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Community Partnerships

The Office of Engagement works with community partners to solve challenges they face while linking the FIU community to existing opportunities. Alongside several partnerships across South Florida, we work to ensure our community has the best resources and support systems available.

City of Miami Beach and FIU

FIU and the City of Miami Beach have forged a dynamic partnership leveraging geography, history, demographics, and intellectual capital to address both of FIU and Miami Beach's most pressing challenges. Since 2014, the robust partnership has flourished and the Office of Engagement now manages five workgroups focused on education, transportation, history and culture, coastal resilience and adaptation, and messaging. 

  • Arts, Culture & History
    Through the Arts, Culture & History workgroup, FIU and City of Miami Beach partners have created opportunities for the FIU and Miami Beach communities to simulate their knowledge of arts, culture, and history in Miami Beach. Key initiatives include the annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One and the digitization of the Miami Beach archives.
  • Transportation

    To address the City of Miami Beach’s needs regarding transportation and infrastructure, the Office of Engagement has connected the City of Miami Beach Transportation Department with FIU researchers to help facilitate data collection and develop performance measures for traffic monitoring, management efforts, and the city’s trolley program.

  • Coastal Resilience and Adaptation
    In 2015, FIU launched the Sea Level Solutions Center (SLSC), a department dedicated to designing and implementing short and long-term adaptation strategies for a prosperous South Florida. Since its creation, SLSC and the City of Miami Beach have worked together to hold thought-provoking lectures and meetings; developed applications to educate the community on climate change, and applied for joint-grant funding opportunities.
  • Youth and Education Development
    The Youth and Education Development workgroup has addressed key needs in Miami Beach’s schools, including dual enrollment course offerings, after-school enrichment programs, and math and reading intervention. These programs have allowed FIU students to participate in service-learning activities and the City of Miami Beach’s internship program.
  • FIU + CMB After-School Enrichment Program

    The FIU + CMB After-School Enrichment Program was established in the spring of 2018, serving both FIU collegians and CMB elementary and middle school students. The program objective is to serve minority elementary and middle school students in the City of Miami Beach who come from low-income families. The classes offered through the After-School Enrichment Program are Logic/Math Games, 3D Printing, Virtual Reality, Robotics, and MIT Scratch.

    Each semester, 20-25 FIU STEM collegians are hired to teach STEM courses at Biscayne Beach Elementary and at Miami Beach Fienberg Fisher K-8 Center.

City of Boynton Beach and FIU

In July 2020, the City of Boynton Beach and the FIU Office of Engagement forged a dynamic partnership to create a new Task Force within the City, aimed at tackling racial and social inequity within the City of Boynton Beach.

Through the Task Force, the Office of Engagement will work alongside the City to create a new and innovative framework to address racial and social inequity in the delivery of City services for the benefit of all communities. 

  • Assessment: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Assessment of the City and Departments

    The FIU Office of Engagement and the City are conducting a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Assessment that will highlight City internal policies, processes, organizational structures, and safeguards that are obstructive to 1) fostering of a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion within the City, and 2) development and implementation of socially and economically equitable and sustainable policies.

    With a clear understanding of the City's current status and future directions in cultivating a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion, the Office of Engagement can then focus on five units/departments' status on implementing new policies: Human Resource, Purchasing and Procurement, Economic Development, Police, and Park and Recreation.

  • Phase I Training: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the City of Boynton Beach

    The FIU Office of Engagement and the City of Boynton Beach are also partnering to train the City's employees on diversity, equity, and inclusion in two phases.

    Phase I training focuses on fundamental principles, knowledge, tools, and best practices for developing diversity-focused, equity-conscious, and culturally sensitive public leaders and servants.

  • Phase II Training: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the City of Boynton Beach

    The Phase II training, organized by the City in partnership with FIU Engagement, will be based on the City-wide and departmental specific assessments and recommended actionable plans for a City culture that is diverse and equitable.

    Each proposed training will have hybrid formats and will include one face-to-face meeting to facilitate interaction, discussion, and experiential learning. 

  • Micro-Credentialing
    The City of Boynton Beach's research team is also working closely with FIU's Office of Micro-Credentials to develop digital badge(s) for attendees who successfully complete the training and are micro-credentialled in areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, or cultural competency. The digital badge can be embedded in social media pages, e-mail signatures, and resumes.
  • 434+ students

    from City of Miami Beach elementary and middle schools enrolled in the free FIU + CMB After-School Enrichment Program.

  • $3 million

    granted by JP Morgan Chase Advancing Cities Challenge, launching the Miami Prosperity Building initiative

  • 3-5 students

    from FIU consistently enrolled in the highly competitive College Student Pre-commissioning Initiative program

Miami Prosperity Building: Advancing Cities Miami

FIU Engagement is a founding member of the JP Morgan Chase Advancing Cities Challenge led by The Miami Foundation. Miami's application, supported by FIU, the City of Miami, and the City of Miami Beach, beat over 250 cities to receive a $3 million grant to launch a local prosperity initiative: the Miami Prosperity Building Initiative.

As a member of the steering committee, the Office of Engagement helps advise on funding work focused specifically on training local residents and businesses to be more resilient to chronic financial stresses.

South Florida Anchor Alliance

The South Florida Anchor Alliance is a coalition of local anchors working in partnership with the Health Foundation of South Florida. The mission of the Alliance is to maximize the economic power of place-based institutions, such as hospitals and universities, to build a thriving and prosperous South Florida.

FIU's Office of Engagement was a founding anchor, and StartUp FIU Procurement, the Division of Human Resources, and Procurement Services all have member representatives at this time. The coalition is comprised of 30 anchors in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties with the goal of building alignment in workforce and procurement policies to better support local small businesses and the local workforce.

Jobs & Opportunity Report and FIU Partnership 

Lack of opportunities and access to living wages continue to negatively impact Miami-Dade's most vulnerable communities. In December 2019, Miami-Dade's unemployment rate was at a low three percent, however, 40 percent of local families had household incomes lower than the cost of living. But, as COVID-19 unprecedently hit and rocked the nation, Miami-Dade families became vulnerable to job losses, and Miami-Dade's unemployment rate skyrocketed to 12 percent.

The Miami Jobs & Opportunity Report will serve as a resource to local decision-makers in building a sustainable and equitable future, where access to opportunities and jobs are more accessible for our communities. FIU's role is to build a local advisory committee, built of public and private sector leaders and workforce individuals directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and structural racism, that will help our local politicians and leaders make the best decisions for a brighter Miami future.

Public Interest Technology at FIU - PantherX Fellows

Florida International University has partnered with the Ford Foundation and New America to launch a program focused on training interdisciplinary groups of undergraduate and graduate students in Public Interest Technology (PIT). The new program aims to train a new generation of students that are part of the PIT University Network.

FIU students complete coursework developed and delivered by FIU's Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy and earn a credential badge. The coursework includes 1) introduction to public interest technology; 2) understanding civic service design; 3) using artificial intelligence (AI) for the Provision of Services. After completing their in-class instruction, students participate in a 100-hour practical exercise via an internship/fellowship with a partnering organization that serves the public.

Learn more about our partnership with Public Interest Technology here.

College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI)

FIU has partnered with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to implement the competitive CSPI program, providing high achieving students with demonstrated leadership skills the opportunity to build a career with the USCG while attending school. The scholarship includes tuition, books and fees, a housing allowance and medical benefits, a full-time Coast Guard salary of up to $3,600 a month and a guaranteed job post-graduation.