Interview by Alyssa Zirkman.
Posts Tagged ‘nonprofit’
Michelle M. Ortiz is the Director and Supervising Attorney of the Lucha and Asylum & Refugee Projects at Americans for Immigrant Justice (formerly known as FIAC) in Miami, Florida. AI Justice is a non-profit law firm dedicated to promoting and protecting the human rights of immigrants through a unique combination of free direct services, impact litigation and policy reform. Ms. Ortiz specializes in the representation of immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. She talks to Shelly about the struggles undocumented immigrants face every day and how we can help.
Chantil Dukart, a recent graduate from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, joins Shelly on N4P to talk about her debut album, “In The Beginning.” In a world filled with divas, Chantil stands out as one who is comfortable in her own skin. She talks about what it is like to stay true to herself despite the harsh demands of the music industry. Her music encourages young girls to stay confident, motivating them to act with autonomy.
Men and body image are usually not associated with each other. More and more we hear about the issue of photo shopping women’s bodies to make them look thinner or in some places bigger. There is a lot of media attention on just how ridiculous the body proportions are supposed to be for females aspiring to that ultimate goal of beauty and really acceptance in society. But what you don’t hear very often are the stories of men who struggle with the same issues of body acceptance. Those men who you’d never assume even think about body image. Brian Cuban talks to Shelly about his experiences with anorexia and bulimia and how he overcame those eating disorders with the right support system. His book, Shattered Image, recounts his life story.
For resources on eating disorders you can head over to the counseling center at the University of Miami or call them at 305 284- 5511
Veterans Of Foreign Wars Post 8195 was first founded in 1961, when a group of thirty Veterans decided to start something meaningful for the community. This post was first started as a predominantly African-American Post in the 1960s. Today VFW Post 8195 has grown into a service designed to support veterans of all backgrounds through counseling, community activities and by providing a place to socialize and heal with other veterans. One way the Post is helping to raise awareness of these issues facing our soldiers is through the publication of their new book. The book details many of the journeys soldiers experienced during and after the Vietnam war. All proceeds from the Post 8195 Book, go to supporting the Post and acts as a donation. Buy their book on Amazon by clicking the link below:
To fully understand why the Independent Living programs were created, and ensure that they are implemented to best fulfill their purpose, it is necessary to think about how children are normally raised by their own families. Parents are responsible for ensuring their children are trained in the family’s values and receive discipline to inculcate those values. Parents also help with their children’s formal education. We don’t often think about the day-to-day, common-sense information that parents also impart to their children. And until the “Road to Independence Act” was passed in Florida, children’s advocates did not focus much, if at all, on ensuring that foster children somehow learned this day-to-day information. Clearly, ensuring that foster children receive an appropriate formal education and health care services, and that they live in an appropriate foster home, can itself be a full-time endeavor.
The statistics, however, indicate just how important it is that foster children also learn all those things that parents typically impart to their children on an informal, daily basis. These things include: budgeting and money management, including how to write a check, and how using credit cards can increase the cost of purchases; menu planning, shopping and cooking; completing forms and applications; knowledge about paying taxes and timely filing tax returns; dressing appropriately for job interviews; and on and on. Those children fortunate enough to live in a family foster home, and to be stable in that foster home, can learn these things. But foster children who are moved frequently, or who live in group homes where these tasks are not modeled, simply do not learn these things. And when these foster children graduate from the system at age 18, they usually lose the adult supports they had; they are frequently unable to successfully perform the activities of adult daily living. Past studies have shown that approximately 50% of adults who aged out of the foster care system experienced homelessness and/or joblessness, were welfare recipients, or engaged in criminal activities for which they were imprisoned. This painted a grim portrait of life after foster care.
Pam Ford, a peer services manager at South Florida Behavioral Health Network, spoke about her experiences struggling with a mental illness, specifically bipolar mental illness. As one who lives with a serious mental illness, Pam, a leader now in the peer movement, is able to provide the best advice to others struggling with similar situations. She shares information on how to get help, what it is like to live with a serious mental illness, and where to find the resources necessary for recovery and rehabilitation.
The Key Clubhouse of South Florida has psychosocial rehabilitation services designed to assist individuals whose lives have been disrupted by severe and persistent mental illness. These individuals recover meaningful and productive lives through reintegration into the community and the workplace. The program provides a work-ordered day in a structured therapy environment providing opportunities to combat social isolation and establish workplace expectation through habits and skills. Board President, Amy McClellan and Assistant Public Defender in the Miami Public Defender’s Office, Kathy Strobach talk about mental health, advocating for more support and funding.
Housing Discrimination affects more than the direct victims; it impacts the whole community and society at large. Education is one of the most important keys to eliminating housing discrimination. HOPE, Inc. is increasing its outreach campaigns to educate more housing providers across the County. In 2013, HOPE, Inc. delivered fair housing training to nearly 200 housing providers in Broward County. “Housing providers” could refer to private realtors, homeowner associations, condo boards, co-op governing boards, mortgage lenders, banks, landlords, etc.
The amended federal Fair Housing Act prohibits nationally, any discrimination in the sale, rental, lending, insurance, or advertising of housing on the basis of: race, color, national origin, religion, disability, sex, and familial status. Rob Collins joins me to talk about what to do when encountering housing discrimination.
Adoption is the legal transfer of the parental rights and responsibilities from a child’s birth parents to the adoptive parents. But adoption is not the only way to help children in crisis, you may be interested in becoming a foster parent or a Guardian Ad Litem. Two foster parents, Trudy and Lisa, discuss the various challenges in the foster care system. For a prospective adoptive parent, fostering to adopt makes the adoption process easier to navigate. For Trudy and Lisa, parenting through adopting can be one of the most life-changing and yet rewarding experiences, but it is important to understand the adoption process and the different adoption opportunities available. Our Kids of Miami-Dade and Monroe can provide you with additional information and referral services, support groups, adoption-related libraries, case management and training.