Familiar Faces: Malik Stubbs

By Eisa Hashmi

Features Contributer

It should be no surprise that Canisius is home to hundreds of young people looking forward to showing off what they’ve learned by taking action in the real world and making it a better place. One such student is Buffalo native Malik Stubbs, a political science and urban studies major who is finishing his last semester and has hopes of bringing some positive change to Buffalo through activism and civil service. Stubbs also hopes to one day achieve his goal of becoming mayor of Buffalo.

Stubbs has an impressive history of service that started long before his college career. In high school, Stubbs worked to found a community garden in his neighborhood that had an immediate positive impact on his community. Where was once a vacant lot and a rundown house at the corner of his street, now stands a garden chalk full of fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers that the neighborhood still enjoys. In addition to the healthy alternatives that families now have access to, Stubbs noted the simple aesthetic improvement that the garden provided to the street. He said, “The garden is at the corner of the street. So the first thing that you see, is the community garden. Once you turn on the street, you have a better feeling about driving there. It really changes people’s mindsets.”

Once at Canisius, Stubbs took his service to the next level. His goals of becoming a politician and a civil servant became even more concrete his freshman year when he was selected to be the student representative for the Mayor Summer Youth Internship Program and worked closely, for the first time, with Mayor Byron Brown. The press conference for the program was held at Canisius in 2013. “It was very cool because I was just a new freshman on campus and I was already with the Mayor,” Stubbs said. “It motivated me to work harder so I could become a great politician in the future.”

Since his freshman year, Stubbs has not lightened up on his amount of community service. He is currently working with several organizations, including Americorps as a Vista for Project Move Buffalo, which is working to help end poverty and increase engagement in civil service in the city. Stubbs plays a crucial role coordinating the Boys To Men of Color initiative, which works to provide support services for young men of color.

In addition to his current work, Stubbs has also been involved with the NAACP where he interned at the national headquarters in Baltimore. Stubbs said, “One of our responsibilities at the NAACP was to coordinate a national convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. The coolest part about that was that I got to meet a recording artist.” That recording artist was Grammy Award winner Chance the Rapper. “When I met him, I did not know who he was,” Stubbs said with a laugh, “All these people were taking pictures and I said, ‘Is this guy famous or something?’”

But don’t worry. He’s a hardcore Chance fan now.

Stubbs’ civil service and dedication to his community has not gone unnoticed. Recently, Stubbs was awarded with the Dr. Martin Luther King Award for Canisius. “It was incredibly humbling and I was thrilled,” he said. “Just winning the award was a huge accomplishment in my life. Obviously, Dr. King is my idol.”

Stubbs also spoke about his goals after college. This fall, he’ll be attending graduate school at Canisius. Outside of that, Stubbs hopes to find work that benefits the community and increases diversity. He said, “My short term goal is to find a job at a college and create diversity programming on the campus.” Stubbs made it clear that he wants to continue to work and help the city of Buffalo. “Buffalo’s the city of good neighbors,” he said with a smile, “And you meet so many great people who all want to make it a better place.” As for a long term goal, Stubbs said one day he’d like to run for and become mayor of the City of Buffalo.

When it comes to how he wants to be remembered and seen by his fellow classmates and community, Stubbs was very clear. “I’m someone who believes in putting others first and serving the community,” he said, “I believe in leading the community in a positive direction and I want to lead other people through service.”

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