Harper SE Bishop is formerly the executive director of Buffalo First!, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster a more just, sustainable, and local living economy in Buffalo and Western New York through consumer education, advocacy, and programs that further the impact of local and sustainable business in the region. Under Bishop’s leadership, Buffalo First! has become an invaluable resource to the Western New York region, creating the framework for a locally based economy supported by independent businesses that are more responsible, responsive, and engaged on local issues, including local culture and environment. Ze also serves on the board of the Pride Center of Western New York, with a focus on sexual orientation and gender expression as it relates to economic justice.
- Championed significant alterations to the trajectory of redevelopment at Buffalo’s historic waterfront to favor locally owned businesses.
- Advocated for the successful passage of Benefit Corporation legislation in New York State.
- Facilitated transfer of over $100,000 in community assets into local credit unions and banks in a single day.
- Successfully advocated for governmental accountability and transparency, a living wage for part-time and full-time workers, and other high-road economic development principles at the Webster Block.
- Significantly altered the shopping habits of community members during the holiday season and year-round.
- Sits on the Private Sector Council of One Region Forward, a cross-sector partnership of public, private, and nonprofit stakeholders in an initiative to increase coordination, collaboration, and sustainable growth across Western New York.
- Future of Justice Award from the Coalition for Economic Justice, 2011
- Going Good Award from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority
- Green Business Award from State Senator Antoine Thompson
- "Buffalo Makes Way for Rust Belt Localism" - Next American City, September 2011
- "Seeking a sustainable future" - The Buffalo News, November 2012
- "Buffalo First rallies for more local businesses come to Canalside" - Buffalo Rising, January 2012
- "Celebrate Main Street" - Artvoice, November 2012
- "Giving Because They're Great" - Artvoice, March 2011