- Faith & Family
On Thursday, Jan. 12th, the City of Miami issued a dare to its residents.
“I challenge each and everyone of you to believe,” said Commissioner Michelle Spence Jones.
Unveiled at a press conference at City of Miami’s City Hall, the word “Believe” is the name of a new city-wide marketing and community empowerment campaign that is seeking to revamp the troubled image of the community.
The concerted effort asks for City of Miami residents to believe in themselves and their communities.
“We need to change the way that we think, the way that we feel about our community,” said Commissioner Chairman Francis Suarez.
To assist residents to shift their way of thinking, the first phase of the campaign, entitled Inspire, is scheduled to last for 90 days and will include a series of Public Service Announcements on television and social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook as well as ads displayed across billboards and bus benches in English, Spanish and Creole throughout the region. A website is also being launched to encourage people to share how their personal stories how they have survived and overcome personal struggles in the community.
“The whole purpose of this is to show that in spite of the trials and tribulations, people have pushed through and [succeeded],” explained Spence-Jones.
According to the District 5 commissioner, the campaign itself was inspired by a similar movement that was started in Baltimore to decrease the city’s drug use rate.
At the City of Miami’s press conference which was attended by other local politicians, activists and county residents, the initial impression of the campaign was positive.
Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said, “This program couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Other audience members agreed. Bishop James Adams of St. John Missionary Baptist Church said the campaign sounded “great.”
“In Miami, we’ve allowed our diversity to divide us rather than pull us together,” he said. “But today was a good showing of what can happen when we put people ahead of our own personal agendas.”
Next, the campaign will later shift to its second phase, entitled Empower which emphasizes a partnership with South Florida Workforce and the City of Miami to offer more job training and assistance finding employment and informing the community about programs, and new initiatives and city resources to help find employment that are currently available. And the final phase, entitled Transform, seeks to rehabilitate cultural corridors with the help of the CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) to attract visitors and more businesses to the area.
“This is about future generations. It’s about us preparing for what Miami will become,” said Spence-Jones of the purpose of the campaign.
For more information about the campaign, please visit www.miamibelieve.com.
By Kaila Heard