Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Prosperity Campaign Hosts Local Job Fair

The Prosperity Campaign, an initiative of Catalyst Miami is hosting a local job fair Thursday, June 30th, 2011 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Center for Independent Living in Miami.

Monday, June 27, 2011

THE CATALYST BUZZ: The Tuesday Runoff Election

By: Bianca Mijares, Catalyst Miami Intern

The mood around the office concerning the Mayoral Election on Tuesday is an apprehensive one. People are conflicted on how they feel about the positions held by the candidates. Whether or not there should have been a recall in the first place is also a contentious issue, considering the $15 million price tag of the three subsequent special elections. The issues that are important to some members of Catalyst Miami include property taxes, the environment, transportation and urban sprawl. Certain members of Catalyst Miami think property taxes should be raised to support funding for vital services, but are concerned that neither candidate shares their viewpoint.

Inefficient transportation is another issue some members of staff are concerned about. They worry these issues will not be addressed properly, as evidenced by the allocation of funds to build a tunnel to the Port of Miami. Budget cuts are another concern, specifically the inevitable cuts that will be made towards our communities' vital health and human services.

On another note, many are hoping that the new mayor will maintain the current Urban Development Boundary. This kind of general dissatisfaction towards politicians is expressed statewide and members of Catalyst Miami are hopeful the upcoming election brings about a tide of consciousness and a call to reform.

Interns for Impact: SUMMIYA TASNIM


Greetings! My name is Summiya Tasnim and I am an intern working with Prosperity Campaign. As an intern, I operate under the wing of Nadine Gousse, the Community Liaison and Health Navigator of PC, in linking at-risk individuals with opportunities to help improve their standard quality of life.

As an adamant advocate and supporter of human rights and dignity for all, I believe that quality health care coverage and nutritional sustenance are fundamental necessities universally entitled to every individual in existence. With that being said, it is a rewarding feeling knowing that I am in some way contributing to the process of connecting individuals with resources in meeting their basic human needs.

Apart from being an intern, I am also a student attending Mount Holyoke College and majoring in International Relations with a concentration in Human Rights Law in the Middle East. I have dreams and aspirations of one day attending Law School. To prepare for the long road ahead, I've taken part in a handful of extracurricular activities, one of them being Model United Nations (MUN). It’s fascinating yet inspiring to see how the policies I have lobbied for throughout my MUN conferences are realistically being achieved here at Catalyst Miami.

The guidance, assistance, and insight I am gaining while working at Catalyst Miami will be essential in every type of endeavor I pursue.  Professionally, I am getting hands on experience in learning how to expand, cultivate, and nurture my administrative skills thus increasing my proficiency. Personally, I am getting the chance to make a difference in someone’s life. How much better can it get? I only hope to continue to develop personally as an individual but more importantly as a leader while working here at Catalyst Miami.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Daniella's Hot Topic: Harvard Advanced Leadership Seminar visits the University of Miami

By: Viviana Mauri, Communications Intern

            Last week on June 17th, 2011, our President and CEO Daniella Levine attended a prestigious leadership conference by Harvard University called the Advanced Leadership Seminar at the University of Miami’s Newman Alumni Center. The program was opened by Thomas LeBlanc, Executive Vice President and Provost of the University of Miami, and Dennis Scholl of the Knight Foundation. 

           Themes of the conference included understanding what it takes to adapt in a changing environment, determining how to pick the right causes compatible with your skills and connections, how to help grow a good idea, dealing with conflicting stakeholders, and learning to think in both the long-term and short-term simultaneously.

            Within Daniella’s wonderful notes from the event, there was one particular section I felt worth sharing with our amazing supporters and readers here at Catalystmiami.blogspot.com: the “7 Leadership Skills”, presented by program designer Rosabeth Moss Kantor, a Harvard School of Business professor. Check them out and see how they can help you in your life!

  1. Learn to Listen: Tune into your environment.
  2. Be dissatisfied. By looking for the thing that is not working, you can improve your situation and work.
  3. Communication. It’s important that one not only has a vision and passion, but the ability to communicate clearly what it is you want to accomplish.  
  4. Coalition building. Two heads think better than one. Believe in the power of teamwork.
  5. Perseverance. Know how to deal with unexpected obstacles. Everyone loves a beginning and the finished end goal. But it is often the middle, the hard work, the “sweat, blood, and tears,” if you will, that requires from us the most sacrifice. Move from rhetoric to action
  6. Face your critics! With a positive, proactive approach, stand up for yourself, but at the same time, listen, to know where you can improve, and the most important word in any environment: accountability.
  7. Last, but not least, celebrate your success! You deserve to be happy in all of the amazing things that you do!

