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New alliance aims to advocate for Black community interests in South Florida

Local leaders launch South Florida Black Prosperity Alliance
Local leaders launch South Florida Black Prosperity Alliance

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Eric Knowles said there is strength in numbers, and this is why the new South Florida Black Prosperity Alliance will be making a difference.

Knowles has been leading the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce since 2014. On Thursday, he held the microphone outside of the Urban League of Broward County’s Sunshine Health Community Empowerment Center in Fort Lauderdale.

“We have to stand together ... Black businesses matter, Black education matters, Black health matters, Black seniors matter — 365 days a year, not just 28 days in February,” Knowles said referring to Black History Month.

The nonprofit organization includes a network of Black church pastors, politicians, and business community leaders who will operate as a united front to represent the interests of Blacks from Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.

Rosalind Osgood an elected member of the Broward County School Board was also a speaker during the event. She is the chief executive officer of the Mount Olive Development Corporation, an arm of the historic New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Broward.

“We come together collectively and we begin to set a tone for Broward County to be an anti-racist county,” Osgood said.

Their first priority is to address the economic disparity during the coronavirus pandemic crisis. Fewer Black-owned businesses received forgivable loans through the federal U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, according to Knowles.

Knowles described the organization’s goals in more detail in an opinion published in the Miami Times last year saying the organization will also be working toward fair inclusion in procurement opportunities.

Records show the nonprofit incorporated July 8 with three directors, Knowles, Frank Hayden, and Shaheewa Jarrett, the founder and president of the Broward County Black Chamber of Commerce.

Related story: Minority-owned companies waited months for loans, data shows

About the Authors:

Michael Putney came to Local 10 in 1989 to become senior political reporter and host of "This Week In South Florida with Michael Putney." He is Local 10's senior political reporter. 

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.