Daniel Gibson

Daniel Gibson
Location: Miami, Florida Cohort Start Year: 2017 Populations Served: Low-Income Communities, Urban Communities
Regional Vice President
Miami-Dade, Allegany Franciscan Ministries

Overtown, a neighborhood within the city of Miami, was once the preeminent center for Black commerce in South Florida, home to many notable Black entrepreneurs and cultural pioneers. Today, this proud community is threatened by irreversible gentrification and the displacement of families who have called Overtown home for generations. “Towners,” as native Overtown residents call themselves, are watching the community disappear before their eyes. Through Allegany Franciscan Ministries’ Common Good Initiative, I am working from within the community of Overtown to allow current residents to empower themselves and have their voices heard. We want to preserve and grow businesses of color, foster job creation that employs from within the community, and invest in local youth so that they and future generations will be able financially to continue to live, work, and play in Overtown.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Overtown Black Entrepreneurs Capital Access Project
In the 1900s, black entrepreneurs flourished in South Florida, with the historic Miami neighborhood known as Overtown serving as the epicenter for black commerce. Today, Overtown’s households and businesses have disintegrated under racist political systems that created disparities around race, gender, class, culture, and residency. Despite a declining population, white households still earn three times the annual income of black households. In addition, liquid asset poverty is more disproportionate, with 79 percent of black households lacking liquid assets, while only 28 percent of white households lack liquid assets. My initiative convenes entrepreneurs, organizations, and stakeholders to address these barriers to improve black entrepreneurs’ access to capital in all forms (capacity/technical, financial, social, inspiration, and creative), counteracting obstacles from a racist system and introducing an environment where all entrepreneurs have equitable access to and attainment of wealth.

As a man of color who overcame my obstacles by discovering my voice and resiliency, I dedicate my career to serve communities where equity and opportunity evade those without a voice. I am proud to be a champion of criminal justice reform, the eradication of chronic homelessness, and the removal of inequities of poverty, race, and sexual orientation.

Click here to watch Daniel’s Legacy Project video.