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Catalyst Miami offers free training programs to educate residents on how-to become advocates for climate change and affordable housing this summer


June 24, 2019

This summer, Catalyst Miami kicks off a new cohort of its CLEAR (CLEAR stands for Community Leadership on the Environment, Advocacy & Resilience) training program, which provides graduates with a groundwork to become climate resilience educators, leaders, innovators and advocates in their own communities and beyond. Participants develop a deep understanding of climate science, local climate change threats, and solutions.

CLEAR participants learn how to advocate for their communities by:

  • Learning how to educate other community members on basic climate science, threats and solutions,
  • Learning how to expose and challenge how poverty and discrimination make communities vulnerable to climate change, and
  • Practicing how to effectively advocate for policies that strengthen the resiliency of Miami communities.

This cohort of the class, which is taught several times a year and rotates around Miami-Dade County, started on June 19th at Touching Miami With Love in Homestead. More information here -

On July 10th, Catalyst Miami launches a new training program, HEAL (HEAL stands for Housing Equity, Advocacy and Leadership), which is modeled after CLEAR, but focused on affordable housing rather than climate resilience. The six-week program, open to residents 14 and older, will begin in Overtown on July 10, with one three-hour session each Wednesday evening. The cost is free; dinner and childcare are provided. More information here -

Participants will delve into topics including:

  • Expose and challenge how poverty, low wages, and discrimination contribute to the housing crisis.
  • Effectively advocate for practices and policies that strengthen the livability of Miami’s communities.
  • Learning how to educate others on the history of housing advocacy, cutting-edge solutions, and how to get involved

Sessions of both CLEAR and HEAL are tailored to community members; no prior experience is necessary — just an urge to improve the community. As with most of our programs, interpretation in Spanish and Haitian Creole is provided, so that language is not a barrier to participation.

Catalyst Miami works to collaboratively create sustainable solutions with low-wealth Miamians. The non-profit focuses on iterating innovative solutions which can yield long-term results for low-wealth communities, including financial literacy and asset-building programs, health education, and more. The 23-year-old organization often works at the intersection of climate change and affordable housing.

“We know our low-wealth communities are disproportionately affected when dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane,” says Gretchen Beesing, CEO of Catalyst Miami. “As these disasters and significant new climate-related burdens increase, it will become even more difficult for them to accrue wealth, assets and political capital. As a result, financial vulnerability increases climate vulnerability, which in turn heightens financial vulnerability even more.”


About Catalyst Miami

Catalyst Miami believes everyone deserves a healthy and financially secure life; currently, nearly 60% of families in Miami don’t have enough savings to weather a financial emergency of any kind. For over 20 years, Catalyst Miami has committed to empowering residents to build better futures by providing family economic security programs, developing leadership and civic engagement, and building coalitions to address poverty. More detailed information about all their programs can be found on their website (


Molly Delahunty
[email protected]


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