Faithfully bringing forth justice | Isaiah 42:3
We are a restorative grassroots interfaith 501(c)(3) nonprofit grounded in community organizing and rooted in leadership development. We prioritize relationships—the substance of our ecosystems—above all else. VOICE takes an intersectional approach in encouraging our leaders to radically re-imagine worlds where we are all free, where we all have access to the resources we need to thrive and a voice in decisions that affect us.
From 1996 until recently, VOICE was led by affluent, upper middle cis-het white folks, mainly men. In the 2010s, those leaders began sharing power with BIPOC leaders and organizers. Since 2018, VOICE reorganized into a Black-led organization intentionally engaging a range of identities, communities, and faiths including a diverse community represented by 35 congregations/organizations and 50 individual members. Collectively VOICE represents over 10,000 residents in the City of Buffalo, composed of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Agnostic, Spiritual, LGBTQIA+, Immigrants, refugees, Black, Indigenous, Latinx and white folks that are empowered, informed, active, and connected.
The Beloved Community we envision eliminates inequities in our social structures, public services, and government institutions. Our collective vision is of a justice system that operates without bias, is restorative, culturally sensitive, responsive to the needs of the community, and addresses the root causes of crimes instead of perpetuating the punishment bureaucracy and caging of our siblings. We envision a workforce that reflects the diverse population of Erie County, where economic opportunities are available to all. We envision accessible public services that meet the needs of the people who rely on them, and a society where no one has to fear losing their agency and independence. In the pursuit of justice, we seek out and eliminate bias in ourselves and in our surroundings. In the name of equity, we strive to ensure that everyone has what they need to be successful. We seek inclusion, by which we do everything we can to ensure that everyone is represented at the table.