field of Business Administration and Entrepreneurship for over nineteen years at local colleges in the Buffalo area.

IC Success to Kickoff 2020 Cohort

Are you an entrepreneur or business professional who needs to grow their network but have trouble starting a conversation with new people? Do you like to play Uno? If you said yes to either of these, join us at our IC Success 2020 Kickoff! This event will be held March 11, 2020 at 6:00 pm in dig @ the Innovation Center (640 Ellicott St Buffalo, NY 14203). The first session of IC Success 2020 – Turning Passion in to Profit – will run March 17-April 7, 2020 with Power 93.7 WBLK’s ADRI.V the Go Getta facilitating. For more information, or to register for the networking event, please visit

BNMC “Sparks” Creativity and Innovation in Neighborhoods

We are thrilled to announce our 3rd year of BNMC Spark – the BNMC’s micro-grant program that showcases creative ideas and strategies to support partners and stakeholders within the neighborhoods surrounding the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
We invite community members and organizations to submit proposals to receive funding for initiatives that advance the goals of BNMC and the local community. The BNMC’s key goals include:

    • Build an inclusive and collaborative culture of innovation that drives economic development and creates vibrant, healthy communities.
    • Ensure our district is attractive, welcoming, and accessible – a quality place to work, live, visit and invest in.

There is $40,000 available to the community through this RFP. The maximum award amount for each project will be $5,000.

Learn more about the projects we funded in 2019 and 2018. Watch our recent video featuring some of our Spark grantees.

The deadline for wp-contentlications is February 28, 2020. Learn more at bnmc-old.local/spark or contact Kyria Stephens at kstephens@bnmc-old.local.

Diversity and Inclusion Drives Innovation

BNMC’s Community Program Manager, Kyria Stephens, recently attended the National Diversity and Leadership conference in Dallas, TX. Check out his thoughts on the meaning of diversity and inclusion, and how it creates an innovative, collaborative community.

Diversity and Inclusion Drives Innovation

When you hear the words diversity and inclusion, what do you think? How do you define it? My answer sounded like, “creating environments and pathways for women and minority groups to thrive in the workplace?” But after attending National Diversity and Leadership conference in Dallas, Texas, I realize that answer is only the tip of the iceberg.

Yes, diversity and inclusion are about creating an emotionally safe work environment in which a person doesn’t have to check their ethnicity at the door to fit in with the dominate culture. Yes, D&I is about making sure that the workplace reflects what the world really looks like at every level. Yes, it is about equal pay for people who do the same job. Yes! Its about doing the right thing for all people… But as I sat and reflected on amazing workshops and poured over the notes I took from keynote speakers, Colin Powell, America Ferrera and President Barak Obama, I realized that diversity and inclusion at its core is about filling blind spots and gap with people with unique vantagepoints.

One of the phrases that echoed throughout the conference is that diversity is a fact, but inclusion is a choice. This world doesn’t have a problem with diversity! Just look around and you will see diversity because it hwp-contentens naturally when all people have access to a space. The problem we have is inclusion. The reason we have inclusion problems is most often because people naturally gravitate to people who look like, think and view the world the same as themselves. But, when that hwp-contentens our perspective becomes narrowed. A person’s ethnicity, culture, gender, education, past experiences and personality creates a unique lens that produces a different perspective. Diverse perspectives allow for a greater vision, a greater vision and creativity go hand in hand and where there is creativity there is innovation.

So, without D&I we are limiting growth, slowing advancement and hindering innovation!