BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A scholar from across the country is in Buffalo, beginning conversations with people living on the East Side, a part of the city which hasn’t really felt the impact from the resurgence yet.

“In order to fully understand how to transform the material conditions, we have to look at the daily lived and shared experiences folks have,” said Dr. D’Artagnan Scorza, the founder of the Social Justice Learning Institute in Inglewood, California.

That’s where Dr. Scorza was born and raised. He says it’s not too different from Buffalo in regards to demographics and statistics where it’s a minority-majority and a good portion of the minority population lives below the poverty line.

Dr. Scorza says while he’s here in the city, he’s seeing a lot of interest from people wanting to change the narrative about what’s happening in the city and through that, change their communities.

“There’s a deep level of interest among community members who recognize that there have been historical disparities traditionally between communities of color and more affluent communities,” said Dr. Scorza. “They want to do something about it.”

And he says cities like ours need to work together to work through the disparities and create equal opportunities for all.

“Without being able to balance out those dynamics through policies that take into consideration those disparites overtime, we’re going to continue to see these cycles of poverty replicated in many communities.”