February 1999

Darren Strickland

by Stephanie TABER

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Darren Strickland has devoted almost half of his young 33-year life to serving others. While growing up in Mt. Ararat Baptist Church under the teaching of the late Reverend W.L. Jones, Strickland served on the Youth Usher Board and was an accomplished Boy Scout. It was during this period when Strickland realized his strong desire to help others.

As the Executive Director of Friends of Night People, Inc., Strickland and his staff help homeless and destitute women, children and elderly of the city, by providing food, health care, clothing and other essential services.

Strickland also serves as president of the Trinidad Neighborhood Association. This neighborhood-based organization addresses issues and concerns in the community and city. Mayor Anthony Masiello appointed Strickland to the City’s Department of Community Development, a Citizen’s Advisory Committee, which addresses public policy practices.

Through his deep spiritual beliefs and his strongest supporters - wife Teresa, daughter Danielle and sons Ray and Demairo - Strickland will continue to dedicate his time and skills to various causes, like volunteering at the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County. A panel at the Buffalo and Erie County United Way selected Strickland in 1996 to carry the 1996 Olympic Torch. That same year he received the NAACP’s “Daniel Acker Outstanding Community Service” award.

Strickland believes that being committed to our communities means putting forth efforts to make positive changes and carrying out innovative plans of action for social, political and civil justice.

Stephanie Taber is a freelance writer.


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