Harper Bishop is the Deputy Director of Movement Building at PUSH Buffalo, whose mission it is to mobilize residents to create strong neighborhoods with quality, affordable housing; to expand local hiring opportunities; and to advance economic and environmental justice in Buffalo, New York.
He has nearly a decade's worth of professional experience in community-based organizations. In that time, Bishop has trained and developed grassroots leadership, written and advocated for progressive policies, and organized for economic, social, and racial justice in his hometown of Buffalo, most recently as the Director of Economic Development at Open Buffalo.
In that role, Bishop served in the role of Co-Coordinator of the Crossroads Collective, a one-of-a-kind collaboration of community organizers, growers, workers' rights advocates, faith-based leaders, researchers, and grassroots leaders to address growing income inequality and to build a movement for a just transition from an extractive to a regenerative economy. Bishop's long history in community-controlled, placed-based economic development is also nationally recognized. He has been a Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Local Economy Fellow, and is also Co-Founder of Cooperation Buffalo and Co-Chair of the New Economy Coalition.
His work at Open Buffalo also afforded him the opportunity to stand in solidarity with the Fruit Belt neighborhood, a historically African-American/Black neighborhood on the near East Side of Buffalo to found the F.B. Community Land Trust in response to the rapid gentrification and displacement of longtime city residents, specifically communities of color, low-income and working class people, and marginalized LGBTQ folx. He now sits on the board of directors as a public stakeholder.
Bishop has also served as the Executive Director of Buffalo First, a non-profit organization that supported local and independent businesses as a vehicle for social change, opening the door for social enterprises, benefit corporations, and the prioritization of people over profits or what is known as "Triple Bottom Line" businesses in New York state. He continued to use his policy and legislative expertise as Legislative Assistant to former Delaware District Council Member, the late Michael J. LoCurto, to champion worker cooperative development, paid sick leave, and the success City of Buffalo budget allocation of the first-ever participatory budgeting process in the city.
Finally, Bishop is a staunch defender of LGBTQ rights and firmly believes that everyone has the right to live their truth free from fear. He is committed to continuing to push for an intersectional analysis that affirms collective liberation and centers the lived experience of those most impacted by state-sanctioned violence and white supremacy.
Bishop is a proud trans man, who lives with their partner on Buffalo's West Side and wholeheartedly believes in building the Beloved Community.