Editor’s note: My Miami Story conversations are back on October 23rd! Sign up to host your own at MyMiamiStory.org.

On October 23rd, thousands of Miami-Dade residents will get together at coffee shops, parks and office breakrooms to talk about life in Greater Miami and how to make it better over My Miami Story conversations. Hundreds of hosts have signed up. We checked in with a few of them about plans for their gatherings and why they decided to participate.

There’s still time to host your own conversation or attend one that’s open to all residents. Sign up at MyMiamiStory.org.

Evan S. Benn, Editor-in-Chief, Indulge
“I signed up to host a My Miami Story conversation because I’m passionate about Miami’s food community and fostering the next generation of inclusive and diverse restaurant leaders. I’m grateful to The Miami Foundation for providing a platform where we can exchange ideas, discuss challenges and offer solutions.

“For my conversation, the idea is to gather local chefs and restaurateurs—industry veterans and up-and-coming talent—to talk about how we can work together to lift Miami’s food culture to the next level and do so in a way that prominently includes women and people of color.”

Liz Alarcon, Social Entrepreneur
I signed up to host a My Miami Story conversation because, as a facilitator myself, there’s no conversation I’d rather help moderate than one about our community and how we can break silos to make the Magic City an even better place to live, work and play.

“Breaking silos is one of the pillars of the Global Shapers Miami Hub, the local chapter of an international young professionals network under the World Economic Forum. We need to break the silos between industries, neighborhoods, ethnic enclaves and the social backgrounds of Miamians to improve our city, and our conversation will center around how to do that.”

Angel Pittman, Nonprofit Assistant Director, Touching Miami with Love
“I signed up to host a My Miami Story conversation because I want to make Miami feel less like a big city and more like a small town for both the natives and the newcomers. I hope this is the start of a monthly story-sharing time.

“My conversation topic is: “You the Expert.” I plan to use it as a way to jumpstart a monthly meetup over coffee for folks to share their thoughts and expertise on a number of topics, from what their favorite restaurants are to discovering neighborhood gems and sharing unique skills and talents. I hope to use these meetups as a way to help people build connections and get to know each other better.”

Jorge Zamanillo, Executive Director, HistoryMiami Museum
“Representing the HistoryMiami museum, we will be hosting two separate conversations. One is titled, ‘The Impact of Arts and Culture on Downtown Miami’ and will explore the impact of arts and culture on the past, present and future development of downtown, while identifying new ways to involve and engage the community.

“The second is titled, ’Creative Expression on the Streets of Miami’ and will connect local creatives to discuss how Miamians make use of public spaces for self-expression and continue our exploration of Miami’s street culture through our Avenues of Expression exhibition.”

Jill Tracey, Radio Personality, Hot 105FM
“The joy of my life is curating a great group of people over cocktails, dinner and intriguing, unfiltered conversation. My Miami Story is an amazing opportunity to do just that!

“At my conversation this year, we will discuss inclusiveness in Miami. We are a diverse community, but are we inclusive? And, what do we need to do to achieve that?”

Alejandro D. Gonzalez, Business Development Manager, The New Tropic
“I signed up to host a My Miami Story conversation because I believe that people who find themselves living in their own silos should have moments of connection and vulnerability with those who are different from them. In doing so, we start to empathize with the “other” and hopefully come to the realization that we are all not that different after all.

“I am going to try doing a dinner this year with people from different faith backgrounds. In college, I learned about how inter-religious dialogue can foster greater understanding among my peers and it is something that I haven’t done too much of in Miami. I am going to actively try to do something about that this year. We’ll see how it goes!”

Pati Vargas, Executive Director, Viernes Culturales
“We want to host our My Miami Story conversation in our part of town, Little Havana. I plan to invite guests to our neighborhood and teach them about the history of the area and Viernes Culturales. Many of our artists have endured over 20 years of hardship here for the love of art and culture, and theirs are definitely stories worth sharing.”

Andrew Boryga is a freelance journalist and is hosting his first My Miami Story conversation on October 23rd. 

You may also like: Five steps to host your My Miami Story conversation


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