When people unite, they drive change. Now for the second year, CityTalks will bring city leaders together with the faith-based community and business professionals to spark conversation and ignite change in our community. The conversation begins on Thursday, March 31, immediately following the 54th Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast at the Broward County Convention Center.
While the prayer breakfast is a way to unite and encourage our community to affirm, support and pray for our city leaders, CityTalks hopes to engage leaders to create an impact in South Florida in key areas where there are substantial felt needs. The initiative is being coordinated by United.City, an arm of the National Christian Foundation of South Florida that is uniting church leaders and ministries in unprecedented ways to serve the city.
According to Laurie Farquhar, chief collaboration officer of United.City, their mission is to…
CONNECT – creating unity and facilitating opportunities for leaders to discover and dialogue in order to do life and outreach together;
COLLABORATE – catalyzing action by identifying spiritual, compassionate and transformational activities that can be done more effectively together; and
CELEBRATE – cultivating transformation, they plan to measure the outcomes of this collaborative engagement of the church on the culture and the region.
With thousands of churches, charities and businesses in our region, the potential for developing sustainable and real solutions to needs on our city could become a reality. Alan Platt, the lead architect of United.City, said he sees “churches standing together in unison to make a difference for God in this region.” An agent of transformation, Platt is the visionary leader of Doxa Deo, a church of 30,000 in Pretoria, South Africa, where he has put into place a strong city-reaching strategy that has profoundly impacted the education system and marketplace in that region. “People, churches and institutions of society reach out across cultural, racial boundaries to share life with one another,” he said.
After the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, which begins at 7:30 a.m., CityTalks will convene at 9:30 a.m. with Alan Platt casting the vision for United.City during the opening session. Attendees will then rotate through three inspirational break-out sessions focused on three specific areas of need in South Florida: financial health, education and broken families. The 35-minute breakout sessions will begin at 10:20, 11:05 and 11:50 a.m., and will end by 12:30 p.m. Sessions will focus on the following.
On the Brink, Building Financially Healthy Communities
Fifty percent of people in South Florida are one financial emergency away from poverty. During this session, Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh, president and CEO of the Urban League of Broward County, will present practical ways that you can address this issue and help create a more financially health community. She will be joined by representatives from Hispanic Unity of Florida and the United Way of Broward County who will share ways that they are working together to provide mentorship opportunities that encourage financial independence.
Out of the Box, Creatively Partnering to Impact Education
Broward County owns ten percent of the lowest performing schools in literacy in the State of Florida. During this session, you’ll hear from Brian Faso, director of strategic achievement for Broward County Schools; Cassandra Robinson, principal of Dillard High School, and Isaac Bruce, former NFL wide receiver for the L.A. Rams and a former Dillard High School student, about how partnerships between the public and private sectors have been making a difference in South Florida.
Break the Cycle, Ending Waiting Foster Care in 2016
There are currently over 1,000 children in the foster care system and nine who wait for a foster home each night in Broward County. Come and hear from Tom Lukasik, Tom Lukasik, 4KIDS vice president of community engagement, and Victory Church Pastor Don Karpinen, who is also a foster parent, about how you can be part of finding all of these children a safe home by 2017.
These will be highly interactive forums with plenty of opportunity for conversation and questions, as well as information on practical, relevant programs with which people can get involved.
Tickets are available for the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast for $40 per person; however, CityTalks is free and open to the public. For information on the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, visit ftlpray.org. To register for CityTalks and learn more, visit city-talks.com. Learn about the initiative to meet the needs of South Florida at www.united.city.