Mission Statement Purpose

 

The purpose of P.U.L.S.E. is to build a strong grassroots coalition organization, capable of negotiating the interest of our community with a special concern for the involvement and issues of low to moderate income people.  Having been founded by religious congregations, the actions and works are based on the values of justice, equality and compassion as found in God's word and the moral, spiritual and democratic ideals of our society. 

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"A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE"


South Florida has long been perceived to be the "Southern International Gateway to America.".  As a result, Miami experienced an increase of people from diverse ethnic backgrounds in the 1980's.. During that time, police brutality was at an all time high and the basic human dignity of minorities was flagrantly disregarded by those in authority. Miami was a city on the brink of an explosion. In May 1980, that explosion occurred when a clear miscarriage of justice was perpetrated against all of Miami's Black community.. These injustices came in the form of not guilty verdicts for four Metro Dade Police Officers in the beating death of a Black insurance executive. Serious civil disturbances rocked Dade County's Black community.  For several days and nights, arson, looting, killing and assaults raged throughout the county.. 

The 1980 riot damaged at least 238 established businesses, completely destroying 71, mainly white owned. A conservative estimate of the impact on employment was a loss of an equivalent to 3,000 regular jobs and an economic loss of $10,000,000 in community wealth.

Total property damage was approximately $100,000,000.  Government, police, fire and medical services were stretched far beyond capacity. Expenses for Dade County Government exceeded $2,000,000. In the aftermath, there was a feeling that the civil unrest had not gone away but rather had temporarily subsided. 

In the wake of these events, Concerned Seniors of Dade, Inc.'s Black Caucus met to discuss a possible course of action, which could be taken to deal with the root causes of the frustration and discontent among its minority citizens.. After these discussions they came to the conclusion that if major issues of unemployment,, inadequate housing,, injustices of the criminal justice system, etc., were to be successfully addressed, a large, powerful grass-roots organization had to be developed in the Black community. 

In November, 1980,, a group of Black clergy and lay people formed the Black Community Organizing Committee (B.C.O.C.) and set about the task of raising the initial seed money necessary to make an organizational building drive possible. Through the remainder of 1980 and 1981 the B.C.O.C. met with various churches and civic groups and secured the funds needed to contract organizing services. On September 26, 1981, a representatives meeting was held for the purpose of adopting temporary by-laws, electing officers and selecting a name for the organization. People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality, Inc. (P.U.L.S.E.) was the name selected.

Today, P.U.L.S.E. is comprised of 37 churches and civic groups from throughout Miami Dade County, and stands poised to continue to fight for justice and equality into the new millennium and beyond.

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