Save the Belafonte TACOLCY Center
6/26/2014, 9 a.m.
The Belafonte TACOLCY Center is a Liberty City institution that has nourished thousands of youth academically and athletically through its diverse programs. Miami’s Black community have benefitted from the center’s numerous health clinics, voter registration drives and community forums. TACOLCY also enrolled hundreds if not thousands in President Barack Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Plan.
But the center itself is now in need of help. Questions surrounding the TACOLCY’s finances and stability have grown louder over recent weeks as terminations and resignations have rocked the non-profit agency to its core. An institution that has weathered the McDuffie Riots and urban blight, the future of TACOLCY is now in jepoardy.
Instead of holding a meeting with residents, TACOLCY’s Chief Executive Officer Taj Brown has vowed to address allegations of financial mismanagement after an investigation by the Office of Inspector General is complete. That promise led Brown to cancel an important meeting that that was intended to create the Community Advisory Council where residents would meet and advise leaders four times a year. This decision was a mistake. The meeting would have been the perfect opportunity for Brown to listen to concerns from residents without speaking or jeopardizing the OIG investigation.
Such a move would have a been a noble and assuring effort on Brown’s part to allay fears and restore trusts among parents and residents in the community. With doubts and suspicions swirling, trust is the biggest concern in Brown’s leadership of an institution that is in need of help. Instead, Brown looked the other away, a move that may determine his fate as that of TACOLCY’S.