Healing Our Own: Black Groups Come Together To Launch Free Urgent Care Clinic In Miami
Photo by Passion Ward

Dream Defenders, which organized for justice after the shooting of Trayvon Martin, has come together with several non-profits to launch the Doctors Within Borders Urgent Care Clinic in Miami, Florida, Trayvon’s birthplace.

The grand opening of the free clinic on Saturday, February 26— the 10th anniversary of Trayvon’s death— was part of a slate of events across the country to honor the slain teenager’s life and legacy.

Passion Ward

As per a statement from Dream Defenders, “The free urgent care site will serve as a training site for medical students and residents at Jackson Memorial Hospital and the University of Miami. It will serve residents of Liberty City and the surrounding neighborhoods.”

The clinic is part of the Healing and Justice Center, a collaboration between Dream Defenders, Dade County Street Response, Beyond the Bars, and Circle of Brotherhood to provide “an array of direct services focused on ending violence outside of the police and prison system.”

The center will offer “an alternative to 911 mobile crisis team, a trauma recovery center focused on providing therapy and resources to survivors of violence, legal services, and after and in-school youth programming,” according to the statement.

While Black communities continue to be under-resourced and endure discriminatory policing and healthcare, police budgets have grown.

“Miami Dade County spends nearly 1/3 of its budget on police and corrections,” Dream Defenders co-director Rachel Gilmer said on Instagram after Saturday’s urgent care clinic launch. “Our communities don’t need to be criminalized, we need resources. REAL safety is good housing, jobs, safe places for our children to go after school, public transportation and healthcare. Real safety is having more events like yesterday. Call your commissioner and tell them we don’t need more police, our communities need resources.”

Dr. Armen Henderson, Director of Health Programs for the Dream Defenders and University of Miami professor of medicine, said “[W]e are taking public safety into our own hands. Our communities don’t need more of our taxpayer dollars spent on police – they need healthcare, housing, good jobs and afterschool programming and we need the county to fund these initiatives. This is how we end violence. By ending poverty and making sure our communities have the basic resources needed to stay safe.” 

The urgent care center will be open every Friday, starting this week at the Black Men Build Hub on 5505 NW 7th avenue, Miami FL 33127.