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With these milestones, we are paving
the way toward equity and justice
for working families.

  • 2020 – – 2020
  • 2019 – – 2019
  • 2018 – – 2018
  • 2017 – – 2017
  • 2016 – – 2016

    Catalyst Miami turns 20!

    After completing a nine-month planning grant, Catalyst Miami was awarded The Kresge Foundation’s Climate Resilience and Urban Opportunity grant. The three-year $600,000 investment aims to build climate resilience in Miami-Dade County’s low-income communities. Three months later, Catalyst Miami was selected as a Community Progress Maker by the Citi Foundation, receiving a $500,000 grant to support our core operations.

    Catalyst Miami turned 20 on May 21, 2016. Catalyst Miami celebrated this important milestone with over 200 supporters on April 29, 2016. Rip Rapson, president and CEO of the Kresge Foundation, served as the keynote speaker. JP Morgan Chase was the main corporate sponsor.

  • 2015 – – 2015

    New programs launched under “Catalyze”

    The Kresge Foundation awarded Catalyst Miami the Climate Resilience and Urban Opportunity Initiative planning grant for 2015. The grant will support climate-resilience planning, policy development, and implementation efforts to address the priorities and needs of low-income communities.

    JP Morgan Chase awarded Catalyst Miami funding to build a learning network for place-based change organizations in 2015.

  • 2014 – – 2014

    New beginnings

    Gretchen Beesing began her first year as CEO by implementing a new strategic plan and vision for the organization. Founder Daniella Levine Cava, who left Catalyst Miami to run for office, won her race on August 26th, 2014. Daniella now serves as the Miami-Dade County Commissioner for District 8.

    Catalyst Miami launched several innovative programs in 2014, including Step Up Miami and Step Up Kids, Lending Circles, and Ways 2 Wealth.

    With the support of the Kresge Foundation, AT&T, Allegany Franciscan Ministries, and Center for American Progress, Catalyst Miami co-hosted the first annual Anti-Poverty Summit to discuss the state of poverty in South Florida and opportunities for change.

  • 2013 – – 2013

    A year of transitions

    The Social Justice Table is formed with the support of Allegany Franciscan Ministries. The initiative works to create a synergistic and collaborative community of social justice organizations.

    In December of 2013, Daniella Levine Cava, Catalyst Miami’s founder, CEO and President of 18 years, transitioned out of Catalyst Miami. Catalyst Miami’s Board of Directors selected new CEO, former Senior Vice President of Community Leadership, Gretchen Beesing.

    Gretchen developed a new strategic plan and vision for the organization, which she began implementing in 2014.

  • 2012 – – 2012

    Penny Wise campaign wins, again!

    Penny Wise Campaign opposed Miami-Dade County Mayor’s FY 2011-2012 budget cuts that would eliminate over 1,300 jobs.

    Self-sufficiency standard was established and called “Blueprint for Prosperity.”

  • 2011 – – 2011

    Miami Thrives Network is seeded

    The Miami Thrives Network, an anti-poverty initiative, is formed. The network spans service providers, labor groups, and faith-based organizations dedicated to working together against poverty in South Florida. The initiative was launched with the support of Kresge Foundation.

  • 2010 – – 2010

    HSC becomes Catalyst Miami

    To celebrate our 15th anniversary, Xavier Cortada, local artist and social activist, unveiled the organization’s new name: Catalyst Miami.

  • 2009 – – 2009

    Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

    When Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez proposed a budget for FY 2009-10 that would eliminate funding for community-based organizations in social services, environment and the arts, Catalyst Miami responded by launching the Penny Wise Campaign. In collaboration with other community-based organizations, Catalyst Miami convened hundreds of citizens, nonprofit leaders, and community activists to oppose the budget cuts and to stand together on behalf of the community and the nonprofit sector. In the end, funding was preserved.

  • 2008 – – 2008

    Catalyst Miami develops its consulting arm

    The Florida Prosperity Partnership is formed – a statewide collaboration of 120+ organizations from all sectors of Florida dedicated to improving the financial stability of low-to-moderate income Floridians.

    Catalyst Miami launched the Center for Civic Change: An Incubator for Social Impact —South Florida’s first social enterprise devoted to providing nonprofits, grassroots organizations and social enterprises a full array of administrative, management, leadership and programmatic support. In collaboration with Barry University Schools of Social Work and Business, and funded by Allegany Franciscan Ministries, Catalyst Miami offered services and consultation to increase the capacity of the health and human services sector in Miami-Dade County.

  • 2007 – – 2007

    HSC brings Parent Leadership Training Institute and Public Allies to Miami

    The Connecticut-based Parent Leadership Training Institute is launched in Miami. The program trains parents and children to become effective advocates in their communities. At the same time, Catalyst Miami recruits its first class of Public Allies Miami. Both programs were launched with the support of The Children’s Trust.