          The workshop was attended by diverse leaders from twelve countries and four continents, including top representatives of South Florida’s institutions of higher education, President of the University of Miami, Donna Shalala, and President Emeritus of Florida International University, Modesto Maidique. Also present were Florida State Senator for District 33, Oscar Braynon, Senior Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education at UM, William Green, Florida House Representative, Frank Artiles of District 119, Jim Cason, Mayor of Coral Gables, and former Mayor of the City of Miami, Manny Diaz, who served as a featured panelist to the event. 


Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Word with Theatre Event Honoree John Anzivino

By: Viviana Mauri, Communications Intern

As we draw closer to the 11th Annual Catalyst Miami Theatre Event, MASKED, on Friday, July 8th at the GableStage at the Biltmore Hotel, we have had the opportunity get a few questions answered by one of this year’s honorees, Mr. John Anzivino, who will be recognized for his exceptional community involvement. Take a look at our Q&A with this incredible community leader! If you haven’t purchased your tickets, please visit http://www.hscdade.org/ to secure your seats.

Viviana Mauri: This year, we’re excited to present Catalyst Miami’s 11th Annual Theatre event, “Masked,” where you’ll be honored for your exemplary community involvement. What does that mean to you? 
John Anzivino: It is an opportunity to encourage others to get involved in the community and experience the pleasure of working with like minded people who are trying to make Miami a better place.  Some of the nicest people I have ever met and some of my most cherished friendships have come from community involvement.  You develop a sense of belonging that is so valuable in life.   Being "honored" just adds to those wonderful feelings.        

VM: Catalyst Miami’s Operational Values are Leadership, Collaboration, Innovation, Self-Empowerment, and Compassion. Can you describe how one or more of these values have played a role in your philanthropic career?   

JA: My passion to help others and have an impact on our community forced me to take leadership roles I would otherwise have not experienced.  Those experiences helped me grow to be a leader in my own way. Innovation often arises from collaboration in addressing community issues.  
VM: Catalyst Miami’s mission is “to develop and support individual leadership and strong organizations that work together to improve health, education and economic opportunity in all our communities.” Is there one aspect of our mission that you feel aligns closest to your community involvement?
JA: Not really.  As the saying goes "It's all good!" 
 VM: Why do you believe an organization like Catalyst Miami is important to our South Florida community? 
JA: Absolutely!  Many people think about getting involved.  But, often they need a "catalyst" to motivate them to break through their inertia and get into action. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Interns for Impact: JAZMIN LOCKE

Photo by: Viviana Mauri, Communications Intern.

Hi there! My name is Jazmin Locke and I am the first intern to be featured on Catalyst Miami's blog, this is exciting! I must then be responsible for paving the explanation of what an intern at Catalyst Miami may be doing. Primarily I'd say it is being patient and receptive of the different assignments thrown at me and holding my breath to not exclaim, "Wait are you sure you want me to do this?" In just these two weeks I have noticed that Catalyst Miami places great confidence and enthusiasm in their interns, both believing in our creativity and our initiatives.

As a student in Environmental Sustainability at Mount Holyoke College, I am excited to get the opportunity to work with Lynn Fiala in improving Farmers Markets' efforts to reach people across Miami. While reading Request for Proposals, paying close attention to local politics and countless e-mails, I am gradually learning the steps it takes to bring Farmers' Markets from across Miami together to collaborate with one another, share resources, and increase the availability of locally grown food. Locally grown food is not easy to find across the county, particularly in designated food deserts where supermarkets cannot be found within a 10 mile radius. This collaborative is to work toward closing these gaps.

Here with three other Posse Scholars of Miami, I have the support of my peers in a new professional setting, where I can learn what it means to be myself in a progressive environment. This opportunity is providing me the experience that I will use in the environmental field in the future.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Public Allies' Presentations of Learning

By: Bianca Mijares, Catalyst Miami Intern
Cheryl Mizell, Communications Director

Yesterday June 16th 2011 was the first of two days of Presentations of Learning put on by the Public Allies to illustrate what their experiences with the program have been in the past 10 months. Eleven Public Allies presented. Their presentations ranged from performance pieces to singing to dancing. All were extremely moving and insightful.
Laselve Harrison, Communications Coordinator with Catalyst Miami, launched the day by presenting his Public Ally learning experience through the template of the Voice, the e-newsletter, drawing parallels to the organization’s values while highlighting a transformative path to finding his own voice. Anne-Valerie Pierre-Canel gave a stellar performance worthy of an Oscar by spotlighting her star experiences and allies in best supporting roles in award winning films. Autumn Romer from Take in Stock Children, a scholarship program that pairs children with a mentor and an advocate and gives them the opportunity to receive a scholarship for college upon completing a set of requirements, did a performance piece about her personal transformation, growth, and discovery. She is a Leader! Jalyssa Whitaker spoke emotionally about her professional and personal growth and later expressed the same feelings through a choreographed dance to “Pieces of Me” by Ledisi. Diana Pena Rojas wrote a letter to her fellow allies detailing the struggles of her troubled life and everything the program has done for her. Then she had everyone plant their very own peanut plant.
All of the allies who presented spoke about one or more of these things: adapting difficult sometimes chaotic situations, realizing you are a leader, learning from experiences no matter the outcome, redefining success, and finding happiness. The event was inspiring and provided an opportunity to spotlight these wonderful people and to reflect on oneself and on the value of service.

