Community Voices

Flourishing 2018 Women’s Conference to be Nov. 3 in Coral Gables

Cyclists gather at The Underline site for regular easy bike rides in different communities. The next ride will go through the historic Shenandoah neighborhood, with the final destination at Cuban Memorial Boulevard Park.
Cyclists gather at The Underline site for regular easy bike rides in different communities. The next ride will go through the historic Shenandoah neighborhood, with the final destination at Cuban Memorial Boulevard Park. Photo provided to the Miami Herald

“As a community, we are responsible for the well-being of our women and children,” said Flourishing Founder Lily Diaz in email. “Healthy, happy, thriving women are the core of our society.”

Diaz and her group are hosting the Flourishing 2018 Women’s Conference from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 3 at Granada Church, 950 University Dr., Coral Gables. The cost is $25.

Lily Diaz will join other motivational speakers and talk about her group to help all women including many who are struggling as single moms. The Flourishing 2018 Women’s Conference will be Nov. 3 at Granada Church in Coral Gables. Photo provided to the Miami Herald

While Flourishing as an organization focuses on women and children in difficult situations, the conference is for all women who need to recharge.

“It would be great if our community gets to know who we are and that we are here for moms and women. Support is very important through difficult times, feeling things will get better is even more important,” Diaz said.

The annual event will include speakers, breakfast, lunch, Zumba, DJ music, spa bags, and raffles.

Flourishing is involved in the community in other ways besides the conference.

There’s The PINK Closet pop-up free shopping spree for moms; the Victory Safe Sitter babysitting service; back-to-school backpack and supplies donations; holiday toy donations; daily text message and blog support for struggling single moms; and the Flourishing College Fund.

Flourishing also has a youth group for Christian-minded young adults, and is planning a future project called “The Golden Years” for empty-nest single moms who want to help elderly patients needing company.

“The journey of a single mother entails so much,” Diaz said of her passion. “It is impossible for her spirit not to break at some point of it.” She said her two daughters are behind her 100 percent.

“Investing my time and heart in single moms and their children is something I am passionate about because I understand their pain. My girls and I have been there.”

Flourishing is self-financed, Diaz said, but her other mission is to create awareness to get donations to help her group do even more

“I get calls from moms who are homeless, broke, and beaten, and shelters are always full and I can’t help them. With partners I could do so much more,” she said. She also helps feed women and children who are hungry.

“Turning our heads and shutting our ears does not make the hurt of women and children in our community disappear. Flourishing is a backbone for them, and all out of my living room,” she said.

“At the end of the day, it matters that people know we are here and who we are here for, more so than just an annual conference.”

The conference will have a lot of pink, and Flourishing’s signature pink roses. Diaz suggests making it a special day with friends by reserving a table. Childcare will be provided.

To learn more and buy tickets, go to And to reach Diaz write to or connect through Facebook at

“We are responsible for each other and single moms and women in general are my passion. I know their heart. I have been there,” Diaz said. “I am there every day so I have done the walk and know the pain. It’s hard for a single mom to thrive with her kids no matter the salary or despite of, plus emotionally, and to stay focused and grounded and sane!

“We are flourishing out of darkness and into the light, and we can grow and continue helping more women, and maybe people in our community will want to partner with our vision as well. We know the need is great out there.”

Community bike rides

Get out and bike with The Underline Cycling Club powered by Baptist Health South Florida at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 14 starting at Dade Heritage Trust, 190 SE 12th Ter. The scenic ride event is free and open to all. Donations of $10 per person are encouraged to help support Friends of The Underline.

Cyclists can enjoy a Sunday exploring The Underline’s connections to future and existing destinations. The ride will go through the historic Shenandoah neighborhood with the final destination at Cuban Memorial Boulevard Park at 999 SW 13th Ave.

For all rides, cyclists of all levels are welcome, and helmets are required for everyone. To register and get more information, visit Eventbrite or email The last event of the fall ride series is Nov. 18 through Coral Gables. More is at

Adventure Day in the Gables

In celebration of Disability Awareness Month in October, the city of Coral Gables will host “Adventure Day For All,” 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 13 at Coral Gables City Hall, 405 Biltmore Way.

This is the first time the free event is being held and organizers are hoping for a big turnout at this family-friendly day to embrace persons of all ages and abilities. There also will be plenty of information for adults with disabilities.

Included will be a resource fair, activities, crafts, live music and other fun activities. Food trucks also will be on site.

Before embarking on this day of adventure, all attendees must sign in at one of the registration tents to receive a wristband.

Book Fair mural ‘paint-in’

The Miami Book Fair is celebrating its 35th anniversary with an official mural painting event with Luis Valle (El Chan Guri), 3 to 6 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, Building 1 Plaza, Bus Shelter on Northeast First Avenue between Northeast Third and Northeast Fourth streets on the east side.

Everyone is invited to be a part of the “paint-in.” The event will beautify a bus shelter on the Wolfson Campus. Activities for all ages include DJ Brian (Wood Tavern) all afternoon; food trucks; free books for children and teens; break, pop and beatbox with Miami’s iconic b-boy dance crew Flipside Kings; Afro-Caribbean drumming with Inez Barlatier; and personalized poems written on demand by members of the Miami Poetry Collective.

Learn more about this free event at

Jewish book fest

This year, the 38th annual Alper JCC Berrin Family Jewish Book Festival will host one fashion icon, two U.S. ambassadors and four Emmy, Tony and Grammy award winners. The event opens in the Robert Russell Theater at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16, 11155 SW 112th Ave., Bldg. 4., when Ambassador Norman L. Eisen recounts life in the ambassador’s residence in a Czech palace.

“The Alper JCC is pleased to bring more than one dozen acclaimed authors to South Florida whose stories encompass compelling and poignant memoirs and the fictional world of thrillers, comedies and novels,” said Marcy Levitt, director of literary and performing arts, in a release.

The Jewish Book Festival runs through March 13, 2019. For the schedule, location details, and tickets, visit or call 305-271-9000 ext. 268.

If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at