In an annual tradition, the Homestead and Florida City Communities united to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community activists, students, distinguished dignitaries, and many other community members gathered for an elegant breakfast celebration at the Phichol Williams Community Center. The theme of this year’s breakfast was “Recapturing the Dream with 2020 Vision.”
Pastor Kay Dawson opened the program with a heartfelt invocation. Then, Homestead Councilwoman Jenifer N. Bailey and Vice Mayor Patricia Fairclough-Staggers took to the stage to deliver brief, but meaningful speeches charging attendees unite and work each day to recapture Dr. King’s dream for a world where people of all kinds live together in peace.
Immediately following welcoming remarks, Colestars Productions began a moving theatrical presentation that paid tribute to the Selma to Alabama March 55 years ago that brought the civil rights movement to national attention and is credited with fomenting the lasting legal protections of the 1965 Civil Rights Act. Reverend Robert Brooks, of St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church, headlined the event as Keynote Speaker. He gave an uplifting, impassioned, and sometimes humorous speech calling for everyone in the community to live each day with the intention of bringing about Dr. King’s vision for a better future.
Pastor Dawson returned to the stage to close the event with a Benediction after the entire crowd joined in a joyful rendition of The Negro National Anthem.
The program also included several special honors for community organizations, presented by Homestead Vice Mayor Patricia Fairclough-Staggers and the Education Advisory Committee.
Dibia Dream Foundation was honored in the Non-Profit category for their work in the Homestead and Florida City Community. The organization’s mission is to spark social change by fostering life skills development through blended Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education for underserved youth. In Homestead, Dibia DREAM uses their monthly STEM Saturdays program to transform the Phichol Williams Community Center into an intergenerational “Incubator of Excellence.”
Keyes Homestead was honored in the Business category for its commitment to community partnerships in the Southern Miami-Dade County Community. Their Realtor Associates are involved with many local organizations and team up with community leaders to make sure that local non-profits and individuals in need are taken care of. Keyes Homestead Associates take pride in working hand-in-hand with organizations like the Kiwanis Club, Military Affairs Committee, Rotary Club, VFW, Patches, This is for the Kids, This is the Dog, Relay for Life, Branches, and The Homestead Outreach Team. At Keyes Homestead, the team’s philosophy has always been to help those that are not able to help themselves.
Dr. Jeanne Foster Jacobs, President of Miami Dade College’s Homestead Campus, was honored in the Education Category. She began her charge in 2005 and brings close to 42 years of leadership and teaching experience in community colleges across the country. Under Dr. Jacobs’ leadership, the Miami Dade College Homestead Campus has grown significantly and now offers a vast array of academic programs that include entertainment technologies, nursing, arts and sciences, and the Eig-Watson School of Aviation. Most recently, Dr. Jacobs championed the expansion of the Homestead Campus to include the Student Success Center that will bring the student and business communities together.
Homestead Police Chief Alexander E. Rolle, Jr. was honored in the Individual Living Legend category. He boasts an impressive forty year career with the Homestead Police Department and is a lifelong resident of the Homestead and Florida City community. Chief Rolle started with HPD as a Patrol Officer in 1980 and rose through the ranks over the years to become the first African American promoted to the position of Captain in 1989, the first African American Police Major in 1994, and finally the first African American Police Chief in 1998. Throughout Chief Rolle’s career he has been known for his direct involvement in the community and as a result has received more than 175 letters of appreciation and dozens of community awards.