Dr. Steve Gallon III Appointed to Board of Miami’s Children Initiative. Dr. Steve Gallon III appointed to serve on Board of Directors of Miami’s Children Initiative. The Miami Children’s Initiative is one of three large-scale social change efforts in the state of Florida with the vision of transforming the most challenging and promising communities. All three (Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville) efforts are modeled after the nationally known Harlem Children’s Zone. The vision for The Miami Children’s Initiative traces back to 2006, when a group of committed and passionate Liberty City community leaders, local politicians and residents came together to figure out what might truly work in our community. They knew this: there was a time – three – quarters of a century ago – when Liberty City was a thriving community for many African Americans. But change came, much of it painful and damaging. That change included the concentration of low-income housing projects, the flight of the area’s businesses, increased joblessness, low performing schools, growing poverty, crime, juvenile delinquency, drugs and poor health. Dr. Steve Gallon III, as a product of the Liberty City and educational stalwart throughout Miami, brings a wealth of experience and perspective having served as a teacher, principal, district administrator, and Superintendent of Schools in the urban core. He has also served as a university professor in the area of Educational Leadership and Urban Education. He is presently the President/CEO of TriStar Leadership focusing on educational solutions and strategies in urban schools, districts, and communities throughout the country.
- Clinton Foundation Global Initiative Day of Action
- Dr. Steve Gallon III participated in the Clinton Foundation Global Initiative Day of Action. This effort, which brought President Bill Clinton to Liberty City was spearheaded by the Miami Children’s Initiative of which Dr. Steve Gallon III is a proud Board Member. Kudos to Board President Elaine Black, members of the Board and MCI President Cecilia Gutierrez and her team for a great job.
- Makes Me Wanna Holler by Dr. Steve Gallon III .We call him “George.” How we came about calling him that I’m not sure. I suspect my son may have come up with the nickname which has stuck. I think it fits George well and can’t imagine calling him by his real name. George sat in the barber chair “like a big boy” and got his first haircut. His fade revealed even more of his chubby cheeks. It was a proud moment for George. However, it was and continues to be a sad moment for the rest of us, including my daughter who came down from Tampa and witnessed her little cousin’s first haircut. George’s father was not there. Nearly a month ago, George’s father was buried. He was senselessly shot dead in the streets of Miami by a close acquaintance of his. Thank God that that suspect has been apprehended and is in custody. Let’s see where the wheels of justice lead to in this matter. George will never get to know his father who hadn’t yet reached his 27th birthday. In times like these we often hear from grieving mothers and family members with heavy hearts pleading for justice. We hear from the police who vow to bring them justice and the politicians who pledge to get tougher on crime. We receive an appearance from a public official that may sincerely want to help but whose safe and secure existence makes them unable to reconcile the realities in the hood—cause quite frankly they rarely if ever go there. And finally, there’s a Word from the pastors charged with eulogizing another young life gone too soon—words that bring peace, hope and comfort and the blessed assurance that God is too wise to make a mistake and too just to do us wrong. This past Thursday we even heard from Shonda Rhimes in a compelling episode of Scandal. The episode reminded all of us that Black Lives Matter—still. The BlackLivesMatter movement seemed to had fallen asleep. Shonda, through the episode reminded the nation and all of us to wake the hell up. George and countless like him remind each of us that what see on television has a harsh, bitter realness as such tragedies appear on the stations in our real lives. We hear from all them but we rarely if ever hear from the children like George who are too young to know little of what’s going on and are simply too young to speak. George laughs a lot—a playful bundle of joy and points at things he wants when he doesn’t just grab it. My Shoutout Saturday goes to George and the countless infants, children, and youth who are the invisible, voiceless victims of crime and violence in our community. Even though we don’t hear from them, let’s never forget they exist. George’s next haircut is due soon and I suspect he’ll sit up in the chair “like a big boy” as he did before. I look forward to seeing George. His cheeks just make me want to grab them. The senseless taking of lives in the community and throughout the nation “Makes Me Wanna Holla” and throw up my hands. But I can’t. I won’t.