MIAMI — Live attractions, sports tournaments, healthcare, employment – it’s all part of a June 27 Community & Expo Fest in Liberty City.

Organized by Project HOPE in partnership with more than 20 other agencies, “Can Anything Good Come of the Hood?” is back for its second year, addressing the challenges of building healthy children and neighborhoods.

Families can partake in various games and entertainment from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Lillie C. Evans Community Park.

Aaron McKinney, one of the organizers, said “enhanced structure and planning” has packed more attractions into the day, sure to increase attendance from last year’s crowd of  2,500.

The all-day fest will also feature several speakers and educational booths, with information on driving and public services. Health agencies will offer free HIV-testing and back-to-school physicals.

Recruitment agencies and vocational trade organizations will also have a place on-site.

“We don’t want to preach,” said Brother Joel Matthews, owner of Spirit Network, a record label and event-coordination company. “We want to teach youngsters the right way of doing things by giving them access to what’s good around them.”

Matthews and other sponsors will host a community feeding from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Meanwhile, anyone interested in playing ball can round up some friends for a 3-on-3 basketball or a football tourney.

Pastor Dawkins of Project HOPE – a nonprofit program that has provided medical training, health education and humanitarian assistance around the world since 1958, said the event also “celebrates the progress the community of Liberty City has made.”

Dawkins also said one of the positive initiatives of the event is the use of a five-acre community park that was abandoned until four years ago when

Project HOPE requested the use of the land for portable classrooms and summer camps.

The event will end with the thought-provoking play, “We Got Issues Too” and evening performances by 12 gospel rappers, including Pettidee, G-Baby, and Monty G.


What: Can Anything Good Come of the Hood Community & Expo Fest

When: Saturday, June 27, 2009; 10 10 p.m.

Where: 7518 NW 19 Ave., Miami (behind Lillie C. Evans Elementary in the park). Parking is in the rear and along 18th avenue

Cost: Free Admission. $50 fee for barbecue grills.

Contact: For more information, please call 305-321-8796, 305-693-8227 or 305-898-4192.