A group of organizations in South Florida is coming together to combat inequities and promote prosperity for the Black community.
The South Florida Black Prosperity Alliance, launched on February 11, is bringing together community organizations, faith-based groups, and politicians across the three counties for their mission. The focus is on several areas including community and culture, jobs and wealth, education, health, and justice.
Jamaican-born Commissioner in Broward County, Dale Holness, one of the community leaders present at the launch, explained his role in the alliance.
“It is important that we get together to ensure that these inequalities that have existed in our community and nation are dealt with. I started out on that pathway a very long time ago. Many of these organizations that are part of this alliance are ones that I’ve helped to form or have supported and is a part of to ensure that we create prosperity for the Black community,” he said in an interview with CNW Network.
Their first priority is to address the economic disparity during the coronavirus pandemic. Fewer Black-owned businesses received forgivable loans through the federal government’s assistance programs.
Among other pressing issues are equal access to COVID-19 vaccinations and better infrastructure in Black neighborhoods.
Commissioner Holness explained that, in many ways, racial inequality has affected the growth and development of the United States.
“City financial did a study released last year that showed that the United States did not grow $16 trillion in Gross Domestic Product because of these inequalities. All of us in Florida could benefit from the success of this alliance,” he said.
Among those that the organization will target is the large Black Caribbean-American community in South Florida, which accounts for a significant percentage of the region’s population. Commissioner Holness said the community is important to the growth of South Florida.
“The Caribean community plays a vital role in South Florida’s economic output and growth and we’re an important part of this community. Our political acumen and economic power fused together with the rest of the African diaspora will bring about tremendous change in our community and the lives of our people,” Holness said.
The alliance marks one of the first multi-county efforts to address racial inequality in South Florida. The idea for the organization came to life when disparities in health, education and policing, were highlighted during the start of COVID-19.