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Girl Power President & CEO Receives 2019 Essie Silva Community Builder Award

Updated: Aug 27, 2019

United Way Board Chair Carlos Migoya and President and CEO Maria C. Alonso celebrated the extraordinary contributions of five outstanding volunteers at the United Way of Miami-Dade Annual Meeting & Volunteer Awards on June 18, 2019.

The United Way of Miami is on a mission to build a stronger Miami — a Miami where all children have the opportunity to learn and thrive, where families are financially secure and where people can live their lives to the fullest because they have the good health to do so — today and for generations to come.

Thema Campbell is the president and chief executive officer of the World Literacy Council (WLC) of Florida, a nonprofit, literacy program – through which she founded Girl Power, an alternative-to-suspension and after-school social change program structured to reduce the suspension/arrest rates of adolescent girls. Since Girl Power’s inception, the suspension rate of its participants has dropped by 85 percent and the arrest rate by a staggering 90 percent. Thema’s involvement in “the greater good” for young women began, in part, when she started encountering the abuse, neglect, assault and abandonment of young girls. She is an expert on children’s issues and a true champion and advocate for girls.

In addition to her Girl Power duties, Thema is also the executive producer of the annual “It Takes A Village Conference;” she serves as executive board member of the Miami-Dade Youth Crime Task Force; she is a member of the Liberty City Community Action Agency; and a member of the Sojourner Truth Book Club. She is the former co-host of WMBM’s talk show, For Women by Women; former state director of the Miss Black Florida USA Pageant; former chair and co-chair of the Juvenile Justice Board – Circuit 11; and former member of the Miami Commission on the Status of Women. Also, in 1989 she co-founded Concerned African Women and the New Dimensions in Community Educations Program.

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