In 2015, South Florida People of Color (SFPoC) was founded in response to the need to have equitable political representation in the small, affluent town of Miami Shores. The vision was to draw people together "across the racial divide" by offering community dialogues and cultural events which turned into the:
Award-winning Unity360 Community Race Dialogues
Unity360 Critical Race Film Series
Racial Healing Book Club
Awkward Dinners are intended to gather small groups of diners in public or private spaces for facilitated discussions on race. In contrast with our award-winning Unity360 Community Race Dialogues, where we can have from 30 to 70 participants, Awkward Dinners provide a more intimate setting in which to express feelings and be heard, and the chance to learn how to disrupt racism in our daily lives. The “awkward” part comes when participants step outside of their comfort zones to share and learn from diverse perspectives on race.
The bottom line is simple: we want Whites and People of Color to get to know each other personally and use this unique discussion format to test their fears, debunk stereotypes, and develop empathy.
An arm of the collective offering customized, experiential Antiracism, Equity & Inclusion training workshops and technical assistance for institutions, companies and organizations to guide them toward intentional representation and an inclusive transformative culture.
Unity360 Institute was established in 2018 as a program powered by South Florida People of Color whose membership recognized the need to have critical conversations about the lasting effects of racism. This need birthed the award winning Awkward Dinner series where people chose to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, challenging social norms, and unlearning supremacy. The Awkward Dinner developed into Unity360 Institute powered by South Florida People of Color.
Mission & Vision
Unity360 Institute is a collective of thought leaders with a mission to curate and facilitate authentic conversations for healing justice as a catalyst to dismantle individual, institutional, & systemic racism through participatory action, knowledge sharing, and technical assistance to transform systems.
Our vision is to plant the seeds of transformation through personal reflection, truthful storytelling, deep dialogue, and conversations rooted in restorative practice on the journey toward racial healing.
NOTE: Healing Justice is a framework that identifies how we can holistically respond to and intervene on generational trauma and violence and to bring collective practices that can impact and transform the consequences of oppression on our bodies, hearts and minds. Cara Page and the Kindred Healing Justice Collective (Transformharm.org)
U360I’s Healing Justice framework derives from considerations about our personal “aura” (phonetically ORA) the essence of self; courageous conversations and personal storytelling that invite participants to consider their O.R.A. - Observe (what’s happening in their bodies), Reflect (on the impact of those reactions with the mind/intellect/memory), and Adapt (by developing intentional actions to address learning that results from the observation and reflection) through-out the process/journey of personal transformation and healing from racism.
J Thompson, MPA and the co-founding body of Unity360 Institute
WHO WE ARE
Co-founder of Unity360 Institute; Director of Operations
Roni Bennett, Co-founder and Executive Director of South Florida People of Color (SFPoC), enjoyed a successful career in Silicon Valley where she held several technical and management positions at leading technology firms including IBM, HP and AT&T. Her expertise is in project and program management of complex technical and global programs. She brings 25+ years of business and marketing expertise used to build strong business relationships at all organizational levels.
Bennett’s leadership of SFPoC was instrumental in electing a Black woman as mayor of Miami Shores in 2019 and there are now three Black women on the council. SFPoC is building on that success by drawing leaders from all racial and economic backgrounds with those with corporate backgrounds and those who experienced the criminal justice system – in order to effectively bridge the gap between grassroots and grass-tops in the social justice ecosystem.
Co-founder of Unity360 Institute; Director of Organizational Learning
Heather Burdick (she/her/hers) is a consultant, coach, and facilitator with SFPoC, as well as the Co-founder and Co-director of Miami Girls Rock Camp. After a successful career of 12 years as a public school teacher, she moved to non-profit work as Director of Programs with Miami’s local affiliate of the National Federation of Just Communities and expanded her work to adult education in order to move the needle on equity and inclusion and anti-racist approaches to local systemic injustices.
Under the leadership of sujatha baliga, recent recipient of the McArthur Genius Grant, Heather has been educated in both restorative processes and “train-the-trainer,” and her advocacy has helped to push the community toward restorative and transformative justice principles. Her recent work includes advocacy for restorative justice in the adult court systems, and expanding application to the “world of work,” in which restorative processes are applied to create more just and equitable workplaces. An area of specialty is inspirational culture creation within workplaces and organizations. Her strength in building organizational culture is especially apparent in her co-founding of organizations that empower women, girls, and non-binary youth, for which impact has been international, and featured as part of an exhibit at the Bullock Texas State History Museum.
Co-founder of Unity360 Institute; Director of Programming and Training
Quincie Doucet is a facilitator, workshop producer, and curriculum designer who creates and delivers educational programing to communities in order to confront the systemic and interpersonal obstacles to being an fair, equitable, and Anti-Racist America. Quincie believes that providing tools of inspiration and anti-oppressive frameworks allows people to combat the unique intersectional ways racism and anti-Blackness show up in their day-to-day.
Quincie is one of three co-founders of the nascent Sula's School, which focuses on uplifting and supporting Black youth in honing their radical imagination to dream up the solutions to their community's specific needs in Central Florida. Quincie, also works as an anti-racist consultant, facilitating space for organizations to craft environments that align with their anti-racist visions.
JOHANNA 'J' THOMPSON, MPA
Director of Development
J Thompson, MPA contributes over 30 years expertise as an Executive Management Consultant who earned a Master of Public Administration from New York University, Wagner School of Public Service, and an undergraduate degree in psychology from Columbia University. J’s career is dedicated to creating collaborative spaces across an intersection of networks, fostering relationships, and maintaining a vision to increase the capacity of those working toward equitable social and transformational justice until freedom dreams are reality.
J’s professional expertise is designing social impact strategies and providing technical assistance to develop organizational infrastructure, expand capacity and service delivery. J’s leadership philosophy has been crafted as a result of many miles (MLS) Modeling, Listening, Sharing space (modeling, informing, listening, executing, sharing space). The essential qualities brought to the organization include: business acumen, communicating the strategy/message at different levels, building social capital, technical assistance, executive thought leadership, strategic capabilities, big picture perspective, industry knowledge, and change management rooted in origin based knowledge and modalities. J wants to amplify Indigenous methodologies as a tool to shift the pervasive structural racism prevalent in our social, economic and political practices to benefit all by centering our most vulnerable community members.
U360I BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dr. Tameka Hobbs
Historian, Author, Speaker & Facilitator
Dr. Pamela Hall
Professor of Psychology at Barry University
Econ Gardening-Business Incubator at Florida State MSDC