POWER MOVES: Miami-Dade County & MDCPS creates power partnership to fight COVID-19
Power Moves showcases people and organizations that use insight and innovation to serve and shape communities. Power Partnerships are larger, more power shared efforts. The story below is one such Power Partnership:
It was a warm spring day at Miami Jackson High school. Inside the gymnasium above, Miami-Dade County medical professionals were administering COVID-19 vaccinations. Dozens of students, staff, faculty, and family members were lined up for their turn to get vaccinated. The effort was a part of a unique partnership between Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Miami-Dade County. It serves as a reminder to the broader impact that the General Obligation Bond makes on neighborhoods across Miami Dade County.
The General Obligation Bond facilitated Miami-Dade County Public Schools to upgrade, replace and restore schools across the country. Across Miami-Dade county, thousands of students, parents, teachers and communities are seeing a transformation around their schools and infrastructure. In spite of a traumatic pandemic that crippled life as we know it, the building continued. From North Dade to South Dade, from Overtown to West Kendall, new structures have come out of the ground and are being readied for students in the coming school year. In spite of all of the challenges that exist for everyone during this time of crisis, the Miami-Dade County school board has consistently delivered on its promise to bring a higher level of community pride and opportunity. Miami -Dade County serves as the perfect partner at a critical time.
Click the screen below to watch the highlights of the MDCPS successful GOB projects
SCHOOLS EXPANDED ROLE AS A NEIGHBORHOOD RESOURCE
Over the past few years, Miami-Dade County school facilities have been transformed onto evacuation sites when deadly hurricanes strike. To be more of a resource to its communities, Miami-Dade County public schools even partnered with Miami-Dade County to open facilities for vaccinations for students, families, and faculty alike.
An example of such a resource is Miami Jackson high School. Both Miami-Dade County Schools superintendent Alberto Carvalho stood side by side with Miami-Dade County mayor Daniela Levine Cava to stress the importance of continuing the drive to get people vaccinated and working to address inaccurate and untrue information around the vaccination process. Addressing the reality that there are still huge pockets of underserved neighborhoods and people of color still reluctant to get vaccinated, both leaders noted that they face a battle getting through to everyone how safe the vaccination is. As of February 2021, African Americans have nearly the lowest rates of vaccination among any ethnic group. In fact, white Americans are being vaccinated at a rate 3 times higher than Black Americans. New CDC figures show that of those who have received at least the first dose of a vaccine, 5.4% are Black people, compared to 60% who are white people. According to recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll, about 35% of Black Americans said they don’t plan to get the vaccine, citing fears about safety and concerns that the vaccines are so new. with those stats in mind, the two leaders continued to drive home their message of urgency, safety and accessibility.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava and MDCPS Superintendent Alberto Carvahlo talk strategy at the Miami Jackson High School site last Spring
The Power Partnership between two of the largest operations in the area underscores the what could become a model for future such efforts. The superintendent recognized that he understood the reasons why people in the minorities communities, especially black communities may feel somewhat hesitant to get vaccinated but reiterated that the safest way to move forward is through vaccinations and asked that the media and community leaders continue to drive home the message. "This is a critical component of getting our schools, businesses, economies and communities back on track" he said.
Vaccinations were taking place in the school gym at Miami Jackson high School and all went quite smoothly and according to plan. Other facilities are also included in the vaccination process. These kinds of partnerships continue to showcase the innovation and successful coordination between MDCPS and Miami-Dade County when it matters most.
The key here is that the general obligation bond has enabled new facilities or upgraded facilities to serve as more than places of academic opportunity. They are vital facilities that are being transformed in crisis; from deadly hurricanes to crippling pandemics.