Our Miami-Dade County is a vibrant, diverse and rising community of which we are proud. The pace of transformation and the myriad accolades are a testament to its standing on the hemispheric stage. While celebrating the good, those who love our county have a responsibility to address the challenges.
One out of every five Miami-Dade residents is identified as black/African-American, inclusive of Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Hispanic heritage.
The facts, whether measured or casually observed, tell us that the black community enjoys less of the good and more of the bad in comparison to fellow county residents. These unfortunate realities contribute heavily to our countywide concerns about regional economic growth, housing affordability, employment and quality of life. Too often, what we all seek to avoid has become a common reality for black residents, business owners and students. This imbalance doesn’t have to be reality for our community’s future.
Cross-cultural leadership and collaboration are required to foster the same American Dream for all of us. As such, we applaud the efforts under way, led by County Commission Chairman Jean Monestime along with Commissioners Barbara Jordan, Audrey Edmonson and Dennis Moss, and Miami Commission Chair Keon Hardemon to begin dialogue and spark collective action. This free and public forum, One Heritage: State of Black Miami, to be held on April 7 at Florida Memorial University is a meaningful first step. Visit www.stateofblackmiami.org for details. After the forum, there will be a need for urgent action across cultures and communities.
Black Miami is a jewel in Miami-Dade’s great crown. The entire region stands to benefit from having it share the same dreams and opportunities that we wish for every child, business and neighborhood in our county.
Carrie P. Meek, former Florida congresswoman, Miami
Marlon Hill, Miami