Coalitions in Action: Community Collaboration is the Key to Success

 

For the past ten years, the Urban Partnership of Miami Dade County Coalition (UPMDCC) has worked to improve community relations with public and private organizations, local businesses and community residences. Looking forward, the coalition’s goal for next year is to collect bi-annual data and implement a community strategy that is a result of collective community planning and identification of risk and protective factors obtained from the youth survey.

“The UPMDCC serves the Brownsville/Model City/Liberty City community, one of the highest-need jurisdictions of Miami-Dade County based on rates and cases of social and economic indicators,” said Reverend Charles Dinkins, Program Director. “UMPDCC has conducted two Mock DUI events in two local senior high schools and the coalition implemented the ‘WE ID’ campaign, which has increased the carding awareness amongst local merchants before individuals purchase alcoholic beverages. The coalition has engaged the local Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco State of Florida Licensing Division to provide training to local merchants on laws governing sales of alcohol beverages to underage youth.”

Dinkins stated that what he is most proud of is the community collaboration. At the coalition table, the coalition has representation from both the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County Mayor’s offices, Miami-Dade public schools, Department of Children and Families, Department of Juvenile Justice, Florida Department of Health, local law enforcement, local business, Urban League of Greater Miami, resident and community youth.

“The [coalition’s] mission is to eliminate disparities for children and families by fostering academic success, healthy choices and community safety,” said Reverend Dinkins. The coalition aims to accomplish their goals by achieving the following:

  • Evolve community planning using prevention science (Strategic Prevention Framework and Evidence2Success) practices to guide the community planning process.
  • Develop UPMDCC in the establishment of collaborations among community residents, community-based public and private non-profit agencies, as well as federal, state and local governments in support of efforts geared toward building stronger families and drug free communities leading to better youth outcomes in the 21st century.
  • Work with a vulnerable, underserved, and economically disadvantaged urban area in Miami for the successful implementation of the evidence-based community prevention plan that adhered to the Strategic Prevention Framework and Evidence2Success processes as a community building model.
  • Identify the salient risk and protective factors for youth health and behavior problems that correspond to need for specific evidence-based preventive interventions for area youth.
  • Assess community-wide change in knowledge and practice of science-based prevention, and collective impact on prevention initiatives that result from Strategic Prevention Framework and Evidence2Success process implementation.
  • Reduce the percentage of youth at high risk for illegal substance use, poor academic performance and youth violence.
  • Evaluate project effectiveness bi-annually at a minimum to determine project effectiveness and need for project modifications.

“The best advice I would give to community coalitions is develop a vision for your community, clearly define your community by boundary, work within your community capacity,” said Reverend Dinkins. “Use the Strategic Prevention Framework as a model to mobilize your community and never give up.”