Alana Greer is a native Miami girl and a leader supporting racial justice and human rights movements led by communities of color. She provides legal support, strategic partnerships and representation in organizing campaigns to local grassroots organizations. Greer works as a movement lawyer with the Community Justice Project.
Miami is home. It’s an incredible constellation of culture, opportunity, and craziness, and I just can’t imagine doing this work anywhere else. The people are ultimately what makes Miami great and, if you are willing to break out of your own bubble, there are always new pockets and rich communities to build with. From Haitian community leaders, to graffiti artists, to Liberty City tenant leaders, to the cafecito window workers in Little Havana, there are so many incredible layers and stories to this place.
WHAT IS THE MOST PRESSING ISSUE TO SOLVE ON YOUR LIST? WHY?
Miami people and communities make the city great. However, they are rarely granted access to the processes that shape the city on the policy and development level. We are beholden to the visions of the developers rather than opinions of our own residents. If we aren’t vigilant, we are going to end up displacing the people and erasing the cultures that have shaped Miami. We might as well end up living amongst empty glass towers without rich community history. We need to put people above profit and demand real investment from our elected leaders and developers looking to do business in working class and poor communities of color, the communities that literally built this city and keep its economic engines running.
HOW CAN WE SOLVE IT?
We need to support inclusive ecosystems where more voices can be heard, including dissent. Whether it’s investigative journalists, tenants speaking up against a slumlord, or young people shedding light on injustice in their schools, voices shining a light on the reality of life in our community are vital to making it a functioning democracy. Compared to other major cities, Miami can be a very hard place to have these voices heard and respected, and as a result we all suffer. We started the Community Justice Project to support grassroots efforts and make sure community leaders have a seat at the table. Moving the needle on this work is a long-term endeavor, but the more spaces we have where community members can build with each other directly, understand each other on a human level, and get a glimpse into the everyday struggles that working class and people of color face in Miami, the stronger we will be as a city.