Three Florida cities have received national accolades for their community collaborations.

The City of Fort Lauderdale is the 2023 All-America City Hall of Fame Inductee. Named an All-America City in 2014, Fort Lauderdale is being recognized for its collaborative engagement surrounding establishment of the L.A. Lee YMCA/Mizell Community Center in the City’s oldest African American community. The Hall of Fame award recognizes communities implementing a community-driven initiative resulting in local impact.

The Community Center was created by collaborating with the City, the YMCA and community partners. The Center aims to engage community members in offerings such as GED and job readiness through Broward College, job placement, preschool, meeting space, a theater, gymnasium, wellness center, co-working space and swimming pool. Curated murals, artwork and photographs pay respect to the location’s history, the Black community and pioneers. To see a video of images from the Center, click here.

A public-philanthropic partnership with the City of Jacksonville has been recognized as a national model through the Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships, a recognition offered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Council on Foundations.

The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida was honored for helping to launch the Office of Strategic Partnerships in the City’s Mayor’s Office. In 2015, Jacksonville created a new high-level position to facilitate collaboration between the public sector, philanthropy, nonprofits and businesses.

The Office of Strategic Partnerships has worked on quality-of-life issues regarding economic growth, health, disaster resilience and housing access. For example, Jacksonville has decreased homelessness by 39% through collaboration among frontline service providers, philanthropy and the public sector. The Office also helped boost participation in the 2020 U.S. Census, which led to an increase of 4.5% in self-response from 2010.

The City of Tallahassee has been recognized by Neighborhoods USA (NUSA) with a Best Neighborhood Program award for its efforts to celebrate and beautify the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard corridor. The project included installing historical markers highlighting local leaders’ and King’s contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. The historical markers were designed in-house by City staff with input from residents.

A grant from Keep America Beautiful funded this project. It was a collaboration with residents of neighborhoods next to the corridor and rich in African American history. Residents and local organizations donated more than 100 volunteer hours to assist with historical research, neighborhood cleanups and the unveiling. To learn more about the project, click here.