If you’re a local, chances are you have a strong opinion about life in the 305. Like working out or waking up early, Miami is one of those polarizing topics that people either love or hate. No matter which camp you’re in, the Miami Foundation wants you to share your Magic City experience and has engineered a forum just for that.
In line with this Sunday’s release of the 2016 Our Miami Report, a quantitative study on our quality of life, the Miami Foundation and its partners created My Miami Story. Launching Tuesday, October 18, the campaign spearheaded the organization of more than 125 intimate gatherings throughout Miami-Dade County where individuals can share their takes on life in Miami and how it can be improved. Events will be hosted by high-profile leaders and members of the community in diverse spots, from churches to bars, and everyone is welcome to participate.
“The Our Miami Report provides a really important baseline to understand how we’re doing in Miami, but it’s just data,” says Stuart Kennedy, director of program strategy and innovation of the Miami Foundation. “We want to put a human face to it and show the real stories and people behind the data. Adding more voices to this community-wide conversation helps all of us understand who we are, where we’re going, and the small ways each of us can ensure we get there.”
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Some of the leaders and organizations already signed up to host My Miami Story events are Cecilia Gutierrez, president and CEO of the Miami Children’s Initiative; Dr. Roslyn Artis, president of Florida Memorial University; Javier Soto, president and CEO of the Miami Foundation; and David Lawrence, president of the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation. For details about existing events, check out the discussion thread on the My Miami Story Facebook event page. Any Miami-Dade County resident interested in joining the movement can gather a group of six to ten friends and sign up as an event host by visiting mymiamistory.org. All hosts will receive a toolkit with everything needed to make their event a success, including do’s and don’ts for moderating the conversation.
You can follow the action and share your own Miami story on social media beginning October 18 with #MyMiamiStory, including short videos with ideas to make Miami better. “We want to hear ideas for solutions about town and how people are taking action with their friends, so the impact can grow beyond the Miami Foundation to a community-wide effort," Kennedy says.
You can also view the findings from this year’s Our Miami Report on the interactive website ourmiami.org.