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Reflecting on recent community workshop, “Overtown: The People Speak!”

January 24, 2019
By Kenneth Mobley
Community Outreach Specialist, Public Allies AmeriCorps Member

On December 15, 2018, Catalyst Miami held “Overtown: The People Speak!” at A Space Called Tribe. This was the inaugural event for Catalyst Miami’s resilience hub initiative.

Catalyst Miami’s new resilience hubs, embedded in County buildings in low-wealth neighborhoods, will provide direct services, programming linked to disaster resiliency, and advocacy initiatives that Catalyst Miami has provided in various forms for over 20 years. By integrating the hubs into neighborhoods, we’ll also create a mechanism to help residents better prepare for and recover from storms.

The purpose of the community visioning workshop is to introduce a fun and interactive way for Catalyst Miami to gain insight on what is important to the residents of Overtown and the best way to engage with its residents.

The Overtown workshop featured an exhibition by local artist Alexis Caputo, who shared candid images of Overtown residents, a spoken word piece, and the premiere of her documentary “When the Morning Comes in Overtown”, featuring the children and advocates from The Overtown Youth Center.

The children who attended this event had their space to create and share their view of their neighborhood with “Zip-odes”, poetry created from your zip code and each letter in the name of your city, and postcards that reflected the faces of the residents that live in Overtown.

The residents got a chance to converse with one another about important issues in an environment that reflects them. There was also space to share insightful ways to help Catalyst Miami customize our existing services, and suggest new ones, that best serve its residents.

With tasty food catered by local Chef Shonuff, and the contemporary atmosphere provided by a Space Called Tribe, this event captured the essence of community building and showcased the best of Overtown.