A Super Birthday Bash

By Viviana Mauri, Communications Intern
Dear Catalyst Miami Supporters and Followers,
We know you've probably heard about our 11th Annual Theatre Event, MASKED, on July 8th, 2011, but what you might not have heard is that there's another exciting event taking place the following week!
Keep reading -- you don't want to miss this!
Save the Date because you're invited to a super birthday bash for our President and CEO Daniella Levine and Ms. Laura Levey. The birthday party set to take place on Saturday, July 16th from 6 to 11 PM at 4777-Pine Tree Drive in Miami Beach.
Don't worry about what to decide for their gifts, because the birthday celebrities have a special request...they're asking for a $50 donation to be made to Catalyst Miami!
Stay tuned online for more details because you wouldn't want to miss out on this exciting night of drinks, dancing, music, and Spanish paella!
More details coming soon to our Catalyst Miami blog and social media pages!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Democracy Summer: Advocacy is in Season

By Bianca Mijares, Catalyst Miami Intern
Catalyst Miami’s “Democracy Summer” is an advocacy training designed to strengthen the understanding, commitment and skills of nonprofit staff and board. We will help nonprofits meet their missions by incorporating advocacy and policy analysis into their strategic planning. Participants will leave understanding the importance of engaging constituents and clients in leadership development, capacity building and strategic planning. Participants will leave with tools to protect services and organizations through client engagement. Democracy Summer is an 8-part training series taking place July 7 through September 1, 2011. We will enroll up to 25 advocates. Be on the look out as Catalyst Miami will begin contacting potential organizations this week!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

“A Call to Prayer” at MASKED

By: Viviana Mauri, Communications Intern

Our 11th Annual Theatre Event, MASKED, is “An explosive Israeli play about three Palestinian brothers locked in a life-and-death struggle over issues of deception and betrayal. Set in a village on the West Bank in 1990, it depicts the tragedy of one family torn between duty, kinship, principles and survival.” We are pleased to announce that we will start this special evening with “A Call to Prayer.” We will be joined by two faith leaders of our South Florida community who will each open and close the show in inter-denominational prayer.
The idea for the prayers came from Catalyst Miami’s President and CEO Daniella Levine who shared, “The play is about Palestinians in Israel, written by an Israeli but dealing with Palestinian brothers. It’s been called ‘explosive,’ so I know it’s going to stir a lot of emotions and passion. It seems impossible to resolve the crisis in the Middle East. Only when we’re called to a higher purpose can we understand possible solutions. The play depicts the conflict of two different faiths that actually share the same God and pray to the same God, in their own way. That is what inspired my idea of a Call to Prayer in the Muslim tradition. Even those who don’t believe in the power of prayer and who are not religious hopefully can gain from appreciating this message that bridges traditions of prayer and peace.”

Tickets are available at http://www.hscdade.org/ or by calling (305) 576-5001

Monday, June 6, 2011

Catalyst Miami's 11th Annual Theater Event

Catalyst Miami presents the 11th Annual Theater Event featuring "Masked"

" Masked" is an explosive Israeli play about three Palestinian brothers locked in a life-and-death struggle over deception and betrayal.

Join Catalyst Miami as we honor John Anzivino, a philanthropic leader, co-founder of Planned Giving Council, former board member of Dade Community Foundation, and adviser to numerous organizations and causes.

Cocktail reception will follow the show

Tickets are available at www.hscdade.org or by calling (305) 576-5001

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Budget Problems 101- It’s Going to be a Long Hot Summer!

On June 28th, Miami-Dade County will elect a new mayor. After the election, the new mayor will have ten days to present his proposed budget. The city is currently in a state of limbo since we do not have a mayor but major budget issues! It is projected that $250-$450 million will have to be cut from the current county budget. With the budget cuts, come eliminations. It is also projected that over 2,000 county workers will be laid off, half of the non-mandated county departments will be slashed, and many county programs will be eliminated. The departments likely to be affected by the budgets cuts include the Department of Health, Department of Human Services, Community Based Organizations, Parks & Recreation, the Community Action Agency, and possibly the Police Department.

What can we do???
-Become informed on each candidate's stance regarding the county budget.
-Get out and VOTE!!
-Listen out for the tentative dates for the September budget hearings.
-Stay informed and use our voice!