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MDEAT Speaks Community Forum Set to Examine Youth Arrest Patterns and Practices in Miami-Dade County

Elected officials, community leaders and scholars come together to explore and create solutions to address disproportionate youth arrests

On Thursday, October 5, 2023, at 5:30 p.m., Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust (MDEAT) is inviting the community to MDEAT Speaks: The School-to-Prison Pipeline Symposium at St.Thomas University’s Convocation Hall in Miami Gardens. This symposium will feature elected officials, community leaders, and scholars exploring the agency’s recent University of Miami-commissioned report  examining youth arrest patterns and practices in Miami-Dade County.

MDEAT created the bi-monthly MDEAT Speaks empowerment series to bring renowned subject matter experts in economic development, housing, juvenile justice, research, and public policy to the South Florida community. Among other revelations, Trends in Youth Arrests in Miami-Dade County: 2010 – 2022 found that Black youth were arrested at a disproportionate rate despite being a statistical minority.

Speakers at the forum will include:

  • Bill Diggs, MDEAT Executive Director
  • Dr. Marcus Bright, MDEAT Youth Services Administrator
  • Jordan Pate-Garrett, MDEAT Youth Services Coordinator
  • Dr. Todd Warner, Professor, University of Miami
  • Dr. Mary Avalos, University of Miami
  • Sen. Shevrin Jones, State of Florida, District 34
  • Cathy Burgos, Director, Miami-Dade County Juvenile Services Department
  • Vice Mayor Katrina Wilson, City of Miami Gardens
  • Dr. Steve Gallon III, Board Member, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
  • Fedrick C. Ingram, Secretary-Treasurer, American Federation of Teachers
  • Derek Negron, Administrative Director, Division of Academic Support, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
  • Dr. Jonathan Spikes, Founder and Executive Director, Affirming Youth Foundation, Inc.
  • Rhea Lee, Director, Mental Health Services, Miami-Dade County Public Schools 
  • Tim Belcher, Retired Deputy Chief, City of Lauderhill Police Department/ Assistant Chief, North Miami Police Department 
  • JD Patterson, Interim Director of Public Safety, Miami-Dade County  
  • Shawn Browne, Chief, Miami-Dade Police Department North Operations Division
  • Chief Delma Noel-Pratt, Miami Gardens Police Department
  • Joshua Thompson, Student, Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School

For more information about this event, contact and to RSVP, visit

This is a Hy-Lo News Staff Report.

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