  • 2006 – – 2006

    Civic Life Academy and Access through Action are launched

    The Civic Life Academy is launched to house all civic capacity-building and advocacy programs at Catalyst Miami.

    Access through Action is launched, a year long education and mobilization program to increase civic participation in healthcare improvement. Catalyst Miami used a “study circle” approach with technical assistance from Everyday Democracy. Allegany Franciscan Ministries funded the program.

  • 2005 – – 2005

    Imagine Miami…

    Florida CFO Tom Gallagher embraced the Prosperity Campaign and launched a statewide Earned Income Tax Credit publicity campaign with Catalyst Miami.

    Daniella, Miami Dade College’s Eduardo Padron and Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Peter W. Roulhac launch Imagine Miami, a community initiative to build prosperity for Miami-Dade County families.

  • 2004 – – 2004

    Prosperity Campaign expands across Florida

    With the help of the Florida Philanthropic Network, Daniella and Catalyst Miami Board Member Barbara Friedson Garrett expanded the Prosperity Campaign across Florida. Soon other communities launched their own version. The Ford Foundation funded the expansion efforts.

  • 2003 – – 2003

    Prosperity Campaign officially launched

    The Prosperity Campaign went public, encouraging local leaders to promote the Earned Income Tax Credit, benefits enrollment, and to launch anti-poverty initiatives. Catalyst Miami expanded the Prosperity Campaign to allow community-based organizations to serve as Prosperity Centers. These centers were able to deliver financial and health services to their communities.

  • 2002 – – 2002

    The creation of the Prosperity Campaign

    The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awarded Catalyst Miami a $200,000 multi-year grant to promote the Earned Income Tax Credit and free tax prep. In addition, Catalyst Miami was awarded a USDA grant to conduct food stamps outreach. With the additional support of other funders, including The Children’s Trust and the U.S. Department of Health, Catalyst Miami was able to develop an innovative integrated model of service delivery. The Greater Miami Prosperity Campaign was born.

  • 2001 – – 2001

    Community Leadership Institute (CLI) launched in Little Havana

    Catalyst Miami adapted the New Leaders Program and developed the Community Leadership Institute (CLI) in Little Havana, with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The curriculum was uniquely co-designed with community residents using Paulo Freire’s method.

  • 2000 – – 2000

    Our first statewide mobilization day

    Florida CHAIN, which had been fiscally sponsored by Catalyst Miami, became independent in 2000. HSC joined forces with CHAIN to create a statewide mobilization day during Dade Days. Florida CHAIN is a premier health advocacy organization.

  • 1999 – – 1999

    Community Coalition for a Living Wage (CCLW) wins Living Wage Ordinance!

    This year marked the launch of Catalyst Miami’s first website. Additionally, after two years of existence, Catalyst Miami helped garner support for CCLW in winning a living wage ordinance in Miami-Dade County—the first of its kind in the Southeastern United States.

    Catalyst Miami became the fiscal agent of Florida CHAIN, a statewide health advocacy organization.

  • 1998 – – 1998

    First constituent leadership development training established

    Catalyst Miami piloted a leadership development training that focused on the immigrant population in South Dade. The “New Leaders Program” was launched in collaboration with MUJER and other community-based organizations. The organization also received its first government contract from the Department of Health. The organization received added support from the Dade Community Foundation.

  • 1997 – – 1997

    HSC’s first “Dade Days” take place

    Catalyst Miami evolved to address community concerns beyond welfare reform. In 1997, Catalyst Miami formed the Community Coalition for a Living Wage (CCLW) with AFL-CIO and other community-based organizations. In an effort to develop constituent leadership capacity, Catalyst Miami participated in its first “Dade Days” (with support from Bob Levy of Robert M. Levy & Associates), where constituents were able to advocate for their communities’ concerns in Tallahassee. The organization also received its first grant to do KidCare outreach from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

    Catalyst Miami’s “Families in Touch Program” received national recognition for being one of the most successful programs across the nation, continuously successful in connecting low-income residents living in public housing to employment.

  • 1996 – – 1996

    Our foundation

    Daniella Levine Cava incorporated the Human Services Coalition of Dade County (HSC) in the state of Florida, now known as Catalyst Miami. The organization was fiscally sponsored by Barry University’s School of Social Work before attaining its 501(c)(3) status. The first grant received to support Catalyst Miami came from the Joseph and Florence A. Roblee Foundation, which supports the organization to this day.

  • 1995 – – 1995

    Early beginnings

    It all began in 1995, when our founder, Daniella Levine Cava, co-chaired a committee at the League of Women Voters with Carol Von Arx, of the Joseph and Florence A.Roblee Foundation, to address the impact of welfare reform on low-income families.