MIAMI, FLORIDA, APR. 6, 2022 | Urban Strategies, Inc. (USI) and The Circle of Brotherhood have launched a new mentoring program in Liberty City, Miami. The program, titled S.U.N., is designed to address social and emotional factors that affect the lives of Black and Hispanic youth and young adults. Some of these factors include safety, economic mobility, as well as health and wellness. S.U.N. stands for Safety, Unity and Necessity.
USI received a $27,000 grant from The Miami Foundation to develop and implement S.U.N. In announcing the grant, Rebecca Fishman Lipsey, president and CEO of the Foundation, said of USI: “We recognize USI’s dedication to advancing equitable opportunities in Greater Miami, and we are proud to support their work to build progress together with local residents.”
USI believes in the power of centering and supporting voices that speak directly to the needs and solutions that benefit the community. USI will partner with The Circle of Brotherhood, a Miami organization dedicated to community service, economic development, crime prevention, conflict resolution and mediation, educational services, and youth mentorship.
“With the overwhelming need for community-based mentoring initiatives for young men, S.U.N. will be a game changer for many. The partnership of USI and The Circle of Brotherhood serves as a great model of community-based violence intervention,” said Brother Lyle Muhammad, executive director of The Circle of Brotherhood, Inc.
Along with the physical improvements to the former Scott and Carver homes in the Liberty City area, there is a need to address social determinants of safety, economic mobility, as well as health and wellness.
“Our partnership with The Circle of Brotherhood is an example of listening and partnering with the community with a trusted and valued resource. USI hires and partners locally to ensure equitable and sustainable partnerships that benefit children and families, said Esther Shin, president of USI.
Over the past year, gun violence has increased in the area. More than 51 percent of male youth are not connected to any out of school programming. Thirty three percent of parents have expressed concern for their youth being negatively influenced by peers, being bullied at school, needing behavioral referrals, being involved in violence or fighting at school, having had problems with teachers or school administration, and becoming involved in criminal and/or gang activity.
Parents also report the need for trauma, mental health, and substance abuse services; as well as the need to address teen pregnancy. The funds will address these issues in a total of 24 sessions, coupled with a STEM class, educational and career focused field trips and other cultural, recreational, and motivational activities. The target population is 92 percent African American and 8 percent Hispanic.
Founded in 1978, USI is a national nonprofit leader with extensive experience in developing and implementing people-centered strategies in communities that are undergoing comprehensive physical revitalization. USI partners in 38 communities in 22 cities/territories while working with community partners to develop economic opportunities, cradle-to-college/career success, high-quality health services, and a range of comprehensive service supports.
USI is an organization of color led by people of color seeking equitable results for children and families www.urbanstrategiesinc.org.
# # #