via Joseph Phelan of the Miami Workers Center
Last week, over 150 concerned residents of Miami Gardens, Florida gathered with local activists and organizers to share their grievances about the lack of stimulus funding within their community. The evening opened with a dynamic reference to How Fair is Florida?, a year-long study of the stimulus spending through the lens of race, a research collaboration between the Miami Workers Center, the Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy (RISEP), and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity.
“These pipelines…this federal money…aren’t reaching our communities,” declared Hashim Benford, a community organizer with the Miami Workers Center.
Findings from the report are shocking: Black-owned firms have received 1.9-percent of the contracts, Latino 6.1-percent, and women-owned contractors even less at 1.6-percent. Researchers, who are continuing to work on the study, took notes as members of the community stepped up to the mic, one-by-one, to comment and make suggestions.
The gathering featured a panel of community residents and leaders, including: Leigh Toney, Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center; Dr. Don Clarke, Harvest Fire Worship Center; Marleine Bastien, Haitian Women of Miami; Andre Williams, City of Miami Gardens Council; Shannan Reaze, Power U Center for Social Change; and Subhash Kateel, Florida Immigration Coalition-Deportee Defense Network. All highlighted the impact of the recession on various Floridian communities, from immigrant workers to community college students.
Photo by the Miami Workers Center.