MIAMI — The quality of life for black people in Miami-Dade County will be the subject of a town hall meeting scheduled for Saturday, June 7.

The event, dubbed a “community, media roundtable” by the Metro-Miami Action Plan Trust (MMAP), will be simulcast live on two radio stations that focus on black listeners in South Florida: WQHT (HOT 105 FM) and WEDR (99 JAMZ).

“We're giving people a chance to talk about what the needs are, and how things can be changed,’’ said John Jones, MMAP's chairman and the executive director of the Florida Martin
Luther King Institute for Non-Violence. “We think the only way to have a good understanding of the conditions is to let the people tell us what they are.’’

The forum will focus on the areas of criminal justice, economic development, education, employment, health and human services, attainable housing, jobs, transportation and many other issues, according to the agency.

Jones said there would be no formal panel at the forum, but that members of the media, community and political leaders as well as residents will be invited to join the discussion.

The forum will also serve as a “ventilation valve’’ for members of the community to express their frustrations with various aspects of life in the county, and to call for neighborhood-based solutions.

Jones said the presence of politicians is not central to the forum. But MMAP expects a response to the issues that will be brought forth.

“If political leadership isn’t going to work with those who are fighting to bring about non-violent change, then who are they going to work with?’’ he asked.

MMAP plans to produce a report based on the forum, which Jones said the social service agency would submit to the Miami-Dade County Commission. A previous MMAP study revealed that Miami-Dade's black community had twice the unemployment rate of the nation as a whole, according to Jones.

About 10 years ago, MMAP oversaw the installation of broadcast equipment inside the Joseph Caleb Center in Liberty City in order to facilitate community radio broadcasts.

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IF YOU GO

What: MMAP Community, Media Roundtable.

Where: Joseph Caleb Center Auditorium, 5400 NW 22nd Avenue, Miami.

When: Saturday, June 7, 2008, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contact:
Metro-Miami Action Plan Trust (MMAP), by phone: 305-372-7600 or log onto www.miamidade.gov/mmap.