14 Aug SOCIAL INNOVATOR, POLICY MAKER, CHANGEMAKER: REBECCA FISHMAN LIPSEY’S STORY
Rebecca Fishman Lipsey is founder of Radical Partners. She is a Miami Fellows Class VI alum and the 2017 Ruth Shack Leadership Award honoree, and serves on the Florida State Board of Education. She shared how her Fellows experience shaped her Miami story, and the opportunities she seeks to help create in the city we all love.
When I moved to Miami nine years ago, I thought it was going to be a short stay. I came here because I was passionate about educational equity. But I completely fell in love with the city, the energy, and the opportunity at our fingertips here in Greater Miami.
While working as executive director of Teach for America in Miami-Dade, I heard about a leadership program called Miami Fellows. I was unbelievably lucky to become part of Class VI. I knew the content would result fantastic, but what I didn’t understand was how transformational the relationships with my Fellows would become. As a class, we visited PortMiami, which I was sure would bore me out of my mind. But it was the experience that shifted who I am as a person. I came to understand how interconnected the issues are that face Miami: our economy, the environment, infrastructure and education. As the Fellows and I explored the way each issue interplays with the others, I began drafting plans for the social impact accelerator that I now run. I literally sketched the theory of change at a Miami Fellows debrief session.
This is an incredible moment for Miami. People from all different backgrounds, generations, income levels and sectors are raising their hands, saying “I want to help shape the story of what Miami becomes.” Together we are identifying issues that matter to the future of our city and taking them on. It’s a magical place to live.
Our diversity gives us an incredible edge as a region, and as we build a stronger Miami-Dade we need to ensure every voice is at the table. Greater Miami must be inclusive to be strong. We have the power to invest our resources in a way that lifts up the voices of people who aren’t represented, to build a city where all people thrive regardless of income, ability, race, sexual orientation or status. We must commit to making this a city where everyone thrives.
Miami’s story hasn’t been completed yet, and there’s something magnetic about a story being written now, and by anyone who wants to become a part of it. That’s what is making the magic in our city right now. And it’s why I choose to stay here.
Rebecca Fishman Lipsey is founder of Radical Partners and the 2017 Ruth Shack Leadership Award honoree.