Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust (MDEAT), a county agency charged with ensuring that Black residents participate in Miami-Dade County's economic growth, recently welcomed ten new trustees to its Board. An agency of Miami-Dade County government, MDEAT is governed by a board of trustees appointed by the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners.
"I am feeling very positive about the future of the Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust. We have gained tremendous momentum over that past year," said Hannibal Burton, vice chair of the MDEAT Board of Trustees. "I am extremely excited to accelerate that momentum and dig into areas we have only been able to talk about at this point. We are expanding the agency and transmitting a higher quality of service for our community."
"Since assuming the position as executive director, I've been committed to finding the best talent and resources to help stimulate the economic revitalization our community deserves," said MDEAT Executive Director William "Bill" Diggs. "I look forward to working with our new trustees and leveraging their resources and expertise to elevate Black participation in Miami-Dade County's economic growth."
Board membership is based on the availability of positions and expertise in one of the agency's core service areas of economic development; housing advocacy; youth services; and research and policy. Ten candidates rose to the top of the field. Each appointment is for a three-year term.
The Board welcomes Basil A. Binns II, Patricia Jennings Braynon, Kametra Driver, Danny Felton, Sr., Andrea Forde, Raymond Fundora, Kimberly T. Henderson, Steven Henriquez, Christopher Norwood, and Rashad D. Thomas. They join current trustees Erbi Blanco-True, Hannibal Burton, and Julio Piti.
"As a Miami native, I am excited about the opportunity to serve and impact Miami-Dade County. I appreciate the great work MDEAT is doing to create more Black homeowners and entrepreneurs," Rashad D. Thomas, MDEAT Board Member and Regional Director, AT&T.
The MDEAT Board meets monthly and leverages three action committees: Economic Development Action Committee, Housing Advocacy Committee, and Youth Action Committee. Meetings are open to the public and posted online.
“We have similar goals around expanding equity of outcome around Black homeownership and business ownership," Kimberly T. Henderson, president and CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida. "Those things are key to transforming our community and reducing the wealth divide between Blacks and other groups."
Amid the region's housing affordability crisis, several of MDEAT's board members are positioned to give the agency a competitive advantage to create effective advocacy and solutions for Miami-Dade County's most vulnerable residents.
"I am happy to serve and help our community receive its fair share of affordable housing opportunities," said Patricia Braynon, MDEAT trustee and retired director of the Housing Finance Authority of Miami-Dade County.
Following the riots that erupted in 1980 after white officers were acquitted for the death of Black businessman and former Marine Arthur McDuffie, the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County collaborated to create Metro-Miami Action Plan (MMAP) in 1983 as a solution to socioeconomic disparities in employment, economic development, education, housing, health and human services and criminal justice. In 1992, MMAP was further empowered by becoming a trust, and in September 2009 it was reorganized into MDEAT by ordinance 09-70.
Since its inception, MDEAT’s focus has been on addressing socioeconomic disparities within the Black community. MDEAT does so by focusing on the individual (i.e., youth and individual family member support), building neighborhoods through the expansion of homeownership, and supporting the foundation of strong Black businesses and economic development via job creation, entrepreneurship, business retention, and expansion. These three gears - family, neighborhood, and business - work together to connect the Black community to resources, funding, and programming that together create whole communities.
Log on to www.miamidade.gov/EconomicAdvocacyTrust, re for more information on MDEAT and critical community statistics and data.