June 2016, Volume 20, Number 3

Powerful Partnerships

Shifting the Focus to Common Goals

In the wake of dozens of youth gun violence incidents earlier this year in South Florida, Miami Commissioner Frank Carollo recently convened the daylong forum “Goals NOT Guns” at MDC’s historic Tower Theater. Working in partnership with MDC’s nationally renowned School of Justice, the forum brought together key stakeholders from the community, academia, clergy, social service agencies and the federal, state and local government.

MDC was the natural center for this important dialogue, given the leadership role that the College plays in advancing security in the region through training offered at its School of Justice. In addition, Carollo, an MDC alumnus, is himself a former police officer, who also worked as a certified public accountant.

As a result of the discussions, comprehensive policy priorities are now underway to mitigate the deadly epidemic of youth violence.

“I am going into this endeavor much like our business community and government work with the Greater Miami Chamber on the Goals Conference each year. However, this has become an even greater priority,” Carollo said.

The main objective of Goals NOT Guns policies under development is to create a Greater Miami where violent crime is the exception, not the norm, where all residents apply constructive methods to addressing disagreements and cooperate when facing potential trouble. By convening a working group that focuses on the delivery of resources to targeted communities through advocacy, education and service enhancements, progress can be made. For increased collaboration, the group is also working to remove the silos and barriers in which many stakeholders operate.

The closing session brought together special guests, including Miami Dolphins cornerback Bobby McCain, Miami Hurricanes and former NFL standout and federal agent Randal Hill, and a victim of youth gun violence. Among the topics discussed throughout the day were employment and economic development, education, building strong communities, and juvenile and criminal justice.

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