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Leaders in Grassroots Health Transformation

LIGHT provides participants with an intersectional groundwork for becoming grassroots health equity advocates and leaders. Program graduates can apply for a Neighbors to Leaders Fellowship—mini-grants with continued mentorship—to support their own community resilience projects or initiatives. The goal of the program is for participants to:

  • understand how the U.S. healthcare system and its associated industries came to be;
  • learn strategies for achieving quality healthcare for all;
  • explore the intersections of housing, climate, and health;
  • develop their skills in framing the issue, public speaking, writing, and community organizing;
  • understand the role of different non-profit and political bodies in local healthcare advocacy work;
    identify their interests, strengths, and passions as grassroots health justice leaders.

LIGHT Learning Outcomes

Bring voice and power to all seats of decision-making in order to ensure all community voices are heard and respected
Expose and challenge how capitalism contributes to our unjust healthcare system
Effectively advocate for practices and policies that strengthen the health and wellness of Miami’s communities
Educate others on the history of healthcare advocacy, cutting-edge solutions, and how to get involved

Next LIGHT Cohort

February 15 - April 12, 2022
6:00 – 8:30 PM
Every Tuesday for 9 weeks


There is no fee to participate.


  • Open to adults and teens (14+). Teens can earn community service hours.
  • Youth program available for kids ages 6-13 (must have a parent/guardian in LIGHT).
  • Free interpretation in Spanish, Haitian Creole, and American Sign Language available upon request.
  • Accessibility accommodations available upon request.

Destini Smith, [email protected]

LIGHT Youth Curriculum

The Youth program is open to children between the ages of 6 and 13. The curriculum is full of fun and interactive learning opportunities that are flexible for different age groups. Activities are separated by age group (elementary school: ages 6-9; middle school: ages 10-13) and are designed to engage participants at their appropriate learning-level. 

Youth participants will learn about:

  • Defining health, including their own thoughts and feelings about health
  • Human rights and health as a human right
  • Healthy schools, healthy selves, healthy communities
  • Assessing how resilient our communities and schools may be or where they need to improve
  • Safety 101
  • Speaking truth to power
  • Media literacy 

NOTE: Participants must have a parent or guardian in the LIGHT program.

Neighbors to Leaders Fellowship

Do you have an idea for a project that would make your community more resilient?

The Catalyst Miami Neighbors to Leaders Fellowship recognizes that we cannot make the change we need to see in our communities as an individual organization, or through policy alone. We recognize the many neighborhood leaders that feel called to work to improve their communities, often with no financial or technical support.

The Neighbors to Leaders Fellowship provides assistance to such leaders who have gone through our leadership programs such as HEAL and CLEAR. Through this fellowship, participants gain access to financial and other resources, one-on-one technical support, and to professional networks that advance the development of grassroots, community-based initiatives. This program allows our alumni to take the next step in implementing the training and skills gained in leadership programs to support their personal growth, strengthen our communities, and create a Miami-Dade in which we all thrive.

To apply: Email Izegbe Onyango 
[email protected]

The basics:

  • The fellowship supports and funds our leadership alumni in implementing local projects to improve neighborhood resilience and quality of life.
  • Fellows can apply for up to $1,500 of project funds. (Restrictions apply.)
  • Fellows receive support and technical assistance to complete projects from the Catalyst Miami project management team.
  • Fellowship support lasts up to 12 months.

Some examples of fellowship projects are:

  • A youth climate summer camp
  • Hosting events to organize residents around a particular policy
  • Creating a community emergency preparedness plan
  • Creating a rain garden to collect stormwater and reduce flooding
  • Creating and managing a community food garden


Fellowship awards are limited; selection criteria will depend on availability of funds, project feasibility, need for the project, and other factors. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.