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2012 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III - Session IV

Daniel R. Acker: Buffalo’s Good Neighbor

Buffalo, New York had its own leader of civil rights and community activism through the tireless efforts of Daniel R. Acker. This essay will explore how Acker rose to the top as an educator, scientist, civil rights and community leader. Acker was educated in West Virginia, learning in a damp and desolate basement while his white peers attended school in brick buildings. Despite the childhood learning experience, Acker went on to complete higher level education earning his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from West Virginia State College, and a Master of Science in Chemistry and Education from the University of Michigan. Acker moved to Buffalo to work as a chemist for the Linde Corporation where he also became active in with his local church and within the community. His activities in the community included: advocating fair housing practices (HOME), working with the Buffalo YMCA, collaborating with businesses and organizations of the city to help improve the occupational, economic, political and social environment (BUILD), and serving as president of the Buffalo Chapter of the NAACP. Through the efforts of the NAACP, Acker helped to end segregation in the Buffalo Public Schools. Acker earned several awards throughout his life as a result of his commitment to the local community. After his death in 1997, his service to the community was so exceptional that scholarships were established in his honor. His life achievements have certainly earned him the name: Buffalo’s Good Neighbor.

Presenter: Joseph Gucciardo (Buffalo State College) --
Topic: History II - Panel
Location: 218 Hartwell
Time: 10:50 am (Session II)