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Setting the Foundation

An overview of our history, the language we use, and the themes of diversity and racial equity that guide our work.


  • Any person who receives a service or participates in a program by Catalyst Miami.


  • Income is a component of wealth. We use the term low wealth because it more accurately reflects the challenges our clients and communities face.


  • Each person/group is treated fairly with equal access to economic, social, and educational opportunity. For members of groups that have been excluded from resources, equity may involve providing greater resources to compensate for past exclusion and discrimination.


  • Resilience refers to an individual’s or community's ability to recover from chronic stress or an acute shock. We think of financial resilience as a critical component of overall resilience. We believe social cohesion--networks of people in the same community, working toward similar goals--fosters resilience as well. 


  • "Climate Justice recognizes the disproportionate impacts of climate change on low-income communities and communities of color around the world, the people and places least responsible for the problem. It seeks solutions that address the root causes of climate change and in doing so, simultaneously address a broad range of social, racial, and environmental injustices." (Source: University of California Center for Climate Justice)


  • "Economic justice has been defined as 'a set of moral principles for building economic institutions, the ultimate goal of which is to create an opportunity for each person to create a sufficient material foundation upon which to have a dignified, productive, and creative life beyond economics.' Therefore, an economic justice argument focuses on the need to ensure that everyone has access to the material resources that create opportunities, in order to live a life unencumbered by pressing economic concerns. (Source: Boston University School of Public Health, "On Economic Justice")


  • "Health equity is the state in which everyone has a fair and just opportunity to attain their highest level of health... Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health and healthcare disparities. Achieving health equity also requires addressing social determinants of health and health disparities. It involves acknowledging and addressing racism as a threat to public health and the history of unethical practices in public health that lead to inequitable health outcomes." (Source: CDC)


  • "Economic democracy is a system where people share ownership and decision making over the power and resources in their communities. Rather than profit and pure self-interest, it is grounded in values of solidarity, cooperation, democracy, and sustainability. Where economic democracy exists at substantial scales in urban regions, we see significantly reduced inequality and greater well-being for all, especially working people. Economic democracy reduces inequality and increases the shared wealth we have in our communities, not just creating huge amounts of wealth for small numbers of people. Economic democracy does not just mean creating more programs or more access or “input” and participation. It means real partnership and shared power, control, and benefit for everyday people in the things that matter in our lives." (Source: Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative)

Catalyst Miami is committed to supporting diversity and building inclusiveness. Diversity refers to the wide range of dimensions around which people in our society differ, including race, culture, language, class, age, gender, sexual orientation, and ability.

We strive to provide a workplace in which differences among our employees, partners, and participants are valued and respected.

We are committed to promoting better understanding and appreciation of the value of diversity among colleagues. This commitment can be realized only through the continuous effort of the entire community.

Catalyst Miami defines racial equity as the process of removing racial disparities to improve outcomes for everyone. Racial justice envisions eliminating racial hierarchies to achieve collective liberation, where all groups have the power and resources to thrive. Racial justice is the goal. Striving for racial equity is essential to reaching that goal. Catalyst Miami’s power-building work is rooted in racial equity and pursues racial justice. Our initiatives seek to create tangible, measurable benefits for people of color to ultimately achieve a fair society free from racism.





The set of private beliefs, prejudices, and ideas that individuals have about the behaviors of whiteness and the inferiority of people of color. Among people of color, it manifests as internalized oppression. Among white people, it manifests as internalized racial superiority.

The expression of racism between individuals. It occurs when individuals interact, and their private beliefs affect their interactions


  • Mentoring
  • Support groups, mono-racial, gender, and identity group caucuses
  • Healing programs
  • Counseling


  • Diversity trainings-prejudice reduction and cultural competency
  • Cross/inter-identity group dialogues
  • Diverse dinners and community events




The discriminatory treatment, unfair policies and practices, inequitable opportunities, and impacts within organizations and institutions, based on race, that routinely produce racially inequitable outcomes for people of color and advantages for white people. Individuals within institutions take on the power of the institutions when they reinforce racial inequalities.

A system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequality. It is a racial bias among institutions and across society. It involves the cumulative and compounding effects of an array of societal factors, including the history, culture, ideology, and systematic privilege of white people and disadvantage of people of color.


  • Changing policy (laws, etc.)
  • Challenging discriminatory and exclusionary practices
  • Demanding inclusive power, decision-making, resource sharing


  • Highlighting history, root causes, cumulative impacts
  • Challenging common stereotypes, biases cultural/media images
  • Exposing myths; explaining justice
  • Advancing socially conscious remedies
  • Promoting values  of equity, inclusions, access, and dignity of all


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